Saturday, October 18, 2008
Moving here was one of the most miserable experiences of my life!!! Packing took seriously over 2 weeks. It's actually so awful I don't really want to relive it here. Suffice it to say, if you ever hire a moving truck. PAY FOR THE INSURANCE! We paid a shipper to send everything here and then flew nonstop with two cats. Moving day we arrived at the airport, cats have been properly drugged so as to stay calm and sleeeeep. Airline announces there will be a 5 hour delay! Because of "weather" in NYC. Meaning: Phoenix pilots don't know how to fly through a raincloud. We made it though and pulled up in a cab in front of our apt. we had never seen at about 11:30pm. I won't talk about our neighborhood more than to say it's DIRTY, in a bad way. We have a 3 month sublet, the only thing we could find since we hadn't secured jobs here before we move, and we will be moving to a nicer area at the end of October. Enough about that.
Monday, August 2nd, two days after we arrive. I had an interview for an internship with a small, luxury fashion design company of Cynthia Rose. The VP, who interviewed me, told me I was overqualified and that she thought I would be bored working as an intern. I insisted I wouldn't and I was so excited when she wanted me to start the following Monday! Nick (my boyfriend) was waiting for me at Bryant Park, right up the street, and I was walking on air when I went to meet him there, so proud of myself! Things have evolved (or devolved) at the internship rather quickly. For the first two weeks I was excited to be there, but I was a little bored and wished that they would require more from me so I could show what I could do. Then the VP decided she wanted me to work mainly with the Production Manager (she was the only person running that entire area of the company). I was fine with that as it was something that I didn't know about and I felt that it would definitely give me skills, information and contacts I would need in order to start producing my own line in the future. I didn't get to spend a lot of time with this person, as the designer's personal assistant quit after my second week of work, and I ended up taking on a lot of her responsibilities, only working for free. After about another week or so, the VP started asking me if I thought I could do the Production Manager's job. I told her probably, as long as I would be trained and knew what I was doing. It didn't seem that hard. Boy was I wrong. Shortly after that the P.M. quit and I sort of got bumped into her position, temporarily or permanently was yet to be determined. Keep in mind that I have ZERO experience or training in production, but I am very organized and this is what they thought would make me good for this job. I didn't make it more than 3 weeks. In reality, I was doing a job, single-handedly (trying anyway) that there need to be 2-3 people handling; full time and on the payroll. I got so overwhelmed right away, that I knew there was just no way I could continue without crashing and burning. On top of that, it was taking up ALL of my time (I was there from 9-7 many days). I know that's typical of lots of jobs, but I originally took the internship to help me learn things to forward my own career and my own design work, not make me a personal slave for someone else's profit. There are many other reasons why I did not stay with the company, but on a professional level it's mainly because I'm not qualified for the position and I was SO stressed out about it's all I could think about all the time. I just moved to New York! I love it here. I don't want to spend all my time hating it. I would have made a GREAT production assistant, and they NEED one, but they don't want to have to pay for one, and it's just too much work for me to offer to do for free.
