Fashion forward – The Daily News

Hazel Lovecraft is paving the way for resources in ethical fashion.

Hazel Lovecraft cuts out the pieces from her root-chakra-inspired dress before winning the Ferris State University’s Kendall College of Art and Design excellence award for her Ascension collection. — Submitted photo

After doodling silly designs on her notes as a child, the 23-year-old’s love for sewing has grown into something much bigger.

“I grew up always drawing, always creating,” Lovecraft said. “Ever since I could pick up a pencil I’ve been designing clothes. Like on the back of envelopes at church or in class — my notes were covered in doodles. It’s always been a part of me and I knew I wanted to go into art in some way, but in high school, I started to figure out I could put these two things that I love together; the art and the fashion.”

Her love for the creative process in the fashion industry won her the Ferris State University’s Kendall College of Art and Design excellence award. With recognition like this, the recent Ferris State graduate has only continued to grow her brand: sustainable, spiritual and high-quality clothing.

After winning scholastic art awards at high school, the 2017 Greenville High School graduate, took a summer fashion class through Kendall before starting college to advance her skills in sewing. Lovecraft said it was this class that truly solidified her love for it.

“I was like ‘oh my gosh.’ This is it — this is for me. This is what I wanna do and where I wanna go’,” she recalled. “I loved being surrounded by other artists and getting to develop my skills to learn even more.”

Craving more, Lovecraft continued to nurture this side of her. Watching YouTube tutorials and taking apart thrifted clothing only to sew it back together with modifications had been her lifeline.

Being a Greenville native, the resources available to her passion for fashion were scarce. However, that didn’t stop her from looking at the bright side of her endeavors.

Hazel Lovecraft admires the bodice of her root chakra-inspired dress before winning Ferris State University’s Kendall College of Art and Design excellence award. — Submitted photo

“It’s interesting because there wasn’t really a structure for me,” Lovecraft said. “I had to create my own structure and my own path. I just learned to challenge myself even if nobody else had any expectations for what I was gonna do.”

After winning the Art and Design excellence award, Lovecraft felt like it was showcasing to everybody what she could do.

“It was really special. It feels good to be appreciated,” Lovecraft said. “I kind of get stuck in my own bubble where I’m just trying to grind everything out and I feel like everything I’m doing is just me driving myself crazy. But once you get to the end, you get to celebrate everything you’ve made.”

While her peers may have not had any expectations for Lovecraft, her parents and teachers always knew she was different.

“They’ve always known since I was little that I wasn’t going to do something traditional,” she said. “My grandma was a huge support to me. She passed away from cancer a few years ago, so she’s kind of like my guardian angel. Getting to the end makes me think of her. I wish that she were here to celebrate with me, but I know I’m making her proud.”

“She’d probably give me a big hug,” she added. “She was a cool grandma — she drove a motorcycle — so she’d probably take me on a motorcycle ride too.”

Greenville High School art teacher Sonja Peterson recognized Lovecraft’s talent and drive early on.

“She just blew me away. She was quite the perfectionist,” Peterson said. “She’d slave until it was just right. She even made her own prom dress. I’m extremely proud of her, and I’m so grateful that she had the opportunity to go to art school and follow her passion. I couldn’t be happier for her. She deserves it.”

Lovecraft credits her hard-working spirit to her perfectionism.

Hazel Lovecraft assists a model in the making of her Ascension collection. — Submitted photo

“I’m just a huge nerd at the end of the day,” she said. “I’m such a perfectionist and I’m so detail-oriented. I just love going all out. That includes my process but even at the end, I’m obsessive about the construction. I love to make my garments as beautiful as they are on the outside, just as beautiful on the inside.”

However, sometimes perfectionism can uproot Lovecraft’s struggle with ADHD.

“The academic world has never felt like I fit in and it’s been hard to figure out how to get my brain to work like everybody else’s,” she said. “Reading and writing can be hard… even just to get started. Every year I wondered ‘should I even be doing this? Am I gonna make it?’So now it’s kind of surreal because I’m at the end. I’ve made it even though every year I wasn’t sure if I would.”

In her collection, Ascension, Lovecraft makes mindfulness a priority because of these struggles. With yoga and meditation as a foundation, she has become a connoisseur of the seven chakras for her recent collection.

Lovecraft’s awarded collection was a dress inspired by the root chakra.

“It’s about being grounded,” she said. “The tree is symbolic of it because trees have crazy root systems and are super supported in the Earth, so I wanted my dress to look like the roots of a tree spreading down and grounding the person wearing the garment.”

Lovecraft was assigned to make only three garments, but due to her drive, she made seven different looks to complete her collection.

Hazel Lovecraft’s sketchbook with ideas and brainstorming for fabric design. — Submitted photo

With her next project in the making, she is pushing herself to focus on her core values.

“I want them to feel like they’re playing dress-up,” she said. “That’s what I’m trying to recreate; my experience as a kid playing with clothes. You know when you’re playing dress-up you’re like ‘I’m a princess, so I’m going to wear a crown’ and then you really believe that’s who you are. So it’s living a fantasy.”

Lovecraft compares fashion to a language of some sort.

“Fashion is really powerful. It’s like a language that we use every day to communicate without thinking — without words,” she said. “I’ve always been a shy person, so I think fashion has been my outlet… people get an idea of ​​who I am at first glance.”

Not only is Lovecraft passionate about these techniques, but she also takes sustainability very seriously. With zero-waste patterns beginning to be at the forefront of designers’ minds, she says it’s easier to follow the movement.

Hazel Lovecraft’s sketchbook with ideas and brainstorming for fabric design. — Submitted photo

“Fashion tends to be a very wasteful industry,” Lovecraft said. “I am really inspired by sustainability. I think that’s the future and I don’t want to cause harm in my work. Causing less harm to the environment and having fair, safe conditions for everyone who’s a part of my team.”

The next big project for Lovecraft includes a gallery fashion show in August. Once again paving her own way, instead of hosting a traditional runway fashion show, she wants fashion to become art again. She said being able to get up close with a garment in a gallery is a much more intimate interaction.

As her college life comes to a close, Lovecraft is excited for what is to come. After these years of school work, pursuing her own fashion brand seems to be in the horizon.

“I get to let that (college) go and be happy,” she said. “I finally get to live life the way I’ve wanted to this whole time.”