Friday, June 28, 2013

Guest Interview: Kristina Clemens

It's hard for me to know how to introduce Kristina to you. Do I say RB and I are friends with her parents? That her husband was Emily's principal? That she's Melanie's sister-in-law? That her children (my grandchildren's cousins) sometimes think I'm their Mawmaw, too? Or that one of Kristina's models is one of Emily's best friends?

Yet it isn't because of all the connections that I'm posting this interview. Kristina is a writer of the highest caliber. If you haven't read her first book, "After Nathaniel: From the Shadows of Tragedy to Healing" I recommend it to you. 

It is out of Kristina's creativity, love of fashion and dedication to God's standard of modesty that her blog, Kristina J, was birthed.  And from this connection, her new book, "The Chic Girl's Guide to a One-of-a-Kind Wardrobe," was written. 

This is a Do-it-Yourself style book with step-by-step instructions on taking uninspired clothing and turning them into beautiful wearable garments that fit your body and lifestyle. The Chic Girl's Guide is a workbook of tutorials, tips and guidelines on how to customize and embellish, but at its core, it's a book of ideas meant to inspire young and old alike—to shine a light on the possibilities of revamping store-bought clothes into garments that can be as quirky and classy and girly as you want them to be. 

Which comes first, faith or fashion?
For me, faith determines my fashion. I'm always approaching clothing--DIY as well as personal style—from the framework of my faith. I feel I'm responsible to dress by a standard that is higher than what is culturally or socially acceptable, so if a garment can't be made to work within the framework of how I want to present myself in public I won't consider it, while the garments that can be refashioned to work become the fodder for my DIY style projects.

Where did you get your ideas for the book projects?
Since the time frame was so rushed, I was pulling from past ideas I'd had jotted down for clothes from my own wardrobe. The ideas for The Chic Girl's Guide were meant to inspire readers on how to adjust hemlines, play with sleeve additions and add height to necklines in novel ways. The projects in the book were designed to help readers create garments that have a flattering fit, feminine detailing, and are utterly unique—designer duds at Target prices, as I like to say. I wanted the book projects to prove you can beautify with out looking gimmicky.

What’s one of your favorite projects featured in the book?
I just love this Paillette embellished cardigan. It's a great example of the projects featured in the book—taking blank slate pieces and turning them into one-of-a-kind creations (and I've worn it multiple times since the completion of the book). 

Blogging is.....
A platform--a medium that allows me to promote, inspire and influence from my point of view. Blogging is hard work and to do it well, takes tons of dedication and commitment, so it's been amazing to see that hard work become the open door to amazing opportunities like getting a book published. Blogging has given me a voice in the DIY style and clothing industry I wouldn't have otherwise. 

What age were you when you first felt a pull towards fashion and how did your parents encourage your talent?
My first foray into sewing was a perfectly horrid drawstring skirt constructed from the stiffest fabric ever woven, which I entered into a 4-H competition when I was 10. The skirt suffered some unremembered fate, but that experience sparked a compulsive desire inside me to nip, tuck, and reconstruct anything I could get my hands on. I was blessed to be raised by parents who encouraged the creativity inside me to be developed, with a mom who could sew anything and a dad who could build everything. “I can fix that” was the slogan of my family, so it never occurred to me not to apply that attitude towards fashion. I distinctly remember my mom encouraging me to hone my craft with trips to the fabric store where she taught me the basics of good design—matching the colors, choosing the silhouettes and balancing the proportions. For me, a deliciously fantastic dress was always as close as the nearest fabric store and my mother’s sewing machine.

The Chic Girl's Guide to a One-of-a-Kind Wardrobe will be released August 13 and is currently available for pre-order at a discounted price on Amazon.
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Delvalina said...

That's wonderful thing about Kristina and thanks for sharing about her. Very inspiring.

Have a good weekend.


Rebecca said...

What a wonderful interview! What a refreshing viewpoint/conviction/giftedness related to fashion. Thanks for the introduction, Pamela.

Denise said...

Nice interview.

Lynda said...

Excellent interview and the book sounds very, very interesting.

Kaye Swain said...

Oh how cool! With grand teens and tweens this will be a great addition to a couple of their libraries. I'm headed to amazon to pre order. Thank you :) :) :)


Such a darling and creative family friend. Lucky you. :)


Annesphamily said...

I can not sew and often hope I can one day afford a sewing machine so I can try. I was beaten down in high school by a wicked old nun who told me I had no talent and I so admire anyone with talent for this beautiful skill. Kristina is very blessed and sounds so talented. I am excited to see other fashions she has created. Having your own style is amazing and having a style that honor and respect Our Lord is even more amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Mindy said...

Sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing it with us!