Eric made some interesting comments within the context of his response to my cognitive dissonance entry but he also provided additional food for thought that I’d like to write about in the future. One intriguing idea : “Therefore, the ancientness of the apparel industry lends itself to secrecy and mysticism, and therefore may be exploited by anyone claiming to have unlocked these secrets. If it’s not in the open, anyone can lay claim to having the knowledge. Nobody in the industry is likely to come out from behind closed doors to dispute them, and nobody in the general public knows enough about it to dispute them.”
I agree we need a lot more transparency in the business. Without standards, nobody really knows how they stack up. That’s what the entries on core sewing skills was all about; defining standards and making the information public. Everybody competes on a more level playing field. Also, I’m distressed by the lack of innovation in clothing; we’re losing the skills to do the complex work we once did well. In that vein, I buy ILGWU made apparel at the thrift store; these are great samples of product quality standards we’d do well to reclaim. Some apparel industry people are really really pissed at me right now because I said something good about the union. This isn’t a popularity contest; they did good work and you know it.
I think I will be writing about autism and sewing fairly soon. Based on my personal experience, I’d say there were more women with aspie traits in the sewing community than there are in the general population. While I’m not much of a role model, I get letters from sewing related people who have found out about autism because of me. Knowing a little about autism can also be helpful to DEs (designer-entrepreneurs) for a practical reason. DEs will be coming in contact with more technical people such as sewing contractors, pattern makers etc. While I’m not suggesting sewing contractors are autistic, I am saying that they tend to share some traits in that their brains are very male. It’s important for DEs to learn how to navigate technical personalities (auties tend to be more technical than average). I can say that the greatest amount of difficulties between DEs and the back of the house are due to miscommunication between different thinking types. Similarly, people with autistic traits are uniquely suited to extremely detailed and demanding work and if a designer is looking to fill a job, I’d think that screening candidates to favor these traits could be a fortuitous decision. That’s how you grow your own in-house expert btw.
Reading: I am very disappointed with _Leonardo Da Vinci on the Human Body_ by O’Malley & C.M. Saunders copy.1982 . Da Vinci’s robots have been in the news lately so maybe Grammarcy Books thought a reprint would be fortuitous and I guess it worked. I bought it. I rarely mention this sort of stuff but I didn’t like handling the pages, they felt weird. Also, there was bleed-through from the reverse side and that really irritates me with technical books as they tend to have a lot of dense small print. Anyway, rather than beefing about something so silly as the paper quality, it had the wrong title. This book should have been titled _A Discussion of all the Da Vinci Papers and Journals owned by Queen Elizabeth II_ by some British Guys. I don’t mean to complain but this wasn’t the “good stuff”. It was not a balanced representation of Da Vinci’s anatomical studies, no way. There were no proportionates, there was just a skinny-skinny of bio-mechanics (I learned why chimps are stronger than we’ll ever be)…I mean, Da Vinci is the founder of Anthropometry(The science of the measure of man) as we know it. None of that was in there. Very disappointing. I think they would have been more honest to mention the book is based on limited source material. Not that I wouldn’t have bought it anyway. I just wouldn’t have been disappointed.
Other reading. Erich Fromm and I are not communicating well. I had pictured an intelligent personable writing style. Due to flawed expectations I ended up with word soup; my eye jumping around on the page not resting easily anywhere. There were too many complex ideas to be absorbed with the level of concentration I was prepared to expend. I put that aside.
Another book I’m reading is _Survival of the Prettiest_ by Nancy Etcoff which is wonderful. It’s about the psychology of beauty and it’s intelligently researched and organized. She dispells many myths. For me, it was an open book to understanding why people want to adorn themselves because this is something I don’t understand very well. There are some very interesting demographics as well. While she doesn’t cite any ASTM sizing studies, she does include the symmetry data from researchers that has been in the news. Very interesting read.