Thursday, October 11, 2007

Need More Brain Power

Have you ever had so many things going on in your life that you feel like you've just ran out of brain power? You know, kinda like when your computer's RAM is max out and can no longer process new data.

That's where I am right now. It's different than stress 'cause I like all the projects I am working on now. It just involves a lot of thinking, planning and remembering.

Anyway, here's a pic of my computer screen while working on my design flats.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lulu Packed and Ready to Go!

Right now I am living out of cardboard boxes. We are in between apartments and will be for the next 3-4 months.

The one month "buffer" I built into my schedule has already been used up. Of course I hadn't planned on moving, selling, buying and renovating a new apartment.

My designs are done now, I am almost finished with the flats. Now I have to go look for a pattern maker ... actually, I need to revisit my fabric vendor, 'cause I wanna get heavier fabrics for fall.

Thank goodness for DVR! I am not going to have any time to watch any of the new shows!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why am I Moving !?!

I say this to myself every time I move. It always seems like a good idea at the time, until the actual move is happening.

So much time is spent on the phone with all the utilities companies, the moving companies, the supers in both buildings to reserve the elevator, etc.

This is all after all the time I spent running around looking at rental apartments. Sometimes I think it's good that I have my own business so I can do all this stuff during "business" hours ... gotta set up that day-long appointment with Time Warner to hook up cable. And I can do that without using up a "vacation day".
On the other hand, I am so distracted with all this "stuff" that I haven't done much this month. So of course now I am falling behind schedule. Luckily I had built in a month buffer so I am still okay. But I think after I finish moving I should rewrite my schedule (maybe while I am waiting for the cable guy) so I'll be back on track.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Working the Cowl

Just trying out different cowl necklines with different fabrics.

This is Silk Crepe de Chine.Double Silk Georgette
Silk Crepe de Chine again, draped on the back.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Working the Style Lines

As part of the design process, I like to drape all sketches. I find that I work better on the form. It also gives me an opportunity to think about the construction of garment, which works better on a 3D medium.

Here's is the finished style lines for one of the designs. This design varied a lot from the sketch, but that happens.
I also started to do the pattern for this design, but I found it to be too time consuming so I am going to have to hire a pattern maker.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

One Month Hiatus

It's crazy to think that almost a month has already gone by since I last posted. I'll try to catch you up on everything that's been going on the last month. Unfortunately since I am moving out of my apartment at the end of this month, I am not going to have that much time to post.

Here's a little peek into what I've been sketching lately.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Speaking of Shopping

I've been shopping a lot lately, must be all of the end of summer sales. But one sale I am really looking forward to is the Prada Sample Sale.

I've been once before and I found a really cute pair of shoes, a belt, and a skirt or two. That was a while back, now they have this whole system of reserving a spot, etc. Which is way better than waiting in line for an hour.

My appointment is for next Wed. at 3pm. My partner in crime, Aphrodite, is going to go with me. Luckily she was able to squeeze this shopping trip in right before she flies off to France for 3 weeks.

Shop 'Til I Dropped

Every once in a while, the stars align and a couple of my good friends don't need to go in to work in the middle of the week. So of course we get together for a day of lunch and shopping.

We had lunch at Alice's Tea Cup. You can't get any girlier than that. It is such a great place to go with your girlfriends. After a long lunch where we ate small bits of tea sandwiches (okay, I had big bites of steak salad) and sipping cups of rose tea, we were ready to go shopping.

Time flew by so fast. We were only able to visit a couple of shops within the 2-3 block radius.

Believe it or not, I went to all new stores. I bought some great finds from Searle, pookie & sebastian, and Lingerie on Lexington. I am not sure why I've never been to these stores, maybe they are more popular with the upper eastsiders.

At Searle, they were having a trunk show, so we helped ourselves to complimentary glasses of wine. After a glass, I had to get out of store, before I moved from the sales rack to their new fall merchandise.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another Colorboard

Yes, I have another colorboard. This one is based off the most recent mood board.

According to my schedule, I should be designing right now. I looked over the sketches I have for S/S '08 and I didn't like any of it. At least not enough to bring over to A/W '08-'09. Is it totally normal to just not like your designs after a while?

I thought I can at least bring forward a couple of designs so I wouldn't have to drape everything over, but I really want to produce a design I truly love.

