take it from me, i’m a failed fashion designer.

don’t put the word ‘couture’ or any variation thereof (ie. kouture) in your name. don’t ever describe it so, either, unless you’ve been blessed by the chambre syndicale (and if you were, you wouldn’t be reading this blog, unless your name is donatella versace).

don’t model your own line, i don’t care how hot you are (unless you’re gisele…or john malkovich).

don’t try to be alexander mcqueen. he’s a genius, but he (along with chalayan) have spawned a generation of bad, wasteful, pointless fashion passed off as “avant-garde.” instead, maybe aim for calvin klein or even j.crew. you actually have to know how to make real, wearable clothes before you go and break the rules. it is far more difficult to design special everyday clothes (see: dries van noten) than a ballgown made out of trash bags that you put a bunch of birds on (ding!).

don’t drag down your clothes with pretentious, long-winded explanations of what you were inspired by. obscure references add a side of annoyance to an otherwise good collection, whereas bad collections don’t live up to the high subject matter.

don’t talk about inspirations, period. it’s a question lazy journalists (me) ask, and one lazy designers readily give. it’s just clothes; don’t try to make it something it’s not (a cure for cancer).

and finally….

don’t get into fashion. run far, far away. some career alternatives: garbage man, dentist, comedian, marine biologist, mortician, dog walker.