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 :)


  1. I am so proud of you and your drive to reach for your dreams. I totally believe that this is the very beginning and you have huge potential!! Congratulations on making it through your first audition. :)

  2. Thanks for sharing the experience. I love that you gave it a shot. I probably never would but then I'm really not the type for things like that. You should feel very pround of yourself. Also I love your casual outfit. I would definitely wear that!

  3. Thanks for describing this experience! I'm glad this was helpful for your designer-vision. I'm looking forward to seeing what you create in the future, and I'm also looking forward in ordering some pieces from you as I define myself further in my career (and this winter, when I will be commissioning a coat!).

  4. I am so proud of you Faith, I am tearing up as I read your post. This is the desire of your heart and the Lord has given you the talent for it. I believe it will come to pass.

  5. You are amazing! I would not have had your courage. How about next year?


  6. You go Girl! I love that you went for it. So many of us would want to but not actually follow through. I'm so impressed at how you have done this year. I vote that you should be allowed to continue....the first year of most businesses usually shows a loss. If you've made a profit you are on your way!

  7. Great post! Are you going to try again next year? Now you can prepare for the questions they could ask again. Plus, now you have a clearer vision of yourself as a designer. :) I love the outfits you chose.

  8. Thanks, everyone, for the support!!!

    In response to your questions: I might audition again next year. I'm definitely not opposed to it, but the competition will be much stronger (though, so will my line, I hope!), and who knows where God will lead me by then?!
    I'm looking forward to seeing what happens, that's for sure! :D

  9. Good for you, Faith! Your work is lovely and so is your determination!

  10. Beautiful work and good luck with your future endeavors!

  11. That does sound like an amazing time! Your work is beautiful!

  12. So exciting to hear all about it, Faith. Such an interesting time in your life and I'm sure the whole process was valuable for you in your work.

  13. Your designs are great! Such an exciting experience.

  14. You always have to go for it so there are no regrets later. That was great that you went for the audition and the Lord will direct you from here with open or shut doors. You are blessed with a husband and family that supports you!

  15. What a great accomplishment - to set this ambitious goal and follow through with it. Your clothing is beautiful - your wedding dress, stunning! My prayers and best wishes for your future in this.

  16. Awesome Faith! I am so proud of you for just attempting the process. A great way to define who you are as a designer and learn from the experience. I tip my hat to you and know that if you seek God's will, he will surely point you in to the right direction for future endeavors. Blessings to you!

  17. Sorry they didn't choose you. I thought your entries were impressive!

  18. I really admire that your tried for the show. I'm sorry that you didn't make it, but hopefully this experience will be good for you in the near future. Keep trying.

  19. Never forget, just because you didn't make it, doesn't mean that you weren't their very next choice! Oh, and if you want us all to send letters of support for you to your husband, just say the word ;)

  20. There were casting producers setting up specific designers for the VIP casting call. The VIPs didn't have to wait in line. They had their own audition times. Next year you should seek out a casting producer.

  21. They are looking so gorgeous. I don't know how the judge assays them. I am loving all of them and all of the fashionable outfit. I always prefer fashionable dresses and looks. I am loving these outfit here. I also love white party dresses


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