Saturday, September 26, 2009

Report -- Artistry in Fashion 2009

Wow, I am filled with gratitude for such an amazing day. I attended Canada College's Artistry in Fashion event, a fund raiser for the college's excellent fashion department. I hadn't attended one in 17 years, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

What a treat. First, there was a designer sale. Three rooms full of wearable art, jewelry, accessories. Well, the third room mostly featured booths by Fred Bloebaum, of LaFred patterns, Loes Hinse of Loes Hinse Designs in conjunction with Casual Elegance Fabrics, who sells her fabrics, notions, and patterns, and the designer (can't remember her name) from Decades of Style. All three designers had sample garments and I tried on several of LaFred's pieces and I bought two of her patterns (Athena Blouse and Olympia Coat). There was also a purveyor of unique buttons and I bought some inexpensive and simple, but nice, black buttons for an Issey Miyake jacket I plan on making.

Then, there was a fashion show featuring the patterns from all three guest designers. Each designer introduced her pattern line, and discussed each garment, how it was made, how it might be worn, etc. Most sewers are familiar with Loes Hinse (pronounced Loose Hin'-se — I've been pronouncing it all wrong!) and Fred Bloebaum, but Decades of Style was new to me. A line of vintage-inspired patterns, most of them weren't "me", but there were two I think I may have to purchase down the road. And the designer (wish I could remember her name) was a delightful speaker who lives and breathes vintage style.

Finally, there was an Open House in the fashion department and, throughout the afternoon, the three pattern designers spoke in one of the classrooms, where student work was on display. I heard both Loes and Fred, but missed the other designer. Loes was very interesting (I learned why she doesn't prewash fabrics) and she was very entertaining as she conveyed her minimalistic aesthetic and her approach to clothing and style. For example, she explained why she likes a very thin thread that "sinks into" the fabric. She also favors a special waistband elastic. All of these notions are sold through Casual Elegance. Because her designs take a "less is more" approach, it is important that the fabric and notions are "just right." Fred talked about her various garments, how she designs them, how she produces them, and so on. It was very enlightening. She also had some gorgeous pieces to try on.

Beforehand, I had decided I wasn't going to spend money. I was going for inspiration, not acquisition. The designer sale began at 10am, but I had arrived early. I walked in the door at 10am and, by 10:10, I was writing a check. I bought a unique wool knit top by Dressed to Kill – a fabulous local designer. Yup, blew my budget in 10 minutes. :)

Most importantly, I saw sewing friends from the "old days" and reconnected. I came home juiced and hit the sewing machine right away, despite the fact that I was still recovering from the heat.

It was announced that the Artistry in Fashion 2010 event will be held on September 25th, 2010. I'm going to put it on my calendar right now. :)