Every Dress Has a Story

“All the pleasure I have had, I owe to my sewing,” Ann Lowe told a reporter for Ebony in 1966, “I wish I were physically able to do all the work myself.”Every dress Jesse Aquatico designs has a story. The dress featured in this post is inspired by Miss Ann Lowe.

Jesse writes:

“I have a fascination with resort wear. As a child my favorite magazine was GQ. In it, you’d see all the latest in 80s resort wear. Decadent. Escada in particular always kept my eyes glued. Problem was $6 was the beans-n-rice for the week, we ate to afford for all five of us kids to attend private schools. It was always a luxury my mother or father could never afford. So when I did get it, filled my imagination with fashion. I promised myself. One day. I too will design an ad with a glamorous dress and break the poverty barrier. Fast forward to now. Much that can be said for all good starving artist we struggle. As @rachel.elspeth.gross so eloquently pointed out. Ann Lowe the colored women whom designed Jackie O’s wedding dress went broke keeping up with the major houses. Not because she wanted too but because her art meant more than the money it brought in. It was her way to forget about the poverty as I told Rachel. I empathize with Miss Lowe.

The fabric I used for that dress is resort expensive. Something I very rarely buy because of its yard cost. So I figured why not splurge? It my dream runway come true. My hometown. I’ve waited 35 years for why not, say it like you mean it, so like Miss Lowe I too, needed to show I can hang with the big boys? It is to be expected at our level of experience. You take the hardship and struggles but you maintain the success and self worth because that is the only thing you love. More than life itself. I too like Miss Lowe lost so many things on this journey and nothing is ever promised. Sewing with no lights by hand, just to pay for a show. Starving yourself because the only money you had was spent to buy new fabric, too sell a dress to feed yourself. I have been there. I know deeply and thoughtfully the measures as did… Miss Lowe it takes for an artist to get taken seriously. Add the fact we are both colored. Someone has to forward change. I plan to be at the forefront! I used to use donated remnants. Now I use luxury fabric. Times change.”

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