Friday, November 25, 2011


Local fashion show was the talk of the town!  

Local designers such as Hill Vintage, Magpie, and Raygun showed their winter lines. Took a rumored 3 months of production before the show finally took place. My first fashion show was truly a unique experience. I did not experience it as a designer, a model, or even a guest but as an intern. Three young fashionistas/designers, inspired by Des Moines own fashion blogger Lacy Brunnette, Lucy Shay, and Sara Jae. My first impression as I walked up the black checkered staircase was one of a forgotten old building. The walls are aged, with layers of peeling wallpaper. A classical ballet class is in progress as we arrive, putting our coats and wraps on the wooden benches. There is so much wood, everywhere. Wooden floors, and red and yellow columns the colors are so bright and curious nude art hangs here and there on the peeling walls. 

At first I was overwhelmed by the aura of the place, but soon I became accustomed to it. We had a discussion with Lucy, who directed us to set up the chairs for the VIP seating. I stayed late and assisted the models with filling the VIP gift bags with goodies. Someday I will be a VIP, I swear. At least that's my plan. I felt myself struggling with my old social anxieties, and did my best to fight them the rest of the evening. By the time I left I felt defeated and not entirely ready to take on the next day of the actual show. 

But I returned the following evening, and after spending the first part of the day with a friend, my confidence had risen again. It was all hustling when I arrived. Models were being made up; powdered and pinched, their hair teased and crimped, extensions added and blush applied. Once they had put on their high heels and black masks they looked quite tall and daunting; a look strictly reserved for models. 

I was a floater, which required me to go wherever I was called. I ran to the quick shop to buy some ice for the drink stand. As the time drew near for the show to start, the models began lining up so the designers could dress them. You could feel the tension slowly building, becoming more and more intense as each moment passed. Once the show started, the music began playing and the models began walking. Although being in the back behind the scenes, I stood at the end where the models returned from their walk, and congratulated them each personally, in order to give them a boost of confidence. 

My nervousness seemed to have left me for the moment. It was interesting to see the walking personality of each model; some were very typical, others had their own style and flair. I was determined not to let this valuable networking opportunity slip by me, and I made an effort and ended up befriended several photographers, designers and even a few models. I was inspired by the show, both by the enthusiasm of the designers and models, and the designs themselves. What with all the hurrying about and helping models changed clothes it was all I could do to capture a few photos.
The booming music and the applause was deafening. 

After the show had finally ended, and from the noise my ears were mended, I walked among the crowd, snapping pictures. When I finally walked to my car and drove home, I spent the time thinking about what a wonderful night it had been. I hope to be participating as a designer at next year's accidental industry show. But I shall end with this: Whether or not I am a designer, model or guest, count me in on the next fashion show! If you want to read more about this show and see some more photos, click here:

Monday, November 7, 2011

School Outfit

The Other day when I went to school I wore a lacy gray spaghetti-strapped suit, complete with a light shimmery floral print scarf, cozy leggings, and a pair of semi-clunky black boots.
Here are the photos:

 Jewelry: A mock turquoise ring with silver detail, a silver oak leaf ring, and a pieced silver bracelet complete the outfit. (ABOVE)
Note the floral lace

Cozy gray leggings are a perfect addition to this outfit

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Press Book

I picked up a dress form for an unbelievable 20 $ the other day at Hope Bargain Center in Pleasant Hill. Granted it's rather large, but to have a dress form at all is somewhat of a miracle, considering the usual price between 85-200$. It is pictured below.

Here is a press book I created. 
1 old plastic ring-binder folder
Various newspaper clippings of headlines and pictures
1 dash of pure creativity
Duct tape
Black permanent marker
I glued the newspaper clippings to the folder after I had arranged them in the college I wanted, then I taped down the various loose edges, and wrote 'press book' on the spine. The front page was a mishmash of catchy headlines and photos, the inside cover followed a coffee theme while the other cover featured fashion while the back depicts a cute penguin and a somewhat ominous statement regarding poisonous juice. If I get bored all I have to do is read my folder!
And there you have it! The perfect book for a reporter or writer's notes.

Note the headlines on the front cover and the penguin on the back cover.

Note coffee page to the left and fashion page on the right.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Apparel Design

Design Apparel Scheduled for Whenever I get in my dress form.!

A Jobber Moment

Me and my Swatches.
Definition of Jobber: An individual who buys fabrics/textiles wholesale from mills or converters. He generally purchases mill overruns or discontinued styles and fabrics, so his wares are very rare and desirable.)

So the other day after class our professor told us that if we wanted to get extra credit there were a whole bunch of old textile swatches in the Fabric Lab that we could give away. She also said if we wanted any, we were welcome to them. Enthralled, some of the most ambitious students hurried to the Fabric Lab. There were dozens and dozens of swatches, some silky, some rough and grainy. It was a pleasure to feel through them all, such a delight to the sense of tough and sight: Silks and satins and wools, organzas, laces, prints, an entire laundry list of samples. It was like suddenly finding a treasure chest. I was having a Jobber moment. I took a moment to savor the feeling of being able to choose which fabrics I would touch, sorting through greens and silvers and grays. I began setting some aside; my stash to take home. I could make sleeve cuffs, trim, handbags, the list of fashionable ideas was blossoming. Here I am, pictured amongst my swatch pile, dazed by the possibilities. 


