Saturday, January 28, 2012

Just trying to graduate...

This past fall and subsequent winter has been quite a crazy time for me. Readjusting to school and not talking too much about London, dealing with people and emotions, and working constantly have kept me very busy. Despite all this, I did well in school, passed everything, and am now in the midst of designing and creating my menswear collection! But, before I get ahead of myself....

Here is the work I did in London, photographed in Northern Liberties in Philly. The collection was inspired by skeletal structures, Berlin, and horrible things. I loved it.

Red Dress, part II. I am really pleased with how it turned out, and by following my aesthetic and creating something I really liked, the experience was much more enjoyable than the first time around.

My lovely friend, Courtney, modeled for me, and she was perfect!

I attempt to not panic during a crit: I'm not used to them going fantastically.
And for Problem Solving, the experimental fashion and materials course, I made menswear! I feel so much better when I'm not making dresses.

A wearable look was made for the final. I used the class to explore different materials, textures, and techniques for later, and a lot of this look leads into my collection ideas.

Which brings me to my collection for Collection 1. Yes, I titled it in bad french because I am a pretentious design student. Basically, my concept is trapped spirits inside a modern man. I'm exploring layering, textures, hand made pieces and industrial, futuristic elements. I always seem to develop convoluted concepts...

A lovely and strange animal creature, from Angelos Frentzos

I recently discovered him and love the use of metal and leather.

Rad Hourani, for that future and volume look I'm going for.

I've been listening to quite a lot of Arcade Fire, and I've decided Neon Bible is the soundtrack to my collection. I am working hard on sketches and samples, so more will be posted as I go along.

So life has been changing quite a lot these past few months. Being single again is interesting (though Mike and I are still friends, and he helped me a lot with modeling during the fall.) I have very long days at school this semester with a very full course load: Collection 1, Advanced flat pattern, Digital photography, Apparel merchandising management, a service project class, and a lecture class by industry people. Add that to working all weekend, and you can see I am losing my free time drastically. But working on collection is a very exciting thing, and I can't help but throw myself into it. It's fantastic.

I've also been working on a photo project with my good friend Maria, which involves creating creatures out of dolls and animal parts. We're working slowly on it, but it will be quite impressive when completed. This little dear is resting in the sun after her photo shoot.

It's exhilarating to think that a year from now I will be finished my degree, but there's a lot of work to go until then. I will try to keep a good chronicle of it going forward.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

To Market!

Summer in Philadelphia has been brutal. Long spans of days over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, crazy storms, and humidity that makes the air almost impossible to breathe. I've still found time (and a little bit of energy) to do things, however. I turned 21 and am now finally fully legal in my own country! Being in Europe, especially Belgium and Germany, helped me to develop a taste for good beer. The summer has been a whirlwind of hanging out with my boyfriend and friends, working a lot, drinking moderately, being far too hot, spending a lot of time in New Jersey (I know), and telling and retelling stories about my European adventures to everyone (only sometimes begrudgingly). I haven't done too many exciting things, though I have taken a few trips. A couple trips to NYC (one to meet up with Jay and see the McQueen Exhibit at the MET, well worth the 4 hour wait in line), a trip to Washington DC, and just this past weekend a relaxing camping trip with the boy and his friends in the Pine Barrens. It's been a low key summer, and a good recovery from the craziness of the spring. Classes start next week, and I'm both excited and frightened of the work load.

But, I digress. I fear that I have not talked enough about my trip, and posts have been sadly lacking. So, without further ado, I present to you a post about one of my favorite things about London (and Europe in general): markets!

While in London, I visited a good amount of markets, including Borough, Brick lane, Portobello road, Spitalfields, Camden, Church street, Marylebone, Angel, Exmouth,  and more. I loved Borough and Brick Lane especially, though each market had it's merits. A quick rundown:

Borough Market

An exquisite food market, where you can find all kinds of specialty products, including cheese, meats, and more. I would often be too full from sampling all the cheese, jams, and other veggie items to buy lunch there! Both a vegetarian and an omnivore can find so much to love there. The area is very old, located near London bridge and the river. The market itself is under bridges and overpasses, and has been there for years.

