Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What I'm Reading: Fashion: Concept to Catwalk

Fair warning, this post gets a wee bit philosophical. For the last few weeks, I've been reading/browsing/skimming the book Fashion: Concept to Catwalk by Olivier Gerval. 

It was originally written in French and translated to English (but it retains some of its sweet French pictures). The topics covered include researching a fashion concept, development of ideas for a clothing line, execution within a design studio, and running a fashion show. Basically everything you see on the last episode of a season of Project Runway, only expanded into real life!

The book is a bit dry, and reads oddly, probably due to the translation. Some fashion books lean more towards "textbook" and this seems to be one of those. Technical information isn't all bad; there were some great sidebars about printing techniques, flat drawing, and a cool fabric glossary. I love reading the names that other countries have for fabrics, don't you? Given the textbook nature, this book made me start thinking about design school. Since I live in a university town, learning and higher education are at the forefront of our city culture. Like anyone who holds a degree in English, I used to wish I would have studied something more practical. Now, I wish I would have studied fashion design!

I value the self-taught seamstress, no doubt, but I have to wonder what skills one could pick up in design school that you just can't get anywhere else. But are those skills even necessary? Do I ever want to work in fashion? When you're a stay-at-home mom who isn't working, you have the time to wonder about what you'll do when you go back to work (I do eventually have to go back to work, right?). I doubt that another degree is in my future, but since discovering such a passion for sewing, I would love to work in this field in some capacity. It's almost as if nothing else could measure up, now that I know this is what I love!

What about you? Have you ever had a desire to turn your home sewing into a career of some kind? Are you dreaming of your looks walking a catwalk like this book describes? What's your dream?

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