Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Check out my friends' band - Murder Mystery + free MP3s!

My friends are in a band called Murder Mystery. I've played a couple of shows with them at Mercury Lounge, Bowery Ballroom, and Bell House. Anyway, they are rad. You can check them out here or get two free MP3 downloads here.

They are playing a free show at Brooklyn Bowl on 10/12.

Love Astronaut is probably their best known song -- some random dude choreographed a dance and filmed himself doing it.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Wedding Dress Project! Part 1

My friend Rachel, who has modeled for me and was in the music video we did last year, is getting married soon. She was having a hard time finding a dress she liked, so she decided to use her mom's old dress and make some modifications.

Rachel is 5'9 and her mom is 5'2, so the skirt ended up being too short on her. She asked me if I could construct a completely new bodice for her.

The wedding will be in the winter, so she was interested in the pannier style she had seen in Marie Antoinette, like below:

The first step was to get her measurements. I did a rough sketch and wrote down the measurements (she is tiny). The faux pannier in the front will be from a new fabric that matches the rest of the dress, and the sides will be made of the new fabric plus hopefully a lace overlay, and the sleeves will be recut from the lace. The tiny sketch on the side is a scooped back.

Introducing Manimal!

Whenever the seasons change I get this allergy/sickness... the timing is such that I believe it's allergies, but it usually lasts a week or so where I feel miserable. I've tried Claritin, and there are probably other allergy meds I should try but a combination of laziness and lack of health insurance have been barriers to discovering the cure to my allergy/sickness.

Anyway, if you saw my SS11 collection, you would have noticed the awesome moccasins by Manimal, designed by my new friend Kristen Lombardi. She just revamped her website so you should check it out.

Before the show, I was over at her cute apartment in Brooklyn to pick up shoes, and she let me photograph her workspace.

Here are some of the moccasins from her line.

Kristen went to school at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, where she studied apparel design. Once she got interested in moccasins, she taught herself how to work with leather to create these awesome shoes!

She makes all of the moccasins and accessories from her line by hand in her studio. Here are the machines she uses.

Kristen is a true artisan, and it was inspiring to see her studio and collaborate with her for this collection.

Kristen was a little shy, but I managed to get her to take a picture. She is expecting a baby very soon!

If you appreciate craftsmanship, you should check out her online shop. She makes all of the pieces by hand so if you have any special needs, she can probably hook it up.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Check out my cousin's jazz piano playing!

My cousin Alice is a very talented pianist. She has been studying jazz piano at New England Conservatory. Here is a video of her playing at her certificate recital:

She recently finished a recording project, which I am happy to share with you.

Click here to listen: 9/12/2010 Session by republicofalice

or you can check out her tumblr site:

Monday, September 20, 2010

The American, The Social Network, etc.


Last week I convinced my friend Lindy to go see a matinee of The American, George Clooney's latest movie. I've loved George Clooney since ER so when I saw the movie posters around the city, knowing nothing about the movie, I wanted to go see it. The movie was beautiful but slow. As much as I love George, I still had to struggle to stay awake for the first half. Things picked up about halfway through, but as Lindy aptly stated, it felt very self-indulgent. George is getting older, but he still looks pretty good.

Before the movie started, I saw the trailer for The Social Network, a movie about the origins of Facebook coming out in a couple of weeks.

I've seen the trailer a few times at this point, and each time I watch it I cringe. Facebook was created when I was a senior at Harvard, hot on the heels of another infamous Mark Zuckerberg creation, Facemash. Facemash was basically "Am I Hot or Not" using randomly generated ID photos of Harvard undergrads. Mark was "ad-board"-ed (Harvard's disciplinary board) but managed to escape being kicked out of the school.

