Sunday, August 5, 2012

Memory Lane!

Here's a blog post from when I first started sewing and designing I thought I should share. I'll be updating more soon, so sit tight and enjoy this little wide-eyed gem! :)

Friday, January 18, 2008

At this very moment in time, I should be in the shower and getting ready for work, but I feel the need to comment on someone I've adored for quite some time.

Betsey Johnson is a designer I have respected and admired since I can remember. A very long time ago, I was watching tv and I discovered her on one of the programs talking about interior design (though I can't remember exactly, it sounds about right).

I remember so vividly the beginning of the program and how she was sitting in a large yellow room with high vaulted ceilings. There were lights all around the room that made the yellow seem like it faded into a darker, marigold-type color. She was in the middle of a fabulous couch, which I think was Victorian-style and kind of a fuschia color that was trimmed in gold, but it was so elegant and plush. They were talking about the space, how it was open and somewhat simple yet whimsical. Ms. Johnson told the interviewer to look up because that was her favorite part of the entire room.

Picture a large, curvy, almost kidney bean-shaped platform that had been painted the same color of the couch but it had roses attached to the bottom. It didn't look tacky at all. It looked perfect and wonderful. I've always wanted to do that in my house ever since I saw that, but I'm not sure if I could execute it as tastefully as she did. It was lovely.

That room and her long, crazy, outrageous (in color and texture) hair took my heart away. After that conversation, they talked to her about her designs and I was floored completely. I remember walking into her stores anywhere I saw them and just being amazed at how fun and bright and flowy her designs were. They made me happy just to see them and touch them. I could imagine the little ladies who would wear her dresses feeling alive and flirtatious, but I did note that they would be paying a large price to feel that way. . . but that's beside the point.

Betsey Johnson inspires my own designs, my vision, and my mark I want to make on the fashion world. There are so many others I can also learn from, but this one in particular is one worth noting.

“Making clothes involves what I like…color, pattern, shape and movement…I like the everyday process…the people, the pressure, the surprise of seeing the work come alive walking and dancing around on strangers.  Like red lipstick on the mouth, my products  wake up and brighten and bring the wearer to life…drawing attention to her beauty and specialness…her moods and movements…her dreams and fantasies.” – Betsey JohnsonBravo, lady.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Why be inspired, not influenced?

As you may have read, savannahred's slogan is "be inspired, not influenced." It sounds pretty catchy, but what does that really mean from savannahred's standpoint?

First, why "not influenced"? While the word "influence" can mean something positive, it can have a negative connotation as well. Being "under the influence" of something/someone usually means a person is up to no good, right? When my mom got mad at me in high school for "faking sick" a lot my junior year (ok, I was only kind of sick - Who really wanted to go to high school anyway? Right?!), she would say, "This is Kelsey's influence, isn't it?!" (Poor Kelsey. :-/) By saying, "be inspired, not influenced," I'm challenging those who read my slogan to pursue only something positive and to think about what may simply inspire them.

Inspiration is an incredible word, and for someone like me who has a tendency to focus on syntax, "inspire" is a word of power. It's a word of action and good things! I also believe that each person builds on ideas from others throughout their creative processes, which shares our hearts and minds, and inspiration is the main component of that. With "be inspired," I'm challenging those who read my slogan to really dig deeper.

Speaking of inspiration, I've been meaning to share this. Somehow this awesome lady, Courtney, got inspired by yours truly in a big, big way! To sum it up, this lady made a concrete mosaic and fabric replica of savannahred's Love Buttons dress and put it in an art show! How freakin' cool is that?! When I saw it, I cried. (It was also next to a giant painting of Jimi Hendrix, so there was a little more lovin' there on the side, too.) Courtney is one sweet, sweet, curvy lady, and every time I see her, my heart jumps with glee! She works for Sublime Stitching (where this blog post lives) and she is all kinds of incredible. How she was inspired by me, I'm not sure, but I've been touched by this amazing display of talent and love. Thank you, Courtney. Your work means more to me than you know!

