“How long can one save pictures for a blog post without publishing?” you might ask. The answer, my friend, is indefinitely, which leads me to today’s release of a blog intended to be published last summer. Also, to answer the … Continue reading
I was asked to put together a short bio of myself and my clothing line to put in a local boutique called Pattern that exists soley to boost the local design community. (You can see the blog post with my q&a for their blog here.) As you well know if you follow me my writing is never short and sweet, but I managed to come up with a not-overly-long (hopefully) bio that expresses who I am and what my clothing line is all about. Let me know what you think!
Sarah Raquel LaLonde
Owner of LaLove Designs: a handmade (and often hand stitched) clothing line located in Shelbyville, Indiana
A little about me: I am so grateful and blessed to be working as a fashion designer- even in a region of the country that isn’t yet known for having much of a fashion industry. I’m excited to be on the frontlines of fashion in Indianapolis, where we are working together to turn that around! I believe God has gifted each of us specifically and intends for us to be a blessing to others by putting those talents to good use. I pray this clothing line will keep me inspired and inspire others to be instruments of God’s grace, forgiveness, and love through Jesus Christ.
I have always been intrigued by the arts and in middle school, my specific love for fashion blossomed as I began to pour over fashion magazines and sketch clothing. I had the wonderful opportunity of studying fashion design at Brooks College in Long Beach, California, where I received a wonderful education in design. Being based in LA, I also learned all about industry standards and how things are done exclusively by keeping costs low and outsourcing all of the manual labor. I realized that seamstresses are actually looked down upon in the industry, because companies can out-source that so cheaply. After being ingrained with that kind of thinking, I was resistant to start my own line when I moved back home, because I didn’t know how a small scale designer could compete with the low costs of cheaply made, mass-produced clothing lines.
Then it hit me: who wants everything they own to be carelessly made and mass-produced? Just because that’s the industry norm doesn’t mean that it should stay that way. As a bargain-hunting mother of two, I definitely understand the economics behind shopping for the best deal, but I also know the best value is usually a piece I absolutely LOVE and feel comfortable and beautiful in and will wear again and again. LaLove Designs strives to make quality, well designed clothing in a mix of classic staple pieces that won’t go out of style and high-impact “Wow” pieces to sprinkle into your wardrobe. I’m very excited to be part of a network of local designers and artisans who are bringing back industry to the United States and focusing on sustainability by making unique, thoughtfully crafted boutique items.
I look forward to dressing you and making you a “Lovie,” a fan of LaLove clothing! (If Taylor Swift can have swifties, I can have lovies, right?)
I am very pleased to announce to you guys that I was recently interviewed for the Pattern magazine blog about designing for a local market and you can check that interview out by clicking the link below.
This interview tells a bit about my design history, inspiration, my personal aesthetic as a fashion designer, and my process and personal story.
Pattern Indy and Me:
Pattern Magazine is the first fashion mag based out of Indiana…ever, as far as I know! They put out some killer work-I definitely hand it to them for superior editorial high fashion shoots. Not only is Pattern a magazine, but it’s a collaborative effort to bring together and equip people in any facet of the fashion industry in our area. If you read me very often, you know I’m an unapologetic Christian and when I say “Thank the Lord for Pattern” I don’t just mean it figuratively.
I touch on it in this interview, but Pattern had a lot to do with my decision to get back in the design game. When I moved back to Indiana after getting my degree in fashion design in California, I planned on it being a temporary hiatus. That is, until I had my twin girls and decided that their stability was more important than my dream. That’s when design became just that to me- a dream. Before becoming a mom, it was my plan. Afterward, it was a very abstract wish that I held onto rather loosely. It’s not that I gave up on design. I just resigned myself to the fact that there was really no fashion industry to get into here. We were just starting out with two babies at once to raise and take care of, and my full time job with good benefits took priority over fashion. Sadly, because the dream was painful to think of since I was so far from it at that point, I removed the reminders-putting away my sewing supplies, sending my final collection from school to Goodwill, and trashing my pattern sloper set (my worst mistake perhaps ever!)
Then one day my coworker and BWFF (best work friend forever) brought in a clipping from the morning newspaper about Midwest Fashion Week. I was floored. While I had my head in the proverbial sands of data entry and such, a fashion industry had been sprouting up around me. It ignited a thought-a whisper-of possibility. A year or two later, I heard of Pattern. There was now a Hoosier fashion magazine? I sarcastically wondered if they featured Carharts and farm attire. (A little Indiana humor, folks.) They were having regular meetups to establish a cohesive industry within our state, so I went to one- and LOVED it! It was on sustainable fashion, which I’ll admit I hadn’t done a lot of thinking about, since I had abstained from fashion altogether for a few years. It struck me that not only is there growth in the fashion industry around me, but the growing societal conscience for sustainable, responsible fashion was a tremendous benefit for local designers.
You see, we were taught in college to OUTSOURCE EVERYTHING. It took Pattern to break that mentality for me. After studying about the impacts of large scale “fast fashion” I wanted to not only get back to doing what I loved, but help lead the charge for change in the industry which glamorizes disposable fashion and making the quick buck. Learning to sew really, really well has taken me some time. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m pretty darn good. It took a ton of time to hone my pattern-making and -grading skills…and it will require more still. I’ve also had to change my outlook on the ideals of the design industry. But you know what? It feels so good. The slow road isn’t glamorous. Operating a mom and pop design business (two people actually would be GREAT!) doesn’t equal overnight success. But I can tell all of you aspiring fashion designers that it is such a great way to develop a really strong foundation and skill set to springboard your line an ideas on fashion once you have the fundamental know-how in place.
Thanks, Pattern, for the role you’ve played in coaxing me out of my comfort zone to jump into the industry. Here’s to making a splash!!!