Week 2: My Designer Life by Gretchen Jones of Project Runway

Time stand still, please, could you?

That damn designer dilemma is here again with the always impending deadlines. And now with a trip to Costa Rica, I must learn how to accept it, how to use it and more importantly, how to embrace a break without letting go of momentum.

In Costa Rica, I wake to rose petal waves gently unfolding on the velvet shores and at the same time think how I could have left my life in this state of ground break? Construction just starting on a collection I can barely break from my breast yet had to. I needed to not only walk away from the studio in order to stop coddling it, but to these moments of sheer bliss before my entire life changes with the new collection.

I also needed to take off my rose colored glasses and settle into a new pair, ones that are the dark shade of inspiration.
My Costa Rican “quickie” couldn’t have come any sooner.

While there noticing the dark, heavy, glittering sand layered with lighter (in weight and color) tan powder, like two universal matters filtering through a flour sifter – yet somehow perpetually linked hand in hand. Coral matter flecked along the shore line like burnt umber freckles dancing atop the tan bosom of the sea. Sunsets so vivid and rich that the equator seemingly swallowed them whole, I let go of some worry while watching them be consumed. I left some of myself down there.

Walking off the plane back into the brisk east coast air, I feel baptized by the book of travel. I resolve to do it again soon. The creative spirit needs that. It needs new lenses and appreciation for other ways of life, as that is how we translate our character into the concept. Ethnic interpretations and texture from far away ground you, ground your designs, give you perspective, and a new way of speaking your own truth.

My bible is made of silks and wools this season which will envelop those restful nights like the warm winter blanket of work ethic. Back to the drawing board and sewing machine for me.

This is the second piece 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.