#ICanDoThat Episode 14 with Jake Gariepy

In the 14th episode of #ICanDoThat Jonathan Joseph and Rachel Elspeth Gross, interview Jake Gariepy. Little Red Fashion introduces Little Red Village and its first interview series #ICanDoThat on instagram. Our #ICanDoThat campaign is a one-question interview for our IGTV that asks industry professionals across disciplines to respond to the question: "What advice do you have for a kid who wants to do what you do within fashion?"


The video of this interview can be found here!


Prerecorded and posted: (Insert month and day), (year)



Jonathan Joseph

Rachel Elspeth Gross

Jake Gariepy


Rachel Elspeth Gross  00:00

Hi, everyone, This is Rachel Elspeth. I'm here with Jonathan Joseph and our guest this week Jake Gariepy and we are here to talk about all the ways that you can prepare yourself for a fashion career on this week's I can do that. Jake is an illustrator he has a wonderful Instagram page called dapper and dreamy. And he is an illustrator. He does some pretty incredible historic costume recreations as well as illustrations of historic buildings. His work has been featured in a bevy of museums, and historical sites around the country around the world. We've talked about some of that in our posts this week. So hi, Jake, how are you doing today?


Jake Gariepy  00:41

I'm great. Thanks. And I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  00:45

We're thrilled to have you here. So we always try to kind of incorporate a little bit of a fashion history or fashion education lesson in with the people we're speaking with on focus on their area of specialty. So we were kind of talking about costume points this week. And I know that what you do is a little, you know, it's kind of like that. It's also a little bit of your own thing. What would you call your work? What do you classify yourself?


Jake Gariepy  01:12

Oh, that's a great question. I don't know that I've ever thought about how to classify it really. But But when I saw your posts on Instagram, about fashion plates, you know, that really kind of stood out as something that I'm doing and hadn't really realized that I'm doing. But But did take some inspiration from that, because a lot of the places that I've found inspiration is from things that have been done in the past, and the fashion plates, and the way that they really try to portray a specific look, is is definitely part of that.


Jonathan Joseph  01:44

Yeah, absolutely. Oh, sorry, Rachel. You know, you know, for us, that's a big inspiration. fashion illustration, for me is one of the biggest inspirations behind why I wrote the little red dress why I started this company because I, there's something that I think gets lost in the sauce as it were, with the modern fashion industry. And it's over reliance in some ways on photography versus illustration, I think fashion illustration, and I think, especially post pandemic is really experiencing a little bit of a Renaissance. You know, I think, for me, my favorite fashion illustrations always like the art of push war, and push war as a style of meeting and I will shamelessly plug the art of push war by Hubert Callahan, who's one of our amazing advisors here at Little Red Fashion and the producer dressed fashion history podcast and your work. What I loved about it, is that it was this sort of whimsical take on a fashion play. And it's so interesting that you never really apparently thought about it that way. But I mean, for me being the fashion illustration nerd, I think that style illustrations, were very accessible for kids and young people, especially because it's actionable, as opposed to someone looking at like a photorealistic drawing of a dress and then being like, how do I even do that, you know?


Jake Gariepy  02:57

Exactly. And I never had any kind of training at all. I mean, I just started drawing for fun. And, and I think if I would have given too much thought to that, and sometimes I still do that I look at the work of others that is very technically correct, I suppose you could say, and it can be a little scary, because I worry, am I doing it? Right? And something that really helped me actually was looking at old movie costume, illustrations, drawings, you know, Edith head, and, and then for fashion, Norman Hartnell, I always liked the way that he sort of put together his, his, his designs and drawings. And, surprisingly, some of those are fairly impressionistic, you might say, you know, they don't have necessarily all of the technical detail that you might expect. So even though those are really top professionals, of course, they were sort of inspiring and, and then I found out that some of them didn't even do their own drawing. So that made me feel a lot better than I can draw perfectly, then it's okay.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  04:01

