Courtesy of Ava Hudson
Even during the hardships of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ava Hudson continues to flourish with her love for expression through fashion. Hudson is a Junior attending Lincoln High School, and she has a passion for expressing herself through what she wears.
Hudson grew up in a household valuing art, and this environment naturally encouraged her towards exploring different forms of art. In her early years, she was sent to an arts integrated school which allowed her to carry out projects from her creativity. Even in her household, she lived in an environment perfect for focusing on interests requiring creativity such as playing an instrument, dancing, or drawing.
“My parents restricted how much TV we were allowed to watch, so when we were looking for something to do, the natural thing was to go to the art room. At age eight or nine, I began to randomly make these very dramatic, odd gowns that usually fit horribly, but I took great pride in wearing them,” says Hudson.
She continued to grow her interest in art in her early years, especially her love for costume design both influenced by her family and her experiences from training as a ballerina for years.
“[Training for ballet] helped spark my interest [on] art on the body, since that’s what dance is in a way. Also, my grandmother is a professional visual artist and has always encouraged my sister and me to dive in when curiosity emerges. My sister and I see her as a role model because she has demonstrated that being an artist is a valid and meaningful career,” says Hudson.
She started off by helping with tasks like making costumes for school plays at her arts integrated school, and she went on to learning to sew from her mom at age 8, when she started making clothing for herself. Since then, she used a technique of trial-and-error through the help of tutorials on youtube.
Carrying on this natural interest for art and creation derived from her childhood memories, Hudson continued with her passion for fashion. One reason why Hudson became so intrigued with fashion was because she believes it’s a communal experience which can also be used as a tool for self expression.
“The fact that fashion is becoming much more inclusive of body types, gender identity, race, and sexuality makes it even more exciting; if fashion is about self expression, there’s more opportunity now than ever before,” says Hudson.
An aspect of fashion design that Hudson is especially fascinated by is couture- fashion that is made to fit a client’s specific requirements and measurements. Couture is especially eye-catching for Hudson because all of the pieces are hand-crafted and unique, making them true pieces of art for the body.
“To me, couture is an intense sensory experience, a beautiful art form, and a very open opportunity for self expression, all at the same time. Art and music are both areas I’ve found I can submerge myself in with a kind of sensory joy….and making or watching couture takes the experience up a notch and overwhelms me even further, in a good way,” says Hudson.
With the current Covid-19 pandemic, one might expect that pursuing a passion for youth might be more challenging than before. But for Hudson, Covid-19 has felt like a silver lining with all the time and flexibility she has gained from her online-school schedule. While being able to gain more confidence with her work created by the distance from society’s judgement Covid-19 brings, Hudson has been able to focus more on bigger projects, like the one she is in the process of creating.
Currently, Hudson is in the process of creating her first collection inspired by her Norwegian heritage. Her inspiration for this new collection is from Norway’s traditional folk wear, culture, and Viking Age.
“It’s been really interesting to dive into learning about Norway from all these angles. There are so many great podcasts, articles, movies and books that have taught me so much, as well as talking to my grandparents,” says Hudson.
Although Hudson has a short-term goal for showing her collection in the fall, she is continuing to challenge herself within the field of fashion, even for the goals she wants to achieve towards her future years.
“I am applying to European fashion programs next year, so I hope to go to an arts college/university overseas after I graduate, and get my Bachelors in Fashion Design. Longer term, my dream would be to work in couture for a fashion house like Iris Van-Herpen or Valentino,” says Hudson.
Taken from her experiences as a youth still figuring things out at the beginning of her journey, she really values the importance of following the spark for something you are passionate about when you feel it and just going for it no matter what-especially in the field of fashion design.
“It’s easy to feel discouraged if you have a design you’re set on but aren’t sure how to execute. However, if you are willing to mess up a couple of times before you get it right, good chance you’ll get there in the end,” says Hudson.
For people who are not knowledgeable about fashion as a career, Hudson also wants to spread the message that a fashion career is not just something that is materialistic or vapid, it’s something that is very relevant to a lot of different levels of social, economic, and environmental issues.
“Like food, clothing is something everyone needs, and it’s a huge industry that hasn’t historically been very responsible. Right now the world of fashion is changing rapidly to become a more inclusive and sustainable industry. There is a huge opportunity for people with progressive ideas to make a difference,” says Hudson.