Brick Lane

Brick Lane market (and the surrounding area) was one of my favorite places in London. The vibe is great, and the market is fun. The old truman brewery buildings and surrounding streets house food stalls and vendors of all kinds, spilling out into the street. I loved to go early to shop for vintage and goods from local artists, then grab a cheap lunch, and finally a stop at Brick Lane coffee shop. The area already has a good selection of cool vintage stores and places to browse, great curry and Indian restaurants, and is only a short walk away from Spitalfields Market.

Spitalfields Market

Spitalfields is one of the oldest markets in London, and different days attract different goods. Thursdays boast a fabulous array of antique dealers, and I was able to score some Roman coins that had been excavated a few decades ago in London. On other days, lots of local artists sell their pieces, mixed in with the usual vintage.

Camden Market

Camden Market has different sections, situated along the Camden lock. Though a good portion of it caters to tourists, you can find some great pieces if you look hard enough (and avoid the crowds.) The Stables Market is particularly beautiful, and has some great shops and stalls. I liked to sit by the lock with a cup of coffee and cheap market food and watch what was going on.

Portobello Road

My advice: go early! I was able to find some cool pieces before the crowds took over from noon onward. It's probably the busiest and most popular of London's Markets. The area has become more and more gentrified in recent years, with lots of cute, colored houses. A portion is situated under the Westway. You can bet I was always humming the Clash and Blur songs under my breath. The market is huge, and has everything from food to antiques. And, of course, street performers.

There were many other markets in London, though these stood out in my mind. I also visited markets in Belgium and Berlin, where I found some amazing pieces. I tried to haggle, though it's not my forte. I have always loved flea markets, but the markets in London are so much bigger, better, and more frequent. We need to bring more market culture to the States!

Well, that's it for now. Another post will hopefully be up shortly.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm so bored of the USA...

I have been back in the USA for over a week now, and I am somewhat re-adjusted. I am sorry for the lack of posts, but as soon as classes started, my life became too busy and tiring for blogging. That really is no excuse, but oh well.

From the last post until now, I:
Started my classes: menswear (my favorite by far), literary london, fashion shows, fashion internship
Secured a positition as an intern in the womenswear studio of Alexander McQueen
Designed a great capsule collection for menswear and executed my three pieces perfectly
Was visited by my boyfriend, who insisted we spend a fabulous weekend in Berlin (he knew I loved it)
Made some great friends (Alice, Jay, Shaqwanda)
Went clubbing in Soho quite a lot
Became a devoted customer to a great cafe in Soho, Foxcroft & Ginger
Started to really like London, even as it ate away at my bank account
Partied with the city for the royal wedding
Went to Brussels with Caitlin for Easter Weekend, where we tried a bunch of local beers and wandered around the city
Went to Paris with Alice the following weekend, where we wandered around the fiercely beautiful city and went to the top of the Eiffel Tower
Explored so many areas of London, but always returned to the same neighborhoods and markets: Brick lane, Soho, etc
Worked my ass off as an intern at McQueen
Worked the sample sale for McQueen, where I was rewarded by a pair of amazing boots and a discount on some pieces: mens shirt, scuba skirt, and fabric (I'm thinking from Plato's atlantis) for myself, a t-shirt for the boy and a draped top for my mom
And just generally had an amazing time, complete with great experiences, stress, and good memories. It's strange to be back here, but I get to enjoy summer with my friends in a city I love, so it's not so bad.

Oh, and I have a thousand pictures. I will post more about individual experiences and things, but for now, just an overview and post to say I am alive.

That's all for now. I am still using the excuse of jetlag and general restlessness to explain why I am tired and not ready to work again. This will all change soon, but I will enjoy it for now.