Morgan Widmer, a fashion design student at West Virginia University and previous intern for The Creative Cookie is in the midst of creating her largest collection yet. She recently helped Lesley Ware to create her book, 101 Ways to Love Your Style, and wrote a cookbook of her own. She is a believer in fashion as a form of self-care and incorporates it, not only into what she wears every day but also for the people who wear her designs. She said, “With my designs, I like to think that they offer the wearer an escape into a dreamland or an imagination land where they can feel free to be creative and have fun and play.” Morgan’s view on fashion is inspiring to so many, and hopefully, her view will be one to make the fashion world a more sustainable and beautiful place.
Continue reading to hear more of Morgan’s growing experience in the fashion industry and how she incorporates fashion into her life as self-care. Make sure to check out her Instagram, @morganwidmer, to follow her on her fashion journey.
CC: Tell me a bit about yourself. What do you do? Where are you from?
MW: I am from Buckhannon, West Virginia but I go to WVU (West Virginia University). I’m a fashion design student in my senior year but I don’t do a lot right now other than my senior collection. I also have written a cookbook, Easy Yummies for Vegan Tummies, because I love to cook.
CC: Why are you studying fashion?
MW: I first decided in high school that I wanted to study fashion because I just loved being creative and I always loved art classes and I also loved clothes so it seemed really fun to me. I was going to do physical therapy as a safe career but it sounded miserable. I shadowed a physical therapist and thought, “I can’t do this. I have to do something that actually means something to me.” I was really encouraged to keep doing fashion because of how terrible the fashion industry is and I wanted to help make a change.
CC: How did you find out about The Creative Cookie? How long have you been partnering/working with Lesley?
MW: I found out about Lesley through my professor Beth who found out about her through a friend to do a remote internship because no in-person internships were happening last summer. So, I interned with her over the summer working on her book, 101 Ways to Love Your Style. I am working with her now on another book.
CC: Tell me about some of your designs. What are some of your greatest accomplishments in your work?
MW: I am working on my senior collection right now so that is the biggest design project I have done. I actually just entered a pitch competition with my designs and made it to the finals!
CC: Tell me a bit about your final collection.
MW: My final collection is called “Dessert Before Dinner” and I actually wrote a blurb that can explain it better than I can: “Dessert Before Dinner serves as an exercise to extend the imagination rather than thinking so logically all the time. It questions norms and exists to encourage others to do so as well. Then life begins to feel a little different- more fun, free and inspired. Why can’t you wear a scarf as a skirt or a fork as a necklace? Why do shoes have to match and why can’t you eat dessert before dinner? Maybe you can.”
I use scraps to make all of my designs so I source them from FABSCRAP in New York and they source textile waste from designers that would otherwise be put in the landfills. I also like to use the scraps of my scraps to make bags and stuff so I’m all about sustainability in my designs and I like to use natural dyes.
CC: What is something you wish you could tell young girls who want to study fashion?
MW: I have found that the most important part of fashion and designing collections is truly bringing what’s inside of yourself and putting it into your work to make it completely original. It can be really hard to find that like what is actually the aesthetic within yourself. I think it’s harder, in the long run, to just compare yourself to others. But, you won’t really get far doing that so I think it’s important to definitely stay true to yourself. And, to have fun!
CC: What inspires you and your creations?
MW: I am often inspired by vintage films, surrealism, other kinds of art, and, particularly, my grandad’s art. He was an artist and an architect and so I’m inspired by a lot of the colors that he used.
CC: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? How do you think the things you are creating right now will help you achieve those goals?
MW: I get really stressed out when I think about the future and I used to think about the future a lot so I’ve tried to not actually have a plan but to just try my hardest and what I’m doing in the moment and see where it takes me. I think that what I’m doing right now is what I will be doing in 10 years in the sense that I’m pouring myself into my work and doing what I love to do.
CC: What is your idea of “fashion as self-care” and why?
MW: I think that the clothes you put on your body can really set the mood for your day and your life. With my designs, I like to think that they offer the wearer an escape into a dreamland or an imagination land where they can feel free to be creative and have fun and play. For me, I like to wear a lot of colors and kind of play around with all kinds of things because I think it’s fun. I definitely make my day different when I’m wearing an outfit that is fun and I feel like I curated rather than just something boring.