the end has no end.

So unfortunately, I don’t have quite as exciting news as Christina.  Friday morning, I was going over the Manhattan bridge to my internship when I got a call from my friend who had just checked her email to find that she was on the list of chosen garments.  She checked my email only to find that I was not on said list.  What a friggen bummer.  Not much more I can say, except that I am super proud of the work I’ve done and I really couldn’t be happier with my two looks!  I was a little bummed all day (needless to say), and when the designers at Opening Ceremony asked me what was up, I admitted that I had found out that morning that I didn’t get into our senior show.  To my surprise, three of them exclaimed that they too did not get into their shows!  This sort of gave me a little hope because here were girls with my dream jobs, and they hadn’t been chosen for their shows.  Not to say I’m not still completely bummed, but it was nice to be reassured that it’s really not the end of the world.  It may be the end of my undergrad career, but it’s just the beginning of years of designing and maybe  some day I’ll have a runway show of my own!

So this week (before judgment day) was nothing short of epic.  It’s similar to what we experience every year with the week our term garments are due, but this was more… this had a goal in mind and thus even more motivation for a couple of sleepless nights.  This is sort of what my Monday and Tuesday looked like…

dsc_0053

Then Tuesday night blended seamlessly into Wednesday morning and that looked a little like this:

At 6:40 am my friend, Dani B, met me at my apartment and we called a cab, then we made a pit stop to pick up our friend Teresa, then over the Brooklyn Bridge we went.  Our little knit lab/cellar/cave/dungeon has never been so hectic.  We started dressing our forms around 7:15 and around 8 am, our critic arrived.  I don’t think this was required of her at all, but she brought with her tonnes of accessories and shoes that she had bought the night before with our garments in mind – super sweet and wayyy appreciated.  The class looked amazing (as did the other knitwear class!).  Honestly, to be one of those judges must have been extremely challenging, I sure wouldn’t know how to narrow it down!  Every single piece was Fashion Show worthy if you ask me!! Here’s what mine looked like:  (FYI, my Flickr is not letting me sign in so I will link these pics to my better-quality ones as soon as it’s working again.  PLUS i will include photos of the designers and garments of the whole knitwear specialization so CHECK BACK!)

me and my fashions.

me and my fashions.

i thought the last one might be a little distracting (with my booty and all), so this is what the judges actually saw.

i thought the last one might be a little distracting (with my booty and all), so this is what the judges actually saw.

necklace i made by hand.

necklace i made by hand.

closeup of necklace.

closeup of necklace.

body suit closeup with button-out leather and vinyl collar (you can wear one, both or none!).

body suit closeup with button-out leather and vinyl collar (you can wear one, both or none! i wore both to da clubz last night).

miss stitch skirt with chains closeup.

miss stitch skirt with chains closeup.

And here’s everyone in my class!

At 9 am, the Fashion Show judges and the Cotton Inc judges arrived and we aptly left the building to bask in the sun and breathe for the first time in over a month.  It sure was a strange feeling.  Half an hour goes by and we head back to the dungeon, undress our mannequins, return them back to their respective classrooms, and stuff our months of hard work back into our lockers.  Then we do what any Fashion Design student would do in celebration – we head to Dallas BBQ for margaritas and fried chicken where I promptly fall asleep at the table (this is not a joke, according to the rest of the girls, it was for a solid 8 minutes).

All-in-all, it was an incredible experience and there’s a tonne that I’m able to take away from it all.  I don’t even think I’m done with my collection, actually.   Though technically I’m done the work in that class, I think I’ll make a third look to sort of sum it all up.  Plus I’m in touch with an awesome photo student from school, B. Charles Johnson, who’s going to shoot my looks and previous work as well.  I think we could make something SUPER rad.

Also, as a side note… when I got back to my internship (from the Garment District) on Friday, after I had told them I hadn’t made the show, I asked if they wanted to see my garments.  They all crowded around and the number of “oohs” and “aahs” and gasps I heard really gave me the ego boost I needed.  They were so shocked that I had made all of the fabrics and everyone  picked their favourite pieces.  It was such a great feeling!

can’t afford to be just one in a flock.

BIG UPDATE.

So this week has been an especially crazy one, I must say.  On Monday, knowing that our final critic meeting was on the coming Wednesday, I asked my internship if I could leave a few hours early and tack those hours onto Friday instead.  (I intern at Opening Ceremony, btw since for whatever reason I haven’t mentioned that before?  It’s totally awesome, though, and I wish I could own absolutely everything in their SS10 collection!)  I went to midtown, picked up some last minute supplies (organza in the burgundy colour of my top to use as trim and some thread for my orange leather).  I went home and basically worked all night on finishing up what I could.  On Tuesday I mostly spent my time working on Cotton Inc though I really didn’t have much to show for it on Wednesday.

