Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Inspiration Is Everywhere! Even at Walmart..


As a gown designer, you learn over time to draw inspiration from anywhere you can get it. Being innovative and on the cutting edge of design is a requirement of the gig. Our design team strives daily to develop modern designs with a hint of traditionalism, to ensure our gowns work for all kinds. The internet provides us with endless ways to draw inspiration. However, being a traditionalist myself, I still prefer the daily experiences, people around me, and nature to inspire ideas for new collections. Such small unassuming things can get your creative mojo flowing and it can literally come out of no where...

Yesterday, while trying to find a parking space in the Walmart parking lot (not a task for the faint of heart) I stopped my car as a little old man walked into the store. He was frail and walked very slowly. I noticed he had on a WW II hat and jacket with multiple military patches, clearly proud of his service to our country. A car coming the opposite direction was full of young teenagers who were bothered by waiting for this old man to cross. The driver laid on the horn letting this old man know that he was clearly inconveniencing them and their busy schedule. The old man stopped, looked at them, then slowly kept making his way into the store. While watching this all unfold (and walking up to the teenage driver to let him know he better show some respect...I just couldn't help myself) I noticed some things about the old man. He had such a kind, pleasant face and a twinkle in his eye. He took pride in his appearance, and he was wearing a wedding ring. Looking at him, I knew almost instantly that he had enjoyed a long, very happy life and I started to imagine all the amazing stories I am sure he had to tell. His wedding ring clearly showed that he had someone he loved. This imagination of mine started wandering. I started imagining a World War II where letters professing their undying love for one another and sadness because they were apart, was hand written in hundreds of letters back and forth. I imagined a beautiful young gal waiting and praying each day that the love of her life would come home so they could start their life together. On and on played all different scenarios about this great love that the hopeless romantic inside of  me couldn't help but conjure up. Brought back into the real world by the honking of a vehicle behind me, I parked and went about my day.

Later that night, I pulled out my sketch book and started sketching different outfits I imagined the leading lady in my story might have worn. I thought about the styles of the late 30's and early 40's. The style was so polished, so put together. The women were WOMEN and there was no mistaking it. The fabrics were feminine, the silhouettes were modest yet sexy. The women understood their curves and they dressed to accentuate it. The natural waistline was making its debut and it showed the beauty and femininity of the waist and hips. Along with celebrating the natural beauty of a woman's figure the women of this era began taking on a role in society that they had never taken before. With the men away at war, the women took over as the head of household and provider. They started working outside of the home to provide for their families and to take jobs needed by our economy to support the war. The strong, masculine roles these ladies filled could also be seen in their fashion. The skirt suits with strong collars, became a staple in each ladies wardrobe. Jackets with shoulder pads gave each ladies silhouette power and strength and the natural waist line still kept the feminine sex appeal.

This was an incredible era for sexy and strong women, and the fashion showed us that! I can't wait to use this inspiration in our future collections and I hope we can remind everyone of the importance of sexy and strong in women's fashion!

Til Next Time Ladies,
Lu Raquel

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