Tag Archives: fashion

Fake it till you Make it. NYFW Edition

Hey Guys,

So as you were ALL well aware of New York Fashion week was held at Lincoln Center from September 4th-11th. Not only was that THE thing to do but it was the major theme for parties, events, magazines and obviously your news feed. I’m here to let you in on a little secret anyone can be someone (literally ANYONE, yeah I know you also know those people)  at MBFW with a little help from the old quote: FAKE IT, till you MAKE IT. Really my friends, all it takes is some makeup, dressing up like your life depended on it (and here at FIT we have that pinned down to perfection) and standing for 15 mins outside of Lincoln Center. Instantly you become someone who people want to take pictures of and think they are striking gold. Don’t get me wrong this is very fun to do (read on and I’ll tell you about my experience) but the real action happens backstage, not out there with the fashionistas, bloggers and all sorts of wannabes (sorry, had to say it). The only way to get a glimpse of action is through FIT and then network your way up.

  • My 1st fashion week (February 2011): I had just moved into the dorms and I started school. Walking through the hallways I noticed a bulletin board (keep your eye on those) with a sign that said NYFW volunteers wanted. There was a set date and time where you would sign up for the shows you wanted according to your schedule. I signed up for Zang Toi, Ruffian, Daniel Vosovic and Risto as a dresser, and can honestly say my dreams were starting to come true. In less than a week I was already working inside the tents with recognized designers and got to fill up a second row seat that was empty because it would make the runway look bad (pure luck). Right now, I should warn you about how very intense and secretive these people are I had to legit sign a NDA just to be able to volunteer with them (crazy right?). During those opportunities I got as much Intel as I could and networked my buttocks (you know what I mean, haha) off. This way I got to be asked again to work during next fashion week, needless to say that and my work ethics got me in again.180550_10150092218986751_6605557_n 180854_10150092209261751_4792358_n 182264_10150092217186751_7380738_n179823_10150092223206751_5400948_n
  • My 2nd fashion week (September 2011): This time I worked with the events sponsored by PLITZ Fashion Marketing Group and United Colors of Fashion by supporting back- and front-of-the-house efforts and planning and executing silent auction, including assemblage of gift bags at their Annual Gala (sounds very resume material and that’s right, just copy pasted it from there). Other than that I did do dressing again and of course more networking. I could’ve signed up through FIT but my schedule was a bit tough to make it even though they do them during common hours (Tue&Thur no one has class between 1-2pm).424532_10150527592636751_1018841098_n 473046c6-2f03-11e3-9b16-22000aa40fde-large 321435_10150284534086751_1132163157_n 315323_10150284531636751_2133955038_n
  • My 3rd fashion week (February 2013): I got invited to the David Tlale show a designer who I met volunteering for UCOF and was his first presentation in MBFW. Turns out networking really paid off!537087_10151236019446751_2030838615_n
  • My 4th fashion week (September 2013): Enough with the volunteering! By now, I was well aware that I deserved to see a show or at least enjoy having a gift bag instead of making one. Even if my previous experiences were valuable I wanted to experience the “glamour” of it. With my roommates almost forcing me to go I accepted to go with them and have my fame. Indeed, 15 minutes later I was starting in a video and people were asking to take my pictures. Mind you, I’m NO one in terms of fashion moguls, editors or buyers but yet it seemed like they couldn’t get enough of me. Shutters clicking everywhere and I knew it was my time to leave, I couldn’t keep pretending (haha those poor people) and wasting their time. So everyone knows it by: INVITATION ONLY, right? Well NOPE it’s not. Living proof here. I dressed all in black as volunteers are supposed to (plan B) and just walked through those doors with an all deserving attitude to find myself inside with less than a glance by security. Long story short, I got my hair done at the Tresemme Salon, free gift bags from Ebay and fashion magazines, free ice cream, pictures and drinks and more. I was about to get into a show but what the heck it was never going to be second row like the first time. Instead I went ahead and swam in all my free stuff.

