31 July, 2009


I find myself at home with a sudden head cold (no, it's not swine flu, for the last god damn time people!) and sitting in bed with little to do but drink tea and bemoan the fact that I'm not out celebrating right now.

So what do I have to celebrate, you ask?

Today my flatmate and I learned that our application for a flat in Hoxton was accepted! And not only that, but we both decided that we hated the student dorms so much that we opted to move out sooner than we originally planned. Instead of September 5th we are now moving in to our new place on August 10th. Yes, I am mere days away from a double bed, a bath tub, a real kitchen, and a living room. Can you believe it? I still don't. I am still skeptical, and sure that something will go wrong. It is too good to be true.

I've lived in a lot of different apartments, but I have always rented a room in someone else's flat. It didn't seem right to leave my stuff in the rest of the house, interrupting their routines and habits. But now? Now I can create my own living habits and my stuff can be anywhere! I can do logical things like make a place for my DVDs in the living room! I can leave my sketchbook and paints on the table without fear of being in someone's way. This is huge for me, you see. I finally get to occupy the space I have and make it my own.

Secondly, and in some ways more importantly, I would like to formally announce that I have decided to leave Central Saint Martins School of Shit and Bollocks.

This, I believe, warrants a drink. A toast, even. Raise your glasses if you will to the end of an era and beginning of another, far better one.

When I found out that Evil Tutor failed my latex project (despite telling me it was good all the way through the process) I made up my mind that I would not be returning to that awful sham they call a university, regardless of whether they wanted me to repeat 1st year or move on to 2nd year.

Words cannot describe how incredibly happy I am to be free of that place.

For the first time in years I feel inspired, eager to learn. Eager to make my own way, to go out into the world and absorb information. I want to do everything, create everything, experience everything. I feel free. I have no solid plan, just a good solid feel for the direction I want to head in. And that is liberating.

Of course I can't deny that CSM is a good name to have on your degree. Those three letters will open a lot of doors for a designer. Though, point of interest, I have come to realize that it will also close doors.

In making the decision to leave the school, I came across an interesting phenomenon in the design world. Being able to say "I graduated from St Martins" is great, but there is a certain respect I get when I say that I studied at St Martins only to realize that the reputation wasn't justified, and chose to leave. Funny, that.

In case I haven't made it painfully clear, this is not a school that will teach you anything, least of all actual, technical skills. Now I know that we all love the idea of simply drawing out a pretty sketch and handing it to someone else to make, but frankly that is bullshit. You need to follow through. True artists of any kind need to understand their materials, their craft, their process.... and often those things will inform and change their design. Half the stress/fun is in the process of trying to make one of your designs and seeing how it changes and becomes better.

The reason I got my internship with my awesome design mentor is not because I went to CSM, but because I studied at a technical fashion school and have a background in theatre and performance. I even said in my initial letter to her that "despite hailing from St Martins, I have not yet had my love for design or theatricality beaten out of me." She knew exactly what I meant.

My point is simply that there is something to be said for knowing how to make things. Any things. Whatever sort of things you want to make. And if you want to learn to make things, then St Martins is not the place to be.

So raise one more glass to the end of St Martins. And give Evil Tutor the finger for me, will you?

In the meantime I am looking into community college classes while I consider other universities. And should I decide to attend another uni, I have decided that the classes I take will not be in fashion.

I need a break.

But I also have a good solid foundation in fashion now, and it's time to start expanding outwards. In order to do this I am devoting four or five days a week to my internship to learn as much as possible from the designers I work for. And when I begin taking classes again, I want to learn to work with other materials so I can incorporate them into my designs- plastic, wood, metal, etc. I want to work in anything besides fabric and learn anything except fashion.

More shoe making and design courses are already queued up (more on that later), and from these classes I have also developed a rather subversive plan regarding my future shoe designs. See, a friend of mine at CSM asked if I was planning on continuing to learn how to make shoes, and if so, would I design and make the shoes for her final show at St Martins. I of course said yes! See, this way I get to have my final 3rd year show at St Martins by putting my shoes in the show, right under the nose of Evil Tutor and all those other fuckers who told me I was shit. BWAHAHAHAHA <---evil laughter and mustache stroking

Hell, if you've managed to read this far I think you deserve one more drink. Raise your glass one more time to the closing of a miserable year at an all-consuming, pretentious, and useless school, and the end of a year living in a moldy, tiny, uncomfortable dorm room.


19 July, 2009

More To Come

I have so much to fill you all in on, but I haven't had the time!

I took my shoe making course and LOVED it. There are step by step photos for you, and I will post them soon!

My other big news is that my flat mate and I found a flat we both like and are in the middle of applying for it, with the goal to move on August 10th! We are both SO excited, and a little nervous because, well, we don't look so hot on paper. We're both foreign students living for less than a year in London, and on loans. But that can't be helped. Wish us luck!

The Boy is on the plane now and heading to London. This will be the first time we've seen or spoken to each other (other than chat) since April 20th. I am excited, nervous, anxious, thrilled, freaked out, excited, anxious, crazy, nervous, thrilled, stressed, happy, nervous....

So much going on, my god.... I will fill you all in soon.

10 July, 2009

Right, Write

I miss writing.

I miss sitting in some dark little corner of a coffee shop and analyzing the world around me. I miss being inspired by things, and being critical of things.

