Trial and Error
Inspired by the beautiful jewelry lines we carry...and spurned on by the fact that my particular jewelry vernacular was eluding me...I designed a number of earrings as an experiment. During a trip to NOLA I met an artisan whose design aesthetic evoked my exact sensibilities.
He had me send a single design to test and I was impressed with his ideas about my designs. And yes, he nailed it on his first try! Encouraged by this single success I sent him the rest....positively giddy!
The results, however, were mixed. They were pretty, but not what I expected. Some were too long, others didn't wear well (some kind of glitch with the earpiece) and still others not true to the original design. I was so disappointed that I considered the project a failure, but reached out for feedback anyway...never drink your own bath water where these types of projects are concerned.
The lessons from this experiment were simple and, as I discovered, applicable to all fashion.
- First, form MUST follow function. If it doesn't fit will, has intermittent wardrobe malfunctions, or isn't is poor quality, say no or get rid of it.
- Second, when customizing drown the artisan with details...It doesn't matter how nit-picky it may seem; at the end of the day it's your vision, and your money. On the flip side the artisan must be given some leeway to adjust your designs to what's practical for the media they work with. For instance, some of my designs were so intricate that the metals would've been too brittle to last longer than 1-2 wears...a very helpful fact that the artisan pointed out right at the onset.
- Lastly, make sure you work with someone who understands that the process is iterative....VERY iterative.
Overall it was a great experience. In fact, my respect for artisans has grown considerably given the balancing act they perform. Now that the lessons are learned I'm back at it!
Thanks tremendously for your feedback on this project! ...Will keep you posted on future experiments! /cm