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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Designs and Designers - How to Work With What You Have

When we're little, most parents tell us we can do anything, and be anything. For some, that path is clear, and others not so much. Most of the clothing and jewelry designers I know are very creative people, and they love what they do, although I have found a great many of them who have done a variety of work before finally realizing they have to have a creative outlet and discovering that design is what they love. They have to love what they do - it's not like everyone wakes up one day, designs a shredded or bedazzled t-shirt and sells it to Saks or Nordstrom so they can sell it for $200. That's a rare occurrence, and is the reason shows like Project Runway are so successful.

I read an article today about a designer whose entire line disappeared on the way to Paris Fashion Week, and it made me think of all the hard work and creativeness he put into his line only to have it disappear. And it's not like he can just run out and get another one, he has to create and sew another one. I hope he still has his patterns...

You might be asking why I think this is sad - if he's showing at Paris Fashion Week, he must be somebody already, right? I've seen so many different designers, on lots of different runways, and I know that to get where he is now is not easy or inexpensive. And then there's that creativity aspect. Most designers start in the big houses, working in design or manufacturing and putting in long hours learning the business and the operational aspects of what it takes to start a design house of their own, all the while drawing and sketching, and working on their aesthetic. Not everyone can do it, and I've seen a lot of garments and jewelry that look great, like they would stand up to repeated cleaning and wear, and some that have loose or hanging threads, clasps that don't work or loose stones.

When you come across items you like, take into consideration that construction issues are easily fixed by a good tailor or jeweler. Most jewelry stores can fix clasps, loose stones, and any other issue a piece of jewelry might have, including adding or removing length so it hangs properly on you and complements your neckline. Tailors can strengthen a seam, or make construction adjustments so your garment looks like the designer envisioned on their sketch pad. Some jewelers and tailors will make a copy from an image or a picture, but like the designer whose line disappeared, re-creating the designs never quite meets the expectations or tweaks of the originals, and sometimes it's more fun to work with what you have in front of you to get what you want.

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