This weekend one of our sons, Chris, who did his culinary training at Le Cordon Bleu and has worked in fine dining restaurants in NYC, Boston and Girona, Spain explained the subtlety of the wonderful French verb “soigné(e)” to distinguish between fine dining restaurants and excellent restaurants. Fine dining restaurants are staffed, physically designed, and completely orchestrated to create a unique form of excellence in each and every aspect of its service (reservations, welcoming, restaurant decor, plating, delivery, accompanying beverage, check out, attention). Every role in the restaurant — from the individuals plating the food to the cook to the sommelier to the person selecting the ingredients — must perform his or her part with the same commitment to perfection.
Soigné is a word that has also been historically associated with haute couture to describe both a daily style of exquisite dress as well as the highest achievement of design. To Google the term, unfortunately shows that today’s fashion world uses this elegant word to infuse mass produced inexpensive apparel with a sophistication it does not deserve. Oh, where are the word police when we need them? Mass produced, sacrificing quality of materials for less expensive, overseas labor. Yes, you too can buy a trendy dress for $19.99. It is so inexpensive you can buy 6 and next season throw them out and buy 6 more. This, I believe, is a misuse of the word.
Some in the world of fashion who are trying to re-find the sense of excellence in all dimensions — sustainability, fabric, design, quality of production and artisan creations have coined a far less elegant phrase: “Slow Fashion Movement.” I have to fight the image of a chicken cooking in my crock pot, but the Slow Fashion Movement really is another name for the wearable art that has existed in unique shops created intentionally, by design by talented, intentional and yes, slow moving designers. Their’s is not the mass produced wearable which dominated this century as “off the rack” designs. Whispirit is part of this movement.
Each of our garments at Whispirit is created with the very best of creative commitment. Our ingredients are the luxurious natural alpaca fibers … milled by hand into amazing batts … hand felted into unique fabrics … designed to match the qualities of the fabric to your comfort … sewn by hand seamstresses using their highest level of skill … finished with handmade artisan buttons and closures that is artfulness. Each garment is made, one by one for you the ultimate consumer. Soigne!
We, the Whispirit team, work hard to combine artfulness with the highest standards of sustainability, teamwork and production excellence. Each of us bring our best to the effort, combining seemingly unparalleled skills of animal husbandry, shearing standards, milling excellence, textile production, garment creation, button creation, sales and customer service to create a unique personal experience — soigné, slow fashion, that is a memorable fashion experience for you.
Til next time. Sandy