Let the hard work begin…

After a wonderful month and a half of getting settled in and relaxing, classes have finally begun.  We have now finished 3 full weeks of classes and the work is only just beginning.  We are starting to develop our senior collections.  This semester is focused on creating two portfolios, one creative and one technical.  These portfolios will contain  60-80 garments divided into 4 groups. 
My inspiration comes from nature.  I am focusing on the idea that everything in nature and in life is composed of the same basic structure : the cell.  The simple basic shape and structure of the cell can be visible at every level and from every perspective in nature.  It is in fact the building block of life.  I have gathered images of microscopic views of cells as well as images of areal views of earth.  These images look shockingly similar.  Both the micro and macro images appear almost identical in their irregular patterns and vibrant colors.  It is often difficult to tell them apart.  I want to take these images and translate them to knitwear.  I am going to use natural fibers and dyes to create garments that capture the irregular symmetry of nature.  I could go on for hours about my inspiration but rather, I will let you see for yourself….
The following are pages from my sketchbook that will show you the development of this inspiration. 

This is my first grouping and color story.  In this grouping I am going to use tuck stitches and volume to create the effect of the honeycomb and cells.  The colors are cool and natural.

In my second grouping I am using a color story of all blues.  In this group I am going to focus on using basic plain stitches that will be hand painted and dyed to show the effect of the beautiful images. 

This group is centered around the circular cell.  I am going to use drop stitches, soft yarns, and reds to create the garments in this section. 

In the 4th group I am using a very natural color card.  These garments will be made with fringe and open work to create the movement that the images show. 

I want to play with collaging in photoshop to show the perspective of the micro and macro images.  I am very inspired by these collaged images. 

Work work work…

I am working with open work on the brother machine to create swatches for my sketchbook.
Here i am creating drop stitches for the 3rd group in my collection.

Thats all for now but don’t worry there will be more knitwear updates coming soon…

Biella/Torino/Casa Zegna


What I love about studying in Europe are the fieldtrips we get to go on. How many American students can say that went somewhere in Italy for a week with school? We get a lot of awesome opportunities, especially when companies are kind enough to open their factory doors to let us have a peek inside.

We learn about the design process, but when seeing it actually put into reality with your own eyes, it’s cool. A few weeks ago my program and I went to Torino and Biella for a week, both in the region of Piemonte. Biella is in the countryside and Torino is a city. Both are smaller than Milano, quaint and intimate. They were both a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Milano.

My personal favorite visit we did was at “Casa Zegna”, which is the company that produces and designs the Italian men’s company Ermenegildo Zegna. The “casa” aka house is in the city of Trivero, which is in the province of Biella. The entire land was once the family’s home, now converted into an archive type of museum.  They are extremely proud of their products, and the quality of wool they produce.

It was interesting to hear how they begin to design the collection for Ermenegildo Zegna, and this type of treatment they do to the suits to make them water and stain resistant. The design even poured ketchup, soy sauce, and highlighter to prove his point!  It makes a huge difference when the quality of a garment is not only high, but also well developed in terms of concept. The Zegna family is extremely innovative in that sense, as well as helping the area of Trivero.  They have created tons of jobs with this concept of “Casa Zegna”, and trying to enhance the agriculture in the mountains of the area. They are concerned with their product, as well as helping the area of their origin. Here are some photos.. 

Yes, this was once the Zegna family's home!

100% wool straight from the sheep

Fabrics for the next collection

They create a sample fabric of the same print in different colors to decide

Color stories of past collections

I want it!

The hallway leading to the offices

View outside the Casa

Beautiful image from the museum 

Their herds

From the museum 

More garments from the museum 

Exceptionally tailored men's suiting

Their archives 

Upon entering the casa


For more information on Casa Zegna.. 

http://www.casazegna.org/eng/

Biella/Torino/Casa Zegna


What I love about studying in Europe are the fieldtrips we get to go on. How many American students can say that went somewhere in Italy for a week with school? We get a lot of awesome opportunities, especially when companies are kind enough to open their factory doors to let us have a peek inside.

We learn about the design process, but when seeing it actually put into reality with your own eyes, it’s cool. A few weeks ago my program and I went to Torino and Biella for a week, both in the region of Piemonte. Biella is in the countryside and Torino is a city. Both are smaller than Milano, quaint and intimate. They were both a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Milano.

