• Autumn

EDITOR'S LETTER: THE LAST DANCE

Dearest Couturesquies,

First and foremost, I hope you are taking care of yourself during this unprecedented crisis. Mentally, physically, and emotionally, this period is leaving no one unaffected. So my deepest thoughts are with you, no matter how this crisis has touched you and those you love.

It is with the fullest heart that I announce that this is the last post for Couturesque. Our website will remain archived, but after six incredible and formative years (and a long, unexpected pause), the publication's run has come to an end.

In many ways, ending Couturesque feels like the end of an era. When Tia started this publication back in 2014, the space for young fashion and beauty creatives was one of little substance, where we were talked down to, asked to be a glossy and polished version of adolescents, frequently stereotyped, and seen essentially as a homogenous monolith of "artsy girls" who would rather talk how-to's, DIY's, and quizzes rather than really discuss, learn, and participate in active discussions on trends, the industry, and culture. Couturesque was one of the pioneers in the wave of young, teen driven, independent websites solely dedicated to speaking to and being voiced by a previously untapped market. The cult-like community of wildly talented folks Couturesque has had the power to bring together is one I honestly think few websites have the ability to facilitate anymore within the current digital climate.

"Couturesque defined five of the most formative years of my life, chaperoning me into college, adulthood, and something like self-actualisation. When I began the website — from my bedroom, aged 15, shy, awkward, and looking for a distraction from the pains of high school — I never dreamt what a personally generative experience this would be; I imagined what I hoped the website would look like and who I might someday get to work with or interview if we were successful, but I could not have foreseen what kinds of bonds I would forge with the staff, what insights I would gain into pertinent social issues/movements, and how brave I would become through the passion, vulnerability, and hard work that the magazine demanded. I had hoped that Couturesque would expand the conversation being had about young people in fashion journalism — that it would inject more critical thinking and awareness of gender, race, class, sexuality, and sustainability into an industry polluted (quite literally) by exclusion and capitalist greed; though the industry has a very long way to go, these ideas have become far more mainstream than they were when we began. Magazines like Teen Vogue have since come to see their readers as more intelligent, thoughtful, and ethically-minded, and I don’t see think it is a coincidence that our publication did so first, and made it our mantra! Though Couturesque grew in size, we stayed down-to-earth and DIY; we were a small team with big ideas and big dreams. What could make for a more beautiful legacy?"

- Tia Elisabeth Glista, Founder

Making an engine like Couturesque run smoothly, at a level that you as the reader deserve, is truthfully a difficult task. Our small staff, and the incredibly talented contributors and guest creatives, have been the lifeblood of Couturesque for the past six years; powering it on a volunteer basis solely on passion, dedication, and drive. For most of us, Couturesque entered our journeys at a point while we were in school, probably just like you, where we were exploring our passions, searching for a like-minded community, and yearning to hone our skills and crafts. Now, many of us have entered the next phase of life, passions are evolving, BAs morph into MFAs, internships and entry level jobs are giving way to careers in sight. The start of a new era.

Couturesque has been a part of my life for half a decade. Through this time, I've grown as a thinker, a consumer, a creative, a writer, but moreover as a person, a woman, and a friend. I was given the opportunity to explore my voice, discover and cultivate my ground, and collaborate with a group of endlessly talented creatives - each who have left an indelible mark on the legacy of Couturesque.

"I was a determined 16-year-old boy who had big dreams of entering the fashion world, yet felt disoriented and trapped in Math class, when I started writing at Couturesque — the beginning of my career. Although I didn’t know what the term 'writer’s voice' meant exactly back then, this magazine helped me finding it and encouraged me to use it for denouncing issues: not only did we talk about trends and built style guides, but we delved into the fashion industry’s main deficiencies in the hope for change. Belonging to this zealous family of clever young individuals shaped me into an insightful journalist, and the years at Couturesque will always be remembered with sheer joy. I’d like to congratulate the team for empowering a generation of responsive, conscious youngsters, and warmest thanks to all of our readers who supported the avant-garde pieces. Keep being unique, tackling stereotypes and bringing the world's problems to its knees."

- Ian Cavazos, frm. Senior Fashion Features Contributor

To everyone who has shared their talents, gifts, and craft through their writing, art, and imagery on Couturesque, claiming your space, speaking on valuable topics, and making us all feel inspired; making Couturesque smarter, a cut above, and more individual - thank you. Every essay, article, interview, collage, illustration, video, and editorial has been such a blessing.

Thank you to the Couturesque family - staff of present and past. You know who you are - each and every one of you are so creative, individual, and overflowing with talent. I am beyond, beyond, beyond grateful for getting to know you, work with you, and call you peers. Thank you for being Couturesque's voices and faces and hearts and souls. I know for a fact that your futures are bright. And thank you endlessly to Tia, for whom this whole thing would not exist if not for.

"Couturesque was an amazing way for me to put my thoughts into words about the topics I was passionate about, and really helped during my studies at the London College of Fashion. I started working on the site when I was 17 (I'm now 24. Whaaaaat???). If you told me then that I would go to New York City and hang out with our former EIC Tia, I would have laughed. I've formed great friendships from this site and will be forever grateful for my time with Couturesque."

- Xenia Klein, frm. Fashion Editor

Couturesque was an amazing way for me to put my thoughts into words about topics I was passionate about and really helped during my studies at London College of Fashion. I started working on the site when I was 17 (I'm now 24 whaaaaat) and if you told me then that I would be go to New York City and hang out with our former EIC Tia I would have laughed. I've formed great friendships from this site and will be forever grateful for my time with Couturesque.

Lastly (but never, never least), thank you to you, reading this last dance, for choosing to support, subscribe, and find yourself in this little passion project; for sharing, connecting, interacting, listening to both us and each other. We hope you found a bit of yourself here, what ever that may be. My goal when I first became Editor In Chief was "to continue to make this space a home-away-from-home, filled with friends excited to teach, learn, support, hype, and share with you all." I hope I kept that promise to you. This is the end of a thrilling chapter. The end of an era. Thank you, again, for joining us on this ride.

All the love,

Autumn Breeze

Editor in Chief

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