No, it's so interesting. Like, um, I know, having an outfit hanging on a hanger raid garment on hanger versus a garment on a mannequin versus a garment on a model or, you know, it's so different, you see so many different things. And I think one of the really important parts of fashion illustration is to convey a feeling right to the mood whimsical. Um, you know, it's nice to have a feeling and emoting that kind of emotional experience is really a way you can connect with clothing, we all want to feel good about ourselves. We all want to feel nice about the way so if you weren't professionally trained, how did you get started with this? How did that


Jake Gariepy  04:39

really just buy I was interested, I think I talked a bit in or you talked about in the post about this that you know, I was interested in royalty and then first lady's and and that kind of thing. And so my interest really grew us from fashion specific, rather and grew from being interested in these women and then Seeing the clothes that they wore, why they wore them, there's so much history around why they chose specific things, fabrics, colors, jewelry, all of that. And so I just started sort of drawing and that was when I was very young, probably eight, nine that that age, and occasionally would do it. And then probably about 10 years ago, maybe a little longer, I was making a total career change, I guess, career meltdown, you might call it and, and then started drawing again, for fun. But some people saw the work and and thought it would be good for their museum store. And, and really, it was just a matter of being interested in these things and wanting to capture them somehow, myself, I think it made me feel a little more connected with with what I was looking at, rather than simply looking I was sort of participating in it in some way. And a lot of trial and error. When I look back at my my drawings from 10, 15 years ago, I think, Wow. What was I doing? And when I look at things that somebody actually bought, I really think what Well, that was awfully nice of them, but it worked out. And I think that's probably a big message for for people who are just getting started, especially kids, because I knew I felt a lot of frustration of having this idea of what I was doing and how I wanted something to look. And then once I got it down on paper, it looked nothing like that. But over years of trial and error and not giving up. You know, sometimes when I draw something, it actually does look like I imagined it now. And I think especially when you're really young, it's important to don't give up keep trying. And you'll get to that that point eventually.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  06:45

Yeah, and so having delayed gratification is something I think even myself, yeah. Yeah, it's a lifelong process.


Jake Gariepy  06:55

It is I'm still there. I mean, I have so much still to learn and so much still to do, and, and that it used to be kind of discouraging when I was starting out. Now, it's actually fun, because I know that that what I'm doing now may look very different in 10, 15 years, 5 years, whatever. And that's exciting to think that there's still so much left to learn and do.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  07:17

Well, it's neat, you have these illustrations of yours that you know, first lady's museums at the presidential libraries around the country. I mean, that's pretty awesome to go from having something you really just love, you know, to having it be at these historic monuments. I mean, that's gotta be fun.


Jake Gariepy  07:35

It is fun. And it's exciting to me, because I had I had this interest for so long, and I was really passionate about these things. But what do you do with you know, all this knowledge about the White House or about first lady's or, you know, what jewelry the Queen's wearing? It's a pretty limited, you know, number of things you can do with that. So when I found that I was able to take all of this stuff that was up here, just kind of floating around and put it to some use. That was really exciting to me. And, you know, it keeps there's sort of an endless fund of things that I've learned over the years that I can draw on. And that's great. Yeah, no, I


Rachel Elspeth Gross  08:08

love the jewelry illustrations mean, they're all great for different reasons. But the jewelry is I mean, I know personally tomorrow, but those pictures you sent that the original piece of jewelry and then the one you illustrate an exhibit, it's so cool.


Jake Gariepy  08:21

It doesn't really tend to do too. Yeah, anytime I can use color, you know, I when I have just an endless supply of Copic markers and other markers like that. And anytime I get to pick out one of those colors that I haven't used, or I get to for injury or something like that, mean, sometimes I'll draw something just because I want to use that color. So it's really, it's fun. I completely understand I hoard the supply fairly intentionally. Sometimes. The main reason I got into this is one of the Bible's our supplies.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  08:52

Totally relatable.


Jonathan Joseph  08:54

You're in good company.


Jake Gariepy  08:55

Okay. Good good.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  08:58

So, um, what was the first time that you got a piece in a museum gift shop or at a facility like we were talking about?


