When you hear the words 'craft show,' what are the first things that come to your mind? The arts and crafts you made as a kid, or perhaps that labor of love, but not very stylish, hand-knit sweater from a grandparent? I grew up in a family of knitters, crocheters, and sewers who definitely made their fair share of ugly sweaters, TRUST. But they also created some wonderfully chic and stylish pieces of clothing and bless them, they kept a lot of it. Not only do I foster an appreciation for the time and energy it takes to develop a craft skill, but I've learned a few for myself. Needless to say, when the American Craft Council (ACC) reached out to me about participating as a stylist in their Style Slam Program during their Baltimore Craft Show, I was pumped.
Holy shit, y'all. The artists in this show do not mess around #notyouraverageartsandcrafts. With the ACC, I got to spend a day admiring S T U N N I N G works of art; painstakingly crafted, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, clothing, pottery, furniture, home decor, and accessories. And the absolute best part was running around (literally) like a kid in a candy store, and being allowed to borrow articles of clothing and accessories to piece together looks for a variety of style challenges. Not only was it a creative exercise for my brain - challenging me to style on the fly and push my own fashion boundaries, but it was a personally inspiring experience to be surrounded by so much talent, both from the artists and my fellow stylists and interior decorators.
We had three challenges: style a mannequin in some of our favorite pieces from the show, the Design Meets Style challenge, where we partnered with an interior design specialist to style a real live model inside of a room the specialist had pre-staged, and a flash challenge, in which we had one hour to find a look for a randomly selected activity/event in Baltimore that one might attend. Honestly, a lot of the day was a blur but I 10/10 would do again. I loved the mental stimulation from working under pressure in the challenges and enjoyed seeing what my fellow creatives had envisioned and pieced together. I was exhausted by the end of it, but damn was it fun. You will definitely catch me at the ACC's Craft Show next year when it comes back to Baltimore and I hope you'll join me!
Images provided by American Craft Council