We did it! The MONOCHROME Collection was a HIT. 23 looks came to life in a lovely cohesive collection and graced the runway.
My journey started in April 2023. I was able to pay for my 8pm time slot in the show to take place in Eastern Market. I knew that the fabrics had to be printed with my signature print - Love Your Self - which is a grid of graffiti hearts with the inherent message to Love Yourself. I designed the entire collection around their theme of Black & White. I did this as a creative challenge as I love color but wanted to play with the contrast between Black & White. It has also been a dream of mine to bring my gemstone body jewelry to the runway. I was able to fund raise for most of the materials for this collection thanks to the generosity of people in my circle, The CITRINE TANGERINE MONOCHROME COLLECTION was born.
I have to emphasize how much time went into screen printing each yard of fabric. I used a small screen with a graphic about the size of 5"x7" of the Love Your Self Hearts which was drawn by me and sent to Ocelot Print Shop to be burned onto a screen. The process is pretty cool. You take ink, spread it onto the screen then pull it across the graphics with a squeegee. Essentially you do that over and over again across the fabric. Because I was doing this work in my kitchen the fabrics had to be folded in half long ways, printed on one side, let dry, flipped, then printed on the other side. If I wanted to do more than one layer this whole process had to be repeated. This takes hours and even days to complete.
The jewelry was all made with my two hands exactly how I've done for the last several years. I decided to work with Onyx & Howlite first then as the vision evolved I added lava stone, rainbow obsidian, snowflake obsidian and Rhodonite. I used brass and copper wire but mostly brass. Every model wore a bracelet that connected to a ring. This tied the jewelry of the collection together and is a piece of jewelry I sell all the time. I really wanted to celebrate the body with lots of adornments, large beads, and body jewels that contour. If I had more time and resources, I'd have made extravagantly elaborate body jewels to wear with no clothing!
The two body jewels I am most excited about in the collection are the beaded fringe belt made with paperclip chain & onyx wrapped in brass and the leather belt, made by Craig, that connects to the ankles with long strands of brass wire wrapped snowflake obsidian. The fringe skirt took the most amount of time. The obsidian belt was the look I was most excited about making.
The introduction of pink was added when my friend, Kali, took her own life at the end of April. The news of this happening rocked my world. She was such a vibrant, creative, outspoken and passionate person. I miss her so much. The last time I saw her we went to the DIA to take photos and view art together. Before that we took photos with the color theme of Green & Pink. She wanted to help me promote my jewelry and this set of photos absolutely helped me sell pieces. If you know me, you know I'm not a fan of pink but she made me appreciate this color. The photo session we did together inspired me to lean into pink. When I learned that I'd never see her face again, forage for or trade plants again, spend time together again, I was shattered. I can not believe this happened and could not come to terms with it. During the grieving for this loss, pink came to mind. I just knew that I had to honor her life with pink. It just had to be part of the collection. You always spoke up about my creative ventures. You always supported me and my business. I'm grateful for our time together and wish we had more.
When it came time to cut fabrics I wanted to make patterns. I started with the first pattern I've ever made, The wrap dress. I made the first edition of this hand sewn dress for my dear friend Zoe. This is the dress that made me long to do a fashion show in the first place. I jumped off from there. I started with a black cotton, printed with white hearts then made an inverse version with a white scuba, printed with black hearts. The white dress has inseam pockets. Both of these dresses are hand stitched from start to finish. These fabrics are from Discount Fabric and Joann.
From there I patterned out a high waist legging and a comfy jogger. The first two pairs of these pants were sewn by Jessica May who I've previously collaborated with on a show we did during NYFW for Small Boutique Fashion Week in February of 2018. The leggings were made of spandex & polyester fabrics printed with dark silver hearts and the comfy joggers were also a white scuba with black hearts printed paired with a chunky knit sweater. The comfy joggers feature an inseam pocket. Next I patterned two different sizes of a pleated trouser, one black with white print and the other white with black print both with inseam pockets. I created simple bandeau tie tops or turtle neck crop tops to go with the different kinds of pants.
From here the collection kicked off strong. I hand stitched three more dresses. One White stretch cotton with black print A-line t-shirt dress with inseam pockets. Another black dress with white kimono sleeves printed with silver hearts. The third a black stretch cotton with silver heart prints and inseam pockets. After these were created I popped onto the sewing machine myself to finish up the rest of the 23 looks of garments for the collection.
Photography by Kyla Preissner
With this collection I wanted to hit all the different street wear moments. I moved into a beach theme creating a bikini which had a textured slinky cover up and howlite heart beaded top. I made a jump suit with an open back and howlite adjustable beaded ties on black flannel backed satin printed with white hearts.
At some point I had the inspiration to introduce graffiti fabrics into the collection. What is a street wear collection without graffiti? I asked a friend who is a local artist and who is really into graffiti to spray paint two kinda of fabric with fabric spray paint. He painted white stretch cotton and shiny flannel backed satin. The white stretch cotton was turned into a bandeau top paired with a pair of joggers made from the black flannel backed satin. More of the white graffiti fabric was used on the sleeves of a floor length dress with black stretch cotton suit fabric. Another turtle neck was made with the white graffiti fabric paired with a floor length maxi skirt made from the same slinky materials as the beach cover up. I am in love with the floor length graffiti sleeve dress.
More of the white was used in the paneled look which featured all the fabrics in the collection sewn together. This was a look featuring a zip up skirt the pink fabric with black print, the flannel backed satin, and just about every other fabric seen in the collection. Probably on my top five looks from the collection.
The pink print popped on black sweatshirt fleece sweat pants, another pair of even higher waist leggings, Pink scuba with white and black printed hearts, and rhodonite jewels. I loved how the floor length pink dress with black print turned out. The pink printed sweats & sweat shirt are a HUGE hit. And several pink turtle neck crop tops were created. A second zip up A-line skirt featuring the pink appeared in the collection paired with a cute cinched bandeau top worn with a white knit hat.
Over all I am thrilled that I was able to make 23 unique street wear looks happen for my first collection. I could not be more proud to say that I created these pieces without manufacturing anything. The chunky knits were created by my talented sister Susan. The leather belts we created by my partner Craig.
Photography by Kyla Preissner
Another one of the first dresses I made was this hand stitched tube dress that was surged & hemmed with a sewing machine. Made with the same printed fabrics as the first hand sewn wrap dress I made. This was paired with a crocheted tube yarn bag with a chain handle Love how this look turned out and it was worn perfectly on the runway.
All clothing available unless gifted to the models or already sold. New pieces can be made custom fit to you by appointment only. All jewelry will be listed in July 2023.
About the Author & Artist
Megan LaCroix also known as Citrine is the daughter of a Navy Veteran. She’s lived all over the US but has roots in Michigan where her family is from. Spending summers in Northern Michigan exploring nature inspired her to create art work starting with jewelry and photography. She’d spend hours looking for rocks and creating assorted beaded jewelry with her sisters. In 2014 She graduated from University of Michigan School of Art & Design with a BFA then moved to Detroit where she is currently living and working. She is a multi-media artist with ever expanding skills but is best known for her jewelry, screen printing, photography, and paintings. Detroit Graffiti has a significant influence on her painting and drawing style. She’s participated in ArtPrize 2015 & 2021 and currently has a studio in the Village Arts Factory of Canton, MI.