So I have talked about my favorite designer, Natalie Chanin, a time or two on this blog. I think I also mentioned she was coming to town this weekend for a trunk show and open house dinner. We have had such a busy schedule that I missed the open house last night and wasn’t sure I was going to make it downtown to the show today, but I really wanted to at least see her new line. And maybe, just maybe, get to meet her.
The hubby was running around all morning with the van and he had some errands to do in the afternoon. During his lunch break he hurried home and grabbed the three oldest boys to run errands with him. The baby and I jumped in the other car and headed downtown. Just for fun, I wore some of the clothes I had made for myself from her designs, and arrived all hot and sweaty with a baby in tow.
I had no idea what it was going to be like, and I was a little disappointed. There weren’t a lot of people, and there was no sign of Natalie Chanin. It was held in a lovely boutique, and there were several racks of her clothing on display, along with books full of her swatches like this.
I asked if I could take some pictures, but they weren’t very keen on the idea, so I just looked and looked. I chatted with a few ladies about her books until another woman came in. After a few minutes she came up and started asking me about my skirt. She wanted to know if I had made it, and how. So I started explaining about how I had come to be interested in Alabama Chanin designs and the whole business. She was the friendliest lady, admiring my work and my baby and declaring she was going to try to make some of her own clothing “Now that I had inspired her.”
I was flattered of course, but it was really time for me to be going, so I started to say my goodbyes when she grabbed my arm and told me to hang on a minute while she went to find her friend. So I waited, slightly puzzled, and she came around the corner with Natalie Chanin!
She brought her straight over to me and introduced me, and I was all giddy and nervous while I shook her hand. We had a long chat, and she asked me what other stuff I had made. I hadn’t really thought that I would have a chance to show anyone my work, but I had brought a few items along anyways. A girl can dream right?
So then all the shopkeepers and other shoppers came over to look at my little baby dresses, and Natalie, ( I call her Natalie now, you know) told me they were looking for new sewers for their company. (Is there a better term than sewer? Seamstress I guess?)
Well, then I was flattered all over again, but the problem is, she runs a cottage industry in Florence, Alabama and because of certain labor laws, she can’t ship the garments to me to be sewn. I would have to come pick them up- a three hours drive away. So she gave me her information, I thanked her and she even took a picture with me. The baby was more than ready to be leaving at this point, so we said goodbye, and I headed out the door, all of a flutter.
I am not sure what I will do with what happened today. I will probably just inquire as to what working for her company would entail, other than the three hour drive. But even if all I get out of it is a picture,(and not a very good one at that) it was a pretty neat experience, and it has encouraged me to keep plugging away, even though I’m not sure where I am headed.