Hi! My name is Rhoya. I am 24-years-old and have always been passionate about history, fashion, and travel. I was born in London, UK and have lived in three countries: Poland (my home in 2017), the USA (where I mostly grew up), and England (where I currently live). I view personal style as an artistic expression, and mine is often inspired by my travels and by history. I have a costume design background, and this experience influences the way I view clothes and put them together.
The Detailed Version:
I like to say that my life started with a coloring book. When I lived in London, I visited Blenheim Palace and was so enamored with all of the historical portraits, my mom bought me a coloring book about Stuart fashion. As I colored the pages, I quickly became obsessed. From then on my interests in clothing and history began to evolve.
As I grew older, my passion of politics became intertwined in the mix. I went from being curious about not only what people wore wore but why. I took this curiosity to my academic studies. I have a B.A. from the University of Washington in honors history and honors drama (costume design focus) and a minor in Near Eastern Studies; my history thesis, called "Women and the Moral Politics of Dress in Twentieth-Century Tehran," combined all three subjects of my studies. It won a grand prize Library Research Award for Undergraduates. I also conducted the visual and textual research for Cut Video's viral 100 Years of Beauty Iran video visually exploring how Iranian politics affected women's fashion. (I also did the research for their India and Mexico videos)
When not in the library researching, I worked in theatre for 8 years. I learned to sew while making costumes for a production of Thoroughly Modern Millie at the age of 15. Since then, I designed costumes for various theatre groups in Seattle, including UW's 75th Anniversary show, ...And Hilarity Ensues.
For my drama thesis, I conducted oral interviews of a group of Iranian Americans from various backgrounds, ages, and religions and wrote a play based on the research with my colleague, Eli Gallagher. We directed A Mosaic of Tehrangeles together and the cast was made up of all Iranian Americans. The cast was mostly female and included two refugees. I was awarded a Mary Gates Leadership Award and the Aryan Khorram Research Award on the Iranian-American Experience for my work.