On to some more exciting and upbeat news! I've had several Project Runway sightings since I've been here. I almost ran into Suede on the street a few weeks ago, literally! He was talking on the phone and walking with his head down and we nearly collided. Also, right before fashion week I had to take some pieces to have buttonholes sewn in to a nearby embroidery shop, and Joe Faris was there having buttonholes put in those gold and pink pants he showed at Bryant Park. He looked tired and a little older than on the show, and I wasn't sure it was him. About two weeks ago I SWEAR I saw Keith, who was kicked off in season...3? I can't even remember. It looked JUST like him, but I'm not positive he even lives in NY. I also met Annida Greenkard, one of the models on the drag episode on season 5. She was awesome! And looked even better than on the show. And she was SO mad at Daniel for making her that boring dress! She's amazing. I'm hoping she and I can work together on a project, but haven't had time to discuss since I've been with everything else. And the biggest one of all, Nina Garcia! During fashion week I was lucky enough to get to go to one show! The assistant designer at Cynthia Rose got us on the list for the designer she worked for previous, Douglas Hannant, and Nina was one of the guests at the show. I somewhat candidly snapped a few photos of her while the models were walking. Unfortunately none of them were that great. Sorry Nina! If you go to the Douglas Hannant website and look at the Spring 2009 photos, you can actually see me with my sunglasses on on the right side of the very first image. I didn't want to steal it off their page and post it here though, so you'll have to go see for yourself.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
This piece was definitely the star of the show. Made from an amazing print silk, and modeled by the lovely Megan Accordino. This dress sold that very night, but luckily I have JUST enough fabric to make one more to keep for my own.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Summer SMoCA Nights
To Celebrate the Opening of the exhibition Branded and On Display
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art [SMoCA]
7374 East Second Street
June 19, Thursday
9:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. midnight
$15 ($10 for members)
$45 VIP runway seats
SUMMER FASHION, MUSIC & CUTTING-EDGE VALLEY CULTURE @ SUMMER SMoCA NIGHTS
(Scottsdale, AZ) The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art [SMoCA] presents the 2008 Summer SMoCA Nights on Thursday, June 19, from 9:00 p.m. to midnight. SMoCA Nights is the exclusive tri-annual nightlife event where the Museum is transformed into the ultimate art party, complete with artists, fashion, DJs, bands and performers, for an eclectic evening of cutting-edge culture. This summer event launches the premiere of SMoCA's new exhibition Branded and On Display. To accompany this opening, SMoCA is tipping its hat to all things that revolve around how culture defines itself with marketing and advertising and the consumerism that colors our lives and leisure time. The Museum encourages those in attendance to embrace our media-infused world by flaunting favorite brands and logos during the event. The evening's fashion show will feature Phoenix-based designers Jes Switaj and Devani Weaver with wearable art by artist Bobby Castaneda and dynamic hair and make-up styling by Dolce Salon & DoCo Damask.
Among the event's highlights will be a live outdoor performance by Valley favorites, Peachcake-the band that takes costumed antics on the stage and happy indie-pop revelry to the next level. Peachcake will be followed by a mesmerizing fire dance by Mali, a former Cirque du Soleil performer and new transplant to the city, straight from Spain. Inside the Museum, DJ d'strick will hone his fusion of organic and tech elements to get the crowd charged up for the fashion show. d'strick, best known for spinning groovy blends of deep and funky house, will synthesize an eclectic mix to best communicate the pulse of the runway fashion show.
Guests can mingle and cool off in SMoCA's galleries while glimpsing into their future with expert tarot readings by the famed clairvoyant, OZMA and seeing all three new summer exhibitions: Branded and On Display, Pae White: "Lisa, Bright & Dark," and Pushing Paint Around: selections from the permanent collection. *[Lisa, Bright and Dark, a novel by John Neufeld, 1969 ©SG Phillips.]
As always, SMoCA Nights features free appetizers, a cash bar, prizes and other unexpected guests and happenings. Visitors can catch a satirical feature on consumerism and brand choices by Portland's own Modern Conditions of Production (MCOP), on view in the Museum lobby, along with other surprise artist appearances. And, for all those who love to shop, the event will also boast one-of-a-kind products in the Museum Store specially created by the evening's guest fashion designers and artists including silk-screened ties, bags and hand-painted, graffiti-inspired shoes.
Advance tickets are highly recommended to avoid long lines and a sold-out event: $10 members; $15 nonmembers. ($45 for VIP runway seating) Call 480-994-ARTS (2787).
The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art [SMoCA] is located at 7374 East Second Street in downtown Scottsdale, four blocks south of Indian School Road and just east of Scottsdale Road. Free parking is available in the public parking garage located to the west of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and directly behind on Wells Fargo Avenue. Additional free parking is available at the Old Town Parking Corral at East Second Street and Brown Avenue and at the library parking garage located on Drinkwater Boulevard at East Second Street.
If you're still left with any questions after all that, just contact me! Hope to see you there. Feel free to bring flowers, chocolates, etc. ;-)
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Photo by Christine Johnson for azcentral.com Modeled by Bella.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Dupioni silk, the top will have lots more zigzags.
