So this week has been an especially crazy one, I must say. On Monday, knowing that our final critic meeting was on the coming Wednesday, I asked my internship if I could leave a few hours early and tack those hours onto Friday instead. (I intern at Opening Ceremony, btw since for whatever reason I haven’t mentioned that before? It’s totally awesome, though, and I wish I could own absolutely everything in their SS10 collection!) I went to midtown, picked up some last minute supplies (organza in the burgundy colour of my top to use as trim and some thread for my orange leather). I went home and basically worked all night on finishing up what I could. On Tuesday I mostly spent my time working on Cotton Inc though I really didn’t have much to show for it on Wednesday.
Wednesday was our critic critique and it was a little rough, I have to say. The following is a video of the beginning and end my my critique (there’s a large middle section missing).
So needless to say, I was not left feeling extremely excited after my review. There were a lot of things that Jean said that I thought were truly valid and insightful, but she also made some comments that I didn’t entirely agree with. Now I know that this is not unusual and of course I did not expect for her to love everything, but I found it difficult to debate my point of view; firstly because I was running on very little sleep, but I also I thought it unnecessary because in the end, I truly am free to make my own decisions so I might as well not cause a fuss out of it.
Things to point out:
1. I do agree that something is wrong with the shapes. I personally think that the proportions work, with the high waisted pant and the cropped jacket and top (I’m fully aware that this look is not for everyone!) but perhaps the under top is missing something. Maybe that it’s just that the cut isn’t doing much for it? But I wonder if my chunky/statement necklace will fix that?
2. One frustrating portion of the critique was how Jean mentioned that the top seemed too short and that a longer under piece might have made more sense proportionally. In my initial design, this was longer but I was advised to shorten it. Ha… go figure.
3. I also was a little confused because I thought that making a statement or standing out was important because this garment was for a Fashion Show. I took this to heart and decided to use vinyl in my garment to play off of the lighting of the runway. Also, by my use of colour, which is my “thing” (I’ve always said that rainbow is my favourite colour!) and I honestly didn’t think I was even doing anything outrageous in my colour story. Yes, unusual, but not CRAZY. When I had already determined my colour story and designs, amongst others I saw both Balenciaga and Marni Fall 2010 shows and I became pretty confident in my colour choices. I understand that not everyone will wear those colours together, but I am not designing for everyone.
4. Lastly, I certainly understand what she is saying about working for someone else. Not everyone will understand my vision, and not everything is going to sell, so sometimes I will need to conform or redesign. However, the way I see my career at FIT is that this is my chance to really explore who I am as a designer, because I’m not designing for any other mold. This is my time to get to the raw of who I am as an artist — I’ll have plenty of time to follow molds for the rest of my life! No, I won’t necessarily get into the show, but as my mom told me in an inspirational voice mail that I received while I was in my next class, how would I feel if I conformed to my critic’s or professor’s opinions, when I didn’t agree with them, and I didn’t get into the show anyhow? I’d be left without a garment my soul was in, and I wouldn’t be in the show. And she’s right! I’d rather not get into the show but at least know that what I created, was something I’m super proud of! Thanks, momma! Sidenote, I also take my parents opinions especially strongly as together they own a chain of clothing stores, where 50% of the merchandise is in-house designed and produced mostly locally (it’s called, Plum, and it’s just on the west coast of Canada) – so they too are informed critics!
Overall, the experience with Jean was extremely valuable. I’m sure I will come across many more “tough critics” in the future of my career, and this was a great trial run. Thankfully, Jean expressed that she was impressed with my conviction and articulation of my ideas which I think was a great compliment because it was important to me to portray the confidence that I had in my design.
Back to the garments… here’s my current progress on Cotton Inc!