I remember when I stopped working for a major Boston retailer--Talbots--where I was a fit model, and the company very soon shifted their style from the classic feminine style for which they were known. They went “modern,” bringing in bright bold colors (a nice aspect to their shift) and changing silhouettes (a not so nice aspect ). Their silhouettes went toward short, cropped jackets and very unfeminine skinny jeans. So when I tried these clothes on, everything looked boxy and unflattering. I felt heavy and unattractive. Others must have had the same experience, because this change did not help sales for this major company.
These events can be explained by a simple reason: these type of styles cannot make a woman’s body looks good, because they don’t conform to or accent the feminine shape, which tends toward the hourglass--bigger bust, smaller waist, bigger hips. Nothing has changed in this regard from the beginning of the world. These boxy, arbitrary styles may catch points for novelty, but they look unnatural on the natural body.
In fact, there was a change going on in the culture at large. Mainstream fashion was becoming fast and disposable, like fast food. This trend started in the late ‘70s and still continues. At some point we must ask ourselves: do we need more disposable clothes? Actually, I think the answer is no. In fashion as in other aspects of our life, we want enduring quality.
I consider the rise of feminism to be hardly a bad thing--but with one exception. Sometimes it gives rise to fashion dictates that I dislike! Women want to look feminine and feel beautiful! But it is only five percent of women who look like runway models: six feet tall and slender as a reed. Everybody else who follows this ideal will fail, because it is hardly natural to be like that. This is not bad, this is not good, it is neutral fact of life.
It is my understanding that a designer should be an artist who creates a balanced composition. Who looks on the human body as on a canvas, for creating that flattering composition, taking into consideration all the variables and giving a priority to this goal: “The fashion that I will create will make every human body look beautiful “
My motto is: "The person first, the fashion second,” and not the reverse! Often mass-produced fashion is created in China with starchy, dark-colored fabric with lot of rushing for mature women and in bright color for young girls. These simplistic styles have little true style and less integrity--they utterly lack soul. I would call these disposable clothes, which may be comfortable enough, but lose their appeal, and shape, and colors, after wearing them a few times. At least, this is my experience.
The other type of clothes which is produced by big name companies like Valentino, Christian Dior, Chanel, actually fit really well, because these designers kept the tradition that was established a hundreds years ago: to create clothes for the classic woman’s body--but these clothes are often extremely expensive, because there is little competition at this, the higher end of clothing.
I would like to be pioneer on going to the roots of great design and great fashion--to nature--in order to create clothes for people, clothes which flatter my customers, putting my soul in every one of my designs!
XO XO Anna Nieman