Thursday, 19 December 2013

Ambitions, ambitions.

Despite nearly killing myself with the workload in the previous term, I have decided, perhaps naïvely, that I need to accomplish more in my time. Carpe diem, as they say. I want to do more of what I want to do, whilst still accomplishing what I need to do. Resting has re-kindled my love for life, the eagerness to do and see everything! Therefore, it is not only my goal to achieve good grades in the second term, but to accomplish at least one of the following things:

a) Make more of my own clothes
b) Participate in more competitions to gain recognition of my work
c) Get a part-time job

Perhaps it's all the festivities that have surrounded me this glorious time of year that have inspired this decision; maybe I'm already anticipating New Years and the resolutions that it will dictate. Even though these things make me excited and eager to continue onto the next term, I worry that these extra activities will be the straw that breaks the camel's perfectionist back. I suppose that my first resolution should be: set accomplishable resolutions. And then actually complete them.

I also need to be less terrified of applying for jobs. I need to be less terrified, full-stop. How do I expect to get anywhere if I'm not willing to push the boat out?

Sorry about the almost completely unrelated ramblings today. Maybe I should take up journal writing instead so that this blog doesn't become a random stream of my consciousness.

Merry early Christmas!

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(>'.'<)  x

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Long Time No Speak...

I have been rather rubbish at posting lately, and I realised yesterday that it is coming up to almost two months since my latest post. During those two months, Project Runway has ended and the third all stars season commenced. I will not be doing catch-up posts, however I would like to explain myself for my absence.

Earlier this year, I embarked on my second year of university. Second course, first year. This term, I have been determined to prove my worth and skills and have therefore been working everyday, almost non-stop on this project. Whilst some may say that my course is easier than womenswear, I disagree. Your course is as easy or as difficult as you make it, it's all relative. If you do the bare minimum, any course can be considered easy; being proactive is the difficult part. Having pushed myself to the extremes this term - two all-nighters in four days - I would think that my course can be just as difficult as womenswear, if not more.

I have learnt so much in terms of portfolio and design development, and have had a huge eye-opener for what it takes to succeed, and do well on a fashion design degree course. A lot of work...that's what.

Anywho, here is a link to my flickr where all my portfolio work from this term is located. Take a look if you'd like to, unfortunately I didn't have time to photograph my 3D outcomes on the mannequin before presenting them on the hangers but I will upload pictures at a later date.

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(>'.'<)  x

p.s. I have decided that this blog will now be more focused on my work, pattern cutting and dressmaking as opposed to Project Runway and fashion week trends. There will, of course, be elements of this still incorporated but they will take the back seat.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Project Runway Season 12 EP12 Recap/Review

The semi-final episode. This challenge was the avant garde challenge. Designers were taken to a butterfly exhibit where they would take inspiration from the butterflies and from there design an avant garde look to secure their place in the final. Additionally, they were thrown a curve ball and asked to remake a losing look from one of the designers that were voted off previously this season.

There was no top and bottom three this episode, however there were two that secured a place in the final three and the remaining designers were to battle it out, en typical Project Runway style.

Two of Three





Two of the three designers that will be showcased at Mercedes Fashion Week will be Bradon McDonald, and Dom Streater.

I absolutely adored both looks! Bradon's avant garde look was inspired by the fluttering movement of the butterflies and so he created silk rolls that emulated the catching of the movement in one's peripheral vision. The corsetry in the back is stunning, and I can't seem to get over the draping and folds of the dress. Nevertheless, I am also in love with Dom's look. There is something quite oriental about her look and it could only have been her to mix and match those patterns successfully.

The designers to compete for the final spot





From top to bottom: Alexandria von BromssenHelen Castillo, and Justin LeBlanc. Justin's second look was actually his losing look, and whilst I'm not the biggest fan of this look, I commend him on his bravery and courage in choosing the look that resulted in his elimination.

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(>'.'<)  x

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The Reality and Prevalence of Fashion Today.

Yesterday marked the first lecture that I did not almost fall asleep in. It was interactive and interesting and explored the subject of fashion today.
"Everything is design. Everything is a commercial, financial opportunity."
Therefore design is a commercial, financial opportunity? What a shame it is today that so many people fall into the trap that is money and gluttony (no judgement, I myself am victim to the alluring clutches of fast fashion and finance).

