‘Forecast of Fashion’ putting mental health awareness on center stage

Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 6:12 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) -What’s Good in Michiana this weekend?

Well, how about a fashion show that’s making a statement on and off the runway.

Forecast of Fashion is putting the spotlight on mental health July 31st at the South Bend Armory.

16 News Now sat down with the designer whose work will be featured in Sunday’s show to learn why fashion is something he truly lives for.

Darris White, known as DWStyles in the fashion industry, might have never been able to share his gift with the world after being on the edge of attempting suicide back in 2016.

Fashion and sewing helped him get out of that dark place, and now he’s helping others use fashion in the same way.

This isn’t normally what you think of when talking about life-saving technology, but a sewing machine was just that for Darris White.

“Everything was going great and then one day it just hit me and I didn’t have this job anymore. I didn’t have this career and I was like, what is my meaning? And I struggled to kind of live at that point,” White said.

That’s what he says led him to the edge of the St. Joseph River back in 2016 before a call from his wife stopped him from driving into the waters.

“It took me to a place where I wanted to end my life. So, my wife calls, and I drive the truck off and in that moment I knew that I had a purpose right? So, I had to figure that out. Fashion became that purpose,” he said.

He says fashion is his healer, and his sewing machine--the ventilator that inhales DW’s ideas, before exhaling them as the finished designs.

Even though this started as something to help him personally heal, he started to notice his work help others look at themselves from a different perspective too.

“During one of my client sessions, I picked this dress out to match this girl’s hair and she was like, ‘This is really pretty’, and she told me ‘This is the first time that I felt like, when people compliment me, I agree with it.’ To say that to me lets me know that she’s in a different place and my job is done,” he said.

But DW Styles isn’t done yet. He’s the featured designer at the upcoming Forecast of Fashion show, with his outfits set to be auctioned off to raise money for City of Remnant, a non-profit that provides mental health services for people experiencing homelessness in Michiana.

“Sometimes when people are unsheltered, maybe it’s because they have had a mental health crisis. Once people become stable and they’re understanding, ‘Wow, I do need to take my medication. I am in a position now where I don’t want to be homeless,’ now they’re able to get housing. They’re going to stay,” said mental health professional and Forecast of Fashion organizer Marla Godette.

Using needles and stitches to heal the open wounds in peoples’ minds.

Tickets are $25 and you can purchase them by following this link. That’s where you can also find out how to become a sponsor as well as other details ahead of the event.

Copyright 2022 WNDU. All rights reserved.