Monday, February 6, 2012

Garance Dore at Fashion Institute of Technology

Today for my lecture class we had a very special guest speaker -- Garance Dore, fashion illustrator, blogger, and girlfriend of Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist.  Her blog has become one of the most closely followed by the fashion industry and an anonymous French editor said, "Garance is our daily bread." ...If that tells you anything about her impact! 

Her lecture was inspirational to students, encouraging them to "take that step" which pushes you to take the first risk and throw yourself at what you aim to do.  She talked about noting all of the "platforms" available to us in this age, from Youtube to Facebook to Tumblr, and to have something meaningful to add.  Find your identity, find your brand, and make the right choices.

"People will come to you because they know you will make the right choices," Dore says.  And when it comes to making sure you are staying relevant to your industry, well, she says if you even have to ask yourself that question you are probably already out of the picture.

She notes that it is of utmost importance to always dive into your fears, as it is the only way to progress.  She also said you must ask and find the impossible.  Push the boundaries to find a seamless solution.

Something to think about...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Things that Fashion Professors Say

This is only the end of the second day of classes here at FIT Spring Semester, but I feel like I'm two weeks in already.  We've got homework assignments due before the class even meets and my professors are expecting nothing less than the best.  Throughout these last few days I thought I would share some interesting quotes I managed to scribble down.  Although I think for privacy issues I have to keep the names unmentioned.


"You want to find your own identity as a designer, know how you feel about things.  To become a designer you can't just make clothes; you can go home and just make clothes."
"This is a school for design, not plumbing."
If you already know what you want to do, it's because you've already seen it before."


"Oh, we're almost done...this is so easy for me." (Read: fashion gurus are cocky as hell).
"Your patterns should look like God made them."


"If you even survive as a fashion designer..."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Maybe Home is a Thought, Not a Place

Saturday is the day; flying back to the city whether I'm ready or not.  So much has changed since I left New York.  While I probably would have liked to have been back in the city a little sooner, these weeks home have provided much needed time for reflection.  I think, for me at least, I can't be sure where I'm going until I know where I have been.  And you can't know where you have been until you turn around a look back for a minute.

The idea of "home" has been something I've thought about so much over the last few weeks, months even.  For a majority of my life I lived at the same tri-level going to the same schools.  Home was all I knew.  Now, I have many homes.  My first new "home" was West Lafayette, Indiana.  My second was Florence.  Third, (and yes I count it because it was such a moving experience -- no pun intended) Paris.  Fourth, New York City.  Each home has it own scents, habits, memories, friends, and every home I have made on my own.  Building nests of comfort in these cities which I never considered the impact of abandoning each.  Unable to tend for these nests while building a new one.  How can we abandon these homes? These works of art?

There is a song I first heard so many years ago, I believe shortly after I first moved away from home. The one line which caught my attention was the single line which I could empathize with. 

"Maybe home is a thought, not a place; you can move and still be safe."

The idea that my home was a strictly an artistic representation of all feelings which comfort me, comforted me further in a time of misunderstanding. That was all I understood when I first heard this song.  I attached this phrase to my memory like a deer tick and ran it through my mind whenever I felt anxious.

But now, since my home has expanded to so many more faces and rooms and cities, I found that this entire song is my anthem.

"I wanna steal from you only you, make room for you."  I take what I want from these physical homes, to create a room of my own.  As a world traveler, I desire these new boundaries, the expansions. 

"I am the thief who leaves it behind: the moon and the window."  But as a traveler, I can leave it behind as well.  The moon -- the intangibles such as the scents and the memories.  The window -- the tangibles such as the actual physical bedrooms I stayed in, the addresses which once belonged to me.  I'm the thief who leaves it all behind.

I could go on, but I think you get the point.  I'm heading back to NYC to continue mass robberies. 

Here's the full song: "Souvenir" by The Duke Spirit YOUTUBE LINK




Monday, January 16, 2012


My visit to Paris was so quiet, but so full of life.  I spent 9 nights in the city, completely and utterly alone.  I don't think I would have done anything differently.

I spoke mainly in French while I was there, trying as best as I could to remember the correct vocabulary and tenses.  I wanted to fit in among the crowds of Parisians as easily as I was mushed into them on the Metro.  Could they smell my foreign tongue?  I stayed very quiet for the first few days.  Observing every turn and holler, every breath and step, every tune and argument. 

