Friday, September 08, 2006

NO MATTER WHAT! | Catching Up


My most sincere apologies for not posting more frequently these days. I hope you and Little Richard and have been keeping one another company while I have been away. I've had him to dinner twice and he's been a joy at the table both times.

After spending the past days fussing and unnecessarily laboring over my resume, I decided to bite the bullet today and begin scouring Seattle for work. And, I am happy to say that after filling out 8 applications in one afternoon, I have some promising leads. Keep your fingers crossed that something interesting (or at least mildly inspiring and well-paying) will turn up soon.

Job applications for high end retail clothing sales positions talk an awful lot about customer service. It makes sense, I suppose. These jobs are much more about selling the clothes and keeping customers happy than the actual designs on the racks. That's probably why I am interested in this kind of work in the first place. My own creative work is going to continue no matter what ( I said NO MATTER WHAT!) and I rather like the idea of having a part time gig that will help me get a better sense of why people wear what they wear, how they want their clothes to fit, what they're drawn to, how presentation and finesse in sales can help, etc.

In the midst of this day of research, I have begun to realize that in one way the fashion industry has nothing to do with fashion at all. In fact, many people who are part of this scheme could care less what the designs look like. This is both encouraging and disheartening to a young designer like myself. How on earth can you find a home in the industry if so many structures are already in place, so many rules already set?

I guess this is why I am always most excited by shops that set the bar high for themselves in the type of merchandise they carry, but still represent artists and designers who are independent and still making a name for themselves. I've handled enough clothes to know what's good and what's bad. I've also made and shown enough work to have a sense of why designer clothing costs what it does. I still remain perplexed, however, about the very high end in fashion. The four hundred dollar cashmere scarves and seven hundred dollar driving gloves have me at a loss. I know hand weavers who work with the best fibers available, and even they cannot justify these prices. Maybe it is because I have never had the money to afford these things. Maybe it is because I have no sense of what really goes into making garments of this sort (I'll cockily say that I doubt that's the case, though). Maybe it is because customers with that much money to spend are simply searching for fast and easy ways to get rid of it because being rich is such a drag. Maybe it is worth it because we're paying for history and legacy, not to mention superb materials. Maybe being cool just costs a lot more than I had thought. Maybe we are supporting an international labor force that costs a ton of money to maintain. Or maybe it is just a plain old rip off.

I don't know. Thoughts?


Anonymous Ali said...

two names: Bernie Utz, and Patty Mays. Call them both. One, you're already obsessed with; the other, between she and her mother know people at all the places you mentioned and then some you don't even know about yet. Also look up Sarah Truitt Textiles..and call me. I didn't even know you'd left new york! Some of us don't have time to be reading these blogs, you know, we have husbands and tenure files and students taking up our spare time!

But to the point...cult of personality. Face it: brands trump design.

6:06 PM  

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