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I have known Vancouver textile artist/fashion designer Katherine Soucie of Sans Soucie for such a long time. I met her years ago before I even started writing when my 16 year old daughter was doing some freelance modeling. As a life-long sewer, I was instantly fascinated by the unique textile she created using reclaimed nylons.
Over time, the opportunity arose to get to know her better and I came to respect her as an educator, an artist, someone intimately aware of the eco consequences of her work, an advocate for the community around her, a mentor and most importantly - a friend. My journey to becoming a writer would have been very different without her influence.
Soucie was my second interview ever and over the years I have had the privilege to interview her several times. There will hopefully be many more opportunities in the future as every interview is a journey of discovery. She is always pushing herself to grow as an artist - never static, ever looking to explore new directions and interesting collaborations - and is a life-long learner who is always seeking out educational opportunities. There is always a something new and exciting on the horizon.
There are a couple reasons I chose to include Soucie in this book, but the biggest overall is the wisdom she brings when talking about both the future of the fashion industry and the consumer - words that offer a shift in production methods and empower individuals to redefine their personal relationship with clothing.
For this excerpt I decided to share a look into this artist's early years and how she embraced fashion from a young age. Enjoy!
Except from Chapter Two - Katherine Soucie..................
|Magazine ad from 2009 where she incorporated|
element of subtraction cutting.
...By the age of five, Soucie was completely in charge of her wardrobe. At the age of eight—the 1980s—the future designer began to be more expressive in the way she dressed. There was always that pile of fashion magazines ready to open a window on what was happening in the world at large, but her sisters’ hand-me-down garments offered their own spark of inspiration.
'I always had hand me-downs, but I began to explore various ways to wear the same garment. I was inspired by old Hollywood film stars—one day it was Marilyn Monroe. I decided to take a black sweater dress and wear it on a hot summer day in a reconfigured manner. I wore it as a strapless dress with the sleeves tied in a bow around my flat chest. I remember feeling beautiful and feminine. Then I jumped on my BMX bike and went to play with my friends. This was the beginning of a relationship with clothing as a form of my identity—culturally, socially, and politically—and I began to explore making and remaking vintage clothing.'”
|From our trip together to NYC with musician Shockk Mongoose|
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Update November 2016 - It's been twenty months since the launch of Life Outside the Box and I find myself immersed in the process of writing book two in this series. Where does the time go?
The journey for me of writing Life Outside the Box was extraordinarily difficult—terrible self-doubt was a constant companion. What a relief that reader response and industry reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. It has affirmed for me that the timing was right and continues to be right to share with readers the different ways people choose to live their lives. People are bombarded as never before with societal expectations. We need to be reminded the journey we are on is ours alone. There is no one right path to follow; there is no one correct way to live—we are each extraordinary in our own way.
Be sure and keep your eye out for Life Outside the Box #2, tentatively due for release in the Spring 2017. I can't wait to share ten new and amazing stories with you.