the personal fables

Deep thoughts

Raf Simons is more popular than ever after speaking out against the breakneck race to provide fashion to the masses, saying he would personally prefer more time to devote to the creative process. What the articles don’t mention is the working conditions sustaining fast fashion’s pace are worse than slavery with no regard to human life. That part was left out. Shame on everybody. 

While the debate continues on basic vs fashion … Know this: people might notice when you wear a fabulous dress twice, they notice that you are FABULOUS. People also notice when you wear plain clothes and what they notice is that you are BASIC. The choice is yours. 

People ask me if the work I do is made by hand or by machines. There are always hands and there are always machines and they work together. Just about everything we wear is touched by hands whether to cut the fabric or to run it through a serger. This is done by living people. Purely hand made or machine made is figmentitious. People come to me looking for absolutes and they ask yes or no questions that I can’t possibly answer politely. More out of ignorance than rudeness. 

The answer though, is that the works in my store are hand-finished. If you’re interested in collecting them or if it is for an article I can reveal the details of what goes into each dress, happily. But as a public service I’m not at liberty to discuss. 

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What we should be looking at in our clothes (But aren’t)

We are looking at the wrong things in what we wear.  Sure, we all love to look good, but what exactly is the difference between fast fashion & good fashion? Let’s take a closer look.

  • Quality fabrics: ladies, you should have at least 12 pieces of clothing that are made from silk. 5-6 tops, and 5-6 dresses.  They should run about $200-600 each or higher.  Know your silks: acetate doesn’t count.  Charmeuse is divine, chiffon can’t go wrong.  Don’t show up anywhere past 6PM wearing anything denim or jersey. Ever.
  • Finishing: There should be a special detail somewhere on your outfit.  Ether it’s dyed by hand, or a little bow sewn on by hand, or go crazy with head-to-toe sequins. But anyway hand-finishing is the sign of a beautifully made piece of clothing.
  • Avoid things that are priced too low, for what they are.  Usually this means that it was copied from a different designer and the designer wasn’t paid for the idea.  In addition you may assume any clothes priced too well were made by murderers and thieves.  We all know that cheap clothes are a major source of strife in the world, and this should stop with you. It’s not worth it and usually you end up looking like a slob or a dupe anyway.
  • We have seen some pretty extreme examples of labor exploitation lately, but there still is no end to it.  If you see that certain retailers have accomplished certain items at certain price points by badly abusing their workers, how do you think the rest of them are doing it?  Exactly the same way, they just haven’t gotten caught.  So as a rule of thumb, you should avoid buying low & middle market fashion goods entirely. 
  • Ecological impact: I cannot express this enough- the textile industry is among the top three sources of pollution in the world right now.  If you are against fracking, if you don’t eat GMO foods, why would you buy clothing that damages the environment? At the very least, avoid petroleum-based stretchy knits and plasticky push-up bras because that can’t be good for the earth.  Look for designers who are finding ways to reduce waste & are developing eco-friendly methods.
  • Just buy them: don’t wait for someone to launch a kickstarter campaign.  We all have goals & need your support to accomplish them.  It’s a little ridiculous when a designer has to hawk a particular item as part of larger crowdfunding initiative, when people should have been checking them out & purchasing the items anyway without the gimmick of some future goal that may or may not be attainable.  And enough with the sample sales- we can’t continuously provide items every season at below cost.  In what market does that make sense? Just buy good quality clothes at regular price.

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image: Nude Girl Lounging in a box of rabbit fur, by University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections

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