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.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Public Opinion Part 1: Most Popular

As a part of my design development process, I shared the 60+ rough sketches I have been working on the past month or so with some family and friends ... 5 people in total. I should get more opinion, but I need to move on. So this is a review of which designs people liked.

My purpose for doing this exercise is to step out of my own design bubble and listen to what other people have to say. Since I can get kinda sensitive when people criticize my designs, even if they something like, "Oh I love the skirt, but I don't really like the collar/sleeve/whatever", I asked them to just make a mark next to the designs they like or have a good first impression without saying a single word to me.

I welcome any votes you may want to cast. Just leave in the comments area something like, "I vote for design 2 and 10."

In this post, there are the two designs that all five people liked. Over the next few days I'll add the rest of the designs for a total of 13 designs.

Design 1
I was quit surprised at the popularity of this design because it is so simple. The idea is to have some really knock out trim that looks like a necklace holding the dress up.

Design 2
This design is cute. It seems like people really like the ruching and the gathers. You'll see more of that design detail in the next post where I'll showcase the designs with 4 votes.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Weekend at Newport, RI

For our 3rd year wedding anniversary, my DH planned a lovely weekend at Newport, RI. What was special about this trip was that we were able to share it with our two girls, Daisy and Lulu. It's the first vacation we've taken with the girls. It was so much fun.

When we got there and took a good deep breath of the sea air, the first thing my DH said was, "maybe we can stay here an extra day."

Everything about the town was so relaxing. The staff at the Hyatt was super friendly. We watched the white sail boats cut through the blue water and sky.

The view from our hotel room.

Our girls are crazy about tennis balls, so naturally when we played tennis, the girls went crazy, running around picking up tennis balls.

So while in Newport, of course we have to sample the local seafood. For dinner we went to The Landing upon the recommendation of our hotel concierge. We had fabulous steamers, lobster, and fillet mignon.

For lunch we went to The Cook House. This time we brought our girls with us 'cause they have a cute little sidewalk cafe. The food was also great. The best was definitely the steamed local mussels we had in garlic and butter.

Daisy, not wanting to drink from the dog bar at The Cook House.

The second day, we walked the Cliff Walk that follows along the ocean side with the Newport Mansions on one side. Although the temperature was in the 70's, the cool ocean breeze made it very comfortable. Our girls were so tired that my DH had to carry one of them towards the end of the walk.

Lulu enjoying a break from walking the Cliff Walk. That's my DH's hand in the upper left hand corner

Gen Art Emerging Designer Sale

On Tuesday, New York's young and fashionable gathered at the Puck Building for the Gen Art Emerging Designer Sale.

Even though I got there early, I still had to wait in line to get in. What is it about NYC and lines? I saw a sign that said that I can skip the line if I waved my NY:INC American Express Card. Can't believe I just cancelled that useless card 3 weeks ago!

When I got in, the list lady couldn't find my name on the list ... but she stamped me anyways. So off I went, shopping.

First I tried on these really cute shoes, but couldn't find one in my size. Next I wondered over to a handbag place and set my sights on this large, roomy, leather bag with gold studs. I don't know what I was thinking, after all, I was at a sale where all the items were below wholesale prices.

I put the bag down to check out the rest of the selection, and before I knew it, someone else picked it up and started fondling it. I kept following her around, telling myself that she was just looking, there's no way she was going to buy MY bag. Well, I think you can guess how that story ends ... that girl bought my bag!

Dejected, I went to get a free bottle of water, and thought about drinking a couple of Bailey cocktails. Since I was shopping by myself, I felt kinda silly drinking by myself. So I went on to visit my friend Grace Sun who was showing there.

I had previously went to her private sales, but didn't buy much because everything was in sample size so I couldn't try anything on. This time however, I was able to try things on and ended buying a dress and a blouse. I wish I could have bought more, but I don't think she had her full collection there.

I also bought a whole bunch of french lace lingerie from a designer named CLO. My DH really liked them :)

All in all, a great shopping experience, can't wait for next year's!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Who do I hang with?

My friend Aphrodite had these $25 off $100 purchase coupons for Bloomingdale's. So I joined her on her little shopping's spree. I just can't pass up a good deal.

I must say we did very well. We ran around the store finding things we liked that matched up to the $100 total so we can maximize the discount. It helps that Aphrodite is a super mathematician, I would have given up a long time ago.

I did have an opportunity to shop the store before while waiting for her to show up. First I circled around the dress department. This is where they have all the cocktail/evening dresses with labels like Vera Wang, Badgely Mischka, Tadashi, BCBG, Nicole Miller, Carmen Marc Valvo, etc.

Bloomies was having a great sale, so there were a lot of items for around $100 after discounts and coupons. But the retail prices of the section were around $200 to $500 for cocktail dress and $400 to $1000+ for long evening gowns.

I noticed that while some dresses were cute, overall I did not find them stylish or fashion forward. I was quit disappointed because I have respect for all of the above mentioned designers.

Then I went to the designer collection floor. Each designer had their own section whether it was a section of a wall with names Stella McCartney, Alberta Ferretti, Petere Som, etc. or a separate "boutique" like Chanel, Armani, etc.

I concentrated more on the dresses from each label. I found them to be inspirational, fashionable, and very well constructed. All were made with high quality fabrics with superior finishings and foundation construction. I was quite impressed until I saw the prices. Nothing was below $2,000, even for the simplest shift dress.

So this whole time I was having an identify crisis. I kept asking myself, "who do I hang with?" and could not come up with an answer.

Even by the time I left I couldn't come up with an answer. I didn't want to hang with the dress department, 'cause I felt that the quality and style were sub par. I didn't want to hang with the designers, 'cause I was afraid it would be too expensive for my target customers.

Then I read a blog entry on ....
and I figured it out ... I just don't hang in Bloomingdale's.

Monday, June 4, 2007

To Perm or Not To Perm?

So remember how I said I was thinking of perming my hair after reading through the Japanese magazine, Vivi? Well, after I wrote the entry, I kinda got that thought out of my system. Then, my DS called and said that she's been thinking of getting a perm also. So we agreed that she'll drive up to the city on 4th of July and we'll both get our hair permed together.

This is a picture of I want to happen.

I know my hair dresser is going to tell me that look is done with a curling iron, but I figure if I can get some sort of large, loose curls put in, it'll have the same effect, no?

Maybe my good friend CC, the ex-hair dresser can weigh in on this debate?