This week’s post is only about design class as it has been my focus in the last week. The Design Book is due today…every student has to make all the final decisions about their collection – which 5 looks are in, how each of them will be constructed, final details such as pocket placement and top-stitching and final fabric choices. All of these decisions are communicated in the design book sketches and technical drawings. Any changes after the design book is submitted on Thursday must be approved by the instructor. This is very challenging because I am sure that I and others will want to experiment a bit while making patterns and muslin prototypes. But the students are being taught to work in an industry environment where once a client has signed off on the final collection, changes and experimentation can’t continue without potentially alienating the client who has placed an order based on the final approved looks.
Last week’s class was reserved for reviewing the details of the remaining assignments and answering questions. It is a large class (about 60) and we meet in a studio that does not have enough seats for everyone…students standing, sitting on tables, etc. There are so many distinct pieces of this capstone process, so I was not surprised that there were so many very specific questions about the various requirements and assignments.
I have spent a little bit of time in the lab outside of class – most recently early morning Thursday (one student owns the lab in the early morning hours and has been there every time I have visited the lab – I interviewed him this morning for a profile…so talented) and part of Monday afternoon…I know that many of the students have not started making their patterns and muslins (the first muslin is due in two weeks and then one a week each week following). In fact big rolls of paper that some students ordered for pattern drafting have been delivered to the lab recently and are still wrapped in plastic. I had to get started early and pace the work over 2 months. I can really only work on this project evenings and weekends and despite the schedule I drafted for myself I am already about a week behind. Muslin 1 is about ¾ finished and part of the pattern for muslin 3 is drafted. There is so much left to do. This coming long weekend I will focus on one of the menswear looks which has three pieces that need to be drafted and constructed out of muslin.
It is really interesting being in the lab just working because you see the students just as they are…no one really notices who is and isn’t there and there is conversation about fabric choices interwoven with dating adventures, what to eat, commuting frustrations and panic about assignments in other courses, etc. In particular the dating adventures conversations made me wish I was still in my twenties while simultaneously making me glad I am no longer in my twenties. With my head down, sewing away I catch myself smiling at some of the things I hear…I am not sure that the life of a 20 year old is all that different at its core than it was over 30 years ago when I was living it.
Just a final note in this post…In class last week I got to share my fabric swatches with Designer in Residence Wayne Clarke…he liked my print…I am going to go with his advice.