MURAL MAKING

I have often made fun of myself and been made fun of for my mild narcissism. I blame it on many things. I think it is hard to not become narcissistic when you are a portrait artist. I have to know every detail of a person’s face when I draw them. And when there is no one to draw, the only available model is myself. I am convinced that I am the only person able to draw myself. I have had everything from carnival portraits to fellow artist classmates sketchbook entries drawn of my face, and maybe I am slightly biased, but no one has truly captured my elusive essence. And if that is not one of the most narcissistic phrases, I do not know what is. But really, only I know my face from every bone in my skull, to every crevice in my skin to every hair on my head.

It does not matter if no one knows how to draw me; what is important is that they never forget this face. And now, this is exactly what will happen. The compulsive narcissist in me is beaming from ear to ear with pride and joy to know that my face is now forever stained on the city of Richmond. I am the best stain! I got the opportunity to recreate my selfie coroquis from my fall semester drawing final. I went back to Richmond for three days to paint this mural with two of my fellow fashion classmates. The purpose of the mural is to serve as an artistic view from the ICA museum that is coming to campus soon. This mural is right on campus, next to a residence hall for VCU, so hopefully all of my friends will get the chance to see it eventually.

My classmates and I knew we wanted to do a mural depicting three fashion figures. We decided on the theme of black, white, and denim. Richmond and VCU are quite obsessed with denim so we thought it was appropriate. I would like to clarify that I was, in fact, asked to use the drawing of myself. I would have been happy to create a new drawing, but the one of myself seemed to fit the best. Just so no one truly believes I am that obsessed with myself.

I think the mural turned out so well given that it was completed in such a short timespan. My friends and I are now among the ranks of the other talented muralists within Richmond. And I can confidently say that I never would have believed that learning how to operate a hydraulic lift would become a part of my fashion education!:P

Here is an article written about our experience on the mural, please enjoy:)

https://vcu.exposure.co/painting-the-town-fashion

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FINAL COLLECTION: THE PURITY REGRESSION

Well, I have been out of school and done with my sophomore year of college for some time now. But I had a lot of other things to post before I wanted to present my final for fashion drawing. For our final, we were instructed to do either streetwear or young designer looks. We were only required to do five looks but…I drew six(I deserve to brag if I put in the time).

So this collection was extremely fun for me to design. I was thinking about what I wanted to do for streetwear. I did not want it to look like your average urban streetwear designed by some random rapper(even though I still love those collections too). I love those looks but the problem is that now, streetwear has become that dark loose silhouette of hoodies and sweat pants slightly redesigned, and amped up tee shirt graphics. I love that stuff but that is not all that streetwear is. In actuality, streetwear is simply a subculture. It is the response to a movement. So that means streetwear can incapsulate the punk movement or the mod movement. those are all styles that started out on the street and were made popular not by designers but by everyday people.

I thought about everything that was happening that would warrant a movement of some kind. And then I knew I had to do something commenting on Trump’s presidency. Not to turn anyone away from my views or my blog, but I am not a fan of Trump personally. You would probably never know by looking at my collection that it was meant as a political response if I never told you. Nevertheless, I thought about Trump’s America and the idea of a regressive movement. A response that someone who is very stuck in the ideals of America from the say the fifties would have to ideas like fluid gender roles and sexuality, shifting power dynamics between the sexes and races, and a seemingly less religion-centered society. I was also inspired by Hulu’s new adaptation of the Handmaid’s Tale. As a woman, I found that vision of a world where women have no rights as completely relevant in this age. I do not feel as though we are far off from that future. My fashion retail inspiration came from the brand, Wildfox. I love everything about this brand from the strong, vintage, Californian aesthetic that I always see present, to the relaxed fit of all of their clothing. I love how they handle an incredibly feminine vibe in such a cool and confident way. Please check them out if you are curious, https://www.wildfox.com/

My streetwear features the everyday looks of girls living in a stereotypical, suburban, pristine life. I thought about these beautiful girls who appear to be pure, perfect, God-fearing girls on the surface, but are in fact quite the opposite. Imagine a child who pretends to be one thing to their parents, and then a completely different thing without their parents present. I took inspiration from things like Catholic school uniforms and my perception of them as something that girls will try to alter for individuality in the most subtle ways. I never went to Catholic school so, as someone who always had a free and open dress code, this is just what I would do if I had to wear a uniform. So the first girl wears a knee-length skirt pulled all the way up so it looks way shorter. She also wears a sweater vest the size of a bra. Some of my girls have details like writing on their bodies and stickers everywhere, almost mimicking tattoos. And even if you look at some of the stickers, there are some hidden references that are not so innocent. All of the girls are practically dripping in flowers. The flowers seem beautiful and pure, but flowers heavily allude to sex. All of my flowers are also white referencing flowers seen at funerals. All of the other girls have some sort of visual reference to sex or the female anatomy by way of lace that forms a bra, or ribbon that outlines a woman’s chest. The last three girls all wear pants that point to their crotches in some way. The last girl was a little more interesting in that she is meant to be wearing a baby dress but instead as a crop top, accompanied by her floral headdress that resembles a baby bonnet.

I swear that I could probably write novels simply dissecting all of my choices on every collection. Everything means something else, but at the same time, you would almost never know. This collection is in no way meant to be be sexist or anti-feminist. I wanted to show a dystopian world where girls are simply expected to be perfect, little flowers and show the subtle rebellion that might arise from that subjugation. Much like with this idea I had of a Catholic girl pushing her uniform as far as she can before getting in trouble, I thought the same concept would apply if we try to make girls anything other than themselves. Please enjoy the collection and let me know what you think:)

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PUNISHING HEAT AND PANSIED HATS

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!

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No one should be surprised that even though the weather was absolute death and I was standing in direct sunlight, I still managed the tote my thick, warm jacket. Come to think of it, I still do not know how I managed to not com out with a sunburn that day!
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I embroidered this hat for a friend but I was not going to miss the opportunity to show it off in a photo! More process shots will be at the bottom of the post!

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We got salads for lunch but I really just want to highlight the cutlery because that fork is the most aesthetic thing! 
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We stopped off at the Sagamore Pendry in Fell’s Point. And man, that is one fancy hotel for sure!
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This courtyard exists within the hotel! I was in fashion photography heaven!

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If you can’t tell, the friend that I was making this hat for really likes pansies!

 

CROQUIS COMMISSIONS

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!

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Have you ever seen a girl walking the dog in a jumpsuit suit and platform heels?
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No that thing on her back is not a shrub. I thought it would be a nice touch to add shopping bags coordinating to stores that actually exist in the shopping district that this girl represents. Just another way that VCU can reach out to the community I suppose!

TEE-SHIRT TUESDAY

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!

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OFF SHOULDER AND OFF TO SUMMER

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?IMG_5340

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!

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POWER-PACKED 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!

 

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Also, many people have told me she resembles Rihanna. This was not intentional but I like the comparison because I would love it if she wore something like this(with vegan leather though)!

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.

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