Just got a digital flyer for this with more info. Here it is:
Thursday, May 8, 2008
The class I just finished was Computer Assisted Design. It focused on using PhotoShop (a little) and Illustrator (mostly) to create fashion designs. I had a little bit of experience using Illustrator from my previous job at Antigua, but I hadn't used it in a while. I did actually learn a LOT from this class and I'm glad I took it at the end of my school career rather than the beginning because I probably would have forgotten it by now. Hopefully I'll actually be able to use it in a job in the near future so I get more practice and experience.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
A big pile of gorgeous dupioni silk! The brown, yellow and lilac purple came from a discount upholstery shop and were only $3 a yard!!! I bought whatever they had left. The bluish-purple iridescent piece on the far right my mom bought for me when she was in NYC recently.
This whole entire group only cost $1! I got all five of these pieces at the same estate sale. From left to right: 1. A LARGE piece of white faux fur. Not sure what I'll do with it, but for 20¢ I couldn't just leave it there! 2. A piece of nice red cotton, I'll use it to line some tote bags I'm working on. 3. An absolutely GORGEOUS piece of very old silk satin. It's pale steel blue in color and feels amazing! Still has a tiny tag on it with writing in Japanese, I'm guessing from when it was purchased originally. 4. An awesome black and white poly knit. Something fun waiting to happen, I know it! 5. Several yards of bright pink corduroy. Good for bags and an obvious addition to my massive corduroy collection.
All the above pieces came from a local discount fabric shop. They sell a lot of factory ends and older pieces. From left: 1. Two yards of a nice fuschia corduroy. 2. A funky paisley print for tote bags. 3. A fantastic floral print which I'll also use for making bags. 4. Really fun blue and brown floral, I've already started making a tote out of this and it should be ready and listed in my Etsy shop tomorrow! 5. Super cute ladybug print cotton. I'm going to make my boyfriend some boxers out of this. I LOVE getting cute prints and making him shorts.
Some really nice fabrics I can't wait to make some clothes with! These all came from the same discount place as the pieces above. From left: 1 & 2 - I don't usually use polyester, but these prints were so gorgeous, the price was right and the fabric so soft! I'm going to make up a basic halter pattern and then bust out a bunch of cute dresses to be for sale just in time for summer! 3. Beautiful maroon herringbone wool blend. If you look really really close the threads are 4 or 5 different colors of purple and red. It's awesome! I'm going to make some pants with this, someday... 4. Nice black and white wool tweed with little rainbow specs. It'll make a great coat. 5. I thought this one was wool when I bought it, and it was in the wool section at the store, but when I got it home and did a burn test it melted and dripped all over my finger. It STILL hurts. I'm guessing it's acrylic. It's still really nice looking and I'm thinking of using it for a cute matching skirt and jacket combo.
This last piece is my favorite one I got all week! It's a to-die-for silk chiffon, mostly black an printed as a repeat panel with the NYC skyline, including the WTC, so this one is obviously at least a few years old. I got everything that was left, which was about 8 yards, and it was only $2.99 a yard. CRAZY deal! They definitely didn't know what they had, which is usually the advantage at this place. Most of the people working there couldn't tell poly from silk with their eyes open. Anyway, I'm going to use it to make a floor length gown with the design as a border along the bottom and the rest of the dress in black, so you can only really see the image if you look close or if the dress is spread out.
I got one more piece of silk this week, a slate blue dupioni, and I haven't actually seen it since I got it home. I'm wondering if my mom accidentally took it home with her. No time to wonder! I need to dive right in and start turning all this fabric into its intended forms. Partially to sell some of the things I create and make back all the money we spent, but mostly so I can make room for more fabric!!! I'm off to the sewing machine!
Friday, April 11, 2008
Here's a little bit of what I've been up to since I got back from Chicago. I started this black and white plaid dupioni silk dress yesterday. I've had this fabric for nearly as long as I have been designing. It's just been sitting around waiting and waiting for the right pattern to come its way, and I think I have finally found the thing that it was meant to be used for. Good thing I have about 10 more yards just in case! Yesterday I draped the pattern for the top and made a quick fit sample. Today I sewed all the body fabric together. Right now I'm working on cutting out and piecing the lining together. It will be lined with black silk satin. Tomorrow I need to get a zipper for it and sew in the lining and then voila, a cute dress ready in 3 days! I'm thinking of using a brightly colored petticoat underneath it and then making some kind of sash belt in the same color for contrast. Any color suggestions? I'm leaning towards daffodil yellow, mostly because I already have a petticoat and silk fabric in that color. That petticoat is on underneath it in the second photo and I definitely like the way it helps the dress poof.
