Reader Simon left this comment in response to my final dress photos:
“…You did a great job on this project. I simply cannot believe you design the “other” stuff during the day and are not driven nuts with all that creativity within. Like a fine chef working at Chili’s.”
I’d like to respond to this, and not to ridicule Simon in any way, but mainly to clarify a few things about myself.
I don’t consider the work I do at my day job creatively stifling, or beneath my abilities, or any of that jazz. I think of it as a different design problem that requires a different solution. My day job requires that my designs be simple, clean, wearable, versatile, and expensive-looking; my jackets must take the utmost advantage of the medium (mainly leather). We have a particular customer profile we target. We have particular pricepoints to consider. We have a certain reputation to maintain because the company’s been in business for so long. It’s not easy. If it was easy, the previous designer’s collections would have sold.
Every project that I do on my own, I challenge myself with a different set of design issues, hoping to find the best solution. Can I create a collection of sleek, urban work-friendly clothes for the young professional at a contemporary pricepoint? Can I design a group of knock-their-socks-off evening gowns based on the design direction given? Can I put together ensembles for the tweens back-to-school market that all girls will covet?
I don’t think creativity is about creating the most spectacular thing ever. I think it’s more important to be able to find the best possible solution to a problem. In fashion, that means considering more than just the look of the dress.
P.S. Simon, thanks for reading, for the lovely compliments, and for giving me a topic to chew on. 🙂