One of my besties was leaving me this week for Europe!!! My girl, Kara is off to Denmark for a summer study abroad. This summer seems to be the perfect occasion for everyone to go far, far away…except me. I guess I was not thinking about this summer as the best time for me to go away. I assumed next summer or second semester junior year would be ideal. Every period of time seems to come with its setbacks though. I will admit it is isolating not traveling and having to discover all the adventures of my friends through social media. I would not equate this feeling to that of the little green monster, but often times, seeing other’s summer plans prompts a deep sigh. I am happy and relaxed at home! I do not have to raise my stress levels packing for a trip, flying across an ocean, learning the basics of a new language, and then spending my summer doing intensives not at my own leisure. Instead I am here trying to complete the work that I believe I will need before the start of the fall semester. In many ways, I enjoy this approach as I have no one but myself keeping my on the right track. I am able to work out and run everyday. But I need this time to myself to relax honestly. There are many benefits to not having too much to do in the summer. And yet, everyone will still make you feel as though you are the biggest, laziest slob on the planet! I swear, every time I talk to a family friend, they ask me about my summer plans without fail. I let them know that I plan to work on my website, that I am trying to produce a few fashion zines, and work out, and they never really know what to say. The worst part about not having solid plans in the summer, however, has got to be my mother’s nagging for me to find a job. Very few people seem to understand how difficult it is to find a job when you go to school out of state. No one wants to train me for months only to have me leave once I get the hang of it. And those people who can get a solid job over the summer only obtained them through their parent’s contacts. I really do not have that luxury! So its either travel or work, and neither are feasible for me. But even though I am here and everyone else is everywhere else, I am still so happy for my girl in Denmark!
I wanted to celebrate the last time I would see her with a trip to the inner harbor. Unfortunately I do not have a lot of pictures of the two of us as I may have made her take photos of me. But so is the life of a fashion blogger to eventually annoy every friend!
Not quite the classic, paying commission but ordered and for commercial use all the same. I was asked to participate in an independent study for fashion illustration due to my—not to sound conceited—skills! A lot of this independent study was not fully realized as it started halfway through the second semester. But I feel accomplished all the same. I was able to complete two drawings hopefully to be used as the illustrations to go up as banners. These banners will line the streets of several fashion districts within Richmond. We hope to cement Richmond as the fashion forward city that it is. I was participating in this independent study with two other girls so we all came up with different drawings. I was asked to draw two girls. One girl was to be carrying shopping bags and the other girl was meant to be walking a dog. I do not know what the next steps for potentially seeing my girls waving in the wind as banners in some chic neighborhood would be. But for right now, they only exist here and now. Hopefully, that will mean new developments down the road!
How many tees can I own to incorporate my passion for fashion? This shirt is simply the perfect top for any occasion. It all really depends on whether or not you can read. If there is a question of how much effort that I put into my outfit, my shirt will set you straight. Then again, if I haven’t made it clear by now, I love to get dressed up. I would like to think that I put in an unnatural amount of effort compared to the average dresser. I am so ready to continue my casual over-dressing all summer long!
This may not be the most summery, sunny, fun-loving, #beachvibes post you will find to represent the commencement of summer, and yet I feel it makes complete sense for the start of my summer. I have recently concluded that i am in fact a lizard. I ave known this fact for a while now but I am really starting to admit it to myself. I just love to be warm. Therefore, spring and summer with never fail as my favorite seasons. It does not make sense for me to show off my fabulous new bikini, or adorable new flip flops. Instead I will present my trusty, ole’ skinny jeans in my favorite, heat-absorbing color of black. I mean, its not a total summer post miss; I am bearing shoulders in my off shoulder top. That’s a summer trend, right? It just also happens to be a three-quarter sleeve top and also…black. Can you not see me sitting poolside or lounging along a beach in this outfit?
I cannot be so cruel. I do want to show off one thing that actually does have to do with summer. I got new sunglasses for myself as a reward for the end of the semester! I have seen these sunglasses everywhere on social media except mainly in different colors. The two most common that I have seen are pink and yellow versions of these sunglasses. I love the frameless look and I will never not love oversized sunglasses. My sunglasses look good with everything in my closet. I also love how minimalist they look! I am so glad I purchased them for the start of summer and I cannot wait to wear them everywhere! Also…the are black!
