Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Upcoming Balenciaga exhibit

From the Cut blog -- Cristóbal Balenciaga exhibit curated by Hamish Bowles at the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute on the Upper East Side this coming November... should be interesting!
Balenciaga “Infanta” evening dress, 1939 (left); Balenciaga  evening dress and stole, 1952.

Balenciaga “Infanta” evening dress, 1939 (left); Balenciaga evening dress and stole, 1952.

Balenciaga flamenco-inspired evening dress, 1951 (left); Balenciaga evening ensemble with toreador bolero, 1946.Photo: Henry Clarke / Vogue; Copyright © Condé Nast; Christian Bérard / Vogue; Copyright © Condé Nast.

Monday, June 21, 2010

After the presentation... or the Recession makes life difficult for everyone

In my last post chronicling my path as a designer, I discussed the planning and execution of the presentation.

After the presentation, my friend Michelle (who was helping me with operations at the time) and I started talking to different stores about carrying the line. At the time, Emily, one of the girls who had helped me produce the presentation, was working at Henri Bendel, which would have been an ideal outlet for the line. She helped us set up a meeting with one of the women's buyers. We took the collection to the Bendel offices on 5th avenue, and she agreed the line would be a great fit for the store because it was colorful and youthful. We decided to set up a trunk show for June. I was very excited as it would have been a great opportunity for Graey.

Note that I said would have. We solidified the details in late April, but soon after I saw a NYTimes article announcing that Bendel's would stop carrying clothing in favor of focusing on their accessories business. Alarmed because I was about to start production for the trunk show, I tried to contact the buyer and got radio silence when I tried emailing and calling. I got in touch with Emily who informed me that without a warning, the entire clothing buying department had been let go the day before the article came out.

Desperately, I called the main corporate office at Henri Bendel and got in touch with a VP who informed me that there would be no trunk show. I was devastated to say the least, and tried to figure out what to do next.

Friday, June 18, 2010

New favorite song

loving this song by the black keys... and the vid is pretty funny too.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I did another sale today and...

a girl walks in, takes a look at the stuff, and tells me apologetically that she's in the poorhouse and can't buy anything. Then she proceeds to ask my advice on what she should wear to her job interview for a media company, not realizing I'm the designer of the clothes she's looking at. I thought that was funny.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Planning my first presentation

First off, my apologies for not posting more substantive posts in the past couple of months. This past month, I was busy pursuing a potential break that didn't end up working out, but I'm (relatively) at peace about it.

Secondly, my friend Ferris shot photos of Katrin's completed dress last week, so hopefully I'll be getting the processed images soon and posting them.

Thirdly, I'll be doing another sale this Friday at 434 e 9th st, so everyone come on by!

Fourthly, Ray Lamontagne is coming out with a new album in August! His music is so cathartic for me, and I love his voice -- I can't wait to hear the new album.

I realized it's been a while since my last post about developing as a designer, so I thought it would be good to write one now.
I left off with mentioning that I had decided to do a presentation for my Fall 09 collection. From the beginning, I told Emily and Noelle that we had a very limited budget, as in, almost nonexistent. Therefore, planning the presentation was an exercise in resourcefulness and the skillful use of smoke and mirrors.

Noelle scored a coup for us by using her real estate contacts to find a space for us. She got us the use of two beautiful duplex apartments at Morgan Court, a luxury apartment building that was very close to Bryant Park. They were looking for exposure and we were looking for space, so it worked out very nicely.

My friend Kellan got me in touch with Barefoot Wines, which hooked us up with wine and bubbly for the presentation.

I contacted different modeling agencies, and got in touch with bookers at Trump, Major, and Direct, whose newer models worked the show for trade (which means you give them clothes worth a certain value in exchange for work done).

Another friend gave me press lists to contact to invite to the presentation. Noelle, Emily, Michelle, and I worked together to invite press and coordinate logistics for the show. My other friends agreed to play live music at the show. Emily's cousin, Doug, gave us a deal on lighting and created an amazing gobos design that flashed the company logo on a nearby building.

Through Craig's List, I was able to get hair and makeup people. Another designer lent us shoes, and the rest of the accessories were either borrowed from my friend Sarah, a jewelry designer, or from the collection of my friend, Diana, who helped with styling my photo shoots. I bought the tights at Strawberry and Ricky's over Halloween.

A bunch of my other friends volunteered to help out day of with dressing the models and other backstage and traffic flow duties.

We contacted press beforehand, getting a preview article on and after meeting with WWD, they came to our show and did a review as well.

Here are some photos, taken of course, by Ferris Vanderveer:
The stage.
The opening scene.

Switched positions.
Graey logo flashed on a neighboring building.

With the models afterward.
With my co-conspirators.