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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gorgeous designer/blogger Stacy Lomman presented her Fall 2012 collection on February 16. The “Modern World” looks of this collection — her fourth — were inspired by ’60s Mod, especially Courrèges, who is a longtime fashion hero of Stacy’s. But the styles weren’t costume-like or vintage-looking. They’re modernized Mod, if you will. Here, let Stacy tell you more herself.

When the show started, I thought, “Only one in a million people could pull this off.”

The models backstage in their first looks. Photo by Randy Brooke. Click to enlarge.

Stacy lives about two blocks away from me and I see her often. Even if I don’t see her, I’m in touch with her by email with her throughout the day. I also did what I could to help her backstage, so I know what kind of effort went into this.  Stacy made 13 looks — totaling 26 pieces — by herself. No help from FIT interns, garment-center seamstresses or industrial-quality sewing machines. She frequently worked more than 24 hours at a stretch. The more complicated pieces — such as her quilted, reversible jacket — required as many as 50 hours of labor. The wool popcorn-stitch side of that jacket can be seen in the group photo above, second from right. Here are two other views of it.

Model Alexius slips out of the reversible jacket on the runway …

… and strikes a pose with the quilted nylon side showing. Both photos of Alexius by Randy Brooke.

Stacy did this on a shoestring, with $6,000 she raised via Kickstarter with the help of friends and family, including some of you readers. (Susan Tiner, you saved the day.) She technically raised $6,910, but Kickstarter and Amazon, which Kickstarter uses to process payments, take a fee. On Kickstarter, a “crowdfunding” site, you set a target goal and don’t get any of the funds unless you hit that goal. So, even though Stacy had her sketches completed and fabrics selected in December, she didn’t start draping, patterning, cutting and sewing until January, when she had a better idea of how her fundraising was going.  That gave her about five weeks to make her 26 pieces from scratch. She also had to design the invitations; compile a mailing list and send out the invitations; find a venue that was within her budget; hold a model casting/fitting; put a hair and makeup team in place; search eBay for appropriate shoes for the show; download and mix her music, and visit the garment center several times a week to purchase zippers, shoulder pads, lining, fusible and other supplies.

Model Que wears a royal boucle cape, royal gabardine pants and red turtleneck, all by Stacy Lomman.

Que shows off the Union Jack lining of the cape. Both photos of Que by Randy Brooke.

Stacy wound up spending more than she raised, as we small-business people often do. The money went to fabric and the other garment-center supplies; shoes, t-shirts and tights for the models;  the models themselves; hair and makeup; photographer; videographer; venue; chair and garment-rack rental; a listing in the Fashion Calendar and other sundries. There was no money for public relations, lighting or a sound tech. And the Kickstarter money didn’t cover the prizes she offered as enticements on the site, so she’ll have to find a way to pay for those separately. I’m doing my bit to help by ordering a number of pieces. Of course, that’s not selfless of me at all because I want the pieces desperately. Stacy’s first show in September 2010 was great, so it amazes me that she continues to grow in leaps and bounds. (I wrote about her other two shows here and here. You can see me wearing a jacket from her Fall 2011 collection here. I wore a custom-designed dress by Stacy when I won Fashion Group International’s Rising Star award in January.)

It was hard for me to narrow down what I wanted but here are my picks. (I’m going to be brave and put my blurry iPhone pictures next to the professional runway shots.) First up is the oversize-houndstooth trench with patent leather trim and rib-knit sleeves.  I didn’t see this until the day of the show, when I went to Stacy’s apartment to help her load everything into the car. I immediately said, “I want this one.”

Model Danielle wearing the trench. Photo by Randy Brooke.

Stacy is going to hem this for me. I’m think I’m half a foot shorter than Danielle.

Stacy found a fascinating faux-ostrich-feather fabric; you can see in the models’ group photo above in the first and second looks on the left and the last look on the right. The short jacket is lined with black-and-white striped silk charmeuse.

Alexandra reveals the striped lining on the runway. Photo by Randy Brooke.

During the try-on, I’m was wearing the eight-year-old Prada wedges I mentioned in a recent post.

I’m obsessed with the royal gabardine racer-back dress with red trim. Stacy wanted to make me a new one, but I’ve asked her to alter the sample for me because I can’t wait.

