When she’s not busy making latte art and caramel macchiatos as a barista, Starry Richard of StarBone Designs, is working long hours behind the sewing machine getting her collection runway ready for Indiana Fashion Week.
Growing up, fashion for Starry was nothing more than her older brothers hand me downs. This doesn’t mean though, that there was never a passion or interest for fashion at her young age. Her conservative upbringing discouraged the exploration of “…what was fashionable or what wasn’t fashionable…”
According to her father, fashion was just a “…bunch of men out there trying to make women look like sluts.” Although a rather abrasive, generalistic consensus of the industry, he isn’t entirely wrong in his critique, which is why Starry’s only available source for fashion exploration was designing clothes for her baby dolls when she was seven years old.
During her highschool years, Starry began to dabble in costuming, which in turn led her to become interested in historical dress, which she believes influences some of her designs, stating “…historical clothing just has such a big impact on what we wear today in different ways.”
“…historical clothing just has such a big impact on what we wear today in different ways.”
Although it took awhile after her graduation, Starry went from a “small town” Georgia girl, to a city- living Californian. She credits that “detox” from the Midwest as the initial source of her revelation that led her to find her true passion in life, and ultimately helping her discover the kind of designer she wanted to be.
Starry’s big break was when she got a job with a bespoke tailor five years ago. She went from designing clothing for herself, to being able to alter and design for others in a professional setting, proving her years of baby doll design worthwhile.
Being able to empower people is one of the biggest reasons she loves being able to make garments. According to Starry, “…taking on the world is a big deal. And I want to be able to help people do that.” And speaking like a true fashion designer, she stated “..but actually, I really love the process of it.” Priding herself as being a problem solver, the process of picking out fabrics, along with the intricacy of pattern making, and putting all the pieces together, for her, is like “…solving a puzzle.”
Funnily enough, the problem solver was stumped when asked how she would describe her fashion in 1 word. Possibly because of her expansive, historical fashion knowledge, it was difficult to pinpoint specifically, a single word that encapsulates her aesthetic. After abandoning the 1 word limit, Starry was able to settle on “…sophisticated bohemian.”, citing her use of bright textiles and her interest in drawing on vintage clothes as the reasoning.
Despite the difficulty in defining her style, Starry feels as if her designs now are what she wanted them to be when she was younger. According to Starry, “I’m not going to design something that I would never wear.” But when it comes to inspirations behind those designs, she loves old fashion illustrations, old plates, and basically the world around her, gives her the inspirations that drive her to create.
“Just keep trying.”
Our conversation then moved to her opinion on the future of fashion, not just in Indiana, but worldwide. Starry stated how she believes “…the face of the fashion industry is changing.” because of the ever growing world of social media. Starry expressed how indie and small scale brands now have free platforms to share their designs with the entire world, completely changing the way we think about, observe, and consume fashion. With the increased exposure to niche fashion aesthetics, people will begin to explore more, which will lead to a trend of more “individualism.”
Despite never going to school for, and formally studying fashion design, Starry is a fully capable designer with a few words of well informed advice for aspiring designers, “Just keep trying.” Starry may know the advice is cliche, but she is the perfect representation for the motto. From being discouraged from exploring her passion as a child, being filled with self-doubt from her lack of education while pursuing a career in an incredibly intimidating industry, and having to learn everything herself through real world experience, trial and error, she can now say she is a fashion week designer who absolutely knows what she is talking about. She believes everyone is meant to be creative, design, play music, and follow their passions, as “…chasing that is so important.”
My time with Starry was filled with laughs, and sincere, honest dialogue. Her cat couldn’t even resist jumping in the frame and joining us to discuss her life, not just as a designer, but as a person. To say we are excited, would be an understatement.
If you would like to keep up with Starry on her Instagram, here is the link: https://www.instagram.com/starbone_designs/