ok so it's not THAT bad...

my CAD class was a disaster.  the software (kaledo) is the least intuitive program EVER, the teacher had her busiest semester in life, and the school computers couldn't handle the complicated software so it constantly shut down.  thus, my creative endeavors were thwarted and i learned very little.  luckily, i could use my trusty photoshop/illustrator combo to complete the final project with a little help from my flats rendered from tech drawing.  [borrowing for the sake of time is ALWAYS ok when its from your own portfolio, right?]  as mentioned back in february when i assembled the mood board, this is an intimates collection for anthropologie, drawing inspiration from beach/storms/miu miu.  our CAD class was geared toward textile/print design, so all prints and plaids designed/altered by moi.


and here's my excuse for absence....

finals at a prestigious fashion school are not the typical 1 week whirlwind of deadlines.  finals are a month long event that consume all hours of the student's life, breeding a hoard of blistered-finger, unshowered, sleep-deprived hermits.  the upside? there are things to show for it besides exam grades. (click to enlarge!)

my construction 2 final was based on the Egon Schiele collection posted previously.  techniques/features included? twist, shirring, elastic waist/legs, hidden pockets, invisible zipper, bias lining.  whew!!--much more exhausting that it appears.  unfortunately, i lost my back view, but basically it looks the same, just add back-bodice darts, and tie the ends of the twist in a small bow/knot.  fabric: silk/cotton voile.

fashion drawing 2 final consisted of two mini-collections.  one commercial, and one more avant-garde.  these drawings make more sense with the swatches included, but my teacher still has them for grading purposes.  i re-drew these MULTIPLE times, but my over-achiever, people-pleasing self could not stop until my favorite teacher was happy.  he wanted me to challenge myself by loosening up my line quality, so this is 'messier' than my usual work.  i can dig it, but it will take some practice.  oh--and my teacher STILL said i have a long way to go (notice the awkward far-right figure in both collections--haha!).... too bad class is over.

tech drawing final had to be a small collection using more complicated flat drawings, patterns, and various color fills.  i misunderstood the due date and did 90% of this in one night---the first of many sleepless nights this past 10 days.  my collection is another spin off of the Egon Schiele inspiration, but presented as pajamas/loungewear/lingerie.

i still have one more to go, but i'm not particularly excited about it, so it will not be shared. :) and my other two were a fashion history exam and a paper on sustainability applied to the magazine industry.  maybe i'll post the 10 page paper, but i doubt anyone has the attention span to read it.

and now time for some well-overdue sleep. goodnight, loves!


egon, meinen lieb!

translation: i heart egon schiele.

self portraits by schiele

i've been swamped, again.  (so goes fashion school finals), but here's a brief on one of my favorite expressionist painters and a quick flashback to when i was a fine arts student... ah the good ol' days of oil painting, screen printing, and live figure drawing.

i am enrolled in a fashion history class that fuses art with fashion.  PERFECT for me! and our final project? a presentation/paper on an inspiring artist with a mini-collection that fuses MY design with the ARTIST'S essence.  first thing i've been legitimately happy with since fall semester finals:


