The Grammy Awards is my favorite award show for two reasons. First, anything goes here fashion-wise. I expect surprises- good and bad! Second, it makes me feel very nostalgic for my time in NYC and that I had the fortune to learn from and be close to an amazing artist and creative inspiration, Jennifer Elster. This was the first time in my fashion "career" when something I collaborated on and created with my own hands was seen by not only myself but by the world. In 1999 the band Garbage was nominated for a Grammy and I had the pleasure (and luck really) of making the dress that the lead singer, Shirley Manson, wore to the show. Jennifer had been inspired by a piece designed by Martin Margiela. The process of putting it together from scratch and fitting it to Shirley was unbelievable for me, a young girl who up until then had only been sewing for herself. Here she is on the red carpet.
That season I worked with Jennifer to bring her creative vision and designs to life and to create not only that dress, but build an entire wardrobe that Shirley wore for the Garbage World Tour that year, including a performance on Saturday Night Live. I still remember how it felt to see her singing on the SNL stage wearing a hot pink dress I had fitted on her with my own two hands. At the time, it felt cool to work with a celebrity, but in hindsight I should have been focusing more on the creative process and asserting my unique gifts. Jennifer believed in my talent much more than I did at the time. It's an important lesson I wouldn't learn for many years after that.The time I spent with Jennifer was an amazing and emotional time for me-although I didn't realized at the time how it would effect and change me. Like many 20-somethings I didn't know what I was doing or who I was really. She influenced me in many ways and taught me so much- she still is to this day. Today she is, among many things, a screenwriter and filmmaker, and I follow her successes and am still influenced by her talent and uniqueness. So when I think back on that time- even though it was hard work, uneasy at times, scary, exciting and new- I feel blessed to have had that time in my life , inspired to be creative in the present and determined to have continued success for the future!