February 2010: Myself and my amazingly talented and devoted intern, Bethany, killed it and made an amazing collection to show for Fashion Week. I did my biggest fashion show to date, it got rave reviews from the crowd and some press, including the Huffington Post & The Awl… Project Runway asked me to audition for it’s 8th season and asked me to bring 10 pieces, as opposed to the 5 they asked of everyone else… and then I showed them the things I had worked harder on than anything in my entire life and the things I was most proud of ever and… they bashed me. I missed the final cut of contestants by one. Tim Gunn told me they’d call me that night to tell me if I was on or not. I left the audition and made my way to my boyfriend at the time’s office to meet for coffee. I was shaking and decided that even if they wanted me, I would not accept. I am far too sensitive to be put through the rigor morale of Project Runway’s intensity and editing. I didn’t get on, but I did realize that I was in desperate need of a fashion break. After six years of nonstop selling, ups and downs, Etsy, customers, trends, & 16 hour days, I had to put it to rest. I felt empty. I felt as though I had lost why I started sewing in the first place. I’m not going to blame it on that bad PR audition, but it definitely left me questioning what I wanted of fashion. I did not want to get into production. I am too much of an artist to have the business-heavy skills it takes to be a real fashion designer in the fashion industry. I was riding the wave between being a super indie handmade clothing artist and the fashion world in Vogue and I fell off my board towards the indie. The fashion industry has a lot of evils. I needed to re-kindle my love all-together. I used to obsess over style.com and the fashion shows and magazines and fabrics and I found myself disinterested, feeling like a long lost daughter, unsure of her past. I pushed it away and grabbed for steady work with employers who weren’t myself; and with appointments and places to be rather than a self-made calendar. I threw myself into acting much more wholeheartedly and my boyfriend and I broke up. I had some health problems, I kind of had a breakdown, and then winter hit. I moved out of the magnificent studio space that I had shared with ten peers, including Etsy’s founder, Rob Kalin, for three years. The life I had known for three years was over. I was almost officially divorcing my fashion business.
Fast forward one year. My sewing studio had been collecting some dust, and I’ve become nearly completely absorbed in acting, but a glimmer started. I sewed here and there and still sold accessories on Etsy and then a few months ago, I got a job teaching sewing lessons a few hours a week. I made a few new dresses and pieces for myself…
Last week, all of my sadness and confusion and hard work came back full circle… Sometimes it just isn’t the right time… There were a few pieces that I was most proud of from my fashion show for Autumn 2010 back in February 2010… those things, combined with my dedication to acting (tons of classes, workshops, auditions, seminars, in the last two years) have paid the hell off. I landed a tiny role on a new ABC fashion drama pilot called Americana. Casting was looking for SAG actors who were also fashion designers. When I saw the posting, I screamed. There had to be like 2 of us in the United States. After weeks of deliberation on their part, I got it!!!! and on Thursday, three ensembles from my 2010 show that had been in a garment bag for two years awaiting their debut and two never-before seen pieces were walked down a runway on models on a freaking tv show with me as their real-life and tv designer. This isn’t reality tv. This is a scripted Ashley Greene-starring pilot and it was utterly surreal. I play a rival fashion design student of Ashley’s named Ann Marie. On top of it, I got to act with Emilie de Ravin of Lost & Roswell, which was my favorite show in high school. Lastly, the director of Americana is Philip Noyce, who also directed Clear & Present Danger, Patriot Games, The Bone Collector, and one of my favorite movies of all time, The Saint, which I have seen 27 times. I won’t disclose anything else.
Hard work pays off. I’m preparing to work just as hard from here on out. Thank you, universe. Now, it’s time for my agent to come along….