Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Desert Trunk Show...Marfa

GAIL CHOVAN for blackmail boutique & atelier
and 2ETN jewelry

A Desert Trunk Show
friday, 23rd september, 2011

413 South Alysford, Marfa, Texas

Please join us out in west Texas for the Fall Preview of "14.

photo by Leon Alesi

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Falling into fall..., the summer was amazing, inspirational, quiet, thoughtful, lovely...I spent 7 weeks in Paris. I enjoyed teaching high school students from all over the world and wished that I had blogged more about our class time and excursions. For the most part, they were bright, interested and quote wordily. I took them to exhibits on Madame Grès and Hussein Chalayan and a retrospective on Yves Saint Laurent. We had a lovely shopping time at Colette followed by lunch at Angelina. We studied the history of fashion, conceptual design, draping, the Japanese and Belgians and did photo shoots. I am already planning for next summer.

Aside from teaching, Creed, Zelda and I had a perfect little apartment on the rue Saint Martin. I would take them to the Pompidou in the morning before it opened and they would run up and down the cobble stoned incline. On rainy days, we could ride the escalators in the museum and on sunny days we would leave our 'quartier' and travel around town to different parks and monuments - the twins always arguing as to whether we should take the bus or the métro. In the evening, a friend or two would stop by and we would share a cheap bottle of rosé. The one I preferred this summer was called "Mythique" and seemed quite referential.

Each day was filled with inspiration - a gravestone covered by moss at Père Lachaise, the swirl of red wine in the bottom of my glass, the rain sweeping through Beaubourg as we sought refuge in the terrace of a café. But now, here I am back in Austin. It has been three weeks since our return and I have already presented a 10 piece collection for the finale of the Austin Fashion Awards. I am rebranding Blackmail and expanding my work space. Next week, we'll head to Marfa where I'll have a trunk show at the lovely home of a friend and do a desert photo shoot of my fall designs thus far.

And then on Tuesday, November 1st, I will present 14. - my fall/winter 2011-12 collection. I design for the moment, I design for the time; not for the season to come, trends to follow, or for huge orders to be placed. I'll make one for the runway, and maybe another one or two for the show. I can make one in your size - just ask me.

See you this fall.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tumblr: STOP IT!

...well, I really don't hate Tumblr but I do hate how people use it. There has been this trend around for a while of posting photos - just cool photos, things people like, no words, no reasons, no descriptions, not even photos taken by the poster. They are usually photos found on the internet that people obviously like for one reason or another and want to share for whatever reason. There are entire blogs based on this. Entire magazines. Well, it pisses me off. I guess mostly because people are not giving reasons. There is an ingrained, unspoken and assumed "stamp of approval" without words. It's actually quite egotistical. "I like this, therefore you should." "I see validity in this, don't you?" But I want a conversation - is it the color? The beauty of the sunset? The shape of the clothing? The black and white starkness? The fragile patina of eroding paint?

I like photos, too. I like lots of things expressed by others in a visual medium. But recently I have realized why I need to describe what it is about something and why I like it. Zelda makes me open my eyes, my ears and my thoughts more and more each day. It's not good enough to just take a road trip with the twins and say "Hey, look at those cows!" I describe the shape, the color, how many there are, the sound they make, and the field they are standing in. If I see a cool building or a billboard or the bright red ball of the sun coming up this morning - it's too easy to say to Creed, "Wow, look at the sun." The dialogue is needed. Why is it different or interesting or beautiful? How does the color compare to something else in nature? How does it make him feel?

So, I think Tumblr lets people be lazy. People who spend time looking at other people's work...the photographer had a reason to take the photo, the photo is his or her words. They are not yours. Challenge yourself.

This morning as I drove the kids to school, I did it in an almost unconscious kind of way. Usually, Evan and I pull in Circle Drive and I get out and walk with each twin to their Kindergarten classroom while Evan waits in car. The children are used to it. Zelda knows the route to Casis and that curve into the drop-off driveway as well as she knows the hill of our street, the turn down our alley and the slant of our driveway. But this morning, Evan had an errand and I took the kids to school alone. I parked the car on a side street and then began walking them down the sidewalk, up the concrete steps and around the back of the school. Creed was thrilled. He recognized the route and could tell we were entering the school from a back door. And then I heard it: Zelda asking, "Mama, what are we doing?" Shit, I hadn't told her. It was the Tumblr photo. It was the assumption. It was a lack of words. It snapped in me - the beauty of words is just as important, strong and inviting as the beauty of the visual. Have we become more and more steeped in a lazy expression of another person's declaration of their "vision"? Does any of this make sense to anyone besides me? I would appreciate your thoughts...

P.S. Oh, and another thing I have a hard time with is blogs by people that post what they are wearing every day. It seems to be a twenty-something phenomenon. Yes, you are all "super cute" and clever stylists. Bravo. But now really kids, do we really care about how you put together your "vintage find" with last year's belt from a designer sale?
Can you tell I am in a snarky mood?