Model Que wears the dress with arm warmers on the runway. Photo by Randy Brooke.

Stacy’s lookbook photo of the blue dress by Shane LaVancher. Model is Caitlin Sloat from Major Models.

The front view on me.

The sex-ay back view.

I’m still tempted by the reversible jacket, but I have so many jackets.  Hmmm. It looks good and it’s warm too. Maybe we’ll have a real winter next year and I’ll need it.

The wool side.

The nylon side.

Luckily I know the designer and can always place a late order.

Speaking of late, it’s taken me this long to write about Stacy’s show because I was so aggravated after it. I wasn’t aggravated with Stacy, obviously, but at the important people who RSVP’d and didn’t show up. (Crap & Couture mentioned that here.) I wasn’t sure if I should come out and say what I think of that, or if I should be diplomatic for once and keep my mouth shut. Well, why start being diplomatic this late in life? Here’s the truth. I think editors and buyers would be all over Stacy if she were a 20-something boy with Bambi-like eyes; if she were a precocious teen whose parents have time to take magazine-worthy photos of her; if she were a stylist/former editor/celebrity; if she were either weirdly unstylish or dressed like a fashion-forward lunatic; or if she were part of a family business. Those are the sexy stories. (The New York Times just devoted about half a page to a 24-year-old boy who’s taking over his father’s art gallery. I wish him well. He might be the best art gallery dude ever. But really? His father’s gallery deserved that much print?)

It feels like no one is interested in the regular person who has spent decades honing her craft at less-than-glamorous jobs before going out on her own to attempt the impossible. For people like that, the axiom “It takes ten years to be an overnight success” applies. Personally, I’ve always thought, “Yeah, I can stick it out; I can pay my dues.” But I’ve realized it’s one of those things that’s easier to say than to do — like the often-impossible “knock yourself off before someone knocks you off.” Willpower and persistence aren’t enough. You also need money to put into your work and to live on. You can run out of cash before you get enough orders to keep yourself in business. I’m not saying having a frenzied crowd at a single runway show is everything. I’m the first person to point out that fame doesn’t equal fortune. I know perfectly well that you can be plastered all over the press, sell in all the important stores, win awards — and go out of business or struggle for years to make money. Stacy herself was nominated for an FGI Rising Star award in women’s ready-to-wear this year! You can even be the wife of a billionaire, with a company that gets lots of press and turns a profit, and go out of business. I’m just saying to the corporate types that if you bother to RSVP “yes” to an entrepreneurial event like Stacy’s, have the fucking courtesy to show up. First of all, that seat could have gone to someone else. Secondly, I’m going to remember your behavior when Stacy does become an “overnight success”; I hope you enjoy your standing-room-only placement at Stacy’s future hot-ticket show.

Here’s all the info you need to keep track of Stacy Lomman:

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58 Responses to “Stacy Lomman’s Mod, Mod, Mod, Mod World”

  1. you’re right … she certainly should be on Tstands everywhere, a fresh idea with wearable modern clothes with a touch of attitude

    the sameness of ideas in shops, press, blogging is dull

    • stacy says:

      Thank you Madeleine, I think so highly of your opinion… you’ve got great taste and loads of valuable (and, frankly, cool) experience!

  2. Christine says:

    Bravo Wendy!

    Society is so screwed up — there always has to be a “catch”. Hard work and incredible talent seem to not be enough anymore,

    And rudeness seems to be epidemic in this world..everyone feels they can just be free of the kindnesses — they feel no need to respond to phone calls, email etc. Everyone is just :”too busy”.

    I must confess — I missed Stacy’s show, the only one of the four I’ve missed, and only due to serious back problems,

    This is a great collection. It should be in stores everywhere.

  3. déjà pseu says:

    I kinda want that ostrich feather jacket too….cute!!!

  4. Your candor is always refreshing, Wendy. And I think you’re right- when Stacy becomes big, those same people not showing her basic respect and manners will be kicking themselves.

    And I think she’ll get big. Her designs are lovely and unique. The houndstooth trench is absolutely fantastic!

  5. stacy says:

    I could say a lot about this post, but you’ve already said everything brilliantly. So, I will just thank you not only for such an incredible and thoughtful article, but also for being such a great friend. What did I do to deserve you???

