Saturday, October 17, 2009

Old School

My mom was a fashion designer back home. Dresses were seldom off the rack in our salon, as the biggest part of her business came from made-to-measure outfits. I wouldn't call it couture technically, but it was definitely made-to-order. Customers often would bring in yards of fabric and consult with her, and mom made a sketch and it would be attached to the yardage. The next step involved the house fashion illustrator creating a more realized sketch based on mom's headless sketches, to present to the customer. I always wondered if Mom could truly draw, but beyond these croquis, she never needed to. She was definitely one of the top of her field in her day, but she never cared for the spotlight, which always frustrated me a bit since I wanted to see her shine.

I always looked up to the women and men who drew for her, as they made her rough-looking ideas into things that customers could much more easily understand. Mom was always very critical of her artists, a point of view that extended to me when she would ask me to do the drawing for her. I think much of my doubts about myself came from her being so exacting, which I knew stemmed from a place of teaching. I knew she was proud of me, but she always pushed me to be better.
Anyhow, I found one of her old sketches, perhaps the only one I have left of her. It's a very 80s matron's dress, very typical for her clientele. But it has her lines, it has her energy, it's her. I thought I'd do a fashion illustration of it, for old times sake. This was the typical croquis I would do to start with, although my lines are a little less confident I think than at my fashion illustration peak.

1 comment:

Joanie said...

Sounds as if your mom was making the most of her time while working. (No need to fill in extra detail...someone else would do it.)

Her exacting standards for you are the same most of our parents have for us. And we should be thankful that they took the time to care. I grew up in a place where too many parents didn't and the kids ran wild. I didn't. But a lot of people I knew did.