24 February, 2009

Fashion Week

I found myself at the Josh Goot show this morning dressed in a fur and high heels. Yes, this lowly little student was lucky enough to attend a small part of London Fashion Week. And it was amazing.

Watching the attendees enter in their designer footwear would have been enough to make any girl swoon. People everywhere with lights, cameras, amazing clothes... being around the energy and style of fashion week was inspiring, even if I was only there for an hour. It just felt right to me. It felt a little out of my grasp, a little too fabulous for me. But I also felt like I was supposed to be there- it felt somehow natural.

Goot's collection was minimal but beautiful. I loved his asymmetrical color blocking and choice of black and nude as his main colors. His prints were colorful, and the fabric moved like liquid over the body. The wasitlines were a little high for my taste on many of his skirt/shirt combos, but his trousers, suits, and dresses were lovely. From where I was standing I could really get a good look at the construction of the garments, and the fabric treatments he used. That was the most fascinating thing, speaking as a fashion student.

He came out and waved to the audience rather sheepishly after the models' last walk, and on his way back, scanned the small crowd and smiled. I think he was pleased. I didn't know Goot's work before today, but he has made a fan out of me (even if it is a skinny girl collection).

So, I have to say that I had what could quite literally be called a FABULOUS MORNING. And on an egotistical note, I feel I must mention that to my surprise I was photographed quite lot this morning. First by a few small London based publications, and then by Vogue. So pick up the London Paper tomorrow morning, and check vogue.co.uk and you might see a certain American girl in London.

23 February, 2009

Shirt Project Results

It seems the powers that be saw fit to grant me a passing grade for my last project.

40 is a passing grade, and I received a 48. That grade was broken into the following categories: 60 for the actual garment. 40 for research. 45 for design development. 45 for illustrations.

Very few people did well in the research category. The tutor hated our research sketchbooks overall. So a 40 isn't so bad I suppose.

I think I should be happy, or proud of myself. But they waited too long to give us our grades, and I really had been hoping for a more... encouraging mark to help me get through the next couple of days as I finish this massive print project.

Ah well.
At least I didn't fail.
For once.

19 February, 2009

Fabric Experiments, Team Project

Today I successfully killed a few brain cells by melting clear PVC in layers to create fabric I can work with. I layered fake hair between the PVC and found a way to cause the plastic to ripple with the heat. My bedroom smells awful right now, though. (Or so I'm told, as I am still very sick and cannot smell a thing.)

OK, before you tell me it looks like pubic hair underwater, let me tell you that the photo isn't doing it justice. In person it's incredibly cool. It is both revolting and enticing when you touch it, which is exactly the look I'm going for....

My fabulous Hair Dress idea has been set aside for another time, and the project has changed into something even more ridiculous and amazing. I don't want to say anything in case it goes horribly wrong, but tomorrow's shopping list includes: heavy duty pliers, wire clippers, protective eye goggles, lab coat, and fake hair.

The project is going to be more modern art than fashion. My team mate and I are both big idea girls, and we tend to aim far too high for our own good. But if we can pull this off, it will be epic.


I realize I have been using this blog as a space for venting, instead of actual discussion of my experience as an American in London, at St Martins.

More design process, city updates, and cultural commentary coming soon, I promise.

Care Package

A package from SF was waiting for me when I arrived home this afternoon.

Care Package II from The Boy!

This one contained more delicious bacon chocolate, two comics I wanted to read, Ginger Chews (from Trader Joes, yum!), a San Francisco mini license plate, and a compass that will always tell me which SF neighborhood I'd be facing if I were there.

Best of all, he sent me a mix tape- not an actual tape because um, there is no cassette drive in my laptop... see, he sent a mini usb drive with an mp3 set list nestled into a cute little tape-shaped box! I can't wait to listen to it. I'm waiting for a moment when I can just relax and enjoy the music he carefully chose for me.

It makes my heart swell.

London Fashion Week

Guess who is skipping out of class for one day next week and attending.....LONDON FASHION WEEK? WOO! One of my friends happens to know one of the designers showing, and she gave us two passes to come see her show!

