It is crafting, which is a fine and honorable thing, but it’s not fashion.

I awoke this morning to my phone ringing twice back to back. My Blackberry may have the loudest ring of all time and not to mention it plays Adam Ant’s “Goody Two Shoes” as the ring. So when I finally got out of bed I was a touch disgruntled and greeted Hope with a “Is there a problem”, she replies that yes there was a problem and had I seen today’s Austin Chronicle. Most of you reading this don’t live in Austin, but the Chronicle is our weekly little free newspaper which people really only read to find out movie listings and when bands are playing. Occasionally it is peppered with interesting articles, like the time they featured the Austin Craft Mafia for example (yes that was meant as sarcasm) ANYWAY The Chronicle has a fashion writer who occasionally can be a little hateful. I mentioned he had written a column about everyone in Austin being a sucky fashion designer about a week ago and there was quite a bit of backlash against it in the form of letters to the editor. Here is the orginal bit…

“FASHION FEAR FACTOR Attending local fashion shows can be like going on Fear Factor – but instead of having to eat sheep entrails while thousands of giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches crawl all over us while we are suspended in a locked Plexiglas case over a pit of burning feces, in Fashion Fear Factor, we are subjected to ghastly creations that are passed off as fashion. The clothes are usually poorly designed and constructed by amateurs who insist they are “designers,” and the presentations are dreadful displays of bad taste, often involving the “model” showing much more than clothing. The “models” are often real people, i.e., friends and neighbors of the “designer” – which is why you hear some of the most unlikely people say, “Oh, yes, I’m a model, too.” My friend and personal fashion icon Gail Chovan and I know a couple of designers who went into business together, and we howled when we looked on the Web site and it said that they had met while “modeling” in New York. Ever since, Gail and I tell people that we met while modeling in New York, too. Having walked through a crowd of people in a beer-soaked nightclub wearing ridiculous clothes does not make one a model anymore than decorating a T-shirt makes one a designer. Of course, not every local show is abysmal; every now and then there is magic on the runway, but those instances are few and far between, and those shows are either not open to the public or they come with a very stiff ticket price. But since anybody can be a “model” and “designer,” then, naturally, anyone can produce a “fashion” show … right? Personally, I’d rather eat sheep entrails and cockroaches than see another show like those, even though certain individuals who fancy themselves as part of the “fashion” community crucify me for refusing to accept their definition of fashion. But as the old proverb says, “The dogs bark, the caravan passes.”

Well this week he wrote a response in his column that for some strange reason makes a direct reference to myself, Vickie, Jen and Hope. I’m not quite sure why since none of us have ever called ourselves fashion designers, we do call ourselves crafters. I’m just happy he is watching Stylelicious. Here is a piece of the article see if you can read between the lines….

“MORE I’ve certainly been vilified as of late for not supporting local fashion. I do support local fashion: I just want it to be good. The current Do-It-Yourself culture has led many people to believe they are designers, but that is little more than self-aggrandizement. Picking up a guitar and plucking its strings does not make you a musician, and you’re not a designer just because you say you are. You’re a DIY-er. Different story. I know, because I’ve been both. I sewed badly for a number of years and called myself a designer, but it wasn’t until I got serious about it, went to school for it, did my internships, and paid my dues in the industry before I could call myself a designer. When you understand the history of what you’re doing, you don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel. I’m not suggesting that people throw away their dreams, I just think they should do the work necessary to try and make those dreams come true. But if truth be told, gluing rhinestones on tennis shoes, making belts out of inner tubes, bracelets out of toothbrushes, and “cootie catcher” corsages is not fashion design. It is crafting, which is a fine and honorable thing, but it’s not fashion. Let’s call a spade a spade, shall we?”

Speaking of fashion I had some serious issues with Project Runway last night. I was so sad to see Allison go. She is so cute and her designs are typically Awesome, so her outfit last night was not the cutest thing I have ever seen but really you are keeping Vincent? The only reason he is getting to stay is because he is the one lone wild card in the bunch. Then with the winners. I was just as upset last night about Michael’s win as I was last week. Now given Michael is a fine designer but last week Kayne kicked his butt and this week ARE YOU KIDDING ME THAT JEFFEREY DIDN’T WIN!!!! That dress was adorable, I would have worn it like crazy.

Tonight the Stitch ladies and I meet to sort through the stacks of applicants. Eeeek this year we have like 4 times more applicants than we do booth and runway spaces. Not to mention oooodles of cute stuff to sort through. I already have a list of about 35 that are my favorites I am going to push for. Wish us luck, tonight’s meetings is going to be a doozie.

One last fashion note, about Hot Pink Pistol purses. Did you see the ones I added to the site yesterday. H-O-T!

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