I woke up this morning and checked the site analytics, finding the large number of incoming visitors from the Threads Magazine article.  While I am pleasantly surprised that Threads decided to re-release the article with a link to my new brook there site, I am intrigued yet again by the type of comments it has created.

I did not know the article was being re-released until I saw the web traffic this morning.  I have skimmed the article comments, finding some of them so harsh I’d prefer not to read in to much detail.  Some commenters did note that the article was written in 2003.  I haven’t re-read the article, and no doubt would cringe at some of the things my 23 year old self said.

I find most odd the commenters who criticize my then-sewing techniques, since the fact I was approaching sewing differently was the ENTIRE POINT OF THE ARTICLE.  In 2003, I was an art student doing a project that related to fashion.  I wasn’t running a business.  my objective was to make beautiful, sculptural garments that people wanted to look at and touch. Sewing by hand, leaving raw edges and making interiors exterior were part of the overall aesthetic.

Moreover, the only person I had to fit was myself.  Fashion would never evolve if the concept of ‘fit’ remained stagnant.  a very skinny 23 year old looks chic and good in garments that fit unconventionally.

Learning to sew well is a technical skill; creating beautiful designs is a skill of intuition.

our society economically values the designer higher than the technician in every field (and the entrepreneur is valued higher than the designer.)  “economically values” means that the entrepreneur has the potential to earn more money than the designer or technician because the entrepreneur takes the most risks.

Threads is not solely a technical magazine, and to expect that it should only publish technical sewing articles is limiting to the magazine and its potential audience.  I read and re-read Threads all through my teen years, enjoying both the technical articles and the designer profiles.

Posted by:brook delorme

10 replies on “threads

  1. don’t let the Threads website comments bother you (although you don’t seem to have!). Seems like a pack of really narrowminded and rude women hang out there ready to pounce.

  2. I just read the article for the first time. It was very plain to me, an artist who works in many mediums including textiles, that this was a design assignment. Even though I have had no formal or college design training, it was evident that you were going through a process that was meant to be avant garde. It was the beginning of your vision as a designer, which will go through many incarnation as all talented designers do. Coco Chanel at the point of her death was not the Coco of her youth either. Take heart Brooke, their are many mean old biddies out there that think everyone’s purpose is to please them. Please yourself and you will be truly successful.

  3. Yikes! Those nasty comments probably came from old sewing “experts” who are jealous they are no longer 23 and skinny. I sew for my 20 something daughters and that gives me the opportunity to make something edgier than I would wear for myself.

    Brook, don’t listen to them! Since I’m old school I still believe that if you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all.

  4. Hi Brooke – I am 55 – there must be a mistake somewhere – how can that have happened :)- and I really hope to avoid ever becoming a nasty old biddy. I, too, was startled by some of the comments about your designs and ‘technique’. I think what they reveal is actually a lack of understanding of how people learn and develop design skills. Many sewists seem to concentrate on technical proficiency, which is usually measured by how close something matches a ready to wear garment or, for those with still higher aspirations, whether they can simulate a couture garment. Of course this is a wild generalisation, and lots of sewists are keen to experiment too.

    I really liked a lot of the garments you have on your website and I think they have been designed for the real person. I just wish I had kept my 23 year old bod in better shape :)

  5. Hey Brooke, Happily found you via the Threads email. Honestly, didn’t read the article. Just went straight to your site and enjoyed your aesthetic. Interesting history you shared though.

    I am quite a bit younger than what I imagine the Threads demographic to be and I find that I am evolving and learning my technique. My draping and sketching art and vision come first and the technique follows. I find most of the articles in the sewing magazines to be tired and boring. So I was thrilled to see you featured. Keep up the great work!

    Take good care,
    Stash

  6. Hello Brook, I’m 22, love to design clothes, and a raw vegan, so I was thrilled to find out about you through the Threads article and through your blog and website. The comments that went with the article didn’t do you justice!
    I wrote for an organization’s blog once where I was meant to take firm positions on matters, and some of the comments that turned up were positively awful. All I was doing was expressing myself in a respectful way–inviting others to join in, but not expecting the kind of criticism that turned up. I think sometimes the internet makes people feel anonymous and free to vent their frustrations from other areas of their lives where they receive more accountability for their words. Oftentimes, people are really just waiting for a way to express their hurt, then along come these anonymous internet outlets…
    I’ve loved looking at your website–you’ve made some truly beautiful clothes. Keep up the great work and power to you for being raw.

    Best wishes

  7. Hi Brook,
    I have read your article back in 2003, and I loved to see somebody do something very different (although I did not really love what you did) and I was very astonished by the reactions from the professional sewers. I am very glad, that threads mentioned you again these days because I think it is important to look at things in a different way sometimes. Though I still do not really love what you do,(perhaps in my 48th I am too oldfor this) I wish there were more designer like you. Keep on whirrling the sewing world!
    Kind regards from Germany
    Ira

  8. I want to point out another perspective on this whole thing. Scan through the comments and you’ll see a polarization between two views of life itself. Let’s call them the Dionysean approach–wild, creative, a bit messy, original, lively with life and all its imperfections; and the Apollonian style–controlled, classic, perfectionistic, in danger of being boring and dead. We all tend to one or the other at various moments, days, years in our lives. Both approaches have their merits. Go to one extreme or the other, tho, and you won’t function too well. The original article and photos of Brooke’s work clearly have her emphasizing a Dionysean style for that moment of her career. And most sewing teachers and many sewists, in my experience, tend in the other direction (the extreme is carefully crafting a boring or ugly outfit). Take it all in stride. There are a lot of highly skilled sewists who just have no vision or taste and they were pretty jealous that your wild stuff, so undeveloped-looking to them, was getting the attention that maybe they feel has passed them by. I don’t blame them, frankly—-but it wasn’t personal to you.

  9. I remember reading the original article on paper. I don’t think it contained anything wackier than I’ve seen on Project Runway. :) (Anyone fancy a plaid couture gown?) Sometimes a design can start “way out there” and eventually morph into something which will appeal to a larger audience. But sometimes the design influences what people want to wear! The designs I see on your website are intriguing, wearable, and beautiful. I appreciate your dedication to local and organic/sustainable, as well.

    It’s not easy to turn an interest or passion into a business, so kudos to you!!

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