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Conversational Threads

Brook DeLorme slides

Michelle | Posted in General Discussion on

Has anyone looked at the latest Brook DeLorme slides posted on the ‘Threads’ site? I’m curious to find out what members of this group think of her designs.



  1. sanderson | | #1

    It makes me very happy to see young people sewing and wearing their creations.  I think its wonderful for expression to be free.  She appears to play well with many types of fibers.  I'm always so happy and willing to drop everything to do sewing with a youngster;  their lack of reverence pushes my envelope and drags me out of my bound buttonhole corner better than anything else.  Thanks Shelly for reminding me to check her slide show.

  2. reddragonfly | | #2

         I just looked at the slides and I'm torn between thinking it's genius and thinking it's a bunch of hype over nothing.  I'm all for making original garments and seams showing and unfinished hems don't bother me, but to only make garments in size 6, can she make a living doing this?  Some of the garments don't seem very flattering either.  Overall though it's good to see a fresh perspective, someone outside of the staid coture designers usually profiled in Threads.

    1. Jean | | #3

      Maybe 2 or 3 of her 'creations' looked good on the model, but anyone much over 16   had better not try them. (And heaven help  you if you have bulges!)  Most of her stuff looks like it might have come out of my 'dismal failure' box. But it seems to go right along with the sew sloppy trend of raggedy,  ill fitting garments.  sigh

      1. Michelle | | #4

        My question stems from a philosophical question that I have been dwelling on for some time as to what extent 'Art' can exist without the 'Craft' - (in fact we saw a whole generation of conceptual artists who _did_ exactly that,) however, to my mind, craft is very much akin to the  language that we use to communicate ones ideas. One doesn't go to listen to a pianist giving a performance knowing that he isn't a master of his instrument, likewise, one wouldn't go to look at a photographic exhibition of a photographer who doesn't know how to take a picture, or read a book by a writer who can't spell, and so, similarly, I would expect someone who sews as an art form to have acquired a certain level of competence in that area as well.

        I hope that this 'critique' doesn't sound too pedantic, and hope some of the group might have some views in this area. Perhaps the editors of 'Threads' would explain why they chose to give this young person this type of exposure.  


        Edited 5/8/2003 1:34:22 PM ET by shelly

        1. cy991 | | #5

          Excellent topic....

          What I find so interesting about her work is the strict economy of it all... I'm sure that we are all very aware that sewing can become quite an expensive undertaking , perhaps because we are constantly trying to achieve "Designer " standards : luxury fabrics, the precision of garment industry techniques, etc.  Yet this designer uses cheap fabric, found fabric and cheap equipment to create what I think are really beautiful garments whose value lies in their originality rather than their fiber content or level of traditional "workmanship"....

          I absolutely agree with your dissection of "Art" and "Craft", though. In fact, I wonder what Ms. Delorme's patrons will be wearing in twenty years. Chanel suits with flawless binding, maybe ? Stay tuned I guess....

          I hope some of that made sense... Sorry for all the "quotation marks " !

          1. SewerDMcG | | #6

            My thoughts on it, are I'm glad to see a independent young person that is not worried about the norm and creatively sewing. As the saying goes, different strokes for different folks. While it does not suit my taste, it suits someones. Just like I'm sure things I like, aren't for others.  And yes as some of us get older our taste change. As for me, I still like bright, different fabrics that stand out.


        2. sanderson | | #7

          I've been to many workshops attended by people who sew yet almost to a person I've heard a complaint that says they wish to wear what they make;  to have their costume be something they made which reflects their craft and art. 

  3. kai230 | | #8

    Thanks for the reminder--I don't always get to all the articles.

    OK, I went through the slide show 3x. I liked things better the more I saw them. At first glance, I only liked the denim jacket for me to wear. But loved the look of the patchwork dress, etc., and the concepts appealed more each time.  

    She's fortunate to be making a living doing what she loves at such a young age. If I were younger, there would be a couple more things of hers I'd wear.

    Jean, if I can find the pic, I will mail it to you to post my most embarassing pose in something that was made from scraps and looks the part!

    But, Shelly, I do think her stuff is trendy, so if you love it and it looks good on you, go for it. When you or your personality outgrow it, pass it on. Otherwise, you can always save it until it comes back in style.

    1. Jean | | #9

      to post my most embarassing pose in something that was made from scraps and looks the part!

      OOOoooo, I can't wait to see this!! :)

      1. Jmars0727 | | #10

        I'm new to the Threads forum.  In fact, I joined almost exclusively to keep up with the comments on this particular subject.  I don't have a problem with the design of these clothes --  I don't particularly like them but, to each his own.  The problem I have with article is the actual sewing and/or construction methods, particularly since Threads is specifically a Sewing Magazine. The following is part of a post I sent this evening to the editors of Threads, and I think it explains my thoughts fairly well.  I will apologize for the length of this post, but this article has really 'bothered me'.

        The article on page 62 of your July issue, "Art in the Guise of Fashion" really caught my eye.  I guess you could say that I was a bit 'shocked'.  I don't necessarily believe in rules when I am sewing, but I always thought that the idea is to make clothing that doesn't look homemade and does look finished.  I don't know that I could call this girl's stuff fashion.   'Art', maybe (by her definition), but not fashion.   I think the most disturbing thing about this article is that it has been published in a sewing magazine -- The title printed on the cover of every issue does say: "Threads  For People Who Love to Sew".  We all have to be somewhat tolerant about 'style' and/or 'fashion' these days.   I personally don't care what part of their anatomy young people want to expose to the light of day as long as they don't expect me to show them 'mine'. I feel as though by printing this article, your magazine is acknowledging her techniques as a valid method of clothing construction, and in doing so has invalidated all the years (40+) I have spent trying to learn and improve my skills.   Doesn't take much skill, and certainly wouldn't take any time to learn how to omit the hem in a garment or how to not finish a seam.If her constructions methods are valid, then what in the world are the judges of your latest contest (The 4th Annual Inspired by Threads  -- A Design Challenge) going to do when someone chooses to use her techniques on a garment they enter in the contest?  The judging criteria under contest rules states: "Criteria for judging will be the success of the design, THE QUALITY OF CRAFTSMANSHIP, and ......."  By publishing this article you have said, in essence, that this method of constructing a garment can be used on any garment submitted to Design Challenge V, and will be judged on a par with any other garment submitted -- and that could include a garment constructed and finished with couture techniques.  As an example, two garments submitted, one made using the methods of Brooke Delorme, and another made using the finishing techniques as described by Kenneth King in his article "Sheer Seams and Edges" in Threads #106.  To quote Delorme:"  I love creating quirky seams and raw, messy edges, and ....."  Do you see my point? I believe you may have indavertently set a trap for the judges.  I can just hear them asking: "And what technique from our magazine inspired your entry?"  Answer:  "The article on Brook DeLorme was so inspirational and instructional.  I learned how NOT to put in hems or finish seams.  And not trimming loose thread ends was such a time saver.  Leaving seams half sewn and omitting fabric made it all go together so easily.  And you just haven't experienced high fashion until you have worn a garment that was cut off grain and sewn into a close fitting top that twists around your body pulls in all the wrong directions as you move."  If the way she sews her clothes is a valid method, then those of us who take pride in the quality of our workmanship have just been judged out of every challenge yet to come.   Can't you just see some young girl showing off her 4-H creation and trying to explain "But I learned the techniques from reading Threads Magazine"?  I cannot get passed the feeling that it is all one big scam.   Somewhere it said she is just 22 -- and studying art and philosophy.   I don't see 'philosophy' and/or art when I look at her work -- I see adolescent 'angst'.   And I hate to think that a magazine of the caliber of "Threads" can't tell the difference.   To me her methods seem to say: "I've got to hurry and finish this and get it to a store somewhere so someone (with more money than sense) can buy it -- The rent is due next week."  Sort of like "Quick, let's paint a rock, call it a pet, and sell it."I can only imagine what my daughter would have said if I had made clothing like that and told her: "But that's the best I can do, and you will just have to wear it anyway".  On the other hand, if my daughter had spent good money on something that was only half made when she bought it, I'm afraid I would have had to suggest that next time she should spend her money on something more durable -- like swamp land in Fla.I hate to think that I am that far out of touch with the younger crowd, but if this is "high fashion", then I think I want to be even further out of touch -- may even have to find me a cave on the 'third mountain back' where I can continue to try to make (and wear) clothing finished with the couture techniques I do so love.  This designers work may be art, and some of the color combinations are interesting, and there are a couple of details that look nice, but (with apologies to the author/designer) the overall construction and finishing look worse than anything I have seen in a long time -- as in since my 5 year old daughter tried to make clothes for her Barbie doll with a few odd fabric scraps, a tapestry needle, some orange fingering yarn and safety pins.   I realize that his is a very long letter, but I do hope that you have taken the time to read it since I am sure that I have spent more time composing and typing it than Ms. Delorme ever spent putting one of her garments together.

