Myah wears Vintage top, Accessories Felipe Tascon, Maison Martin Margiela Split Toe Red Leather High Heel Tabi, Skirt Comme des Garcons.
Being seventeen is hard. The hormones running rampant throughout one’s teenage years is enough by itself to tend with. Could you imagine adding on the ambition and pressure of trying to become the next rising star in fashion? Welcome to Myah Hasbany’s world.
Myah has set in her footprint in the Dallas fashion world over the past year and change. She’s operated a boutique in the basement of LuluB’s, where she offers to shoppers anarchistic reworkings of vintage clothing, ranging from the baroque to the bandit aesthetic. Now she has her eyes set on creating her own line and fashion show to boot, both slated for fall 2019.
I sat down with her to talk about her upcoming line, the transition to becoming a full fledged designer, and the struggles that come with being a young, creative phenom.
Dylan: How are you doing?
Myah Hasbany: I’m good.
DK: A little hot? (the studio we were in had giant windows where the sun was beaming inside.)
MH: Yes! A little hot in all this black, but I’m good.
DK: Great. Well, to start, congratulations on getting through the school year. Do you have any “regular teenager” summer plans?
MH: If making a fashion show and learning how to sew in three months is “regular teenager” plans, then yes, most definitely.
DK: I actually remember the first time I saw your boutique, down at the basement of LuluB’s (local Dallas vintage store). I’m not much of a vintage shopper so I was just wandering around, when I saw this elegant ball-gown with all of this punky embroidery and imagery. It was so chaotic and beautiful and badass.
MH: Yeah, I’ve always had a sort of violence and anger that I need to get out and express through art. It’s winded through different paths and narratives, from raging out to punk music in my room, to fucking up ball gowns, to now learning to make my own clothes. But from the start its always been about putting my energy into something and using that to create something else.
DK: Probably a more constructive way to air out that frustration than punching your pillow or getting speeding tickets.
MH: (laughs) Yes definitely.
DK: What’s been your biggest transition from reworking vintage clothing to now producing it from scratch?
MH: The trial and error process is a whole different world than just working with vintage clothes. But it’s much more rewarding. I can try all these different things and make something from nothing basically, and it can look like a pile of garbage and I’ll just think “wow, this is awesome!” while everyone is like “this looks terrible!” but it’s still so gratifying. It’s just so much more fun to DO it, to try it and hate it and fail and experiment, than to be stuck in the same box I was in reworking clothes. Which was still great! And I’m glad people liked it and enjoyed what I did, but I needed to branch out and do something different, for me.
DK: Fulfillment for any artist is important I think. Or striving towards that fulfillment.
MH: Yeah! For me, it’s about putting my soul into something, which I know sounds really cringy and pretentious, but it’s true! I need to put parts of my soul into these things I make, cause sometimes it’s just too much inside, you know? It can be too much, to have everything you feel inside. So I break off those pieces that are becoming too much and put them into whatever I create, not just for everyone else out there, but for me too.
DK: Tell me more about the fashion show you have planned. How’d that come about?
MH: The idea really started in my math class, watching Alexander McQueen shows on my computer. Thinking about guys like him and Rick Owens, how they can make these shows that really double as performance art, and just became really inspired by those shows. Eventually I just decided, “I want to do that. I’m a child, but I want to do that.” (laughs) So from there, it was just learning how to sew, which I kind of had knowledge of, but really fine-tuning it and REALLY learning to. So I just sat down for three months and tried and tried and tried until I could.
DK: What are some of the influences you had going into making the show?
MH: The theory of the “uncanny valley” really interested me and I feel like is more relevant now than it has ever been. The theory has been around awhile, but it’s essentially the gap between what is human and what is machine, and how big or small that gap or “valley” is. Like these robots that are being made to be so humanesque and life-like, and how uncomfortable it is how close they are to being alive, but they’re not?
It’s so fascinating to me how that thought process can carry over to everything from film to psychology to just our everyday lives. With technology and phones growing the way they are with us, I feel like people are less like “people” now more than any point in history.
I wanted to mirror that closing gap between man and machine with the clothes and how I could incorporate different elements and materials.
Like how I can make this out of silicone? What if I added resin here? What if I added silicone and resin? Is it sculpture or is it clothing? Just blurring that line between what is and isn’t clothing and mirroring it to that “uncanny valley” we experience almost every day.
DK: How has it been working in the fashion and creative fields inside Dallas at such a young age? Did you feel a need to integrate yourself into certain circles, or were you more comfortable doing your own thing?
MH: I’ve definitely surrounded myself with the right, good, creative people to grow around. Dallas creatively is a very collaborative place, and I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me and vice versa.
Plus, going to an art school and being around creatives all day and seeing how they work comparative to me, it creates a really positive environment. But honestly, here’s the thing that I’m fully ready to admit: when you’re young and doing something in the arts, there’s a certain amount of novelty around it.
Like, when you’re 15 and doing these sort of alright oil paintings, it’s a lot more impressive than if you were 25 doing the same work. People are more inclined to give you the time of day and the resources to succeed when you’re young more so than later down the line.
DK: People love a child prodigy.
MH: They do! And that’s what’s been kind of hard for me to think about. As I go along and get older, I can’t help but think things like, “this would’ve been way more impressive when I was 15,” like my work loses impact the older I get or something. So I’ve been pushing myself to work and work every day, because there has to be some 14 year old doing the same thing I’m doing.
DK: Does that age countdown put added pressure on you? Do you work best that way, with your back against the wall of time?
MH: Oh, I have to be working, all the time. I already have severe anxiety, and yeah, I can’t deny the age thought is in the back of my head and contributes. It’s just about using what time I have and making the most of it and constantly working. Just trying something and doing it.
Follow Myah on Instagram: @myahhasbany
Photography Roger Gallegos
Interview Dylan Kennemur