So I am going to start another intense session of sketching and designing. And maybe this time I won't drape everything, just the ones that are hard to describe on paper. We'll see ....

Friday, August 10, 2007

Mood Board A/W 08-09

When I was working on S/S 08, I didn't have a mood board, 'cause I was just rushing through the process. Now that I have given myself more time, this is my mood board for A/W 08-09.

I can see how a mood board can be beneficial in the design process. It is an inspiration and an anchor.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Lost Roman Holiday

I was just catching up on all my WWD reading and ran into an article about an Pompeii Exhibit showing in Dallas.

This reminded me of the time when I went to Pompeii with my DH. We had such a great time. Walking through the ashes of old Pompeii was surreal.

I would like to explore this inspiration at another date, not for the season I am working on now, but I guess I'll just file it away and maybe it'll work for another season.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Radom Find on Google Images

So in my search for inspirational images, I found these series of hand-painted photographs by fine arts photographer, Wendi Schneider.

This was the first image that caught my attention. I found it because in the description it says the model is laying on vintage 1940's textile.

Since I like the photo so much, I started looking through the rest of the series and I found that a lot of images where exactly what I was seeing in my head. The poses, the colors, etc.

It's 1947

My first deadline has come and gone. I didn't get a chance to do ANY work this weekend. I am still working on my story/mood board. Now I am exploring the whole 40's feel.

The vintage Vogue covers I found before were all too 1920's, too flapper. I am leaning towards a slimmer silhouette with a tiny, tiny waist. I guess it's a back lash against all the "pregnancy" dresses.

Here are some more images for my mood board.

This is my favorite image. The whole mood is very mysterious, dark, and sexy. The only thing I don't like is the yellow plaid.
Is it just me or is she wearing black ankle socks? I think I am going to have crop this picture 'cause I can't stop staring at her socks!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Vintage Vogue Covers

Another inspiration I want to explore is vintage Vogue covers, especially during the 1920's. I wanted to go to the FIT library where they have all the vogue magazines, but was sad to find out that the library will be closed until the end of this month.

Luckily for google, I found a whole bunch of sites that had pics of vintage Vogue covers. Here are some that I like.

This last one is very spring so if I don't use this inspiration, I can save it for next season.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Black Dahila

So according to my schedule I have to be finished with my storyboard and color board by next Monday. That give me 3 "business" days and 2 weekend days to do this. I actually already tried to talk myself into giving myself a couple more days and "rework" the schedule. That conversation only lasted 30 seconds before I reminded myself that was how I got into trouble before.

To start with I want to explore a story that I was exploring before ... the story and the movie "The Black Dahlia". To me the movie told a story of sadness, murder, mystery with a undertone of twisted sexual desires. Sounds like a good collection? :) I would love to hear any thoughts you may have on this story and/or other stories.

Here are some arresting imageries from the movie .....

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Moving on to the next season ....

So as I mentioned yesterday, due to sever procrastination I am blaming on the beautiful summer days, I am pushing back my debut collection to Fall/Winter '08. To make myself feel better, I referred back to Kathleen Fasanella's book The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing, where I remember her saying that Fall season is the best launch time.

This is on page 43 under "Determine Market Entry" ....
"Fall is the easy favorite ....", "It is the number one selling season by a wide margin." "... Fall Market is the best choice of a start-up."

The only reason I didn't adhere to her advice before was because I was too impatient to launch my collection.

So now I have a definitive launch date .... January 1, 2008. And a definitive development schedule with hard deadlines.

Below is the schedule I adopted from Fasanella's book. I've broken up the steps a lot more and of course instead of 16 weeks, I've given myself 23 weeks.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Vegas Baby!

Okay, okay, so I've been back from my Vegas trip for a week already. Sorry these pics are so late.

This is Daisy wanting to go on the trip with us.

I think every tourist who has ever gone to Vegas has a picture of this shot.

This is the sculpture I was staring at the full 4 hours we were playing Pai Gaw at MGM Grand.

I was really trying to finish all my draping so I can get samples made. So as I was rushing through the whole process, I realized that I had really procrastinated too much and now I am at the point where I have to decided whether to just punch out a small collection or to push back a season and really do it right.

