In Downton Abbey, a PBS TV series, there is an episode where Violet, the grandmother of the family, tells one of her granddaughters, “You are a woman who has a brain and reasonable ability… Stop wining and find something to do”.
When I was a little girl of five or six, my mom would dress me for the day. At that age, I only wanted to wear dresses. I have always loved to dress up. I dreamed of the day I could wear heels like my momma. I like to think this is why I started writing and reading about fashion. The dreams and enjoyment I had as a child are the passions I have today.
I work in broadcasting, so every day I hear devastating news. However, when I heard about another shooting in South Side, Chicago I had a new perspective. Kaylyn Pryor, a 20 year old from Evanston, was starting her modeling career. Pryor had just signed her first modeling contract when she was gunned down outside her grandparent’s home. Pryor was modeling to pay her way through law school. She was a young talent. NBC said, “She enjoyed dancing, choreography, poetry and drawing”. Pryor was an artist in every sense of the word.
I was heartbroken when I heard her story. I put myself in her shoes for a moment. I imagined all of the hopes and dreams this girl had as she grew up. I tried to picture all of the future plans she had. What did she pretend when she was young? What did she write about in her poems? Did they have to do with the future? Kaylyn Pryor’s dreams may be dashed for herself. However, we can work together to stop others from becoming hopeless victims of violence.
As my creative director, Liv Roskos, and I were putting together a Fall/Winter fashion look book, she brought up the idea of dedicating this project to Kaylyn Pryor. Through Pryor’s inspiring dreams, a group of young women came together to tell a story. A story that has been told multiple times, but quickly forgotten. It is a story of childhood dreams. Below are six women who are standing against violence in Chicago. Each model chose a look representing their childhood dreams.