Eco Fashion Show in Charlottesville

20 03 2011

I got the C magazine this week and was very interested (and a little confused, as you’ll soon understand) to see a half-page ad for the 1st Annual Eco Fashion Show on April 30, 2011. It says they are now seeking designers and models and sponsors. It seemed to me I’d seen a poster for it somewhere, too. Maybe on the window of the C’ville office?

Visions of Desigual danced in my eyes. Yes, I know Desigual uses new materials, but their designs are my idea of what exciting eco fashion should look like. I set out to find everything I could about the show.  And of course, the first place I went was their website:

which turned out to be on WordPress.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to the site. There were no posts, two sponsors listed. Trees on Fire was a designer (?) being featured. Perhaps the organizer. On with my investigation.

The half-page ad says designers “Must apply by March 1st”. Is that a mistake? Is it too late for designers to sign up to participate? If not, shouldn’t more featured designers be listed on the website? It also says applications and guidelines are available on-line. Where? Certainly not on the web-site as far as I can see. There’s a mystery here to be solved.

Ah ha! There’s an e-mail address. I shall write them and find out everything I can. Maybe even where the fashion show will be. I’ll report back as soon as I hear.



11 03 2011

I’m posting this same post to both my blogs today. This has to do with my idea for a store that would sell only goods designed and made locally, the one I call La Vida Local – Charlottesville.

Yesterday, after I posted here very briefly, I did a Google search of “Charlottesville designers”. By pure luck, I came upon a site that had a very brief story that was vaguely relevant, but further down the page was a story about something in Denver called YesPleaseMore.

Go ahead! Look at the site and you’ll see why I got so excited on reading about it.  I don’t even care if you leave my blog to look at it and don’t end up coming back. I just want everybody, and I mean everybody everywhere, to know that the idea is actually practical, even including things I had thought of but hardly dared dream of, let alone mention, for fear of asking too much.

YesPleaseMore includes not only a (pop-up) shop, but funding for new innovations for members of the local creative community, starter grants, space for collaboration, access to other funding. Fantastic!

And the shop! Well, I can’t help quoting here. It is seen as “acting as a “mix and match” experience that combines events, shopping, co-working and performances to create a cultural mashup”.

Well, I’ve already started contacting the right people to make this possible here. If I don’t contact you, feel free to contact me.

OK, I Know You’re Out There

10 03 2011

Right. I haven’t posted any news concerning the proposed “all Charlottesville designers” fashion show lately. I haven’t made it out to Les Fabriques either.

I had plans, but I also have a knee that has decided to go haywire, so I gave it all of Saturday through to the afternoon of Monday to rest, to be iced, to be aspirined, and generally babied and given every chance to recover. No such luck. I carried my knee brace with me to Monday afternoon / evening commitment “just in case” and sure enough, I needed it. I have no idea what’s wrong with the danged knee. Doctor thinks it’s tendonitis, but the pain has switched sides and there’s this crazy “bubbling” type thing to be felt by pressing on the right side while bending the knee. 

Every day, though, I check the readership of this blog, and I see a few hits on my call for Charlottesville designers, so I know you’re out there. Come out of hiding or I’m coming in after you.

(Alright, I don’t exactly know how to do that, but I’ve got a number of ideas.)

Two Possible Local Designers for the Show

2 03 2011

Just a very quick post this time. Got to give a little rooster crow. I’ve been contacted by a prospective designer in a comment on a recent posting. And she has a friend who is a designer, too. Can’t tell you more without permission. Heck, I don’t know more, really, yet. Go see her post for yourself and look at her Etsy store, or wait until she gets those other items up.

Why I’m Not Doing Much Making

26 02 2011

I’m working a lot these days. When I’m not working at the quilt shop, or tutoring for a tutoring service (or traveling back and forth, an hour and a half each way by bus, sometimes for just an hour and a half of tutoring), or tutoring private students, or doing all the things that need doing outside our house (because my husband is recovering from a hip replacement), or doing some kind of commission work (my latest, connecting two crocheted bedspreads to form one), I’m dreaming up things like a store that sells only things made locally or a fashion show of local designers.

Maybe it’s age setting in. I know enough about the history of these arts I love to know that for them to survive in their highest forms, it must be possible for someone to earn a living doing them. If you doubt that, just look at how many offerings in craft supply shops fall into the shortcut, do-it-fast category.

So, to give those developing their skills a chance at this, I need to follow up on the store and the fashion show idea. For the shop, I need to determine the best structure for the shop. I have some examples to explore, some knowlegeable (sp?) people to contact, a possible partnership idea, and I could always become an agent and offer my services.

I need to investigate the costs and advantages of different locations.

I also have various funding possibilities to explore.

I was going to talk about what I need to do for the fashion show, too, but I think I’ll save that for another post.

Wanted: Charlottesville Fashion Designers

23 02 2011

I’ve been brainstorming with Dana, who writes the Cville Fashion blog ( about how to organize a fashion show showing only the work of local designers. Yes, indeed, there are fashion designers living and working in Charlottesville. One source, for example, may well be the sewing and designing courses run by Les Fabriques (which does still exist, pretty nearly opposite Wal-Mart as I understand it. I haven’t been to their new location yet, but from ads and from speaking to people who have, it seems they have been able to expand in any number of directions.) I’ll be brainstorming on possible ways of ferreting them out as I work my day job tomorrow, but as usual, I’m open to suggestions.

Designers, as in dress designers aren’t all we’ll need, though. We’ll need designers of jewelry, handbags, shoes, scarves, belts, all kinds of accessories. It would be great to have knit designers or menswear designers or children’s wear designers or any other variations as well.

It’s possible we’ll be able to have prints designed by local textile designers made available to designers. Or many locally spun yarns for knit designers. There are many possibilities for locally produced materials for our designers.

We’ll need stylists to pull the looks together. We’ll need sponsors, preferably local makers of things that might be of interest to our audience or local shops interested in stocking the wares of our local designers.

We’ll need dressers, set constructors, organizers, music (by locals, of course), models, folks who are willing to help with publicity, organizers, hair stylists, make-up artists. I feel as if the list could go on and on.

And unless we somehow managed to attract a funding angel, all of these roles might well be taken up by volunteers. And I want to be open to including volunteers who are totally inexperienced in the role they want to take on, aspirers, just as the various designers will be aspirers.

I am ambitious and perhaps crazy enough to want to pull all this off in the week that the first year folks turn up for UVA, or maybe during Virginia Fashion Week whenever it is next scheduled.

Then there’s where to do it.

If you see this blog post, pass it on to anyone who you think might be interested in participating in this adventure of mine and Dana’s. There’s space in our padded room for many more Charlottesvillians.

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?