Of course I chose the latter. So now my debut collection is going to be Fall/Winter '08. I am going to try to use as much as I can from all my work on S/S '08. Even as I am starting now for F/W '08, I still don't have that much time. First step is to work out a time line, print it out and stick to it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Designing Shapes

I've been really busy finishing up on my designs. I really should be done with my first samples at this point so I am about 3 weeks behind on my schedule. And I am off to Vegas for a long weekend. Alas, I always work better when under pressure.

This is my first attempt at cutting out the organic shape of the neckline. I felt the shape was too small ....

This is my second attempt. I felt the shape was a little bit too odd, if that makes any sense.

I reworked the shaped a couple of other times. This is the progression of the development.

I decided on the last one, but kept all the other shapes taped to my worksheet in case I want to change my mind.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I got my camera in the mail a couple of days ago. Love the camera! I've been taking so many random pictures.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I Work Where I Eat

After living in NYC for over 10 years, I've become quit used to living in small spaces. And while my current apartment isn't small by NYC standards, when I am working, I do wish I had a large loft with a large working table and all the room to run around in.

Here's a picture (that I took a while back ... still waiting for my camera) of my working space.

It's not too bad, except I feel like I have to clean up after each work session because it is also my living space. I can't just close a door and forget about all the fabric scrapes on the floors, loose thread lying around, and all the various tools of the trade I've collected over the past year or so.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

First Attempt at Draping

I spent all of yesterday draping first muslin of one of my designs. It took me quit a long time, 'cause I am a bit out of practice. Sorry, my camera died so I won't be taking pictures for a week or so.

My Casio has served me well for 6-7 years. It has taken many pictures of weddings, babies, vacations and birthdays.

After much research and discussion with my DS, I purchased the Canon SD900 camera. I had a hard time deciding between the SD900 and SD850 IS, but when I found a SD900 COACH edition, I just had to have it.

Now I am impatiently waiting for delivery from Amazon. I was too cheap to pay for the faster shipping. Now, I don't think it'll get here before my Vegas vacation starting the 19th .... grrrr.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Fabrics and Colors

This is my color board for S/S '08. The story is "Lost Innocence". I didn't create a story board, even though it's one of the more fun things I like to do. I have just been concentrating on finalizing the designs. Thanks to everyone that commented either online or in person.

This is just the fabrication board from the textile supplier that I will be using. I've marked off the self fabrics I'll be using with the green tags, actually one of them is for lining, so I'll actually be just working with two different fabrications for self fabrics. The pink tags are the possible trim fabrics, those I haven't finalized.

My deadline is to get all the first samples done by the end of this month.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Public Opinion Part 3: Underdog

So these are the designs that didn't get that many votes, but I like them so they are being considered to be in the final collection.

Design 9
This actually got three votes, but was my favorite out of all the other designs that got three votes. All that rounded things on the neckline are embroidered applique chained together to create a neckline. Depending on the embroidery, it can be subdued or sparkly.

Design 10
This design didn't get any votes. I am not sure why. The bodice is a collage of different fabrics to create a graphic story. I am going to move this design forward and do a color rendering with fabric swatches, maybe people will like it better.

Design 11
This design got one vote, so at least one person likes it. I think the lack of votes has more to do with the drawing than the actual design. The back is suppose to be drapey with the lining showing. I am probably going to keep this design, but shorten the skirt.

So that's it, those are the contenders.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Public Opinion Part 2: Most Likely to Succeed

This group of designs each had 4 votes.

Design 3
This one is definitely in. I like the back detail. What you may not be able to see is that there are cords accenting the back opening. The front sketch is off. It's a bit more fitted than it is possible with a back like that. This one I'll need to drape to get a real look at the silhouette.

Design 4
Like I said before, people seemed to really like the rouching and gathering. I am undecided about this one. It doesn't seem to fit in with design 3 which I really like and it is a bit more ... how should I say this ... 80's prom dress? If I really need to I can see if I can tone it down, maybe get ride of the gathers at that skirt waist line.

Design 5
This is cute. A little Banana Republic. And a bit more fall/winter. Maybe I'll save this for the following season.

Design 6
I love this one ... I wonder who didn't vote for this one! J/K! I may take this and do a little bit more design development to see if I can evolve this into 2 additional designs.

Design 7
This design kinda goes with design 5. I think I'll just save these suckers for next season.

Design 8
This is very formal ... I think too formal for the group. I do like the bow detail, although I think right now, I would change it from a "stiff" bow to a "loose" bow. And maybe if I shorten it, it wouldn't be so formal.