I've been into fashion for a long time. First, it began as this weird, science-y infatuation with the cut and the fit of clothing. Then it moved into the artsier world of haute couture and runway shows where fantasy is nothing but a mere possibility. If you've seen the techniques at Dior, the finesse at Valentino or the love affair with luxury at Chanel, it is hard to not get addicted.
Of course, I also enjoy the newer brands. I am a fan of Alexander Wang, McQueen, Band of Outsiders, Creatures of the Wind and the cozy highness of The Elder Statesmen. Wang taught me about the magic of teaching the market how to demand something. And Marc Jacobs with his avant-garde attacks on the definition of commercial beauty.
So I decided I want to make clothes for people. Which was a win-lose decision because number one, I added a new skill set to my career possibilities and two, because I created a bigger uncertainty.
Here are tips on starting on your own bespoke thing.
|I crie vrytme - not rili.|
1. You can't do it on your own. I've made clothes on my own. From drafting the basic bodice on manila to hand-sewing the hem, it would take me around 3 days to finish a lightly embellished evening gown. But imagine making your way through measurement sheets, rulers, french curves then into fabric marking then adding seam allowances then into sewing - it is very tiring. If you have a solid swab of excitement in your stomach, you might survive on your own. Because it is a tiring process, humility is required. Go get help.
|Fabric treatment chemical residue can cause sinusitis.|
2. Get self-confidence by the dozen. When you deliver a gown to someone, self-confidence is required so you don't go full insomnia worrying if your client actually liked the gown. I think you could only start making clothes when you have enough of this. Unfortunately, I began my venture a century too early.
3. Read a lot. I got minimal formal education on this whole field but it has been years of wastefulness that actually allowed me to make my first basic bodice and skirt. From then on, I read a lot more to learn more. You get the point, just be ready to read. A lot. And stare at pretty pictures, plot points and estimate the right amount of curve you need which is far tougher than it seems.
4. Humility(again) with honesty. Sometimes, when you are in a creative endeavor such as fashion, you make it a point not to get inspiration from other clothing stuff. Maybe you want to be inspired by a scene, or a color, or a texture - whatever - but not a dress you saw or have. Reason: you are fearful you'll end up as an imitator (which is financially fine but taxing to the soul.) It is ok to be inspired by other clothes and if you already have a firm grasp of the creative process, you will be in less threat of unintentional plagiarism.
5. Don't be afraid of things about money. At present, I have THREE ledger books, all of them in very bad shape because I am very bad with finances. I'm the annoying "art is not about cash" child. Well, fashion is about money - except if you harvest fibers from your garden and weave them in your room, you will purchase textile. You wouldn't like losing money because that wouldn't be responsible.
The end. More tips to come after I fail some more. Oh well.
At present, I'm in the process of finalising my first wedding gown. Because the couple was busier with other things, they only started talking to me about their dream gown about a week ago. This makes everything extra hectic but it is alright. My inspiration is the happy, contented bride and I hope I'll get one.
*I'm actually part of a duo and we are CIVIL ATELIERS. My friend and I are willing to make you your awesome clothes. Contact me if this interests you in any way. Yay. lalutero(at)gmail.com.