Hey people, today is a home-day where I get to pack up my entire shed worth of stuff in anticipation of a removalist van arriving in the next day or two!
Our new space is painted, I have picked up about a million kilograms of lasts and shoe equipment from Dennis, we have desks, fridges, kitchen cabinets and lamps scattered all over the house and will be glad to see them gone from here and moved to their new home.
So, seeing as I have an hour to slowly eat breakfast today, I’ve been online (of course) reading and scrolling through my Bookmarks tab, and came across this interview with Azzedine Alaïa where he talks a lot about the crazy seasonal cycle of fashion and how it is almost entirely built around marketing rather than a desire to make the best products possible. It will probably only interest a few of you out there, but I thought I’d pass it on as it resonates a lot with what I’ve been trying to sort out in my head (and on paper) lately in the lead up to launching a fashion-aware handmade brand.
I want to keep up with trends, I want to make things that work with current looks and colours, but I can’t see any way to pump out 2 ranges a year without compromising on quality or lifestyle… unless I bring in a load of workers, set up a production line and churn things out.
I’m hoping to find a balance between bespoke and seasonal ranges by perhaps releasing a new design every month or two, but even that might be a bit adventurous. I’m also aware that here in Australia we have the opposite climate to where the ‘fashion houses’ are, up there in the north, so it will also be hard to appeal to local and international clients if anything is too summer/winter oriented. Anyhoot, just some musing whilst I sit and wait for this coffee to kick in and the work to start up!
I’ll leave you with a few cut and paste quotes that I think sum up a nice and relaxed approach to the design of luxury goods that I hope to adhere to in the future.
“For more than a decade, Alaïa has premiered his collections at his own rhythm… He creates one collection per season. He doesn’t advertise; very few magazines are sent clothes to feature. He rarely gives interviews, and makes no public appearances. Everything Alaïa creates, he creates with his hands”
“Creativity should be the only concern. But today there is no time for creativity; nobody has time to develop a special silhouette or a special fabric. … Four collections for women, four collections for men, another four collections to sell, and everything needs do be done within four-five months — it’s a one-way course towards emptiness. It’s inhuman.”
“Maybe in July I will show other clothes, if I have the time to develop them. I refuse to work in a static rhythm. Why should I sacrifice my creativity to that? That’s not fashion, that’s industrial work. We can hire people to design all day long and then fabricate what they design and sell and sell and sell — but that has nothing to do with fashion”
“Also, people travel a lot today. Seasons are not what they used to be — we go skiing in the summer, swimming in winter. We don’t need to think in seasons anymore; we need to think about beautiful clothes.”
“…nobody can do a ton of great clothes. And Alaïa is expensive, like couture – it’s luxurious, like all high fashion brands. I don’t know why people in fashion don’t treat it as luxury anymore.”
So I think i’ll print a few of those out to form into some sort of mantra / ethos. That said, I also read that Tom Ford gets so much done because he refuses to talk about projects until they are completed… which is a rule I like, but makes the whole idea of blogging near impossible.
Finally these two bits make me feel more OK about being a bit OCD and staying up all night working on things or learning about something new:
“I begin at 9 am and I go to bed around 2am, sometimes around 3am. I sleep little.
Four or five hours of sleep — is that enough time to develop a dream?
I don’t waste time when I sleep.”
“What have you learned today?
The day is not over yet. But I promise you I learn something new every day. And I want to try to keep it that way, until the day I die.”
So there you have it, I learned something new today – I also found someone new to aspire to be like, and thankfully that someone is successful.
Off to the (cold) shed to start lifting, and dragging, and lifting, and dragging….. until it gets dark.