On a personal note (not that this blog is anything BUT personal! Dear Diary...), the next collection I am working on is grabbing inspiration from so many aspects of my life! You'll hear all about Native Swing Fall 2012 soon enough - don't worry! :)

There will be another update soon, so I won't divulge anymore. Hope your Thanksgiving was amazing and filled with love and laughter!


Monday, September 19, 2011

2 years old - We're going places!

Well, gorgeous, savannahred curvy couture celebrated her 2nd birthday this past Friday! It has been an incredible 2 years, I must say. A lot of growth, a lot of sweat, a lot of tears, and an ABUNDANCE of love has transpired. I simply cannot wait to see where she's off to now! She really feels unstoppable. Trust me - I know her! ;)

But really, I just want to say thank you to all of the people who have been apart of this experience with me since the beginning and along the way. I've worked with some of the most talented photographers, artists, models, and other designers in the industry and outside of the industry. All of these people have given me a chance by supporting me, upholding who I am and my ideals, and have encouraged me to take this baby to the top - and that's exactly where we're going.

I've said it before and I will repeat it now - savannahred is more than just a clothing company, and lots of people are starting to catch on to that idea. Each day that I am able to get behind a sewing machine is a dream come true because I am able to provide a beautiful woman with something to adorn her gorgeous body and make her feel like royalty so that she can love herself and spread that love to others. Love is a beautiful gift that multiplies, and when we enable others to see that love within themselves, it becomes richer, deeper, and purer, and it can only travel outward. The love that I have for my design company, for my amazing customers/friends, for the world that I believe can see beauty in everyone one day, is literally stitched into every garment (which is why I prefer to use the term "love-crafted"). And from every custom order and every garment sold off the rack, I have been infused with a piece of each woman's heart as I carry it with me along with their stories, their hopes, and their triumphs. As e e cummings says, "i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)."

We're going places. In fact, this month, we're going to the Ruby Room Fashion Show in Seattle to spread some savannahred love butta. But don't worry, Austin/TX people - we're letting you see what's going out before it hops on the plane. Come to the Fabricker's Fashion Apparel Fabric Inventory Presale Event the night before we depart, Sept. 28! We've also got big plans for next year, so hold tight. There's a Kickstarter project coming to you soon - and a fundraising party to boot!

Thank you for letting me jump right in and start a fashion love riot with savannahred. Thank you for being there on the runway, alongside the runway, and/or backstage at the runway. Thank you for your encouragement when, as in any business old and new, there have been days when I wasn't sure I was going to make it. Thank you for your patronage, your Facebook likes, your newsletter sign-ups, your comments, and your enthusiasm. Thank you for making my job the best job on the planet, working for the most beautiful people on the planet.

Most of all, thank you for YOUR love - your beautiful, organic, made-only-by-you love that really keeps the sewing machine in my little heart running nonstop.

And to my sweet savannahred, happy little birthday to you!

photo by Annie Ray
makeup by Kandy Glass with facekandy
jewelry by Jillian Simmang with Simmang Design
hat by Laura del Villaggio with Milli Starr
clothing by ... well, you know who ;)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

You're totally invited!

Hey, ladies! I know I should have updated a lot more since my last post (SORRRYYYY!!!) but I wanted to invite you to something really fun and awesomely cool that you don't want to miss!
What: Girl Party!
Who: Girls only! {savannahred}
When: Saturday, April 23 @ 6:30pm
Where: Cypress Vanguard courtyard @ 606 E 3rd St., Austin, TX 78701
What's up?!: Come one lady, come all ladies - this is a Girl Party with {savannahred}!
There will be food, fun jams, vodka + mixers, and minglings galore!
Take the night off and hang out with {savannahred} in the courtyard at Cypress Vanguard. You deserve a low key, fun time!
Photo taken by Todd White
Model is Spruce Dickerson
Wanna come?: RSVP here -

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Our Journey Together

Tomorrow, Sunday, December 5th, just days before my 25th celebration of life, my very own boutique opens in the Cypress Vanguard fashion house along with those of 8 other incredibly talented, beautiful designers. It goes without saying that this is huge.

