Fashion Week begins today, and behind the seemingly frivolous glamour, there’s an entire industry of people making the clothes, and that fascinates me. Cathy Horyn, the NYTimes fashion editor, is reporting on the people behind the scenes, whose expertise makes the fashion world possible. Here she provides a transcript from Cindy Ferrara, pattern maker and production manager, who tells her story of trying to break into pattern-making and learning her craft in New York:
I remember working at one place. The cutter was spreading some fabric on a table and I was watching him when someone else, a young kid, came by and said, “Why are you spreading it like that?” The cutter looked at the kid and said, “It took me my whole life to learn how to spread this fabric. I’m not telling you.” It was very much that way. There was a know-how that was learned in an apprentice way. You didn’t get to ask the questions.
The process of moving from novice to proficient to expert intrigues me. It takes time and continuous practice. There are no short cuts.