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Meet Scarlett Dyer of House of Scarlett in DTLA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Scarlett Dyer.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in Upstate NY in a small town at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. In high school I really got into art and I discovered fashion illustration. I would sketch everyday and took classes at a little shop that opened up called Sketch Design Lounge. From my freshman year in high school, I knew fashion design was what I was meant to do. I also knew that I needed to be in Los Angeles – even though NYC is one of fashion’s capitals, I didn’t want to be in the snow & cold – as you can imagine, that climate presents difficulties for a wheelchair user. I had my mums immediate support and we started looking at colleges that offered fashion design – we then planned trips and visited LA multiple times. I ended up getting accepted into my 1st choice school – the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) as a fashion design major. I moved to LA in September 2017 and graduated with my A.A. in Fashion Design in 2019. I was then one of the 11 students accepted into an advanced 3rd year fashion design program called Debut – an annual runway show hosted by FIDM in which each student gets to create an 11 piece collection to be shown on the runway. We spent the last 8 months working on our collections. Our final due date was March 17, 2020 in anticipation of the show scheduled for April 2,3 & 4. We completed the work and our garments are now locked away at FIDM until our show can be rescheduled. I feel lucky that the timing of our city’s shutdown allowed us to finish up in time so everything is ready for the show. I know everything will be different when we’re on the other side of the pandemic, but I am so curious and excited to see how fashion will respond – fashion always reflects our society and I’m already working on a new collection.

Has it been a smooth road?

The road to big dreams is the road. My experience includes bumps in the form of non-believers, distance, and loss. At an early age, I got used to people being surprised at what I could do and I think I developed an instinct to want to shock people on the daily. The condition I was born with is called Arthrogryposis. It’s quite rare and affects the use of my extremities. I use a power wheelchair and I use my arms and hands in ways that are unique to me. I have natural artistic abilities and I have a special way of using implements when I sketch and sew. To me, people’s perception is the only limitation. I don’t think of myself or my abilities as limited at all. Because of this, I understand that many people consider me inspiring. However, with fashion design, I like to let my work speak for itself. I do require extra planning and supports for some things and I find that the right people and situations tend to show up at the right times. FIDM definitely made me prove myself but once they believed in me, they have provided absolutely everything I need to succeed. Distance is hard because my dad and family are in NY and travel is even harder now with everything going on. My mum left everything in NY to be here with me in LA and she continues to support and be there for me. On top of it all, I lost my grandfather 3 weeks before moving to LA. We were incredibly close and he was so excited to come visit the west coast. He was the family tailor (& his grandmothers name was Taylor). To make it worse, I lost my grandmother 5 months later. We were also super close. This grief has been the hardest thing to process – even though I know they’re with me still. 

So, as you know, we’re impressed with House of Scarlett – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.Right now my business provides the following services: custom couture, styling, and fashion illustration. Custom couture is when I take an individual order where I design and build a specific garment that meets all of the clients requirements. With styling, I can either work with what the client already owns, or shop with/for the client, or design something new, or a combination. For fashion illustration, I love to sketch and I offer clients a personalized, original, matted fashion illustration. This also makes a great gift. Down the line I know I will work on creating clothes that are adaptable for all body types. Every body should have the availability to be fashionable. I’m most proud of the way I relate to clients and understand what they want and need. I think one thing that sets me apart is my individualized approach to providing clients exactly what they need, even if they don’t know what it is.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Absolutely! LA is fashion forward and fearless. It’s a community of artists and it seems to me all forms of artistic endeavors are appreciated here. Also, the entertainment industry loves and needs fashion – celebrities are trend setters! The one thing I would like to see is for LA Fashion Week to become a bigger, worldwide venue

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photography by: Louis Pei & Whitney Sutherland (FIDM)

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Meet Downtown LA Series Sponsor:

Michelle FRECKLES Labelle: I am a writer. My inspiration when I write is my life. God gave me a complex life – mixed with pain & struggle, but he also added beauty, grace, & talents that I could use to improve my life and the life of others. I have 2 published books available for purchase on my website right now. One of the biggest ways to support me is to order my books. I am also available to perform my Spoken Word at events. People can email me at infodafreckledpoet@gmail.com to discuss fees. I have performed at dialogues between prominent public figures, such as Dr. Cornel West. I have also performed at hair shows, school events, business events, etc. People also pay me to create videos with myself vibing to their latest music.

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