LIFE // The Yellow Boilersuit Saga

Friday, 15 January 2016

Wow - It's certainly been a while! How have you all been? I realise haven't posted anything on my blog in over two months, but read on and I'll tell you all about what's happened to me...

As you may already know from this post, I sometimes lend pieces from my graduate catwalk collection to stylists for to use in editorial photoshoots and other really cool stuff. Thanks to opportunities like this, I'm able to see my designs reinterpreted by other creatives. It's so refreshing when such talented people breathe new life into these creations of mine that I'd almost become sick of looking at.

Sadly, it's not all been the hugely positive experience I've just described to you: Back in August last year, I loaned a full look from my collection to a stylist who, at the time, I had no idea was seriously unprofessional. When I emailed her about returning it, she told me it had been pushed back a few weeks. So I waited a little before getting back to her on social media about finally sending it back to me. I was being fed the same tired excuses as to why she hadn't returned my work and, after trying persistently until mid-December, I was ultimately blocked from contacting her on Instagram.

What could've possibly happened that this person was refusing to send my work back? Was it lost, or damaged beyond repair? Either way, I was heartbroken and just wanting to know the truth. The collection I'd spent a year of my life labouring over would from now on be incomplete.

My creativity hit a wall, I'd stopped responding to requests from other stylists to borrow my work, and I didn't feel like writing or blogging anymore either. I'd almost given up hope, until one day when I realised and thought to myself: "Actually, no - This isn't fair. Why should anyone be allowed to get away with something like this?" The work of a stylist can be quite dependent on the reputation they build. If I wasn't an unknown independent designer, but instead a real company who she'd failed to return pieces to, it definitely wouldn't have been ok. She'd get a bad name and probably never be allowed to borrow garments from them again. My pieces aren't just PR samples that can be replaced, they're unique one-offs, made with my own hands, time, money, blood, sweat and tears - It's not like I owned twenty of these yellow transparent PVC boilersuits! Whether or not you're a big deal or virtual nobody, it shouldn't make a difference to the amount of respect someone gives to your work which you've been kind enough to lend them in the first place. I couldn't help but wonder how many other fashion graduates out there were having their trust abused and taken for granted.

In a somewhat messy last ditch attempt to get my work back, I took to Twitter. Many of my friends who'd caught wind of the situation did the same and, finally, after five whole months of me trying, the boilersuit miraculously arrived on my doorstep completely intact with no note whatsoever. I'm not sure what happened, since it came from her studio address, yet the name of the sender on the envelope seemed to suggest she wasn't the one who'd actually returned it. Needless to say, I didn't thank that stylist. As for the shoot, it never happened.

It's such a huge relief to finally have my work back after such a long time. I'm finally starting to get back to myself as a creative again - Hopefully I'll be able to update this blog much more regularly now too!

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