The lecturer introduced the idea that the main cause for the huge gap between the expensive, unattainable designer clothes and the cheap, every-changing high street is that we no longer need but rather want.

Want, want, want. For a society with so much access to the media and the web, it is no wonder that there is so much focus on what we want. This, of course, is constantly changing thus creating a great demand. But since when was it okay for our wants to be so conventional? We live in an age of homogenisation where there is little diversity, and that which exists in the world of fashion is merely a show, a half-hearted attempt at being different. Why should it be different to have diversity?

We want to be different and therefore we aspire for the unattainable - see designer sweaters made to the same standard of high street ones. Bringing up the debate of fashion vs. clothing. The difference being that fashion is innovative and clothing is what many people perceive to be fashion. Fashion is high end, the pioneers, the ones dictating the trends putting out the ideas; whereas clothing is a copycat version of fashion, one that is cheaper to make, cheaper to buy, and of cheaper quality.

What is it that makes fashion?

To be honest, I don't know...the industry is so fast-paced and I do not have enough knowledge about the industry and it's history to give a valid answer.

All I can hope is that one day, I will be able to fully grasp the difference. For now, I can only guess...

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(>'.'<)  x

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Project Runway Season 12 EP11 Recap/Review

This episode of Project Runway has been long anticipated, by both the designers and myself! It is the HP fabrics challenge. For those of you who don't follow Project Runway, the HP fabrics challenge entails the designers using an HP suite to create their own unique fabrics. This season there was an added twist to the challenge which involved the designers interviewing a up and coming talent (in business, creative industries, BMX biking, etc) and using them as their inspiration for the project.

The Top 3



The designers in the top three were (clockwise from left): Bradon McDonaldDom Streater, and Helen Castillo. My personal favourite designs in the top three belonged to Bradon and Dom. Bradon's muse was a professional BMX bike rider who provided his inspiration in the sharing of a dream that he once had; a bird's eye view of the city with his bike lines streaking through in and out of the buildings. Thus the quite geometric pattern with the injection of neon blue (the biker). Dom's muse was an entrepreneur who created an online business expanding tool which connects people from all over the world in order to support their emerging businesses. She was inspired by the idea of the of the connections and intersections being made and from that came up with the striking geometric pattern.

The winner of this challenge was Dom.

The Bottom 3



The bottom three included (clockwise from left): Alexander PopeJustin LeBlanc, and Kate Pankoke. Alexander's design was slated because of the giant, contrasting, white cross on the front of his dress. Justin's was criticised for being disjointed, and the judges all agreed that the top half of his look was beautiful. Kate's look was deemed over-designed.

Alexander was eliminated. And for the twist of the season Kate was eliminated over Justin!! Whilst I appreciate Justin's design aesthetic, he hasn't performed as well as her throughout the season and she has only made this one slip-up so far.

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(>'.'<)  x
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All images were found here

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Preparing for University

For the longest time I knew that I wanted to pursue fashion. For me, it was never too much a case of what I wanted to do, but how to get there. Unfortunately my high school did not run textiles at GCSE or IB level so I had to find another way to get some experience and build a foundation, one that was not specified as being necessary for entrance to university; but one I thought useful to have.

This had to be one of the best decisions that I've ever made. Whilst my first course was only a foundation and therefore these skills were not utilised to their maximum, lessons that I'd taken in preparation had given me a basic insight into the technical workshops that we had to undertake. For instance, the few technical workshops that we had were focused on using the sewing machines, creating and using some basic creative techniques with the machines, and finally pattern cutting classes. 

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I was supremely lucky with my first choice in dressmaking lessons: ITS Tutorial School in Hong Kong. My dad had found the website after I'd had a nervous breakdown, panicking about the future and the apparent inevitability of my dream becoming simply that... a dream. Funnily enough, this opportunity was practically a dream come true, the silver lining to the grey cloud that was looming over my future.

Here I met Fa, one of the most influential people in my life. Someone who not only has taught me priceless skills over countless dressmaking and pattern cutting lessons, but someone who as always supported me, taught me humility and determination, and continues to be a huge inspiration in my life.

The courses involved both pattern cutting and dressmaking, both exclusively of each other and inclusively of each other (depending on the course that you chose). They were great in starting my knowledge and fuelling my passion for fashion design, as Fa guided me in how to draft a block pattern fit to your measurements (and therefore whosever measurements that I had), and then how to alter that pattern according to my design, and finally how to create the outcome of my work in the dressmaking lessons.

