I have an unquenchable desire for fashion! In the material world my number one passion is fashion. I never dreamed of being rich, having a big house or fancy cars. All I ever dreamed of was having five children, making beautiful clothes for them and myself and having a big black man take care of us. As a child growing up I had only one example of what I wanted to be like.

The generation I grew up in was two steps from slavery. My mother and grandmother and the women I saw everyday dipped snuff or chewed tobacco, wore old clothing, hair braided, a rag or old sunhat on their heads. I found no fault with their appearance because on Saturday and Sunday they did their hair, greased themselves down put on their dress up clothes and did their thing. I would have not known any different if I had not seen Mrs. A. who lived in town and didn’t have to go into the cotton and corn fields to work.

Mrs. A. was married to a big (as I saw him) black man who worked in town at the John Deer store. I heard the other women saying that she only got him because she was “high yellow” (light skin) and because he was “black and ugly”. I am a literal person, therefore, I came to the conclusion that if I was going to get a man to take care of me and not allow me to work in the fields I had better get me a big “black ugly” man and dress like Mrs. A.!

I don’t know if Mrs. A. was beautiful or not but I do know that she did not dress like the women that I was around everyday. She had her hair done at the beauty shop every two weeks and her clothing were store bought rather than homemade. Oh I do remember her bright red lips, red fingernails and “heaven to bessie” the woman had red nail polish on her toes! And she was the first human being I saw wearing animal fur around their shoulders (mink stole)

My grandfather raised me and he was a big black beautiful man. He died when I was fifteen and for the very first time when harvest time came around I had to go to the cotton field. Thank goodness I only had to go into the cotton field but one season. My grandmother and I came to live with her sister and her husband in the big city where my love for fashion became ravenous! My desire to create has never been satisfied. My soul craves to create fashion, art and to write down what is in the depth of my very soul. I do not just create. What comes forth from me is part of me, my very soul, all that I generate is indeed autobiographical, I live and breath what I create. I create to become human, to be alive, I am made animated by the things I create.

When I made the dress at the far left I had no idea that it would envolve into the dress at the far right.

I do not create a dress to wear, when I create a dress I evolve into the dress I create. This is not just a dress; this is a revelation of my individuality! When I create I enter into another dimension and once returning I am in awe with what my creation reveals to me, about me. When I create I enter into my paradise and become whole. I become ALL that I know I am. The Bible says that God is known by His creations. To the extent that I allowed myself to create to that extent I know myself, to that extent I am free. My creative works beyond religion reveals ALL that I am: "ME, MYSELF, AND I".


In my paradise, “ME, MYSELF AND I”

We don’t have a lot of should and should not
We are free
We explore, we create, we enjoy
We don’t have no gray areas
We are all black and white
We are happy
We do not feel worthless and confused
We are free to be who we are
We talk to our God and he to us
We are happy because in him we trust
He teaches us the way and we go
What joy! What pleasure! What happiness!
“ME, MYSELF AND I” have in our paradise

When I made the above dress some time in 1992 and wore it I thought I was finished with it. But over the next fourteen years this dress evolved into the above. Even now (4-17-07) I have in mind something else to do to it, which will take me at least another year to do. This dress is made with many pieces of fabric that I acquired by buying secondhand clothes from Goodwill and thrift shops and cutting them up and using the pieces to make outfits. I felt like a secondhand woman who had been shattered and just as I taken old scraps and transform them into something beautiful and one of a kind. So has God done with me. Over the years God has transformed me into a beautiful individual and I know that there is no one in existence that is exactly like me. I fully embrace my individuality!