A pioneer of the Expressionist painters, Egon Schiele created grotesquely beautiful renditions of the figure.  His stroke was both heavy and fluid, contrasting the realistic renderings of art prior.  Curving around the shapes of the body, the line ceased to delicately depict a subject, rather becoming at least as important as the figure itself.  Scheile’s understanding of the human figure allowed him to manipulate the traditional portrait into the ultimate expression of humanity.
Born in Tulln on the Danube, Austria, in 1890, Schiele was a child prodigy who sought the teaching of Gustav Klimt and attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.  Drawing inspiration from Art Nouveau and the Impressionism, Schiele produced twisted figures with underlying themes of existentialism, death, and sexuality.  The images were disturbing as the poses were foreshortened and unnatural.  The figures were frail, suffering from the hardships of the first World War.  He gained notoriety for his expressive style, dominant artistic talent, but also his pornographic imagery and underage models.  His erotic female nudes and barely-clothed figures depicted his wife, lovers, and coming-of-age girls summoned to his studio.  For this, he received much criticism, opposition, and even an arrest with almost a month in jail. 
Despite the controversy, Schiele managed to make a positive impression on early twentieth century art.  In his short life of twenty-eight years, Schiele produced over 3,000 pieces of stunning expression.  He and his wife both succumbed to the Spanish Influenza in 1918, making his large body of innovative work even more impressive.  With so much emotion sealed into such a young body, his heavy themes may have been too much to have sustained beyond his prime.
My own work has largely been figurative since I picked up a pencil, but my hand has always been delicate, precise, and noticeably feminine.  Through art school I was challenged by my professors, peers, and myself to make something “ugly”.  This deemed a near impossible feat, so I compromised with a contrast of “ugly” subject matter depicted in a soft and “pretty” style.  With this approach, I find Schiele to be a perfect source of inspiration.  I have taken his grotesque and provocative and interpreted it as lovely and delicate without losing his essence.  Many of his figures are shown in lingerie, so I also pulled elements of turn-of-the-century undergarments into my details and silhouettes.  The raw expressive line would be created by wires inserted in the seams of the garments, and the sheer organdies and organzas would reveal not only the construction of the garment, but also the frail figure underneath.  Asymmetry and heavy draping suggest undressing.  Though inspired by such a tragic artist, my garments should make the wearer feel beautiful and sensual rather than tasteless and destitute. 

mood board

my mini-collection

so there ya have it.  dark and twisted becomes my delicate fantasy.... i think i'm making the 2nd one from the left for my construction final! yay for having a summer romper just in time for school to get out!


give me SOMARTA!

on my way to the FIT bookstore for a [MUCH needed] patternmaking book yesterday, i detoured into the school's museum to check out their current exhibits: his & hers, vivienne westwood 1980-89, and japan fashion now.  i have little obsessions with pieces from each of the three exhibits, but something incredible attracted all of my attention for the last two days, even though i had seen the japanese display back in november.

japan fashion now showcased the pioneer japanese designers of the late 70's, 80's and early 90's [note: rei kawakubo and issey miyake].  after circling around the masters, i entered into a room of 20+ present japanese designers and lost all hope of catching my breath.  so much variety, ingenuity, and perfection in one room.  but SOMARTA was the epitome of them all.

founded in 2006 by designer Tamae Hirokawa, a former member of issey miyake's design team, SOMARTA is a highly conceptual fashion line.  It is a sub-brand of SOMA, hirokawa's art direction, graphic design, sound, and fashion.  

the images featured are from the S/S 2009 collection.  FIT displayed the first piece (first TWO images), entitled "the jellyfish ensemble" (or something like that).  look closely and you can see boning used to shape the skirt like a bubble + tentacles and trimming down the center reminiscent of fossilized fishbone. i love the idea of translucence, revealing the infrastructure of the garment to be just as beautiful as its exoskeleton.  she could seriously just float away.  i literally gawked at this piece for several minutes...and that HEADPIECE! primo.  but it doesn't stop there, so i picked out two other skeletal faves from the same season.  click the SOMARTA links in the last paragraphs to visit the official website and facebook page for further exploration of this innovative brand.

info: fashion japan: SOMARTA
images: zimbio.com


yeah, i'm thrifty!

i wrote my second article for cocokouture last week on a topic of my choice.
since i know MUCH more about bargain hunting than sliding my plastic on fifth ave, i chose to expose the art of thrifting--and i owe it all to my momma. :)

saturdays growing up in TN were spent with my mom, her sister, and a chattanooga thrift store called "the bargain mart" for as long as i can remember.  we scoured through hundreds of garments on the modest racks, cumulatively tried on at least 30% of the store, danced around each other in the small dressing rooms for glances in the mirror, and group-critiqued each piece until the perfect purchase was found.  we didn't always go home with something, but all three of our wardrobes are dominated by thrifted items.

i took everything my mom taught me about finding quality new additions in overlooked/unexpected places and turned it into a how-to article on cocokouture.  shopping in these stores is easy on the budget and you're guaranteed to find something no one else is wearing.  plus, it's uber green!! so go get educated: Making Someone Else's 'Old' Your 'New and Fabulous'!!!

image source:
cocokouture.com (collaged by me, but i still have to credit my employer for publishing)