So this afternoon I bought myself a little black Moleskin notebook and found one of my old unused sketchbooks. I bought a copy of John Berger's Ways of Seeing, set it on top of my BldgBlog book and sat down with these four things over a white americano.

I quickly found myself getting frustrated that I didn't already have something important to say. What, twenty minutes spent absorbing other people's thoughts isn't enough of an effort to make me a genius??! Gasp!

I must be patient with my brain and give it some time to stretch and warm up. It is very out of practice. So I will go to a different coffee shop tomorrow and try again. And another one the day after, until I have retrained my brain to focus, analyze, and produce vaguely intelligible sentences in response to all the life going on around me.

Just Curious

In the US, we say "giving you shit". In the UK, we say "taking the piss". Why all the exchanging of bodily excretions as terms for "making fun of"?

Freud Goes To the Cinema

I once wrote a short and very wordy essay on Freud's theories of the unconscious. I did it by applying his ideas to the film Rocky Horror Picture Show.

This is not as difficult a pairing as it might at first appear to be.

Each of the characters can easily be seen as the embodiment of each part of Freud's iceberg theory. Rocky, the Id and subconscious. Brad and Janet, the Super Ego. You get the picture. You can also apply his theories of sexual deviance and the push-pull of desire and morality to the storyline and character dynamics with little or no effort at all. I can say this with some confidence because I was able to do it in the three hours I gave myself before I had to hand in the essay, see.

I found the entire assignment rather inane seeing as how Freud hated film, arguing extensively against its evils. But sometimes you just have to do what the teacher says.

When I received my marks there was a note written in the margin- my teacher called it a brave essay, and gave me a middling grade.

09 July, 2009


Tempted by a talk with a lovely woman at the BLDGBLOG book launch, I find myself staring longingly at the Royal College of Art website. I'm not sure what I want to do exactly, so I'm sifting through the site to see if they offer any short courses. Yeah, they have fashion, but "eh". I think I need to look at fashion through different eyes, in a different context, from another point of view. So maybe I should take course in glass, or Jewellery and metalwork! Or perhaps Design Interactions, which sounds fascinating.

So much I want to do, and not sure how to do it.

08 July, 2009

Mysterious Feets

I really like the mysterious quality of this shot of Warren and I looking at the Summer Pavilion, taken by Will Wiles who graciously let me borrow the photo. By the way, for those who asked after the shoes... they are by Fluevog.

07 July, 2009

Quick Thoughts

I am drunk and sleepy, but before I crawl into bed I just wanted to share two quick thoughts that popped into my head after a fabulous evening with Warren Ellis (who is fast becoming my favorite drinking partner) at the BLDGBLOG book launch.

Today I realized that as a so-called fashion designer I am faced with the same questions that designers in other disciplines are. I simply respond through a different medium, a softer medium. Although "fashion" in its typical form is something even *I* look down on, I think it can be useful in that discourse. Perhaps it can be one part of discovering unique answers to the questions posed by our ever developing future-thinking culture.


03 July, 2009

Chefhead in London

My life is still up in the air. I haven't got a clue what is going on.

Stupidly, in the midst of all of this, I started a crazy diet a few weeks ago. Although I was seeing stunning results the diet and I didn't get along and I failed miserably, gaining back the weight I lost and making myself feel horribly weak in the process. But what the diet did do was force me to learn how to cook. I have taught myself how to cook all sorts of healthy things and have started using vegetables that seemed exotic and frightening before.

My current foody obsession is stuffing tasty healthy food inside other tasty healthy food to create mouthgasmic flavour explosions!

I have become my flat's reigning queen over all spice decisions. I am the master of spice-rubbed steaks and garlic-stuffed chicken breast. I have become obsessed with red wine vinegar on almost anything, and pickled jalapenos are the most delicious thing when chopped up and stuffed into lean beef burgers. Soak the meat in the pickled juice and it grills up tasting almost like pepper jack cheese. And then just eat the damn jalapenos and pour the juice all over every thing. So. Good.

The diet consisted of mostly veggies, lean meats, and very specific fruit. You could not cook with oil, and you cannot use dairy, processed carbs, or soy. With so few options, I got bored very quickly with raw lettuce and lightly salted chicken, so I became very good at mixing those things together and preparing them in different ways. My home made apple sauce is healthy, has no added sugar, and my entire flat sits down to eat whenever they smell me making it. I sauteed up some beef mince with lots of chopped garlic, cumin, and a hint of basil before stuffing the meat into a scooped-out red peppers that had chopped jalapenos, rock salt, cumin and black pepper floating in water in the bottom of the pepper. I then steamed them for a few minutes before throwing them onto a very hot grilling pan for a few minutes. 15 minutes later I had a delicious meal and the whole house smelled good.

As soon as I can start adding a few more things into my diet again, I have a million ideas for more simple meals that are predominantly meat and veggies. I've become obsessed with cooking- something that used to frighten me a lot.

Anyone want to come over for dinner? I think next week I'm going to try my hand at stuffed eggplant with feta, meat, zuccini, rice, and capers (if I can find good eggplant), and then mash strawberries with mint leaves and stuff them inside apples and steam those for dessert. Lots of stuffing. I like stuffing.

Or or or or, wait I just got ANOTHER idea..... I must go to the kitchen now.