Friday, 30 August 2013
A Budding Fashion Designer for Elders
As I explained in a post earlier this week, an email from a young fashion design student prompted my post on Tuesday about non-existent elder fashion.
When we were arranging our Tuesday Skype chat, Marisol Garza told me that she is in the Central Time Zone so I assumed Chicago maybe or St. Louis – one of those cities in the middle part of U.S.
What a hadn't noticed in her email is that she lives in Monterrey, Mexico – about 500 miles north of Mexico City - where she is in her final year at the University of Monterrey, having recently completely an exchange semester in San Antonio, Texas.
Marisol, who is 22, is a smart, charming, gorgeous – as you can see – and firmly dedicated to making her way in the world by creating attractive fashion solutions for elder women.
(Those of you who are regulars here at TGB know that Marisol stole my heart in her first email when she referred to people our age as “elders” instead of seniors or elderly.)
By the time we Skyped Tuesday morning, she had read every one of your many-more-than-usual comments and organized them into logical categories. Sleeves – everyone wants sleeves – was your number one peeve.
We had a good discussion about elder body types based on your comments. Marisol intends to research and maybe hold some focus groups with elder women to get more information on how our bodies change over time so she can work out a reasonable number to design for.
We went much further than talking about design alone. Of course, I was curious about how she came to be so passionate about making attractive clothing for old women.
It began with her mother's and aunt's needs, she said. Like most TGB readers in the United States, her older relatives have the same trouble in Mexico finding clothes that look good and fit well. Marisol says (I'm paraphrasing but close) that
”...elder women are the forgotten market in the beauty and fashion industry and it should not be that way. It's not good enough that the stereotype of what beauty is, is only young and perfect.”
Marisol says she sometimes feels set apart from her generation. The open sexuality bothers her and she has come to believe that it occurs because young women don't know themselves yet.
Older women, says Marisol, are more interesting, more sensual, more experienced in life, know who they are, don't care what others think about them and “give you (her) better conversation” than many of her contemporaries.
You can see why I am taken with her.
We left off our 90-minute conversation vowing to keep in touch and I will update you from time to time on what she is learning and how she will be applying it. And, sometimes, she may have a few questions and we'll ask for your input.
Next week, I will follow up on another issue raised by Tuesday's fashion post but first – several of you asked for instructions about how Elaine of Kalilily adapts teeshirts to be worn without a bra. She has written a whole blog post about that for you.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Dan Gogerty: Big Data, Small Towns and Big Brother in Drag