Fashion Friday

A sneak peak of my new black and white collection

I am doing a trade show next week, it is quite different from a retail show.  It is for handmade/micro businesses.  There has been several articles about how trade shows and the big fashion week shows will soon need to rethink their concept.  Large shows  are extremely expensive, and so tends to represent huge corporate type business and most of the items are massed produced  in other countries.  It was quite disheartening trying a big show and the boys  and I are  setting a simple hand crafted booth next to a big company with a full construction crew putting up a mini department store.  In today’s economy I think the smaller shows will be much more important.  Online sources will be important, but I do feel that buyers do like to see products in person, especially for buying new work.  The BMAC and ACRE type shows seem much more important in this economy as well.  I think people are looking for unique items,  really appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into making items on a small scale, and can meet a speak with the people who are doing the work.  These shows are doing a good job of scaling down a bit and offering incentives to help artisans participate.

I titled this Fashion Friday, and I do feel this relates to discussions in the past about what we want to wear and making and wearing unique/creative fashions and sourcing products  made with more thought to social justice and environmental issues.  It is all about trying to find a balance for me, I use new and reclaimed materials and do some smaller trade shows to get meet the buyers and will be selling on line soon.

This is my last post for this blog everything will be on the new format Tuesday.

http://angeliaarmstrongdesign.com

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Fashion Friday

There has been a lot of fashion talk around here lately.  I have been working with the girls in my teen sewing workshop, they are learning a lot about sewing, for most this is the first complete garment they have made.  We are working on a fun tunic, with mixed fabric sections-it has an apron like feel.

Also this week there has been a great discussion of fashion over 50 with Julia Moulden and she has a new book “Ripe” about the topic.  So this has been at the other end of the spectrum from my teens.  But it all works for me.  I love working with the the students and talking about their style ideas and projects. I also think People of any age want to look good but also be comfortable.  But for me it also has to be creatively unique.  Even when I am 80 I will still be looking at and learning about  all the fashion and style out there, it is what I do.

Here are some items I made a while back.  Part of the silk painting I spoke about in my last post.
Fashion-07-2

                                                          Fashion-07-1

Friday Fashion

It is so busy here for the beginning of summer, and no vacation in site.  I a preparing for the BMAC  wholesale show in Baltimore and that means many things.  Besides all the products(they have added a retail day) I have to always tweak my booth display and.. finding/creating something to wear.  That is the thing when you work in a fashion and home accessories, people always expect you to wear some of your own designs.  So I am in the middle of sewing new and remaking old items for my summer wardrobe.  I find summer the trickiest season for clothing.  It is really too hot to be covered but there are things that need to be covered.

Here sre some of my current inspirations.

The first two are from Ocelot clothing, had dyed naturals, in California.  Knits area always great for travel and I love the colors.

The cool casualness of linen in the summer works so well.  These are from Crea Concept a French designer.

I hope I can get some photos of my pieces as soon as they are done.   So many skirts so little time.  What do you find interesting with summer fashion this year?

Print and Other Media

It has been a long time since I bought a book or magazine.  I have a large collection and since online resources are so plentiful,  I did not feel like I needed to get any more resource materials.  It was also a problem with what was available, in design products especially.  All the new books for a while, were not that interesting, or were overly simplistic for my needs.   Recently I have noticed some new items out there and I may have give up some of my old collection and save up for a couple of new things.

This book “Decorate” looks lovely, I had a chance to see a copy at Anthropologie, and I have been a follower of Holly and Decor8 since the beginning.

 

I first read about Lotta Jansdotter in Selvedge Magazine several years ago.  She has many other books, some in Japanese, but I am always interested in studio spaces so “Open Spaces” looks intriguing.

 

And this last book is just me, texture, stitching, collage,  “Drawn to Stitch:  Line Drawing, and Mark Making in Textile Art.”

Fashion and Style

It was a busy weekend for us here, we were out and about more than usual.   I had a chance to do a little window shopping.  I really wanted to find something to wear this summer.  This is the worst season for me to find interesting things to wear. It is so hard to shop in the stores available in my area.  They all have the same thing, and it seems like everyone shopping there wears the same thing.  I just really do not want to buy another tee shirt and carpi pants are  everywhere.  We do live in a casual/beach type area, and there are just no unique boutique type clothing shops, everything is a chain.   I really do not care what the latest “real housewife” or so called fashion star is wearing.   I never understood why someone would want to copy some and look like everyone else.   So I am working on a new pattern and withe my upcoming travel, I hope to find some independent designers.

What are you looking for this summer?

The photo below is from Belgium designer Dries Van Noten (a pretty big  name designer),  I just love all the color and casualness of this look.

Creativity

I am super busy working on a wholesale order this week.  I always get so many ideas at the last minute, it is some of my most creative time.  Doing wholesale has been a great help with the focus part of  my work and design.  I have things more planned and it helps me focus.   I did just move my studio to a new location in my home last week, so the focus is a little cluttered right now.  I will have new images of my studio soon.  This photo below is a little sample of my current collection.  I am combining screen printing, with applique and embroidery(hand and machine).  Also this client wanted all items with house/home themes.  I try to make each one a little different (since I use some reclaimed fabrics) it can be a challenge to make each piece of art unique but also work as a collection.   How do you stay creative, without being distracted?

Studio Redesign

Since moving my studio back to my home, I have not been able to really set up my space.  I am currently in an upstairs room, that has been good until now, but thngs are changing and I am going to do something that may be a little “crazy.”  I would like to offer small workshops and creative visit at my studio and the current arrangement does not allow for much more than me sewing away on my own.

We live in a colonial two-story house, very typical for this area of Virgina, small rooms, traditional styling.   Of course, I have always wanted to live in a jusge open space building.  The first floor has two smallish rooms at the front, the parlor and the dining room.  We do not really use either of these spaces.  When we do have people over we are always in the family/kitchen area.  The boys are going to help me convert the downstairs into the studio and move the tv watching/hangout room to the second floor.  So now it is on to the planning and measuring and all.   It will be interesting to see how it comes out, where is your creative space?

The studio photo below is a beautiful space, it is so well thought out for space and a variety of uses.  More here form Sara Lechner.

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