The winding down of another year always produces such mixed emotions. They seem to be ignited by the curious late December conflict between the abundance of free days and the sudden overflow of dizzying preparations.
The thing I look forward to most during these times, however, is a few quiet days alone in the studio. It gives me the chance to reflect on past garments created and the changes throughout the year…and to give the place a proper sweep.
I like to take time reviewing the materials and sketches from the past year’s projects. Some have special memories. Some, future possibilities which have value and are worth holding on to. A bit of trim, a drawing, a length of cloth or a beaded motif…all will be stored safe for the moment when just the thing is needed. The pressing boards will all be freshly covered, and the tools given a sip of oil and a brisk polish. Everything clean, in its proper place, resting for a new start.
Brighter hopes and new ideas can be a product of these slower, and sometimes darker times. In the midst of some pretty gloomy business forecasts these days, I find some benefit in this down-time to create and plan some ways around the challenges of running a business. This process often sparks more exciting projects in which to become involved.
There is much to look forward to in this next year. The recent exposure I received, courtesy of the V&A and the BBC, has born fruit and I will be making presentations for a number of executive MBA programmes. Most of all I will look forward to breaking new ground with a series of film ‘shorts’, the result of some memorable collaborations with colleagues in the fields of design, textile history and the craft of tailoring. Also, I am ready to launch a limited edition garment – an outdoor piece inspired by the countryside that will be practical and elegant for the working woman. There will be more to come in January.
So, here’s to a new year full of challenges and rich in the variety of work. But for now I am grateful for a few more days of rest to take in the blessings of the season.
A very Happy New year to you all.