Wednesday was our critic critique and it was a little rough, I have to say.   The following is a video of the beginning and end my my critique (there’s a large middle section missing).

So needless to say, I was not left feeling extremely excited after my review.  There were a lot of things that Jean said that I thought were truly valid and insightful, but she also made some comments that I didn’t entirely agree with.  Now I know that this is not unusual and of course I did not expect for her to love everything, but I found it difficult to debate my point of view; firstly because I was running on very little sleep, but I also I thought it unnecessary because in the end, I truly am free to make my own decisions so I might as well not cause a fuss out of it.

Things to point out:

1.   I do agree that something is wrong with the shapes.  I personally think that the proportions work, with the high waisted pant and the cropped jacket and top (I’m fully aware that this look is not for everyone!) but perhaps the under top is missing something.  Maybe that it’s just that the cut isn’t doing much for it?  But I wonder if my chunky/statement necklace will fix that?

2. One frustrating portion of the critique was how Jean mentioned that the top seemed too short and that a longer under piece might have made more sense proportionally.  In my initial design, this was longer but I was advised to shorten it.  Ha… go figure.

3.  I also was a little confused because I thought that making a statement or standing out was important because this garment was for a Fashion Show.  I took this to heart and decided to use vinyl in my garment to play off of the lighting of the runway.  Also, by my use of colour, which is my “thing” (I’ve always said that rainbow is my favourite colour!) and I honestly didn’t think I was even doing anything outrageous in my colour story.  Yes, unusual, but not CRAZY.  When I had already determined my colour story and designs, amongst others I saw both Balenciaga and Marni Fall 2010 shows and I became pretty confident in my colour choices.  I understand that not everyone will wear those colours together, but I am not designing for everyone.

4.  Lastly, I certainly understand what she is saying about working for someone else.  Not everyone will understand my vision, and not everything is going to sell, so sometimes I will need to conform or redesign.  However, the way I see my career at FIT is that this is my chance to really explore who I am as a designer, because I’m not designing for any other mold.  This is my time to get to the raw of who I am as an artist — I’ll have plenty of time to follow molds for the rest of my life!  No, I won’t necessarily get into the show, but as my mom told me in an inspirational voice mail that I received while I was in my next class, how would I feel if I conformed to my critic’s or professor’s opinions, when I didn’t agree with them, and I didn’t get into the show anyhow?  I’d be left without a garment my soul was in, and I wouldn’t be in the show.  And she’s right!  I’d rather not get into the show but at least know that what I created, was something I’m super proud of!  Thanks, momma!  Sidenote, I also take my parents opinions especially strongly as together they own a chain of clothing stores, where 50% of the merchandise is in-house designed and produced mostly locally (it’s called, Plum, and it’s just on the west coast of Canada) – so they too are informed critics!

Overall, the experience with Jean was extremely valuable.  I’m sure I will come across many more “tough critics” in the future of my career, and this was a great trial run.  Thankfully, Jean expressed that she was impressed with my conviction and articulation of my ideas which I think was a great compliment because it was important to me to portray the confidence that I had in my design.

Back to the garments… here’s my current progress on Cotton Inc!

crazy pointelle graph - knitting a sample of it on the Brother machine.  every pointelle hole has been hand transferred!

crazy pointelle graph - knitting a sample of it on the Brother machine. every pointelle hole has been hand transferred!

very preliminery stages of bodysuit (that red is just waste yarn and will be removed).

very preliminery stages of bodysuit (that red is just waste yarn and will be removed).

pointelle on bodysuit close-up.

pointelle on bodysuit close-up.

Cotton Inc. bodysuit with Look 1's jacket.

Cotton Inc. bodysuit with Look 1's jacket.

if you want to destroy my sweater, pull this thread as i walk a-wayyy.

9 am knitting lab.

9 am knitting lab.

I’ve never been so relieved for a week to end.  Did I mention that this week was Spring Break?

Honestly though, I think I need a week long break, from Spring Break.

I spent the whole entire week at school, except for Friday which I spent at my internship (the knitlab was closed anyhow).  The above photo is from Thursday morning… a little after 9am.  This was the first morning of the week that I got there right at 9 only to find out (through various responses to frantic text messages) that the lab was actually opening at 10 am this fine morning.  Fancy that!  I had plenty of handwork to get done, luckily, and an extra hour of sleep would simply be a luxury at this point.  Regardless, I managed to accomplish a hell of a lot this week… here’s a glance at some of my seams and finishing… (click the image to see a better quality view on my Flickr, then click “all sizes”).


tubular finishing on lapels.

tubular finishing on lapels.

back panel.

back panel.

sleeve.

sleeve.

