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: Comfort Dressing with Style

As 2021 draws to a close,  I don’t think it comes as a surprise that comfort dressing is here to stay, at least for a while. Now the definition of comfort dressing is different for all of us, and for me it means knits. However, I don’t always want to be in yoga pants and tees. That’s why I chose to sew a knit skirt and top using Vogue 1820. This two-piece ensemble gives me the comfort of yoga pants but in a more stylish way. The beauty of this design is that you can mix-and-match prints and/or solids, creating a one-of-a-kind look. Fabric Mart Fabrics has a multitude of knits to choose from at any given time which made it easy to choose coordinating fabrics. I knew I wanted to use prints in a monochromatic color scheme.  To find the five fabrics needed, I started by browsing the knit section on Fabric Mart’s website.  I knew I wanted black as my base color. As I found fabrics I thought would coordinate, I put them in my shopping cart.  That way I could look at the shopping cart and eas

Made By A Fabricista: Ready For A Cruise

Happy new year! This year my husband and I are looking forward to a late spring river cruise to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.  Since I started last year sewing my outfits for the various excursions on land, the only garment pieces left to sew were those I will wear on the ship. I wanted these to be interchangeable, so I picked gray as my base color.  I wanted very comfortable garments for ease of movement around the ship. Luckily Fabric Mart was running a huge knit sale and pattern sales were going on in many stores and online. For lounge wear, the heathered medium gray polyester/lycra double brushed knit (SKU: DLD3889d) was perfect for a jacket and a pair of pants. I used McCall’s M7294 pattern for the loose-fitting unlined jacket and Butterick B6137 for the semi-fitting pants with elasticized waistband, pockets, and leg bands. For me, attaching the leg bands gave a better finish than hemming.  For the top, the golden yellow/off-white polyester/rayon/lycra tie-dye French ter

Made By A Fabricista: A Year of Reflection

I can’t believe we have made it to the end of another year.  Since this post is coming out right around the holidays, I wanted to create something with a bit more glam. I found this velvet sequin knit and I will say it is even more gorgeous in person.  For my look I decided to make the Mimi G x Simplicity S9370 but I decided to turn it into a gown! To do this I measured from my waist to floor to add the additional length that I needed and added additional to the back to make it have a small train.  I spread the hem of the skirt to create more of a trumpet style silhouette which made the perfect gown. This fabric was actually very easy to work with, since it is a velvet, it does have nap, so I had to make sure that I cut in the correct direction.  I also noted that I should have pre-washed this fabric before using because the fabric dye did rub off a lot as I was working on it. Once I tried my dress on to check the fit I was in love! It was so comfortable and fit perfectly.  The waist