Last week I attended an event at Zinc Details on Fillmore Street here in San Francisco, one of my favorite local boutiques and my go-to spot for home design. The topic was “Design Resolutions: Six Principles of Good Design,” a panel discussion moderated by Dwell Media that explored “six easy ways to spruce up our lives and living spaces for 2013.”
All of my life I’ve loved home design, especially of the mid-century-mod variety. I was lucky to be a kid in the 70s and have access to all of the grooviness of the decade: my waterbed lay next to my orange and yellow parsons tables, on which sat my Panasonic Toot-a-loop radio next to my lime-green bean bag chair. I must add that this in no way reflected the décor of the rest of the house, cozily covered in traditional country. My mom made ceramic ducks; enough said.
As it turns out, many of the he six principles that the panel discussed just happen to be things Jslow and I have been talking about lately as they relate to fashion. Here are the design principles discussed, and how they can apply to all of our collective styles:
1: I will Mix and Match: I get so frightened about pairing completely foreign fabrics and looks, as it can be a recipe for disaster. However, experimenting can yield fantastic results. It doesn’t mean you have to go the floral- plus-plaid route. Mix dressy and casual, fur and plastic, things that create a bit of tension. Remember, it’s just clothes.
2. It’s all about the craft: Things that are well made, by hand, with real materials just have a soul to them, a story. Remember when Jslow went to the Far Rockaways, pre-Sandy, and discovered wonderful bags from textile designer Bethany Scotty and beachy statement jewelry made by Melissa of Draugsvold Jewelry.? Seek out the not-mass-produced. Scour Etsy. Respect and understand how what you wear is made.
3. I will reduce clutter: I got rid of almost half of my clothes and can actually see light between my hanging clothes in the closet. I see light and I’ve seen the light. It makes getting dressed in the morning so much easier. Less options = less stress. A smaller wardrobe of things I really love = bigger sense of outfit happiness.
4. I will invest in a statement piece: I often find myself “buying around” what I really want: buying more, cheaper things that never quite satisfy. But investing in that very special piece that makes you feel happy and confident now, and that lasts forever, is priceless. I have my eye on these shoes below: I think if I wait long enough they will go on sale.
5. I will light up my life: This interior design principle is more of a stretch as it’s about using different light sources to add texture and mood to your home. My “fashion” interpretation is this: wear more white (at least for me.) White tops cast a flattering glow to my otherwise haggard face and I just need to get over my aversion to the “waitress” effect I feel white projects (especially when paired with black bottoms.) White = light = right.
6. I will trust my intuition: When I’ve tried something on and immediately not loved it, I should move on. Almost every time I’ve let a friend or sales-person weigh in and tell me to buy something, and I do, I regret it. You may know me, but not as well as I know me.
So there you have it. We’d love to hear about how you’ve applied different design principles to your fashion life. For now, I have to figure out how to mix and match that statement-piece antique mirror into my decor without adding clutter.