Q&A Session: The Politics Of Fashion Director Elaine Mensah
Q: How would you describe DC Fashion? How do you feel DC Fashion is represented in mainstream media (fashion .magazines, television, online publications, etc.), and do you think it's an accurate depiction? If not, what is lacking?
A: I would describe DC fashion as emerging. We have a lot of talent and resources, particularly in retail but we are still developing in the other areas of the fashion lifecycle. In terms of mainstream media, I don't think DC fashion is truly on their radar yet outside of the historical perception of us as conservative. That perspective isn't necessarily wrong but it certainly isn't all of what DC fashion is.
Q: How did you choose cast members and who to contact about the film? When did filming begin, and how long did the film take to create?
A: I conceived the idea to make the film in February 2012 and I started filming that Summer. The whole process from conception to release has taken 2 years. In terms of who I interviewed, it was important to me to have a cross section of the DC fashion community in the film. I am extremely proud of the diversity of the cast from industry experience, to professions, to ethnicity. I am also very honored and grateful that so many of them agreed to do it. The cast comprises of publishers, writers, retailers, entrepreneurs, stylists, photographers, non profits, educators, publicists, bloggers, curators, event producers, and designers all providing their perspectives.
Q: Who are your favorite DC based designers/bloggers?
A: That's a tough one [laughs]. I have several local designers I admire for various reasons. You'll see them represented in the film. With DC bloggers, I think the strength of the collective is what is most impressive to me. For a city that may not be looked at as a fashion town, 700+ Capital Area Fashion & Beauty Bloggers is incredible.
Q: Where do you see DC fashion in 5 years from now?
A: I can't give that away, you'll have to watch The Politics of Fashion: DC UNBOXED when it premieres on June 3 at Mazza Gallerie for that answer.
Q: Any words of advice for those who have plans on leaving DC to find the creative job on their dreams in NYC or LA?
A: My advice would be, if you can afford to, hold on. Stay here in DC and have the opportunity to be a big fish in a smaller, less competitively cluttered pond.
I hope all of you enjoyed our first Q&A session with Elaine Mensha! The premiere of The Politics Of Fashion is on June 3rd and you ca purchase your ticket's to watch the film HERE! If you have additional questions or would like to know more about the film or Elaine, follow Elaine on twitter @elainemensah, #thepoliticsoffashion