Before I even knew what a fashion show or stylist was, I was organizing neighborhood summer fashion shows on my patio. Well, they weren’t exactly fashion shows. I called them “Miss America” because that’s the only reference to glamour I had in elementary school here in Minnesota. My shows didn’t have a talent portion, or an interview portion, or any portions other than the Swimsuit and Evening Gown Competitions. We’d pull out my mom’s old maternity clothes, a hula hoop, and some clothes pins, and voila we’d create a hoop skirt. Yes, that really happened. The “judges” would sit on the deck stairs with a view of the patio and the contestants would model their looks one by one until a “winner” was selected. I’ll cut to the chase and tell you I was always the winner. You should also know, I was always the oldest. Not a very fair contest. However, it wasn’t the winning that really mattered. It was the fun of escaping reality and creating something new from something old and tired. Trust me, very old and very tired.
Now that I’m an adult, I look back at those times and realize I haven’t changed one bit. I do know what a fashion show is, and I do know what a stylist is. The clothes aren’t quite so old or quite so tired, but I still love to spend time in my closet and try things on in new combinations. I have a mannequin (named Monnequin), and an extra rolling rack where I line up my outfits for the week Sunday nights. I still have the appreciation for expressing myself through what I wear. It doesn’t matter what things go wrong in life, or what someone may say behind my back, or what success I have, or what failure I have; I’m always at home and at peace in my closet. It’s the only place I am completely confident. When people tell me to close my eyes and imagine my happy place, my closet is where I always go.