        1. rjf | | #11

          Wow! What a hornet's nest!  I'm glad Threads decided to put that article in their magazine because we sometimes get to chasing the perfectly-made garment with such concentration that we can forget it's possible to do otherwise.  What is the point of wearing a beautifully-made garment that fits perfectly if you don't like it?  A little cage-rattling is good for the creative juices and I don't think the yound lady in question could do what she does if she didn't know how to sew.  Don't we set the rules for ourselves?                       rjf

        2. sanderson | | #13

          One of the most refreshing groups of artists for me are the ones who choose not to follow the rules.  As a rule follower myself,  I love to get 'pantsed' by these fresh attitudes.  When we talk about what they did and I tell them how I'd do the same thing we usually get to sharing techniques and its great.  As sewers we sometimes get caught in the taking classes trap thinking in just a lesson or two we'll attain perfection.  I did the 4-H sewing thing and even at the time I was experienced enough to se that it was only one way of sewing, not by a long shot the only way.  Now that I've passed age 50 by a few years I realize that if I value my craft I need to share with others.  I am very glad Threads had the courage and bigness to include Brook DeLorme's work. 

          1. dregan | | #49

            I so enjoyed your comment on did the 4-H thing, but you were smart enough to see that their way wasn't the only way!  I pretty much did my summer sewing my 4-H outfit with dread.  Didn't "like or love" to sew, and besides, the comments made during the style shows when our clothes were judged, was always on how my nails weren't perfect, as I bit mine as I anxiously tried to sew my outfit perfectly, but it never happened! My mind was on my softball game I would play that night.  I did not continue to sew, but decided to give it another chance when I was disabled from a 25 yr. job of nursing two and a half years ago , when my children left the nest for college at same time over the past few years.  Thank God, I don't have to do it perfectly, although I'd sure like to!! I still wear most of my creations with pride and hide the other ones.  I don't have the confidence some of these artists have to wear my far less than perfect garments!


        3. WhiteBow | | #26

          Honestly, I hated the article on Brook Delorme. I think her garments are ugly, and I think "artistic expression" is meaningless if you lack the skills to express yourself *with control* in your medium. What if Ms. Delorme WANTED to create a neat seam? She couldn't, because she doesn't know how. Her lack of ability to sew hinders her ability to express herself artistically.

          I can admire the music of composers who use dissonance in their work deliberately, even if I don't actually like the sounds, because I know they have made certain chioces with purpose and care. But I don't admire the music of a pianist who creates dissonance because he really doesn't know how to play the piano and just hits the wrong keys by mistake. That's Ms. Delorme. 

          I briefly considered the possibility that the Delorme article was a late April Fool's joke on the part of the Threads staff. What could be sillier than someone who can't sew making clothes to sell? And scribbling juvenile "philosophical musings" into the linings? I came to the conclusion that the article was serious when I saw Ms. Delorme's Web site, and I figured it would be too much trouble for the Threads staff to mock up a fake Web site just to support a phony article.

          I agree that we all need to have our perspectives challenged from time to time, and this article has done a good job of provoking discussion and thought. But Ms. Delorme's lack of technical skill (and her bad taste, in my opinion) make her a poor example of a clothing "artist." I will now have more respect for designers such as Issey Miyake--although I don't particularly like the look of his designs, I have increased respect for the vast technical skill and knowledge that lie behind his unorthodox designs.

          1. sueb | | #27

            Nicely said, I couldn't agree more !

          2. rjf | | #28

            "What if Ms. Delorme WANTED to create a neat seam? She couldn't, because she doesn't know how.".........

            How do you know that for sure?  I assumed she could sew a neat seam but now I doubt any of us has any sure way of knowing. 

            "and I think "artistic expression" is meaningless if you lack the skills to express yourself *with control* in your medium.".........

            Skill is something that can be measured objectively I think.  Artistic expression is not.  And one does not guarantee the other, nor is it necessary that it should, in my mind.

            What is this "artistic expression" anyway?  When is a dress an "artistic expression" and when is it just something to wear?  Who gets to say which? Why do we all seem to care so much?                                                                 rjf

          3. Jean | | #29

            Let's  hope it's just a tempest in a teapot. I doubt she'd sell too well in the Midwest. Although  you never can tell, judging by what I see draped on today's kids. LOL. Can you see someone wearing her stuff to an important job interview?

          4. rjf | | #30

            Now there's an interesting thought!  I wonder what the job might be.  I'm just sitting smiling at the possibilities. 

            But the fact that so many us seem to be so passionate about it in one direction or another and are willing to write about it is wonderful.  It reminds me of the discussion about "sewists".               rjf

          5. Jean | | #32

            Well,  Assistant to the Editor of Threads, for starters.

            RView ImageFL 

            I was thinking of this one in particular..

            View Image

          6. KarenW | | #33

            Ok, hope this works, this is my first post on Gatherings (another place I can see myself spending too much time & getting too little done!)....

            Personally I didn't like her stuff, her style.  If she can make a living at it, great, but part of the way she may be doing that is her cheap cheap cheap standard which may make her items more affordable and bring in more profit even with a small market.While Miyake's been mentioned, though I find his stuff avantgarde, sometimes intriguing but not for me, other times highly desireable - his finished products look finished and well done, even if unusually draped/folded/origami'd or whatever.  Striving for an unfinished messy look is a good thing I suppose, because no one will ever know if you DIDN'T achieve your goal....