Cotton Inc. swatch.

Cotton Inc. swatch.

(This is a bit of a humorous one as this is pretty much as far as I’ve gotten with my Cotton Inc. garment which is to be displayed on the dress form on Wednesday as well.  HA, is what I say).

Below is a video of where I was with my garment on Thursday afternoon.  Since then, I’ve completed almost all of my seams.  I still have to hand sew-in the hem and sew in the vinyl.  But the end is certainly in sight!!

And this is my dear friend Danielle B, showing us how we use the linking machine to sew together seams.  Most people choose to do this step by hand because the linker is in high demand.

*ALSO: check out my personal blog which is more of an outlet for all things that inspire me slash strike my fancy (art/music/clothing/movies and the odd post about some of my own work and photos of my own personal fashions):  www.dani-d.com

Spring Break 2010 All Inclusive… Tech Pack.

Here we are… Spring Break 2010.  Visions of Puerto Rico, all-inclusive resorts, teeny-weeny bikinis, Mojitos on the beach, potential “friends” surfing the waves, hot sun, sand between your toes and —

…Wait.

WHAT?!

What I mean is visions of 7:30 am alarms, sopping wet commutes to school, underground dungeon retreats, rainbows of potential yarns, knitting machines galore, stray yarn stuck to your jeans, teeny-weeny transfer needles, and CRAP there’s a run in my knitting what the frick do I do?!  CAN I FIX IT?! ERRRG that only took me an HOUR TO DO.  WHERE IS MY COCKTAIL — I MEAN CROCHET HOOK?!

*SIGH* Goodbye natural light, bon voyage early spring, farewell polluted New York air.   Bonjour spring break, greetings basement dungeon, and HELLO to a week of knitting.


“i just find it hard to believe that you’re spending all this time knitting”

The above quote was said to my friend by her suspicious boyfriend.  It’s extremely humorous to me because one should find it hard to believe, because one shouldn’t be spending so much time knitting.  It’s simply not natural.

Currently I am starting to knit my first look’s motorcycle jacket.  It’s Jade Green, and has sewn-in clear vinyl inserts.  Hard to wrap your head around that, but you’ll see!  So the 15 pieces of my jacket are knit in an all-needle technique (which means it’s knit on both beds… which means it’s a double knit… which means it’s not Jersey.  Sorry, just trying to avoid confusing knitwear jargon!), called a Milano Stitch.  I’ve decided to make each piece fully-fashioned (not cut-and-sew).  Initially, I was informed that while this would be time-consuming and would require a lot of patience, it was possible.  Yesterday I was informed that this was not the case. After I had already done allll of my knitting plans.  Wahoo!  I was told that I should just cut-and-sew the whole thing but I refused, knowing that it would not look nearly as beautiful as if I fashioned each piece to be the exact right size (ew! Merrowed/serged edges!).  With a lot of thought and planning with Professor Ames (hey, Ames!  Thanks for reading the blog!), I realized that I simply had to look at each piece alone and conquer each edge depending on it’s own needs (let’s personify our garments from now on), even if it meant knitting some pieces from bottom to top.  Success!  I’ve done a few practice runs, and only had to make minor adjustments!

knit down is longer than pattern = disappointment.

knit down is longer than pattern = disappointment.

knitdown is longer than pattern = disappointment pt II.

knitdown is longer than pattern = disappointment pt II.

First and second practice knit downs – this is the type of yarn I am using but not the right colour as I want to save as much yarn as I can so that I don’t run out!

pattern piece = knitted piece = sigh of relief.

pattern piece = knitted piece = sigh of relief.

perfect knit!

perfect knit!

knitting plan for side-panel.

knitting plan for side-panel.

Here’s an example of one-of-eight different knitting plans/graphs that I’ve created and will have to follow!

knitting graph close-up.

knitting graph close-up.

tubular finished edge.

tubular finished edge.

This is one technique I’ve decided to use in response to not being able to shape the piece.  I will have to cut and sew this edge and then bind it with a self-tubular.

possible bodysuit fabric.

possible bodysuit fabric.

This was my first mock-up of my Cotton Inc. garment.  The fabric would be for a body suit with the bottom being 100% Cotton and the top being 50% Cotton and 50% Angora.  My professor suggested that I not use the angora but opt for a wool of some sort because the angora is so clearly not cotton because of it’s furriness.

Cotton Inc. skirt fabric.

Cotton Inc. skirt fabric.

This yarn I am for certain using for my skirt portion of the Cotton Inc. garment, but the stitch still needs to be tweaked a bit.

*Apologies if my bedspread causes any sort of confusion!