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  • This fashion week I stayed home and avoided everything altogether (seems kind of weird, doesn’t it?) I did post for my website InfoModaRD about the Dominican Models that were spotted on the Runway this time. Though, my new take on fashion week is exactly what Suzy Menkes describes in The Circus of Fashion, “something has been lost in a world where the survival of the gaudiest is a new kind of dress parade.” I did see people lining up and camping out to get into the volunteer signups at FIT. My recommendation to you is do it once because it is a learning experience, of course if you can. If you are uncertain just check out the designers and opportunities before you make that line. Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 10.48.16 PMAnyways just remember, whether you fake it till you make it or go flaunt your stuff all over Lincoln Center be wise before you answer any questions. Or you might just end up looking like this:

Carpe Diem,

Sadie

 

 

Fashion Advice from the Famous

As one of the world’s foremost fashion philosopher-sociologist-historian-genius, I thought I’d breakdown some of the most famous slices of wisdom from the leaders of the fashion world. (Ed note: I haven’t heard back from the board of directors of fashion geniuses of the world about my self-proclaimed title, but I’m sure they’re fine with it).

“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.”

— Coco Chanel

Now I’m not one to restrict anyone’s accessory affinity, I myself have been collecting rings from my travels and my fingers have filled up very quickly. However, I think of this more as look at yourself before you leave and remove anything that could interfere with your activities for the day. The fashion industry is all about getting work done and getting it done quickly. Personally, I have given up on bracelets (especially bangles) because all you hear all day is loud clacking as they bang against your desk when you type. Extremely infuriating. If the hat won’t stay on your head when it’s windy – ditch it. Basically, don’t wear anything that is going to require more time to deal with than it takes to put it on in the morning.

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”

—Kate Moss

Completely untrue. Have you never been to Shake Shack? Or eaten a burrito before? I mean hello, CHOCOLATE. End of story.

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.”

—Edith Head

I mean we are in the business of fashion people, this shouldn’t really be much of a shocker. It is important in any aspect of life to convince people you are whatever they need. As much as we try not to judge a book solely by it’s cover, that cover is the first message, and sometimes the only message, seen. Don’t waste an opportunity, be convincing.

“Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.”

—Bill Cunningham

Let’s face it, fashion is a luxury. All that is necessary is something to keep you warm when it snows and protect you from the sun when it’s hot. Anything you want for the sake of having it is a luxury. It has been said that Vogue magazine is meant to create aspirational dreams, not be a catalog for the everyday woman, and that is what fashion is – an aspirational, dream-like distraction. Fashion is supposed to be fun because it’s fun to pick what you wear and how people will see you today! Did people wearing the Mao suit look like they were having fun? Embrace the frivolity of fashion.

“Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.”

—Lauren Hutton

Fashion designers do not determine style, they influence it. Style can only be created by the individual, that is what makes it so exciting to see someone with truly great style. If one designer determined style all you would have to do is dress head to toe in that label, but you don’t see anyone on the best dressed lists wearing head to toe Michael Kors or even Saint Laurent. Not to get to in depth with the trickle-up vs. trickle-down theories, but it is obvious in our current fashion climate that designers are taking much of their inspiration from the streets and the boundaries of who is who is influencing whom are blurred. Fashion trends fade, but style is eternal, right Yves?

“A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste—it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical. I think we could use more of it. No taste is what I’m against.”

—Diana Vreeland

With all the stuff available in fashion now, it is easy for clothing to start looking homogenous. Staying relevant in fashion is all about being new and different (even though we all know fashion runs on an ever quickening pendulum of trends that is catching up to us). I love people who can dress totally kooky and be completely confident. They make my life more interesting just by existing. Vreeland captured this spirit perfectly in her famed “Why Don’t You” column for Harper’s Bazaar. The worst thing you could be in fashion is boring.

Why Don't You

Why Don’t You

(and lastly, my personal favorite:)

“People will stare. Make it worth their while.”

—Harry Winston

–Emily–

Notes From the 6 Train: Showroom Showtime!

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Last week BRAG (the club I’m apart of that you should totally think of joining) took a trip to the Converse showroom. Visiting a showroom of such an iconic brand felt very humbling. Everyone has owned a pair of Chuck’s at some point in their life, it’s like a U.S. rites of passage. It’s like we walked right into apart of American history, a majestic world of sneakers. Bubblegum colored shoes and edgy T-shirts lined the elegantly gray stained walls of the lobby.

url-2 (Not a photo from the showroom, but the vibe in the showroom was equally as cool.)

