Last Night was Fashion’s Night Out all over this wide world, people were shopping and drinking champagne late into the evening, all dressed up in the most dramatic and chic. The paparazzi were out in full force. Local designers were out mingling with their followers, imparting style and taste wherever they fluttered. It was awesome. I actually have no idea how awesome it was, because I’ve never been to a Fashion’s Night Out. While Fashion Week is going, I’m preparing for Market Week, which happens the week after. As Fashion Week is mostly for editors and PR, Market Week is for the buyers. Instead of being dressed in lace hanging out at Night Out, I was shin deep in lace fabric hanging out in front of my two computers. Not so glamorous, but the lace is pretty and using two computers at the same time is kind of cool. Maybe not.
The image of fashion is what attracts many of us to this career, but one learns quickly that it takes a deeper passion to stay on this path. In design school one of the first classes everyone had to take was Basic Construction. I was in a classroom with other new students, one of which was this guy who was all about being both fierce and fabulous, simultaneously. He was so serious about this endeavor that he was wearing his sunglasses inside. Who wears their sunglasses inside? During class? A new fashion student, naturally.
The first day you learn how to use a sewing machine, and it only gets harder from there. There was no margin for error with our sewing teacher, Cindy. She was a lovely, ageless Chinese-American woman who made all of her own clothes. And she was strict, with good reason of course. Sewing is a Perfectionist’s activity. The more precise the construction, the closer you are to achieving a perfectly made garment. Cindy never made a mistake, and held us to the same standard. The guy with the sunglasses, with all his fabulosity, had trouble keeping up with the lessons. Cindy was often at his sewing table, lecturing him. After a while his sunglasses were nowhere to be found, and he was often heard complaining about having to take stitches out. I had him in some other the classes after the first quarter, and he was becoming increasingly unhappy.
As sincere as his intentions may have been, I don’t think Sunglasses Inside Guy anticipated the grunt work required to be in a designer in this industry. The glamour of the fashion had faded for him, and was being replaced with the reality of the industry and design school. I was like this to a degree when I started design school, I think every new fashion student feels this way. You have to accept that although there will be many fun times working in fashion, there will be many more late nights and hours of hard work. So not VOGUE, but if it’s right for you and you really love it, the days buried in lace swatches will be as rewarding as a Night Out being fierce and fabulous.