having an idea and making it

this video on vimeo from the creators of Bless, a fashion and art concept, is one of the best things I have seen.

another side of the argument

My dad sent me this article (I love it when he send me articles in fashion) from the WSJ arguing the pros of Sen. Charles Schumer's new Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act. Basically that the guidelines are really there for the extreme instances of exact copying. And also stating that the process of defending the uniqueness of a given design is rather involved, which will deter many designers from going there.
So will it really negatively effect the positive aspects of trickling down? Or will it make stronger a relationship to the clothes that we covet and the basics that we rely on?
not that it is or ever will be that simple


think about it. Who is just an artist anymore? What does that even mean? Is an artist a painter, a sculptor, a film maker, a photographer? It took an enormous amount of effort and talent to convince people that photography was art at all.
That argument is still out there, with exquisite vernacular photography creating such a blurred line between photographers by profession and artists whose medium is photography.
Anyway, the neoartist doesn't care about any of that anyway. He (she) paints, dances, makes movies, sings, and most definitely takes pictures.
It is just about being creative and creating. To use two hands and whatever they can grab onto and make something.

ironically of course the neoartiste does not care about titles, and here I am giving them one. They can take it or leave it.

more on this to come

packaging and flat patterns

so I am throwing out the boxes for a couple of large electronic devices. I am always hesitant, but after a while it just takes up too much space. So collapsing the boxes, i unload all of the packaging, and think about the people who design the cardboard compartments that will accommodate all of the big and little pieces that make up the vacuum cleaner, for example. And just like a garment this 2-d material becomes activated in a 3-d role.

c'est toi qui à dessiné la perruque?

Plaisir les Clayes

at the train station, outside of Paris. After a fitting with a woman who has worked with lots of great houses, but most important for her were the years she worked with Patrick Kelly.
She makes really beautiful muslins, and remembers the 80s as the golden years.
she tells me stories, we look at three muslins, and four hours later I am back here at the train station. I did not notice how beautiful it was when I first arrived. I think I was distracted looking at my phone. Or maybe the light wasn't just right.

LAD Outerwear

thoughts and gestures

les femmes et leurs fusils

I cannot find my ultimate all time favorite that was on my inspiration wall in new york for three years- and while I see it exactly in my head I will have to wait to share it. But it is ok it is in color and so here is a nice little black and white group.
this girl has ringlets in her hair

Calamity Jane-
i love this. For the life of me I cannot find her name. I stumbled across it because someone has titled it Calamity Jane. Whom I think we'd all agree she is not.
she might not be in the wild west- but what I love is how kind of bored she looks. how did I get here?

Images Courtesy of Corbis, A lit blog, legends of America, and Gettyimages


I rarely know what to say when I walk into a book store and i am asked
"can I help you find something?"
"je peux vous rensigner?"

because 90 percent of the time, I am just looking to be inspired by something unexpected (I just made the type somethin gunexpected which could be cool because now unexpected starts with the word gun- and some of my favorite pictures are women out west on ranches holding guns- rifles- maybe scaring bandits off their land, maybe hunting for dinner)

And so I just want to look through every book until I find an image that triggers a direction and then leads to something beautiful.

(I just made the typo look through 'ever' book- which is also cool because it is kind of like looking through for ever)

Here is a list of fashion magazines that I find beautiful right now
(always) Encens- specifically -New Forces- n 25
I Love You- (and the intro to their website)

check them out and enjoy

joseph's amazing technicolor dreamcoat

more on the search for beautiful things

Beautiful Books


take a look


trying to put these words together properly, but I don't know what the best way to say it is:

an explanation for any given decision does not exclude the possibility of a stronger alternative.

the ability to explain a decision does not mean it is the best decision. Even if the explanation is great.

during the feedback process, listen to all of the comments before giving your explanation. Most of the time you won't be there to explain it afterwards anyway- so you better figure out what is troubling your trusted confidant before getting stubborn and set on an idea. If it is not working, there must be another solution.

the possibilities are endless!

but yes, you eventually have to make a decision.

This is all part of the process.


