The Sewist

I sew, knit and crochet hats. (Not all at the same time. Whaddaya think I am - a machine?)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What About Fashion Genius?

If you haven't been reading the newspaper or wasting your time on the Internet lately, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded 25 no-strings-attached $500,000 grants to individuals all across the U.S. In case you get the wrong idea about these gifts, here's what the foundation's president, Jonathan Fanton, had to say about this year's honorees:
"These awards are about more than money. They carry an affirmation not only of individual creativity but also are a mark of respect for a whole field of endeavor," he said. "These are activities that society doesn't always give proper due or comment to."
He must be referring to the physician who's seeking to cure Amish children afflicted with genetic diseases, the turtle expert, the book illustrator and the glass blower.

But what about creative types in the fashion field? They are not honored with these grants, and from what I've read to date, they never have. In the past, past recipients have been playwrights and book authors not people who design apparel, shoes and clothing. I don't understand why not. My friend Eia designs incredible hats. She sews them all by hand - you couldn't get her near a sewing machine if you tried. I think she's worthy of a grant or two or three - but if history is any indication, the MacArthur Foundation won't be giving her or any of her peers any cash to move forward in their lives, expand their business or even just pay some outstanding debts. That's just incredibly unfair and sad.
(By the way if you're wondering about the dress pictured above, it's a Nieves Lavi Baby Doll from Breathe Boutique. It was sold at a Fashionista's Tastemakers and Trendsetters show last week.)


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