Friday, January 14, 2011

I design clothes

I design clothes.
But am not really interested in fashion.
Does not make sense really, or does it?

Fashion changes very quickly. Designers produce a new collection for every season.
Very much in keeping with the present disposable consumer culture.
The main objective seems to be to consume.
There are no demands on the material to be of any good quality.

Up until a few generations ago the main emphasis on clothes
was that they last.
That the material is good. That the craftsmanship is good.
Garments were worn for a long time. 
Even a lifetime.
Sometimes even passed on.
That was normal.

What happened?
A combination of Industrialization, cheap transport leading to cheap imports from cheap labor countries, the use of clever psychology in marketing and much more.

We are coming to an end of this because the resources are almost exhausted. 
The cultivation of cotton, for example, does not justify the harm that is done 
to the environment by using huge amounts of water (about 700 liter for 1 pair of jeans) , 
pesticides and herbicides.
I am going to write some more about clothing materials in another blog.

Change is already happening.
Again clothes are made that last.
Good designs.
Good material.
Good craftsmanship.

The very first design I ever made was my adaptation of the Kinsale Smock: 
the Fastnet Smock. 
I made it also in my own merino-fleece.
Last year a woman from the UK made what I could almost call a pilgrimage to my workshop, 
proudly sporting her 15 year old merino fleece fastnet smock.
It looked like as if she had worn it every single day, and still looked good in it’s vintage way. 
Well, she had worn it almost every day !
And all she wanted was the exact same garment again. 
She was glad I still had the pattern, that 'fashion' moves slow here.

So I go back to my workshop and work on some new designs.
Most of the designs I will be bringing to the Trade-Show at the 
end of January will be ones that have shownn there before. 
And I know my customers will order them again. 
And there will be new ones.
I play with what is there. Make changes. Try and dismiss. 
At the end there will a few new designs in my program. 
If they are good they will be in it for several years.                          



  1. I have LOVED my Fastnet coat SOOOO much! I'll be honest: I bought it at a local second hand shop where someone had clearly donated it - of course, if I had a nickel for EVERY time I thought to myself, " Who GAVE this away?".
    I would be rich myself.
    So here's the story - I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota and I wear my short, wide, chocolate brown coat with the matte buttons (gorgeous) with such pride and such happiness about the lightweight warmth - you cannot imagine!
    A year or so ago I did not have the same luck as I have had today finding your lovely products online. Now I am curious what I would be paying in American dollars - and if you even ship to us.
    Heartbroken, I have lost the arm warmers and regret my absent mind regularly.
    Despite the melting glaciers around the world trying to warm us up permanently, it is now single digits (fahrenheit) and I am always cozy indoors and out!
    So what are equivalent prices (I know I can look up the exchange, but I am a bit lazy...)
    Comfort Belbas

  2. Dear Comfort Belbas!
    so inspiring and heart-warming to read your comment. It's nice for us to know how much our garments are appreciated. About the buttons: they are actually made out of black mother-of-pearl, hence the nice touch. And as for ordering via this website, the prices include the shipment to the US. The exchange rate at the moment: € 1 = $ 1.30.
    Happy days in Minneapolis Doris