Jake Gariepy  09:05

Actually, I've got, I've got sort of a Viking, so I can get it on here. These are some of my early Jackie Kennedy dress. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And, and I sort of really copied the way Oleg Cassini drew these because of the the arms are very much as he did and, and that's sort of how I started was taking inspiration from other people like that, and then develop more my own style. But I think those were the first ones that were bought a friend saw them, I'd post them on Facebook, and a friend saw them and knew somebody who did the buying for a museum for Hillwood in Washington, DC, and showed them to her and said, Oh, this would be fun cards for for our shop. And before then I had never given any thought to the idea of actually selling them in that way. And so when she she offered to buy them from me, I was thrilled. And that was where really started. And then another friend at another Museum at Evergreen House at Johns Hopkins sort of saw them at the same time, did the same thing and it took off from there. It took a long time to get, get them in a lot of places. And that's another thing to keep in mind for people as is one success is really great. But it can take years to build on that. And I still, you know, in order to get get people to consider these things, it's still a lot of marketing myself by calling cold calling, and sharing my art with people who may or may not respond to it. And but when they do, it's really exciting.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  10:42

Yeah, it is, I completely understand it's, you know, I guess that kind of hard, not so glamorous work, the part where you are sending emails, calling people who may or may not want to talk to you, it can be very intimidating, it can be very scary. And pushing past that is great life lesson for, you know, any kind of person who's trying to develop


Jake Gariepy  11:05

it is it isn't sometimes what it really amounts to especially talk that the scary part of dealing with people who maybe aren't that interested in talking to you, what I've really found is, most people who do the buying for any place I've dealt with aren't that excited to talk to you because they have people calling them all the time. And, and one of the best ways to get past that, of course, is just to be friendly, and also show a little confidence in your work. They and I had to learn that myself, you know, you kind of call you're kind of apologetic that you're bothering them. But remember that who, regardless of what you're dealing with, if you have something that people need, and in this case, people do need to have merchandise for their their shops, and you feel good about what you're doing. convey that to them, because it'll get them excited in what you're doing as well. But it still can be scary. And it can take a lot of calls to get a lot of noes to get a yes from people.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  12:00

Yeah, gosh, then they're having some PTSD. I do every time I have to start making the calls again. Oh, my goodness. So those posters that was one of the things I really wanted to ask about. I love the ones where you've got like all of Jackie's costumes, or all the First Lady or all of the how did you kind of evolve into that. And because that really made me think of those fashion plates, some of the stuff you're hosting shows, you know, all the different outfits by brand or whatever.


Jake Gariepy  12:29

Well, this was actually had a very specific inspiration, a friend of mine sent me a picture of something that someone had done that was very similar only it showed the dresses worn by Best Actress winners at the Oscars over the years. And it was just it was so fun. And I loved the idea. And I thought well, I have so many things, so many groupings that I could do. Whether it's an individual, like the Jackie Kennedy dresses, the evening gown, she wore in the White House. First Ladies, I did their inaugural gowns, and they sold that at the White House for quite a while. And royal weddings, British Royal weddings, that kind of thing. I mean, there's just so many groups I could put together and I still have so many in mind. So that had a very, very, very direct inspiration. And I wish I knew who had done that original illustrations. I'd love to thank them. But I've not been able to find out who did it. So I'll just have to say thanks. If you're watching.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  13:26

Send it to me. I'll see if I can figure it out sometimes. That's right. That's right. Oh,


Jonathan Joseph  13:31

Rachel loves a challenge.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  13:33

I do I love right, digging. Um, so we always like to ask about books. Are there any either instructional books or books on artists or designers? Anybody that you like, Is there anything you would particularly recommend?


