Monday, January 24, 2011

The Fabric of Our Lives

Saturday morning I gave up sleeping in and braved the trek to L.A. to see the garment district. I've been to FIDM before, but never quite stepped foot in the actual fabric center of it all. I was blown away. Talk about endless inspiration. Anything is possible with stores filled with fabrics, beads, and every finding in between. I occupied myself on the way down there by reading Selvedge. Love love love the dress on the cover. Is it not amazing?
As someone who sees finished, published work all the time, it is especially of interest to me to see how everything begins, the ingredients before the recipe. I am in awe of the people I work with and the people who design for a living. I think the real art of designing wearables lies in the ability of being able to discern what materials to use, as there are so many gorgeous colors, patterns, weights, materials, and textures.
The reason for my trip was to help my good friend Alexis pick out items for her wedding. I love that Alexis will be making so much for her big day. I think that makes the whole affaire all the more personal. So what makes a wedding? What makes a dress? A necklace? A magazine? I think so many times we become wrapped up in the big picture of it all. It's nice to break things down and remember where everything came from, those small components that make up a larger piece. Only when we appreciate every small facet of a process can we then learn to love the bigger picture in all its parts and appreciate the work that has been invested.
If you ever get the opportunity, I highly recommend a jaunt down to the Fashion District in L.A. Even if you arent getting married, arent a seamstress or a jewelry maker, it's worth it to see these small shops all holding small marvels, that when combined make up a huge, lush industry and a truly amazing city.


  1. I LOVE going there! Just being in the district is a thrill, let alone going nuts on the wallet and buying up everything! I went to FIDM for my Visual Communications degree and so I spent a lot of free time between classes there. :)

  2. Omg, that is MY absoulte Favorite place to go :). Ive been going there for years.

  3. Next time I'm on the East Coast.
    Meanwhile, I LOVE Selvedge.

  4. Oh my gosh, I would have died and gone to paradise!!! :)To have the only hindrance be the depth of my imagination... way coooool!!

    Pattie ;)

    PS. Selvege is one of my favorite Fabric Art magazines, and yes it is most amazing!

  5. Thanks for sharing this Beth! I've always wanted to go, but never have. I think the whole place scares me a bit, kind of like when I shop at TJ Maxx... some sort of claustrophobia comes over me and I just have to get out! But, with all those fabrics... I just might have to brave a trip!
    x, Val

  6. Hello,

    What a treat! And totally agree with you about the process that takes to make fashion.

    ~ Gabriela ~

  7. Oh Beth...I salivated over every photo in this post. Thanks so much for leaving such a lovely post on my truly gave me another fab day!
    I will be cozied up with a glass of Riesling and my 'Altered Couture' magazine this evening...pure Bliss!

    your friend,
    Janet xox

  8. Love Love our shopping streets of LA, knowing what use to be there and what is there now amazing..Just went Monday and did Michael Levine's and some favorite haunts & of course the so bad for you hot dog cart.. Best part is if you have time on your way home to stop at the Biltmore Hotel and just walk around or grab a famous Martini and Just be in that beautiful time capsule...
    Thanks for the wonderful Pics !!