            I think the lady and her work belongs more in an art type magazine such as FiberArts or Ornament.   

            As someone somewhere mentioned, Threads' tag line is "For People Who Love to Sew".  Now it doesn't SAY this.... but I always thought it meant "sew well".... "sew their best"... "sew better"....."master sewing skills"... "sew with unique techniques"...... you get the picture.  In every article, and there have been many which were not necessarily garments or projects that interested me or would work on me, I get SOME good sewing tip/technique/lesson/information.    I always LEARN how to do something new or something better or something different.  THAT is why I read Threads.    THAT is what I found conspicously absent in this article.       Maybe I missed something big, but unlike every other article I've ever read in Threads, even if an expose of a new sewer/sewing artist, this was not a teaching article.... and perhaps I'm not clear on the magazine's editorial goal (is there a mission statement somewhere?), but for this reason alone I don't think it belonged in Threads.  I wondered what COULD have been in those pages that would have helped my sewing.

            Though Brooke's "inspiration" and "philosophy" was oft mentioned, I couldn't figure out what her inspiration is or what her philosophy is or how it or philosophers mentioned influence her "design".    It seemed just rhetoric.   Her goal seemed to be to do away with convention.  Ok.  Rules are broken and technique ignored for the sake of not following rules......not because they don't work with what she wants to create (or possibly because, as we can only speculate, she hasn't mastered them....). Though Threads is for "people who love to sew", the only sewing "technique" mentioned was zigzagging over the top of binding where she missed stitching it down in the first place.   That kind of sewing "education" is not worth $32/year.

             The ONLY thing I got out of this article was the idea to cut bias strips of leftover fabric to have an assortment of bias trims/bindings.  Not a bad tip indeed.... but one that certainly could have been presented in the Tips section leaving these pages for something else to ogle, imitate, incorporate into our sewing to make it better.

            And finally, the point about this "no technique" technique being a possible inspiration for an entry the "Inspired By Threads" contest  which may be in competition with a finely sewn/constructed item (no matter how conservative or "out there" the design) when construction is one of the considerations raises an excellent controversey/dilema.  Of course with this being one of the articles from which one can derive their inspiration, my friend's 11 year old who doesn't wish to use patterns but instead drapes/places fabric about the body, stitching down where/if necessary with or w/o matching thread, raw edges ok, a push here, shove there, slap on another fabric to cover a spot over there, fit not an issue if it just stays on....SHE should have a far better chance of winning than she did before this issue came out!!!!!!!!!


          7. rjf | | #34

            Whatever else, the article seems to have inspired renewed commitment to fine sewing and the willingness to talk about it.  That could be as valuable as learning a new trick or two.         rjf

          8. kai230 | | #37

            Well said, indeed!

            I sure love the colors in that patchwork number, except for whatever is at the neck--looks like rubberView Image

          9. rjf | | #38

            Just wondering whether Brook recommends dry-cleaning or hand-washing.     rjf

          10. crwritt | | #39

            I like the colors in the patchwork dress as well. The way it hangs off grain, I would wonder if it would hold up to laundering. Perhaps that is part of Brooke's philosophy :if it falls apart in the wash, she'll just make something else out of it. Bear in mind that this is the work of an art student who attends a school that does not teach clothing design or pattern drafting. It amazes me that her garments are wearable at all.

          11. Jean | | #41

            HA! That's it. They're intended to be disposable.

          12. rjf | | #42

            I've seen some paper nakpkins I'd love as shirt material.   rjf

          13. sanderson | | #40

            What I love about this discussion is that we are talking about more than just construction.  As artists/sewers I'm so glad Threads brings us to think about our intentions as artists as well as offering information on the how-to nature of our craft.  I too agree that this style of construction technique will make the next challenge broader if entrants choose this as their stimulus.  Stay tuned, folks!

          14. rjf | | #43

            I didn't see the picture the first time through.  The fabric looks very soft.  Velvet? Chenille?  Nice jewel-like colors.  The neck patch is kind of a jolt next the the rest.  rjf

          15. Jean | | #35

            Well said!! Wisek-- is that  you?

          16. KarenW | | #36

            <<Wisek-- is that  you?>>

            Nope!  But I like the name!Karen

          17. Michelle | | #31

            For some reason people seem to think that when something is called 'ART,' it becomes elevated to a higher level....... but...... believe me there is no shortage of mediocre and bad artists around.


        4. buckets | | #44

          Julie- I was inspired by the DeLorme article with this quote: "a wise teacher of mine often said 'It's not architecture-nobody will get hurt.' "  Reading that really changed my attitude about having to have the perfect fit and construction when sewing for myself.  I felt brave and was ready to try something new.  I am currently using the article on page 30 of the same issue to create a one of a kind bias skirt and am enjoying myself greatly.  Perhaps I'll enter it in the Inspired By Threads Fashion Challenge... 

          1. Jmars0727 | | #45

            Irons, I know I probably didn't sound like it in my posts, but I really do think of sewing as just plain fun.   Above all, I love a challenge and 'creative problem solving'.   Sewing satisfies both of these requirements for me.   I am challenged to try a new technique, style, or difficult fabric -- can I do it well enough to actually wear it in public?  All too often (especially on the first try) the answer is no, and then I get to try some creative problem solving.   Can I turn this disaster into something wearable?  It is the trying that is fun.   I also firmly believe that (with the exception of life threatening situations) it is possible to turn every mistake into a success -- if all else fails, we can learn from it.  I suppose, for me, it isn't about "having to have the perfect fit and construction when sewing", it is about trying to have the perfect fit and construction.

            This isn't architecture, and no one will be hurt.  It isn't about life and death, but, to me it is about excellence and the pursuit of excellence.  It is also about standards and expectations.  It has been my experience, particularly with my children, that if you expect nothing and are willing to accept it, that is exactly what you will get -- nothing.  If you expect and accept their best effort, then that is what you will get.  I find it a bit frightening that a magazine from which I had always expected excellence is now willing to accept so much less. 

              To quote Frank Lloyd Wright: "Form follows function".  I think Delorme must have gotten that particular 'philosophy' backward.  I don't have my copy of Threads handy, but from my (rather poor) memory, the example I can think of is the close up of the lining of one of the jackets on the very first page of the article.  At it's most basic, the function of clothing is to cover the body (hopefully in a reasonably  attractive manner) while not making the wearer look as though you could "serve tea on her hips".  Obviously, the attractive part is completely subjective, but I don't know of very many people who want their clothing to make them look 10 or more pounds heavier than they are (especially in the hips).  I can just imagine what that bunched up triangular-shaped blob of green fabric inserted (pasted, put, stuck, sewn, placed -- I'm at a loss for the right word here) into the lining of Delorme's jacket would look like all bunched up on my hips.  The only function I can see for this particular 'element' is to cover a hole in the lining and showcase poor workmanship while at the same time ruining the drape of the outer fabric.  If I wanted wrinkles like that, I would wear my husbands underpants under my clothes -- same effect for less money. 

