Thursday, March 8, 2012
SHOPPING! SHOPPING FOR FABRIC, Colour, Texture, Style and the Shoes and Accessories to Match!
Well today I am not going down Fashion and Fabric Lane because my mind is on present mode after this afternoon's long search for the perfect fabrics, perfect accessories and shoes to match not just the dress I will be making but the person who will be wearing them as well.
Yep, it takes all of that to design and style an individual. That is why it is difficult to operate like a retail supplier. This is when people would think they just call and place an order. No, I am not Edgars retail or some online clothing boutique (though this is something in the pipeline for a particular range of mine). Yeah, going global baby!! God said we must be fruitful and multiply!
I need to see my client, get to know him/her and understand how he/she likes the world to see him/her through what they wear. I also get to understand what colors can bring out the best you without overshadowing your personality and character. This is why I spend 3 hours in one shop that even my favourite fabric store owner jokingly said: "I must start charging you rent."
Well that is how I operate. I find a retail outlet I connect with and become so used to the staff that I end up feeling at home and that is where I will spend most of my money. So yes I spend 90% of my money and time in the same shop. You are probably wondering to yourself: "Why does she take so long to buy just fabric?". Okay, I visualize, conceptualize and design in my head inside the shop. I get served by the same person and I always bounce ideas on him. I can hear you thinking; "What kind of a designer is she bouncing ideas on fabric cutters?". Well I do that with everything except on what to wear or what to eat but I tell you this young guy is good. He has a creative mind and can visualize what I share with him. I will hire him in the near future.
Today I had to shop for fabric to make a lime green and black outfit for a lady (sister from another mother) and her 2 year old daughter for an unveiling ceremony, where as family members they are to wear black with lime green. I found the fabric for little one first, a lime green slinky (kinda like thin lycra) fabric with tiny black polka dots, a black tulle and lime tulle. This will be made into a lime green and black tutu dress. For the lady, I found a black stretch thick lace fabric (I forgot what it is called) and a lime green lightweight bonbon (stretchy) fabric. So you will see what I am going to make for her.
So walking up and down the isles of the fabric shop, touching this fabric, pulling this roll and carrying it to the cutting table, matching it against another fabric, visualizing the fabric and maybe the dress on the client and telling the young man how many meters to cut and then see another one that looks woww for the client after he has cut that one, then ask for the other one as well...is not child's play. It takes mental energy, stretching your arms, squatting for the one on the lowest shelf, carrying it to another fabric when all the cutters are occupied, leg work (especially in my heels) and financial shock when you get the cost of all that you bought. Mhhh...and then you must carry around all that fabric in the plaza in and out of other shops. Thanks to Moosa's Sales Room for my lovely Pulley/Trolley Bag that I just pull around.
The shopping does not end there. There's zips, cottons, ribbons, elastics, beads, needles and all you need to complete the garments. And yah, I had to go look for and buy afro/traditional beads for an afrocentric ensemble for my other client as well as buy a bow tie and stirrups for my male client.
Shoo!!! I was exhausted, hungry and sleepy. Guess what? I have to work through the morning again! So yah let me start working on Zita's dress. Which color and fabric between the two? Oh I still have to design the dress. BTW! I found shoes I fell inlove with at first sight!!
Thank you for reading and I am looking forward to dresssing you and styling you too!!!
"Designed To Fit You"