Friday, June 20, 2014

Poetry Friday: Fashion Students

A week ago, I'd have been going to the student fashion show.  It was quite a different experience to the first student fashion show I attended.  The 2014 fashion show was elegant.  The one in 2008 was not.

The experience made me think about how the department has changed since my start with the school.  Back in 2002, a student could get a degree in Fashion without knowing how to sew.  I had one student disdainfully tell me that she could hire people, should she ever need sewing done.  Now the machines are high-tech, and the students get upset when they don't work.

And those thoughts took me back to a poem that I wrote and then transformed into a sonnet.  The non-sonnet version appears in my second chapbook.  Here they both are, for your Friday reading pleasure.

The Fashion Design Student Talks to Coco Chanel

There’s really no need
for me to know how to thread
a needle.  I can always hire
someone to do that for me.

Besides, I’m a little afraid
of the sewing machine.  So Industrial
Revolution.  I’m much more interested
in the metal gleam of models on catwalks.

I don’t need to know the drape
of a fabric.  I’ll recognize
it when I see it.  I’ll just strategically
slit the skirts, slip the neckline lower.

All I really need is a catchy
name, the latest icon to wear it as a logo.

And now,  the sonnet version:

The Fashion Design Student Talks to Coco Chanel

Why would I want to learn to sew?
When I need workers, to China I’ll go.
It’s depressing to make patterns on paper.
The study of technical stuff makes my interest taper.

I don’t need to understand the fabric grain or the fit
of a dress.  For interest I’ll just add a slit
here, or think about exposing skin below the nape
of the navel.  Who cares about the drape?

I don’t want to learn about the sewing machine.
So Industrial Revolution.  No, I’m all about the green.
Save your color theory for painters in a show.
The color of money is all I need to know.

All I want is a recognizable name.
My face as logo, that’s my game.

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