Monday, December 21, 2009

One Quarter Down Two Stillettos Up!

Finals are done and now I can kick up my stilletto boots!  Things went well and I think I slept about a few hours each night, but hey at least I got sleep!  I LOVE Fashion School!  I love love designing, enhancing my art knowledge, and realizing how much I have already learned when I pick up a piece of fashion or design literature.  Life is great.  I am at a positive peak on the rollercoaster ride right now.  What am I prepping for now is getting ready for when the rollercoaster takes another dip.  I'm not expecting it to be that way, just getting prepared, oh and realizing life is a rollercoaster ride!  It's the lows that make you appreciate the highs and the highs that make you appreciate not being in the lows.  Life is a REFINING experience and that is my overall goal - to be refined and happy.  I love keeping life simple, I know what I enjoy and the type of people I enjoy being around so I do my best to put those "notions" on my fabric of my life. 

What have I learned during my first quarter at the Fashion Institute in LALA Land? 

- Yes, I am good at sewing. 
- I need to practice my fashion sketching and really get used to the idea of how skinny those models need to appear on paper in order to be accepted by the industry. 
- I know when the three pieces of men's attire originated and when people thought Louis XIV had good style. 
- Some people from Pennsylvania really need to let up on the sarcasm and actually believe that a blonde haired girl who likes to wear stilletto boots might be very intelligent ;) 
- I am lucky to have amazing friends :)
- Fashion Design school was a very good idea and I'm really glad that I made the leap to do this!

Over the holiday break I will be pulling out the sketch book and working on the fashion figure.  I am also in the process of designing an interesting pair of gloves.  Oh and I just received an awesome book detailing the artwork of Andy Warhol (my favorite artist) which I am going to use as an inspiration for POP designs that I have in mind.  Stay tuned for when I finally finish my so called "POP" fashion designs. 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"I hear your name in certain circles, and it always makes me smile."

Today is such a nice morning.  I have been working at Armani Exchange learning the details of running a retail shop.  This experience is more beneficial than I initially expected.  My game plan, pending my current and future "retail employers" aren't reading this... is to learn from one chain and then switch to another retail chain and learn from them and then switch again... this way I can learn from several companies on how they do things differently or the same and what works out the best.  I am also working for a vendor at the California Market Center.  With this opportunity I am able to see the process of how retail shops obtain the products that they sell within their own shops.  I'm learning more about different demographics and what types of clothing, fabrics, styles, etc. are popular for each specific group. 

Within school itself, I'm loving FIDM.  Whenever I put my white FIDM totebag on my shoulder it makes me smile, well depending on how heavy it is for the day ;)  My favorite part of this experience are my classes. 

LA itself is still crazy, seriously there are some weirdos in this city!!!  I thought Washington DC had some characters, well LA's crazies are different but may even be crazier!  I was going to tell some stories about the "crazies", but I'd rather not have that info listed on my blog...  I will say that generally speaking, the general population in LA is tremendously more fashion forward than the DC'ers (sorry guys, but it's true - straight up).  I joke and say that even the homeless people rock better style then the average individual walking the streets of DC (some homeless guys even have designer jeans, they are dirty, but they are designer haha).  That is not to say there aren't your fashionistas in DC, because they absolutely exist - so a shout out to you!

Now I just need to get all of my projects finished and get my work schedule(s) in order to enable me to get back to watching Project Runway.  I love that show and cannot believe I am missing this season since it was filmed in the very same school I am currently attending.  I have classes in the same rooms that the designers occupied. 

Alas, that is the current update.  My advice to those who are thinking about taking a leap for their dreams, do it!  Things are never going to line up completely; those ducks are never going to be in a row.  You just have to go for it.  That is part of what life is about - if you aren't pursuing your dreams, you are already dead!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Life Changes and Peanut Butter

Hmmm... peanut butter is one of the best things in life.  It is my ultimate comfort food.  No matter how much I eat it, I never get tired of it.  You can put peanut butter on almost anything to make it taste better.  As for me, a new starving/broke graduate student, this glorious peanut butter has made a huge improvement of the slightly stale bread I must consume in order to have lunch on a budget.  Peanut butter is a substance that I do not want missing in my life.

Now as for the life changes part... now that I'm entirely on my own in a brand new city I've had some time to think about my life and what I want.  I'm pursuing my dream, which honestly has been a lot of ups and downs already and the process just started.  I do believe with a lot more patience and time, the ride will become smoother and I will be more equipped to enjoy it!  However, there is still something missing.  I am now going to let go of my brain constantly controlling my life and listen to my heart.  My heart is telling me that I am missing something in my life.  I want to achieve balance and my life appears to be on the "a-symmetrical" side currently.  I think I know what I am missing, let's just see if I can now let go of my pride and seek it out.  In the end, my most important goal is to be happy.  Oh and be happy with a plentiful amount of peanut butter!