            I think I have begun to 'rant' again.  Sorry about that.  I am glad that this article inspired you to try something new and changed your attitude about the 'perfect fit and construction'.  I sincerely hope that it will do the same for a lot of people.   I have to admit though, that I am also glad that when you were looking for something new to try, you chose a different article in the magazine as your inspiration.  I also sincerely hope that if her construction methods have inspired anyone, it is with the desire to prove that they can sew better than this particular 'designer'.  [I would really love to see your skirt when you have finished, and I think you should enter it in the design challenge -- after all, "nothing ventured, nothing gained".]


          2. kai230 | | #46

            Is this the jacket whose insides was shown in the magazine? (I need my backside magnified, as I have none to speak of.)

            View Image

          3. Jmars0727 | | #50

            I dearly wish I could help you out, I have plenty of excess that I would be delighted to send to you -- no charge.  Just need to figure out a way to transfer it from one body to another and it is yours for the asking!  The pic you posted isn't the one I was talking about.  Your really couldn't tell what the jacket looked like from the pic as only the lining was showing.  Have been trying to figure out how to post a copy of the pic I mentioned, but there isn't one on the Threads site, and I cant figure out how to get a copy from my scanner to this post.  Am attaching 2 files with the pictures in it.  One is the full picture and the other is the detail picture.

          4. rjf | | #47

            I'm really glad you did another rant! It's good to know there are people out there who really care enough to take that chance.  And I'm glad Threads took the chance on publishing the article.  Maybe the readership needs to be poked now and again.  I'm willing to believe it was done in the right spirit... to get us thinking or maybe, rethinking.                                                  rjf

          5. Jean | | #48

            to get us thinking

            Every time I look at her stuff I'm thinking of my rag bag.

          6. rjf | | #51

            "Every time I look at her stuff I'm thinking of my rag bag."

            I don't think of my rag bag but of all the stuff I'll never use but can't throw away because you just never know......                                     rjf

          7. User avater
            ehBeth | | #52

            I'll pipe in from what appears to be the opposite side of most of this discussion. I'm in my mid-40's, and I love what I've seen of Brook DeLorme's work. It's interesting, challenging, and on the right body, I think it looks very good. I've been trying to think of what influences me to see her work in this way.  I've been crafting since I was about 5 (remember corking?), and sewing since I was 7 or 8.  When I took oil painting (one of two children in a class of university students and seniors, starting when I was in Grade 5) my unusual sense of colour, for a child, was commented on.  I've always worked with fashion forward people and love to see what design students are doing locally.

            I think I'd probably be better off wearing something by Jil Sander than by Brook DeLorme, given my errrrrrrrr mature figure, but I also know I'd rather wear something by Brook DeLorme than anything that looks like it could have come from Sears.  The Sears-style outfit might have 'better' finished seams, but it won't have spirit and thought sewn in.

            Forget piping in - that was my rant.  

          8. rjf | | #53

            "(remember corking?)"

            No, I've never heard of it.  What is it?       rjf

          9. ablakemo | | #79

            I was surprised and VERY amused by reading everyone's postings. I myself had a very similar response to the article. I myself being a professional artist found her thesis a typical fine arts cop out.

            I applaud the effort and the courage to put her "work" forward to mass criticism and for her to complete an entire body of work--many artists cannot do that--

            regardless of talent.

            I agree with others that the article's focus was off. The focus should have been on her excellent skills of marketing and networking--she has done a great job with getting her name out there. I myself have always believed that art is communication and creativity is used to deliver one's message in a unique or meaningful way. Poor construction would have been acceptable had it reinforced her message--but what was the message??? Trite maybe-??

            To each their own I guess.

  4. Barbaran8 | | #12

    It was an interesting article, and I could kind of feel the angst in the editing room over whether to publish it... I would not choose the colors she does, and lord knows, my body would never fit into one of her creations! However, I do think there is sometimes a striving for perfection in our society that stamps out creative expression...

    I love classical music, and I have some of the best recordings ever made of certain pieces, and I sometimes find it very jarring to listen to performances that are less than the perfection of my favorite recordings. I sometimes think "why should I go to live performance, when I have the best performance on my CD player at home?" But then I go, and the live performance isn't perfect, but it is live musicians, striving to make the music come alive, and sometimes it does come alive, and I am drawn into the music more than I can be by that perfect, but sterile recording....

    All that said, my favorite garment that I have made is a vest using the fabric collage technique in Rosemary Eichorn's book. The vest is not perfect, though it fits fairly well, and the edges of the collaged fabric are rough, yes, I need to snip a thread off it every so often, but every time I wear it in public, I get favorable comments! If I had made a patchwork vest where every point was perfect, only other quilters would know the effort that had gone into it... With this vest, somehow the love of the project came through, and people respond to that, not the skill (or lack thereof) that went into its creation.

    So I read Threads, and I look at the exquisite techniques, and then I think about whether they would even be noticed by my co-worker sitting across the table at a weekly meeting, and I slap something together that isn't perfect, but was clearly hand made, for fun - and it gets more noticed than the item that I agonized over to make "just like a professional would...

    Yes, I think it was right to show Brook's work - here is someone making a living at what she loves, and maybe her work is not perfectly polished couture, but there are a few of us who sew just to create, and don't worry about whether there are the identical number of stitches on both sides of the buttonhole, and I am encouraged by this article.

    1. rjf | | #14

      "why should I go to live performance, when I have the best performance on my CD player at home?"

      You really made me think with that comment. 

      It was a real shock to me the first time I heard my favorite recorded music played by a real live person I could see as well as hear.  And it didn't sound at all like the version I knew so well!  How outrageous.  And then great waves of stupidity.  Did I think that when I played it, it sounded like the record?  So I listen with more tolerance and the knowledge that someday, someone might make it sound better than what I have at home.

       One of those "Ah-ha!" moments.                             rjf

      1. Michelle | | #15

        I have next to me an old 'Artforum' magazine from the early eighties, with an Issey Miyke creation on the cover. A bodice made from black painted rattan resembling the shape of a Samurai practice armor, juxter posed with a nylon polyester skirt.  The hard sculptural rigidity of the bodice contrasting with the softness of the skirt, even twenty years later, remains fresh.  His choice of materials, (conventional as well as non-conventional) contrast with one another to create something quite spectacular.

        Even if we choose to ignore DeLorme's lack of sewing skill, I don't see anything so superbly innovative in her style or choice of materials.  Perhaps if she investigated the possibility of incorporating non-conventional materials (eg. plastic, stones, hair, string, sticks, etc.) into her creations she might be able to elevate her creations to something more innovative with more freedom, (as opposed to appearing like a pile of sewing room rejects.)


        1. sanderson | | #16

          Sounds like you're toying with incorporating non-conventional materials in your projects.  Good luck and share your results, okay?

          1. Michelle | | #17

            You're actually right  :)  I've been using nonconventional materials in my artwork since the beginning of the 70's. (In my late teens)  However, my reason for suggesting this was in order to widen her possibilities.

             After over 20 years, Issey Miyke's creation _still_ commands a 'WOW' responce while I can't help wondering how we will approach  DeLorme's present work in 20years from now.


          2. biz | | #18

            These arguments remind me a lot of learning about modern artists like cezanne, or picasso, in art history class. The value of the work was questioned because of their lack of "skill". It was also found very threatening by the established art world.

