image by Lucas James

Rainbow Renegade Rages through Reno

OCTOBER 16, 2015 by Jordan Terra

Slinking down my favorite aisle at the fabric store I frequent. Running my hands along the bolts with eyes closed and tactile senses sharpened, vibrant morphing colors dance through my head.  Each fiber explodes in a radiant array of hues, designs bust into view in a conductive frenzy of light–the textiles are talking to me, showing me their future. Once a fabric chooses me, I surrender to its will and become its conduit into metamorphosis.

With freshly cut fabric and black coffee in hand, I set forth on a glorious journey of art–to give birth to a creation from the delicately woven fibers that gave their lives to become textiles.  After giving thanks to the humans, plants, beans, inventors, and science that all went into making this moment possible, I start sewing.  Pressing my foot to the floor, a system of vibrations from my electrical outlet power my machine.  The world around me melts away, all that’s left is the process–my arms become extensions of the fabric, my hands become apart of the machine, and my soul is permanently affixed to the garment.

My newly realized love for sewing quickly consumed my life; it would take a force stronger than anything on Earth to derail my love.  Everyday after school, I was at Mill Ends spending my paychecks in their entirety.  After hobbling home, inundated with the weight of a 10 gallon shopping bag full of fabric, I would saunter to Taco Bell where I would daydream about what I was going to make with my new textiles and disguise it as work by occasionally pushing a few buttons on a screen.  From there, I would sprint home, finish my homework, sleep for 2 hours, get up, drink delicious coffee, and keep sewing.

I was addicted. I was always sewing–in between classes, on my breaks at work, while walking, standing, sitting–I couldn’t get enough. I always needed more.  Not only more time, but also more fabric, more thread, and more notions.  A pile of multicolored woven fibers swallowed up an entire corner of my mom’s living room.  That swaggering stack of rainbow fabric scraps grew bigger and bigger until the floor of my space was no longer existent, and any day that wasn’t filled with a Scrooge-McDuck-style swan dive into my textile sea was just not complete.

My first fashiony goal was to outfit myself in nothing but my own creations.  I needed an entire wardrobe full of fabulous rainbow fashion.  Spending as much time as I did sewing, this was easily achieved, and through my vivid ventures around town and the rave scene, people noticed.  

My obvious next goal was to cover all of my friends in custom creations as well.  I would spend my weeks sewing clothes for all of my friends, so we could go through multitudes of costume changes at forest parties.  I was coating everything around me in a thick layer of rainbow fashion.  “There’s this mysterious red dirt that covers everything at these parties.” My dear departed friend Sean would say.  He was right, so I took that name and ran with it–Red Dirt became my life (thanks Sean).

Deep into my college education, however, I realized that I needed more–more clothing, more fashion, more sewing, more fabric, more knowledge–and Reno just wasn’t cutting it.  Although, I’ll always be Battleborn, Los Angeles and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising beckoned.  I packed up my rainbow sewing room and hightailed it outta there for the adventure of a lifetime…

Click here to read about where this journey started, and follow me on social media to read more of my story to come.