It seemed to me, that these people kept to themselves more than any sort I had ever seen before.  As if it were discomforting to be urged to make contact with an unknown.  Everyone was on their own mission.  So focused.  I wouldn't necessarily call it unfriendly.  I never found the people I met and encountered there unfriendly.  It was like their minds were racing on their own discoveries.  Deep in thought, tout le temps.  This was of course, from an outsider's opinion.  I'm sure my perspective would change if I had stayed longer.  And yes there were exceptions, but from a whole, this is the impression I was left with.

The organization of the city had me in awe with every Metro stop.  Every building, every park. every palace felt placed with purpose.  The entire city appealed to me as the floorplan of an art museum.  This is where you want to sit to observe this view.  Climbing a few hundred steps here would make a great look-out over the city.  Of course you would want to walk along the river buying old books from these fold out cupboards.  Unlike any city I had ever been to, this city above all felt like it was designed for those who wish to enjoy life, leisurely, yet focused. 

The beauty of it is unrivaled.  Khaki and pastel-colored and sparkling by night.  Accordion players thumbing the keys to old songs.  The click-clack of the well-to-do in their fancy shoes.  The echos of prayers in the cathedrals.  The scratch of pencils on sketchbooks in the museums.

The air felt so fresh to the lungs.  If you could bottle the feeling of walking the streets of Paris...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hurricane Irene: No Need to Panic

WHY YES, I am somewhat behind the headlines, but since my last post was doom and gloom about Irene, I thought I would post the photos of what actually ended up happening (read: I slept through the hurricane completely after hours and hours of Sex and the City, and woke up only to find a down tree, rain and water everywhere, and New Yorkers anxious to get the city moving and grooving hurricane shall slow us down). Oh, and on my walk around town to view the lack of destruction I took photos of some nifty artwork. ;]

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fashionista's Guide to Packing for Italy

One of the biggest problems for me before I left the States for Italy, was what on earth to pack for a 2 month excursion studying fashion in a city I've never been to.  Every fashion student knows that one must have the feel of the city to understand what to pack for it, so I was going into this journey completely blind.  After my lovely stay in Florence, I have a few words of wisdom for future fashionista's on their way to Europe, and more specifically Italy in the summer.

1.) A large, light-weight scarf.  This came in handy every time I wanted to visit an old cathedral, friar, or Duomo.  The Italians (and some places in France I found as well) are very serious about maintaining proper dress, so shoulders must always be covered.  Instead of wearing long sleeves while you are hiking through different cities, wear what you'd like and cover your shoulders with a scarf when entering sacred places.  When you aren't using your scarf, tie it around your bag as a colorful accessory.  Just remember, that often times (particularly St. Peter's Basilica) your shorts and dresses need to be at least knee length -- guys, too!

2.) One maxi-dress.  They were quite the rage when I was in Italy, plus they are nice if it happens to be a chilly night.

3.) One good pair of sunglasses. Seriously, you won't regret them.  It rained only twice the entire time I lived in Florence.

4.) A pair of wedges.  The Italian women, and actually most European women I found, frequently wear heels.  I hail from Indiana, where this is very much the opposite of the norm.  Now, remind yourself that many of the roads in Italy and Europe are cobblestone, so if you have not been wearing heels since you were 5 years old, you most likely will roll your ankle attempting to navigate the alleyways, and in the very least you will find you are staring at the road rather than taking in the beautiful sites.  So here is a great compromise: wear wedges! The footing is more stable than a thin heel, but will give you the same stylish feel.

5.) One trusty black dress for going out at night.  The Italians are all about night life, as much as they are about getting dressed up.  Looks are very important to their culture, but instead of bringing 10 different dresses, bring a few trusty ones, and bring (or buy at the markets!) jewelry to switch up your looks instead.

 For any of you lucky enough to be heading abroad I hope this helps.  Maybe a post on what NOT to pack is in the works... because you are going to need all the suitcase you can spare to bring home your treasures from your travels.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hibernation is for Bloggers, Too

No, New York didn't quite kill me yet; just took a small break from blogging as life got somewhat out of hand.  More posts are scheduled and on their way...I still have to tell you about Paris...