fashion and the falling whistles inspiring the beginning of changes for this one.

Two weeks ago I neglected much of my school work each day to pour energy into a design that had burned itself through my hand onto a page of my sketch book. Demanding that it be made (and made well…) for a competition I had heard of just the day before, I was resolved to take on the work to give it a form. The finished result I am proud of and secured my award in the student evening wear division–which is exciting! Waking up that morning I was selfishly centered on my spotlight on the runway for the Fashion Group International FACE (fashion and creative enterprises) Business Symposium. What a day though. The fashion show was a light dessert at the end of a six-course meal, with the largest dish being served right before. I would like to introduce and attempt to capture the inspiration of Sean Carasso and Falling Whistles.

First Carasso’s outfit was awesome: a classic denim jacket over a plain black tee hanging over the top of pale grey skinny jeans that were tucked into black combat boots. He had flown in specifically for FACE from Los Angeles and would be leaving shortly after his speech. Open introduction video and the audience hushed as piano music played, words flashing on the Denver Art Museum blank white wall. “This story begins with wanderlust. A need for adventure.” And what an adventure that led Carasso and his traveling buddies to find their path to help “young boys sent to the frontlines of war armed with only a whistle.” The frontlines are those of the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the middle of this rainforest Carasso and his friends endowed themselves as press and interviewed politicians, warlords, rebels, parents, and the children to understand why countless young ones were being beaten and given guns and forced to kill; or, if too small to carry and shoot the metal weapon would fall with their weapons of metal whistles around their necks. Did you get that?? Well I will repeat it anyway: As concerned men they sought out and spoke to several of the people who were fighting the war itself: politicians, rebels, leaders, parents. And they came out with information…and alive! How impossibly incredible is that! Using conversation to find the answer and asking questions to understand. Continue reading to find where it led, how has inspired me, in Colorado from the Congo (via California).

“Connections are not to be underestimated,” he had said as he told of his experience traveling northward on the enormous continent of Africa. The journey began when TOM’s Shoes traveled to South Africa to give away shoes equaling the amount they had sold during their first year of sales. About 50,000 pairs. Putting a brand new shoe onto the feet of a person that had not had solid protection on their soles was not about the charity aspect to Carasso. It was the crossed paths of two strangers that would not have otherwise met. Carasso also said that “fashion is the most expressive community in the world.” To which I agree. Fashion is not only about trends and the capitols fighting for fashion week coverage. It is also about statements and moving causes and conversations to inform in many creative and explicative ways–more than a color palette or ridiculously overdone dresses.

As Advocates for Peace, wearing the whistle around your neck sparks conversation [conversation-conversation-conversation-conversation]. ‘What’s the whistle for?…What’s going on in Congo?’ And the foundation works from the US to the local level in Congo. The people rehabilitating the children are native, speak their language and understand their culture. No Americans over there. It is important for the team at Falling Whistles to be the silent partner and for those closest to the children to make the difference. Connections. With people, with information, with the children and standing with people like Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Gwenyth Paltrow as advocates. All through a whistle that is a weapon for some, a voice for others. Be a whistleblower for peace in Congo. (Thank you Carol for putting Sean across my path.)

[Pictures cut from Falling Whistles’ introductory video, found at]

[Quotes and information from Fashion Group International FACE Business Symposium keynote address, Sean Carasso Denver, CO October 9, 2010]


~ by theroomfor on October 10, 2010.

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