  6. Rocquelle says:

    Wow Stacy’s perseverance is an inspiration indeed!!! I love the blue boucle cape and houndstooth trench! I hope she gets the credit she is due for her talent sooner than later.

  7. Lara says:

    From the group shot above, I thought it was a tweed and it looked so stiff but then FEATHERS! Oh my gosh! The movement has to be awesome!

    I really like that reversible jacket!

    How frustrating those people didn’t show up. She has a lot of original but wearable ideas! I’m really digging this collection!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I see why you couldn’t wait for the dress—it’s absolutely perfect on you! You OWN racerback. I really loved this collection—it’s the one that hit the closest to my own personality. The pants are my personal favorite.

    It is bad form to blow off an event to which one has RSVPd. It especially stings because it’s Stacy we are talking about, and her life’s work.

    I want her to have success and not have to do crowdfunding every time she does a collection. Her work is wonderful and heartfelt and beautiful. She has earned a place in the fashion world through hard work, not media-darlingdom, nepotism, or preposterous idle fascination.

    I’d love to see a laissez-faire investor come along and bankroll her entire business so that she can just design to her heart’s content, without having to deal with minutiae or interference. And I’d like to see a cadre of buyers swoop in and order her entire collection—every season.

    • stacy says:

      You’re a sweetie pie! Thanks for always being there to help and support. And I’m waiting for that laissez-faire investor to stroll along… any day now… why is he taking the scenic route? lol

  9. Sheila says:

    Tell it like it is, girl!

    I love that cape with the Union Jack. Fabulous!

  10. stacy says:

    It can be yours, Sheila! 🙂
    Tks for the compliment!!

  11. Tricia says:

    I think it’s a testament to Stacy’s clothing that they look as fabulous on you, Wendy, as they do on the runway. That blue racerback is freaking perfect on you.

    I KNEW her collection this season was going to be fabulous. Stacy’s artistry just gets more amazing with each collection.

  12. K-Line says:

    Awesome post W! I couldn’t agree more about Stacy being incredibly talented and mind-blowingly hard working and, cuz she doesn’t have society parents or pink hair she doesn’t compute as readily with the sound bite generation. But she’s going to get there. Her work ethic, talent and quality of her garments will turn her into that overnight mega-success one of these days.

    You look great in her clothing.

  13. Tina says:

    Go Stacy!!! Sorry I missed the show this time around. Stupid work.

  14. Cameron says:

    One day, even if only for one day, I will make it to one of Stacy’s shows, as well as have the means to buy a piece so people can take notice so I can tell them who made it and where to get it!

    Anyway, in “honour” of those who RSVP’d and missed out, I have a few names for her next collection:

    “Wish You Were Here”
    “In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up”
    “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”

    That’s all I’ve got. I’m sure someone else could come up with better, though.

    Congratulations, Stacy. You deserve it, and so much more.

  15. You’re such a great friend to Stacy…love seeing that. And I also think it’s AWESOME that you were honest about what you thought. You are right, and those things need to be said. A lot of what happens in fashion is straight up bulls**t but no one seems to have the balls to say it.

    I’ve been biting my tongue lately about a lot of things I’m seeing in the fashion blog world, and one Photoshop ordeal that happened to me that I am DYING to spew about publicly. But because another blogger could be affected by the post, I haven’t. Just peeves you more when you don’t let it out, so good on you.

    And I’ll have that union Jack-lined cape, please!

  16. And PS: Hope MrB is on the mend.

  17. Marti says:

    Stacy’s clothes are Fab I really like the 60\’s Mod she’s created. My faves are the blue cape and the reversible jacket. I’m familiar with investing your own money to get your business up and running. From what you’ve described and the great clothes she’s designed and created on her own without any outside help there’s no question she’s going to be very, very successful.
    BTW I’m glad you decided against being diplomatic, that’s one of the things I like about you there’s no beating around the bush you call things just the way they are.

  18. thanks for introducing me to her fabulous designs!! I love the hounds tooth dress and her mod inspired pieces!!