Jake Gariepy  13:49

Well, if you're if you're looking for specific designers, again, I go back to Norman Hartnell, who I think is not really all that well known in the United States. But since he's so specific to the royal family and a certain period in the royal family, you know, the 30s through really the 50s, early 60s. I love his work, and whether it's a photograph or a drawing, it really inspires me because it's so romantic his dresses. You know, there's a picture of Jackie Kennedy and the Queen standing together when they met at Buckingham Palace. And I will say this isn't the Queen's best look, but it shows how different styles were happening at the same time. So you have Jackie Kennedy looking very sleek, and one of her Oleg Cassini gowns. And then you have the Queen looking, you know, she's wearing a crinoline, and it's very, very Queen Elizabeth look. And what I like about that, and about Hartnell and spis, in particular, is that he had a look that was very identifiable, that really served its purpose. I mean, his whole goal for the royal family was to make them look not fashionable, but royal Had he achieved that. So at the other end, you have Oleg Cassini and any of the books that he's done, especially those about, about the way he dressed, Jacqueline Kennedy, those are great inspiration as well, because he also was, was dressing for a very specific purpose. And his was not really to be timeless, though his was to be very up to the minute, very specific for Jacqueline Kennedy in that period of time. So in that picture, you have two very different purposes, represented the iconic, the timeless versus the very up to the minute. And so anything that that shows their work is very helpful to me. I also this isn't fashion related, but it's it's an artist, and the books about the about him are very helpful. And that's Carl Larsen, who is the Swedish watercolorist. And I, sometimes when you talk about being inspired by a particular artist, I'm worried that it sounds like I'm comparing myself favorably to them. And I'm not suggesting that. But what I am saying is that the way that he actually constructed his pictures, the way he would outline things, and I do a lot of outlining, and making things very, sort of very clear, that came really I think, from him as well, and his love of capturing you talk about wimzie. And I think that there's a lot of whimsy in his, his work. And, and I think I've tried to, to do that a bit as well. And then finally, there's a book, it's called Designing Camelot. And it is about the restoration of the White House by James Archer, Abba, who's been a huge help to me. And that book, although it deals with the house itself, also has helped me enormously and then inspiration, because it's so, it gives so much detail. And so when I look at a photo there, and I read the text, it makes it so much easier for me to then capture what I'm looking at, and see things that I might not have understood just by looking at the photo. So there you have it.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  17:00

Makes a lot of sense makes a lot of sense.


Jonathan Joseph  17:03

There's always a dialogue between, you know, fashion is architecture around around. And so this this confluence, in your work of the architectural and both ways in both senses of fashion, structural is something that sticks out to me, because I think it's something that's important, I think, especially because I'm always more drawn to these more fluid types of fashion illustration, as opposed to the hyper hyper technical, that you have to know the rules to break them. Right, you have to understand I think that's an important lesson too, for kids or anyone young person who wants to be a fashion illustrator or get into the side of things is your inspiration can come from anywhere, but you have to be patient with yourself on the fundamentals so that you can learn how to mess with them later. And bringing it back to architecture, I think is a really good way also to do that, because that's what many of them do. And I think this confluence of fashion amd architecture is there for a reason. And I think your work speaks to that in a really subtle way, which I think is really powerful. I'd be curious, you know if you could pick any garbage from Michelle Obama's reign as FLOTUS which would you which was your favorite, which was your favorites, too? And which one do you think is the most iconic?


Jake Gariepy  18:22

Oh, there are two that I think I'm going to go to for Michelle Obama. And I have to say that I'm a huge fan of both President and Mrs. Obama. And basically everything she wore was fabulous. Because, you know, some of it was very approachable. And she really knew when to wear the approachable. I thought when she met the queen, for example, and she wore a  cardigan again. I think maybe it was from J crew where the screws are now Yeah. And and it's something that that anybody could wear. Of course, she worked a little better than most people might but but you know, I thought that she was always just spot on in terms of when to wear what. Now in terms of the two dresses. There was one for the state dinner for the president of France and I think it was by Oscar de la Renta. It had black lace bodice and then the most amazing blue taffeta skirt and the color of blue i thought was it's one that stuck with me because I think it's so perfect. And that just seemed to exemplify to me what a first lady should look like, you know, sort of a stereotypical idea but with much more style. It fit the surroundings of the White House perfectly. It was dignified. It was incredibly elegant, but at the same time, it was an old fashioned it wasn't you know it had it had a lot of life and a lot of youth I thought to it and so that was the the one that has stuck with me there. The other one is I think she was presenting an Oscar. And you know she was doing it from the White House from the diplomatic reception room. She had I think Marines behind her. And it was just all silver sequins. And you know, it was incredibly glamorous. And there was it was absolutely Hollywood still perfectly appropriate for a first lady. But I just thought that was such fun and brought so much. I mean, it just brought so much excitement to the White House and the idea of the First Lady which which we hadn't had for a long time. And that's, that's no insult to previous first ladies. It was just that she was able to bring that kind of excitement and glamour to the role did a great