             By now everyone admits that a five year old couldn't paint a van gogh (or a jackson pollock, even) and that these artists' styles are not due to a lack of craftsmanship. I could probably hold my own in a 4-h sewing competition, but the more I think about it the less I think I could replicate one of Brook DeLorme's pieces. There's a difference betweeen being "messy" from lack of skill, and a practiced, design-oriented messiness. I like her stuff a lot.

          3. Bettefan | | #19

            I'm not sure how I feel about Brook DeLorme's stuff...however, I showed it to my 17 year-old daughter, who went wild for it. Now she's very artistic AND she understands and appreciates what goes into a well-made garment. These clothes were, I think, extreme examples of what is currently out there. And just like ready-to-wear takes some of the extreme ideas from couture and adapts them, we can adapt some of these ideas...a seam or darts sewn on the outside, assymetrical sides, un-matching parts of a garment...taking ideas and incorporating them within your own style...that's how fashion evolves.

          4. Jean | | #20

            That rumbling sound you hear is the collective bodies of past Haut Couture designers spinning in their graves. :)

          5. Jmars0727 | | #21

            Wow!  Regardless of the number of comments pro or con to this topic, I am glad to see that it caught the attention of so many people, and that so many have written their thoughts.  After reading them, I can't say that I have changed my mind, but they have certainly made me think.  I believe that, for the most part (for me) it comes down to the difference between the 'art' of sewing and the 'craft' of sewing.  I still believe very much in that old cliche "Anything worth doing is worth doing right".  I just cannot understand making 'messy' a goal.  If being creative (and having something to show for my efforts) is my goal, then [my very] messy [house] is the unintentional by-product of that goal, not the product of it.  To start a project with the goal of making it look messy and unfinished, to me, would be like giving up on it before I ever started.  If you want to think in terms of music, I doubt that there are any performers out there with the stated objective of making a performance less than it could be.  If you knew that one particular orchestra always sounded  horrible in concert, would you continue to buy tickets to hear their concerts?  The truly great performances or recordings only came about because the performer[s] aspired to perfection.  In terms of painters, you really only have to look at some of Picasso's early work, and the surviving sketches, to know that he truely could draw.  I don't particularly care for his work, but that is just a matter of personal taste -- I couldn't dispute his technique.  Whether you like what he painted or not, he knew how to mix and apply oils to canvas -- he knew his craft.  His work to me is disjointed, but those works I am able to recall at the moment all have very clear, clean lines, and no muddy colors from poor technique.  I don't particularly like rules, but I think that many things that are stated as rules (Don't play in the street) are actually reasons (It is unsafe to play in the street).  Personally, I have found that it is usually wise to listen to reason.  Perhaps my objection to Ms. Delorme's work is that I think she has chosen to ignore too many 'reasons' in her quest to break the rules.  I believe in the pursuit of perfection.  I sincerely doubt that I will ever achieve it, but what would it say about me (and my craftsmanship) if I quit pursuing perfection and began to pursue imperfection?  I'm already there. There is nothing to strive for.  To me, at least, there would be no goal and, therefore, no reason to try. 

            Julie M.

          6. Michelle | | #22

            There is a concept adhered to in the western world, that anything 'new' or 'innovative' is conceived as 'good'.  And from this view, seems to stem a great many misconceptions.  As I peruse many contributions to this topic, I can't help feeling that many are trying to make 'sense' out of 'non sense'.

            One contributor virtually admitted that _she_ couldn't make sense out of the work however her daughter who is 'very artistic' raved.  (I'm sure that there are many 'very artistic' persons who are recognized by the artistic establishment, who's response would be "so what?")

            When one chooses to do away with a convention, it has to be replaced by something else that is understand to others. If I for example were to choose a different form of speech that nobody understood, would it have value to those other than myself? Similarly, Supposing I chose to break away from convention and wear dirty clothes simply because the 'look' appealed to me - Would everyone congratulate me for my 'innovativeness' ?

            We have all seen 'artistic' rules being broken (even Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart were breaking rules in respective periods - just in case we like to think that we own the monopoly on doing such things :)   ) however, even if one believes that (creative) rules are made to be broken,  I think that they ought to be done in a meaningful way with a certain regard for intentionality, and not appear like a bunch of mistakes.


          7. rjf | | #23

             "what would it say about me (and my craftsmanship) if I quit pursuing perfection and began to pursue imperfection? "

            It might say that someone is secure enough in her abilities to see the value in sometimes producing something that explores an avenue different from the usual trodden path.  I don't think anyone pursues imperfection.  I think they have a different vision of both process and product.  Games have rules and if one agrees to play, one agrees to follow the rules but who's to say that's the only game in town?  So, if one is judging, one judges based on the rules for the game that is being played.  But, of course, it's your option to choose the game you want to play.

            Perfection is so elusive anyway.  Who gets to say "This is perfect"? If it's the consensus of zillions of people, then what's to keep the standard from changing?  Who gets to say one has achieved perfection in the production of some item?   I think I can tell which is the better made of two garments but I would not want to say "This is perfect". 

            I do think it's wonderful that you feel so impassioned about this.  I admire you for standing up for what you think is the right way to do things and taking pride in what you do.                                    rjf

    2. Lizsews | | #80

      I'd like to thank you and everyone at Threads for including the Brook DeLorme article in threads.  I don’t subscribe to Threads.  When I saw one of the angry letters that referred to the article I bought a back issue.  


      I totally understand the angst over her designs.  I think a lot of readers have taken things too literally.  Shortly after the article came out I visited her web site which was defunct.  She posted a terse message to the effect of “I’m concentrating on the right side of my brain.  The fashion thing is on hiatus check back in a year.”  Well time has come and gone and she’s back designing only she “doesn’t ship overseas.”  Brook is definitely not making a living from selling her designs.  She’s attempting to sell a few of her items. 


      Some of her designs I fell in love with.  After seeing her unfinished raw edges I had to show my garments off to people “see I’m ahead of the curve.”  I do think Ms. DeLorme lacks  technique.  It’s one thing to deliberately sew off kilter.  It’s another to sew off kilter because you don’t know how to sew on kilter.  I’ve noticed on Ms. DeLorme’s web site she lists highly inflated prices but lists a sale price right next to it.  It makes no sense to tell the world in an article you choose to sew with cheap fabrics yet inflate the price of a finished garment. 


      I’m inspired by the content of article but disappointed with the elitist attitude of the designer who could really use a few sewing lessons.  I’m a bit older than Ms. DeLorme and I believe I understand her reasoning for throwing caution and sewing pretense to the wind.  Whatever you’re making doesn’t have to be perfect.  I think fear of failure or frustration at not being able to follow a set of sewing instructions keeps many newcomers from sewing in the first place.  I came away from reading the article saying “I can do that” and that’s a good thing.     


      I would love to see you feature more non conventional artists and methods of sewing in the future.




      1. SewNancy | | #81

        Dear Taffy,

        Loved your letter.   I enjoyed De Lorme's work because she was unafraid to experiment and make mistakes, but as you said she needs a few sewing lessons.  Neither Matisse or Picasso could have distorted the human figure so successfully if they first hadn't been able to draw it so exquisitely.  A trip to  see the youg designers showing and working in lowere Manhattan shows an equal love of experimentation, but definitely better fabrics and technique.  While they may be deconstructed, they aren't ready to fall apart!


