Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When can I call you my own?

I have been recently wondering about how much one has to alter a pattern in order for it to be considered and original design. This brings in to light a great many questions such as: “What exactly are the copy right laws?” “How original am I really?” “Who can really claim rights to the blazer?” and the more nihilistic “Can one really come up with anything NEW?”

I also struggle with the fact that in the fashion industry very few people do it all. Sure on Project Runway you see the designers running around frantically buying fabric, drawing sketches and sewing their little fingers to the bone at all hours of the day and night to make whatever crazy garment the judges can dream up as a challenge, but rarely is this the way it works in the fashion industry. So why is it that I am sitting in my living room trying to do just that? EVERYTHING? From design concept, to pattern creation and mass production. No wonder I’m losing my mind trying to think of something new…

But really what it boils down to is how many variations are there of a basic concept: skirt, pants, or shirts? I mean really, isn’t a blazer still a blazer no matter how big the lapels are or how straight or narrow or how many or what shape of pockets? Garments are essentially all the same. They endeavor to cover the human form in a pleasing and/or utilitarian way. So once the basic shapes are learned garment construction is much like the act of writing. Once one learns to write the alphabet words can be made into any variants on the original 26 letters of the alphabet from Hemingway to Whitman, from Dr. Sues to Shakespeare. In that way once the basic shapes of garments are learned you can make a t-shirt or a ball gown, a suit jacket or a sweater. The combinations may seem endless but I still refuse to buy into the old wives tale that chimps with typewriters could eventually produce Shakespeare. No chimp in my sewing room would ever produce Dior.

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