Meet Emily of Dismantled Fashions!
How did your interest in fashion begin? I’ve always loved clothes. I think what made me start making them was I’m a pretty tall, oddly proportioned girl. Clothes never looked right, and sure weren’t the style I wanted. My mom is a great seamstress, so I kinda stole her machine one day, had her show me how to thread it, then the rest is history?
What motivated you to start selling your designs and what were your expectations when you started? Like most DIY designers, I started doing it for myself. Haha, the reason I sold my first piece was I made a skirt too small for myself, so decided to sell it because I can’t stand just throwing stuff away. Then it actually sold, so I made more. Looking back, they were so bad! This was probably 5 years ago, so at the start, I had no expectations. I was just a bored kid. The past three or so years I decided to get serious. Real life expectations? Still pretty low. I just want to have fun doing what I love, and if people get to be fabulously dressed at the same time, then that sounds great to me.
Do you have any formal training in fashion, art or design? Yes. I did a year as a business/fashion merchandising major at a community college. All the behind the scenes, being your own boss side of things. Then, I did a year as an general art major at VCU, with plans to go into the fashion design program. But, turns out I’m not cut out for college. Not to mention, it’s too expensive!
Is Dismantled Fashions your primary job? Currently, yes. I’ve had some cool jobs in the past, one of them was at a fabric store and that taught me a lot. But, I just don’t have the willpower or patience for a real job. Plus, it gives me lots of time to devote to the future of Dismantled Fashions!
How many people are behind the scenes at Dismantled Fashions? Well, me haha! I do the webdesign, product design, construction, you know. But, I have some gorgeous personal friends that I have model for me. And either me or them do the bulk of the photography. But, I’ve also started hiring well established and amazingly talented pin up models, and with that comes their great professional photographers. You can see them on my site, with links to their work
What are some of the best and worst aspects of being an independent designer? Best would be the simple fact that I’m getting paid to do what I love. I don’t have to answer to set schedules, which is great because I’m never on time and I hate having a boss! I also travel constantly, so it’s great to just do it. The worst is that you never know if you’re going to make money. Everyone says that, and it’s so true. One month you may have tons extra, the next, you’re begging for loans to pay your bills on time. It’s all totally worth it though, the good outways the bad for sure.
Where do you get inspiration for your designs? I live and breathe retro culture, so that is the biggest influence. Horror movies, B Movies, car culture, psychobilly/rockabilly culture, all things that inspire me. Not to mention I love pouring over fashion magazines and watch waaaay too much Style Network.
How would you describe your designs? I did this event once and someone told me my work reminded them of Elvira meets Marilyn Monroe. I think that is great description. Or, like my little slogan, Retro Class Meets Modern Trash. I just love the classy retro style, but I love the rebellious rock and roll lifestyle. I like to make a sweet little love child of the two.
Any advice for aspiring designers? The thing I always tell people is that if you have a great idea, design, product, whatever, then that’s the best thing, the first step. You perfect what you do, and people will love it. Then all you gotta do is let people know you’re out there! Just don’t think that you will overnight be the next big thing, because honestly, you won’t. It takes time and dedication, but if it’s what you love, just stick with it.
Do you have any interesting hobbies (outside of sewing/designing)? – I love doing webdesign, I’m a big nerd for computers and graphic design. I love traveling up and down VA and MD, I think I’m on the road each week more than I’m at home. Pretty much all I do aside from that is watch the DIY Network and the Style Channel, or horror and comedy movies.