Fashionably Femme | Emelia
Welcome to Fashionably Femme Fashionably Femme is a blog series featuring femmes from all nooks of the LGBT*QIA community. These rocking folks are girl bosses, moms, entrepreneurs, and all sorts of amazing human beings. Emelia brings us a particularly unique level of awesome in the hand crafting of her pieces. The top in her first look and the dress in her second are both hand made by her! How cool is that?! Here, she talks about the ethics of clothing and the importance of supporting your community, whatever that may be.
Growing up very much not girly left me on the outside a lot. I was too tall, too strong, too loud, just too much to be pretty. Since I didn’t default into femininity, I had the opportunity to decide what parts I wanted and what parts I didn’t care about.
When I was a kid, I scoffed at fashion shows and fancy clothes (everyone knows that Scary Spice was the best and Posh Spice was boring) and was basically the quintessential Tomboy. As a teen, let’s just say, I went through a years long phase of buying only clothes with hearts on them. In my early 20s, I flirted with a super rockabilly/50s vibe, and now one of my partners likes to describe me as Granola Chic.
My love of couture (I am now totally jealous of Posh Spice) was sparked by learning to sew and knit so my fashion sense is intrinsically linked to making. Not to dismiss the work I put into projects, because larger ones can take me upwards of 100 hours, but I’m always taken aback when people are surprised that I made something I’m wearing. There is this disconnect between what we wear and the people that made it.
My dream is to know the story of every piece of clothing in my closet while maintaining a fun sense of fashion. I don’t want to sacrifice my style, but I believe my sense of fashion can mold and be molded by my ethics. As I get older, my style is pushing into my version of ethically chic. I feel like my entire life is just rehearsing to be a gray haired 80 year old wearing massive glasses and a geode bigger than my head.
I am Assistant Coordinator at Loom Chicago, which is an amazing non-profit dedicated to helping refuge women artisans. The thing I cherish most about working at Loom is knowing that every piece I’ve bought is connected to and grounded in the woman who made it. All of the accessories I’m wearing were made by Loom artisans, and they are gorgeous, well made, and ethical. SCORE!
Loom is a community of refugee women living in Chicago who weave together their creativity and cultural traditions to make and sell beautiful handmade products. These women have fled their countries of origin because of a fear of persecution on account of their race, religion, political opinion, national origin, or social group.
Loom provides opportunities, at a weekly workshop, to collaborate, develop new skills, earn extra income and be part of a community of creative, enterprising women. Artisans use a variety of techniques to produce a beautiful selection of handmade products such as jewelry, bags, and home décor.
Through the encouragement of the group and skills learned, many women secure part or full-time employment in and outside of the fashion industry. For information on upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and the online store visit: www.loomchicago.com
For more information on Emelia’s fiber art email: ChiFiberArt@gmail.com
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