I am humbled and excited to announce the name of my company: GRAMMAR. Grammar is a set of rules that define language. Rules that can then be used to create all different forms of written work, from scientific papers to poetry. The clothes I make are simple and classic, but with a feel and a flare that makes them special; how you wear them makes them yours. Wear GRAMMAR your way and make your art.
The GRAMMAR logo (see header image) also reflects the concept of classic plus something extra. I created it with the help of my friend Celine, a very talented graphic designer. We started with a very old, classic Linotype typeface and modified it. The process was one of very small tweaks – some barely perceptible – that help to communicate what GRAMMAR is all about. From the beginning, I loved the contrasting line weights and the rhythm of the A’s and M’s. I was mostly concerned about the G because – as Celine pointed out – the rest of the word is symmetrical, so the viewer’s eye naturally gravitates to the G. Once we started working with the sharp corner on the G, we wanted to integrate it into the curves of the R’s as well.
Just a few of the iterations of the GRAMMAR logo. Copyright Althea Simons, 2017.
I have started working with a new factory for development, and it’s going much better (no more major snafus!). The team there is very talented and the process is much more collaborative. I have a new sample of the women’s shirt that I am wear testing – meaning I’m wearing it all the time to see how the design and fabric holds up. When I washed it for the first time the fabric shrank significantly. This can be factored into the pattern, or the fabric can be pre-washed before cutting. However, the fabric I used for the sample is now backordered until March, so I am looking for other alternatives. I need the vendor I use to be extremely reliable; the backorder is not a good sign.
Fitting a sample at the factory.
I continue to have difficulty sourcing the right fabric. I have decided it will be organic, because I believe it is important to minimize the amount of chemicals used in production, both for the environment and for your health. We don’t know the effects of having toxic chemicals[i][ii][iii] directly against your skin, but in my mind it’s better to not risk it. And we definitely know how the chemicals used in fabric production affect our water and food supply. I believe in the future everyone who can afford it will demand organic clothing, but for now organic, high-quality woven fabrics are very difficult to find. Not many mills produce them because of lack of demand.
Is it extravagant to say that clothing is about health and wellness? In addition to physical health, clothes are about holistic wellbeing. Recent studies have shown that what we wear affects how we feel about ourselves, and thus our performance. This shouldn’t be surprising; research shows that our postureshapes our behavior, and we know intuitively that sweatpants make us slouch and that when we wear a suit we sit up straight. Dressing well can actually change your life.
My goal with GRAMMAR is to make peoples’ lives better and easier. I am creating a destination for the essentials of life, pieces that make you feel confident and productive. I am taking care of you and our world by using the best natural fabrics and employing skilled artisans in our community. This is my oath and practice, and my gift to you.
[i] Grossman, Elizabeth. "Cotton, Cashmere, Chemicals ... What Really Goes into Making Our Clothes?" Ensia. Ensia, 19 June 2015. Web. 01 Feb. 2017. <https://ensia.com/features/chemicals-clothes/ >.
[ii] Agency, Swedish Chemicals. "Chemicals in Textiles – Risks to Human Health and the Environment." p.42. Kemi. Swedish Chemicals Agency, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 1 Feb. 2017. <https://www.kemi.se/files/8040fb7a4f2547b7bad522c399c0b649/report6-14-chemicals-in-textiles.pdf>.
[iii] "Detox My Fashion." Greenpeace International. Web. 01 Feb. 2017. <http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/detox/fashion/>.