Hey kids, Saturday (yes, tomorrow) is Danielle of Final Fashion’s birthday! So if you love her as much as I do, don’t forget to run over to her blog to wish her a happy birthday!
(Danielle and me in New York. She’s on the right. Sorry, this is the only picture we have together.)
A reader left a comment on one of the experiments in imagemaking posts, and I just wanted to clear up that I am NOT the model in these photos; I’m the one behind the camera.
I didn’t mean to post another in this series so soon, but M came over today to work on some burlesque costumes for a new act, and showed me this amazing dress a fellow performer loaned to her. I mean, look at this exquisite beading! The diamond shapes are not fabric, but plates of shell or something that resembles that cool swirly shell look. (Lookit me and my big technical terminology!)
So, being the spaz I am, I threw her onto my roof and took some shots.
I had so much fun with my photoshoot with my dearest M, that we decided to do another, in hopes of a series for this blog called “experiments in imagemaking”. Like I said before, I’m not a photographer, and I have no desire to be one. These photos are, for me, mainly a means to hone my styling and imagemaking skills, which I think are important for a designer to have. (For M, she’ll pull her faves for her website as a burlesque performer, dancer and model.) Constructive criticism welcome, as I can learn and improve no other way. At the very least, let me know your faves so I can learn from that too. Thanks! (Erm, more “outfit-oriented” shots coming soon.)
(She’s talking to one of our favorite peeps, J in SD, on the phone. He kept making her laugh, so I grabbed the phone and yelled, “Honey, I am a serious artist, trying to make some serious art here. I need her to frown for my serious art. Now tell her some depressing shit about your life. Thanks.”)
My hands are not cooperating with me today. The bulk of what I had to do in the afternoon at work was draw out some flats, but my fingers weren’t having any of that. It was like when you put two battery ends together at the same polarity. A leather daddy in chaps and studs at a Deep South debutante ball would have been more welcomed than putting a pencil to my hands today. Fellow sketchers/illustrators/designers, do you ever have those days? The pencil just won’t stick. What do you do when this happens?
As you kids know I hardly ever post about other labels, mainly because there are tons of blogs out there who do it better, for example, Clothes-Pin, one of my favorite blogs to read up on non-mainstream fashion. (I despise the word “indie”.) However, every once in a blue moon, I’ll come across someone so rad (yes, I said “rad”), that I have to let people know about it.
So via Clothes-Pin, I urge you to check out Baum und Pferdgarten. Immediately. They are two of the few, few people who do ruffles right. Are you still reading? Why? Go! And then come back and tell me you love them (BuP and Clothes-Pin) as much as I do. Okay, fine, tell me your own opinion. Whatever.
For those of you who are not aware, I also blog over at Fashion Incubator, hosted by the bottomless-pit-of-knowledge Kathleen Fasanella, with co-blogger extraordinaire, Miracle Wanzo.
I had posted my original “sales?” post over there as well, and Miracle and Kathleen have added their perspectives to the matter. I think they’re excellent posts, with much to glean from, so please read both Miracle’s and Kathleen’s responses. Don’t forget to read all the comments! FI gets a lot more traffic, and there are always interesting comments to be read. I’ll be posting my response soon.
I don’t know everything. Faaaaaaaaaaaaar from it. My purpose as a blogger is not really to educate anyone, but to show people the life of a not-famous designer, and bring up topics that designers think about.
I touched on the topic of the role of salespeople for an apparel manufacturer earlier and you readers expressed interest in reading more about what I had to say on the matter, and I do try to live up to my promises to you readers, one at a time. Here the deal: the more I thought about it, the angrier I got at my own salesguys. Wow, they really don’t do much of anything.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’ve been spoiled. At the previous company I worked for, we showed in a very large showroom, filled with much bigger labels than ours. Our sales team also repped Diane von Furstenberg, Joie, Theory, and Robert Rodriguez, among others. We sent them a line of samples, printed out lookbooks and linesheets and sent them a bunch of copies. When I say “sent”, I mean I walked them over across the street. We had to put up with a sales rep who was always calling with her two cents about how the next collection should look, but all in all, it was pretty painless.
Question: do all sales reps think they should design? All the sales guys I’ve ever worked with are constantly telling us to design this and do this color and whatnot. This is not to be confused with letting us know the pieces that are garnering the most attention and dollars. If I hear one of my sales guys harping on doing red leather jackets one more time, I’m gonna lose it. He keeps telling me that he sees it everywhere, but I don’t. I try to be polite, saying the labels he’s citing is not in line with our customer base and brand. He apparently doesn’t want to hear it.
In my own (perhaps naive) mind, the sales guys do the selling and customer service. They set up meetings, collect orders, explain to them the terms of sale, do the necessary follow-up. The apparel manufacturer creates and supplies the necessary tools to sell–samples, lookbooks, linesheets, order forms, organization of tradeshows. We get copies of the orders, we fulfill them. Next round. Right? No?
I’m honestly wondering if this is how it’s supposed to be, or if my opinion on this matter is skewed because in one case, I was “spoiled” and in the other, I’m the one hoofin’ it to make the sale.
I’d love to have at least one sales guy who has a great enthusiasm for the brand, leading him to work hard at securing meetings at good stores, someone who understands our customer, understands who our true competitors are, and doesn’t find traveling a huge chore he can’t be bothered with half the time I ask him to.
This is an odd, meandering post. Basically, it’s just a bunch of my ideas on the matter tossed onto one post. I’d really like to hear what everyone has to say about this.
I just deleted a huge post I wrote on this and that. I won’t bore you with the details. As you all know, it’s September now, meaning my weird little “do nothing but my day job vacation” month is over. So I sat for a bit ruminating over which of my many projects to pick up first, when it occurred to me the obvious answer.
“Zoe, for the love of expensive drawing pencils, go design some mad brilliant shit! You were so busy with all this other stuff, the last time you really designed something was back in March! Get to steppin’, ho!”
Yes, I have my own special form of self-deprecation.
I love catching up with my friends’ blogs. I was tooling around earlier and I came across this photo I forgot completely about! I had been mildly annoyed that I didn’t have a good photo of my Michelle Mason dress, and I found one!
My friend and sometime model S, on the right, wearing the infamous Dress of 8 Remakes:
Notice how she has a completely different body type from the model on the runway (S is much more hourglass) but they both fit into it beautifully? That’s the result of my anal-retentive perfectionism. (Sorry to sound so cocky–I sometimes like to pat myself on my own back. heehee.)