Hey everybody! It’s Emily, the blogger from last fall with the chickens and the hurricane. I actually just moved back home, and the chickens are back in their coop in the backyard.

Putting together a fashion design application portfolio is not the easiest task. Especially while juggling AP classes, homework, fine arts portfolios and costumes for two plays at school at the same time. Thankfully, I have my own room with a desk to work on everything, and the portfolio class on Saturday mornings, where I can work on projects specific to the application.

But putting together a portfolio is also a chance to reflect on my work from the past four years of programs, and while there isn’t much of a change to the feeling conveyed by my drawings, there is a definite improvement in technique. Before I came to class, I worked only in watercolor, and I couldn’t get the proportions right or really show that the clothes were separate from the figure. When I had to use the art markers, I was scared of them. I didn’t like the way I couldn’t control them, but it was easier to render the different fabrics.

By now, the fall 2013 semester, I have learned a lot of little tricks that add up to more accurate renderings, like having a tucked shirt bulge where it meets the waistband, or showing the different layers of fabric when pockets have been appliqued on. Another big thing is showing shadows- don’t be afraid of contrast! Fabric doesn’t lay flat on a body, it has curves and bumps and hills and valleys that all catch light and cast shadows. Folds happen too. Try to draw them, especially if an elbow or knee is bent. It adds another dimension to the drawing. Wrinkles happen when fabric is gathered, and all that is is an extra shadow. And all that’s just from asking questions and observing what was fixed in my drawing classes!

Sewing is another beast entirely, because with fabric, you can’t really force it to do something it’s not capable of without working with it. Soft, flowy  fabrics aren’t going to stand up straight without being fused to a stiff backing, and stiff fabrics aren’t going to drape like a softer one. Wovens will not stretch as much as knits will. Zippers are an ordeal to set, and hemming a circle skirt is not the easiest task in the world. I think everyone’s made the mistake of forgetting to add their seam allowance at least once, and ended up with a garment half an inch too small on all sides. Or had a one-way print and accidentally had it upside-down on half their garment. I actually just did that one on a flare skirt. But that’s the process. You make mistakes, learn from them, and then move on to other mistakes. Eventually, you just don’t make those mistakes anymore.

I would say the most important thing I’ve learned from taking all these classes (I’ve taken 7 so far!) is there’s always something more to learn. Coming into portfolio, I thought I was set, but the proportions on my figures were still not correct, and I was having trouble with leg positioning. But everyone in class has something to teach you, even if they aren’t the teacher. I learned how to render pockets from the girl in the row ahead of me in the fall of my sophomore year. I’m helping the girl next to me right now with shading.

Are there any tips/tricks you’ve learned that help you in class? Share them in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Hugs,

Emily

Deadlines are Approaching.

College applications, midterms, first quarter grades…and portfolios. I may have until December, but I have a feeling it’ll come fast. So I’m working away on all my paintings, drawings, garments, and fashion figures especially. No one knows what kind of stress I’m under better than my mom.

My mom loves that I love the Precollege Classes at FIT. She was the one who had told me about them when I was a sophomore. She had also been the one who told me about FIT when I was in middle school, when I had become obsessed with drawing clothing. I had gone through elementary school designing everything, but after 5th grade fashion had become my main designing-desire (however, I still remember my rainbow colored dream-house from about 2nd grade, each room was a different color and I had a spiral staircase with a fish-tank in the handrails). She’s a big supporter of SUNY schools, especially since getting her masters and becoming a Professor at SUNY New Paltz. She had taken me and my friends to visit FIT when I was in 8th grade, and I knew I had to go there.

My art teachers are some of my biggest supporters of my ventures in Precollege classes. When auditioning for Advanced Placement Art at my school, I talked mostly of the Summer class I was planning on taking and the internship I got. I had actually gotten the internship when my friend from work was working at Panera, and a woman who is very involved in the fashion industry started talking to her about FIT. She told the woman how I come into our art class everyday talking about FIT constantly, and the woman gave my friend her card and said to tell  me to call her! I met with her and brought my portfolio. She was impressed, but I knew I had to keep practicing because it was very nerve-wracking to have my first experience presenting my portfolio as a junior in high school.

I know I want to be a fashion designer, and the best way to get there is to go to college for fashion design, but thankfully I didn’t have to wait all through high school to get some experience!

So after getting home from FIT today, all I’ve been wanting to do is sketch and practice all the techniques my professor taught me! However, I have tons of homework -_- But my teacher taught me how to draw faces and I’ve already gotten 10x better!

Karlie

 

 

My FIT Friends & My Spring Break Follow-Up

As someone who was going to travel to FIT alone, some of my main concerns were what kind of people I would meet there. Was everyone going to be really into fashion? Will they criticize my outfit? Do they even have sports there? Well, the answer is, FIT precollege students come from all over, with many different backgrounds and interests! Not everyone knows what Marc Jacob did last fashion week or who the editor of Vogue is. Not even all the students know who their favorite designer is, it all depends on the individual and how serious they take fashion.

