La Bella Tanchi was inspired by the beautiful women in my family lineage and my genetics. My dearest Tia Daisy is so petite that we nicknamed her in Spanish “tanchi” which is short for “tan chiquitia” and is slang for ‘very small one.’ I’m bilingual and am a proud Salvadoreana Americana. Also, I love fashion! Growing up, I constantly doodled potential outfits and took up the hobby of sewing. I’d create all kinds of projects for myself, designing my dreams into realities. I transferred that thirst for creation into my adult life by teaching art, finding that I could share my ideas to touch others and inspire more creation.
I love museums, electronic and jazz music, traveling, all subjects in the humanities, and of course fashion. When not teaching or working in museums, I spend my time looking at fashion look books and organizing my closet. My closet to me is what a kitchen is to chef, a garage for a man cave. The Container Store is a candy store for me because not only is fashion important to me, but equally valuable is the organized system that allows my styling to take place, just like a museum and how it has different galleries and rooms to organize its collection. My physical closet has changed over the years having spent time in various countries and cities, dormitories, and on the road. All I’m missing now in this mini autobiography is telling you about my furry companion, but my landlord forbids it and my fish Sushi died years ago of old age (1 year). Did I mention I love Louie C.K. and Tina Fey?
About the Blog.
If you have you ever had to hem a pant, alter a dress from the shoulder line, or been limited in your options because of your petite size frame: you understand.
I was that kid who used to hide in the center of circular clothing racks in department stores while my mother shopped at what once was king for consumer fashion; department stores. Montgomery Wards, Mervyns’, JcPennys, and Robinson’s May were among my mother’s favorites. I did grow out of my hide- and-seek ways and eventually helped my mother find outfits in the dun dun dun…petite sections of department stores. At 9 years old, I still confront what I confront now, the disappointing options for petite women available at department stores and in the fashion industry in general. My mother just last week was telling me about her woes, and I dropped another significant amount at Mrs. Lee’s Adamo Shoe Repair and Cleaners because I needed my clothes altered to suit my petite body.
This is a blog that emerged out of bearing witness to generational challenges in dressing the petite curvy body (including panzas). Fashion is in me. My mother is a fashion icon and my dad is an original hipster who sported aviators. My grandmother ran the equivalent to what the French regard as a fashion house. She was highly sought after by El Salvador’s society for her creations and designs of beautifully draped and embellished couture dresses. It’s no wonder, as a child, I fashioned couture dresses and in my spare time.
Point taken universe, it would take a while, but I reconnected to fashion in small increments. Alas I did it, a voice for tanchis with frames that usually don’t fit industry norms from the perspective of a tanchi in her 20s. Enjoy!