Leslie Smith, the Converse merchandise manager, was kind enough to show us around the entire building. The show room was divided into 3 floors. The bottom floor was for the business-y stuff, we walked by a group of people wh were literally going through every single item of clothing and pricing each individual item. The top floor was dedicated to designing and the middle floor showcased concepts for future lines. This was one was my favorite one. We got to peak into the ideation of what’s to come. Unfortunately, I was unable to take photos because everything we saw will be released spring/ fall 15′ and they don’t want their ideas falling into the general public prior to their scheduled release. Besides seeing the inner-workings of the showroom, then entire trip was highly inspiring, not just for me but everyone who went on the trip. As students we spend hours upon hours in class, studying, rushing between internships and jobs, then come home to stay up all night hyped up on coffee to complete school projects. Then, in the very wee hours of the morning, we think to ourselves, “what is all this for, what’s the point of all this?” Then, one day you go into the Converse showroom and you remember why, why you choose to study at FIT, why you fell in love with fashion in the first place. Even if your dreams aren’t to work in the Converse, just visiting re-lights that internal fashion fire.

All things Color, Love & Fashion,

Ayanna L.

Notes From the 6 Train: A. Bernadette

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In a society filled with unhappy people, seeing passionate people who love what they do is always a treat. This is especially true when they are doing what you want to do and happen to stumble into your classroom… like what happened on Monday. Andrea, a former FIT student & graduate of the International Trade & Marketing department came to my class yesterday to talk to us about the work she’s been doing since graduation. Upon graduation, her and her sister, created A.Bernadette, a company based out of Uganda. The created this company to/ the purpose of this company focuses on what they call the “triple bottom line: People. Planet. Profit.” They do this by bridging the gap between the gap between the consumer in the U.S., and the creator in Uganda, all while maintaining the traditional art forms of Uganda and using materials that are readily available, as opposed to creating more waste.

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What I liked most about this company is that firstly, they created things that are useful. So often, with all these new Eco friendly, fair trade companies that use the talent of artisans all over the world and they all create… bracelets. Now, I love a good bracelet, but there’s only so eco-friendly bracelets any one person will want. A. Bernadette do indeed make bracelets, but they also have a super cute (and functional) cooking bag, (a bag that helps save fuel in which food can be cooked and kept cold if necessary) a coffee cozy, and a host of other items. Secondly, and most importantly, there goods are affordable! Which, in this new world of eco-friendly fashions, can also be a rarity.

Their products are cute, affordable and are created by creative artisans from another country, while also providing a way for these women to sustain themselves. What’s not fashionable about that?

All things Color, Love & Fashion,

Ayanna L.

Here’s the link to the website and their FB page if you’re interested in purchasing or just want to gain more information about what their company. http://www.abernadette.com/, https://www.facebook.com/a.bernadette11

First week fair (Part two)

There were so many great tables at the first week fair I couldn’t possibly fit them all in one post, so here is some more!

cvThe department of student life, they are always at the best things going on at FIT. This time they had a raffle going on!

k studyFIT’s study abroad program! All of the programs are listed there is you want to find out anymore information you can go to FITNYC.edu/studyabroad

tachTech Help! Having a problem with your computer? the internet? angel? Go visit them in the C building- room c307a. There hours are Mon- Friday, 8:30-10pm. You can call them also at 212.217.HELP or email them at techhelp@fitnyc.edu

syThe student association, such amazing people, vibrant and so much fun!

sustainabilty councilThe sustainability council at FIT. The eighth annual sustainable business and design conference people, planet, and prosperity: Measuring Our Impact. This will take place on April 8th from 8:30am to 5:30pm. More information will be posted at fitnyc.edu/sustainabilityconfence.

resResidential Life department, always have the best give aways at FIT events.

athFIT athletics and recreation. Keep in mind any events that you may attend at FIT you must have your FIT ID and proper attire.

fitableThe office of FITABLE- the office of disability services at FIT is available to help everyone and anyone no matter what!divJoin FIT diversity council!

