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.



@ShadowcatSD said...

I'll drink to that! Congratulations on your new-found freedom. :)

@ShadowcatSD said...

ps. I hope you shake that swine flu soon!

Shadows said...

Bravo, bravo. Like I need extra excuses to raise a drink! Well written blog entry, so very elegant. You have a bright future ahead of you, no matter what you decide to do. Herein begins the rest of your life. Cheers indeed.

Cybrid said...

Congrats lady!, I wish you luck in whatever path you choose to take :)

The Redhead said...

It's not swine flu!!! :p (famous last words, eh??)

Thanks everyone. I am so happy to be done with that place.

Lori Smith said...

Fantastic! Good luck for the future.

Btw, the great place I went to for my corset making course does shoes too http://www.prescottandmackay.co.uk/ (not sure if that's where you went).

Penny said...

I am so very proud of you for finding your own path and staying inspired! I can't wait to hear about all your fantastic internship adventures. And the shoes - AHHH! I am so jealous!

Wish I could drink to ya, but I'm at my crap day job right now, so here's my Jamba Juice breakfast toast to you!

I miss you, love you and am so excited for you!