• Jessica Lynn Suchon

With most of us (hopefully) living in cities under shelter in place orders, there seems to have been a surge of interesting and free learning opportunities all over the internet. As the quarantine continues on, I've been really interested in how our new circumstances will affect our spending habits, particularly when it comes to luxury apparel and home goods-- things that people typically turn to for a source of comfort and joy. I did some digging to see if there were any free online classes I could find that would inspire me creatively to think on joy, curiosity, and hope-- both in terms of fashion and wellness. Currently, I'm taking three online courses that I'm really, truly loving. They're a great resume booster if you're someone on the hunt for a job right now, but they're also a great way to pass some time (as opposed to watching eight episodes of Scooby Doo, which I may or may not have done today).

If you choose to sign up for one of these classes, please let me know! We can compare notes and have a little virtual coffee date to chat week to week! I'd love to see your face and make these learning experiences feel a little more personal. Fashion as Design on Coursera in partnership with MoMA

Fashion as Design is a six week course from the folks at MoMA that focuses on a selection of 70 garments that have had a significant social, political, environmental, or economic impact on the world-at-large. This fashion course explores form and function with interviews with designers, virtual studio visits, and other resources to look at how clothes affect our personal lives as well as the lives of those around us. What do we wear? Why do we wear it? What does it mean for the future? It's really fun and interesting stuff that has given me a really robust understanding and appreciation of things I wear every single day-- from white t-shirts to red lipstick. Sustainability in Fashion on FutureLearn

in partnership with Kering and Centre for Sustainable Fashion

Sustainability in Fashion is a six week course created by luxury brand professionals and sustainability researchers that takes an in-depth look at ethics, supply chains, and the environmental impact of today's fashion practices and consumer trends. Truth be told, this course is a bit more demanding than I thought it would be and I am about two weeks behind where I'm supposed to be. That being said, I really appreciate how thorough it is! It's an incredibly detailed course considering it's free, and I've learned a lot about current production methods and the negative ethical and environmental impact they have on the world. I think that it's well worth the effort and that this class is a must for anyone invested in creative solutions in fashion.

Exploring Play: The Importance of Play in Everyday Life on FutureLearn

in partnership with the University of Sheffield

While this class may seem like the odd one out in this bunch, I think that the correlation between play and creativity is incredibly strong. This course, though I've truly just started it, is as informational as it is introspective-- encouraging participants to reflect upon how they played as children and the ways in which that has affected how they move through adulthood. The course addresses play as a worldwide cultural influence that shapes our families, communities, and education. It's a really wonderful, joy-centric class that has really impacted the way I move through my day.

  • Jessica Lynn Suchon

I know that routines are incredibly important right now. For me, having my day as structured as possible is what keeps me grounded amidst all of the, well, everything. That being said, I've been trying to treat my mornings with a little less rigidity and move through them according to what is going to set me up for the most joy during the day. Typically, I start the day off with coffee and quiet. I get up around 5am most days. This is both a conscious choice, and something that happens because I'm too anxious to get back to bed. I wrap myself up in my fuzziest blanket, sit out on the back steps, and watch the sun come up as the sky turns all glowing and peach fuzz.

I want to believe there are good things on the way, so I try to grant myself as many good things as possible. Some mornings, what will make me feel best is to get in a quick workout. Some days, it's watching old cartoons and giggling mindlessly for an hour or so before hopping in the shower. Occasionally, I feel awake and invested enough to read a book or work on a writing project. My brain is freshest in the morning, but also takes quite some time to warm up. I'm a big fan of the morning bath. Sometimes I do some dishes while listening to a podcast, knowing what will make me feel best that day is not worrying about the strange food-stink in the sink basin. Sometimes what I need is to fill my body with fruits and veggies. Sometimes it's a strawberry pop-tart.

I'm someone who needs productivity and projects to cope with anxiety, so I've taken on plenty of new things to do lately, but I'm still trying to be gentle with myself. This is not a season where structured mornings will serve me well. It's a season for the assurance of watching the sun come up every day. It's both light and heavy enough just to be. It's enough to give myself whatever it is I need to get through the day.

  • Jessica Lynn Suchon

Updated: Feb 11

award show season is bittersweet for me, always. i used to work in hollywood, by which i mean i used to live in los feliz and drive to hollywood and then head to beverly hills most days. i dressed celebrities for the red carpet. i dressed models for fashion spreads in some of my favorite magazines. i walked away from the whole thing because it never felt quite right, even as i had a room full of prada coats and vivienne westwood boots and handfuls of diamond rings and called it a career.

i still love nice things. i still spend too much money on shoes and occasionally choose an overpriced pearl barrette over food and other necessities. i have a disordered relationship with both eating and late-stage capitalism, but i love pretty foods and colorful, soft sweaters to wear almost as much as i love denying myself those same things.

every year during the oscars, i drink champagne in my little house, in the middle of tennessee. two days ago, it snowed. most days i feel incredibly ordinary and find this both a relief and a disappointment, an answer and a challenge.