There was so much to see and do at the first week fair, any events on campus that are coming up I highly suggest you take time out of your busy schedule to go! You may even bump into me!:)

Xoxo Kailee

 

Three Things I Miss About New York

It’s a dreary day here in upstate New York, rain and fog. I’m sitting on my couch working on my online class and day dreaming of the city that I will be back in oh so soon. Winter break is a lovely thing, always much needed, and always very fun. However, sometimes I feel like it goes on for too long. I get stuck in a rut, and I need to be back in the city and back in my routine. Here are three things I miss most about being in New York City and at FIT!

1. Just going for a walk

I really miss being able to just leave my dorm without a plan and go on an adventure. New York is great in that way because you don’t need a destination. Something will catch your eye, a coffee shop, a clothing store, a street performer, a park bench. The possibilites are endless! My only real option in upstate New York is going to Target and spending too much money on things I don’t necessarily need! I’m SO looking forward to walks throughout the city this spring semester!

2. My internship

I am so lucky to first off have an internship and secondly, get along so well with the designer I intern for. Everyday I go into the studio I know I’m learning something. Even if I’m running looks to a magazine office or just pulling pictures online for inspiration, I’m pushing myself and absorbing what its like to be in the industry. I’m very much looking forward to going back to my internship this semester and seeing what is has in store for me!

3. My view

This may be corny and cliche, but I miss the view from my window at Kaufman. I live on the 13th floor, which means I have a pretty nice view. The Freedom Tower stands tall directly in front of me, I can see some of the river, and thousands of buildings in between. And the sunsets – well they’re just breath taking. Sometimes when I’m stressed I just take a minute a look out my window. I’m in New York City and this is my view! I shouldn’t be complaining about much!

 

xx, Brendan

Simon Doonan: The Dream Crusher

The Fashion Institute of Technology: Where Creativity Gets Down to Business.

A little intimidating, no? FIT is intimidating. The alumni, your teachers, your future peers, the projects you will have to do will all be very intimidating. I am not trying to scare you, but I am going to lay down some hard truths. FIT is hard. It is fast-paced, extremely physically and mentally demanding, and sometimes your self confidence will be shaken. The school demands excellence and the curriculum is designed to make you realize the importance of business in the creative industries. You will soon learn that very few can be the head designer of a couture house, or the top buyer for Saks, yet we all want to be that one who will make it. Students here are incredibly driven and hungry. You will meet people here who are full time students working on two minors while simultaneously holding up a job and an unpaid internship while also working on a prestigious contest (i.e. the CFDA Scholarship or the National Student Marketing Competition). We all want that next job, to take the next step and meet the right people.

Finding time to read for pleasure is not so easy for an FIT student, but I recently forced myself to get Simon Doonan’s recent bookAsylum. (I haven’t finished it yet, but it is quite funny and I suggest reading it, especially if you want to get to know the more quirky stories about the fashion industry.) He titles one chapter “The Dream Crusher” and dedicates it to advice for students. He says that young people now are too focused on material and professional success while not honing their creative expressionism. Every kid who wants to get into the fashion business thinks that the only form of success is to open their own design house. I can attest this is true becauseI was one of those kids with stars in her eyes (and still am to an extent). When I came to FIT that was the dream. What type of fashion I was going to focus on, or who my customer was I had no idea, but I knew one day people would be buying my clothes. Then I went through two years of the design program and realized that opening one’s own design house requires incredible skill, impeccable timing,loads of money, and lots of luck. I decided I needed to broaden my education a little and switched majors to Fabric Styling (I will make a post about this in the future if you’re interested).

I’m not saying give up on your dreams, of course not! But FIT is a wake up call for a lot of students who come in with this grandiose vision of their future. BUT it is important not to let that vision become too dim. The stress and exhaustion coupled with self-doubt and sudden questioning of your life goals can lead to a block in your creativity! (I know this because it happened to me and it was one of the reasons I decided to switch out of the design program.) Doonan remarks that hopeful artists these days are lacking the “fabulosity” factor.  Everyone who wants to be noticed has to make an effort to be noticed! Whether that means being a mysterious recluse like Martin Margiela, or the fashion and diva caricature embodied by the likes of Valentino and Karl Lagerfeld, there must be a persona, or a “brand” as people like to call it now. If there is one place you can go all out becoming a personality it’s at FIT. So, welcome. Be smart and informed, but also be daring and maybe a little bit nuts. Interesting will take you far.

