The Underfashion Club had the pleasure of illustrating live lingerie models with guidance from the acclaimed fashion illustrator Bil Donovan during our latest event, “Illustration & Libation”! It was held on May 14th, 2015 at the Society of Illustrators in Manhattan, a gorgeous environment that’s brimming with art and dedicated to nurturing the creativity of illustrators. All attendees enjoyed a delicious dinner and drinks while networking!
Sketchbooks and felt-tip markers were provided for anyone who was willing to nurture their artistic abilities and learn a bit about fashion illustration from our talented guest.
After all of our guests arrived and settled in, Underfashion Club president Victor Vega gathered everyone to the center of the room to announce the raffle winners, then welcomed fashion illustrator Bil Donovan to begin the lesson!
Bil encouraged everyone to participate by breaking down the simplest components of drawing and letting it be known that anybody can draw, regardless of experience. He then introduced models Lefty Lucy and Sydney, who wore gorgeous lingerie that was generously loaned by the good folks at Wacoal and Carole Hochman Design Group.
With Bil Donovan’s guidance, the club created some beautiful artwork!
Every so often I uncover another jewel in Manhattan. This time it is BARD GRADUATE CENTER and its Gallery Programs. You have until July 26, 2015 to see FASHIONING THE BODY: An Intimate History of the Silhouette. This exhibition is for all of us who appreciate the extraordinary ways in which women and men have shaped their bodies into distinctive silhouettes in the name of fashion.
The many devices and materials that have been used to shape silhouettes from the 17th century to today are included. There is an edited collection of bras, however my interest was piqued when I saw all the panniers, corsets, bustles and crinolines.
But also check out the lacings, hinges, straps, springs and stretch fabrics that were used to alter the natural figure.
Take your time, there are three floors in an elegant town house that include complete outfits shaped by the hidden structural contraptions. Also, moving mannequins display the mechanized reconstructions of the bustles, etc. in order to show the functionality of these undergarments. See this video https://vimeo.com/122575826
FASHIONING THE BODY was organized by Les Arts Decoratifs, PARIS and curated by Dr. Denis Bruna and is located at 18 West 86th Street in NYC, NY.
The Underfashion Club members and friends gathered on April 21st, 2015 at The Cutting Room in Manhattan to receive an invaluable update on sourcing in the intimate apparel industry.
The speakers, from different sides of the sourcing experience, were Bob Dzielak (Commercial Director Apparel N & S America of INVISTA), Edward Hertzman (Publisher of The Sourcing Journal), Margaret Clougher (Vice President of Production/Technical Design of Aerie, American Eagle), and moderator Guido Campello (CEO of Cosabella). After networking over cocktails and delicious appetizers, we all took seats before our guests for the start of the seminar.
After networking over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, the evening’s raffle prize winners were announced. Amy Bittner won two tickets for a jazz night and drinks at the Cutting Room. Jamie Gardner won a bottle of red wine from Quality House. Camille Block won an orchid plant from Gramercy Park Flower Shop.
Guido Campello began the evening’s program with an overview of sourcing and the ever-changing methods to obtain the resources needed to manufacture intimate apparel. Guido then handed the discussion over to the three guests on stage by asking them to give their take on key questions about sourcing. We’ll give the gist of each of their responses in this blog. To hear their complete thoughts, watch the full seminar on YouTube!
Guido Campello: What is sourcing today?
Bob Dzielak: Manufacturing is largely sourced in foreign countries such as China and Brazil. Plants in the US have been shutting down since it can no longer support too much capacity.
Edward Hertzman: The US is largely uninformed since it isn’t eager to keep up with the technological changes in the world, making the future of our businesses a challenge since things will become increasingly complex for those who aren’t willing to keep up.
Margaret Clougher: Today, the biggest challenges are finding the right people and product, as well as managing costing and finding ways to get what’s needed even faster.
Guido Campello: What are the changes that affect us regarding China production?
Bob Dzielak: China has reached its peak and is losing relevancy in sourcing. They’re moving into more attractive industries, away from textiles and into more glamorous/higher-paying fields. Sourcing is moving to other countries like Vietnam.
Edward Hertzman: For the most part, China will continue to lead in manufacturing. The capacity of Pakistan, Vietnam, and Bangladesh combined wouldn’t even equal China’s value of exports. There are still many opportunities in China, but many of their factories are now busy manufacturing their own local products.
Margaret Clougher: The intimate apparel industry has been slower to move to China, especially in regards to the supply chain. We’re moving into places like Cambodia, the Burmese border and potentially Vietnam.
Guido Campello: Why isn’t there more inventiveness in production in the US?
Edward Hertzman: It comes down to civil economics. The average factory in America will earn more in one day than a worker in Bangladesh would earn in a month. However, there are loopholes. If you’re willing to sell products at high prices suited for specialty boutiques, manufacturing in the US is a viable option.
Margaret Clougher: There’s a compliance piece to it all that makes it very difficult to afford to manufacture in this country and going around loopholes can create brand integrity issues.
Guido Campello: Would you say that sourcing in first world countries will end up dying off because of a failure to teach Incoming generations the necessary skill sets?
Bob Dzielak: Investment is coming back to the US for cotton spinning. Cotton’s cheap here and there’s low labor, which makes the US able to compete globally. There are still low labor, highly technical opportunities available.
Edward Hertzman: Different skill sets, price points, and supply chains affect where a product should be made. New generations are always shifting the business they focus on, which ends up repeating itself in cycles. There’s a progression of this that’s seen in every country.
Margaret Clougher: There will always be an emerging third world and eventually there will be no place left. The infrastructure of any country must come first because without steady power, there will be serious challenges. Intimate apparel is the most resistant industry and since the supply chain is slow to move, we’re going to have a difficult time keeping up.
Guido Campello: How can we marry culture into production so that future generations are willing and able to create continuity?
Edward Hertzman: We want to create long term partnerships. Creating healthy competition isn’t bad, either. You have to think about how to create a level of transparency within the organization in order to empower employees so they might feel personally invested in the company.
Margaret Clougher: If you’re in sourcing and production, half of your job is in protecting your factory bases in order to protect your company. You should also have direct relationships with your employees to create meaning and purpose.