Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Boomer in the Fashion World

I returned to school a while back. I started off by taking some courses at SUNY. First, it was the serious stuff: Statistics and Philosophy - one extreme to the other, I figured. I fooled both professors and got A's. Then, I decided to take a few courses at F.I.T. and I fell in love with the place. It reeks of professionalism (among other things) but the good part (for me) is that you can't fool anyone there. They take themselves and the industry very seriously, which is how it should be. This is the real deal. If you love learning and fashion, be sure to check out their catalogue. You won't find a better resource.

I began by taking courses in Elements of Textiles and knitting on industrial machines and I got lessons in humility, fast. It's the first time, in years, that I have received less than an A in a class - and B's are hard on one's ego when, occasionally , one thinks oneself a smarty-pants. That's another illusion I have had to release quickly. It takes me twice as long to learn (and recall) as it did years back. Wonder if that has anything to do with "maturity" - Nah!

This semester I am taking a course on Textile Marketing - which is another good kick in the bottom since I spent almost 20 years marketing for very large brands in the entertainment business. Within the class, the Professor has broken us up into 3 presentation groups and my area is "organic cotton". Because I am the elder in the group, I think the others tend to look to me as being the ringmaster. No more ringmastering for me. I am intent on working in tandem. and not taking over. I have also taken another machine knitting course and this one has got me interested in additional applications for use.

I have had an intertesting week - interviewing some name brands from the knitting and textile world and setting up a new feature on the Knitty City website (www.knittycity.com) Last month I interviewed Xenbobia Bailey - a prolific and gifted crochet artist. She has taken the humble single crochet stitch and turned it into a super star in her clothing and installations. Here she is wearing a few examples of her work and looking like the creative goddess that she is

Coming soon: Sabrina Gschwandtner who is currently appearing (on Thursdays) at the Museum of Art & Design http://www.madmuseum.org You have to get over there and see her demonstrate the creation of her current project (hint: unique quilting).


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