I've never been to a proper fashion show.

I have to look FABULOUS for the show... time to break out that fur coat.

18 February, 2009


The flat is empty.

Tumbleweeds are rolling down my windy hallway.

A lone banjo plays a few dramatic notes. (Actually, it's Gary Numan you're hearing, but let's just pretend shall we?)

I draw my... well, I'm trying to draw a new collection actually. Utterly lost in the feverish haze I've been stuck in the last two days. But I propped up on good strong drugs, and hoping that when my flatmates return they will come bearing Ben and Jerry's. Healthy? No. Tasty? Oh my yes.

When I leave my room, and Mr Numan's musical repertoire can no longer be heard, the only sound breaking the complete silence is my oh-so-sexy coughing and hacking. *snifl *kaffkaff *groan

I am considering making a dress out of hair. Not in a creepy way, so much as a Hedwig/fabulous way. But much bigger. And couture-ish. I am not sure if this is an unwise and incredibly difficult route to go down. So I might reconsider, given my time restraints. But how fabulous would it be to have a hairstyle that becomes your dress? I know a few drag queens back in SF who would give their left fake breast to have something like that. And if I made matching shoes... They'd have to cross their legs and stay seated for a while. (Oh and I am actually working a way to incorporate magnificent fake lashes into the dress too. Down boy. Down.)

Still no news on the marks for the Westwood-ish shirt. We are all very irritated about the two week wait. Nothing to calm a stressed student down like having no idea how they are doing on their work, eh?

Now, back to work. Will keep you posted on all fronts.

17 February, 2009

Aw shit...

Woke up very ill this morning.

I was worried this would happen...I pushed myself too hard and my body shut down.

Tried to go into school, had to turn around half way there because I felt weak and faint.

Went back to bed and slept for a few hours.

Trying to focus enough to do homework, as I am already very behind thanks to my You-Failed project, and this past waste-o-time weekend. But can't sit up for very long without feeling dizzy. Shit Shit Shit.

This is very bad timing, and I am very mad at myself.

15 February, 2009


Party at my flat last night- TOTAL DISASTER.

Well it was for me at least, as I spent the whole evening throwing up and sobbing into a towel for no real reason.

I've never been drunk enough to throw up or not remember things. And I didn't have too much to drink, either. I guess something just didn't agree with me.

After my VERY caring room mates sat with me and rubbed my back while I threw up the entire contents of my body (I swear, if I vomited up a lung or my spleen I wouldn't be surprised) they managed to put me to bed. I woke at 6am and thought I was at my boyfriend's house for some reason. I turned expecting him to be there to hold me and warm me up, and felt my heart sink into my stomach when I realized where I was.

Got up, had some tea, sat around in the messy party remains in the kitchen eating slices of cheese and toast until I got too cold and crawled into bed again. Walking back into my room, I could survey the damage: apparently my sink decided to start leaking in a serious way, the shelving in my shower decided to fall, and my room was a giant mess of my clothes which I had managed to take off piece by piece over night. Either my entire flat smells slightly of the acidic contents of my stomach, or my nose has been burned by the acid and it's all I can taste and smell.

Everything is a mess and I just want last night to have not happened. I am so embarrassed I don't want to face anyone today. Even though I am not hung over, the whole evening made me feel really vulnerable and lonely.

14 February, 2009


Every year Valentine's Day approaches and I think "psh, lame hallmark holiday that means nothing to me." And every year my boyfriend, always the romantic, sends me flowers even though I tell him not to.

Being that I am half way around the globe from him this year, the last thing I expected was a dozen red roses delivered to my flat this morning.

It made me blush. heehee :) I guess I should just admit that I love them, and that I smile every time I see them.

Now I just have to buy a vase.... ;)

11 February, 2009


A very quick update, as I am exhausted and busy:

I have the Congratulations-You-Failed-and-Now-Have-Twice-the-Work project half way done. It is due Friday morning. On top of that we have started our new project. Very stressed for time. However, it is a team project and I was paired up with one of my favorite people in the class. I feel very lucky. But first, I must magically finish this project for Friday. Eep!