Not only is it a large deal to me, personally, as it signifies that I am now an adult - officially - but in the world of fashion, it is a great thing for ladies who don't necessarily fit the mold. I am so excited to be able to celebrate this as part of my adventure! Three and a half years ago, I had no idea I would be sitting here now, dreaming about my studio space and the gorgeous ladies I get to create for every single day. (I didn't even know how to sew then!) This is soon to be my reality, a storefront in downtown Austin. How am I so lucky?

I am so grateful for this opportunity, given to me by my friend and peer Megan Summerville, who is not just one of the sweetest ladies on the planet, she is one of the most confident women I know and her ability to make the finest crafted lingerie is extraordinary. I get to work beside her every day, and hopefully, channel her wisdom and strength.

So! This is a thank you to all of the love, excitement, and support I've had over the past few years, and also to all of the No's I've heard, the heartbreaks, the slander, and the disdain along the way. All of it has come to this point, and I'm very fortunate to say that it has made me and not broken me.

Miss curvy, are you ready to play with savannahred? Come on down to 606 E. 3rd St. beginning tomorrow at 11 am and we can start our journey together or maybe even continue the beautiful thing that we already have.


Anslee / savannahred

Monday, June 28, 2010

Honest Hopes

A little bit of housekeeping to kick us off:

+New website! Heyyyy, go check it out! is up and running so take a look and tell me what you think, lovelies!
+Are you on Facebook? Be a fan of savannahred! Like us here.
+Do you love savannahred a whole bunch? If so, please vote for savannahred to win a grant! Or maybe even 2! You can leave some love at this site and you'll be loved forever by yours truly until the end of time.

In the past few months, there have been a lot of photo shoots and contests and reality tv show applications, and it's just been a whirlwind of craziness! In the midst of all of this, I can't help but be reminded of the people who are in my life right now and how much they mean to me, especially when they support what I'm doing.

I started savannahred as a way to open people's eyes to what beauty, art, fashion, and self-expression are all about. I started out as a photographer and I grew into a clothing designer in the 3 years I've lived in Austin, my favorite city in North America. While it's true that I'm still growing and challenging myself, I'm taking moments to be grateful for the talent and the vision that I have. I've been working overtime on things the past couple of months that I never thought I would, and there are so many people who encourage me to keep going that extra step every day.

My personal and business motto is "Be inspired, not influenced," and I've been met with overwhelmingly positive remarks as to what I am doing and how I am inspiring others with something that makes me feel more alive than ever. I feel like with this business I am able to enable women to feel beautiful and sexy and confident, perhaps even for the first time, and I do it simply with fabric. I care about the environment so much more than I ever did growing up [Read: didn't care at all!], and now I want to build a company that embraces being good to the earth as well as the gorgeous women who wear these dresses. SavannahRed is more than dresses or skirts or whatever fabric is used, it's about a community now that empowers women of all sizes to embrace themselves and be the strong, confident, beautiful women they are. Through this business, my hopes are to unify women of all backgrounds, races, religions, sizes, and strengths, in hopes that we can redefine beauty as being ourselves and not necessarily conforming to a societal viewpoint or ideal.

I feel there is too much stock put into using magic potions or quick fix love spells in the form of products and surgeries and crash diets or crazy pills to make the organic magic inside us become real. What I aim to do with my company is enable curvy ladies, and all ladies, to get back to the core of who they are and see the beauty there. Essentially, it starts with you, not with manufactured magic but your magic, and if you cannot see that for yourself, then I hope you'll take this journey with us.

Love yourself, woman of the earth. No matter how much your belly jiggles, praise it. No matter how much your booty can't fit into those old pants, shake it. No matter if you have cellulite or dimples or rolls or anything labeled as "unsightly" or "ugly", enjoy the body you have for what it is because it's yours and you are, most undoubtedly, gorgeous and worthy of being loved - especially by you.

Austin Fashion Week is so close and I have an excellent team that I am working with to create a look for a beautiful, curvy model. It's going to be very exciting and it's going to take a lot of hard work! I hope you will be there and be just as excited as we will be! Thank you for your support. Thank you for your magic.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Confessions of a Curvy Girl Designer ;)

Thursday. night. was. AWESOME! Dear Lord! I felt like the show lasted 15 seconds because it went by so fast, but there we were, struttin' our stuff. I am so proud of all of my ladies. They really shined that night, and I have received nothing but the best compliments anyone could ever hear. It makes me tear up a little bit, honestly. It's a wonderful feeling!

Overall, it was a really great experience. There are a lot of things that I felt should have been done differently, but as far as this being the producers' first show, I was pretty satisfied! I know they worked so hard on this show, and I hope that they continue doing this because of such a great response it got. It was a sold out show and the bouncers were turning people away at the door. That says something right there.

First off, Barbara Morin is a goddess! The hair and makeup was perfect. I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted, but she dreamed something up based on the clothes and the overall vision I had for the runway, and her execution was flawless. She is wonderful to work with, she can do anything, and her cheerful, positive attitude can make even the craziest person in the room feeling like they have the whole world in the palm of their hand. I could have been that girl the other night. Michelle McClendon did such a wonderful job as well. She worked alongside Barbara and the two made a great team. It wouldn't have gone nearly as well without either one of them. You can find Barbara at Siren's Salon and Michelle at Regency. That's right - Michelle is still learning this stuff and she is already rockin' it out! Be on the lookout for that one.

One of my favorite moments of the night was when two of my friendmodels (These ladies are more than just a model to me!) Polly and Erin saw one of my other friendmodels, Cuesta, who was in the other shows with them. They were so excited to see each other, and it made me so happy! I felt like there was a community built around this company with my friends, and they had such a sweet interaction. They squealed a bit, hugged and kissed each other, caught up on each other's lives, and pumped each other up about the craziness they were about to embark on once again. I really wish I had my camera for that moment.

After the show, 2 of my other ladies told me how this experience really helped them with their self-image, and I couldn't have been happier when they expressed this to me. The main reason I started this clothing company is to provide a way for a gorgeous, plus size woman to not only express herself through her clothing but to make her feel so great she forgets any insecurities. For one, the whole runway experience really made her feel wonderful, even though I know she was nervous. That sweet girl brought a flask of whiskey, ok? I thought that was pretty awesome! ;) (Love you, girl!) Plus, there is always the fear of busting ass on the runway, but I hope that flask took some of the edge off. She did great! And the other lady said the dress was what took her focus off of an area she is a little insecure about. You never would have known, and it made me really happy that a well-fitting dress could make someone forget about an area of her body she finds unflattering. She was absolutely stunning! All of these beautiful ladies made me so proud, and I couldn't have done this show without them.

Seeing all of the outfits put together head to toe as we lined up to go out almost took my breath away. At one point, I said, "You guys are making my dreams come true." Polly said she started tearing up when I said that, and it's true! I had this dream of a line of clothing and it grew into clothing + jewelry + hair pieces, and the looks totally rocked! Jillian Simmang (+ her incredible mother Jean Hays) worked herself to death on the jewelry, and each piece was incredible. She is so talented, and her creative energy + mine became a force to be reckoned with! I wouldn't want to see the outfits without her jewelry on that runway. From earrings to necklaces to corsages, Jill is a super classy bitch who knows how to work it. I am so fortunate to have had the pleasure of working with her and to simply be her friend.

So, thank you, all of my friendmodels who are gorgeous, talented, and so dear to me! Their names are Cuesta Murphy, Erin Hickok, Polly Smith, Dollie Hodges, AnnMarie Wilke, Jillian Simmang, Mindy Sea, and Michelle McClendon. And of course, thank you Barbara Morin for all that you have done for me.

There is a lot of stuff coming up for SavannahRed, so check back soon. Until then, love yourself for who you are, but if you need a little help, you know who to call!