Friday, December 14, 2012

Dreams Are Made of You....

We all have dreams and wishes.  Unless we do something about them, that is exactly what they remain.  It is action that brings our dreams and wishes to life.  We can do this by setting goals and taking it step by step until our goals are realized.  Never be daunted by those who would discourage you. Listen to and act on your inner voice, let your life be an adventure! Mistakes and all.  After all, it is your life!

If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it. Each day I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality, and likes that turned into love.

There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. Worry less. Smile more. Accept criticism. Take responsibility. Be quiet and listen. Love life. Embrace change. Feel good anyway.

.Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. 

Academy of Couture Art Student Kym Stylz and Anna Sotnichenko 

Written By, Kym Stylz

Photography by,Ellison McKnight

Monday, October 8, 2012

KymCouture Bloom" Kollection Runway Presentation at Opulen Studios Los Angeles

                              Proud sponsors &

                                     "Bloom" KymCouture Spring/Summer 2013 Kollection

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

History of the First Black Female Clothes Designer

The history of black female clothing designers began with the traditions of the indigenous attire of countries and tribes in Africa. Looking back at the early garments of black female designers, there are direct influences from these early African-inspired designs. Even beyond African designs, many of the first black, female clothing designers drew their inspiration from a range of influences, propelling their clothing designs to success, despite the barriers that stood in their way.

On the African Contient

In Africa, clothing described station. Kings, queens, and members of the royal entourage dressed in elaborately colored loose cloth robes adorned with feathers, jewelry and animal skins. Traditionally, village women spun cloth, dyed fabrics and produced garments. Weaving cloth was done by both men and women with gender specific looms.

Southern Plantations

Slaves arrived naked in the holds of ships, and were then sold to southern plantations. Women worked the fields and worked making homespun cloth for clothing. Children were responsible for spinning and carding cotton and wool. Patterns and sewing needles were given to them by their owners and slave women made garments for owners and slaves alike. However, European style clothing became the norm for the newly arrived slaves.

The 18th Century

It became an accepted norm for African-American slave women to design and sew beautiful garments for their owners. Moreover, as more and more slaves obtained their freedom, metropolises became hotbeds for cutting edge designs from talented African-American clothing designers. New Orleans was a fashion mecca and many black-owned businesses designed, made and sold garments. The Civil War made it difficult for these southern businesses, so the industry moved north. Famed seamstresses Eliza Gardener, Grace Bustill Douglas, and Catherine Delany all owned businesses in cities like Boston and Philadelphia

Elizabeth Keckly

Elizabeth Keckly supported herself and her family through her dressmaking and design skills. She bought her freedom moved to Washington D.C. She was famous for the inaugural gown she designed for Mary Todd Lincoln, wife to then president Abraham Lincoln. This dress can be viewed today at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. The wives of Robert E. Lee, Stephen Douglas, and Jefferson Davis were also clients of Elizabeth Keckly. A respected independent business woman, she worked towards the abolition of slavery through her well-connected white clients.

Francis Criss

Born in Virginia Francis, Criss was known in Richmond as a talented seamstress. In 1915, she moved to New York City, where she designed and made garments for Broadway stars as well as actress Gloria Swanson. A flamboyant and free spirited personality, her home in New York was a center for influential African-Americans.

                                                          Gloria Swanson & Edith Head

Ann Lowe

Ann Lowe was born in Alabama in 1899 and moved to New York at the age of 16. She attended design school and opened a shop on Madison Avenue. Her clients included members of the Vanderbilt, Roosevelt, and Rockefeller families. She made more than 1,000 dresses per year for society clients and sold her designs in Henri Bendel, Neiman Marcus and I. Magnin. In 1953, Ann Lowe designed the dresses for the entire bridal party, the mother of the bride and the bridal dress for the wedding of Jacqueline Bouvier to John F. Kennedy.

Interesting Facts

The history of fashion industry is full of important contributions from creative, talented black female clothing designers. They included: Mildred Blount, an African-American milliner who made hats for Hollywood films, Gone With The Wind and the Easter parade; and Zelda Wynn, who designed for Josephine Baker, Gladys Knight, and even designed the first Playboy bunny costume. Moreover, Elizabeth Keckly and Lillian Rogers Parks went on to write successful memoirs detailing their stories as influential female clothing designers