  19. Megan Mae says:

    I’ve had mixed emotions on Stacy’s past lines, but I am ob-freaking-sessed with every last look. I love the Union Jack, I love the colors, I love the prints. I need to go steal those red boots and pants off those models and wear them asap. (Because I am a poor poor kid) And can I say how good that blue dress looks on you?! It’s alright on the models, but shines on you.

    How not-cool at those people for not showing up. They missed out.

  20. Silvergirl says:

    love her coats and jackets
    the linings are divine!

  21. sulky kitten says:

    Just reading about the work Stacy has done has me breaking a sweat – but it’s been so worth it. Congrats to her on a fab collection. Hang your heads in shame, the boneheads who were a no-show. I do think though that Stacy could save some $$ on hiring models, because all the stuff you modeled looked better on you than the actual models! The trench and the faux Ostrich are my favourites. I’m glad you spoke your mind Wendy, (unless telling the truth is now a hanging offence in FashionWorld- in which case, RUN!))

  22. stacy says:

    Oh no, so sorry to make you sweat! lol
    I’d have Wendy on the catwalk any day, but I fear she’s too shy 🙁

  23. Samar says:

    You’re a good friend WendyB. As someone who went to design school and knows what making a garment entails I can really appreciate what Stacey does (on her own – amazing) and have a LOT of respect for her work and hustle to make it. I joke that in order to be a designer needs to become a celebrity first. Anyway more power to Stacey and eff those who can’t appreciate real talent past what doesn’t come from nepotism or money. I hope she keeps going because we need more people like her in the biz.

  24. Every piece is divine, especially on you Wendy. The details!

  25. Be Inspired! says:

    I love that vibrant blue allover! Plus you, the best model ever!

  26. Terri says:

    I adore the blue dress and the unusual back on it. Give ’em hell, Wendy.

  27. Eli says:

    This subject is what always bothered me about the show Project Runway – it is never impossible to start what you’ve always dreamed of without gimmicks or past a certain age. I wish Stacy the best of luck, her designs speak for themselves.

  28. Candice says:

    Stacy’s designs are fabulous, and Wendy is so right, I see too many people who get the press only because they belong to a specific group.

    Hopefully, a retailer soon will wake up, so that many may have the joy of owning a Stacy Lomman design. And for the record, I’ve never missed one of her fashion shows, and am thrilled to be invited.

  29. Mary Panjari says:

    Great post Wendy and yes Stacy is extremely talented. Such a shame that so much of life is not what you know but who you know. Hurrumphh. My blue dress looks awesome on you.

  30. Susan Tiner says:

    Hi, I’ve not been online except to post a couple facebook photos here and there from our trip but saw your facebook update and came right over. You’re such a good friend Wendy. The collection is fantastic and I’m appalled to hear there were no shows! I was glad to see the piece by Crap & Couture — the other editors are obviously idiots.

    You look adorable in the pieces you selected.

  31. Fajr says:

    I’m glad you choose not to be diplomatic 🙂 society in general only cares about the famous, rich or crazy! It’s sad, cause it’s a repetitive cycle of the same faces and stories over and over.

    Stacey’s pieces look amazing, particularly that houndstooth coat. Maybe she should rock a pompadour and get pregnant by her Guido boyfriend and people will be interested.

  32. Ioana says:

    Lovely post dear! love these clothes

  33. mystyle says:

    Hi my dear! What a creative and hardworking lady Stacy is, a really fabulous post showcasing her gorgeous and unique collection and the pieces you chose are wonderful-you MUST have the winter jacket, remember the McQueen that got away, lol!! All the very best to Stacy and lets hope she gets the credit and recognition she truly deserves in her future shows! PS- I will try and do a pastel outfit very soon!

  34. Stacy sounds like super woman. Has she been asleep since the show? I feel tired just listening to all the effort she crammed into so few weeks. Love your choice from the collection. That is a super coat. Xxxx

    • stacy says:

      Thank you, you’re so sweet! I’ve slept… a little!
      I’m so used to it by now, I function really well on fumes 🙂

  35. stacy says:

    Yes, Wendy is the best! And so are you, Susan!!

  36. I’m still so pissed off that all Stacey’s emails went to spam without me noticing until over a month later! She deserves to have those editors and buyers show up and see what great work she does. I want that cape dammit!