Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Dress A Day

So this past week a friend sent me this wonderful link to a blog called "New Dress A Day." I must say it was so much fun to see. The premise is a California chick, turning 30 has just been laid off from her job and has decided to cope by creating 365 new looks (1 per day) for $365. I must say I totally dug this creative junkie binge of mind candy. Me, while sewing in a factory and industrial settings means that you rarely create 1 of anything. I struggle SOOOOooo much with the tortured creative end. I mean if you create a look, it needs to be in multiple sizes, colors, etc. You often do not 1, but several dozen of a particular look or style. This blog was pure fun.
While I don't know if it would work here in North Carolina and I haven't been to any $1 clothing yard sales around here, I love the idea of creating one of a kind looks from recycled other ideas and past treasures. It also was a great source for things like using Rite Dye to rescue stained fabrics or create different colored pieces.
I hope that you get a chance this week to check it out. This may be one of my favorite design blogs at the moment. I can't wait to see how the year ends.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jewelry Design 2.0- Beta Testing

One of my girl friends, Elizabeth designs high-end jewelry with the label Rapt. She's amazing. You can see her website and some of her wonderful pieces in Bauble Boutique and Scoop down in Ballantyne Charlotte. We actually live in the same neighborhood and met due to our mutual dog love. If you are ever in the neighborhood, I encourage you to go see some of her pieces. They're unique, one of a kind pieces of art well worth the price of precious metals and semi-precious stones.
I love clothes, the touch, the feel of fabric sliding through your fingers. Measuring the weight and quality to me symbolizes all is right with the world. Elizabeth, along with several other of my other friends are AMAZING jewelry artists. Me, I make good $5-20 pieces from favorite antique buttons mostly and a fair amount of industrial glue, normally to match a jacket or purse I fell in love with. Totally different style, that's why we have friends who let us drool at their work. Anyways, most of them have switched away from using glue to metal soldering for added strength and I've decided to try it out myself the next month or so before the show. It will also make it easier to make custom clasps for purses and such.
And I would love to have any former customer and their choice of 1 friend who wants to be a beta tester drop me a note so I can mail you between now and September 25th. There are 4 simple steps:

1) At the end of this post, add a comment with your name and if you want the name of one of your best friends and their e-mail who you want to share your new free treasure with. Drop me an e-mail if your address has changed, otherwise, I already have it on file.
2) Note if you want a necklace or earrings.
3) Wait until the week after September 25th for you free gift to arrive.
4) Wear it for a month and if you like it or have any suggestions for how to make it work better for you, let me know in the follow up blog post on October 25th.

That's all.

Have a great week. I hope to hear from you. It is my goal to continually improve the quality of service I have to offer you the customer.

Monday, August 16, 2010

LA Heats up with Magic

Increasingly the US fashion world is moving from East Coast to West. Well, it's probably been moving that way since the 50s and increasingly since the 70s until China and Asia have become the dominant manufacturers in the world. Just as the sewing machine gutted European fashion market in the 1800s as the US took over, so Orient is expanding it's ancient silk trade with automation and low wages. This means that while my uncles and previous generation in the 80s and early 90s spent their days blowing coke with hot models at New York fashion shows, the real action of large scale manufacturers and chain department stores is skinny dipping in Vegas these days.
Which brings me to Magic. Magic is the big West Coast manufacturing conference held in LA. You may see the models walk the runways in NY, but the deals are cut in LA. This week it's going on and you can see the website at Magic Online. There's a number of sub-shows that are partnered under the Magic umbrella. Solid middle upper line department stores like Bloomingdales and Nordstrom can be found browsing for deals. The seminars with trend color forecasts and style are what I'm most interested in. Anyways, I'd love to go one day. But that's probably a couple years away.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Designing Leather and Fur: Hertzburg Furs

The next couple of weeks, I will be transitioning from doing industrial factory work to beginning an internship at Hertzburg Furs training in using fur/leather as design mediums for my line. My hope is that they'll decide to keep me long term as it's a wonderful, friendly company to work for, and everyone is A talent which is rare to find these days vs. 1 or 2 star players. They're considered some of the best in the world and the owner ran some Nieman Marcus high-end design for about 8 yrs. I'm learning the ins and outs of the business. In case any of you think this is glamorous, let's just say I'm a low level design intern who spends most of my days sewing and slicing up my fingers with a needle. My long-term goal is to continue to improve both my ability and raise the quality of my work to eventually be designing in this medium. Hertzburg is interested in maybe taking some of my purses and recreating them in fur and leather which is exciting to me to be recognized.
All the animals that they buy are raised humanely and certified to have lived a cruelty free life. So far I've learned a lot about the dying and laser process which has grown tremendously in allowing designers today to treat fur as something closer to fabric than it used to be. However, there is A LOT of work and detail so I won't claim that this is something I will be able to offer to clients immediately. However, my goal is to constantly improve my abilities and grow with the industry to give clients the best possible product at the highest standards. And to recognize that quality has to improve with time. I realize there's a lot of faux fur and leather on the market now, but the quality still lags far behind the real stuff so much that I think it's important to learn from the experts. Hertzberg is one of those leaders and I feel lucky they let me in the door.
It has continued to be a struggle to take my ideas from the sales floor and paper to the work room, but I'm enjoying the challenge and the people I get to meet. To all of you, good luck this week following your dreams.

Next week: The Magic Conference in LA

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Taking Pictures: The Art and the Sweat

This week I'm stalking people at the park while walking the dog and my local co-workers. There's a lot of practice that goes into taking better photos. Some of it is books and reading, but some of it is also developing an eye for the subject. Part of it is also a realization that it takes a certain personality to ham it up for the camera. Some people are indifferent, some people avoid it, but a few light up for it. It's finding those that respond positively...that the camera brings something out. Or perhaps it's me to find a way to bring that out in others.