My passion for clothing and fabrics began at an early age with being extremely critical (in my mind) of a few of mother’s choices. Especially when I had been unfairly grouped into a design aesthetic with my brother who had completely different taste, more specifically he walked around these design nightmares completely unaware of their existence. And the design was NFL, yes football… and it was everywhere, our sheets, pillow cases and the curtains. I’m sure if there had been wallpaper it would have included that too.
Another clear sign of the direction of my life happened, most likely annually, at Christmas when I was so upset with Santa might not be real or he has too much to do to get the job done correctly because clearly I asked for the Malibu Barbie. So, if I asked for that specific Barbie, why did she get it? But since as a child you are encouraged to use your imagination and I’m quite positive those action figures I played with had gone through some sort of transformation and were no longer action figures at all and had become much more glamorous and light on their feet and the only fighting they were involved in was a cat fight to win Ken’s heart. But the part that really released me from that idea that life is not fair were those special ties when nobody was watching and I would get some time alone IN THE CLOSET with all of Barbie’s clothes and accessories and creating looks so stylish, complete show stoppers and better than any of the women that I knew could pull off.
Years would go by with various attempts to show my talents to everyone, without anyone really noticing. Like the day concert, one day after school while attending intermediate school. I had been listening over and over again to the Dolly Parton 8 track and just about every song was my favorite. So with the music on continuous play in my head I could also see Dolly in all her poses….”wait I have a plaid shirt, I think Mom still has those old wigs and I know Angie and Terry have plenty of that frosted blue eye shadow, and this pillow for the huge knockers”, unmistakable Dolly. In the small, cramped bathroom I Ieaned over the sink into the mirror struggling to make my left side work like the right, wondering how Dolly did it every day, but I was sure this was her regiment. So I struggled in the cramped bathroom to create magic. The time was nigh. With my brother and sister Angie playing outside, I swung open the door, 8 track blaring “9 to 5” in the background …..My first drag show. A roaring success.
(stay tuned for Part 2)