Sometimes the act of sending out a work in progress to get feedback from the other end is itself the greatest indicator of how successful it is at that given stage.
Meaning the immediate emotion that surfaces inside of you when you know that someone else is going to see what you have been working on. It will either reinforce your satisfaction or your re-enforce your frustration.

Satisfaction being that you are on to something. It might not be there yet, but you are at a point where the walls are down, and you can see the evolution happening in your minds eye.
-In this case the feedback is good because it will either call for you to defend your decisions, thus re-enforcing them, or bring into light an element that you might not have focused on before. The picture becomes more complete.

Frustration being that it is just not working, and you need to get out of your head, pull out the mental machete and whack your way to clarity.
-In this case, it is great to have the feedback, because the questions and the comments might help you to approach from a different direction. Re-strategize.

it is good to feel and pay attention to that emotion.

getting your hands dirty

I had a recent conversation with a chef friend about how he left investment banking because he wanted to be closer to what he spent his time working on, and the people who were directly affected by those actions. And so from kitchen to table, you can't get much closer.
Basically a move to get his hands dirty again-
and that is what it is, the process of creating something.

but it is nice idea, getting your hands dirty, whatever that means for each of us. in my case it has little to do with garlic, salt, and pepper.

love the alaska label-
and love the idea that they are all so different, but all relevant to their brand identity.
monograms are emphatically uncreative in comparison- and Levis is a global brand.
Also have an friend and old instructor who told me about this workshop/DOY design space that they are sponsoring.
very cool

Inspiration potluck

I am putting it all together-

it's invigorating.

buttons are a big deal

the button exposition at the Mona Bismarck Foundation

i don't know why these are the only pictures I took- or why these two were the examples i chose to take pictures of. there was so much to see. The garment's role is secondary when dressed with some of these buttons. for some of these creations. elsa schiaparelli is one woman who knew how to use buttons. but then fashion was art, for her, and not everyone wants big white elephants dancing down their chest

my particular favorites were Henri Hamm, and Roger Scemama

i'll tell you how the sun rose, a ribbon at a time
-emily dickinson

logos and labels

some really cool things out there, but after a little while a lot of it blends together, and it all ends up looking the same.

these were the introductory quotes in a series of two books on building a brand/visual identity

"there are two things upon which success under all circumstances rests. The one is that purpose and goal of the activity have been correctly defined, and the other is to find the correct actions towards that goal."

"Your values will be also determined by the nature of objects you most often conceptualize, for the soul takes its color form the imagination."
Marcus Aurelius

what's the difference

today's article in the Times comes just months after Professors Kal Raustiala and Chris Sprigman wrote their piece for freakonomics on the role that the trickle down effect plays in the growth and health of the fashion industry. They respond to the new legislation that Charles Schumer, New York's Senior Senator is trying to pass to enforce protection on designs in the fashion industry. Also an article from the Business Insider just after Rausiala and Sprigman's March article.

1. Whether or not it is a good idea, how in the world are you supposed to distinguish between plagiarism and the phenomenon of the collective consciousness. Fashion and trends have always been an expression of sociological phases. Which means that everyone, at all levels of design, is affected by the direction of the climate at any given time. And right now, fast fashion and lower tier suppliers are an important part of the way we dress. Mixing YSL pants and an American Apparel top with Zara shoes that look just like those that walked down the Balenciaga runway. The A.P.C. dress with the Chloé bag converse sneakers and the H & M belt. Mixing all levels is what enables a large percentage of shoppers to afford what they can at the designer level. And by filling in the blanks with lower priced goods, they can still achieve the look.
2. It is always a surprise when a dress that looks expensive, is well finished, or has something about it that makes it seem special, turns out to be from H&M, or Topshop, for example. And it is normally announced proudly, as if it is a personal achievement to find such a treasure among the racks of cheap knock-offs.
"I love your dress"
"You'll never believe it, it's H&M."
"Really? Wow, I never would have guessed."
But seriously, it happens often enough now that we shouldn't be surprised anymore. H&M makes some wonderfully trendy clothes. And so a lot of people can have the look from the month's editorials without looking at their 'Where to buy it' lists. So what will make them want to go directly to the source?
3. That is up to the designers. Part of the responsibility is theirs. It is up to them to give the consumers a reason to spend their pay on the runway version, rather than the regurgitation. It is up to the designers to make the distinction between their garments and those that are being sold at a lower price to achieve the same look. If you can buy the same silhouette of trousers from H&M as from Marc Jacobs, Mr. Jacobs had better make it worth the extra dough. Use that difference in price to buy some fantastic fabric, durable construction, thoughtfully selected trims, and a killer fit. Until then, it is no surprise that people are opting for the rip-off. Plastic buttons on a 2,000 dollar coat, unfinished hems on 2,500 dollar dresses (this rarely gives the 'deconstructed' effect; more often it is just cheap), and 600 dollar tee shirts- really, designers are surprised when people think twice before hading over their credit cards? It is getting harder to see the value in the high-end garments that are asking ever mounting prices.
4. In other words, while the lower end of the spectrum may be taking design ideas from the high end sources, the high end is taking production ideas from the low end. And so the approach is coming from both directions. The luxury brands need to climb back up the ladder of production standards, and think again about which corners they are cutting to make their margins.
In all, the lower ends should be able to produce something to the effect of what they designers are selling (keeping the desire there, with the eventual goal of buying the real thing) but never become a replacement (unable to achieve the same effect as the luxury option). And right now, that is a question that the shopper asks before making any decisions.

