Back to Basics

After a whirlwind of a non-stop six weeks, there is finally a break in the action. In my writing last week and with benefit of the reflection evidenced in your wise comments, I have been finding out more about what aspects of this adventure give me pleasure, which aspects give me stress and which aspects make me not feel so good about what I am doing. 

I was reading an article over the weekend called, "The Ten Commandments of the New Consumerism". It optimistically states that consumers are becoming more thoughtful about sustainability, transparency and appreciating authenticity. The research is coming out of Europe and resonates for me as I feel I sometimes have more in common with European sensibilities. Most of the professional journals I read are from outside of the U.S. where I seem to find a different level of discourse happening. Interestingly as you may note from my fashion bibliography it also extends to the fashion news and commentary I most like to consume. For someone like me, and I might add, like us, the notion that people are re-assessing their priorities and really figuring out what they value seems like old news. However, I like where this is going and especially like the drive towards transparency in companies providing information on how our clothes are made and who or what  gets helped or hurt in the process. 

Authenticity is another word that seems to have great currency right now and as applied to this world it means that brands have to offer products in keeping with their history and culture. I think right now two brands I have had recent experience with, Coach and Frye, are good examples of what this means. Both were quite mired in their history and lost my interest for quite a few years. Both have surprised me of late at their modern take on what I loved about them from the past. That's the sweet spot I want to hit too.

In this digital world people still seem to want experiences and not just walk into a store to shop. This is also a wonderfully creative niche to explore. I was recently part of a photo shoot for a young designer that included women of all ages and diversities. Part of signing on is that this was not just a one lookbook deal. This lookbook tells a story about the women inhabiting the clothes, not just the clothes. This was going to become an experience, there will be interviews, events and an on-going relationship not just with a brand but with the people that are the life, the breath and the bones of the brand. This harkening back to collectivity is with the caveat that there must be ways for us to personalize and to individualize at the same time  How can I make this garment uniquely mine? How do I put my stamp on a product? Giving people the opportunity to collaborate with you to co-create is a very exciting prospect and is inspiring me right now when it comes to some future content and features. 

So this is all a long way of saying how much I appreciated the time and space to think and reflect this week. Inviting inspiration to come creeping into your workspace means you need to make room for it. I need to become a more thoughtful consumer of opportunities.

Another treat this week was leisurely looking through the Italian collections from Milan Fashion Week. Fendi was so lovely it almost made me cry. For some of my favorite looks see my Pinterest board, Milan Edition Fashion Week.

Do you think I favor the Italians because their more recent collections have been featuring librarian types and studious girls with glasses?