Right now I am off to the California Market Center to meet with a manufacturer and learn more about their business.  Cross your fingers that a good opportunity or at least a learning experience will come out of this for me.  After my meeting that I individually arranged by chance meeting this group of people in a restaurant, I will head on to my second class of the day - History of Costume.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Armani Baby!

Wahoo... just got a job with Armani Exchange.  So if anyone wants to look extra sophisticated and sexy with an urban edge come and see me!  I'm excited for this opportunity...

Friday, October 9, 2009

The LA Update

Well I'm officially here in LALA Land.  I went for a run on the treadmill this morning and was staring at about ten different highrise financial buildings.  I love this!  I've officially had one class so far - Fashion Sketching.  Now I get to practice the fashion figure as we now call it - the "crouquix", by sketching 20 of them for homework.  I have also already had several interviews for employment opportunities, nothing serious, but definitely a step in the beginning direction of a new career path.  I will announce where I have interviewed if I actually get the positions ;) 

Next week for classes, I will have an array of business fashion, history of costume, color theory, and a fabulous sewing class (sewing is my fav, hopefully it stays that way!). 

As for the social scene, it's not bad here, people are either very friendly or super stuck up so it's easy to quickly tell who you don't want to associate with.  I have met a couple of super sweet friends from school who I'm thinking may just be friends for life.  It's nice to know there are really awesome people here!

This will have to suffice for the basic update for now.  I will have more to report later, but for now I actually feel like this decision has been a very good fit for me.  I can say - I'm happy :) 

Monday, September 28, 2009

Don't Close the Book!

I almost gave up.  My brain tried to talk my heart out of it.  In my head, I thought I could convince myself of the "most rational" decision.  Then again, I took the so called "rational" path for the past seven years and last time I read the news it wasn't awesome to be considered a banker - haha!  Forbes noted "What does an un-employed banker need?  A new career path...".

I was in my car driving away from pursuing my dream.  My head still trying to hold out strong, but my heart kicked in...tears began to fall down my cheeks.  I couldn't stop the way I feel.  After a lot of thinking and really trying to make the smart decision, I never thought I would feel this way and that I would actually get so emotional about trying to make the "rational" decision.  Emotions ruled when I thought about having to close the book on pursing fashion design.

Well what I'm going to do now is wipe the tears from my cheeks and tell my brain to shut up for a little while.  Well at least long enough to get over the "this is too risky" thought.

What does all this mean???  I start fashion design classes at FIDM in LA next Wednesday :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Want to be The Next Monique Lhuillier

Ok so I'm back from San Diego.  I have been all over the board in places and in thoughts going through my head.  Oh dear it's been an interesting ride.  Oh and the ride's direction is still not quite set.  In the past 24 hours I have been on the track of applying for banking jobs and deciding that going back into what my past seven years of work experience would be the smart thing to do.  Then I have been on the I will just try and start up my business on my own.  And then I have been on the track of I should NOT give up on my dreams.

A dream is an aspiration, a goal, an aim.

One of the most famous designers that went to school in LA at FIDM is Monique Lhuillier.  I love her designs and what she has done with her business.  She also has the cutest family and house in Bel Air.  If I could trade places or seek to have a similar life as someone, it would be Monique's.

If I have talent, work hard, never give up, and network I will be able to live my dream.  I have to keep reminding myself that this is a process, it's not going to be easy, and it's not going to happen over night.  PERSEVERANCE will be my key.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

LA ~ Stands for Less Assurance

Monday turned out to be the day my little Mini Cooper made its way officially from coast to coast; I reached LA.  My plan was to check out the FIDM LA campus in person and potential places for me to rent.  Within minutes of being around the campus and in LA, my gut wasn't liking the scene.  My head was unsure.  My heart sunk.  I spent time touring the campus and the area, still feeling the love for fashion but unsure about the LA scene all together.  So here I am now, trying to take some time to clear my head and perhaps explore a different route.  This decision I thought I was making turned out to be different than my initial expectations, however I just want the end decision to feel like I have made the right decision.

Am I giving up? Absolutely not.  I'm exploring my options and hoping that I will get the "this feels like the right decision" feeling.

