The Runway Show of Charlottesville Designers

21 02 2011

I’d like to introduce you to my other wild idea. I’m a big fan of both Project Runway and Project Catwalk, the UK version. I’m also someone with a degree in a fashion suject with a history of working in the trade. And when I did work in the trade, as a print designer, I worked with a company that had only 30 employees. The company started with plain un-printed fabric, chose a pallet of colors, designed garments, designed prints, had samples made, presented them at trade fairs, culled the line according to orders placed, had enough yards of fabric printed and dyed (outside the US) to make enough garments to fill those orders and some reorders, and sold the garments. The operation was so small I got to observe the whole process. And I didn’t realize how much I’d learned and appreciate the opportunity I’d been given until it was over. Thanks, Claude, Neil, and Randy.

Given how few people it took, I realized that a fashion design company working out of a relatively small (compared to NYC) town was possible. And that led to the realization that small town designers shouldn’t necessarily have to go off to NYC to see their work on runways and in shops.

After I moved back to Charlottesville, I walked downtown and I saw runways. The walk down from the bus stop outside the Omni on Water St. to the skating rink entrance. A sunken one along the buildings on a side street where businesses had been.

Then I met a variety of local artists making wearables, and I visited Les Fabriques and saw the drawings on the walls of their teaching room. I even met people who have a screen printing business and are interested in printing repeats.

Now, through Twitter, I’ve met someone who might be able to provide even more local design contacts. I do believe that this crazy idea of mine is possible in Charlottesville. It’s a magical city where things that aren’t thought possible happen all the time. Why not for me?

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