My Experience As a Designer for Sparkcon (FashionSpark 2015)
As some of you may know,
last month I participated in the town's local arts convention, SparkconX. To fill you in, Sparkcon is one of Raleigh, North Carolina's largest town-wide events of the year. In depth check out their ''about'' page for full detail of who they are go to http://www.sparkcon.com/about/ .
I was already familiar with Sparkcon through my sister who had been a council member a few years ago. She later quit due to her busy life and work. I asked her a few questions about possibly participating in the 2015 fashion segment and her response was enough for me to submit my $20 application fee and complete my information form about myself and the fashions i create.
I was extra nervous on getting chosen and I blew up every social media account they had to make sure I had a spot selected for the fashionSparkcon ( I made sure my twenty bucks was worth it, don't judge me...).
for about 3 weeks, I heard nothing.
I was beginning to feel like my designs didn't have enough of the ''southern charm'' they like so much in Raleigh. THEN FINALLY......
Checking my email for the 203904294th time that month, I received an email. I immediately flipped out and felt so proud. My soul left my body through my butt, I was soooo excited. ''This is my chance to finally be seen'' I thought.
I couldn't wait to get started. After the first email, I didn't receive an update from them for another 2 weeks or so, I wanted to be prepared and ready for whatever so I could take time off work in a timely manner if need be. Impatient and anxious, I finally emailed them asking very general questions like:
''Are we doing anything I need to take off from work for?''
"what dates should I mark in my calendar?"
''When is the model casting?''
'' May I have a copy of last year's agenda so I know what to plan for?''
I received a response some days later stating 30% of what i needed to know and that more information will be provided within the week (which turned into a month). For a month I had already been sewing and doing what I thought would be best for myself without any further direction.
I guess when the buzz wears off, people just kind of forget about planning and move on to something else, but people have lives outside of the organization, even with regularly scheduled meetings twice a month.
A little strain on communication here but as long as show day goes smooth sailing who cares, right?
I begged for assistance with models because I knew for a FACT I would only come up with 40% of the models needed on my own. Let's face it, I'm not as social as i should be when it comes to the fashion scene. I make the clothes put them on display and run away to hide. As a young designer without the ''proper education'' and the right funds, you're a nobody who no one wants to work with around here (I'll rant about that later).
An email was sent explaining dates and times, I was unable to attend the designer fashion shoot because notice was given a week ahead and at H&M you need a 2 week MINIMUM notice. I could have really used the photo shoot so I took it upon myself to email the photographer directly to reschedule possibly. I didn't want to be caught using a crappy Instagram picture.... no response.....at all...... oh goody! crappy Instagram picture it is! Who cares, I just let it roll off like water on a duck's back.
NOTE; I don't like featuring myself a lot when it comes to my art because I feel like it taints the viewers perception of the art. I don't want you to see my art as a reflection of me as much as I want you to see it as just art itself, use your own perspective. ( I may have to write an article about this)
I managed to find an okay picture to submit even though it was around 4 years old and did't fit the theme of my collection whatsoever. It's all I had on short notice.
Shortly after, runway Rehearsals were held. A small bar just yards away from the placement of the main stage was the choice of the venue. It was a little hard to imagine walking an invisible ''U-shaped'' runway even with markings on the floor showing a rough draft outline of the actual stage. I actually screwed up that day and exited the wrong way but so what, the show didn't stop because of it.
My Salon help I was assigned was a big help, Von Kekel/Aveda salon. They did a good job with my models even though there was a little confusion with how to make-up my deeper skin-toned models the flick-of-the-wrist skill was good.
I was given from 4pm-7pm to get my girls ready and downtown by 7pm sharp. I arrived late due to heavy traffic, trouble with parking and the battle of getting myself ready in 10 minutes (wasn't fun).
I raced off making it to the conference room with just enough time to slip my models into their garments. There were times I wanted to yell and shout for the sake of me feeling like I wasn't being taken seriously as a designer but I kept quiet and put my emotions into to the seams of my pieces. On the bright side I was selected to take part in an event that could or won't change my life.
a few minutes to showtime........ *Heart pumping.......
At this point
- I was sweaty
- short 3 models
- one of my models was drunk
- I was under dressed wearing a stained sweatshirt and frizzed hair.
- I was exhausted and running on nerves and excitement
People responded well to my work. Well, not everyone. a tall slender school of the arts designer kid had something to say about my less than perfect zipper. He was a bit of an asshole but I make the best of his kind and complement his work. No need to return the shade.
Lastly, I noticed only few photos of my runway selection surfaced. In the beginning it wasn't made clear that we would need to provide our own photographers. There was only one mention about photographers and that was for us to reserve spots for photographers IIIIIIFFFFF we had any coming.
I am grateful for the photographers who took interest in at least one of my outfits for a few shots.
My family managed to capture a good amount of my work using their phones. Below you can see me in my accidental Homeless attire. My Sisters said my outfit worked out because It passed as the whole ''So much to do, So little time, where's my latte" distressed designer look. (nailed it!!)
I was so Glad for it to be over. All of the pressure started when the fashion Sparkcon council announced that this year's show was basically a competition. The winner was awarded a glass engraved trophy and the losers received nothing but shame. (I'm so sensitive lol. It wasn't that bad but it wasn't nice to know that I lost.)
After a series of excitement and unfortunate events, would I recommend sparkcon to another local designer? The answer is a long drawn out ''yyyyyyyyyyyea sure''. The only thing I recommend is that you prepare to the max. Hopefully reading this article years/seasons later (because nobody ever updates sites in raleigh) helps out a lot. Who knows, maybe I'll go for it again next year. Let's just hope nobody gets offended by my views and comments enough to completely disqualifies my entry.