Amber and I both hail from Sacramento, California. It’s more or less kind of near where both of us grew up, it’s where we first bonded (at a fortuitous Chk Chk Chk show at Harlow’s in 2008), but even though we’ve also spent time together in LA, Baltimore, Atlantic City, New York and Chicago, as far as our friendship is concerned, our hometown is Tucson, Arizona.
There’s nothing that compares to a walk down the middle of a dimly lit Barrio Viejo street, past the glowing windows of familiar pastel adobes and onto the wax hardened earth that leads to the sweet flame flickering of the wishing shrine. My heart swells just to think of it.
As wanderlusters must stay true to their nature, we both eventually moved away, but the desert beckons us back so often that we have a designated Interstate 10 only playlist and favorite rest stops.
When Amber and I traversed that dusty desert highway for what seemed like the hundredth time last October, I was determined and a little nervous. I was showing my first work in over two years at Tucson Fashion Week. I had given up designing in late 2012 and spend the last two years missing it painfully. But here I was and luckily I had my best friend at my side backstage to keep me calm and hydrated as I frantically hand sewed in zippers and tried not to get stepped on.
Actually, had it not been for Amber, I wouldn’t have been there at all. On a balmy April night at The Coronet on our previous visit, she’d called up a good friend and together they talked me into it. I was a little drunk when I agreed, but I kept my word. I’d spent the last two years creatively floundering and wondering what I should make instead of clothes. I struggled with this question for far too long. Answer? Nothing. I should make clothes.
I showed my now retired line, Sapphire Cordial, at the very first Tucson Fashion Week in 2010, so it was only appropriate that I let the warmth of my desert city ease me back into the world I love, under a new nom de plume, Yearling. An animal in its second year.
May I present “Leilani”, designed by Jamaica Cole, unveiled in Tucson, shot in Sacramento, dedicated to Amber Flynn.
Model Leslie Hoffeditz. Photos by Nicholas Avey. Hair by Deeda Salon. Makeup by Leslie Hoffeditz.