Skip to main content

Guest Post: Christian L Harris - God Save the Prince

We love seeing what our customers are up to and when we came across Christian's project, it was just too fantastic not to share with you. Fabric as wearable art and a good cause to boot! Without further ado we would like to introduce you to Christian Harris! 


My name is Christian L Harris. I am a fashion designer finishing up my Master of Fine Arts degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I have also taught fashion at American Intercontinental University and interned in New York for seven months. I started sewing in 2007 and haven’t stopped since. I own 5 sewing machines (Brother home sewer, Pfaff industrial zig-zag, 1938 singer 201, singer pro-finish serger and a Huskylock s25) and my fabric buying addiction is ever so out of control. There is nothing like the rush of a new email from Fabric Mart with “50-60% off Fabric and 1 crazy price” in the subject line.

My MFA thesis collection, God Save the Prince, has won features from ELLE, Esquire, WWD, Atlanta Magazine and others. The collection is inspired by hemophilia and the individuals touched by hemophilia, a debilitating and even fatal disorder of the blood. The last heir to the Russian throne suffered from hemophilia at a time when the average age of hemophiliac death was eleven years old. Fearful, the Imperial family did not disclose the heir’s affliction to the public. Guarding the secret meant a life away from the public eye. This seclusion and secrecy widened the divide between the Imperial family and the Russian people, and was in many ways an antecedent to the Russian Revolution. A year after the fall of Russian Imperialism, the Imperial family was executed. The seven members of the last Imperial family became a second focus of the collection.


The focus on the family became more central as the collection developed. While working on the collection, I lost my dear grandmother and my father. Creating pieces that were meant to honor the memory of the Romanovs helped me to cope with my own losses. I designed the collection as if each article belonged to a specific member of the last Imperial family. Many of the pieces in the collection were created for the life they never got to realize. For example, I included a wedding gown because sadly, the daughters did not live long enough to marry. It has also been said that other royal families in Europe knew the Romanov daughters could be carriers of hemophilia and that limited the number of suitors willing to court them.


Having hemophilia myself, I often felt alone and limited as a child so I understand what life may have been like for the Imperial family. I was not allowed to participate in many of the activities other children were able to partake in for fear of injury. Painting and drawing helped supplement my time and became a form of therapy. My mentors in the hemophilia community were also very supportive and pivotal in helping me to find my way. Many of my mentors received blood treatment products tainted with HIV before screening began in the mid-1980s. Sadly, about ninety (90%) percent of severe hemophiliacs were infected and thousands died.


Seventy percent of my earnings from the sale of the collection and the collateral materials will be forwarded to the hemophilia and bleeding disorders community. Namely, the Committee of Ten Thousand (COTT) and local chapters of the National Hemophilia Foundation. COTT “is a grass-roots, peer-led, education, advocacy and support organization for persons with HIV disease. The majority of our constituency is persons with hemophilia who contracted HIV/AIDS from tainted blood products” (www.cott1.org).


I have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds needed to finish and photograph the collection. The whole process of photographing the collection will involve members of the hemophilia and bleeding disorders community. As an added treat for my fellow garment makers, the video that accompanies the campaign shows the complete development and construction of one of the gowns from the collection! This particular gown, is made with fabrics from Fabric Mart. The buttons on the gown also came from Fabric Mart in an assorted button bundle I got free during one of my fabric buying binges! (LOVE THOSE BUNDLES!!!) Go to www.gofundme.com/godsavetheprince to access the campaign and video.


Ultimately, I set out to use my knowledge of garment design to create wearable art pieces. I am so happy to have been a longtime customer of Fabric Mart because their beautiful fabrics made it possible for me to begin to realize my dream!

Please be sure to take a look at my GoFundMe campaign to see how I used my goodies from Fabric Mart. If you are able to contribute to the campaign, your donations would be greatly appreciated! Please feel free to share my story and the campaign with your friends and loved ones! Thanks!

Warmest,
Christian L Harris
ChristianLHarris.com


Have a great project you would like to share with us? Email us at fabricmartblog@gmail.com 

Comments

  1. Wow, fantastic pieces and thank you for bringing awareness to this disorder! Blessings to you!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made by a Fabricista: Coming Up Roses

 From vision to reality. As we are headed into April, I can feel the spring breeze on the horizon and with that means fun time outside, be it eating brunch with friends on a terrace or going to the park on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  I knew that I wanted to add some bright fun color into my spring wardrobe that I really haven't used and over a year.  I had been eyeing this beautiful red stripe shirting with blue roses fabric for a while not knowing exactly what I wanted to do with it but knew that I was super drawn to it.   Once I picked it up, I decided to sketch out my ideas and went through my pattern stash to see what I could come up with. For this project I used a vintage pattern See & Sew 5549.  It’s actually for a long sleep shirt that I then made some alterations to.  I lengthened the sleeves by an inch and extended the side slits up to the waistline because I knew that I would mostly be wearing this shirt open.  Also since I planned to wear it mostly open I only did

Made by a Fabricista: Use Those Views! Sewing the Grainline Studio Willow Tank

Spring is here! Honestly, I'm still bundled up in sweatshirts most of the time, but the afternoons are getting glorious and warm and just a t-shirt will suffice for a couple of hours in the warmth on some days so I know the overwhelming heat is not far off. I love planning and organizing in all facets of my life, and spring garments for my wardrobe are on my mind. Naturally tanks are at the forefront of my strategizing for comfort in hot weather and I wanted to branch out with a little something new.  Anyone else have patterns that they've been eyeing for ages but haven't pulled the trigger? Who knows why I've kept putting off sewing the Grainline Studio Willow Tank . I've long admired the simple lines and I'm absolutely sure it would fit into my overall style. I've even tried drafting something similar myself with varying degrees of success, but never quite on the nose. A simple tank can go with just about everything from jeans to skirts to a high-waisted a

Made by a Fabricista: Spring Style Essentials

Is there anything more versatile for your Spring wardrobe than a T-Shirt Dress and a classic button-up blouse? In this Fabric Mart Fabricista blog, I'm going to show you how these two little wardrobe staples can be rotated through your spring me-made wardrobe for 5 different and fun looks!  I was browsing the Fabric Mart website when this lovely 100% Cotton Parchment/Black Striped Jersey Knit Fabric popped up. I’ve been itching to make a T-Shirt dress with the Rebecca Page T-Shirt Dress pattern ever since the pattern launched back in February. As I continued to browse the Fabric Mart website, I was struck by the most lovely Blossom Pink Silk Shantung Shirting that I knew would be perfect for a Grainline Studios Archer Button-Up ! As the wheels started turning, I realized that the cotton jersey paired with the silk shantung shirting fabric would be a match made in heaven for my me-made wardrobe. So naturally, I had to get both fabrics plus the Archer Button-Up pattern! I was not d