We're going to go out on a limb here and predict that this "fashion" phenomenon is not going away anytime soon. It beggars understanding, but people truly seem to enjoy purchasing clothes. And not just the necessities, such as jeans and T-shirts. No, people want to buy things that are sexy or stylish or unique -- or, better yet, things that possess all those qualities in one magical garment.
In order to acquire and wear such items, the would-be fashionista/o must purchase magazines, watch the appropriate TV shows and worry about what season it is. If fashion is this difficult for the wearer, consider how difficult it is for the designer: What rigorous program of training and trend-watching must the successful fashion designer maintain?
Not much of one, if Megan Power and her company, Doki Doki Designs, are any indication. Power conceives of and creates garments -- such as her Chenille Sundress and Son of Wolfie Cape (the latter a reversible redesign of her Wolfie Cape, a fur and pieced-silk wrap that is both vintage-chic and ultra-hip; visit www.dokidokidesigns.com for images) -- for the stylish lady about town. To an admittedly untrained eye, Power's designs embody a sense of fun and intelligence -- a combination that is always sexy and should never go out of style.
Power herself seems brimming with such qualities. Asked about her training, she proclaims unabashedly, "No, I've never gone to fashion school. I went to Webster for music." She continues with a laugh, "I'm a Shaw girl. South siyeeed!" Power originally began designing clothes because she "wanted to be able to go to work when I wanted to."
This independent spirit imbues her work still, as she does not keep current with the doings of the haute-couture world. "I don't have a TV, and I can't really afford the magazines," Power says. "I look at them when I can! I don't know most of the designers' names and stuff; it's really embarrassing."
It shouldn't be. Liberated from outside influences, Power follows her own muse, crafting her designs spontaneously. "I go to the fabric store and buy the ones that I like the best and build them on the mannequin. It's rare that I have the whole idea before I actually make it. It's fun! Sometimes it's kinda frustrating, because I think, 'Why didn't this look like what I wanted it to look like?' But it usually comes out really nice, so it's all right."
Power augments her own idiosyncratic design with the help of several local artists for her next show. Doki Doki's new line of skirts has been hand-customized by Nathan Keay, Lana Camp, Jason Miller, Michael Miles, Matthew Clark and Jerome Gaynor (yes, the Jerome Gaynor behind the beloved Web site www.stlpunk.com).
The collaborative line debuts at the Misses Power Trunk Show (featuring Ghanaian jewelry and art imported by sister Kelsey Power's company, Abibiman) at the Big Club Hall (5200 Shaw Boulevard) on Friday, March 25, between 7 and 10 p.m. Admission is free, and the event is catered by Yemanja Brasil. If you miss the show, call Megan at 314-322-1416 and set up an appointment to visit her at her studio at 2101 Locust Street, suite 103. "We have a doorbell!" she points out gleefully, so ring it if you're in the neighborhood.