FORT GREENE — Gretchen Jones has just finished her Fall 2013 collection — a clothing line the former Project Runway winner describes as “romantic-bohemian-hippy-southwest with a hint of modern-urban-minimalist.”
Despite a few sneak peaks of Jones' collection — which is on its way to showrooms after months of hard work — the line is still under wraps, with a launch planned for later this month.
The Season 8 champ, however, will not be showing in this season’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.
“It can cost thousands to send a collection down the runway,” she said. “Right now everything is so bare-bones that I have to be smart and focus on sales.”
Jones works from the small Fort Greene apartment she shares with her boyfriend. It's where she sketches and makes jewelry from the dining room table and where she crawls on her hands and knees on her hardwood floors to cut patterns while her dog, Lilly, romps around her.
“Behind the smoke and mirrors emerging designers are just scraping by to create a single collection,” she said. “But I have hope that will change.”
Her Spring 2013 collection included tailored palazzo pants, draw-stringed dresses, layering accessories and prints that “play on polka-dots.” And with her new collection she hopes to create what she calls “investment pieces” for women.
They will include articles of clothing that will stand the test of time in a woman’s closet, versatile enough to be used in a myriad of looks and timeless enough to transcend seasonal trends, she said.
Her designs are “infused with an earthy Americana and lingering 1970s romanticism,” and she hopes the wearer will be like a canvas, projecting her own personality and style on the clothing.
Though Jones is most inspired by street wear, she has a deep love for the runway and hopes to show her not-yet-imagined Spring 2014 collection at next year's Fashion Week.
“Fashion Week is a magical time for a designer because you are not just presenting your sellable goods. You are also showing your greater vision,” she said. “Fashion design is a fine art and Fashion Week is a designer’s chance to really get creative.”