        1. Lizsews | | #82

          Thanks for the comment Nancy.  I bet that article has inspired some people to free up their thinking in reference to sewing.

          1. rjf | | #83

            "....to free up their thinking in reference to sewing."  Or at the very least, they might be able to forgive themselves for mistakes and that would be a good thing, don't you think?   I'm glad to see that readers are still thinking about that article.   rjf   

          2. Lizsews | | #84

            Or at the very least, they might be able to forgive themselves for mistakes and that would be a good thing, don't you think?   I'm glad to see that readers are still thinking about that article.  

            I agree.  My attitude about sewing is very carefree.  I sew for enjoyment.  As long as I can get a garment that I can wear as the end result I'm happy.  Dangling threads or uneven hems don't bother me.  I would hesitate to sew for something other than myself because I know they may have a different view of the finished project. 

          3. SewNancy | | #85

            I remember the furor when the first letter was published in the magazine,  but had not been a visitor to the forum yet.  When the newest letter popped up and I saw the number of people who had responded I was astonished.  People were so angry over a 22 year old"s experiments in design! If we don't take chances when we are young, then when?  I also think that people missed the point of the article.   Yes, freeing us  to make mistakes is ok.   Reminds me of the furor over paintings at the Brooklyn Museum not too long ago.  Unfortunately people seem to be threatened by a different point of view and reference. 


      2. Elisabeth | | #86

        I have been reluctant to voice my opinion on the Brook DeLorme article as it seems such a heated subject with Threads fans. Frankly, I liked it a lot. I wouldn't wear or sew what Brook is sewing but that is only a matter of personal clothing taste. I liked her process and her attitude.

        My early sewing learning was strong in handsewing and fine detail and precision. On the other hand...back in the day when leotards were popular gym wear I worked in an athletic club and made custom leotards. I had a basic pattern worked out that I used for size and using it I would eyeball the style cutting freehand, making adjustments for personal variations as I cut. I didn't measure my customers, just looked at them. Cutting and working this way felt natural and good. Sometimes the customer would ask me to choose their fabric for them, too. The leotards usually fit like a dream and it would become the customer's new favorite leotard. It was hugely rewarding work in that aspect.

        These days, after a long sewing break, I am working on the nitty gritty of measuring accurately and meticulously and reviewing and learning construction methods. It fascinating and is a way of sewing that works extremely well, but I must say I get impatient and occasionally find myself eyeballing again. One of these days, after I get a handle on flat pattern drafting, I can see myself investing in a good dressform that does not have scoliosis (like my poor old Matilda does) and working on draping. Brook's article will certainly be an element of my inspiration.

        I don't think I would agree that Brook could use sewing lessons. Selling is all about what the market will bear. One of a kind one size garments in cheap fabrics, well, if people will buy so be it. Cheap fabrics, shoddy sewing techniques, and high prices are nothing new in the garment industry. Think of the taped together clothing line someone is doing, no sewing at all and visible tape, high prices. I think Brook knows what her sewing level is or isn't, and doesn't let it stop her since it works for her.

        That brings me to something else I hesitate to say for fear of sounding rude - that I wouldn't wear most of the garments featured in Threads. I find most of them fussy or frumpy. For me, that is, and I am not of the young set anymore at 49. Again it is personal taste in clothing and has nothing to do with the quality and beauty of the product. I know a young 20 something reader who might easily write just as negative a respose as those Brook received to many of the more popular articles in Threads. It would be nice if Threads could appeal more not only to all ages but to all methods of creating and sewing.

        Taffy000, I am glad you are inspired! Sew in any way that works for you and enjoy the learning continuum. Knowing techniques will only enhance the work but not knowing them will never stop one from making something in whatever way works and suits.

  5. crwritt | | #24

    Overall I was taken with Brooke Delorme's creative attitude. She views her clothing creations more as sculpture than couture. She seems to be having fun with it, and I certainly hope she has a trust fund or a second job, as it doesn't seem there would be enough size six ladies in Portland, ME with a taste for her designs to make much of a living. Another impractical aspect of Brooke's designs is that having lived in Maine all my life , I can tell you that there are probably only three months out of the year when the weather would be warm enough to wear these outfits even if they were your size and taste. Phiosophizing over clothing does not make up for shoddy construction, no matter how colorful and creative the garments may be.

    1. kai230 | | #25

      Oh I agree, except for "shoddy" construction. It seems a part of her design, just as torn jeans we can find in dept. stores.

      This looks like a teen-twenty-something thing--ya know, when the bodies are like iron? The cover page outfit is ugly, but you can just make seams/pleats/tucks willy-nilly it seems out of a fabric of your choice, and to suit your body style.

      Her patchwork dress has given me an idea (not that the path is apparent) to drape one shoulder of a silk blouse with something beaded or embroidered or something slightly offset to cover a rip in the shoulder of my favorite colored silk blouse. The dress would also look good as a wall hanging IMO!

      Her denim jacket would look good on almost everyone.

      Anyone who can get this kind of acclaim and criticism from the pros (not I), deserves to at least take credit for the nice things we like about her work :-)

  6. User avater
    ehBeth | | #54

    grrrrrrrr - the pic didn't work. obviously.

    1. JulieP25 | | #55

      Hi! I too do feel that her clothes are not of great design but I do love that her spirit is fresh and she truly makes a living at sewing. I only wish I could do that. I agree that this has sparked a great discussion on her clothes,philosophy, and general sewing techniques. I applaud Thread's for this insight. This is truly what the younger crowd now wears and thinks is hip. I only hope that as Brooke matures she'll master some of the finer techniques of sewing and gain insight to other designers beautiful craftmanship. juliep25

      1. Jean | | #56

        I really think that the messy workmanship is definitely intentional. This little gal is thumbing her nose at convention and at the establishment and is laughing all the way to the bank, that is if she truly can live on what she's doing. She's just capitalizing on the grunge look that is so popular with the kids. If it looks tacky and doesn't fit, it's IN. And if you can add a little so-called philosophy, so much the better. View Image

        1. kai230 | | #57

          I think "laughing all the way to the bank" is the operative phrase these days. If a young person (or anyone) can make a million, that is "the American way". It's all about money.

          But--big but--will she be as embarrassed as I am abt those types of clothes I designed when I was her age? (Of course not, 'cause I didn't get paid for mine! LOL)

          IMHO, expression in clothing is relatively innocuous compared to piercings and permanent tatoos.

          1. rjf | | #58

            "expression in clothing is relatively innocuous compared to piercings and permanent tatoos"

            Couldn't agree with you more!  Do you think tatooing is the only kind of commitment our young generation can understand?  That would be a very sad comment.     rjf

          2. kai230 | | #59

            Do you think tatooing is the only kind of commitment our young generation can understand?

            I'd question whether they understand that one day their skin will sag. Still, I'm glad I'm a wimp or I might have had a tattoo myself!

          3. User avater
            ehBeth | | #60

            "Do you think tatooing is the only kind of commitment our young generation can understand?"

