Free or Die is a capsule collection of eight garments, created mainly with the idea of being dressed in Spring or Summer by the lightness of the fabrics:
British Millerain (U.K.) 5 oz. Khaki waxed (water repellent) cotton gabardine,
Pacific Blue Mills (U.S.A.) 6 oz. Indigo cotton selvage chambray,
Japan Kuroki 12 oz. 98% C. 2% PU. Stretch selvage denim in natural cotton color and
Spain dead stock 4 oz. Natural cotton-linen chambray, found in an old textile store in Zaragoza, normally used for inner layers of regional dresses.
I used indigo natural dye powder, directly from the indigofera tinctoria plant, to give an indigo shade washed in two raw fabric garments.
Free or Die means for me a way of understanding work, a way of life.
Nowadays it is not easy to feel free, in a society governed by markets and the money god.
Even so, I personally practice every day to move through my instincts and deeper needs, eliminating the false needs created by consumer society, bringing a dose of happiness to my soul, simply by making my own way.
I recently met in the menswear fair Pitti Image in Florence with other national and international tailors, and in a discerning talk, many of them understood the work of tailor as the old trade where the location and business hours are the basis, For me the anchor and the barriers to restrain, in my humble opinion, the freedom of creation.
Most of them agreed on the standardized work methodology in which the tailor's job is limited to pattern tracing with customer measurements and fabric cutting, as well as performing the fitting with the client and subsequent adjustments in the pattern , leaving the clothing sewing to its officers of trust in payroll (at best) or externalizing this part of the construction to an external workshop.
The equation is simple, the workmanship of a sewing officer does not cost the same as that of a tailor cutter, who also makes the sale and customer loyalty through direct dealing. Without studying business management, you can realize that it is better to sell more to earn more and lower the labor force to keep getting more profit.
I expounded my point of view through my experience:
Because in this situation I personally have seen myself, with three full-time employees and two rents to pay (until a year ago I had the workshop rented next to the studio where I lead fittings with clients in the center of Madrid), the tendency was to sell more and more to keep the business and the employees, lowering the retail price and in my case with commercial hours close to slavery - in order to sell more quantities - not to mention the free time necessary to Creativity, which for me is the most important in the world. That time was non-existent.
Being a difficult decision to be a change in times and methodology, I decided to give a turn to my life and settle down in Mallorca,
where I used to come in search of peace, tranquility and creativity, why not? To create, to draw, to sew, to draw in our country house, I alone without help, giving everything of me in each garment, personalizing each design and making it even more unique if it fits, keeping my Madrid Studio for previous appointments and enjoying what It really makes me happy here on this island. It seems a step back, since I take more time to sew than my ex-employees and I have to travel, but my sewing is more meticulous and precise and I perform by hand the more seams better, relegating the simple stitch machine to straight seams and zones With much tension. I guarantee the whole process since I am the one who performs each and every one of the steps, strokes, cuts, threads, tests, modifications, finishes ...
I feel more comfortable like this, I feel more artisan, more artist, more person ... and my clothes look different, unique and part of me, they are "works of art" that most of the time I find it difficult to get rid of them.
Personally I feel more relaxed after releasing certain fixed expenses that kept me in.
An unstoppable work wheel - yes, like that of the mouse cages - and to be able to have time, something that years ago I did not know because of the pace of work I was carrying, since what really matters to me are my creations and my clients Not sales volume on more or less standardized products.
Not everything is easy, and choosing new paths involves change, uncertainty and sometimes fear. After five years with a business schedule and a fixed location, change to a work schedule under a previous appointment and a workshop away from the city, in solitude, have given me the balance at this time in my life but it was an unconventional bet that with a lot of effort this is worthing it.
Obtaining by risking free time to continue learning, to illustrate myself, and to look for new materials and knowledge, gaining in quality of life.
It's NOT a trend or season collection, it's really garments that you can wear all year round, (depending on the temperature of each location ...) and my intention in creating the patterns has been to make versatile, timeless and elegant garments with this casual touch and comfortable look that I most like.
The garment is totally handmade, ensuring the durability of the garments, and every detail is there for something.
If you want to see each detail and each item carefully, I invite you to visit my online store where you will find the products of this collection.
All the photos of detail and campaign have been made by María Guerrero (@mariaparadisepursuit) in Mallorca.