Friday, November 12, 2010

The Workshop Shop Phenomenon

Annie Novotny's 'Workshop Boutique' in Chicago

I love this new phenomenon of sustainable fashion enterprises having an on-site workshop under the same roof as the designer's artisanal boutique. If we really want to talk about locally made goods being part of the sustainable design equation, it definitely makes sense to give shoppers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the materials and methods that go into each season's collection and custom-made accessories.

Frock Shoppe in Chester, Connecticut features a storefront and behind-the-scenes sewing atelier

For some designers this also means that they do not have to follow the standard fashion week calendar, as they are free to create inventory in-tune with the current season (or un-seasonal temperatures) and also cater to bespoke requests from devoted followers.
Beautiful Soul's vintage kimono textiles are artfully curated and archived for bespoke fashioning (image via UK)
Beautiful Soul's A/W 2010 collection

I have always found that I am more inclined to buy from a designer if I can meaningfully connect with their process and backstory in some real fashion. Are we moving ever closer to a production model where the consumer and the designer work in partnership to fulfill the 'demands' of our fashion 'needs'? I certainly hope so. The more we are attuned to what goes into the design and crafting of our clothing, the more we are likely to carefully consider the entire life cycle of the garments that we opt to make a part of our personal style repertoire.

Another new workshop-shop to watch? Here Today, Here Tomorrow in the up-and-coming Dalston area in London. 

30a Balls Pond Road | Dalston | N1 4AU
t: 02035181556


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for including FROCK. I love this post.

miss mo said...

Abigail, I totally agree...and thank you for giving this movement a name! I also just fell head over heels in love with Tinctory jewels on your blog - oh my!

miss mo said...
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annie said...

Thanks so much Abigail! I really do believe this is the future of fashion and design in general- and I love my little shop and meeting the people who are buying my clothes and hearing their feedback first hand.

Mano Bello said...

I love this concept (and the article/photos!)....but, I think consumers on the whole need to be empowered be able to feel confident enough to "choose" rather than "follow" as far as Designers and the "Fashion trends" of the moment....I think there are more followers....
I love working with those few that either have their own idea for a belt in mind, or even just want a different color. It is rewarding for a designer to be able to personally satisfy a client's vision, by being the one to create it.