Corollary: Why I gave up my teenage dream of being a fashion designer
I have great passion for color and fabric. I also have a great passion for making women beautiful. You can hardly hang out with me for five minutes and I'm mentally rearranging your neckline and putting you in different colors. One would think, with this level of intensity, and a passion that I've had from childhood, that I'd have gone into the fashion industry.
I thought so, when I was a child. And then, one day I started paying attention to what the fashion industry was really about, and my illusions were shattered. It wasn't about making beautiful clothing to make beautiful women ever more beautiful - it was about status and wealth, and making "fashion" something that wasn't *quite* obtainable for every woman.
If you watch PR (and I do), you'll see that the side-avenues of fashion are where the real money is - it's not the clothing, it's the shoes and bags and "lifestyle" items. Not that I'm adverse to a beautiful purse - but I want it to be intrinsically beautiful, not ugly with a tag. It's not about making the prettiest garment - it's making a "statement".
I've never cared about that. If I were a fashion designer, I'd want to be a Madame Gres', who worked intimately with a small clientele and made them clothing that would be beautiful forever. My perfect closet? Would be a closet full of butterflies - each and every garment something that made me smile.
You don't get rid of garments like that every season. You pass them on or pass them down when they no longer suit you or delight you - but you don't forget them.
I'd love to have a store with classic, well made forever pieces on one side and butterflies on the other. You know, the place you could count on to have a pencil skirt, perfect slacks, and LBD... regardless of the season or what was in the magazines. And on the other side? Just the prettiest things you can imagine.
That will never win Project Runway, and I'm afraid it doesn't qualify as "fashion"... but that's what I'd do, if I had the chance.