The past two years have been about change – restructuring, revising, reinventing. All in all, too many re-s in an effort to save myself from having to come to terms with a very big truth and make an inevitable and terrifying decision.
This year has been has been about breaking down old paradigms. It is been tragic and scary and depressing and probably, the best year of my life all at once. In a three month period my entire life changed and I spent the rest of the year coming to terms with that and sidling around what needed to be done.
The truth is that I couldn’t continue to flog a dead horse. That the passion for what I was doing had long since gone and that not only did I hate what I was doing (and I’m pretty sure that people could pick up on that subliminally) but that it has not in the least sustained me financially for a very long time and for various reasons there was no way that I could change that problem.
This was not a decision made lightly because I am bored, or because some bridezilla made my life difficult. This has been moving around in the back of my mind for about five years and I have been afraid to let it out. This was a decision made looking at every possible facet of things as they were, what I had built up, the economic climate, and at where I dreamed of been as a creator. This decision also forced me to come to terms with and sacrifice some of my most closely held aspirations as a designer.
I spent the past two years mixing things up and trying different approaches and in the end there was only one real decision and internally I had already made it a long time past.
I am not closing down, but the company as it has stood since March 2000 is dead and since I no longer have staff to sustain, I finally have the luxury to make this choice.
I have decided to discontinue almost everything that I have done to date. To can nearly 18 years worth of work and start from the beginning again in a completely new direction.
The company which is no longer really a company since it is now, and will remain a one man show is to be rebranded under the name A.Swan, with the garmentry/corsetry falling away and I am going to be concentrating on art of all kinds as well as accessories. I will still be doing a certain amount of clothing which will be more along the lines of exquisite wearable art than clothes in the traditional sense and will be exclusively one-off pieces that will predominately be size free or as near as I can make them. Unique, interesting and androgynous pieces that will frequently feature my own artwork or unusual embellishment, pieces that can be worn with anything from jeans to evening dress that you don’t need to be worried about whether they will still fit this time next year or what you could possibly pair them with. That said, there arealso likely to be flights of fancy that do not fit within this description. The thing is that I am not limiting myself to a specific style or genre.
Other pieces are obviously my paintings which have been doing really well for the past few months and other art I choose to do as well as accessories and jewelry. Each piece will be unique and if it is sold, that is sadly that.
Of course, I will still take on private commissions for anything, be it a wedding dress, or a work shirt, however I will quote appropriately instead of quoting down to the point where I make barely enough for a meal per item.
For years I have been desperately trying to design things that are accessible, wearable and pretty as well as been made from exquisite fabrics and to keep prices as low as possible, however due to the proliferation of cheap fast fashion, none of it was salable it seems, and years of restraining myself in this way as well as many exceptionally difficult clients just killed any bit of passion I had.
I have done nothing but design mediocre pseudo-vintage flouncy nonsense to the the tastes of a mythical client base, none of which I am proud of or would wear myself and now it all needs to go.
I know that a lot of you have been a bit worried by my apparent personality change or “midlife crisis” as someone referred to it in social media. I appreciate the messages and thoughts, it really is lovely to know that people care. Please know, that there is no crisis. For the first time in my life, I am been honest publicly. I am not attempting to construct a nice sanitized digestible and conservative public persona. This is me, and yes, I am raw.
I do hope that you choose to join me in this next part of my journey, things are about to get wild and magickal and strange, However I do completely understand if you would rather not, and to be perfectly honest I am not going to lose any sleep over that.