We all have a story…

I am Rosie Allenby, aged 19 and studying Fashion Design (BA Hons) at De Montfort University in Leicester.

They say ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ I prefer: ‘a picture paints a snapshot of an uncompleted story.’

For me it is the story that matters. It is the process, the journey a person or atom, or animal or idea takes to formulate and develop and become what it was destined to be.

We all have a story.

Mine contains:

  • A family of four – five if you include the dog;
  • A love of history – that is expressed in scars of the flesh, on landscapes and in the memories in our hearts, it is the people and events that make us who we are;
  • And a love of law – the ideal of justice and a degree that would have taken my story in a very different direction;
  • Cooking – if it’s made from scratch it will always be and taste better;
  • But… Paul Child: “What is it that you REALLY like to do?”… Julia Child: “EAT!”– Julie&Julia;
  • A need to sew – whether altering my clothes and often leaving them unfinished – an awful habit – or creating the next toile for evaluation and development.
  • A love of God – a relationship like no other, that is incomparable, and mine alone, my saving grace;
  • Period dramas – the dream of being a woman who wears beautiful dresses and “must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word accomplished; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half-deserved.” – Miss Bingley; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and then to be wooed by men who have “a fine countenance, a good figure, and very pleasing address” and have no problem expressing their feelings and can quite comfortably say: “You have bewitched me, body and soul”-Mr Darcy, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen;
  • An open ending – a life just beginning, ready to be written, doodled on, torn apart, stitched back together and with endless possibilities!

That is why I am studying fashion design; you take a concept and run with it from beginning to end. You research into areas previously unknown to discover the story in the history, psychology, religion, oppression, pattern or culture of the niche in which you have become entangled. It is these new avenues that form the foundations of my designs; expanding them and helping create a collection that actually has something to say.

It is in this way that people and stories are like the garments I will create: some become your favourite, you wear them over and over and patch them up when they wear out; some do not quite fit and are discarded; others stay for sentimental value, though serving no purpose, but still are never thrown away; and others come and go as seasons change, making a difference all the same.


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