I think you need (Wardrobe) Therapy

Just when I get discouraged from being an old artist who hasn’t lived up to her potential or maybe she has but feels guilty about thinking any of those things because a relative is very ill and in hospital along comes a young artist who reminds me of myself when I was young, who reminds me that coming up behind are even more talented and definitely more mature, disciplined and focused artists who will be fighting the good fight after I have shot on through to the other side.

Janelle pictured on her Instagram account.

One of those young artists is Janelle Abbott, a Seattle painter, dancer, seamstress and innovator. I’m sure she does other things I don’t even know about yet, like perhaps writing a novel when she was nine.

I met Janelle and Camilla Carper (Check out her Instagram account as she is one conceptual-fashion lady!), Janelle’s Los Angeles-based partner in FEMAIL, when they had an exhibit together at Bellevue Arts Museum in 2018 and I was sent by Art Access to draw a preview of their show.

Okay, I’ll get to the point. Janelle is now doing this thing called Wardrobe Therapy. O, first I need to say that she is performing at an event tonight (crap I wrote this late) at MOHAI in Seattle wherein “she constructs a one-of-a-kind garment out of recycled fabric live at the event.”

Abbott is part of this whole ‘sustainable clothing’ thing which is a huge trend at the moment. Statistics from her website (as an Authorized FEMAIL Vendor) are definitely startling:

  • The fashion industry is the second biggest polluter worldwide; second only to big oil.
  • 3.8 billion LB of post consumer textile waste ends up in landfills annually. 
  • The average American tosses 70 LB of textile each year. 

See, I told you that you need Wardrobe Therapy!

Again, from the website:

“If you need assistance in purging your wardrobe and synthesizing your style, without losing beloved and cherished old garments, then Wardrobe Therapy is for you. Those items of significance will be transformed into new pieces you can wear once again!”

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@lilacmagick = hearts, stars, horse shoes, clovers, blue moons, rainbows, balloons—basically 💘 all 💘the lucky charms! They carry with them a brightness and magic that is infectious. It was such a pleasure to conduct a Wardrobe Therapy session with Madeline, in part because of who they are, but also because we have some similar fashion tendencies! I felt a lot of trust from Madeline as I worked on these pieces which allowed for maximum creative action and WOW the results were truly MAGIC! 🤩🤩🤩 Pictured here is a pair of pants created from 3 tops that Madeline either liked the pattern, color, or collar, but for a variety of reasons, these garments didn’t make the cut as tops—but as a pair of pants with built in sleeves for tying around the waist? Literal gold. ⚡️⚡️⚡️ The sweater began as a funky 70s terry cloth pull over and a “cool to be kind” sweatshirt their friend screen printed. Combing these two blank canvases allowed for a lot of house paint, puff paint, and glitter to SHINE! 🥰🥰🥰 Thank you @lilacmagick for being such a lovely, kind, and gracious participant in this process! Can’t wait to see you styling these pieces around town 😍😍😍 More to come in Madeline’s Wardrobe Therapy saga! 💋💋💋 Stay Tuned 💋💋💋 Interested in Wardrobe Therapy for yourself? DM for details! 📸 by @martin_x_ranger #handmadeclothing #imadeyourclothes #feminist #fashionrevolution #fastfashionsucks #zerowaste #reclaimed #upcycled #reclaimedtextiles #upcycledclothing #fabricmanipulation #slowfashion #oneofakind #seattle #seattleart #seattleartist #seattlefashion #fashion #parsonsgrad #parsonsfashion #imadeyourclothes #wardrobetherapy

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Above: A Wardrobe Therapy session with @lilacmagick.

You can hire Janelle at a very reasonable price to come to your closet and transform your wardrobe vs. getting rid of/purchasing new outfits. It’s brilliant. She has you fill out a questionnaire that includes questions such as What was your earliest memory regarding clothing? Describe your shopping habits, and What are you constantly looking for but can never find?

“Wardrobe Therapy has been such an amazing way to meet new people and learn new perspectives about methods and intentions behind the way people dress,” writes Janelle: “Every time I am surprised and delighted by the way people describe their idealized style–it’s never generic, it’s always personal, and always an amalgamation of all the things they love. Some of the best descriptions have been “disco Joan of Arc”, “one piece sexy sacks”, “wink quality”.  I have been honored time and again to be present as people articulate the things they know to be true about their style, but never had before been provided with the opportunity to vocalize such things.”

Above: Some of Abbott’s sketches and notes for Wardrobe Therapy.

Besides teaching yoga, giving tours for Beneath the Streets and being a studio assistant for Del Webber, Abbott’s favorite movie is Groundhog Day, she loves vegetables, she mainly rides a bike and her favorite store is Bon Voyage Vintage.

Thanks, Janelle, for making me feel secure about the future and beyond.

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