There are some perks to being a teacher that I most enjoy: discounts at craft stores, twenty-four smiling little faces to welcome me in the morning, and summer vacations, to name a few. My job has allowed me certain opportunities I may never get to experience otherwise, and those opportunities are made even better by the fact I get to discover them with twenty-four smiling little faces. Tuesday I had five grade-seven boys teach me how to throw a Frisbee properly (I was horrible!), and Wednesday my grade threes and I created stencilled pictures in the style of Andy Warhol. My job often ensures I get my much-needed daily doses of physical exercise and creativity.
I have yet to be as opportunistic with my fashion career. As anyone who would love some amazing chance-of-a-lifetime to just fall into their lap, the fashion industry hardly seems the place where this may happen. Like most media professions, they start off self-made and self-promoted with the hope of gaining beneficial acquaintances that will widen your fan base and catapult you to stardom. I am officially a self-made business – boxes of hand-sewn dresses litter my closet and under my bed – but I am hardly self-promoting. In an industry that requires you to constantly self-promote until you grab someone’s attention, I only have myself to blame for not being as popular as I wish to be. The question I am always asking myself is, how can I be a teacher and a fashion designer at the same time? I feel I’m only one step ahead of my students, creating worksheets and projects the night before I teach them, sometimes putting the finishing touches on things at recess while they play. I spend a lot of my time researching for school and barely any time researching fashion. Twenty-four smiling faces can quickly turn to twenty-four hands-in-the-air, questions-after-questions, directions-repeated-a-billion-times, et-en-français-toujours, and quite frankly after all that I just want to eat dinner, read my book, and be in bed by nine-thirty. I am definitely accomplishing what needs to get done rather than what I wish to be done.
But Thursday night, finally, I attended an event downtown that initiates a small step in my fashion career – the Show And Tell Fashion Show at Venue Nightclub. With the help of two people who are epitomes of self-made, self-promoted successes – my brother, the DJ and world-traveller Felix Cartal, and my friend, the fashion blogger and Vancouver socialite A Haute Mess – I was not only guest-listed but also covered the event for The Fashion Guard. Stay tuned for my first article as a fashion critic.