As I mentioned in my last blog post, SEVEN is a project I am organizing between a group of local artists. I am dying the silk for each artist and then every designer is making their own, high fashion piece to represent one of the “seven deadly sins”.
As I also mentioned in previous posts, I have worked with Adrienne Goodine on numerous projects over the past year. One of which we called ADRARA (a combination of our names). ADRARA was a brand we started before we got some news…Adrienne is having a baby! So when I asked Adrienne to help me with one of the sins, I thought that “Sloth” would be the best option. I figured that sloth would be something quick and simple that Adrienne could put together before she has the baby. She agreed to help and here is her take on making her piece, “Sloth”.
“When I was approached about making a piece for the project I could not turn it down. It sounded very interesting to me and I felt it was a great opportunity to showcase some of the local talent we have in Fredericton. I was asked to do “Sloth.” The textile designer and lead on the project , Dee Wilkie, felt it was something I should be a part of (which was flattering!). We have collaborated several times and she knows I can be a perfectionist (okay, I am almost always a perfectionist) and thought this would be a good one for me to loosen up with. I was also 4-5 months pregnant when she asked and felt it would be a more laid back design for me.
The hardest part was to give it a sloth like appeal, a look of laziness, i.e. the unfinished hems that drove me crazy because when it comes to sewing garments, I am the complete opposite of sloth. I looked everywhere for inspiration and just couldn’t find anything. I was overthinking it. One night I looked at an old Swarovski Calendar I had. All the women were wearing designer dresses but all looked lazy, posing sluggishly, while sparkling in Swarovski designs. I thought to myself, they all look so glamorous but don’t seem to care about anything. I went with that idea but without all the sparkle. It is after all, about the dress and the fabric. The first thing I needed, was for it to look like one of my designs. Secondly, I had to get into a sloth frame of mind. That’s where unfinished hems and lose fit on the dress came into mind. I had to play the part like an actor getting ready for a new role. I had to become a sloth.
This dress took me somewhere between 20-25 hours of construction. That does not count the number of hours I spent changing my mind and trying to make it perfect. As of right now, I work out of my house. I have a full time job so it’s all in the evenings and weekends. The late summer heat was not my friend and my biggest challenge was getting it finished within a certain time frame because I am pregnant. It took me a month to finalize my design and another month to make it between working, other projects and preparing for a new baby. Piece of cake!
The most exciting part about creating something new is just that, the creative part. It can also be the most time consuming. As I mentioned before, I can be a perfectionist. I am constantly changing my mind until I am 100% happy with the design and feel that it represents me as a designer. I like clean lines, simple silhouettes and love a fitted garment that is boned or corseted. I prefer hand sewing because it creates a bond with the garment. I also love bows and ruffles and try to throw in a little bit of that in almost everything I do. Another exciting part for me is finalizing everything and seeing the garment on the person. Sometimes I get emotional because that garment is a part of me. It has so many hours of my life in it. To see it complete and being happy with it, is amazing. I have been doing this sort of thing for the past 5-6 years; working a full time job and sewing lines of clothing or custom pieces. It’s something I love to do. In fact, creating garments help me stay focused. For that time I become absorbed in what I am doing and forget about any stresses that may be plaguing my mind. When you are doing something that makes you happy, love and brings you joy, you are present in that moment. You are doing exactly what you are meant to do. ”
“Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
D.W. & A.G.