Sunday, November 27, 2005
(Left: illustration done by me, can we be fashionable and green concious?, right, textiles by LoooLo)
I've been currently looking into the idea of what the advantages of natural fibers are, and the environmental impacts of synthetic fibers. In design school, we took classes on textiles, but we never really looked at how textiles affect the environment. My general impressions are, when you create something done really well, it's normally meant to last a long length of time, so we get more use of it. Today, fashion is so fast that it's disposable. We throw out the $30 sweater when it starts to pill and we get sick of it. Just think, how many of us are doing that, and it's creating such a huge waste problem.
From what I know, synthetic fibers are usually made out of a sort of plastic. It's squeezed through a tiny tube to create a fine fiber. And as much as they try to create technologies to make very fine materials from it, synthetics just never beat the characteristics that a natural fiber has. I cringe when someone says, it's as soft as cashmere, but it's acrylic! Surely this person has never felt cashmere! Or perhaps we've become so insensitive to touch that we don't know the difference. I know most knitters are very sensitive to this though.
Acrylic is tough , but so tough that it'll outlast you and me, is that what we really want? I started reading about a company in Toronto who is creating home furnishing in biodegradable fibers. The idea that once an item is finished with, it can be returned to the earth through composting. I think this is astonishing, shouldn't everything be like that?
What I don't understand is why natural fibers should be considered elitist to begin with. Before the invention of syntheics, everyone was wearing naturals. Clothing was expensive, but you wore it until it could no longer be worn. All clothing were made using high quality standards, it was meant to be worn for a long time. Not like today, where clothing is intended to last one season so that you would have to buy more the next season. Some people might say that the invention of syntheics made the ability to afford new clothing, more democratic. But I think we have taken this advantage way too far. Can you recall the last time you found the most luscious sweater that didn't cost over $300? Shopping online at Saks, I've found that even sweaters that run $200 have acrylic blends in them. The cheaper the clothing gets, the higher the prices goes for high quality. What can I say, we're getting to a point where everything is going to be plastic.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
I'm hoping to make it to an event tomorrow night. It's a craft swap party, where you exchange with others hand made crafts. It's at the Sew Be it studio in Toronto. Check it out. I'll be swapping toile de jou tote bags.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
(Pictured above, Martha billboard on Queen St East, The Beachers)
I rushed home from dinner to catch Martha's The Apprentice to figurs out that it's not on tonight. I was so eager to see who would be fired next. Anyone want to call it?
An interesting connection with the name Fable Handknit and the paper I used for the labels; I chose the name because I felt that it was a very old world term, and I liked the idea of it meaning a story with a moral that can be passed on through generations. I think knitting is something that gets passed down from grandmother to mother to daughter. I was also thinking of Aesop's Fables, I had a book of them as a child. How it's connected to the labels itself? The paper I used, it turns out is meant for printing the inside pages of hardcover novels. I didn't know when I bought it. But I realized that it had an old book scent, do you know which one I mean? It's funny because I had an English teacher in high school who loved the smell of old books.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Monday, November 21, 2005
I had a pretty busy day, but a good one. Romni Wools (658 Queen St. West)in Toronto is going to carry the Fable Handknit line! It's exciting to think that a store is going to be carrying my product. It's pretty thrilling. So if you live in the Toronto area, please check it out!
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Isn't it weird when you walk in a room full of strangers, and you realize that the person you're talking to turns out to be someone you sort of know? Virtually know, to be exact. I got the chance to meet some fellow bloggers at Crafternoon Tea today. So who did I meet? I met; Tania, who's an illustrator who makes cute little items like magnets, bags and cards. Erin who works at The Naked Sheep, who along side was with, and this was a total treat and surprise, the editor of Knitty, Amy Singer. I met Nathalie-Roze, the organizer of the show, and a DIY columnist at both the Toronto Star and Metro. As well, a fellow Ryerson student who was selling cute knitted shawls and skirts. Now it just blows my mind how there's a double connection. Tania did the illustrations for the Knitty merchandise! I also had no idea that Knitty was based in Toronto. Now can you say, It's a virtual world, after all!
