What? You’re from Alaska too?!

Denali Park, photograph by Marjorie Henderson
Denali Park, photograph by Marjorie Henderson

I had orientation today at my new wonderful school, the Art Institute of Portland. During the first part of the day we were asked to stand and talk to the people around us for five minutes or so. After a few introductions I met people from Guam, Japan, Vancouver, and yes, Alaska! I was born and raised in the Last Frontier, and I’m still amused at the assumptions and the look on people’s faces when I tell them Alaska is not another country. Another thing people assume is that although Alaska is large, there aren’t many people there, therefore everything is uncivilized. And that Alaskans live in igloos and ride around on our dog sleds killing penguins. I digress. The person I met was from Anchorage like me but we went to different high schools, and he was 10 years younger. At first this threw me off (I’m 28) but I realized a plus-I do not have jitters about what college holds. I attended college before he did, I kind of know what to expect, and I’m super motivated because I already know exactly what I want to do.  There were also so many in our group today that have attended college, only to leave after a few years questioning what they really want to do. They are now in the right spot for them, and it’s refreshing to see such a range in ages of people pursuing what they love.

Anyways, the academic advisor had such a moving and encouraging presentation about the fashion world. She talked about how we may encounter those that think that anything in fashion and even art is frivolous. The reality of the matter is that creatives drive so many things that are new and innovative, be it in fashion or technology. Whether they like it or not, the general public makes choices about what to put on in the morning, and they have the fashion designers, product developers and fashion marketers to thank. It doesn’t apply just to high fashion either. Clothes have come along out of utility, as a projection of your personality, as a show of uniformity (hello, school uniforms? Ugh.), the list goes on. The next time you are shopping, check out the material of a shirt, or how the hem of a dress is finished. Compare it to similar items of a fast fashion store. See the difference in quality? Someone made those decisions, to use a cotton blend instead of modal, or to add a lining to a dress so it’s not transparent. Fashion can be frivolous, but the process is far from it.

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marjorie blume

Artist, designer, all around creative

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