One of my last assignments before my final for fashion drawing was to create four looks only in black. Using only black is a challenge enough for some people! Black is difficult to make look dimensional and not just like a blob with no shadow or highlight to it. We also had to incorporate a number of different fabrics into our drawings. For me, another challenge was figuring out how to make black look dynamic and not like just another LBD! It was a great assignment because I had never thought about the shapes of light and shadow needed to convey a certain fabric. And I also loved this assignment because, for some reason, even though I love the color black and I wear it almost everyday, I usually stray away from it in my designs!
I will only be showing off two of the four of my designs because our teacher wanted us to do half of our drawings in gouache and half in marker. It is just not worth showing off the gouache ones, they are nothing special!
The first one I drew utilizes black suiting fabric for the blazer top, velvet(with grey silk lining) cape, and the star of the show, black crocodile leather. I could have easily done regular leather and that would be quite the challenge to find all the highlights and shadows within the fluid fabric, but where’s the fun in that? The crocodile leather looked so beautiful and powerful. I definitely think this girl carries quite the sex appeal in a classy strong kind of way. I would not want to mess with her!
My second look was conceptually my favorite. I thought about different ways of showing black as more than just black. I was inspired by oil spills and the oil spill hair color trend. I thought it was such a cool concept to show black as containing a whole rainbow of colors. We think of oil as thick, gooey and sticky, but it has such a beautiful quality within it. I wanted my model to look wet like she was emerging from a pool of oil. I captured the thick yet gooey quality of oil by using a silk charmeuse material for the dress. I love how it just cascades down her body. I usually do not design a lot of evening wear, but I loved designing this gown. I wish that I could see some celebrity wearing a dress like this down the red carpet or to some fancy ball. It has a playful look while remaining classy and elegant.
I am free!!! My finals just ended last night with the closure of the VCU fashion show at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. I have taken this entire day to relax and unwind as a personal reward—I mean, I did also purchase some sunglasses. Overall, I am happy with how this semester turned out. I was recognized by VCU’s fashion’s department head as the outstanding fashion design student for the sophomore class. I do not think this honor came with any money, but sometimes all that is really desired is the recognition. This honor was such a wonderful surprise for me that helped me finish my school year strong. I will be posting my finals soon hopefully. But, once again, I am backed up with things that need to be posted first! This is always a good thing though, I would rather have more content to post than not enough.
Circling back to the fashion show; I was there as a dresser backstage. The entire sophomore class was required to participate as head dressers for the show. We were responsible for helping the models dress so that nothing ripped or was put on incorrectly. Some may think this is a simple task, but looking at it as a designer myself, it is an incredibly daunting thought. You could destroy the garment that a senior had been working on all year, or not send it out as intended, therefore ruining the effect that the senior had worked hard to create. When I become a senior, I hope that whoever is dressing the model with my clothes will take great care, basically guarding the garment with their lives. There was one garment that ripped for another dresser unfortunately. They had to sew the model into the skirt in order to send it down the runway. But I suppose this is not uncommon within fashion shows.
I am so happy to be relieved of that show, as well as my finals so I can sleep and relax once again for a good two and half months. I wanted to post some pictures of my outfits from finals and some from the fashion show as well!
Finals are here and in full force. Luckily, I have not had to pull an all-nighter quite yet, but that does not mean that my days end before 1AM. Finals are a lot of work! Though I do feel blessed that I am loving the work and I feel creatively charged. More than anything else though, I am anticipating summer so much. When I used to play soccer in high school, my coaches would always tell my teammates and me to finish strong after our grueling runs. Despite how much our bodies were aching and all we wanted to do was collapse, my teammates and I were told to push ourselves that last quarter mile and at least act as though we hadn’t just run a million laps. I think applying that concept to running is actually more difficult than in terms of my finals work. I feel so good about my finals that I feel the need to finish strong.
Part of what finishing strong looks like for me is keeping up the effort in my clothing. Lucky for me, I always seem to save up all of my best outfits until the very end and therefore I have so many good outfits to wear right now. Along with looking good, I am a firm believer that wearing things that I really love empowers me. In the midst of finals, this feeling of confidence and strength is the best fuel. This is what I wore for the yesterday and today for two different critiques. The second dress was made by me and the dress that I was walking into class to critique.