My Hopes for Spring Break

For many Spring Break is a release from a tightly knit schedule, early mornings and studying, and a time for catching up with old friends and relaxation. For me, well, at least I don’t have homework.

The week ahead consists of several projects including hand-beading my prom dress, making a matching shrug and purse, finishing an art project involving mixed media and starting a second one, my precollege class projects, and a trip to the city for a day of swatching. This would be easy to handle if not for other weekly activities like physical therapy, hitting the gym several times, practicing driving, SAT studying and sewing lessons. You may just wonder, how do I do it all? (I still wonder too…)

On days off I usually schedule all kinds of appointments, but my favorite are for sewing. A local seamstress teaches me how to sew from her home for about 3-4 hours per session. I’m always inspired to get on track with my sewing and sketching by her, because she always has her dozens of projects everywhere. With a few days off, it will be easier to go home and get back to work on whatever I started.

Since my mom is a teacher and she has off too, this week provides for more trips out to various art stores. During the week it is so much harder to go out and get what I need for my projects, and by the time I get home I no longer have time to work on anything. Some of my pending errands are for my FIT classes like getting some new fabrics for sewing class or presentation boards and background paper for Fashion Techniques.

Sketching seems like an easy task to pick up even on a short amount of time, but I like to have a couple hours and all of my supplies on hand. Later nights this week will help because I don’t have to worry about waking up for school in a few hours. I’ll also be picking up some new Prismacolor pencils this week, which i’ll be excited to use, and I haven’t gotten to try out all of my new markers yet. The longer I have to sketch, the more focus I have for details and color scheme. It’s also easier to create a well-rounded collection when you don’t have other things on your mind. I do keep a lap desk by my bed in case I get inspired by anything before I go to sleep. This week i’ll be working on the contest from the Vivienne Westwood Exhibit, which is to create an outfit inspired by one of the displays in the exhibit from before 1950. With the His & Hers exhibit, ideas have been coming easily.

I’m leaving one special day aside for me and my best friend. We’re going to go down to the city and visit Mood for swatches. I need mine for my class, and she needs hers for her fashion class at her high school. We’re going to walk around all day and grab lunch, and probably hit up the four-story Forever 21, as well as some of the high end stores just to play dress up (you’re never too old.) I’ve also been wanting to visit the Met for almost a year now, but haven’t found the time. Whatever I’m doing, I’ll be sure to bring my camera so I can snap some photos for you guys!

Registering for Summer classes at FIT has been open, but if you’re in my boat, you have to spend the summer working…yikes. The 4-day Workshop classes are great alternatives if you can’t take the time off. I took one over the summer last year and it was great. With the beautiful weather, I enjoy every day in the city.

If I happen to find some free time this break, i’ll spend it reading Models as Muse: Embodying Fashion out on my back deck while tanning (being friends with the head librarian has it’s perks… he also got me Valentino: The Last Empire.) I’m also working on Water for Elephants and April’s Allure magazine. I tear out all my favorite ads from magazines, mostly Vogue, Allure, and Glamour, to make a giant inspiration board out of my bedroom walls. Although I may be busy, I’m spending this week doing what I love… a mix of art and fashion!


It’s Getting Better All the Time

And by that I mean my, um, “art”, if I should dare to call it that. With the help of the amazing Professor Galanos, instructor of Fashion Art for Fashion Designers my so called “art” went from this:

Beautiful, right?

  • triangles for dresses
  • stick arms and legs
  • dots for eyes
  • no hands or feet
  • I can’t even explain the hair…

No, that wasn’t actually a drawing from my six year old brother, that unfortunately belongs to me. Only a mere 5 weeks ago, this was all I was capable of doing.



By the miracle teachings of Professor Galanos, my capabilities in the art department has hugely succeeded into this:

Excuse my OCD tendency to organize my markers in colored order.

  • Better for that sad excuse for a dress design in every way possible. Check.

Dreams do come true! Living proof right here. Of course I have a lot of improvement and work ahead of me but this was two weeks ago, after only three weeks of classes! I can’t wait till I advance through the rest of this course to see my new and improved drawings blow my past stick figures out of the water. Until then, you’ll just have to bare with me through the upcoming weeks facing and eventually overcoming new drawing techniques.

In addition to my classwork, I am also working on projects at home. At the moment I’m working on a Proenza Schouler A/W 10 inspired dress from scratch, like literally, no pattern, or anything! I did everything on my own and it’s almost done. And also I’m  revamping a Michael Kors striped sweated I found at a thrift store. In between projects I do favors for family and friends and fix or alter clothes for them, I’m pretty much their personal seamstress. For example, I have to sew on Nintendo and Mario patches onto my boyfriend’s varsity-style jacket, hem pants for my mom, and turn a jewel neckline dress into a v-neck dress. So much work! But I love being busy with something I love. Reading six chapters of Pride and Prejudice and mastering logarithms… Being busy with that is a whole different story.

Until next week!



My Typical Saturday at FIT

All during February, I was waiting to get back to my FIT precollege classes… and before I knew it, I was on the train again.

This Spring, I’m taking Advanced HAP 026: Sewing for Fashion Designers and HAR 087: Advanced Fashion Art for Fashion Designers. I walked into Fashion Techniques a little worried; I didn’t have much time between the Fall and Spring semesters for practicing, because I had a lot of schoolwork. So I wondered, what if everyone was on a different level than me? What if I couldn’t keep up? Or worse (because I would actually love that challenge) what if everyone else was way behind me? Also, what if, God forbid, I got designer’s block? That’s always my biggest fear.

To my surprise, the instructor was extremely welcoming and warm-hearted and gave a very generous review of how to draw a fashion figure. Generally, we start drawing in the beginning of class while the professor takes attendance. Then we have a preview of what we’ll be going over that day. Usually, the professor puts ads from some of the latest mags up on the board and sometimes her own drawings too to inspire us. Last week, we learned how to perfect tweeds, plaid, and herringbone details. We stood over the professor’s desk and watched as she went step-by-step on how to draw these items. Most of the time, she asks for our input and for ideas on color-scheme and detailing. Everyone is shy and holds back in my class. People are nervous and timid, but finally, someone speaks up with their input. The classes consist of kids at both beginner and advanced levels. Sometimes people have taken classes other places and weren’t sure if they were taught to draw to FIT’s standards, because, of course, not all places have the same expectations. Sometimes people overestimate their skills because of the same situation, or just haven’t mastered the techniques yet. Then there are kids of all sorts in between.

Class ends at 12:30, but since I also take an afternoon class, I stay and wander for an hour. The art store down the street usually catches my attention because, just as most artists, I can spend hours in an art store. I may go across the street for some of the best pizza in New York state, and usually Dunkin’ (which gives 10% discounts to FIT students, but make sure to ask!) for tea or a coffee to boost my energy. The Museum at FIT is free and great for all kinds of inspiration. The Japan exhibit and the His and Hers are awesome! The designers they feature are awesome too. Right now it’s Vivienne Westwood, which we toured. That tour informed us how social and political events have such a strong grip on fashion.

At 1:30, I head up to my sewing class and get ready for whatever project we’re making. I’ve been taking private sewing lessons for a couple years but had no idea how to use an industrial machine, so I took the beginner’s class. Others in the class had also sewn before, but I’ve still learned a lot. I  recently finished making an apron.