Saturday, September 27th, 2008
I’m trying to work more directly with fabric. Rather than figure out something completely out on paper, use the material directly through draping and folding to see how it behaves. I was talking to my students about this very process yesterday in the context of their work, and realized that I myself don’t do this enough.
So this is an experiment with using a woven and knit material together. I sewed the two fabrics together and then layed it over my dressform. I have been interested in combining knits and wovens for a long time, and I like the way the neckline evolved here. Not what I had been thinking about originally at all.
please ignore the uneven gathers and general wonkiness. it’s a test….
Monday, September 22nd, 2008
Rogan for Target organic linen top
Ah, Target. For a long time I had a love/hate relationship with this store. I secretly loved their clean, modern store layout, the ease of picking up of a variety of items all at once and their focus on well designed products. But I hated the idea of shopping at a big box retail chain and having to drive there and park in an asphalt sea. Like many people I prefer to support local small business whenever I can. And when it came to the clothing it always seemed promising until I got up close and saw the cheap fabric and poor construction.
But then I started really thinking about Target as a company. Target Corporation is a Minneapolis Company that donates 5% of it’s income to education, the arts and communities. They are consistently ranked as one of the most philanthropic companies in the country. They are also committed to good design. If you’ve ever gone to a free night or family day at a musuem (moma, moca, walker art center, etc.) chances are that it was sponsored by target.
This past year I started paying closer attention to the clothing. And I noticed that the fabrics and construction are getting much better. This past summer they even had Rogan, an environmentally conscious clothing label, design a sustainable line for them. (you can see more clothing I’ve purchased from target here)
Like any company Target isn’t perfect but I feel good knowing that some of the money I spend there is going back to my community and most of their products are beautiful and well made. Even though Target is in Minneapolis, as a national company I can’t really call them local in the sense that I think of supporting local business. But they are local to everyone in that their donations go to support the local community of each store. That’s something I can feel good about.
*disclaimer: my husband works for Target. He started there this past year and while what I wrote above has nothing to do with the fact that he works there, and I would have written what I did regardless, I felt like I needed to disclose this:)
Sunday, September 21st, 2008
click above for the original images and photographers.
Some flickr favorites from the past few months. I’m still in love with the blur. I think it’s interesting to see the the shift in the top half towards deeper more saturated colors. I guess subconsciously I was getting ready for fall.
Friday, September 19th, 2008
girls BIG print coat, UNIFORM Studio, Fall 2008 Collection, Part II
girl’s herringbone denim Indigo coat, UNIFORM Studio, Fall 2008 Collection, Part II
A few girl’s coats for fall. Available in my shop today, Friday, September 19th, at 11am CST.
As seen in SMALL magazine.
Wednesday, September 17th, 2008
sketch jacket, UNIFORM Studio, 2008 Fall Collection, Part II
In the entire clothing design process, patternmaking is the most difficult part for me. It is a very complex and technical process and one I haven’t been properly trained in. Everything I know I’ve learned from books, deconstructing garments and studying commercial patterns. I have so many ideas that I haven’t been able to realize because I just can’t make the pattern work. Most of the time I feel like the patterns I do make are overworked in a way. That the pattern was a struggle to get out. And it is all SO time consuming.
I have had more luck with just draping directly onto my dress form and then making a pattern from that. This process feels much more natural to me. And yet I know if I had a better technical grasp of pattenmaking this would be much easier as well.
Recently I made a sketch of a jacket I wanted to make. When I imagined the pattern it seemed like it would be very flat and unconventional -none of the curves that you would normally have at the armhole and neck (the things that I struggle with the most). It made me think of the Grinch cutting out his santa suit in the 1966 classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. He holds up the fabric and cuts out a silhouette of the coat.
So I took a piece of chalk and drew out the shape on a piece of denim. Then I cut it out and stitched it up. Once I had the basic shape I trimmed a bit at the front edges and lined it. I am amazed that it turned out like my sketch. I think this is one of my favorite things I have made from beginning to end. I wish all patterns could be this easy.
sketch jacket, UNIFORM Studio, 2008 Fall Collection, Part II
Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
volumetric pocket skirt, UNIFORM Studio, 2008 Fall Collection, Part II
Last April when I made the weird skirt with the huge gaping pocket, I was pretty hesitant about actually putting images of it up here. But since this journal is really about process and things that don’t work out are a big part of the process I knew I should write about it. I also knew that if I did post images they would nag at me to go back to work on the design.
