Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Styling Myself. For once.


What do I sew in? Sweatpants and a pull over fleece. What is my favorite day outfit at the office? Zip-up and jeans. How about when I'm at the front of the shop? V-neck, jeans, and a button down sweater. I manage to wear a variation of every single one of these outfits in about 35 different ways. I own about 20 V-Neck tees. I might own close to 30 pairs of jeans. And, probably more big zip-ups. And even though I love the ease of this kind of dressing, I can't help but notice my closet full of wonderful clothes that don't fit into this category. 

I am an avid shopper. I am also an avid designer and work on my line. Being a designer leaves me everyday working on dressing other people. I love it. I love making things for people to wear. I love putting people in my designs and finding ways to incorporate into their wardrobe. So why is it so hard for me to get my self styled every morning? 

My reasoning: I want to be comfortable and able to work my best. Oh that's valid on sewing days. But I should be working on styling my clothes better on all the other days. My other reasoning: I'm very busy from when I wake up until I go to bed working on my line, website, and everything in between. And taking the time to really style something for myself could be saved for a customer at the shop. 

Until I read an article on how to wear hard to style garments. Even though I'm not worried about hard to style clothing, just any at all, I read it. The article suggested that you take out seven hangers and hang up all the clothes you are trying to wear that week. Hang the entire outfit on one hanger, accessories included. And then it won't take up time each morning to find something to wear when you are tired. 

So I did that. I planned out just three outfits this week. But! I really love how it turned out. The first few pictures are what I picked out and put on the hanger earlier this week. Then the bottom picture is of me wearing it on a regular day at the shop instead of my normal work outfit. 

How does it feel? Amazing. I felt so put together. I know that when I style other people sometimes they are looking at me like why should I trust this girl in street clothes to pull together a beautiful dressy outfit. Until they see what I can do. But even though my style is very odd I still know how to dress other people. Showing off my different style is a good way to show people I can work with all styles.

My goal is to start working in all my different pieces each week. I'll let you know how it goes. No more go to everyday uniform just because I'm busy. I of course will always find a place for it. Put its place is between styled outfits.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Photography, a lesson in inspiration

I bought my first camera, half gifted to me, for the very reason of taking my own pictures for my website and look book. I realized quickly that I needed a studio and a load of other things that I did not have. So I hired a professional photographer with a studio to shoot our website. But, I also take a lot of the non-studio photos myself.
I felt as if the investment was paying off. I could do my own photography day to day if needed when the moment struck me and I wanted to show off what I was doing. It made blogging easier. It made getting new product previewed quicker. But then one day I was shooting photos of a new skirt with a friend of mine and looked down at my feet to spot something sprouting. I quickly bent over to see the pod like bud breaking through the new spring ground.
My model waiting patiently as I continued to photograph several other oddly shaped plants. And then I got back to the photo session.
It wasn’t until I was home pulling the photos of my computer that I realized I didn’t have anything to do with the photos of plants. I’m not a nature photographer. They really didn’t have a place to go. So, I left them on my desktop.
I stared at the bud in one of the pictures for weeks. It was so beautiful that I didn’t want to delete the photo, but still didn’t know what to do with it. Finally it came to me. The shape reminded me of a skirt blooming upside down from the fresh ground. So what did I do with it? I sketched it. I sketched it twice. Now there is a slew of sketches and a prototype of this skirt in our studio.
A few weeks after the first sketch I was exiting my house in the evening and realized I was in love with the blooming tree in my yard. So I ran in and took some pictures. Honestly, I took tons of pictures. So many that my neighbor asked me what I was photographing our tree for. I told her in home art work to hang up. Which, even though would have been a good idea, was not my initial intention. Like the first set of photos, I did not have a clue what to do with the photos I was taking. They weren’t going on my website or my blog. They were just going to sit on my desktop again.
This time I found the use for these in a few days. I was in the studio with a dress I wanted to make and couldn’t decide on the fabric. As I was scanning online I glimpsed at the photo again and immediately went to our fabric bolts. I knew I wanted to make the dress in the same colors as the photo I had taken.
And currently, that dress in charcoal and rose, is selling on our website. The question should not have been what should I do with these photos, but why the heck didn’t I think about it before. I find most of my inspiration from nature. Sometimes when inspired I am able to write it down. Other times I try to remember it until I write it down but never do. The camera is not just a convenience. It’s a tool for capturing my inspiration when it hits.
Yes, I still use it to mostly take pictures of my clothes for the business. But now you’ll find me every few days, pulled over on a back country road, stomping through the brush taking pictures of what inspires me. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy my camera. 

If you enjoy these photos and want to use them please provide proper credit to Rum and Couture with links. Thank you.

Why Fitness has changed how I pick models.

Growing up I was always interested in fashion. In fact my start was for a few of my Barbie’s who wore cut up and styled socks for gowns. That was until my mom started looking for my socks matches and then that was the end of that. Well, that was the end of the socks. But that only stirred me to find other avenues. My next adventure was into paper dolls. When our house ran out of paper my mother took me to sewing classes and the rest is history.
While I was learning to make clothing my only model was myself. Of course it was! I was designing everything I was making for me and occasionally for my identical body double of a cousin. (Her mother is a seamstress who taught me everything I know.) I felt that I could open any magazine and pick out anything a model was wearing and wear it the same. Because I was a size zero, and only lacking about four inches of height, I was shaped like the girls in the magazines.
Surprisingly enough though, I hated the way my body was shaped. I had no bottom and lacked any boobs. I blamed it on the fact that I was flat chested. I blamed my self hatred on the fact that I had the smallest butt on the planet. I sometimes lamented over the fact that I could have tried modeling if I wasn’t one inch below average height. In some ways I thought that would have brought me to terms with my body.
I played sports in high school and then in college, all while living on a diet of Code Red Mountain Dew and Tacobell. (In high school it was Code Red Mountain Dew and Pizza Bites.) Even though I ate a ton of food I was still a measly 103lbs and often asked if I was anorexic. While super rude and inappropriate to ask anyone ever, I realized I didn’t look healthy. But often the comments came in were, “well you’re lucky, you have the body of a model.”
Did I want the “body of a model” when it meant I looked like I had an eating disorder and no muscle in my whole body? My dilemma was that I was so worried about working out and bulking up I didn’t even try. Until a good friend of my slapped some sense into me. Not only that, some of the girls I was going to school with began to lift weights and working out on a different level. After a year or so of watching them transform into fit and toned individuals, I realized I wanted to be fit as well.  Enter changing my diet and lifting weights.
So what really changed? Well first my diet. I still eat chocolate and strawberry milkshakes and Tacobell. But I also eat fruits and lean meats and vegetables daily. I started lifting weights. And I now weigh twenty pounds more.  What hasn’t changed? My pants size hasn’t changed. Muscle weighs more than fat. Apparently, it weighs a lot more than fat.
My vision of what a model should look like has also changed. I used to use the thinnest girls who applied and looked closest to the girls in the twenty fashion magazines I subscribe to. Now, I pick girls who closely resemble the fit women in the additional twenty fitness magazines I subscribe to. If this was a short text I would have typed “lol” by now due to the shear ridiculous amount of magazines that show up at my house each week. Are their body types a reach for most people? Yes. But, they are a healthy reach. It’s never bad to strive to be healthy and fit if you set realistic goals and know that fitness is in every size.  I hope my choice of models encourages that.