This project was a very very difficult one. It was from my college years. I had won a scholarship to study in Paris for a year at the best fashion school in the country (so they say). It was a school specializing in Couture techniques so you could work at one of the REAL Couture houses. Don’t even get me started on companies that call themselves Couture that are not. So I had all kinds of classes to attend held entirely in French and I was confused A LOT. My french was pretty good in the most basic of conversations, but I could not keep up with what was said in class. We had a textile class to go to. I was in the “senior” year of the school and none of the other students had ever had a textile design class before. FINALLY I was going to know how to do things they didn’t!! I had 3 YEARS of textile design experience at that point!!
So we go to class (I missed the first one because they switched my schedule during that week) and I am prepared to kick the ass of everyone in that class with my mad skills. I brought a book I found that had lots of photos I think it was about Thailand and I was about to develop and amazing collection of prints! I was so excited about this class. I think we only had it 6 times total and then it was back to knitting a sweater by hand with no pattern – yeah I didn’t do that one. I show up and meet with the teacher, show him my ideas and he likes them (I think) but that is not how they do it. Nope, they have you take a picture from your inspiration book and make the picture out of fabric and whatnot. ooooookay. sure why not.
I didn’t really understand fully until I looked around and the girl across from me (Anne Claire I believe) was sewing little stuffed people she made out of felt onto a background piece. Yes, there were 2 people walking in her inspiration picture and so she made the people walking. It was God awful. I was, once again, completely confused. Why the hell would we ever want to make textile designs that look this shitty?? I mean after looking at what everyone was doing, I can tell you they were all awful. Awful does not even do those disasters justice. We only did one “design” and that was it for the year. You were supposed to be completely literal with the image and trying to be creative or abstract at all was not acceptable. Trust me, that is how it was at that school. You were taught this is how you do it, this is the correct way, do it this way always or you fail. I failed a lot.
The exercise was interesting, but the lack of creative freedom made it doomed to fail. I think what upset me the most is that this is all they were taught as textile design. This was not an exercise to open you up to new ideas before developing a collection of designs, it was one literal piece that had to look like the photo and that is it. So unfulfilling.
So this was my attempt at that project, I couldn’t do the completely literal part, I just couldn’t, but I tried my best. I did a collection of designs and tried to pick the best one, I chose the last one to turn in, the picture is missing on it. It didn’t matter it was too “abstract”.
They sucked anyway, but I saw a lot worse in that room. When I cleaned out my closet and found these I died. They are hysterically bad, I only wish I had photos of the ones other people made. There was not one that was close to “good”. God bless that school and their antiquated ways.