No word on my grade for the shirt project yet. DYING to know what mark I earned.

My relationship with The Boy is undergoing some significant changes right now. And they are insightful, challenging, sad, happy, and confusing. More on that later.

I need a massage. All this stress, and hunching over my sewing makes me feel like I should be ringing the bells of Notre Dame or something. Like Spiderman said... "I hunch."

My flatmates have organized an "un-valentines" party for Saturday evening. Could be hilarious, could be fun. If nothing else, as the only person at the party who can hold their drink, it will be amusing watching my friends get drunk and play Twister in the kitchen.

And with that, I bid you good night. I hope to have the time to posts something more in depth in the next few days.

07 February, 2009

There is an I inTeam

There is a group of four or five of us that I think would make a very interesting design team someday.

Two of us are very artsy and innovative. Two of us are very organized. Two are very experimental in their design, and two prefer a style that is very structured and clean (I am the one that can kinda go in back and forth). Two have marketable styles, three have no interest in making it big. We all design very differently, but our designs compliment each others in unexpected ways. We all seem to boost one another when we work. We tend to work in the same room and call upon one another when we get stuck, or can't decide what to do.

We have a number of group projects coming up, and all of us have talked about collaborating at some point. I plan to work as a team when I become a real designer because I work best when I am able to bounce ideas around with someone and work through a design with another person. I wonder if I will find that person at CSM...

More Shirt Photos

A few more of the shirt:

The original drape for the shirt:

The front, with the collar untied:

The pocket and drape in the front:

06 February, 2009

I Might Be a Zombie, But At Least I'm Not at the Bottom Anymore

I am exhausted.

Short of a 1.5 hour rest around 6am this morning, I have been up for over 36 hours now. Why? Because today we presented our Shirt Projects, and I, intelligently, chose to do something complicated.

Last night I slept 1.5 hours. The night before, 3 hours. The night before, 5 hours. And never more than 6 hours any night the week previous. I am tired. Tired. Exhausted. Drained. Overworked. Beat. Bleary. Spent. Zombified.

However I am going to say that I can safely assume I did not fail this project. I have been working so hard- I can't even explain to you what my days have been like. I used to work pretty hard on my homework at my last school, but in these last two weeks I have changed what my definition of "hard work" is. I have never been this busy before, and I have never accomplished so much in such a short time.

Based on the class response (and tutor response during the critique today) I have jumped from the worst student in class to designing one of the more interesting shirts turned in this project. I am very proud of myself just now. I blushed a lot in class because everyone wanted to try on my design. But I was so flattered and pleased. Not only did I help five or six other students with their pattern drafting and sewing, I finished my shirt, my illustrations, my research and sketchbook, and made packaging that the shirt would be sold in, if it were in a shop.

The assignment was to design as though you worked for a specific designer, and I chose to give Vivienne Westwood a go. I mixed prints for the first time in my life on this shirt. My shirt is both very Westwood-y, and very... well, I was going to say "it is very Me", but that's not entirely true. I stretched myself and tried something very different this time around. I will post some real photos soon, but for now, I've just posted a close up of my double collar.

I am so tired I must lay down. I can barely stand. The other day, I fell asleep standing in the shower. So sad. Now I'm going to eat crap food and watch crap movies and then sleep all night and all morning. It will be amazing.

04 February, 2009

Walking Home

My walk home at 2:20am:

Rain tapping pavement, water dripping down into the sewers, distant sirens, the squish of tires driving through filthy piles of slush, my heels echoing down the street, two very short men talking about strippers, and a general feeling of exhaustion.

And now, more work.

02 February, 2009

Snowed In

We've been snowed in today. Uni is closed. I haven't had a snow day since I was a little kid. It would be nice if I didn't have a ton of work to do for the project due on Friday. Given that London transportation seems to come to a complete standstill when it snows, there's a chance we won't have class tomorrow either. In which case, we BETTER get an extension on our projects. Though it would have been nice to just have the damn thing over and done with.

So when I moved here I was told London didn't really get snow. They clearly lied:

See? See???? That looks like snow to me. Felt like snow too: