By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City — Who says New York only means high-end fashion?
A Filipina artist here bursts with creativity in what she calls Recession Fashion, with assertions on recycling for practical wear. Fashion to June is a creative expression of clothing designs, with practicality and in tune with recession as a macro reality. Living in Manhattan’s upper west side, June has been creating her own clothes for over 30 years and have submitted these creations in Bloomingdale’s and Henri Bendel’s several years back.
A consummate artist, she is relentless in encouraging her friends and teaching young people to develop the habit of saving, of drinking 12 glasses of water regularly to be healthy, and to create your own clothes and stop being a mere consumer.
As a personal friend, those are all the advice I could ever use to live a happy, healthy life.
But here is a tour into the creative mind of the lady of Recession Fashion:
Recession Fashion is Something Anyone Can Do
Designing and sewing clothes is one of my favorite activities. I also want to inspire others to do the same because it really is a lot of fun with all possibilities of being lucrative. I’m talking about recycling, about recession fashion.
Pick a suit, any suit that you want to work with – fresh from your closet or from the thrift shop. Pick a fabric about a yard and a half-long for your skirt. This is where the fun is, you get to choose the fabric weight, the color and the design of the skirt. Wool, velvet, upholstery fabrics are heavy weight, cotton, taffeta are middle weight while silk and chiffon are lightweight.
You choose the length (above the knee, below, mid-calf) and the volume of the skirt (straight, pleated, or shirred).
Save a few inches for your hemline which you will hand stitch at the end. After making the skirt the same width as the bottom of the suit, attach together by hand stitching. Make sure it is double stitched for strength and stability.
You may add embellishments (buttons, pockets, lace, applique, jewelry, embroidery, etc.) for an upbeat look. Check all the finishing touches, iron out all wrinkles and voila, you got mail.
Creating Needs Only Two Things:
First, I will assume that you know how to run a straight line in an ordinary sewing machine.
Second, If you do not have a sewing machine, perhaps an aunt or a neighbor or grandma does. I will also assume that someone has taught you how to use a needle and thread and that you can do hemming and stitching. If so, then you are ready to create something of your own.
Creativity Vs. Mere Consumption
To create something out of nothing but sheer will and imagination is one of the greatest pleasures ever known to humanity, or at least to me. It is better than sex I promise you that. It gets you higher than any drugs. You can do it 24/7.
When I create I feel alive, electric and almost omnipotent. Time stands still. The outside world ceases to exist. It is only me and my medium. We engage in the process. A conversation ensues which is the main source of the pleasure. The end product of that pleasure is the artwork that I’ve just given birth to. It’s alive and it has personality, my brainchild, so to speak.
I believe that we are all creative beings, that we all have a right to experience the act of creating. The lucky ones recognize this within themselves at an early age and just rolls with it.
Life suddenly offers more options. Think Justin Bieber. Some deny it and settle down to sleep with the enemy, mediocrity and frustration. If you don’t exercise your creativity, life will eat you up in many ways.
We do art because it is the only sane thing to do, a friend of mine says.
I continue to accept students who want to learn to sew and make their own clothes. I am also working on my street art, which remains a surprise for New York until I have put everything together for everyone to see.