I've actually known Mark since we were kids. He is friends with my younger brother, Doug, and when we were in high school (Mark went to my school before switching to Exeter), I'd jokingly push him into lockers during track practice (our school was small and we didn't have an indoor track so sometimes we'd jog in the hallways when it was too cold to run outside). He and Doug were computer-nerd buddies and kept in touch from time to time so when my brother visited me the spring of my junior year (Spring of 2003), we paid a visit to Mark. Even then he had two huge monitors on his desk for coding. He was working on a program that would build a playlist based on your music preferences, kind of like the Genius application in iTunes, but several years ahead. He was talking to Microsoft about selling it.

What impressed me about Mark was his dedication to what could essentially be described as his art. He is obviously a very smart dude, but he was the first to admit that in reputation and in tested arenas, my brother was known for possessing more raw intelligence. However, he loved programming and would devote every waking moment to it, often staying up late at night and skipping class to work on different programs. This is why I get annoyed when I read articles about the allegations made by the ConnectU team. Although I didn't know the Winklevoss twins and only knew Divya Narendra as a casual acquaintance, I find it hard to believe, knowing what I do know about them, and what I know about Mark, that a) Mark stole the idea from them (it seems to be a natural and organic progression from the FaceMash idea) and b) that they could ever have built it up into something as big as what Facebook has become.

At Harvard, at the end of your freshman year you're randomly placed with your blocking group (an up to 8 person group of people) in one of the undergraduate houses, where you live until you graduate or transfer to another house. Mark coincidentally ended up in my house, Kirkland, so I would see him from time to time. (He was a sophomore when I was a senior). Since Mark and his roommates started Facebook, there was a little buzz about it around the house when it all began the spring semester of my senior year. I'll admit that I thought it was a dumb idea when it first started, and only joined when my friend asked me to so she could up her friend count. (I'm user #384). One of the ways it came in handy was facilitating hookups and friendships with other seniors during the spring when we were all relaxing and enjoying ourselves. If you met someone casually you could friend the person on Facebook and if the response was good, move on from there.

I've only seen the trailer so maybe the movie isn't quite as I am interpreting it, but what annoys me about it is the way it portrays Mark. He and I aren't super close but seeing him in college and afterward visiting Facebook HQ and seeing what it has become, it irks me to see him portrayed as this insecure dork who created a social network to become cool and get into the final clubs. First of all, he created Facebook after punch season for the final clubs, so that doesn't make sense. Secondly, he is one of those people that doesn't really give a shit about being cool, and just cared about creating something great. So I guess what I am annoyed about is how Hollywood has decided to put Mark's character into this little caricature of a box.

From the trailer it's hard to tell how they will portray the conflict with the ConnectU boys, but I imagine that they will try to place Mark in a negative light, as is often the case in the press. As I stated earlier, that whole thing seems ridiculous to me as well.

I will probably reluctantly watch the movie just to laugh at how they use all of the Harvard stereotypes to portray life at Harvard, but I wrote this long post to state that the movie should be treated as the work of fiction it is, and not an accurate portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg or the events leading to the creation of the phenomenon that is the Facebook.

Friday, September 17, 2010

New Reefs!

I've been wearing the same pair of black Reefs for the past few years. I know they aren't super stylish but they are so comfy and I am a creature of comfort. I first was introduced to Reefs by my freshman year roommate. We both had black flip flops and I accidentally put hers on because we were the same shoe size. I was surprised at how much more comfortable hers were (I was wearing a pair of Old Navy ones) and decided to buy my own pair eventually.

I wore my pair out though, and there is a hole in the heel of the right flip flop. I didn't have time these past few weeks to buy a new pair but I wore them anyway with the hole in them. So today I tried to find them. I tried a few different places before I found them at ShoeMania on Broadway/Bleecker. They were on sale for $19.95 (I think they are usually a few dollars more) so I bought 2 pairs for myself (so I wouldn't have to look for them again for a while) and another for my mom. Yay! They feel so good on my feet. I think I had the Smoothys before, but this time I got the Sandys.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Graey on Untapped

My friend Michelle did a cool post on Graey on her blog with some beautiful behind the scenes photos she took of our meeting the night before our show. Check it out here:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Graey Spring/Summer 2011

After much blood, sweat, toil, and tears, I successfully showed my collection last Thursday, on the first day of New York Fashion Week. Well, maybe minus the blood and the tears. A few of the pieces were sewn by the factory I work with, but I sewed most of the pieces myself (with a little assistance from my parents and my awesome intern Cally). Needless to say, it was rough.