–Emily–

Simon Doonan

CFDA Event Poster

Fun, Fearless, Fashion!

The Fashion Career Summit hosted by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Cosmopolitan Magazine was held last Saturday at the Hearst Tower. Luckily, I got to volunteer there and it was one of the most exciting events that I’ve ever been to in my three years at FIT. This inspiring day-long conference was about all the different careers within the Fashion Industry and how to get where you want to be. It was broken down into seven sessions such as A Life in Fashion, Career Boot Camp, and others with panelists who are power players from all across the industry. This educational yet fabulous event ended up with a networking reception and make-up application by beauty advisors from Lancôme.

Survival Kit

Ashley already shared her experience as an attendee of this event, and you can read more about it here. Now, I’m going to share my VIP backstage pass experience (aka volunteering it’s relative haha) with all of you. To begin with, to work this event you had to be interviewed by the Senior Director of Special Projects at Cosmopolitan Mag. I was really scared and intimidated by the thought of it (because let’s face it we have all watched the Devil Wears Prada), and I was expecting this to be like all the gossip I’ve heard around campus as to how bad it is to work for a fashion magazine. Turns out I was surprisingly wrong, and every single person I worked with that day could’ve not been more amazing and helpful (seriously considering interning there now).

 

The day of, we were supposed to be in all black (traditionally) with comfortable yet chic shoes. The day started with breakfast (yup this includes volunteers too) and registration. It was followed by panels which I got to attend too (technically I got to be at the event for free) but with the perks that I was allowed at the Green Room, the place all the panelists met before the show. Here I met Cynthia Rowley (with whom I fell in love when she said, there should be less internships and more entry-level jobs in the industry), Isaac Mizrahi, Jimmy Lepore Hagan, Kelly McCauley amongst others.

SIlvia Galfo

Silvia Galfo, SVP Marketing Lancome

Jenn Rogien, Costume Designer Girls & Orange is the New Black

 

 

Cynthia Rowley

Cynthia Rowley, Designer

At noon we had a break for lunch where we had pre-packed lunch boxes for us with three different options (the chocolate chip cookies were to die for). The panels went on after and I got to see them from a flat screen that was placed in a lounge area for volunteers outside the theater (they really treated us tip-top). When the networking reception was amongst us a table with all the desserts you could imagine was set up, including cookies, CRUMBS cupcakes and delicious mini-pies.desserts tableThis was the time to get your make-up done and take a selfie for the opportunity to win a $1,500 career wardrobe.

networking

Jimmy Lepore Hagan, Director of Digital Media at Nanette Lepore

All the ladies and gents there were having a blast because they even had a DJ spinning the best tunes, and you could see business cards flowing from hand to hand.

 

At the end, everyone got a gift bag (yes, even we did!) full of goodies. I for one, couldn’t wait to open it when I got home. Turns out it was INCREDIBLE! We got an American Eagle Denim shirt or sweater, a $25 Macy’s gift card, a $50 Nanette Lepore gift card, a 15% discount for Cynthia Rowley Eyewear, latest Cosmo Issue, Lancome eyelash curler, mascara and eyeliner and so much more (the event was $35 so I’ll let you do the math).

volunteers

Necia and Me, FIT representing

Truth is, this event is very much needed all around the world I would say. Everyone that knows me knows how passionate I am about education so being able to attend this event and help in this sector meant a lot to me. I want people to know that there is SO much more in fashion than being a designer or stylist (no offense there), and this event was all about eliminating misconceptions and guiding people through all the careers out there. It was about educating the future leaders in the fashion industry (me included), so keep an eye out for next year. In the meanwhile, check out all the different majors we offer at FIT here.

