The Birth Of Generation-T.Com
Megan Nicolay, an obsessive DIYer herself, created Generation-T.com in 2005 to celebrate the ever-important concept of “project time” in our daily grind. It’s a time to drop everything, turn off the phone, turn off the TV, and make something—be it a picture frame or a poem, a handmade card or a batch of brownies. The T-shirt is Megan’s preferred medium—unparalleled in the world of fashion in terms of comfort, versatility, and longevity…and never in short supply. Everybody has a stash of old T-shirts won at sporting events, brought home from rock concerts, gathered at thrift stores, or saved as a random leftover of a relationship that didn’t quite work out (hey, he never came back to claim his Clash T-shirt?—it’s yours). Each T-shirt has a story, and it would be, sentimentally speaking, out of the question to get rid of it. So, in the spirit of environmentalism and anti-consumerism, Megan resuscitates, recycles, and refashions them.
By the spring of 2009 the website needed a little refashioning, too — so it was dragged from the back of the closet where it had been languishing, it was embellished and updated, and it was presented once again to its dear readers.
Can You Relate?
Do you, when you see something on a store rack that you absolutely love, run your hands over the item, admire the craftsmanship, and imagine the outfit it will complete? Then do you, upon seeing the price tag, promptly drop the garment from your fingers with a sneer, “Forty dollars?! I could so make that.” If you find yourself more often than not in situations like these—grumbling about high-priced clothes as you browse the racks—you are not alone.
Generation-T.com is a forum in which to learn about and educate other like-minded individuals (and T-shirt lovers!) in Zen and the Art of T-shirt Slashing—of making something old into something new (and getting a little aggression out, besides). All of the projects are designed and created by Megan or by readers and other rogue fashionistas like you. Altogether now: “I could so make that.”
From the runway to Fifth Avenue to the haute downtown boutique, contemporary urban fashion is obsessed with trash. And resigned consumers eagerly fork over a month’s rent-worth of cash for strategically ripped and dirtied denim, safety-pinned shirts, and even I-just-rolled-out-of-bed hairstyles.
Up from the give-away bins of discount clothing stores, defending both your wallet and your sensibility, rises Megan “I could so make that” Nicolay. Writer, editor, photographer, dancer, renegade fashionista. Megan Nicolay is a seam-ripping, scissor-slinging artist bent on “bringing fashion to the people.” Blending punk’s Do-It-Yourself spirit with her own sculptor’s vision, Megan’s craft harkens back to Dadaist found-object art and collages. In 2006, Megan’s ambition and style was celebrated by the publication of her book Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-shirt (Workman Publishing Co.). In 2009, her second book, Generation T: Beyond Fashion: 120 New Ways to Transform a T-shirt, was published.
Megan embarked down the DIY road in 1982, at age 3, when she first helped her parents dig the foundation of their northern New Hampshire cabin. Megan credits her family as the primary source for her life of creativity. Her father, once a potter and now a veteran teacher of fine art, designed and built the family’s house using the golden ratio (a naturally existing proportion related to the Fibonacci Sequence). Her mother, a professional photographer and fleece-wear designer, often dressed young Megan and her three siblings in clothing of her own creation. It was her mother who first taught Megan her way around a sewing machine.
Megan’s love for T-shirt DIY began at age 9, when she used batik to transform and renew a T-shirt. Two years later, she submitted an original design for the school-wide Earth Day T-shirt contest and won. Her winning tee broadcast the slogan “Recycle,” foreshadowing her future in resuscitating and refashioning discarded T-shirts. Recognizing that “people put themselves on display every day, deciding what they want to wear, to drape their canvases with,” Megan believes that DIY fashion is a deep form of self-expression and pride.
Today Megan lives with Mr. Generation T, their cat Tulu, and her sewing machine in Brooklyn, NY. Together they hide from expensive boutiques, host Tee Parties, and fill orders for special request T-shirts. She was also a founding member of the Department of Craft, a New York City-based crafting collective dedicated to truth, justice, and DIY.