Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New favorite drink

I first encountered this drink when I was having lunch at Google. It's yummy!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How to shine your silver without silver polish

I'm not a huge jewelry person. Most of the jewelry I own was gifted to me. I'm a pretty low maintenance person in general, so I don't really think about what kind of jewelry I should wear too often. If I wear jewelry, I'll usually keep wearing the same piece for a while. Since it's summer, I have toe rings that I'll wear most days (usually don't take them off unless I have to put on shoes that render wearing toe rings uncomfortable, including my rock climbing shoes). I have a couple of rings that I'll wear consistently too, although recently I haven't been wearing them as much because I'll take them off to go rock climbing (I don't like the way my skin gets pinched by the rings) and forget to put them back on. I also own a few nice earrings given to me by friends and my mom (although I tend to lose one pretty easily), but if I do wear earrings, I'll usually wear cheap ones I get at Forever21/St. Mark's/H&M because then if I lose them, I don't feel so bad.

Anyway, one piece of jewelry that I have on almost all the time is my Tiffany's Elsa Peretti cross. Two of my friends gave it to me for my 16th birthday, and I like it not only for its religious symbolism (I'm Christian) but also because it's a simple, elegant design. I just checked the price -- it's now $150. I'm pretty sure when I received it (over 12 years ago), it was half that price. Oh, inflation and luxury goods companies artificially inflating the price of their goods...

It's silver, so it tarnishes. One thing that stuck with me from my fourth grade teacher, Mr. Black, was the lesson that you can use toothpaste to polish silver. Amazing, right?

OK, maybe not, but if you don't feel like going to the store to buy silver polish, you can just take some toothpaste, smear a lot of it on the silver, rub it around, and rinse it off. I took an old toothbrush and scrubbed at it, which is probably NOT good for the silver, but definitely got the job done quickly. I took the above photo with my iPhone camera, using the ToyCamera app on the High Contrast B/W setting to get the above effect. Now my necklace is nice and shiny!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dear woman-who-purposely-did-not-move-so-I'd-bump-into-her,

I'm sorry that I did not let you exit Sil Thread before I entered, but it was raining, and if you wanted to exit, you should have moved more quickly instead of staying inside the door. However, if you pull that bullshit again, I will cut you.


Bouncing back

So my last post was about how I thought I was going to get a big break with a trunk show at Henri Bendel, but then it fell through because of the recession.

So what does one do when one's dreams are shattered?

OK, maybe that's being a little melodramatic. However, I was very disappointed about the whole thing, and after a little moping, I decided to take action.

I had previously compiled a list of boutiques in the NYC area that covered my target market. I had called each one up and asked how to contact the buyer, and they usually gave me an email address to try. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I cold emailed all of them, telling me about my situation -- that I was supposed to do a trunk show with Henri Bendel but the deal had fallen through and I was interested in selling my pieces with them.

Most of the boutiques didn't respond. I got a couple replies from buyers saying they liked my collection, but that they were either not looking for new designers, or my pieces were out of their boutique's price range, or that they were going out of business because of the economic situation.

However, I did get a few positive responses. One was from Searle. I met with the sales/marketing director and buyer and they were enthusiastic about carrying the collection. I was excited about working with them because they had a few stores uptown, so there would be a bigger distribution than working with just one store. However, they were filing for chapter 11 at the time (according to the fashion blogosphere) and after our initial contact, I found it hard to get a straight answer from them about an order, so I focused on the other prospects.

The buyers from Sucre and Albertine in the West Village had also responded so I met with them. They agreed to carry them on consignment, along with another boutique I had discovered in the East Village, duo. Taking a leap of faith, I decided to try producing the dresses and selling them on consignment with these boutiques, as well as on my online store.

After putting production on hold, I decided to go forward, producing approximately 20 pieces of six of the seven styles I had designed, crossing my fingers.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Another dress I finished for a private client

This client is tall -- 6'0! and wanted a dress that fit her well, with a subtle design. We did a simple sheath dress with a waist seam, a T-shaped dart, and a vent in the back of the skirt.

We put in some color in the center back zipper. Unfortunately, I took these photos with my iPhone camera so the quality isn't great (the first picture is kind of blurry) but you can see in the detail shot that the fabric is this cool basketweave linen. It was difficult to work with because it was so loosely woven but it was a beautiful fabric.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I will be featured on 7/22 at 12PM EST

Today, July 22nd, at 12PM EST, I will be interviewed in a live broadcast on Closetista, followed by a flash sale of some of my dresses and knits. Closetista is a new site featuring up and coming designers. Check it out!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Why Brooklyn is overrated

When you're artsy and your friends are artsy, you're bound to know someone who lives in Brooklyn. I don't have any problems with people living in Brooklyn... until they try to get me to go to Brooklyn. I have to like you a lot to make the trek out to Brooklyn to see you or to go to your house party.

Now I get why some people are enthralled with Brooklyn.
1) It's generally cheaper than Manhattan and there are lots of cool little neighborhoods with cool bars, restaurants, parks, Ikea, etc.
2) Brooklyn has become associated with creativity and coolness, since lots of artsy people live there, particularly in Billyburg and the Slope.
3) There are many areas that feel less like a city and more like a town, even the suburbs.

BUT here are reasons why Brooklyn is not that great.
1) Rent in Brooklyn can be cheap, but with gentrification, rent in the nicer areas is actually very close to, if not equal to prices in Manhattan, especially in the Williamsburg, Park Slope, and Brooklyn Heights areas.
2) Brooklyn can be VERY inconvenient. Traveling between neighborhoods in Brooklyn sometimes involves going back into Manhattan to switch trains, unless you know the bus routes really well or have a bike. Furthermore, there are frequent train problems between Brooklyn and Manhattan, particularly on weekends.
3) If I wanted to get away from the city, I'd go to Westchester.
4) Those artsy people can be pretentious. In Williamsburg, you feel out of place if you're not dressed like a hipster.

Sometimes my friends are like, but Williamsburg is only ONE STOP away from the city. To which I'm like, why would I want to live one stop away from the city if I could live IN the city? Why would I pay a premium to be frequently inconvenienced (I'm not exaggerating, most of my trips to Brooklyn involve some sort of train fail)?

In sum, awesome if you love Brooklyn, but don't try to convince me that it is better than Manhattan.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How to make a wedding dress - Part 5 - 2nd fitting and shoot

It's been over a month since we shot Katrin in the completed dress, but Ferris is worth waiting for (by the way, she is a very talented wedding photographer). It was an extremely hot and humid day, and we shot Katrin in the dress in Ferris' apartment in Brooklyn. Katrin's mom was starving but she hung out like a champ, and we locked up Katrin's fiance in the other room so he wouldn't see the dress. We put Ferris' white comforter on the ground because I wanted the backdrop to be white so that the tulle would stand out.

I took some extra tulle and made a makeshift veil for the shoot, which Katrin and her mom liked so much that I will likely be repeating it for the actual wedding in August. I made Ferris take off the necklace and bracelet from J.Crew that she was wearing and put it on Katrin. She put some makeup on, and her shoes for the wedding, and Ferris shot some images. She looks absolutely gorgeous, n'est-ce pas?

I pinned the tulle to her hair, bunching it up to mimic the dress.

Back detail. The fabric is sheer with little crinkles in it. There is just the one layer on the shoulder straps, and the bodice and skirt are lined.

Skirt detail. I hand sewed the tucks in the skirt.

The over skirt consisted of gold colored tulle with some peach colored tulle mixed in to heighten the three dimensionality. The straps are a little loose here -- I shortened them after the shoot.

Me and Katrin.