            I got my first tattoo at 45.  It's not particularly a 'young person's' thing anymore.  I work in what is thought of as a very conservative industry, but proportionally, there are more people over 40 getting tattoos, than of the younger group.  It's been interesting to talk to people of the meanings of their tattoos. It's not about fashion or about trends, but about meaning. One of our vice-presidents talks with great feeling about the meaning of her dragonfly tattoo - the dragonfly has parts of its life cycle in water, on the earth, and in the air - N. feels the dragonfly reflects her ability to soar in this part of her life, after many low days in the past 5 years.

          4. rjf | | #61

            I try hard not to make blanket statements but I think that one got by me.  I'd guess there are as many reasons to have a tatoo as there are tatoos but I think that some people think getting a tatoo means that the sentiment which inspired it will last forever.  And maybe sometimes, it does.  If I had a tatoo, it would probably say "Do not deal with absolutes."                                      rjf

          5. marijke | | #62

            I'm new to the list and this is my first post. I read all the posts on this subject with interest.

            What bothered me most about the article about Brook Delorme is that she seemed to be so self-promoting. I did not get a good sense for the philosophy behind her clothes and the written messages in the clothes were a bit hokey to me. I liked the spirit behind what she's trying to do but I think it could be done better, more artistically, and with a deeper philosophical understanding of what clothes are about, their function in society here and elsewhere, etc. Miyake's work is interesting, because it blends western and Japanese dress in innovative ways. Other than deconstructing clothing construction (which isn't exactly new), I don't see much that really hits me as innovative here. Given the self-promotion, which is what much of her attitude conveys, she's trying to cash in on a trend.

            I experimented plenty with my mom's scraps when I was in my teens/early twenties, so I think I sort of understand where she's coming from (I made a patchwork dress out of scraps of lining fabric once). Experimentation is fun and can lead to innovation, but she seems to be in that experimentation stage before having hit on anything that's really an innovation she can call her own.

            I'm sorry if that sounds harsh.

          6. ccolehour | | #63

            I agree. I found the clothes interesting, but she didn't really have much to say. And, it was a little pretentious.  I'd make a bet that she doesn't live off selling her clothes. And the stuff she wrote on the inside of her clothes made me feel embarassed for her. But some people probably like it, we're all different. And I did find her color and fabric combinations intriguing and inspiring, although I would make different garments.

            I keep trying to write something about tattoos and piercings, but I get too angry at sound snotty. Suffice to say that I like young people, and I don't intend to stop when I get older, despite the turns that fashion may take. I'm 36, and maybe I'll feel differently when I'm older, but I hope not.

          7. kai230 | | #65

            Welcome Marijke! Yes, she is very self-promoting. It appears that that is what works best in a capitalistic society, eh? I don't happen to like self-promotion, but it's a must when, e.g., looking for a stupid job. I'm still trying to figure out how she fitted that cover dress--surely it fits only that model.

            Bottom line, she will probably be thrilled she's caused such a ruckus, laughing to the bank w/bags of teen $$.

          8. crwritt | | #68

            Of course Brooke Delorme's dress on the Threads cover fits the model- she IS the model. She only sews in size six, her own size,and trys the garments on herself. She is an art student at a school that does not teach fashion design. I live near Portland, Me., and have seen quite a few examples of work from this school. Skill and craftsmanship surely takes a back seat to theoretical discussion there.  As far as making a living from her craft, I tend to doubt that. There is a successful publisher of maps here in Maine, Delorme Publishing. If this is indeed her family, it would go along with her comments that she is from a scientific background, and let us in on her sense of humor behind using fabrics with a map print on them in some of her pieces.


          9. kai230 | | #69

            Aha! Thanks for that info, which explains a lot. I didn't read the article as her work didn't interest me (as clothing).

          10. Jmars0727 | | #66

            I think the words self-promoting and pretentious are 'perfect' descriptions of Delorme's 'art'.  I keep looking at them trying to see some great philosophical meaning behind them, but, like someone else said, all I see is my rag bag.  She says they mean something, but never really explains exactly what that is.  Guess my imagination just won't stretch that far.  As for the self-promoting aspect, every time I read the article in the magazine, I can almost hear my Mother saying "Self-praise is poor recommendation".

            All of the 'talk' about this article has reminded me of a very precious and almost forgotten memory from my childhood.  My Grandmother made all of my clothing up until I was about 13 or so.  She was a remarkable seamstress, who copied clothes from pictures in the NY Times fashion pages for her only DGD (me).  Anyway, every time I wore a new outfit, everyone at church and all my teachers at school always asked if my Nana had made it.  Through all this my Grandfather was determined to keep everyone 'humble' so his comment to every new dress Nana made for me was to clear his throat, and say: "I wouldn't wear it to a dog fight".  I can't help but wonder what he would have said had she made clothing that looked like Delorme's.

            Julie M.

          11. marijke | | #67

            After posting my last message I thought more about the "art" thing. Are we just not appreciating innovation? I ended up leafing through the Fiberarts book of Wearable Art (it was reviewed in Threads some time ago). I would not wish to own or wear everything in that book either, but I see a lot more art in what's presented in that book than in Brook DeLorme's work.

            For the fans of the patchwork dress: there is a picture in the book of a dress that looks a lot like Brook's, except the artist wove the cloth with a pattern of squares which are delineated by loose threads (sort of like a fringe in the middle of the cloth). Again, there are an awful lot of things in Brook DeLorme's work that have been done before...

            Maybe more teenagers should talk with their moms about copying this "art" (rather than paying for it)? There was a fun Closures column in the same issue in which a mom described how her daughter finally wanted mom's help in making clothes after seeing pricey stuff in SoHo boutiques that (from her descriptions) was probably similar to Brook DeLorme's stuff. Maybe she'll create a wave of interest in learning to sew? At the very least, it will be OK (even fashionable) to wear 'mistakes' (which can now pas for art). :-)

          12. Jmars0727 | | #70

            I just took out the ole' dictionary and looked up the meaning of 'innovate', 'innovation', and 'innovative'. Here is what I found: 

            1)  in·no·vate [Inflected Form(s): -vat·ed; -vat·ing] transitive senses:  1 : to introduce as or as if new.  2 : archaic : to effect a change in <the dictates of my father were… not to be altered, innovated, or even discussed —Sir Walter Scott>.  intransitive senses: to make changes : do something in a new way

            2)  in·no·va·tion 1 : the introduction of something new.  2 : a new idea, method, or device : NOVELTY

            3)  in·no·va·tive : characterized by, tending to, or introducing innovations

            This may go back to Shelly's (I think) comments about the popular view that everything new must be good (or something like that).  I thought it interesting that nowhere in the definitions above does the word 'good' or 'better' appear.  After reading the above, I think Delorme's work could be classified under 'innovate' (to introduce as or as if new).  Now, I'm not saying that there is no place in sewing for an unfinished seam, or a dart sewn on the outside, or even a patch on the lining.  However, I do not think that this is particularly new or innovative.  I have to admit that I always thought that the word 'better' was part of the definition of  'innovation'.  I think of things like electricity in homes, central heat, a fuel pump on a car, and refrigerators as innovations.  According to the definitions, the Hindenberg was also an innovation.  You are probably right when you say that we (or I, at least), are not "appreciating innovation".  I am glad that, by definition, we are not required to. 

