One of my favorite TV shows on the air today is PROJECT RUNWAY. I have become an avid fan and am in awe of the intense creativity and imagination that the designers exhibit. What I enjoy most, however is watching always-fabulous co-host, Tim Gunn, give feedback and gentle (but always honest) guidance to the enthusiastic participants. Tim’s wisdom comes from both a well-informed background and personal love of fashion. If you have not read his book, Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible, I encourage you to add it to your collection. He not only shares practical fashion advice, but also weaves through incredibly interesting fashion history that still influences the silhouettes and accessories we enjoy today. It is rich with content and informed fashion direction.
I, too, share Tim’s love of fashion history and have always been interested in empowering others to express their personal style. On a daily basis, I am working on new patterns for my Indygo Junction line, and it’s a joy to work with my team of designers who share this same passion! It was on this continued quest for all things vintage that I discovered the teachings of Mary Brooks Picken. I quickly became immersed in Mary’s thoughtful teachings from the Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, founded in 1913. Mary not only taught about fashion design, but also shared her own ideas about personal well-being, grace, and charm. I was so inspired by Mary’s wisdom, that I wrote my book Vintage Notions to give today’s women of all ages the chance to look back at Mary’s contributions to fashion and style.
This past summer, I had the opportunity to meet Tim Gunn in person while he co-hosted a fashion show in Kansas City. I talked with him about our mutual fascination with fashion history, and was happy to find that he too knew of Mary Brooks Picken’s role in shaping American fashion. I left Tim that day with a copy of Vintage Notions, which I can only hope he values as much as I value his Fashion Bible.
As evidence of this fashion guru’s continual inspiration to me, some of Tim’s words surfaced again, recently, as I finalized my latest book, Indygo Junction’s Fabric Flowers. That day we met at the Kansas City fashion show, Tim had described a funky astro-turf purse that was accenting a Kate Spade dress as a way to “add a wink to your wardrobe.” The playfulness and flair of this little tidbit made a lot of sense to me in the context of my Fabric Flowers book — each of the projects in the book provides a different way to add a splash of color, texture, and vibrancy that can redefine any wardrobe.
So, once again, thank you Tim for your fabulous book, wonderful advice and never-ending inspiration.
Time for a Giveaway!!
I’d love to share the inspiration by offering readers a chance to win a copy of Tim’s book – Fashion Bible - AND a copy of my two books – Vintage Notions & Indygo Junction’s Fabric Flowers. Simply post a comment to this blog post with what inspires you about fashion. You will have until Sunday, Dec. 16th at midnight to post your comments to enter to win. A winner will be selected at random to win a copy of all three books! Good luck & happy sewing!