The next stop... the lovely city of San Diego.  I will make my way to SD this weekend for a little fun in the sun as well as taking a look at the SD campus that was newly constructed by FIDM less than a year ago.  What are my expectations?  Well they are open.  I want to compare the different campuses and explore the idea of living in SD.  I have spent time in SD before and have a better sense of what life is like there better than LA.  There is also a chance I may decide to pursue fashion design on my own and execute ideas without school if I decide school is going to be more of a burden than advantage.  At this point it is hard to say what exactly will happen.  I really like the idea of taking a look at what is out there and sizing up my options.  I know I want to make the right decision for me and do what is best for me.  I am going to actively explore options that I believe will be good for me and entertain the idea that I may need to be patient in figuring the next steps out.  So here we go... onward... and the adventure saga continues... dunn, dunnnn, dunnnnn!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Time vs. Money

These two factors alone can cause a person so much stress.  My situation is somewhat difficult.  I quit my job and made some decisions that did not work out well for me.  I learned a lot and experienced a lot but when it comes down to the "game of life" - we need a job and we need money to survive and time is against us.  So here I am trying to figure out my current struggle/challenge of life.  I have my dream in the horizon and I'm hoping I can get there.  However due to the lovely economic conditions we are experiencing and for who knows how long, I almost feel like my hands and feet are tied and I'm in the bottom of a swimming pool trying to reach the surface.  My odds aren't looking so good to get to the top for a breathe of air.  It's everyday I realize more and more how daring my decisions are.  However, call me crazy, but there is something inside of me that knows I will make it.  Something keeps propelling me, pushing me to get there.  I need to make it.

Over the next month I will deal with adjusting to another part of the country, not really knowing anyone, job searching in one of the most difficult cities to find employment, starting a full time schedule of classes (which I am very excited about bytheway!), but will be a very busy girl.  Through all the struggles and challenges I have gone through, I just keep thinking I am going to be one freaking strong lady when all is said and done.  Things that I have learned are people who really care will be there to help out, even if it's just a "you can do it, I believe in you" cheer, it can make a huge difference.  I have also learned some people will lead you astray and if you allow them to get close to you it will hurt very badly.  Going through these experiences basically sucks, but that's just life I guess.  You got to take the good with the bad.

I just keep thinking once I get through this, then I will be happy and everything will be ok.  Funny thing is, now that I've been through some struggles, I have learned once you get through one another one comes up.  It's like that game I played when I was a youngster - I had this huge foam hammer and the concept was to hit all of the golphers when they popped up from their holes on this arcade box.  Each of the golphers is a problem/challenge in life, I hit one and another one pops up.  I have a feeling it's going to be like this all of my life.  What I get from playing "the game" is experience.  With experience I become faster and better at hitting those damn golphers.  With life experience I become stronger and smarter in dealing with the next challenge.

My dream is still there and nobody is going to take that away from me, I won't let anyone.  When I want something bad enough nobody can stop me, that's just something this world is going to have to deal with! :)

I composed this article to express that dreams can happen but they are not easy to obtain, we have to work for them, sometimes we have to give up just about everything for them.  Blood, sweat, and tears!  This article is also for your entertainment and yet again for my writing therapy... thanks for reading.

Tonight's blog is dedicated to a good friend who sent me a text about thirty minutes ago saying "You will find a way... You are far from defeated.  I'm amazed at your effort and accomplishment, despite adversity."  Thanks buddy, I needed to hear that!

Friday, September 4, 2009

"Do I look happy? I should — for I was a child nobody wanted. A lonely girl with a dream — who awakened to find that dream come true. I am Marilyn Monroe. Read my Cinderella story."

We all recognize the style icon - Marilyn Monroe.  However, I'm sure there are some things you didn't know about Miss Monroe.  After doing a little reading about this lovely lady, I have gained a different kind of respect for her based upon her life before stardom.

Marilyn was born as Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1st, 1926 in Los Angeles.  Marilyn got a rough start at life.  She definitely was not born into a high class family, in fact Marilyn didn't really even have a family.  She grew up in foster homes.  Her birth certificate lists her father's name but with his residence stated as "unknown".  Her mom was mentally unstable and financially unable to care for her so she was placed into foster care.  Marilyn's mother eventually suffered a mental breakdown.  In My Story, Monroe recalls her mother "screaming and laughing" as she was taken into an institution.  In 1942, at the age of only 16, Marilyn was pressured to marry the fellow she was dating at the time because the foster home she was in could no longer care for her.  That relationship lasted about four years.  Marilyn then pursued her dreams and found her way to Hollywood!  Marilyn was captivated by Jean Harlow and decided to bleach her hair blonde and take her own lead based off things she loved about Jean Harlow.  Jean Harlow was an American film actress and sex symbol of the 1930s, known as the "Platinum Blonde".

