My Designer Life by Gretchen Jones of Project Runway

Craft. Tradition. Skill. Sustained aesthetics.

As I find myself forever linked to native influences, I tend to think about the skill it takes to make things, well, well-made.

Time, action, finesse and a little bit of human mistake, too. It’s what makes a piece feel special – it’s the soul that is inevitably left by the maker. In some Native American crafts, mistakes are made intentionally, as it is believed the only one(s) who can be a perfectionist is the divine. I like that. I like being able to sense a person’s hand in what I am purchasing. It’s what makes it special, and in turn, worth the investment.

And as I find myself ever more connected to my trade skill and hands-on learning approach – I’m self-educated and apprenticed in many areas of handcraft – I am reminded of the wonderful quote:

“And I believe that the best learning process of any kind of craft is just to look at the work of others.”
– Wole Soyinka

I like the school of life, rather than the classroom.

This week’s imagery is pulled from areas within my own studio and soon-to-be launched new collection, but also many images that have formed my “signature” as a designer. I hope as you look at it, you can see past the label – and into the soul that feeds it.

This is the first in a new series at EcoSalon with Project Runway winner and sustainable fashion designer Gretchen Jones. For Jones, her daily apprenticeship with the “school of life” has been her guiding teacher and we look forward to bearing witness to her weekly inspiration collages, featuring ideas and scenes from the streets and parties of New York City, where she recently located. As well as her innate sense of style she’ll be pulling from a world of patterns, textures and all the designers who have preceded her.