Art in Fashion Design

"The challenge in any art form comes from creating something within the limitations imposed by your material.

In my designs, I have not only the obvious perameters inherent in clothing the human body, but also those which come from working with prints which are of a certain size and shape, and by themselves make a strong statement.

Anyone can make a geometric pattern and cut it from a bolt of fabric, but the excitement comes from working with the fabric, letting it suggest what form the finished deisgn should take.

Then you approach beauty."


The Sunspot

While sailing in the Caribbean, I was introduced to a French artist named Jean-Yves Froment. And I fell in love. Not with M. Froment, but with the signed woodblock prints on fabric that he created by hand-carving blocks of wood, then rolling prisms of colored paint onto them, and printing them on French cotton. I had to share them with others.

I returned to Gloucester, rented space on Rocky Neck, imported as many of Jean-Yves' prints as I could afford, and opened a retail store to showcase them. The result was The Sunspot, where you could purchase Jean-Yves' woodblock prints on French voile and poplin, Jim Tillett's silkscreened fabrics from St. Thomas, and handwoven silks from Bombay.

My Sunspot catalog enabled customers to order pareus handblocked with native motifs from Tahiti and New Guinea, Indian 'dhobi' shirts, and jackets 'For Men Only' tailored from a patchwork of Sunspot fabrics. Handblocked jeans and bikinis for women were the most popular items, along with Jean-Yves artworks stretched over canvas and ready to be hung.

The Sunspot had many visitors who referred to the shop as "the silkscreen museum", but not enough of them bought anything. After two years, the shop closed partly from being in the wrong place and time, and partly from lack of a business plan and insufficient funding. I learned a lot about operating a small business, but maybe not enough...

the sunspot