I am so excited about the second year of Slow Fashion October! Fringe Supply Co., the mastermind behind organizing around this concept, has provided all of us with a month's worth of weekly prompts to get us thinking and writing about this free-wheeling (and sometimes unwieldy) concept.
So who am I, how do I come to this concept, and how does it impact my making and my closet? As a designer (knit- and crochet-wear) and maker, I have a fine appreciation for small-batch and handmade. To be honest, I have not always had such an appreciation. As someone from modest, blue collar roots who has actually worked in a mill (I made men's shoes for a summer), I wanted education so I could escape such sweaty, oppressive work. My grandmother was a textile worker and an avid sewer well into her elder years, and I wanted nothing to do with sewing (and you can read more about my anti-sewer stance as well as other fashion beginnings from last year's Slow Fashion October blog entries).
Nevertheless, I have always loved clothes (some things from my grandmother rubbed off on me), as well as crochet and hand-knit (and interior design, which I consider an extension of all this). It has been a long, strange trip to get to this place - complete with oodles of education - but designing and making, both for myself as well as my living space seems second nature to me now. The "small-batch, hand made ... well-loved [and] long-worn" part of this celebration fits me perfectly. Environmental, humanitarian, and budgetary concerns all definitely have played a role in getting me to think more deeply about all of this (helped along by a major portion of that education spoken of earlier), but there's an uneasy intersection between these first three influences (which can have a real dilettante quality to them) and that poor and struggling shoe-factory-working girl who wanted something better for herself. I will always have much respect for working-class values which, if a working-class person is being honest, s/he longs to escape. Please have others make things for me. Why should I mend my clothes - I want the resources to just buy something shiny and brand new. It is only with time, self-knowledge and reflection that one can make peace with and find balance among these clashing values. It also, in many instances, means walking a solitary path, so getting in on this month-long social discussion is a really welcomed gift.
Since Slow Fashion October coincides with a two-month Wardrobe Weather a-long I am hosting in my Ravelry group, I will definitely be making things this month. I am almost done with another New Wave Skirt for myself, I have (shown above) swatched for a Bomber-inspired Hoodie Vest and I am just tucking into a green/cream/taupe version of my Mixlace Poncho. Admittedly, budget and easily accessible materials have dictated my yarn choices for these projects (including using my own stash). I am looking forward to adding them to my wardrobe and showing them off.
A certain balance achieved.