job doing absolutely. Both of those books were definitely iconic. I asked because Michelle was our inspiration for our cover of the little red dress that red.


Jake Gariepy  20:44

Oh really?


Jonathan Joseph  20:44

Yes, the style name of the little red dress is the Michelle. So a little homage to the book is narrated by Michelle, like, the dress, not Obama to get her to do it though she's if she's watching, like call me


Jake Gariepy  21:02

She follows me She follows me. Not really, so.


Jonathan Joseph  21:05

Hey, you never know you got to put it out into the universe. But Michelle is such an inspiring figure for her place within fashion history as a first lady. And I think, you know, when I was thinking like how do we encapsulate this, this quintessential interest that goes on this adventure. And I thought, Oh my gosh, let's let's think about Michelle because the idea of this beautiful gown being debuted by a model inspired by Michelle Obama speaks volumes to the zeitgeist shift in fashion as we move forward into this new century, like we're a decade in okay, but finally, especially post COVID. Again, so many of our conventions in the fashion world that have been toxic, whether it relates to race, racism, body positivity, and dysmorphia, all those things, those are going out the window, we're finally seeing some shifts in that I thought she was a good standard bearer for that message.


Jake Gariepy  21:54

You know, just add another thing that's fun about Michelle Obama is to see her evolution since she's left the White House. And just look at what she wore to the last inauguration, you know, previously and she dressed beautifully and very first lady, you know, sort of style, but when she was at the inauguration with that pantsuit, and with the very wide legs, and you know, she was just showed how how updated that look can be. And I and she's done that on many occasions. So I'm actually I'm working on some drawings that I hope that they'll carry at the Obama library, we'll see when that opens, but she's definitely someone that's fun to fund to draw.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  22:35

Yeah, she's got so many amazing clothes. And I love the focus on American designers out, you know, making less known names, people who are up and coming or people who have been in just below the current for a long time. And, you know, I think that's a beautiful way to be an ambassador for our country and a lovely message.


Jake Gariepy  22:53

And it shows it shows really the importance of what fashion does in terms of diplomacy, and in terms of, you know, being a good ambassador for your country. And I think a lot of people who aren't really that interested in fashion, or the or these people in particular, they'll say, Well, what, who cares about the queen, and especially what she wears, or a First Lady and that sort of thing. But it is such a huge, you can send such a huge message with what you were especially on that level, not just what it looks like, but who created it for you, where you're wearing it specifically how you accessorize it. I mean, a lot of thought is given to that. And that is really tremendously important.


Jonathan Joseph  23:36

Oh, absolutely. We have this conversation quite a bit here at Little Red Fashion because we are very lucky one of our advisors into your gm rova is the wife of our the Czech ambassador to the United States. And she runs our Little Red Fashion little red diplomacy program, because we feel that fashion as a vehicle for diplomacy is not only vital, but it's a really fertile breeding ground that has not yet been really tapped for building bridges of international understanding in the study of international costume by American youth and students and young people, and similarly in the opposite direction. And so, you know, endears organization, diplomacy and fashion that's all a bit it's about it's that intersection that you just spoke about. So I couldn't have been more I think that's another reason subconsciously they here work spoke to me, right. There's an overlap here, we got to get you on the show. And I think you're occupying a really important space in chronicling stuff, especially through your illustrations, again, the style of your illustration, I think there's something to be said for that in chronicling it this way because it becomes much more approachable. And that is the power of, you know, the creative as an intermediary. You know, I often say that at Little Red Fashion. Our job is to create resources like this interview, that broker these sorts of conversations about topics that you know, fashion as lens for them is sometimes undervalued or underseen, or not. even seen by a lot of people at all, many people wouldn't even draw the distinction of the importance of fashion in diplomacy. And I think your art is a great way to do that.