I'm going to preface this post by insisting that you check out the photos on my website first: -- because some of them are missing here and you can stream the show soundtrack by Alan Wilkis which I am excited about. At some point my new French friend will have the video up as well.

We got some early press in TimeOut New York which I'm pleased about -- you can check that out here:

As I mentioned in an earlier post, over the past several months I've been trying to learn to surf and I decided my Spring/Summer 2011 collection would be surf-inspired. I initially was thinking of working with neoprene but ended up finding a similar fabric called "spacer" at the spandex store, which I used to make padded bras reminiscent of wetsuits. I also used swimsuit fabrics and stretch lace to design leggings and tops that were surf-y and beachy. There were some t-shirty pieces embellished with silk chiffon, which were inspired by the t-shirty type clothes you throw on when you go to the beach -- soft and loose. I was super happy with the hair and makeup done by the Paul Labrecque team -- Hair: Tom Moschetto, Kalizya Hutchison, Amerah Abdelaziz Makeup: Daisy Schwartzberg

The moccasins were by Manimal and looked super cute with the clothes.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the images (all images by my friend Ferris Vanderveer):

Look 1
LAUREN - sand marshmallow french terry sweatshirt with lace sleeves, navy mesh leggings

Look 2
ALISA - navy marshmallow french terry dress with mesh sleeves

Look 3
RACHEL - white cotton jersey tank with sea foam silk chiffon panels and rosettes, sea foam silk jersey shorts with rosettes

Look 4
KELSEY - magenta lace rashguard dress

Look 5
MARCIA - cream lace rashguard dress

Look 6
KELLY - coral lace rashguard dress, yellow/white spacer bra

Look 7
TSUBASA - black cotton jersey tank with grey silk chiffon panels and rosettes, coral lace leggings

Look 8
ALEXA - cream lace rashguard, grey/silver spacer corset, grey/silver/sea foam colorblocked leggings

Look 9
GRETA - coral rashguard, green/silver spacer bra, silver/grey/coral color blocked leggings

Look 10
NADIA - black/grey/silver/coral color blocked one piece

Look 11
MARCIA - coral lace bikini

Look 12
RACHEL - navy mesh bikini

Look 13
ALISA - coral/grey spacer corset, black cotton jersey harem pants

Look 14
KELSEY - sea foam/silver/grey/yellow color blocked one piece

Look 15
LAUREN - cream/yellow/sea foam silk chiffon tank dress

Look 16
ALEXA - sand french terry wrap top, silver silk charmeuse harem pant

Look 17
GRETA - navy/purple/magenta colorblocked silk chiffon tank dress

Look 18
NADIA - grey french terry wrap top, navy silk charmeuse harem pant


Look 19
TSUBASA - black cotton jersey strapless gown with rosettes


KELLY - white cotton jersey tshirt gown with rosettes



After two grueling castings, we handpicked these lovely models. We saw lots of beautiful girls but these were right for the collection. The following agencies were involved:

MC2 - Rachel, Greta
FentonMoon - Marcia
Major - Alexa, Kelly, Kelsey, Nadia, Tsubasa
VNY - Alisa
Direct - Lauren

Thanks also to our other sponsors -- Hpnotiq who generously provided cocktails and cupcakes, as well as Ouidad and Arrojo and SummerSoles -- who provided swag for the gift bags!

Thanks so much to everyone who helped out and was part of this production! Here is a pic with of the friends who helped out --