Meet Mitchell Dane
What does fashion mean to me? You know that feeling when you hear the first 3 notes of your absolute favorite song? Your heart thunders, A smile flicks across your lips, a short memory flashes in the recesses of your mind, that's fashion to me. That's what I feel when I am able to embrace my passion and create a piece of art. As cliche as it is, fashion is what fuels my passion.
My past with fashion starts as a child, I would draw clothes all day everyday. It was just what I liked to do. My family would see me doing these drawings and I would always be encouraged to pursue a career in fashion. Growing up, my goals were all over the place; I wanted to be a vet, of course every child does, until I realized they put animals to sleep so I pursued something else. Or i would be a horticulturist, I love plants. I had green houses, I had Gardens, I would grow vegetables, fruit everything under the sun. I thought that I had found what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, however, I never stopped drawing. I would draw in the back of papers I would draw on my arms and my legs, I just had not let go of the idea of being a designer. Something drew me in I don't remember if I can pinpoint what it was, but I was so drawn to historical fashion, even today I still draw so much inspiration from historical garments in vintage designers like Charles James, Dior, as well as Pierre Balmain, and so many more. When I first started actually making clothes it only seemed fit that I would be doing corsets. I was 15 years old( now 21 years old) and I was working on a project to enter into the fair in the sewing competition, I could not for the life of me figure out what I wanted to sew. I was in Walmart and I saw a pattern for a lingerie style bustier and I was like, “I've never made anything like that, I'll go for it.” and I did and I never looked back. Now corsets are what I'm known for. I'm listed as one of the top corset designers in the world, I found my passion and it grew in my talents expanded tremendously. And I could not be happier.
My life took a sudden turn in July of 2018, it's still very hard to talk about. I was on my way home from work, during this time I was living in Bakersfield until my apartment was ready. I was less than 40 minutes away from home, when I lost control of my vehicle, flipped off the freeway rolling twice before landing on my hood. I hit my head so I still don't remember all of it, and my brain is not functioning properly since, but I have had a few flashbacks. When I woke up in the hospital bed I didn't think it was real. The chaplain was trying to get into my phone to call my parents. I had been in the hospital for 3 hours before I regained consciousness. When I come to and I finally understand what's happening I look at my hands which are both in plaster wraps up to my bicep. I burst into uncontrolled tears, I thought my passion was just taken away from me. My family finally came after the chaplain finally got ahold of them and I cried I couldn't believe I was alive, no one really could. I thought all of my work my life that I put into my passion was completely over mind you this is less than a month after graduating from fidm and 10 days after my 20th birthday. Post-surgery got progressively harder. I would stay up at night thinking I would never be able to do what I am capable of. I thought I'd never sew again, I thought I'd never draw again. Over a period of a few weeks I went down a spiral of depression, feeling worthless, I truly missed my dream. I thought it was all over. Something clicked one day, no clue what it was I hoped and prayed every single night until my face hurt from crying that I would get through this, the pain was unbearable my nerves felt like my hands were getting covered in acid. One day I just told myself that I have to keep going I can't give up now and I'm this close to starting my career why give up now. It was just a stumbling block, it'll be a cool story later. So I'm slowly recovering, it's still rough every now and again but I'm getting through it. Fashion was my motivator, I hate to say it but fashion may have saved my life.
My future is not guaranteed, but in the future I want to keep going with trying to reach my goals even with stumbling blocks like the ones i've faced. I also want to encourage people To not give up on their dreams and if they truly have a calling, to just follow it! Why are you going to waste Talent, time and your heart, with anything but what you are truly passionate about. I want my story to be woven into my fabrics and stitched with my passion.
Fashion is what I love and what I live for and that's how it's going to be. I faced a small turbulence but I've taken hold of my life and my designs are better for it.
Keep an eye out you may be seeing my name in the back of your outfit really soon...