In episode 2, Nefertiti unveils her dress concepts to J., and their response is truly amazing (if you missed episode 1, watch it here). Keep your tissues close by, because there won’t be a dry eye in the house! Can Nefertiti take her concept from sketch to high fashion drag wardrobe staple? We’ve got a hunch, but you’ll have to wait and see.
We wanted to learn more about Nefertiti’s process, inspiration, and advice for young sewists and fashion designers. Check out our Q&A with her below the video for all the inspiring details.
Episode 2: Yes to the Dress
Q&A with Fashion Designer and Maker, Nefertiti Griggs
How did you get started in fashion and where do you find inspiration?
I started designing and sewing with my mother when I was around 6 or 7. I created garments and helped my mother with re-upholstery projects, curtains and swags all through high school. Shortly after high school, I put sewing on a back burner for a time. Fast forward a bit, I got married and my husband and I moved to Virginia without the luxury of family nearby. One homesick Christmas after a couple of years in Virginia, my mother sent me my first sewing machine. I had to teach myself everything all over again but being able to sew again made me feel like I had when sewing with my mom all those years. I have been sewing and designing ever since.
In 2014, my baby sister transitioned from pulmonary artery hypertension and it was very hard for my entire family. I found healing in creating and it was that year that I decided to offer custom services. I put a lot of love into everything I create. The feeling that I feel knowing I can create something that is one of kind, and that my mind is at peace while doing it, is what keeps me going.
What is your advice for aspiring clothing designers?
Sketching over these past few years has become very therapeutic for me. I don’t sketch every project but the projects that I do, are usually ones that may be a bit more challenging for me. If I had to give advice to any aspiring clothing designers it would be to make sure you love what you’re doing. You don’t need the most expensive machines to create greatness and YouTube has a tutorial for almost everything.
Where did your inspiration for Vivica’s dress come from?
The first sketch of the rainbow design was inspired by pride month and a touch of The Corny Rainbow. I wanted to incorporate rainbows but also generate drama and show off the legs. I found a design in the Marketplace that I loved called Glitter Serape Stripe Sparkles by parisbebe and was inspired to create ombré flower petals for the skirt from a dress I found on Pinterest. I also noticed that Vivica loves a good bodysuit and showing off those curves.
My inspiration for Black Magic came from my first meeting when J. mentioned the black magic paint on their bedroom wall. Out of all the fabrics J. chose as favorites the Gold Glitter Classic Pineapples design by mirabelleprint was the most fitting for their love of black and elegance. It was also fitting that I give Vivica C. Coxx of The House of Coxx some type of feathers as a Black Magic design element.
How was your experience working with Spoonflower fabric?
Due to time constraints and not being able to fit J. for precise sizing, we both decided stretch fabric would work best. The drape of Modern Jersey was perfect for the look I was going for with Black Magic. My goal was to work with a fabric that has stretch but also doesn’t look like stretch fabric. Modern Jersey was perfect for this project!
With J.’s amazing reaction to the second dress, Nefertiti now has to transform her sketch into reality. Stay tuned to the blog and our social channels next week for the final episode.