On the right the dress is almost complete! Just needs lining and a zipper. Also, it will have
tiny black spaghetti straps when it's finished.
and the lining and accents will be printed silk charmeuse. Yummy!
Both of these outfits and many more will be shown at Frock n Roll, a fashion show featuring local designers being held on May 17th. See my past post about the event here.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
What a long day! I got up at about 6 am, left the house at 7, took a train and then a taxi to get there and arrived at the W Hotel around 8:10 am. Auditions started at 9 and we and we waited around in line for a LONG, cold and windy time. I took three pieces with me to show the judges. Two of them are pictured in this post and the third was the plaid skirt in fall colors with silk trim that's shown in two of my other posts. My friend Dalla went with me and patiently waited out the whole day. I was 52nd in line and didn't get inside to the holding room until around 1 o'clock. Then we waited around for another really long time, because when we got in there they were only interviewing #30, but at least it was warm inside, and we could feel our toes and fingers again. Did I mention I was wearing heels? I wanted to look nice but I knew it was going to suck.
So, we waited around in the holding room for almost another two hours, watching person after person come back upset and clearly having been turned away. There were large clothing racks set up throughout the room and you could see everything that everyone else had brought with them to show to the judges. There was an awful lot of really costume-y and unrefined types of things that you didn't have to be a judge to know that that person was going to be shot down. The more I saw the more I felt confident in the pieces I had brought with me.
Dalla took a break at one point to go and try to find some coffee and ran into Nick Verreos (he was the guest past-competitor judge in Chicago) in the elevator. She didn't talk to him as he was talking with someone who just auditioned and telling him that his (the guy who was auditioning )personality AND designs were just amazing. Other than that we didn't see anyone who looked like they had been moved on to the next stage until the very end.
The whole time we really only talked to two other people, the designer in front of us, Lia Joy and her significant other, (whose name I somehow managed to not catch the entire time I was there), who was there as moral support and to help carry large clothing items.
At around 2:50 it was FINALLY my turn to go in and talk to the judges. I was sooo nervous but I don't think it was showing too much. I went down the hall to the audition room, they put a mic on me then sent me it. As I walked in they all said hello and asked how I was doing. I put my three pieces up on the clothing rack and Tim asked me to spread them out so they could see them, right as I was doing just that. Tim said that everything looked excellently constructed, Nick agreed. Then Tim said "But it's just to basic." To which Nick agreed, but I didn't! I know that of all the tips online about auditioning for the show it always says stick up for yourself against the judges. I was totally prepared to defend my work but Tim says "We're going to have to pass, thank you" before I can even get a syllable out of my mouth. Honestly, I was really surprised. They didn't even ask to look at my portfolio, which has much stranger things in it. I couldn't even manage to say thank you as I took my designs off the rack and walked out of the room, I was too shocked. I kind of felt a little bad about that, but whatever. I'm sure that's just a second of time I saved them to talk to someone else.
Also, advise to any future hopefuls - stay away from the sequins!!! I only saw ONE person all day long be asked to leave before she even made it to the holding room. She had brought store-bought jeans which she hand-sewed sequins all over. Frightening, to say the least. And people, please! That does not make you a fashion designer. It might make you crafty and handy with a needle but don't waste your time. Especially to stand in 40 degree weather for 5 hours.
In the meantime, I have something that might be a little more exciting and DEFINITELY less stressful, up my sleeve, but I won't know more about that til the end of this month. Happy April Fool's Day everyone! I must have definitely played a joke on myself thinking I had this one nailed. :-/
Thursday, March 27, 2008
So, I've been sewing like a mad woman since then trying to figure out what I am going to take with me to show the judges. Since it's only days away, good news is I have at least decided. I'll be taking two pieces that I've made this month and one that I made at the end of last year. I'll post photos of the new stuff later, I think these three will be nice and cohesive. I actually started about 3 other pieces that I thought I wanted to take with me, got about halfway done and decided that they wouldn't be what the judges are looking for. Not that they weren't good or interesting, just maybe not good ENOUGH. I am planning on finishing them all and showing them at Frock n Roll in May.