As far as the people I’ve met at FIT, they’ve all been kind. There’s so much to talk about; it’s easy to start conversations with whoever’s sitting next to you. Sometimes, you may not have very much in common, which has happened to me. I suggest sitting towards the middle of the room so there’s people all around you to talk to, that way, there’s bound to be someone with the same interests. Also, you only see these people once a week, so there’s a lot to talk about. I usually ask my friends if they’ve had time to work on the project, go swatching, or get new supplies.

I don’t know anyone who stays for two classes, so during my lunch break I go solo. I usually go for my 2nd or 3rd extra-large tea from Dunkin’ Donuts, and maybe a large coffee (i’m the caffeine queen). During the warm weather, I like to go shop at American Apparel and other various stores around the block from FIT. During colder months, I stay closer to the school and eat lunch inside, or across the street at the pizza place. I also love the discount art store, I just got a 72 set of Prismacolor pencils for Easter! Last Saturday, there was a room full of people decorating bags to send to children in Haiti, and making paper cranes for children in Japan. They offered free food and made name plates and drew caricatures. I stopped by to decorate a bag or two.

In my second class, it’s a lot more chatty as people are following the step-by-step instructions on how to create garments. I talk away with a friend as I sew and sometimes hang out in the room during break or go to grab another hot tea or a snack. I like to take notes of all the steps so it’s easy to remember later, and I can make things later at home. After school, I grab something to eat for dinner and head to the subway. Every once in a while I wander around Time Square before catching my train, but most of the time I just get a magazine to read while I wait.

Spring Break was incredibly unpredictable, but completely fun. Of course, I procrastinated and spent much needed time with old friends, but I also hand-beaded most of my prom dress and finished my shrug and started my purse. I had various runs to the art supplies store and fabric store for my FIT projects, which are just about finished up. Shopping was also fun. I got a cute floral sheer shirt from Forever 21, as well as a sequined bandeau top and cream sweater. I went to Marshall’s, which is totally great because their prices are always so good. I got a cheetah print dress, another floral top, and khaki capris. I also bought a white frilly blouse from New York & Company. My Spring Break definitely rounded out my wardrobe more. I’ve also been finishing a book I’ve recently rented called Models As Muse: Embodying Fashion.

Karlie

Practice Makes Perfect in Advanced Fashion Design Art Techniques!

Finally, spring weather! My morning at FIT was another day of working on my first two projects for my fashion design class. My assignments are to:

1) create a modern garment based on an inspiration from before the 1950s

2) design a spring collection inspired by an exhibit from the FIT Museum

I’m dying to put my sketches all together but first I have to decide on several choices that will affect my final product. Besides drawing the clothes, there are fabric swatches to be bought, colors to be used, and styles to be chosen, but this is for the end.

At the start of the project, my entire class visited the Vivienne Westwood exhibit and the Japan Fashion Now exhibit, in addition to the other garments displayed in the FIT Museum. My classmates and I, including my professor, quickly sketched outfits that inspired us to be used later in the design process. Sketching was difficult when standing up but the drawings were extremely helpful later on in the classroom when all of us spent time on thinking of our own designs based on the museum exhibits.

In my advanced design class, Professor Giardina reviewed the fundamentals during the first two class session before moving on to teaching us new tips and tricks, such as shimmer and hair. She has been emphasizing how we can make our sketches more detailed and less basic in this course. I have to work harder in this class than I did in my previous beginner class. This new challenge is demanding, but my desire to produce work that shows my total effort encourages me to continue, even when the task seems impossible. My professor is a dexterous designer whose sketches are always immaculate, so honestly, I was intimidated at first. However, she has been a professional for years, so I came to the conclusion that practice makes perfect! Her skill inspires me to work up to my potential, and I know that with hard effort and perseverance, I can feel proud of myself!

Jenn

Introducing New Precollege Blogger – Talya

Once upon a time, in the far off suburbia of New Jersey, there lived a quirky girl named Talya who doesn’t actually talk like this, nor in the third person, but wanted to make this introduction more interesting.

I am a first-time Precollege Sunday Live student here at FIT taking HAR 016: Fashion Art for Fashion Designers. After only a few weeks, I can proudly say that my drawing capabilities go far beyond stick people with triangles for dresses! Hopefully with this blog, I’ll be able to showcase the progress of my work throughout the course to show you that even the most art-challenged kids can become modern day Van Goghs with the help from the wonderful faculty at FIT. Along with showing you my classwork, I’m also excited to show you my hand-crafted (not really, I have loads of help from my sewing machine Dhani) creations, and share my thoughts on what’s current in fashion. I look forward to hearing your thoughts as well.

I’d like to think of myself as an amateur designer; I’m not the best drawer (hence “Fashion Art for Fashion Designers), but I’ve been sewing original designs for the past 5 years. Hopefully, now with the help of FIT, and when I go here for college *fingers crossed*, I’ll obtain the help I need for my quest to become a full fledged designer like Marc Jacobs, who by the way is my all time favorite designer/idol. Along with being my idol, Marc is a heavy influence, along with Karl Lagerfeld and Miuccia Prada.

Pretty much anything and everything inspires me. Hobbies such as watching movies, “occasional” internet lurking, and listening to great music inspires me as well! My all time favorite band in the universe is The Beatles. So by now you’ve learned  little bit about me and what I’m all about! Stay tuned for my adventures at FIT! I’m looking forward to it too! :)

Talya