Jake Gariepy  25:08

Oh, thank you. Thanks.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  25:10

Alright, um, one more question. And then Jonathan, you went out there, but Okay, last, I think it was Christmas. Maybe it was a Christmas before you made these lovely paper towels. And I just wanted to tell you, first of all that my daughter's Oh, good, still have them. And she loves me. She's four. She's not the best at coloring. But she's very, very much enjoys that. And I was just wondering, like, how do you how do you create a new product? Like we talked a little bit about the posters, going from illustrations to cards to posters? How did something like that form for you? How does it become real?


Jake Gariepy  25:42

I'm actually really glad you asked that, because this is one of the inspirations that really got me started at the very, very beginning. I went to an exhibition here in Eugene, which Eugene is not known for fashion, as we were talking about before, and there was an exhibition of an illustrator a couple, their name were Elmer and Bertha Hader thing existed in the 20s 30s 40s. They did some book covers for John Steinbeck. And they also did these these things for newspapers and magazines at the time, which were paper dolls. And then they did these things called shadow boxes, where you would have a number of images that you could cut out, and you would take a shoe box, cut a little hole in it that you could look through, cut a hole on top to let light in. And then you'd set up this little arrangement. And inside, I've got one that I did here. This was the greatest thing, but


Jonathan Joseph  26:38

Oh, Holly Golightly.


Jake Gariepy  26:39

Yeah, there, we cut those pieces out, and then you'd put them in a box, and you would look through and it would be sort of a 3d image. Well, that gave me the inspiration to do those, but also to do the paper dolls. So usually, again, it's going back to something in in the past that that has been done that I kind of want to recreate other things, and I, I do a lot of little collections at different times. I mentioned finding that orange pen that I wanted to draw, draw something with. And so I'll get some kind of inspiration like that, well, I just want to draw all of these orange dresses. And so now of course, I can't find them in front of me. But I did have a series of orange dresses worn by by royalty. So all of these different Royals and an individual. So it can be a color that inspires something and brings on a new new product. It can just be anything, whatever. And I'll go through periods where all I will draw is this, you know all draws something orange or particular flower and I just kind of have to go with it. Because that's where the creative energy is at that moment. So


Jonathan Joseph  27:52

I spent five years painting and gold on like paintings that were only gold only involved gold in them. So I fully get it when one color takes over. Sometimes you just gotta let it run its course.


Jake Gariepy  28:02

And it's so fun. It's so fun to see what you can do with one one thing, you know how many different kinds of images it is. It's great fun, that kind of inspiration. Yeah.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  28:13

Jonathan, do you have any before I asked my last one.


Jonathan Joseph  28:16

So I will ask the for the elephant in the room. What is your favorite red dress that you've ever drawn?


Jake Gariepy  28:23

Oh, my favorite red dress that ever dark drunk. It was actually one of Nancy Reagan's. And, you know, she was well no, no, that actually, you know, I wish I would have organized these better because there is one that I absolutely loved. It's not entirely entirely red. It's only partially red. And it belonged to Queen Alexandra. of, of the United Kingdom. George the 7th.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  28:49

She had an incredible wardrobe.


Jake Gariepy  28:51

Yeah. And it was drawing that plaid That was so fun. And then talk about architecture. I mean, the way that this dress was you know constructed and all of them at that time with tremendous amount of architecture, keep everything in order. So that was a lot of fun. I love doing that. But then the second would have been addressed and Nancy Reagan wore think it was by Oscar de la Renta again. He seems to be sort of the First Lady designer, I guess. You know, he gets a lot of yeah


Jonathan Joseph  29:17

Red is his thing his red is very like prolific and patriotic especially for a republican like Nancy Reagan.


