Pleated and shirred skirts and trousers are back in style, and I don’t know about you, but I look terrible in them even though I like the styling.
It seems the secret to wearing these if you have a fuller figure is to look for a dropped waistline.
In the issue 98 of Textile View, David Shah said:
The world’s biggest luxury goods purveyors enjoyed a record-breaking 2011. … this is a reflection of a new economic reality. We are not talking about recession here: we are talking about the polarization of wealth and the arrival of a very small, but fabulously wealthy stratum of society that has created a new, super luxury niche market.
So how are your couture sewing skills? Sounds like we’ll all have to take our opportunities where we can get them.
Traditionally, apparel is a fairly low margin business. This means the amount of profit made on each item sold is fairly low compared to the cost it takes to make it, so in order to make a sgnificant amount of money, the company has to sell a lot of units.
This is why I have been following the financials of Lululemon Athletica (LULU) with bated breath.
Lululemon Athletica sells high-design midmarket yoga and athletic wear for women and men. Their projected revenue for 2012 is a mind-boggling 1 billion US dollars.
To compare, Gap Inc. (GPS) has a projected income for 2012 of 14 billion US dollars. However, Gap Inc is the parent company of 4 brands, spanning the upscale midmarket to budget categories, encompassing all markets. The fact that Lululemon Athletica is making that much in one very narrow category (primarily women’s yoga-inspired womanswear) is absolutely astounding.
EDIT: Just for comparison, Lululemon is trading at $20 more per share than Facebook as of today.
Boredom is a serious problem for me. I have always been energized by the beginning of a project, but once I get stuck into the actual work, my engagement drops to dangerously low levels. For a long time, I didn’t think this was a problem. Some people are detail people, some are big picture people. I believed that everyone should focus on their own strengths and not worry too much about things we’re not good at, because someone else who is good at that will pick up the slack
However, when I look around at all the big amazing projects I planned that have never been executed, I have to consider that maybe I can improve my performance in this particular area of my life.
First, I have started to look at my own mental habits and how they are affecting me. I have a tendency to live my life way out in the future; I have a strategic mind and that’s how I view the world. The Buddhist practice of mindfulness sees this tendency as leading to a lot of unhappiness. How can I function in this moment when I’m living my life in an imaginary future? Mindfulness is basically slowing down and putting one’s full attention into where one is and on what one is doing at this moment only. The idea is that if you really focus on everything that goes into a particular task, it is very difficult to be bored by anything.
Without the kind of boredom that gives space for creativity and reflection, we risk the dullness of an uncreative life. The paint never dries and we make a muddy mire of things.
As often is the case with this sort of thing, maybe boredom says more about the bored person than the tasks or state of mind that is being labeled as “boring”. Ulltimately, boredom is an inescapable part of not just the creative process, but everything in life; it’s Seth Godin’s “dip” and the middle part between where the brilliant plan and the amazing reality meet by engaging in a lot of hard work. So it would probably be a good idea to figure out how to make being bored as fun as possible.
I have had my head down developing some new freelance projects and haven’t had a lot of time to think about much else. Also, my sister is getting married in a few weeks so there’s that.
I have been thinking a lot about creativity, specifically my own creativity and how I seem to have misplaced that spark in the day to day work of keeping food on the table and a roof over my head. Even though I now work in a field that is supposedly more creative, the work I’m doing is just as administrative as ever. I think Thomas Edison meant this when he said,”Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.”
When I’m in a rut I go back and read Hugh MacLeod’s manifesto “How to be Creative”, which lays out the process very well. But at the beginning of any creative venture, there’s the terrifying moment of facing the empty dot paper. David Seah calls this “The Blankness” and I think everyone is intimidated by this.
The only strategy I have ever been able to successfully implement in this area is doing whatever I feel like doing to get warmed up. This usually takes the form of improv piecing, which I can do without thinking and is very relaxing. Breaking free of the pressure to do something of value helps clear my mind and find a little more direction.
An old friend of mine used to say “write drunk, edit sober”, which is a short way of saying “just get started”. Getting started is the most challenging part.
I haven’t posted lately, because work life has been … interesting.
Bloomberg as well as other outlets are reporting the end of the big box store (Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart) era. It seems that schemes like Amazon Prime are offering people convenience and greater savings.
What does this mean for the fashion business?
This means that since people are shifting their focus to online buying, small labels with an e-commerce presence will be able to compete at a global level with even the big brands to a certain extent. This will make small producers even more competitive.
Maybe we’re seeing the beginning of the age of dominance of retailers like Shabby Apple!
Another big retail trend we are seeing are people who used to buy high-end goods shopping at discount stores. Some of this is due to this group of shoppers being more conscious of their cash flow, but many of these are people who find themselves in reduced circumstances.
These shoppers are bringing a taste and sophistication to lower-end shopping.
Missoni and Liberty for Target
Vera Wang for Kohl’s
My sister is getting married an I’ve been trying on a lot of dresses, which has got me thinking about silhouettes. Silhouettes are the basic shapes of garments that affect the way they look on the body.
Have you ever noticed how many empire-waisted bridesmaid dresses there are?