Friday, December 21, 2007

A Fitting at Proenza Schouler!

I met two of my favorite designers last week. They’re the design team behind Proenza Schouler, the up and coming darlings of the New York fashion world, straight out of Parsons 5 - ? – years ago, now with a CFDA award, and a big chunk of their company bought by Valentino – which means they can play around a little bit more with their creativity. The reason I mention their credentials is because they’re some of those esoteric famous people – if you’re in the fashion world, you know who they are and presumably respect the hell out of their work, if not – well, none of my friends have had any idea who I was talking about when I excitedly told them I’d met Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez. Oh well.
Nicolas had a fitting with them last Thursday – a sleety, freezing day – and NC Inc is so swamped that he couldn’t spare Isabella to help him at the fitting – so I went instead! I was sooo excited. I felt very quintessentially NYC running down Broadway with a garment bag and an umbrella in the slush, taking the freight elevator up to PS’s 6th floor studio. I met both Jack and Lazaro, who were very sweet, as were the rest of their team. My starstruck jitters didn’t last very long because the fitting itself was so interesting.
What I've come to learn more and more with Nicolas is that I need to trust my gut at all times. So much of what we do is instinct based. That instinct needs to be honed, of course, and you have to know the general guidlines in terms of how fabric behaves and the basic process of draping and patterning garments, but a lot of times when I'm stumped, if I remind myself to use my instinct, I can figure the problem out.
The reason I mention this is that most of the fitting seemed to be Jack or Lazaro saying "hmmm...I don't know if i like this aspect" and then Nicolas would slash a line, or tear out a seam, or pinch out some fabric, and they'd all step back, and say "better..." or "no...." It was a lot of fun to watch, but hard to convey in writing. We had 7 garments to fit, and it took about 4 hours, with 2 of the garments needing a second fitting. The fact that the other 5 didn't need second fittings attests to both Nicolas's skill and Lazaro and Jack's complete trust in Nicolas's skill.
Another little thing from the fitting: I noticed that Nicolas handled the clothes on the fit model in exactly the same way he does on the dressmaker's forms. I guess this isn't surprising except that I realized suddenly that I had been thinking of the fit model, Lily, as a dressmaker's form. I mean that in the literal sense. It actually startled me when she spoke.

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