Cutting Out a Fashion Future, From Phoenix, NYC to Paris
A Designer's Way to Stay Focused Through Mood Boards
In a our busy and sometimes overwhelming world, it’s getting more difficult for some of us to add some time in for something that brings us joy or at the least calms us. As a fashion designer who came from Phoenix living in NYC, I know how important it is to be motivated and stay inspired, especially when big dreams seem out of reach. On good days when I feel refreshed, I wake up ready to chip away at my goals. On the days I feel overworked, my creativity is blocked and have a hard time envisioning my fashion future. That’s how I know that it’s time to stop whatever I’m doing and grab any physical items I can possibly cut out to create a mood board.
Growing up, I first realized how vital scissors were. I used to watch my father who was a tailor cut lifeless fabric into what I thought were wearable pieces of art. I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by how each finished garment taught me a new technique or inspired a design of my own and even more so when he made something for me. When I was fortunate enough to wear a piece fitted to my measurements out in public, I gladly did so for many reasons. His long history perfecting his craft made me proud of his skills and I was glad to be one of his walking advertisements. I was also happy to be a part of his business life. I wanted to follow in his footsteps, making a living, having an enjoyable career and creating wearable art that seemed to evoke feelings.
At a young age, there was something about fashion that spoke to my heart. Because of my father, I didn’t look at fabric the way other people did, let alone other children my age. My father didn’t know he gave me a gift by being a tailor and letting me sew with his equipment when I could be trusted with them. Creating my own designs, I knew that clothes could do much more than cover a body, change a mood or express feelings. I learned that what you wore could tell stories and so before I knew how to read and write, I was already crafting narratives by cutting and sewing them out.
As far as I could remember, I wanted to be a fashion designer. I had felt it was in my blood line and early on I started planning my future. Being a visual person, I would cut up anything that I could paste into an album or notebook and mood boards became a constant throughout my life. It’s the first thing I do before I work on my goals and it’s a way I can stay focused when I have a collection to finish.
Fashion, history and art are my main inspirations for my mood boards. I’m constantly on the lookout for any fabric, magazines, pressed flowers and even mail that could ignite ideas. A few times as child, I would sometimes get in trouble for cutting things I shouldn’t have, but if I got what I needed to finish up then it was worth it.
Much like my fashion designs, if a collage seems incomplete in any way, I find a way to create a finished piece that feels right for me to put out in the universe. Over the years, my mood boards have become integral to both my fashion career and personal life. It’s been a way for me to cope with stress and helps me refocus my priorities. Just the act of cutting things out gives me a sense of peace that no other activity can give me.
When I sketch, make patterns, and sew, it seems like I have set deadlines of when those things need to get done. I want to finish them quickly to get to the next step, but when it comes down to cutting out paper or fabric for a project, I let my mind sit with what I’m doing and enjoy the process. Often times, I feel like it’s my way of meditating and I can feel myself recharge. Sometimes I end up thinking about my old work spaces and how I had more room in Arizona, but I still know how invaluable my move to NYC was to my career.
It’s far-fetched to some people that something as simple as putting together mood boards changed my life for the better. I truly believe that it’s no coincidence that the opportunities that I have had, came my way because I manifested them through the images and words I’ve cut out. Just having a constant visual reminder of what is important and what to be grateful for has made me the person I am today. For anyone looking to create change, I definitely recommend taking the time to make their own mood board. Not only does it shift your attitude, but it might be what you need to stay focused on what you want to do.
For me, in the next few months, my new hopes and dreams revolve around anything French. There is a part of me that wants to see if I can have more of a presence in France and one day show a collection in Paris. An idea that was put into my head by a close friend of mine who went to photograph Paris Fashion Week events and one of the reasons I am living in New York today. If he didn’t go on this trip 8 years ago, I wouldn’t have rented out his room while he was gone and found out for myself how much living in a different city can change your view on the world.
Just visiting a city for a few weeks here and there isn’t enough to dive deep into what makes it unique and special. When I walked around Paris and Versailles, I felt like there was a community and a culture waiting to welcome me in. Sadly, the few times I’ve been in those cities, it was brief. I came home wanting to see more, knowing that I’ve only scratched the surface of the rich history that makes them iconic.
Having this itch for France now is similar to the feelings I had before I moved to The City that Never Sleeps. If curiosity killed the cat, then Paris has got me. The idea of living in The City of Lights will fill my days with goals for both my personal and fashion life for quite a while. Whether, I’ll be working on my designs or on my mood boards, I’m excited to visualize and attract what’s to come.
About the author
Jennyvi Dizon is a Filipino fashion designer in NYC who is obsessed with Jane Austen. Jennyvi has several Austen related projects, including showing her collection at New York Fashion Week 9/10/22. @jennyvinyc @janeaustencouture