Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Oh that's right! I have a blog, don't I?

This has been an incredibly busy post-holiday season so far. Lots of meetings, appointments, an incredibly intense, and fast-paced fashion business crash course, and the beat goes on...

The Find a Dressmaker list is growing, and continuing to improve.  My client relationships/communication are better, and I am doing better work as a result.

Here are some things I've learned lately, that I must share with you...

In no particular order...

Where have you been all my life?

Why is it, that only now, I have discovered the Evernote app?  Everyone needs it.  Correct that.  Everyone with a busy, creative, frenetic life needs it.  The days of having a Palm PDA are long gone, although I often miss mine, and the way it really did a much better job as a PDA than my IPhone ever will... but with this app, I have rediscovered the beauty of those PDA functions I miss so much, and all is right with the world again!

The ripply zipper problem in bias cut garments....

I had the pleasure of being in a designer studio where some pretty awesome stuff is being created for Fashion Week. I looked at the beautiful construction of the garments, and was truly impressed.  So, while examining them, I noticed a few things that were unique, but among them...

When working on a bias garment with complicated seams, why not insert the zipper on the bias?  Of course!  A zipper that goes from underarm to lower back is entirely doable, and so much better looking!  Shaking my head over how obvious such a technically well-thought-out design detail this is.

How do designers get their designs in stores... Financially?


So, I often wonder how designers take the risk of getting things produced, and then waiting for the stores to pay, while hoping for reorders... the answer is a FACTOR.  Not a financial mystery or secret, and clearly explained on this very well respected factor's website.

Where do you designers find samplemakers for Fashion Week?


Everywhere.  And nowhere.  The power is in relationship building.  No one does it for the cash.  No one.  Many dressmakers are at retirement, post-retirement, and "leave me alone" age.  Especially the skilled ones.  Any professional service hesitates to have any kind of staffing conversation unless you have are handing them a check RIGHT NOW.  The pressure of this economy has reached a fever pitch, and no one wants to take the time to build relationships with people, which, I believe, is what you must do, if you want to get good work out of them.  Dressmakers with hand skills seem to know each other, and know OF each other.  It isn't really a competitive niche, because frankly, it is talent-based.  You can't fake it.  Either you can do it, or you can't.

Secrets of the garment district.... shhhhhhh....

And one of the biggest secrets of the garment district here in NYC?  The same stuff all of these little firms (who often have no website or email address, by the way) do for high-end designers, they will also do for you, as long as you pay for it.  And not even exorbitant sums... Need your fabric pleated?  Fused? Covered buttons?  Grommets placed? Buttonholes? Leather cut with intricate little patterns?  It can all be done... Good luck finding it, though.  Again, it is all about relationship building.