Friends, I studied apparel design before Project Runway was a twinkle in Heidi's eye. I made "inspiration" pages using magazine cut-outs!
You could feel changes coming, though. Internet use was on the verge of snowballing. I'm crazy curious what fashion design courses are like now that blogs and Pinterest and Etsy (and smart phones and Twitter and Facebook) are mainstream, aren't you?
I can only imagine what sort of role technology is playing right now in forming new designers. There are a million venues for success through the great wide interwebs. Fabric designers especially are making names for themselves like never before.
In fact, have you noticed how designer-conscious sewers are lately? People say oh, this fabric is called such-n-such, by so-n-so from their whatever collection. It's very strange to hear because I grew up heading to the nearest "Minnesota Fabrics" and never knowing where the fabric came from. I remember visiting a high-end fabric store with fabrics from hot designers such as Vera Wang and Calvin Klein but that was the extent of my experience with named fabrics.
My gut tells me that people like Amy Butler paved the way for this new trend of name-recognition in the world of fabric and the internet has enabled designers to 'put a face to a name' through websites, blogs, and online fabric sales.
(On the downside, designer labels are sold at a premium and I hate to see a class-system develop in the world of sewers between those who can afford designer fabrics and those who can't.)
I do love seeing the explosion of talent in fabric design! Inspiration galore.
Did you know that you don't have to be a designer anymore to produce your own fabrics? Anyone -- you, me, my three-year-old -- can download an image to a website such as Spoonflower.com and they will print it for you on the fabric of your choice! How exciting is that?
These are pretty amazing times, dear friends.