thinking about what the flat pattern would look like

and where are the seams?!

I want this in my life-

it is not right that it is sitting in there behind that window- it is too good!

it actually makes me think of the Vionnet exhibit that was up at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs- all the women had their noses up against the glass saying to each other "but where is the seam?"
"Where does it come from, where does it go?"

all part of the process

treasures from the archive

the national museum of the american indian had an exhibit on the culture of their clothing.
the value: understanding their principles of construction. the elemental nature- guided by the shape of the body- how it wants to move- and the shape of the material. Worth a visit to the place.

The George Gustav Heye Center
Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House
One Bowling Green
New York, NY 10004

it is 90 degrees outside

Fall merchandise is rolling out. and all I can think about is being naked- that is the only way to be really comfortable in this heavy air. on top of that, everyone in France has just spent their savings on les soldes. And now, replacing the 270 dollar, 75% marked down printed chiffon dresses, the racks are weighed down with felt and fur. with price tags 150% higher than the same place last week. for clothes we cannot even think about trying on right now.
Why is garment production, distribution, and consumption so seasonally impaired?

my favorite chair

It is on its way to Paris on a ship on the sea
loyal to lee jofa, my great grandmother to me.

a nice color story

idTGV Cannes Paris- à travers le fenêtre

je kiffe

I would have given her a printed scarf, but otherwise this silhouette and everything- je kiffe

Bibliothèque Fourney

going into this library for the first time, it made me want to understand the nuances of all of the subjects inside so that I don't miss one of those hidden treasures because it was classified differently than i might have thought. How do you phrase your google searches?

and here and now: building a list of favorite books
Maybe one day I'll compete with Oprah's book club

Sonomama:Taishi Hirokawa

August Sander: People of the 20th century

Flower Power: Mathias Harder

Into the sunset Photography's Image of the American West: MoMA

to be continued

sewing machine

I have said I wanted to make all of my clothes this summer. I have not, however, finished a single hem. it makes me smile when i see people notice- they are paying attention

But I have bought three things- they are all used.
One is a brown shirt that has tiny beige and light brown hearts all over it. It fits me perfectly and I love it.
The second is a blouse with the perfect dolman sleeve and fitted wrist that I can bunch up and it stays. but there is something about it that is not quite right. so I'm working on solving that problem. I think it means taking out the facing around the collar and placket- making the whole thing lighter and more open. And I think I want to bleach it, too.
The last thing is a lycra undergarment (skirt) that is printed with these brushstroke blue flowers that I figured would be perfect to wear underneath my sheer printed things where a slip ruins it and underwear just looks too accidental.
All this to explain how every time I find garments that work so right somehow, it becomes an exploration of why it works and how it can be incorporated into different designs, different fabrics, different bodies. alors on va voir ce que çe donne à la fin.

double whammy

I don't know what is more inspiring- their style or their dance moves