Here are some sketches I completed last night:
A miniskirt and layer flowered shell top
A top and skirt decorated with buttons

Definitely one of my more Avante gard styles, this floor-length dress features orbit flowers and lace.

Polka dot trench with long armlets and leggings

Men's checkerboard sleeve hoodie and striped drawstring pants

Belted tie-shirt trimmed with lace and striped slacks

Cover up or feminine cardigan

Eye dress; circle skirt

Tree branch skirt, featuring lace faux plunge neckline and leaf-belt

Runway graffiti gown, graphic black and white


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Walnut Ink Recipe

Here is an interesting tutorial for those interested in making their own writing ink out of walnut juice. It was provided by my friend and colleague Benjamin Spick. Enjoy!


In a glass jar, place approximately 4 – 5 tablespoons of black walnut hull, crushed (I eye-balled this measurement; it’s the equivalent of two walnut hulls).
Pour ½ cup of boiling water over the hulls; screw on jar lid tightly, and let the infusion steep overnight. In the morning, pour through a coffee filter into a new jar. Let all liquid drain; discard the hulls and filter.
Add two teaspoons of gum arabic powder to the infusion. Screw lid on tightly, and shake to blend. Let settle. Ink is now ready to use. Color will be a medium brown.
NOTE: Black walnut infusion WILL permanently stain clothing and countertops, though it washes out of metal and glass just fine. Work on a surface you can clean. You may substitute walnut hull for black tea (I have not tried this, but I adapted this recipe from one that originally used black tea instead of walnut hulls; I don’t know what color value tea-ink would have in relation to walnut ink).
•    Black Walnut. If you cannot obtain walnut hulls yourself (I used ones I gathered from my yard), you can purchase them from herbal supply companies. Frontier Natural Products Co-op ( sells crushed hulls; Mountain Rose Herbs ( sells hulls in powder form.
•    Gum Arabic (also sold as Acacia Powder) can also be bought from herbal supply companies. After doing some comparison, Mountain Rose Herbs seems to be the cheapest.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Tale of Networking-confessions of an introvert

So this evening after work, I resolved to go to the John Deere Multicultural job fair and networking reception in Johnston. It was my first time doing anything of the sort, and it had been on my mind all day. As I drove closer, following Googlemap's directions, hapless as they were, I got lost: A familiar scenario for me. As I drove around looking for signs that said John Deere on them, my mind began to present my getting lost as an excuse just to give up and go home. 'You don't need to network,' it distinctly said. 'Just go home, you know you want to.' I almost listened to the voice, but just then I spotted the John Deere building. My last chance to avoid this valuable networking opportunity was gone. 

After filling my pocket with business cards, I entered the building and immediately was intimidated by all the well-dressed business-like people standing around, no doubt conversing intelligently together about the success and features of their companies. After reminding myself to keep my shoulders back and walk gracefully, I made my way across the room to retrieve my nametag from the far table. After doing this, I felt somewhat at a loss as to what to do next. 

My old fears of social interaction came back to me again, along with the reddening of the eyes and the foaming at the mouth, both embarrassing but sure signs of my introvertedness. Did I really want to be here? I eyed a long table on which was perched graceful plates brimming with blueberries and grapes. Savory meatballs and delicate wedges of pita bread, platters of vegetables rested in the middle. At the far end, a 7-tiered glass structure held fancified little cakes of various flavors and fillings. After eyeing the cakes, I decided to stay. Two cakes and a meatball later, I had discovered that the cakes weren't worth staying for, but the company was. I noticed a lady from Meredith company, and introduced myself to her. Throughout the evening, she proved very kind and understanding, and I felt appreciated for who I was because I was being very open and honest with her the entire time. I told her that this was my first time at an event like this, and she responded by saying that she thought I was brave for coming and trying something totally new! We exchanged email addresses. After listening to the music of some lovely musicians and watching a short clip of the John Deere mission, I excused myself and headed home, fully glad I had come. One thing I admire about myself is my ability to find humor in embarrassing or discouraging situations. I am fond of laughing at myself, because if I don't laugh, I know I will get mad instead. :P

Things I learned from this experience:
1 That I should have a small introductory speech prepared about myself and what I do, {the elevator pitch as I think they called it at business horizons.}

2 I need better pumps-mine gave my feet a couple of beautiful blisters!

3 Business people are just like me: Eating, drinking, sleeping individuals-only with more experience

Overall, I am pretty proud of myself for doing this. It will be the first of my many networking endeavors, each hopefully more successful {and less stressful!} than the last. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011