My personal favorite visit we did was at “Casa Zegna”, which is the company that produces and designs the Italian men’s company Ermenegildo Zegna. The “casa” aka house is in the city of Trivero, which is in the province of Biella. The entire land was once the family’s home, now converted into an archive type of museum.  They are extremely proud of their products, and the quality of wool they produce.

It was interesting to hear how they begin to design the collection for Ermenegildo Zegna, and this type of treatment they do to the suits to make them water and stain resistant. The design even poured ketchup, soy sauce, and highlighter to prove his point!  It makes a huge difference when the quality of a garment is not only high, but also well developed in terms of concept. The Zegna family is extremely innovative in that sense, as well as helping the area of Trivero.  They have created tons of jobs with this concept of “Casa Zegna”, and trying to enhance the agriculture in the mountains of the area. They are concerned with their product, as well as helping the area of their origin. Here are some photos.. 

Yes, this was once the Zegna family's home!

100% wool straight from the sheep

Fabrics for the next collection

They create a sample fabric of the same print in different colors to decide

Color stories of past collections

I want it!

The hallway leading to the offices

View outside the Casa

Beautiful image from the museum 

Their herds

From the museum 

More garments from the museum 

Exceptionally tailored men's suiting

Their archives 

Upon entering the casa


For more information on Casa Zegna.. 

http://www.casazegna.org/eng/

Viaggio a Biella e Torino

A couple of weeks ago the 4th years took a trip to the towns of Biella and Torino in Northern Italy.  It was an absolutely amazing trip complete with visits to some of the most amazing museums and factories in Italy!
In Torino we went to the Orient Art museum which had 3 stories worth of incredible artifacts from the orient.  It was so inspiring.

We went with our professors to Casa Zenga a wool factory up in the mountains of Biella where we got a tour of the factory.

We also visited the factory of Cerruti a famous cashmere and wool company.

We took a trip to Citta Dellarte an organization founded by Italian artist Pistoletto.  This organization “aims to inspire and produce a responisble change in society though ideas and creative projects.”  While at Citta Dellarte we were able to view exhibitions from the artists involved with the organization and we were also able to attend forums given by artists and architects. 

The following are some images from the amazing city of Torino.

Cinema Museum in Torino

View from the highest point in Torino.

Relaxing with a drink after a long day!

Munching on some of Torinos world famous chocolates:)

Wool Wool and more Wool!

A sneak peek at my sketch book!

Li Edelkoort:Trend Union


Today my program and I attended the lecture by the trend forecaster Li Edelkoort at Politecnico di Como. Lago di Como is only a forty-five minute train ride from MilanoTo be able to see Ms.Edelkoort speak about trends in general is a great opportunity, and this was my second time. I am beyond lucky. 

She is practically the “guru” of trends, like the chosen one for it in the field of design. She is highly respected and listened to.  Her company “Trend Union” has worked with all different types of companies, ranging from cosmetics to Coca-Cola. Season after season she has influenced not only the fashion world, but also the world of industrial design, packaging, etc.

She opened up the lecture with a review from last year’s lecture, which is not really last year seeing as trends are forecasted two years in advance, therefore 2013. I had been to this specific lecture last year. During the review, she spoke about which designers had applied these trends during fashion week. The trends included lots of light colors, pastels and the idea of the “gift of light”. To see a trend actually applied to a garment is interesting and enlightening, it shows the magic of her work put into realistic situations. She also emphasized that trends are not about personal taste, what you and I prefer, but they are based upon what is to come in the near future. 

For 2014 she focused mainly on “nomadism”, which is the idea that as humans we are beginning to live in a nomadic lifestyle. We have the desire to go on the road and continue our lives in this manner. We are now free; we all have access to Wi-Fi and Internet. We can work from the desert, the countryside, our bed; no one will know the difference. The office is no longer a necessity.

The concept that we are now “free” will signify that we would like to gain even more freedom in the future. She applied this to the concept of not having an actual bed, substituting it for possibly choosing to sleep in the garden or guestroom.  The need to constantly travel, see other cultures and have constant movement in our lives. I agreed with her opening statements about this nomadic lifestyle, we are constantly on the move with all of our gadgets. She also publishes a magazine titled, “Bloom” which follows the changing trends in flowers, I find it really inspiring. Here are some images from the site.. 






Here is the link to explore the world of Ms. Edelkoort a bit more in depth..

http://www.edelkoort.com/

*Photos courtesy of Bloom Magazine's site