In 1951, Joe DiMaggio saw a picture of Monroe with some Chicago White Sox players and was later set up on a date with her in 1952.  Monroe said she did not want to meet him, fearing that he was going to be a stereotypical jock.  They eloped on January 14th, 1954 (she was 28 years old).  The two separated and were divorced later that same year.  Marilyn eventually remarried yet again, this next time to Arthur Miller in 1956.  Her love life, shall we say, was a bit complicated! ;)

Marilyn passed away August 5th, 1962, at the age of 36 (only the good die young).  She is in a crypt space in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.

The crypt space immediately to the left of Monroe's was bought and reserved by Hugh Hefner in 1992.  In August 2009, the crypt space directly above that of Monroe was placed for auction and sold for $4.6 million.

Marilyn's Favorites:
Colors:  Beige, Black, White, Red
Artists:  Goya, Picasso, El Greco, Michelangelo, Botticelli
Beverage:  Dom Perignon 1953
Book:  How Stanislavsky Directs by Michael Gorchakov
Singers:  Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra
Poets:  John Keats, Walt Whitman
Restaurant:  Romanoff's (in Hollywood)
Store:  Bloomingdale's
Perfume:  Chanel No. 5

Interesting Stuff:
Height:  5 ft 5 1/2 inches
Weight:  115-120 lbs
Measurements:  37-23-36 (Studio's Claim); 35-22-35 (Dressmaker's Claim)

This girl amazes me with what she accomplished while having nothing handed to her in her childhood.  It's amazing the things she overcame when she was a little girl.  It definitely goes to show you if you have enough passion and just never give up, you can make your dreams happen!  Go Marilyn!!!  You rock girl!  We love you!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

FIDM - Say Hello to Your New Fashion Designer!!!

Well it's Thursday evening and my future has been determined...FINALLY!!  I just had my final interview with FIDM and am pleased to announce that I just got accepted into their Fashion Design program.  I will start classes the first part of October, so wish me luck!  I want to thank everyone who has supported me in this pursuit.  You guys are the ones that help motivate me and keep me strong to go after my dreams.  When I got the news I wanted to cry but opted to keep my composure and just smile.  All I can say right now is that I am very content and extremely happy.  I will follow this post with more description of my plans as well as a picture of the newest design I have created (a cute denim dress).

It's moments like these that make the struggles in life worth it!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Start of the Journey

I recently drove my little Mini Cooper all over the United States - twice!  I think a shorter list for me to compile would be "states I have not traveled through in the past three months"!  My destination was the nation's capital - the District of Columbia - what an amazing city with great people, some who I will never forget.

How it all started...

I have spent the past seven years working in the financial world.  This world as many of you know, is very challenging and can be quite rewarding from a monetary sense.  However, there comes a time in your life, where no matter how much "dinero" you make and how good you are at your job, living life in a cubicle just doesn't make sense anymore.  This time had come for me.  I quit my somewhat high profile banking career at the time when the economy started to head on the downward slope of the roller coaster ride.  I had no solid job prospects, but that didn't matter to me, I had other aspects of my life that I wanted to explore and expand.  By doing so, I have grown immensely in other areas outside of the so called "Pursuit of the American Dream".  While in DC, I picked up a job as a server working at a fun little waterfront restaurant.  I had a great time while I worked and was able to fully express my personality and enjoy working with people again.  In some aspects I had the best and worst times in DC from a short term life perspective.  The best parts were the friendships I developed, the culture that I was able to fall in love with, and amazing sights just at my fingertips.  The worst parts or I should just say part (singular) because there was really only one...  was that of experiencing poor judgment of "love".  Because my judgment was so poor, this item doesn't really need to be discussed at this time... [chuckle for myself].  However, that one item of poor judgment sent me back to the west coast sooner than later, to finally, finally pursue one of my dreams in life - fashion design.

So here I am, satisfied with most of the choices I have made thus far in the past few months.  There are always things I wished I could do different, but what I can do now is learn from those experiences.  What I did when I arrived back home was bust my little butt in getting my entire design portfolio ready in just a week.  Success was achieved there and now the waiting game begins for me.  What will happen??  I will know this Thursday evening if I am accepted when I have my final interview with FIDM (one of the top fashion design programs in the nation - new home of Project Runway).  If I am accepted I will be able to go after something I have always wanted to do.  Even during my seven years in the finance world there wasn't a day that I didn't think about what it would really be like to pursue the fashion industry, something more "my style".

So the journey has begun.  Because I have no idea when it will end or how it will end, I cannot say for sure what part of the journey I am actually in.  However, I would like to think of this as the start of a new journey in life for me, at least from my perspective.