            Just an ineresting side note:  I came across the following quote in George Washington's Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior:  "In your apparel be modest and endeavour to accomodate nature; rather than to procure admiration, keep to the fashion of your equals, such as are civil and orderly with respect to times and places."

            Julie M.

          13. amyndugat | | #71

            Hi.  I'm new here, this is my second post.  Should I have gone all the way back to the first post to reply? 

            Well, about Brook Delorme, I'm shocked that so many people have had such negative reactions to her clothing.  I'm young and I'm an artist and in my opinion, her clothes look like sometimes good, sometimes bad versions of what's been going on in the fashion world for awhile now.  There's nothing new about the "messy" deconstructed look, and it's also not something only "teens" are into.  Turn on Sex and the City and you'll see a bunch of 30- and 40-something women wearing clothes like this.  If this girl taps the right market she could make A LOT of money, so don't kid yourselves.  I'd also like to say that although some of her clothes appear to be totally functionless and accidental, you just can't argue that all of her designs are "mistakes."  Her jackets appear (from what I can tell from the pictures) to be very tailored, asymmetrical seams and all. 

            Maybe it's just because I come from an art background, but I really believe that questioning what you do is necessary to have a full of awareness of why you do it to begin with.  I think that's all Delorme is doing, questioning convention, and finding beauty in the unexpected.  We can all learn something from her, even if we do think her clothes are ugly.

          14. Jean | | #72

            Amy, I beg to disagree. I think that a HUGE percentage of what the Art world today says about art is a combination of claptrap and horsepucky, meant only to make the reader/listener/onlooker feel intimidated and insecure about saying that he doesn't like what he is looking at. My DGD is an art major and I hope against hope that she doesn't fall for some of the nonsense they are teaching nowadays. Sorry, JMNSHO.

          15. Jmars0727 | | #73

            << Turn on Sex and the City and you'll see a bunch of 30- and 40-something women wearing clothes like this. >>

            Sorry, but I don't think that is a particularly good example, because these women are wearing what someone else has told them to wear. If we fell for every fad the movie and TV people want to foist on us, we would probably all be dressing like the Incredible Hulk,Steve Urkle and Minnie Mouse.

            << If this girl taps the right market she could make A LOT of money, so don't kid yourselves. >>

            As an artist, you should be well aware of the number of really great artists who have practically starved to death for the sake of their art.  While I have absolutely no moral objection to anyone's getting rich, I have always believed that for a true artist, it isn't about making money, it is, first and foremost about creating.

            << I really believe that questioning what you do is necessary to have a full of awareness of why you do it to begin with. >>

            You seem to be assuming that because I sew/create, I do not question what I do.  On the other hand, is it not possible that because I sew and create (and for a lot longer than Delorme), I have questioned the whys and wherefores, and that is why I find her work lacking.  She, it appears to me, is still questioning.  Now, while that is probably a good thing for her personally, I question the need to subject the rest of us to her quest. Obviously, all the great artists have questioned things, but it is not until they have found a lot of their answers that they became really great.

             << I think that's all Delorme is doing, questioning convention, and finding beauty in the unexpected.  We can all learn something from her, even if we do think her clothes are ugly. >>

            If you believe Delorme is "finding beauty", why, in the next sentence do you write "we think her clothes are ugly"?  As for questioning convention, there are so many truly important, life and death issues in this life that need to be questioned (and corrected), that her 'quest' for 'messy' and 'deconstructed' seems pretty inconsequential.  When I think of art and questioning convention together, the first thing that pops into my mind is Goya's Saturn Devouring One Of His Children, and other paintings from his 'black period'.  Do they question the conventions of the day?  Definitely.  Are they great works of art?  Unquestionably.  Do I want to wear them?  Not even to a dog fight.  If we want to talk about defying convention and making a statement, then we should mention Picasso's Guernica.  Does it question convention?  Absolutely.  Is it a great work of art?  Without doubt.  Is it beautiful?  Not by any definition I am aware of. 

          16. rjf | | #74

            "........ that's all Delorme is doing, questioning convention, and finding beauty in the unexpected.  We can all learn something from her, even if we do think her clothes are ugly."

            When it comes to matters of taste, it's quite possible for Brook to find beauty in her creations and for others to think they're ugly.  And both opinions would be true!  Matters of taste are not entirely intellectual, but partly emotional, and for that reason, not always under conscious control.  From some of the letters, it seems that a lot of people can't bring themselves to "like" her work.  That is definitely their perogative.  But those who do or willing just to be interesed in it, should have the same perogative.                                               rjf

          17. User avater
            ehBeth | | #75

            Beauty in the unexpected. That was great, amy!

            For me, there is something of the jolie laid in Brooke DeLorme's work.  I think Diana Vreeland would have liked it.

            I like some of DeLorme's work, don't like other parts, but I can definitely appreciate that she's thinking about what she's doing.

          18. ccolehour | | #76

            ehBeth, I agree. I actually do like her clothes. I just didn't like what she said.

            And, yes, in the right market I think she could make money. Lots of reconstructed and funky designer clothes in Seattle do not come in my size, and I'm sure that's the case elsewhere.

            I would like to see more articles on new designers, young or older. It seems like we see the same designers in Threads over and over again, and while I don't object to that, I think it would be fun to have space devoted to people pushing the envelope also. Maybe a regular column that focuses on a designer or artist that is a little more out there? (For lack of a better term...) If it was set aside as something that was supposed to be a little more challenging or thought provoking maybe people would like it more.

            I think she does work at/is associated with that map company, and I didn't make the connection to the fabric until now. That is actually pretty funny.

          19. marijke | | #77

            I don't think you mean to make Threads into a fashion magazine???

            What I have always liked about Threads is a focus on techniques and ideas that are shown in a way you could implement them. The Brook DeLorme article lacked that, it was just pictures and some philosophizing. There have been articles by/about other art-to-wear types, but they've always included something about that person's techniques. If it had shown more of the process, i.e. how Brook goes about designing, draping, some aspect of her "anti-technique technique," it would have been more interesting.

            Yes, it would be fun to have more on new designers, but maybe it can be focused on what Threads does well: techniques/strategies/ideas from the more conventional to the more unusual, but with a focus on things you might try to add to your own creative reportoire?

          20. ccolehour | | #78

            Marijke, I didn't explain what I meant very well. You said it much better. I didn't mean fashion designers, I meant people who design and sew clothes that have interesting techniques. Threads does this very well now, I was just thinking that there might be other people besides the standbys we see over and over that could be featured. Although I like the standbys too, and don't mean to imply that they don't have lots to offer!

          21. User avater
            ehBeth | | #64

            rjf - i think your tattoo idea is brilliant!  i've been preparing for another one, doing a lot of research, making sure it 'says' what i want. it's definitely not something i'd recommend going into lightly. certainly most of the artists i know don't do work that is a spur of the moment plan - and they definitely don't tattoo people who are 'under the influence' of anything.  I had my second interview today with my artist - he is very particular in making sure you're sure about the procedure and the design.  Adopting dogs and getting tattoos is more difficult than having a baby - you've got to convince a lot more people that it's really a good idea and that you really want to do it. 

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