I had the pleasure of catching up with fellow Nashville fashion junkie and Project Runway contestant Amanda Valentine a few weeks back - we giggled and shared our love of occult symbolism along with ethnic prints and the frustrations of pattern making. I'm always thankful to find like minded ladies to rant about the joys and tears of sewing, something I'm mediocre at - but Amanda is thriving and creating remarkable things with her unique vision and passion for her craft.
Amanda will be having a summer preview sale / party for her line VALENTINE VALENTINE this Friday, April 5th at Bar No. 308. Come out and say hi, buy some awesome things and get drunk. In that order. You can find event information HERE on Facebook.
If you're going to be out and about for Nashville Fashion Week's activities this week you can also catch Amanda Wednesday, April 3rd at the Trolly Barns at Rolling Mill Hill. Get your tickets through NowPlayingNashville HERE.
Any predictions for what will be hot this summer?
I love a kind of athletic aesthetic for summer. I'm going to experiment with sweatshirt/sweatpant looks in lighter fabrics, mixed patterns and easy shapes. Maybe even mix a tough crop top with a flowy skirt. That's what I'll be in this summer!
What do you look for in a creative space / studio?
Easy access to my supplies and great speakers! I'm a horrible interior designer so it's all about function for me - with a few quirky items mixed in! I keep gifts from my husband near my desk. He recreated a Man Ray sculpture for me when we first started dating and recently bought me a spider frozen in Lucite. My creative space must always include Spotify. I listen to music all day everyday.
What bit of advice would you share with someone who is interested in starting their own line?
Pay attention to craft! That's a lesson I learned via Project Runway. I always assumed that I was the designer, so I didn't need to be the seamstress. But having an understanding of how every aspect of construction works is CRUCIAL. And when you start out, you are the one sewing it all (I STILL hand make every piece)! Your pieces need to compete with a lot of amazing work out there. So hustle!
If you could do it all over again, is there anything you might change?
I think I would have apprenticed a designer right out of college - that would have improved my craft and expanded my knowledge immensely.
And I know I would have had more confidence in my voice and vision on Project Runway. I know where I "slipped" - and although I'm grateful to have learned those lessons - it's tough to learn those lessons on national television!
It really is ALL about trusting your gut and following your vision. 100%.
Miranda Lambert! For so many reasons! First of all, it started in a western bar, so I felt right at home. Second, Miranda is a genius, and a real representation of the type of women I want to dress in real life. But really, that was the only challenge I trusted my gut on! I did exactly what I wanted to do and it was received wonderfully. What an incredible feeling!
Any hints on what we can expect from you in the future? (hoping it involves more holographic fabric) :)
Coming home after the show has been such a whirlwind, and I've spent months saying, "uh, what next?" I'm still styling, working on some collaborations and making clothes! I'm planning an event for next week- a mini trunk show/party at 308 and already have plans for a fall fashion show at a new venue, "The Crying Wolf", opening later this spring! DIY!