Looking Back at Vim Trousseau

Creating a brand is like birthing a child. I know my fellow Artreprenuers get what I’m sayin’. Growing, feeding and tending to that child is exhausting, exciting, full of anxiety. But mostly it’s fulfilling. Eventually, for one reason or another, you have to let go.

Letting go can be tragic, tumultuous, frightening OR liberating. Inspiring clarity you never had before.

Shutting down Vim Trousseau forced me to grapple with all these emotions and more. The beginning of the end was bad. Torn doesn’t begin to describe my feelings during that time.

While gradually dismantling something I’d given so much to, I couldn’t help but consider myself a FAILURE.  At that point in my life, failing, at anything, was the equivalent of death.

As you can see, I didn’t die!

Now I look back at the Vim Trousseau archives smiling as wide as Cheshire Cat.

Follow me back to Wonderland, a place I love. But dare not spend eternity; The Glossy Queen future is fantastical!

Down the rabbit hole we go!

A very popular Vim Trousseau image.

A look from Vim Trousseau's first collection {Collection Untitled} photo by Gennan Shippen

The first collection I produced for Vim Trousseau was bright, colorful and had a mod feel to it. I didn’t think about creating a title for the collection, so I just call it “Collection Untitled”. My fabric of choice was silk –  charmuese, dupioni and simply gorgeous raw matka.

My first “real” photoshoot for Vim Trousseau produced some stunning images, like the one you see above. Gennan, the photographer I worked with, was not only talented, she was a sweetheart! Thanks to her, this image was published in the December 2007 issue of Communication Arts {COOL}!

Vim Trousseau's Drummer Jacket

Photo by Phillip Ritchie

This Drummer Jacket, also part of  “Collection Untitled”, is one of my favorite Vim Trousseau pieces. And wouldn’t ya know, it was the design that produced my first retail sale! It came during the night of Sweet Charity’s grand opening {a charming boutique in Silverlake}. As I walked into the party, wearing the jacket, there was a lovely lady at the cash register with the jacket and skirt in hand. It was being purchased for her grand-daughter. SWEEEEET indeed! An unforgettable moment of serendipity!

Dress for Vexed Vixen Collection

A look from the Vexed Vixen Collection photo by Gennan Shippen

“Vexed Vixen”, the second Vim Trousseau collection, was a reflection of my indignant state-of-mind. Having just ended a miserable 4 year relationship, I felt the need to express my anger. Anger I felt toward myself for staying in such a stifling situation for so long. Red, black, white, shades of blue and a touch of cognac {brown, that is} made for a somber color palette. My fleeting desire to kill something reflected in my textile choices – leather, suede and wool.

This was definitely the most mature collection I designed for VT and it felt great to express such emotions through my work.

Having such a successful shoot our first time around, I connected with Gennan again to shoot the promo photos for “Vexed Vixen”. We shot at an architectural gem. A classic Frank Lloyd Wright  home nestled in the hills of Los Feliz. Two wonderful models helped us get the look, one of them being Shannon Kane, who added a sensually, mysterious presence to the shoot. It was perfect!

Vexed Vixen Collection

Vexed Vixen as modeled by actress Shannon Kane

The final stop of this journey takes us out of this world! Literally. OK, maybe not literally – it all depends on your imagination! “Cosmic Girl” brought about some major highlights, which I’ll speak about later, in a separate post. One of them includes styling a music video for hip-hop group N.H.I.!!! I can talk about it, but it’d be much easier to show you.

It’s super hard to sum up 5 years of work into a reasonably brief blog post! But I hope these highlights give you a bit of insight into who I am and my history as a fashion designer. Really, it was a fantastic experience.

Since my initial feelings of fear and failure have worn off, I have no regrets about halting the grind that was Vim Trousseau. I’ve learned so much about what Artrepreneurship really takes and I look forward to sharing those lessons with you!

Here comes the really brave part!!! What do you think of Vim Trousseau? Would you ever wear any of this?!!?!! I can take your feedback, so go ahead, I’m anxious to hear your thoughts!

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