Saturday, 14 March 2015

Jusqu'ici tout va bien...jusqu'ici tout va bien...jusqu'ici tout va bien...

Did you hear the one about the man who jumped off the top of a block of flats?

Of course you've heard it.

The MW dress is over. Having worked on the dress for a year and a half, literally hundreds of hours, it is finally complete.

It isn't perfect. Every step of designing, fit and construction was new to me or pushed my existing knowledge to its limits.  Every stage that got ticked off I'd say "so far so good" and move on. Perhaps this wasn't the most forgiving dress for its imperfections. If one seam is slightly off in the pattern, it will show. If the fabric is damaged, it will show. If the fit is off, it will show. If the construction is sloppy, it will show. And the whole of its imperfections will appear greater than the sum of their parts. Truly.

Perhaps now that it's done it feels a bit like I've hit the pavement.

I have a philosphy that whatever you make tends to subconsiously reflect your state of mind at the time. This dress has gone from whimsical and ambitious to exhausting and disheartening. The fact it took two years to complete means that every step is the best of what I could do at the time. Not now.

I don't know what the dress was ever meant for. It was beautiful and needed to be made. It was a cocktail, birthday, wedding guest etc dress. I think I said at one point that I wanted to wear it on my 25th birthday, and again on my 50th. That obviously didn't happen.

In its final unfinished hours it found its purpose as a work dress.

Now let me explain.

I have somehow fallen into a profession where we organise and host fancy-dancy events for fancy-dancy bigwigs. Just as gents need a suit for this kind of thing, I need an Event Dress. The old one had served me well, but at the beginning of 2014 I looked at it for what it was: a stinking, overworked, RTW polyester dress from 2006. It had served its time. Moreover I felt like a fraud talking to fancy-dancy bigwigs in this dress and a faded, ill-fitting, shoddy Zara suit jacket. It was cheap. It was awkward.

So I threw it out.

And the MW dress has taken over. People sometimes wax poetic about the power of clothing. I recognise it's not a perfect dress. I recognise people probably don't consciously care what other people wear. But in a room full of fancy-dancy bigwigs, I'm bringing something to the table that's totally unique. I am proud of this dress. You don't need to know I made it. It doesn't matter to me whether you know or not. It's not perfect, but what were you expecting? You need to know that this dress is a promise: look at it now and if you decide to buckle up for the long haul, you're in for something spectacular.

So I've jumped and hit the pavement. I've gotten back up and walked away. Now it's time to dust off my (shop-bought) jeans and move on to the next project...


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