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So What Do We Wear Now? Inside The New Fashion Collection

The most interesting fashion looks are a combination of things. Allow me to start at the beginning, bear with me a sec.

I'm always fascinated by how we, as humans, dress - currently, in the recent past, in the ancient past - and especially how that informs our future.

Every summer I teach an Historic Costume course and as we study the past 2000 years for our human behavioral patterns with regard to clothing ourselves, we can make some forecasts about the future.

Edwardian fashion collageEdwardian fashions c. 1900-1910

It tends to get very technical and scholarly, but the main thing to know is that everything people wear comes within context of the zeitgeist, "the spirit of the times." (Ask my students, they'll tell you it's my favorite word).

Anyway, as this past year has placed a marker in history, I've been diving into how we shop, what clothing we buy, how we put our wardrobe together, is it a conscious process or partially-conscious, etc. What exactly is the current zeitgeist?

I don't know anyone who shops at just one store for what they wear. I know very few people who shop at just one type of store for what they wear. Many of us shop a combination of:

  • new upscale
  • new budget-friendly
  • used from consignment/vintage retailers
  • used via thrift shops
  • used via clothing swaps

and there's probably more I'm not even thinking of. To me, this is the new reality of fashion design and merchandising. The zeitgeist. This is the underlying stuff I think about when designing, and the root of how I am building this current collection.

This collection is built on rejecting the notion that new and secondhand are completely separate. I believe they integrate.

This collection - which I started calling "Spring '21" but have now shifted to calling it less specifically "Collection I" - is built on rejecting the notion that new and secondhand are completely separate. I believe they integrate. The most interesting fashion looks are a combination of things.

abstract inspirations

Mood board imagery

And placing a collection within a season and year is traditional, yes, but it is also limiting (and sometimes wasteful). For example, you have a "summer" sundress you love but also want to wear it in the winter. The design of it should allow you add, say a turtleneck and tights and suddenly, boom! Seasonless.

This is one concept of multi-functional, season-transgressing garments I can feel good about sending into the world. I also firmly believe that adding practicality to fashion doesn't have to decrease it's fun. Functional clothing doesn't have to be boring.

So that's the foundation for this collection: functional + seasonless + new + secondhand. I'm really looking forward to sharing more details and photos with you in the coming weeks.

If you'd like insider updates on this collection and first access to it when it launches, be sure you're signed up on the email list below.

 

And hey, if you're interested in that Historic Costume class I mentioned, it starts June 7th online via Butte College. Search up course FASH 74 for Summer 2021.

More next week, friends!

~Jules

American Happy "Collection I" mood board

Mood board in progress...

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