Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

Customers often ask me how I design?

 I mean, it’s not like asking Paul McCartney, “how do you write a song?”   But really, the intention is the same.  Which part of the creative idea comes first?

For me, it has always been the fabric that ignites my inspiration and call to create.  Who doesn’t love the tactile pleasure of luxurious, soft fabrics?  So that’s where my journey begins.

When I was dancing with the New York City Ballet and later with The Phantom Of The Opera, I was very close to the garment district in midtown New York,  where you could just wander from fabric store to fabric store.  I could  touch and feel to my heart’s content.  I could spend hours learning about the differences that  content percentages meant to the look and feel of a fabric.  Much later, when I worked with a textile chemist to create our own organic cotton, I learned in even greater detail —  down to the ‘denier‘ (fiber thickness of individual threads or filaments in fabric) of the yarns involved.

Ultimately, I wanted fabrics that were heavier than most of what I saw  being used to create dance and workout wear. Because after all, what I would be creating was going on MY body, and I don’t like for things to show through.   Fabric is measured for weight in ‘gsm’, grams per square meter.  You can tell a lot about a fabric even before you see it, by knowing its weight. Shortchange the weight, and you’ll have a pair of yoga pants or leggings that are see-through.  Just ask  Lululemon, who blamed the issue on their customers.

After weight, I look for ‘hand’, a term used to describe the feel of a fabric. For years I danced in apparel with a high percentage of nylon and spandex. It was shiny and cold feeling to the touch.  Back then, I had a ‘hardbody,’ and the fabric accented every defined muscle and sinew, and I liked that. But nowadays, I need apparel that’s more forgiving and softer. Life is hard and cold enough. That’s not what I want in my yoga clothes.

You’ve heard me talk about my vision for SteelCore.  I think women work incredibly hard to juggle all of the things that they do in their lives.  My calling is to help support you in your effort to keep physically fit and active while still feeling comfortable, looking and feeling pulled together, without trying too hard.

When you wake up in the morning, your mind is flooded with all the things you need to do in the day.  Deciding what to first put on shouldn’t be complicated.

Check out my future posts describing each fabric I ‘ve chosen for my collection.  I’ll go into depth about their characteristics and attributes, to help you understand why the clothing you prefer feels the way it does..

Keep warm until then, and stay tuned!

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