Carpe Diem,

me

Step+Repeat

Sadie

Notes From the 6 Train: From the Closet to the Catwalk

Here’s a secret of mine. Sometimes I fear of that I will learn the fashion industry so intimately that I will fall out of love. Fashion and I were introduced early in high school and much like a first crush; it became impossible to ignore her beauty, confidence and freedom. Enthralled, I had to learn more. That’s how I ended up here at FIT, learning the past, present and future of my first love. While really learning her character I have found out some unsavory details I wish I could ignore. A character flaw here or there (popularity of sweatshops ion industry, the encouragement of unrealistic standards of beauty, etc.) and I find myself questioning this relationship we’ve built. As much as I am fashion and art oriented, I am just people and culture oriented. Sometimes, these unpalatable details gnaw at my conscious and do instill moments of uncertainty. Occasionally, I find myself wondering if I should be doing something “more important.” (I know, I know, it’s quite a terrible thought, being a fashion student and all.)

Then I go to the “Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk” exhibit and all those insecurities vanish. As I stroll through the exhibit, taking in every outrageous outfit and devour every outrageous fact and I am reminded why I am here at FIT. Fashion transforms societies, providing a liberation that cannot be found anywhere else. The beautiful garments were paired with plaques describing, in detail, the designer, who it was worn by and the historical significance.There were garments designed by Christian Dior, Andre Leon,Jean Paul Gaultier, and pieces worn by Oscar Wilde, Namoi Campbell,etc. This short list not do justice for the impeccable and diverse collection. They had queer political gear, garments from the leather world, and plenty of other garments that shook the status-quo and shocked the world.

In r

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion, by far, is one of the most inclusive and accepting industries that queer people can work in. Fashion has allowed the oppressed to find liberation and build communities through shared struggles. It allowed people to be themselves. And that’s what fashion is all about, reveling in our differences and being celebrated for them. No matter what fast fashion says, it is an industry based on individuality, and this exhibit made me proud to work in such an industry.

 

And this is exactly how relationships should be. One learns to appreciate the person ( or industry) for all of their amazing attributes, acknowledge their flaws, and love them, not in spite of, but because of them. Luckily for us, we have the ability to help nurture, grow and change our lover.

If you live in or near NYC, I certainly encourage you all to check out this exhibit as well as the other exhibits in the FIT museum. ( I have attached the link at the bottom of this post.) We are lucky enough to have one of the best fashion design museums in the world and has won several awards for the various exhibits. It’s quite a gem, but don’t believe me, go check it out for yourself.

The link to the FIT museum (http://www.fitnyc.edu/332.asp)

All things Color, Love & Fashion,

Ayanna L.

Jean-Paul Gaultier at the Brooklyn Museum

One of the best museums in New York City is in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Museum has the second largest collection of art in New York City and is only about 30 minutes from FIT (take the 2 or 3 to the Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum stop).  It is particularly famous for its Ancient Egyptian and American art. Up until a few years ago the Brooklyn Museum also had a very impressive costume collection, but it has since been integrated into the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Collection.

However, that has not stopped the Brooklyn Museum from being a leader in fashion exhibitions. Recently, the museum unveiled its retrospective on Jean-Paul Gaultier, the famous French couturier. Gaultier has said that he was reluctant to do the exhibit at first because most retrospectives are done after an artist’s death. However, the fact Gaultier is still alive creates some very important advantages for the curators. Firstly, nothing has been lost, sold or separated so the exhibit is rich with not only clothes, but photographs as well as trinkets like Gaultier’s prized stuffed bear from when he was a child. The designer also could direct the message he wanted to send to the audience, and he did so through a recording of him speaking directly to visitors projected onto a mannequin. This was probably the coolest as well as most unsettling part of the exhibition. Most of the custom mannequins had projections of models faces that would blink, look directly at you and even start speaking or even singing at seemingly random intervals. The exhibit had a refreshingly casual attitude throughout it as the “models” spoke to visitors, pictures were allowed and there were no barriers separating the clothes from the people.

Flowers Blooming at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden

If you are going to visit the museum be sure to also visit the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens next door. It is by far one of the most beautiful places in New York and you get a discount if you show your receipt from the museum. The plants and exotic flowers are rotated seasonally so there is always a reason to visit the garden!