April 11, 2012


by Tara Zucker

The French word "atelier" might sound highfalutin, but it simply means "workshop" or "studio." It doesn't matter whether it's a sun-drenched loft with a view of the Eiffel Tower, or a converted garage with a view of the driveway; an atelier is a space to think, to dream, and to create.

My own atelier is fairly small, but it has good light and minimal street noise. Okay, technically it's the guest room, but it's where I do all my writing. It's just big enough for my laptop and an ergonomically correct chair. When I'm sitting at the desk, I can swivel around, put my feet up on the guest bed, and stare out the window at the neighbor's cat. I also keep a stack of fashion magazines nearby. This is called "getting inspiration" and it's a crucial part of my own creative process.

I'm sure what goes on in an actual fashion designer's atelier is a little bit more exciting than my own routine. It would be amazing to spend a day watching a designer sketch a new idea, adjust the fit of a garment, or even style an entire outfit. I like to imagine that each day goes something like this.

Walking Suit Barbie Doll

We've had tantalizing glimpses of what happens in a fashion workshop from shows like Project Runway, Valentino: The Last Emperor, and Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton. While most of us will never actually see the inside of a designer's workshop, at least we get to see the fabulous fashions and accessories that are the result of all that creative work in the atelier.

Virginia Woolf was right when she talked about the importance of having a room of one's own. Whether it's blogging, painting, scrapbooking, sewing, or any creative endeavor, every artist needs a special space. Do you have a place where you can be creative? Tell us about your own atelier!

Tara Zucker's humor about collectibles, fashion, and home decor have been featured on a variety of online portals. She also creates content for clients ranging from rock bands to authors at Post Haste Media. "Growing up, I always had some off-brand fashion doll. Now that I write about the real thing, I've proved it's never too late to have a happy childhood!"

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