Yeah, it sounds like something I'd be all over doesn't it? I'll admit that it was my idea for the girls to go check it out, but I didn't think it was something I'd be impressed with. Fashion is not exactly an area of expertise for me. My idea of accessorizing is to wear a belt, and if it's a really formal occasion (or I'm in the doghouse for something) I might put my wedding ring on. My girls are really into fashion though, and my oldest daughter in particular has a real interest in design. This makes the Cheryl Fudge Fashion Camp a perfect place for them to spend an afternoon.
Cheryl Fudge is essentially an artists studio for fashion design. You get to take a blank canvas (technically it's a shirt, or dress...) and create your own statement to the world. Hopefully you have lots to say, because there are plenty of things that you can add to your outfits. Beads, gems, patches, letters, zippers and all sorts of other things that I couldn't identify to save my life. My girls seemed to know what to do though, and the laying out of the outfits began.
My youngest daughter decided to make a dress. She got the last blue dress (her favorite color) that was available and her main criteria was that she wanted to have her name on the dress somewhere. Letters were available, but important decisions had to be made such as which letters to use, should they be together or apart, where on the dress should they go, and at what angle should they be placed on the dress? As if that weren't enough, she decided to add butterflies to the dress. Start the whole decision making process over again and you could almost feel the stress levels building to insane proportions! My daughter used a different word for it though. She called it "fun".
My older daughter elected to make a tank top. A quick look around the store produced no tank tops in her size, which you think would have saved me some money. It seems though, that the ladies who work in this store are talented enough to alter clothes so they fit, and they did just that for her tank top. She laid everything out for her shirt with more letters (Why are my kids always spelling things now that school's out for the summer?) and zippers, and then it was time to let the ladies of Cheryl Fudge do their magic. They said they would need about an hour to get all the sewing and altering done, but since our Disney day was already at its end, the decision was made to come back for the clothes tomorrow. Everything was ready and waiting upon our return the next day, and the girls were thrilled with the outcome.
So what impressed me? Well the whole "designing your own clothes" thing is impressive enough, but Lori has mentioned to me that people who were working at the store made it a very enjoyable experience. There was no pressure to add more and more to each item, and the suggestions were very sound and practical such as which kinds of letters would stretch with the fabric that the dress was made out of. They even started our visit to the store by helping the girls make a free hair band. Is it expensive? It's not cheap, but you do have the option of bringing in your own shirt/dress/other clothing item that I don't know what it's called. I'd put in the same kind of category as all the other build your own stores. You can do it without spending too much, but you'll have to manage temptation because it's SO much fun to go overboard. The Downtown Disney store has only been open a couple of weeks, and it's located in between the AMC movie theatres and the ESPN zone (Somewhere for Dad to wait while his daughters create!) If you don't usually go down that far in Downtown Disney, just take the monorail from Disneyland and it will practically drop you off at the doorstep. They also have locations in Santa Monica (How did I miss that yesterday?) and Nantucket. As they expand it would be really cool to see some location specific items (This butterfly is from Phoenix, this butterfly is from Seattle, etc...) but for now it's a really cool way to spend an afternoon. Even if I don't understand how it works.