Jake Gariepy  29:26

He certainly was. And so and that's another thing I have to be very, you know, I have to be very balanced because I work with all of these presidential libraries. But her some of her clothes were particularly fun, fun to draw. Yeah,


Rachel Elspeth Gross  29:41

she had a great era and there's something to be said for all of them. But, um, so we always like to close with this. If you are going to be speaking to a kid or to an adult who had a creative child and you're going to give advice, what would you recommend? Something you heard yourself that resonates? Did something you wish you'd heard? What's your,


Jake Gariepy  30:02

I think, to the kid to any and I have a lot of kids myself, so I can speak both the parent and and is, what am I telling a child? I think all of us, regardless of our age think that there is an answer to the question of how do I get ahead? How can I be successful? And we have this idea that this answer is just out of reach for us, you know, we hear all of these things, don't give up, keep trying, failure is success, because you're still moving ahead and learning. All of those cliches are absolutely true, there is no one secret that anyone out there is going to be able to give you to make you successful. I mean, there's a lot of luck sometimes and all of that sort of thing. But once you get those cliches down, keep working hard, keep trying, you know, experiment, try new ways of doing things. Spend more time doing than asking more time, working on your art working on what you really love to do, than asking others how to get ahead because there is no secret. And I'm still I mean, I'm way down on the food chain, so to speak, I have a lot further that I want to go. And I have to do exactly the same thing. So I really recommend that. For parents, I would just say if your child shows an interest in something, even if it's something you're not interested in, be excited. Don't Don't pigeonhole your kids don't decide, even sort of in your own mind, what they're going to be what they should be how they should do things, they're probably going to do the opposite. And that's, that's often a good thing. I have one daughter, and she's my oldest, and I have seven sons, now, seven sons, and what do I do that, you know, they joke, joke that I can draw, my dad draws First Lady dresses, and they've always been really supportive of that, and that kind of thing. But they've had interests that are very different than mine. And I just love it, I support it and want them to find what they love to do. The last piece of advice I'd give and this one I think is really important. It's still something I'm learning and takes a while to learn is that there's not necessarily a right way to do things. I mean, there are correct principles of drawing and illustrating and fashion and all of that kind of thing. And that's important. But sometimes I'll be drawing something and I'll look at it and say, I don't think I'm doing that, right. And then I'd look at it differently. And I say, this is how I want to do it. This is my vision of it. That makes it right, right for me anyway. And if others like it, I hope they do. But kind of free yourself of that that constraint that there's only one or a correct way to do things. And that's how you have to do it. Just enjoy what you're doing.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  32:57

And it should be fun, we talk a lot about this. The best work is the kind of work that feels like play. It's the kind where even if it's always an hours and days and days labor, you really love it. And it means something to you. I think we all do better work. And we're in love with it, or at least in batch.


Jake Gariepy  33:12

Absolutely. Absolutely.


Jonathan Joseph  33:15

Yeah, I couldn't agree more. Yeah, I think, you know, throughout these interviews, it's been really nice to see just how many of our guests have really doubled down on on this really important core narrative, at least for parents, which is, was that empowerment, you know, and caretakers, let me let me zoom out even just from parents, but if you have kids in your life, whether it's an uncle, or whatever, empowering them to take up space, and let give them the license to explore through creative play. You can't go wrong with that. And although god bless you eight kids, that's a lot of there's a lot of work.


Jake Gariepy  33:55

Yeah, it is, it was, but you just brought up something really important though, too, is not just parents, it can be the uncle, it can be the aunt, it can be you know, the neighbor, if you have kids in your life, and, and you see that they're enthusiastic about something, and you know, just encourage them, support them, praise them. Because that's just such a, it's so exciting when either for me as an individual or me looking at my kids to have something that you're really excited about in your life. And that's how I think you're going to have the best, whether it's your career or just your your hobby, it's how you're going to enjoy things.


