Commentary: My love and devotion to fashion


Photo credit: Aonika Laurent Thomas

An 8-year-old me holds up a photo of a Gucci dress, wearing the duplicate I made myself. Months earlier, I became infatuated with it in the mall, which inspired me to start sewing. I still make clothes to this day.

By Lola Thomas, Senior Reporter

Every day in elementary school, I came home to watch the needle on my sewing machine rapidly synchronize with the beat of my pedal. The threads created a vibrant harmony of colors, all turning an idea and a few pieces of fabric into one of my new creations.

I started sewing when I was 4 years old, beginning with dozens of plush pillows and book sleeves. I ventured into designing and sewing clothes when I was 8 years old, and it’s become an immensely impactful part of my life and an important source of inspiration for me. Fashion has allowed me to explore my creativity, develop my personal style and discover a sense of who I am.

The clothes we wear immediately reveal a part of our identities to the people we encounter and, as we grow, it develops and changes with our identities, allowing us to wear our histories and have tangible memories of them. They’re pieces of who we are, even if you may not recognize them.

My obsession can be credited to a dress I once came across. Picture an 8-year-old me walking through the mall. In the midst of a cinnamon-sugar-pretzel frenzy, I noticed one of the prettiest dresses I had ever seen. It was in a Gucci window display paired with a looped pearl necklace and a matching blue, green and red bow. The entire display had a backdrop of shoppers in similar fancy clothing. I pressed my face up to the window, almost fogging up the glass with my breath. I was in awe; this was the perfect dress.

Although it might seem frivolous to be so infatuated with a singular piece of clothing, that’s what happened. However, I became quickly aware that the idea of owning a designer dress was, let’s be honest, not even a little bit realistic. Although the dress wasn’t accessible to me, I was still obsessed with the idea of owning it for myself. So, I decided that day that I was going to make it. And I did. 

For Christmas that year, all I asked for was sewing materials. My mom and I picked out a fabric similar to the original dress, and she took me to sewing classes on the weekend; from there, I slowly crafted the dress. It took me a long time to complete, but the process was exciting and opened up a new world for me.

From there, I started making more dresses, blouses, skirts and so much more. I would sketch and design my own clothes and present them to my mom, telling her that one day she would see my designs on a runway during Paris Fashion Week. The sky was the limit.

Although I can’t devote as much time to sewing as I did before, fashion is still a big part of my life. When it comes to thrifting with friends or spending my bus time scrolling through Pinterest, my appreciation is still there. I’ve also used my passion for sewing to give back to my community by making reusable masks during COVID-19 for my family.

Every stitch I make is a testament to how much I enjoy fashion. I aspire to someday work in the fashion industry, whether as a designer or a fashion journalist; wherever exciting places I go in the future, fashion has to be part of it. Fashion is the glue that holds me together.