On Easter Sunday I did a photo shoot with an amazing local photographer, Nicky Hedayat-Zadeh. She was featured in the March 2008 issue of Java Magazine. You can view the article here. I needed to get some updated photos for my portfolio and there's no better time than now. We shot at Nicky's studio in downtown Phoenix and the shoot lasted about 6 hours and showcased 10 of my pieces. The photos came out GORGEOUSLY! I was so excited I could hardly wait to get home so I could start sewing new stuff to do another shoot with.
Will wrap this one up in the morning... getting sleepy...
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Phoenix residents! You can purchase your tickets to this one of a kind show here. Make sure that when you are making your purchase you select my name from the drop-down menu so that my charity, YouthEtc, will receive credit for the purchase. Each designer needs to sell at least 50 tickets by April 17th in order for their charity to be eligible to receive donations from the event, so help us out!
This will be my second year participating in this fantastic event, and I plan on showing all brand new designs! I'll have about 10 pieces total, and most will be for sale online after the event through my Etsy store.
In addition, the Phoenix Craft Mafia will probably also be participating in the event, selling amazing handmade goods. A percent of the profits from each sale will also be donated to my charity. This hasn't been confirmed yet, but we're planning on having this awesome local craft group there and are just waiting for the go ahead.
See local bands, designers and models come together to support local charities in this annual fashion and music party! Make sure you purchase your tickets ASAP as there are a limited amount and once they're gone they're gone!
Address of the venue is: 101 E. Jackson Street Phoenix, AZ 85004.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Since we will be moving out of state at the end of this summer, what I've been doing lately is looking around the house and trying to figure out what I don't need to take with me, what I can sell now and what I can sell later. I'm currently trying to get rid of a few large musical instruments, to no avail, and I've been weeding through my cd collection and taking the not-often-listened-to albums, burning them to iTunes and selling the cds. That still left me with only $100 for March rent. I need $700.
I sent a text to one of my friends who is in school for fine art and asked if she wanted to come check out what I was trying to sell. Her reply was simply "Throwing in the towel?" Um, noooo... I'm just trying to focus on ONE thing and get really good at it and eventually make it my career. I'm not really sure if she meant it snidely, but that's the joy of text messaging and it kind of made me mad.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
In November the first ever Scottsdale Fashion Week was held in, where else, Scottsdale AZ. I was lucky enough to be part of this event as a participant in the SFA Designer of the Year contest. The contest was sponsored by a local TV channel and SMoCA. I submitted photos and descriptions of three designs and was chosen as one of 8 semi-finalists. The contestants where narrowed down to 4 finalists through internet voting and I made it to the final 4! You can watch a video from the news broadcast that was filmed once the final 4 were chosen. They had us get up at 5 in the morning to drive to the grand opening of some huge mall way on the edge of town. We thought they were going to actually interview the designers, but all that really happened was the models walked through the shot once or twice wearing our designs. My model is the one in the grey corduroy and velvet number with feathers. I think you can see me lurking, sleepily, in the background in some of the shots.
After the runway show I was supposed to have an arranged meeting with several owners of local boutiques, as part of the "prize" but for one reason or another, that unfortunately never happened. I guess that's ok really though because I don't have an actual line in production, not just yet. Currently all of my pieces are one-of-a-kind and more couture based. I would really love to start manufacturing small runs of limited edition pieces that are more retail-marketable, but getting started involves a reasonable chunk of money and I just don't have it right now. So, for the time I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing and focusing on what I want to be doing in the future.
That's about it really. I'm hoping to get to come back to SFAand show at this year's event, but I'll have to get in touch with the coordinators sometime. Maybe I could have a small runway show to open and intro the contest for Designer of the Year 2008 and then announce the winner or something, if they have one. Better get off the computer and start sewing!!!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
I checked out the site, found it to be neat, and decided to start a profile and put an entry into the contest myself. Below is a photo of the dress I entered, taken at Scottsdale Fashion Week 2007. The dress is worn here by my good friend and ever-devoted and dependable model Alyssa La Fortune Holt. Click here to vote on my entry in the contest. You can view my public profile on stylemob here.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Artwork for these ties was done by my good friend Matt Forcella, who also designed my Venus Fly Trap print. He and his lovely wife Pallas share a shop on Etsy also. Check it out! It's: mallas.etsy.com