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
I've been super busy now that the yarns have arrived! My office is bursting at the seams with lush baby alpaca. Baby alpaca, if you didn't already know, is a cut above your normal alpaca- much finer and smoother. It's super soft, cozy, and so very warm. When it's knitted up, it's like, I can't believe it's not cashmere!
It's not available in stores yet. Until Fable Handknit makes it to your local yarn shop, you can order directly from me. Send me an email with your name and mailing address, along with the name of your favorite local yarn store. I will get sample cards sent out and you can order directly from me.
By the way, I love getting to know my dedicated readers, Fable is now on Friendster. Search for us under first name, Fable and last name, Handknit. Come join my friends list!
Sunday, November 13, 2005
I read in Vogue that Ghesquyere hired a group of expert knitters to help him. Next time, call me too?
(Left: my miniscule closet and the Yeti rug. Right: Balenciaga Fall 2002)
Catagories: Knitwear in Fashion
Friday, November 11, 2005
Anyways, the most interesting news in fashion at the moment can be summed up in one word. Stella. It was a mad frenzy at H&M worldwide for fans to get a hold of the one -off Stella McCartney line. There were line ups outside the door before opening time, and everything was sold within hours. I think she's set the record for the most sales in less than one day for a non sale day? Personally, that's something I'd stay away from. I'd rather save my money to get a Stella jacket or shoes from adidas. This is not a new concept, a high-end designer designing for high street, but never has it been executed so well. Perhaps this is the future of fashion retailing? Who's next in line? Can I suggest Zac Posen? Or dare I say, Marc Jacobs.
(Below: sketch of Kate Moss in Stella for H&M, the line up in London at 7am, pictures borrowed from British Vogue)
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
No, pictured above are not employment offers or rebates for purchases (joke). They are "no vacancy" letters. Proof-positive that if you want to join the ranks of a high fashion intern, you'll have to work much harder than sending in a resume.I'm writing this post to share my insights on working in fashion. As described, I am an ex-fashion designer. I use this term lightly, as mainly aspects of my work still revolves around design and style. Though my interest in the subject of fashion is not over (may be less focused, but still evident), my relationship to the industry itsekf is somewhat over.
And I have to say, I couldn't be happier! I didn't like the person that I would possibly become had I continued. Underemployed, bitter, depressed, and jealous of peers who made it in the papers. The business is pure competition; if you won't accept a lower salary someone else will, if you don't tolerate the ill-treatment of your employer, someone else will. There's always someone to outdo you, or rather, someone who will accept worse than you . It keeps you on edge, overworked, and frustrated. Fact of the matter is...there are too many fashion graduates. It far exceeds the need for creative minds in the field. So much that designers and fashion corporations can expect free help even from graduates because hey know just how competitive it is. So what in my opinion, can you do if you also happen to be a fashion graduate? Diversify. In a society that is so fashion-savy (example, teens who read Teen Vogue are now fed this info, when one generation ago, we had to research this info ourselves), there is bound to be areas untouched that haven't received the what not to wear-queer eye treatment. Take for instance, a decent backpack. I can't say how many times it's impossible to find a functional backpack without all the decorative space age bells and whistles. Like how hard is it to not put all this stuff on it and make it, well, nice? I say, learn another trade, be a Martha, and let good taste prevail in all aspects other than your wardrobe.
The best quote overheard by La Coquette at a fashion show:
I have a three-year plan to get out of the fashion business.
My thoughts precisely.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Friday, November 04, 2005
(Pictured below, Holt Renfrew's Christmas 2005 windows, the goddies they passed out on the street)
Saturday, November 19th
Bellefair United Church
2002 Queen St. East in the Beaches (across from Kew Gardens
It should be a fun and very crafty event!