In the second version I changed almost everything and I like it so much better. Now the pocket looks volumetric instead of being an object that was tacked on. The fabric is drapier too, although it still has a crispness. I think adding the center seam helped give it some structure, and it also gave me a place to start the pocket which was a problem before.
I’m still undecided about the waist. I might try making it a little lower. I do like that there is no waistband to detract from the shape and volume. Now I want to try a dress using this detail.
Monday, September 8th, 2008
twist T, UNIFORM Studio, 2008 Fall Collection, part II.
Here in Minnesota we are fortunate to be able to experience all four seasons. That’s one of the things I love about living here. This year, the day after Labor Day, which in Minneapolis is the first day of school, it was cool and smelled like fall. Labor Day itself was hot and humid, so the change was rather abrupt. Even though I like the change in seasons I’m not good with the transition and it takes me a long time to realize that one season (and schedule, and way of living) has ended and another one has started.
The necessity of having to work a full season or more ahead in clothing design makes this unbalance even worse. Last year when I was getting ready for the ACC show, I needed to develop a 2008 fall line as the buyers would be shopping for this fall. Since I worked on that line a full year ahead of time, it now feels really old to me.
While I should be getting things ready for spring, my head is just starting to embrace the fall. So I’ve been working on some new fall things. A few of them will be available in my shop in the next weeks, along with a few things from the original fall collection. There will also be some of these as well as some one-of-a-kind items available next week at Gallery 360.
I want to thank everyone for stopping by here and my flickr site, and for your thoughtful comments and emails. It’s an incredibly busy time for me right now -there have been alot of wonderful changes to my working life recently and I’m still trying to find a balance to it all. Consequently I haven’t had much time to answer comments and visit your sites. Hopefully I’ll be back on track soon.
Thursday, September 4th, 2008
Dan and I in Marfa, Texas (reflected in Donald Judd’s aluminum boxes)
School began this week and I started teaching again yesterday. The first day is always a bit chaotic and I tend to be a little nervous about making sure everything is in order and starting off on the right foot. For the past 2 years I’ve been teaching completely on my own which was a good experience but also stressful for the fact that there wasn’t anyone to bounce ideas off of or discuss issues with. This semester I am really excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with 2 extremely talented architects who also happen to be good friends. Dan Clark, Andrew Dull and I went to architecture school together and share similar thoughts and ideas about design, process and teaching.
Dan and I have also taught many studios together in the past and several years ago took a group of students on a trip to Marfa, Texas, to study the work of Donald Judd. It was an amazing trip and I was really fortunate to be able to experience the place together with Dan. I am so happy that we will be working together again.
For me, the best collaborations come from a group who share similar ideas but yet bring different strengths to the mix. It’s exciting to have a dialog where everyone is on the same page, but also building on each others ideas. I feel that in the studio we are developing our discussions have been just that. It’s also a relief for me to be able to let go of some of the things I’m not so good at, and learn from others that I admire and trust so much. In the end the studio will be so much stronger than anything I could develop on my own and the students will learn so much more.
Lately I’ve been really impressed with some collaborations that are happening in various design diciplines I’ve run across online:
- Jenny Gordy from Wiksten has teamed up with her good friend Elly Fales and together they have produced an extremely thoughtful and well crafted fall collection. I dream of being able to collaborate with someone on my clothing collection so this is really exciting to see. I look forward to watching how this collaboration will develop.
- I’ve long admired Binth for their clean, graphic prints for kids so it was quite interesting to see that they worked with the children’s clothing company Clothpony to develop a line of printed fabric.
- I’m a big fan of the patterns of Caitlin Mociun and Lena Corwin so was really happy to see that they have recently collaborated on a line of pillows. Now I’m wondering what will come next….
- And of course I can’t leave out A Year of Mornings, a book of paired photographs from Maria Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes. I’m especially enjoying their new collaboration, A Year of Evenings.