KATE’S COUTURE AW 15’16 READY-TO-WEAR VANCOUVER FASHION WEEK
My name is Kate Miles and I am 15 years old. I was brought up in Silver Lake, which lies about 80 miles off the end of the Earth. It was a two-hour drive into town, and we never had television or Internet. This conceived an inventive spark in me that led me to where I am today. I always had to come up with ways to make my own fun and how to get by with what I already had to work with, and that is one of my favorite blessings. Growing up on our family farm gave me a passion for Mother Nature’s color palette, and has inspired my own greatly.
My grandmother is the 4-H sewing leader in our little community in Central OR, so she had me at her sewing machine in a booster seat as early as four. I remember that I had to get a stool, pile some books on it, put my booster in my seat, and then proceed to my project. I was very active in 4-H sewing in elementary school, which gave me a lot of the basic clothing skills that I now use every day.
I was six years old when I created my first dress. The fabric was a forget me not blue polyester satin, the skirt was full, the sleeves capped, and my client was Lady Arora, my blonde 18in doll. That was the first dress I designed and sewed, making a few simple changes to the pattern my grandma gave me. I was so proud of my design, and from then on I was completely hooked on fashion design.
Knowing how to make time for each of my several “hats” is a constant battle for me. Designer cap, cowgirl cap, teenager cap, college student cap, and the ever growing pile of others really can be overwhelming, but as long as I have my daughter of Christ hat on at all times everything just seems to flow into place and all even out in the end.
Every day when my head pops off the pillow I know a new adventure is about to unfold. I get the privilege of meeting other people with passions similar to mine that understand how my brain is wired. I must say that at the end of the day, the most satisfaction comes with creating a garment that a woman can step into and feel beautiful and confident in within its seams.
Color and texture has always been a whole other language to me. I read them like poetry. Drape and movement speak to me, and the dress just takes shape. Ideas lie in everything from a brick wall to a flower in my garden. Sometimes I will sketch it out, but usually I just pick up my scissors and go for it. My designs are always a juxtaposition of vintage with a modern edge. I love taking the delicate fabrics and laces from old garments and paring them with newer and bolder aspects to create something timeless, but exciting.
I have been blessed with several fun opportunities. Winning a contest such as “emerging Designer” for Portland fashion week is one of those amazing honors. I have also gotten to apprentice with the past set stylist for Matilda Jane Clothing and co-design/make the costumes for a marketing video by BUCK Studios. I cannot begin to express how excited I am to be able to get this boost so early in my career!
I love the life I have been blessed with. I love that I can get on a horse and go move cows one day, getting completely covered in dust and mud, and then turn around the next day and go play fashion designer in our state’s largest city. I am so grateful for having the opportunity to grow up on a farm, but to still get to experience the excitement and energy of the city.
Although I like to think plans are overrated, I have several dreams and ideas. One that stands out to me right now is to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and later study abroad in Paris. At the end of my fashion run, I can see myself going back home to the farm to start a new adventure. But like I said, plans are as easily broken as made, so I like to live a flexible life taking one day at a time.