Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fashion Star Audition Story

Remember when I posted about how much I love the TV show Fashion Star and the inspiration that came from it? (You can read the original post here, and the following ones here, here, and here)

Shirt & Shorts

Well, I decided to audition for Fashion Star :)

I spent the last month or so designing.

Actually designing. 

For the first time in a long time, I sketched new ideas, re-vamped designs I made years ago, and draped beautiful fabric on my dressform. 

Blue & Black Dress Etsy listing

In the midst of working on projects for Etsy, community members, and myself, I made 2 new dresses, a shirt, and a pair of shorts--all my designs and made specifically to take to my Fashion Star audition (and list on Etsy, of course) :D

I brought 9 items: 2 wedding dresses, a formal dress, 3 semi-formal dresses, a skirt, shorts, and a shirt. Pictures are scattered around this post.
Purple & Black vintage-inspired dress Etsy listing

The show held Open Calls all over the country. The closest one to me was in Chicago, on July 22nd.

Parker, me, Rachel
My husband, sister, and I traveled to our dad's house for the weekend--he lives much closer to Chicago and we wanted to spend time with him.

Then, on Sunday, we took the South Shore train line into Chicago, alighting at Millennium Park :)

The open call audition was held at the old Marshall Field building, now Macy's on State Street--two or three easy blocks from the station.

I found these amazing black travel dress bags that folded & zipped up to look like art portfolios. It definitely was an easy way to carry 9 items of clothing all over the city!

The open audition was scheduled from noon to 5pm, and I arrived at 11:30. I got right in line, and I was already person #137! Little did I know that most of the people were there early. I think there were about 200 people total that day.

I waited in line for about an hour & a half, then checked in and got my number.

Then I waited in the anteroom. 

For another two hours.

(At first, I read a business magazine to pass the time. After an hour in this room I realized that my family could be with me, so I brought them in. That was better.)

I put this on the table. Etsy listing
Then my number was called, and I went into the judging room.

Each contestant in the judging room had a black-covered table and a clothing rack, on which to create a display. That was fun!!!!

Once I set up my display (I wish I had taken a picture!), a judge spent a few minutes with me, asking about what I do, my signature piece, my competition, the store in which I could see my clothing, etc.

I brought this too! Etsy listing
I wish I had known that he would ask those specific questions, so I could prepare. I never thought about who I would consider my competition, but thinking about it on my feet really helped me solidify who I am as a designer.

And who am I as a designer? I'm glad you asked!

I think I am more like Ann Taylor than Christian Dior or John Varvatos

Etsy listing
I don't consider myself a high-end fashion designer, nor do I want to be one. My clothing tends to be good-quality formal, business, or casual, but not crazy high-end. That's my goal now, anyway.

So, after 3 minutes with a judge and a few minutes turning in my paperwork, I packed up and left. So much waiting for so little judging time. Sigh.

My sweet family gave me mint chocolates when I was done, which made things much better :)

Etsy listing
We were all starving, and we saw a Qdoba across the street. = LUNCH! Yum.

Anymore, you can't visit Chicago and not take pictures by the Bean. It's a huge mirrored sculpture shaped like a  . . . bean.

We happened to be a few blocks away, so we found it and took fun pictures!
Parker & I at the Bean

Even though it was 90-something degrees and we were carrying my dress bags, I still wanted to visit Navy Pier--my favorite place in Chicago.

Yep, I brought my wedding dress. Etsy listing
So we walked there!

Maybe not the best decision . . . it was a longer walk than we thought, so we only spent about ten minutes in the mall before we walked back to the train station.

But we bought Mackinac Island fudge!!!!!!!!!!!

The best fudge shop on Mackinac Island (which I visited in May) also has a shop in the Navy Pier mall. So tasty!!!

Then we took the train back to Valparaiso, and drove back to my dad's house.

I was told that if I had a call back for Fashion Star, I would receive a call my midnight--that night.

We all waited on pins and needles for hours.

Sadly, I was not called back.

But I'm ok :)

Auditioning for Fashion Star was an AMAZING experience!!! Through the process, I defined myself as a designer and reaffirmed why I'm trying so hard to build a business that (for now) doesn't make much money. I remembered how much I love designing :)

So, where am I going from here? I'm not quite sure yet.

At the end of the month, my husband's year trial period for my business will expire, and he will be evaluating if I make enough money to keep going with it.

I sincerely hope he lets me continue! If not, I will find a part-time or full-time job in the fall and will have little time for sewing or designing.

For now, I'm working on projects: a wedding dress, purses for a craft festival, custom orders from Etsy.

And I'm praying for direction :)