Jonathan Joseph  34:31

Absolutely. Especially for kids that, you know, I find this in a lot of my conversations with fashion professionals who say, you know, my, my parents didn't support that I wanted to go into fashion, they didn't understand what they didn't get it It didn't like that's not a career is a very common thing. You know, and I think one of the reasons I'm very careful to try to be with my language in terms of caretaker versus parent and pigeonholing is because so many of us, myself included, weren't nurtured in our you know, interest in fashion in The way that we maybe should have been or wanted to have been when we were kids, the big impetus, I always tell people that I'm just making the stuff I wish that I had had was the, you know, the uncles, the kid, the older cousins, who saw that interest that my parents didn't quite understand would be like, oh, here's an issue of Vogue, or here, do you want to talk about this thing. And it was like those little things or even though my parents weren't nest didn't get it, other adults in my life stepped in, and they got it. And they saw that, and that was super important. And I think providing those tools and those opportunities is what we're here to do at Little Red Fashion, which is why conversations like this are so important.


Jake Gariepy  35:36

I think that's great. And, and as a parent, you don't have to get it, who cares, you get it. Just be excited. Your kid is into something interesting, creative, different. I mean, that's just, that's the exciting part of being a parent is seeing all of that. So I guess I come I have a slightly different view than a lot of parents do have.


Jonathan Joseph  35:55

Yeah, I grew up in a first generation, my father's first generation Iranian, you know, and so it was very that sort of old school school of thought, which you can't really fault them for, for, you know, especially for the children of immigrant parents, I find this very common narrative. And a lot of it boils down to their mindset is survival, survival, survival, do better for my kid. And then if it's, oh, you're not gonna be a doctor. But the stability, where's the stability, and that's them with that mindset. And so, I again, that's why I always say, we're brokers here at Little Red Fashion, our job is to create the tools to broker these conversations and make them easier for families and grownups and kids to have.


Jake Gariepy  36:32

Well, I hope the pandemic showed us that there is really no such thing as stability and reliability, even in the most stable and reliable things in life. I think some of those people who who chose the different path, the path wasn't stable, that wasn't reliable, the people that made their own kind of opportunities. I think they're doing in some cases better. Because they're, they have learned to be very adaptable, and and how to make opportunities for themselves. I don't want to put anybody down. Don't Don't think I'm doing that. But I think that, you know, the idea of stability is, it's just an idea nowadays.


Jonathan Joseph  37:15

Adaptability is muscle you have, you know, you gotta you got to exit just like anything else. And the muscle memory of adaptability is definitely, definitely important. Right, which, you know, to tie it into illustration, I'll say this, as a painter kids, if you're watching, change up your surface material with what I used to do as like a speed run exercise, is I would have like one piece of computer paper, then some vellum, that's and I would layer different substrates, and then go through a bunch of drawings and the rapid shift of style, I'd have to pick a different tool really quickly. But I would give it a time limit, and then go through the stack of whatever the different surfaces was. Yeah,


Jake Gariepy  37:54

Yeah. Great idea.


Rachel Elspeth Gross  37:57

Jake, thank you so much. I really am so glad that you're able to find some time to talk with us today. absolutely lovely. And we're so glad to have you here.


Jake Gariepy  38:05

Thanks. This has been great fun.


Jonathan Joseph  38:07

Oh so glad. Thank you so much.


Jake Gariepy  38:09

It's great to meet both of you.


Jonathan Joseph  38:09

And thank you so much, Rachel for another another wonderful Little Red Village interview and thank you to our saucy viewers for joining us this Thursday for our latest Little Red Village. I can do that and make sure that you tune in next week for another one here at Little Red Fashion and if you haven't yet, go preorder your digital copy of a little red dress at Little Red fashion.com Bye bye

Jonathan Joseph


Little Red Fashion Creator and CEO Jonathan Joseph is a fashion loving visionary & consultant who's loved fashion since childhood. After consulting in the luxury space for a bit, he was inspired to write The Little Red Dress. From there he realized kids who love fashion lack the same level of targeted resources from books to tech that their peers who love music or sports have had for ages. Our entire vision is dedicated to his mom, Margaret, who started his love of fashion as a kid looking for unique socks to cover his leg braces!


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