TOWARD TORONTO

Toronto is about two hours away from Niagara which was convenient because we were able to stop by Niagara on the lake on the way there.

I loved the look of the water, it was so blue and the sky was so clear! The indigo in my denim culottes also looked great against the blue of the water. It had such a vintage summer vibe to me.IMG_7628DSC_0260

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FALLING FOR NIAGARA

Oh Canada, what a sweet escape you are from…everything beneath you. It is nice to be away from everything American for a while. I think the Canadian customs officers feel sorry for us when they learn we are only visiting Canada and planning to return to the U.S.

We went to Niagara first, my mother just had to fulfill some ultra-touristy dream of seeing one of the seven wonders of the world. It was quite beautiful, and now I can say that I have seen it. On to other wonders now I suppose!

I do have some advice for those planning on visiting the falls. Although this contradicts one I had previously stated in the first paragraph, the all around community surrounded the falls is nicer on the American side. Many people do not realize how built up the Canadian side has become. They have exploited the falls to an American level. It is basically like a mini Las Vegas or large Gatlinburg. The strips are jam-packed with giant hotels, sleazy entertainment(the poor man’s Madame Tussaud, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, things of that nature), and crowded family chain restaurants that cost more than they should due to the location. If you love that type of thing then by all means, the Canadian side is what you want. Personally, I find it to be a tourist trap and the falls should be the main attraction. The Canadian side does have the better views as most of the waterfalls come out of the American side. You must go on the Maid of the Mist over the Hornblower. Maid of the Mist is the American boat tour and it is the more iconic of the two. I mean, Hornblower is fine and all but they were not the ones to save that kid that got swept over the falls. Also, Hornblower gives you these red colored rain ponchos while MotM gives you blue ones. Personal preference but I would rather match the water in blue. In case you have not noticed, my reviews are based purely on aesthetics! We, of course, were that family that drove across from America into Canada to go to our hotel, and then realized we had already paid to do the Maid of the Mist. So we drove back to America, passports and all, so we could do everything we needed to do there before driving back into Canada.

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Half of the image may not be visible, but gosh darn if that bird isn’t somethin’ else!
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See the Maid of the Mist just looks like it belongs on the water with all that blue!

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Witness the great migration of the Falls Folk, clad in their bright, blue, garbage bag fashions as they climb to the top to get the best view!
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Family portrait time!!!!!
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I said that I liked the color of the rain poncho; that did not mean I wanted to wear it all day!
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I guess the falls are kinda pretty:P

TEE-SHIRT TUESDAY

Well I suppose by now I may have outgrown my tees, that is to say that I am a lazy slob in the summer. It is like my work ethic hibernates for the…summer. But do not fear, for my shirt feels your pain. Therefore it delivers the appropriate message, “Pass the tissues, we all got issues” written in dainty embroidered cursive and surrounded by fluffy, pink velveteen.

Can anyone tell me why velvet is back and also, will it stay? I want so much to get into this trend but I just do not trust it! I bought this tee but I was so close to buying a giant, oversized, pink, velveteen hoodie just for the statement and novelty. I thought a tee was a little easier to style that a giant hoodie so I did not go for it. But it is weird to me that summer is upon us and yet, velvet has not left the fashion scene.

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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!