They are thorough and concise, and for anyone that is a sewing hobbyist or looking to go into the fashion design industry (and you're in Hong Kong), I would highly recommend taking this avenue.

Check here for more information on Fa and the fashion sector of ITS Tutorial School.

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These lessons gave me a base to focus my information on, so I was not completely lost when technical terms were used, even completing tasks under the given time limit. Particularly in the pattern cutting class. I'd previously taken numerous pattern cutting classes at various differing levels of difficulty, thus that which we learnt during the class was only a slight adaptation of the knowledge that I'd already gained. Furthermore, having gained confidence using a domestic sewing machine meant that when faced with the challenge of the much faster, more powerful, and equally more terrifying industrial machine, I was ready...even eager, to give it a shot. 

Now going into my first year of a second course (yes, I know, it's confusing..bear with me...) I feel that I have a slight advantage over some of the other students with less practical knowledge and skills. These lessons have set me up and definitely have accomplished what I set out to achieve, which was to gain a solid foundation from which I could build a more extensive knowledge.

Words cannot describe how grateful I am for making this decision. The friends I made, the support from my dressmaking and pattern cutting teacher, and the knowledge that I gained have all been invaluable in my experience at London College of Fashion. 


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(>'.'<)  x

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Project Runway Season 12 EP10 Recap/Review

This post is long overdue and I apologise for those who read my blog for the reviews, however I have just finished my first week at university and whilst I only technically had to go in for one day, I was swamped with the assignment and my internship for the rest of the week.

Nevertheless the 10th episode recap/review/whatever you'd like to call it, is here.

This episode called on the designers to do a full makeover, from hair, to makeup, to clothing of Project Runway 'Superfans'. It was the 'hair' challenge and so a specific focus was placed on deciding what changes to make to the 'superfans' hairstyles.

The Top 3




The top 3 looks were designed by (clockwise from left): Bradon McDonaldHelen Castillo, and Justin LeBlanc. I absolutely adored the design that Justin created for his 'superfan'. It flattered his model's figure and the personalised touch on his dress was an extra special addition, which could easily have been tacky, but because of the beautiful execution and creative appliqué technique it was far from it.

Helen's look was well-constructed and as stunning as it is I feel like this design is something that has already been shown by Helen this season. However, it is elegant and her 'superfan' received the most drastic makeover of the episode. Helen was the winning designer of this week.

The Bottom 3




The bottom 3 consisted of looks by (clockwise from left): Alexander PopeAlexandria von Bromssen, and Ken Laurence. Whilst Alexander's look was poorly executed due to time constraints, thus landing him in the bottom, Alexandria didn't design something suited for her 'superfan', she aged her and I believe she became confused as to what is suitable for an interview, she was overwhelmed with this idea and completely forgot about the age of her young 'superfan'. Ken's look was in an awful moss green colour with an awkward neckline and seamline detailing. His 'superfan' was thrilled with the look however the judges were not.

Ken was eliminated this challenge.

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(>'.'<)  x
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All images were found here

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Wolf and Badger Designer Showcase

I was invited to the Wolf and Badger Designer showcase as part of my internship. It was a wonderful way of seeing the clothes that I had been helping out with on display in a proper showroom.

Wolf and Badger is a boutique store that represents and sell items of fashion of upcoming fashion and jewelry designers. The store itself is über chic, with dark walls, and floors the clothes take the limelight. It is presented in a minimalist way however due to the lighting and interior decoration the overall atmosphere is urban and modern.

There were roughly 10 designers being showcased in the gallery. It was interesting to see all the different designers; due to them all being independent of one another they were all unique, and catered to different tastes and design aesthetics. Below are images of some of my favourite pieces, including some of the work of designer Judy Wu. It was truly inspiring to see all the different designs and learning about the new and up and coming designers.

I will definitely be coming back to this boutique to monitor and gawk at the beautiful clothes and discover the talent that the world of fashion has to offer.

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      Teija









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     Judy Wu






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    Krystof Strozyna




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    DB Berdan



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    Linen Lawn



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    Soomin



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    Taeseok Kang



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Just a couple of random bits and bobs now. This light cover took me by surprise and made me smile. And finally the shop assistant, he was quite shy and humble about it but agreed to let me take a picture of his unique style to put here!


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(>'.'<)  x