Friday, August 6, 2010

The "rules" of design are often successfully broken.

What is the difference between a designer and a seamster/seamstress? Well, the first obvious answer is that designers don´t always know how to sew and vice versa. Many of the famous household name designers have hardly ever touched a sewing machine. (Can you imagine J. Lo or Lindsay Lohan sitting hunched over a sewing machine?) The designer knows how to express his concept and the seamster/seamstress follows directions.  Obviously if you are able to do both, as well as draft patterns, you have an advantage. It is also often said that no clothing is really a new design anymore. It´s all been done before, reinvented in different fabrics and colors and textures.  The more one immerses themself in the world of fashion the more apparent that becomes. Even so, a successful designer is able to put his/her own twist into the final product to make heads turn and surprise us.

I just had that experience last week at a fashion show I attended. The Argentine designer, Laurencio Adot had a trunk show here in Cordoba, some spring/summer dresses from his Cruise Line Collection 2011.  At first it was like any other show I´ve seen. Tall, beautiful women walking around a raised platform in gorgeous dresses. No question the man is as talented and as appealing as many of his mainstreamed peers.  A few vetran celebrity Argentine models were in the show as well such as Dolores Barreiro and Carolina Baldini.

Before I continue, let´s review the very "basic rules" we are often taught when we study clothing design. If you are going to use busy, bold-patterned fabric, keep the design simple. If you are going to use solid colors then go ahead and add bells and whistles and ruffles etc.... In other words, "Don´t overdo it." So when I saw a dress from his spring/summer collection I stopped dead in my tracks. A flowy saturated, bold, floral print dress with drapes and ruffles and tucks and swirls.... It was above the knee, but not super short. "Tastefully overdone" and something I would definitely wear to an evening barbecue or other summer event.

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Elie Saab Summer 2010
It is not his trademark style but I have since looked at other Laurencio Adot collections and see that he often does have one or two of these "tastefully overdone" pieces in his shows. So far though I think the one saw last week has been my favorite. I not only LOVED the dress. I was struck with instant admiration for Mr. Adot, (although I still do wish he would stop using fur). He DARED to break the rules, not once, but several times and the results were a success in my opinion.  Here are more pictures from the trunk show.  Very reminiscent of another well known designer Elie Saab.  Talk about breaking rules successfully! 

This is a lesson to all of us who want to get noticed in whatever we design. Not to copy Mr. Adot or Elie Saab of course. But to BREAK THE RULES! It is a risk. If you´ve watched all seven seasons of Project Runway like I have you will know that. But when a designer risks it and successfully pulls it off? The rewards are worth it. Another designer I admire for her "rule breaking" ways is actually one of the Project Runway contestants. I believe she was in Season Three. Uli, The German girl who was always mixing mismatched patterns and somehow always making them work.  In any given season of Project Runway you will notice that the ones who usually make it to Bryant Park are the "rulebreakers".  Get the whole collection of Project Runway and pick YOUR favorites!
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