Friday, July 09, 2010

inspiration: sartorialist

My schedule for the rest of the summer is going to be somewhat more relaxed, thank goodness! The fall Oliver + S patterns are headed to the printer on Monday, and then I'll have a little time to start preparing some other projects without looming deadlines. I'll be putting together some design ideas, sketching, assembling tear sheets, building some much-needed bulletin boards for the studio, sewing school uniforms for S, and maybe even relaxing a bit. Nice!

So while I'm sorting through masses of inspirational materials that have accumulated in the studio, in my sketchbooks, and on my laptop I thought it might be fun to share some of the things that have been inspiring me. I'll make a little series of posts out of it.

First up, the Sartorialist. I've been following Scott Schuman almost since the start of his blog, and I find endless inspiration in his work. Scott photographs style wherever he finds it, and he has a wonderful eye for detail and silhouette. I look at his blog frequently for inspiration in my own wardrobe as well as for design ideas.

This is a recent Sartorialist photo I keep coming back to. I love the layering of the long jacket over the dress, especially with the sleeves pushed up and with those gorgeous heels. The whole ensemble looks simultaneously effortless and chic. And while I'm not usually attracted to red in my own wardrobe, it's inspired me to re-think the color again as an accent. (I also love her hair, which is something I've been thinking about more as I struggle to grow out my super-short cut for something a little different. But I lost all the curl in my hair after Tsia was born and probably couldn't carry this off, unfortunately.)

This is an older Sartorialist photo that inspires me for its mood. I love the look these two dancers have assembled, but even more than that I love how focused and happy they appear. Her scarf and necklaces combined with sneakers are such a unique and playful but sophisticated look, and his dark hat, braces, bow-tie and shoes are a wonderful counterpoint to their summer whites. They look so glamorous.

I think this is what people mean when they refer to a woman as a gamine or an ingenue. She's so cute, and her close-fitting cropped jacket is a perfect contrast to her pleated high-waisted pants. What a great silhouette!

While sometimes I love everything about a look in these photos, other times I'm inspired by the way something is worn or by the colors or textures. One element might appeal or stand out to me. Like that red dress in the first photo, Scott's photos might cause me to think about a color differently or to combine two elements I wouldn't have thought to combine.

Scott himself gave a great presentation about his work that I encourage you to watch over at Art Babble if you're interested in the process of designing. I think he does an excellent job of explaining how his photographs are used by a many designers as inspiration. What he says certainly applies to me.

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