before i moved to england for the first time (autumn 2005) i worked at design archives for two years. it was an interesting couple of years for me in that i was going through a lot of ups and downs and really trying to find out who i was. along with all the changes the one constant was design archives.
the shop was then in an old cadillac dealership downtown, and with no central heating or air, we had lots of adventures trying to keep warm and cool! i worked with my dear friend danita and every day we had new items come in was like christmas morning. you get pretty spoiled seeing the new treats before everyone else. very spoiled i should say, oh how i miss it sometimes! when the shop was slow we did our own 'shopping' in between creating displays and tidying up. it's incredible to see how long things will stay before they are bought, sometimes years, and i often found myself 'rescuing' the longest orphaned. we took things on consignment and had more than 400 consigners. my favourite consigner was henry, an artist who brought in the most amazing finds, mostly from old abandoned houses. from denims found in attic beams to medicine bottles and old magazines, henry-finds as i grew to call them, were guaranteed to make my day. it's no surprise then that some of my most treasured possessions are henry-finds: among them hi-waist bellbottoms, well-worn wranglers, 1960s magazines.....and a set of fashion drawings. the drawings came into the store in a manila file folder along with some 1970s frederick's of hollywood catalogues, a few flagg brothers catalogues, and a small booklet of 'how to draw fashion' (i am trying to find this booklet online but so far no dice, i think it was by mattel....the drawing style and poses are very similar to those of fashion plates....). so a lil' bit of mama, daddy and daughter. what i love most about these drawings (and why i want to find a copy of the booklet they came with) is looking at how the daughter, jessica king, adapted the facial and anatomical features of the white girls in the booklet to make them into black girls. her 'collection' is complete with fabric selections and includes everything from swimsuits to pajamas and evening wear and loads of accessories. today all is lost except the drawings (danita sent them to me when i was studying in leicester, after i kept mentioning to her that i wanted to 'save' them as they were still in the shop), which i treasure dearly. there are 30 mixed media (gotta love the glitter boa's!) mingering-mike-esque drawings on notebook and typing papers (a couple are back home in frames and in my own 'archives') and 25 of them came with me to london in my suitcases this time around. i finally got around to scanning them and a few of my favourites are in this post. you can see the full set on my flickr.
(i love that she has jotted down her favourite traks on this one, the majority of which date to 1992.)wouldn't you love to know where she is now....? i would love to reunite her with the drawings one day.