Sunday, May 11, 2008

future of fashion?

A Google alert (a glert?) took me to Andrea, upset her design was not a finalist in Seventeen's Design Contest. While I sympathise, I do need to state my view that being competent at sketching is not a prerequisite for a successful career in fashion design. Madeleine Vionnet. Case closed.

But, let's have a quick look at the finalists. Most make claims of originality, creativity, uniqueness, etc. Little is evident in any of drawings. Most could come from the same store - any store, in fact, on the high street or in a mall. Now, not in the future. The finalists, I believe, have drawn what they know, not what they could imagine (I hope). I find one of the more difficult aspects of teaching fashion design is to try and push a student into the unknown, the unsafe, the uncomfortable. To save a teacher somewhere the trouble, I'd recommend none of the finalists choose a career in fashion design. This may sound mean, but I think giving such advice is kind (and justified). It reminds me of the audition episodes for Idol, where people who really can't sing are told so.

Maybe I am being mean. Seeing those drawings, I must admit, does make me a bit angry. Not at the contestants but the state of things - that the creators of such generic outputs would think they are being original. I don't think the finalists are to blame, for they are only a symptom.

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