Felicia Ann Ryan is a Toronto based fashion stylist, writer, fashion editor +creative consultant whose work has been featured in over thirty publications, including within the pages of L’Officiel, Chloe + Cereal Magazine. Felicia has clothed and created concepts for artists and performers such as Rupi Kaur, Amaal Nuux + Simu Liu as well as worked with major brands across fashion, music, entertainment and advertising. Her life is, “Always a work in progress’ as she moves through the multi platform projects she has on the go, the most recent of which is offering advice to stylists’ who are just starting out via her “Starting Out As A Stylist” series (startingoutasastylist.com). She resides with her life partner and children and sadly, zero cats.
Fashion saved me.
Not literally of course.
No, look number nine of an unnamed eminent SS’ collection didn’t hear my calls for help, create a diversion and escape the runway to pull me from a burning building.
But it did pull me out of the deep end during a time when circumstances were out of my control, and the depths of my mind were my only escape. Pulled me from a flaming funk that didn’t have an end date.
It came to me in glossy pages full of hope. Love at first sight, far removed from the fashion I knew. Having already written off the prospect of a relationship with fashion long before, as I laid in bed late at night hearing my mother, a designer, curse the air, and her sewing machine, f bombs falling on any ear that could pick up sound, vowing then to never show interest in her work for fear I would be subjected to sewing lessons and anger fueled all nighters (both things, ironically, I was unable to avoid during my formal education in fashion design).
But this wasn’t the fashion that I was used to. This was different. It was transformative. I was hooked.
And for an only child, used to a lot of alone time, fashion was my first true friend, introducing to me the concept of creation, teaching me lessons of self acceptance and the notion that I wasn’t something to be discovered, but a creature to be created.
That from blank pages, anything was possible.
And once the page was filled, you got to fill them again and again and again, never running out of pages, as you narrate your own story.
Despite all odds, fashion ended up being for me.
And fashion is here for you too.
It’s not for the select few.
It’s now, it’s used, it’s new, it’s distressed and pristine. It’s what you wore 6 years ago and what you’re wearing today. It’s handmade and handed down, recycled, repurposed and couture. It’s from last season and hasn’t been created yet. It’s wool socks with sandals in the summer. It’s expensive, it’s cheap, it’s quality and sometimes it’s free.
But most of all, it’s always here for you.
To be experienced, not just looked at.
To be felt, not just seen.
To use as a contraption to create yourself, and your world.
I hope that within these posts and pages and words written on once blank spaces, you will find a friend.
That you will find advice, and inspiration, company, and creation.
That you will find yourself.
But better yet, that you will create yourself.