All The Little Things


Sorry I haven’t really been able to update, Hurricane Sandy left us with no power and living so close to a Zone A neighborhood made it difficult to get any. I really shouldn’t complain considering how much better I have it than so many others (I’ll post some pictures at the end). I hope everyone else is safe or is receiving the help they need!

Since I haven’t been to class in a while I’m going to write about something different today; this post will be about things that inspire me. I’m just going to dive right into it.

What inspires me the most is really just the things in my every day life. I love New York City and the images it conjures up in my mind. As much as I say I hate it, I love walking through Times Square on my way to school each and every morning. I love the pedestrian traffic (unless I have somewhere to be). I love knowing that the people I am with on the subway right now I will never see again in my life. But, most of all, I love being able to surround myself with such artistic and interesting people. That’s where I draw most of my inspiration from. From my school where everyone is a performing artist to the classes I take at FIT, I’m constantly surrounded by people who are thriving and expressive.

When I find it difficult to find inspiration, I take a little “me time”, which a lot of people forget to do. It’s important to reflect and think about what’s going on in your daily life. In my Acting Technique classes, my teachers are always telling us that it’s impossible to play an emotion that you’ve never felt, which is why it is said that it takes twenty years to become a great actor. You can only talk about the things you know, and the same goes with expression. I always go back to what I am feeling and see how I can express it. It is also very therapeutic and can solve almost any problem. Even though graphic design might not express emotions in the same way that illustration does, it can still be a great problem solving technique.

I’ve tried to draw mostly with pen so that I can’t erase. It has helped me see that sometimes, things don’t have to look perfect. It depends on the context, but sometimes pieces can look their best in a more textured, sketchy style.

After class a few weeks ago, I went to my mom’s friend’s studio and she showed me things she used to make called “future boards.” She took pictures and words that described the kind of person that she wanted to be and put them on a board. Then she would work towards those goals and, later, look back on it to see what she has achieved since making the board. The goals can been short term or long term. I haven’t used this technique but it seems like a great way to keep track of progress or as a reminder of  something to strive for.

These words shouldn’t be regarded as blanket statements. For some people the best art comes from things they want to experience and not emotions they have experienced, this is just what I’ve learned works for myself. I hope everyone can learn what works for them and develop their own ways to achieve inspiration.

What are ways you find inspiration?

Until next time,



The water was higher than the sidewalk. All of the people on the ground floor of my building complex have been forced to move out and everything in their house has been contaminated with toxic water.

How Inspiration Works

I have always felt that Inspiration is the key to any good design. Obviously, you need good design and practicality and colors and fabrics, but without a good source of inspiration a design couldn’t tell a story. Design can come from any source: Nature, architecture, other people’s designs, photographs, or memories. Big things can inspire one to do big things.

2012-09-29 13.18.01

A seemingly normal stairway that can inspire you for shapes and color blocking.

Little things can inspire one to do little things. But then little and big get mixed and suddenly you don’t really know where this idea came from, but you like it and know how to achieve it. That’s what Inspiration is.

My particular method of collecting Inspiration is extensive. I start with written stories.

Obviously I want to tell my own story but reading a little fairy tale can give me an idea for a particular aesthetic. After I decide what I want to portray, I go on extensive searches using various corners of the internet. I love using the primary colors in a photograph to inspire me for the fabrics I’ll be using. If I find a picture that has gold lighting I will want to use a warm, shiny fabric.

Once I have chosen my color scheme and found picture of fabrics I would like to use, I start collecting silhouettes and details. I will use magazines, old runway shows, new runway shows, and Tumblr to collect a wide variety of silhouettes and detail. Then, once I have a basic sketch based off my collection of images, I will make a yard count. Then I’ll finally get to go fabric shopping.


A skirt-shirt combination I’m currently draping

Once I come home, I will start to look for more detailed images of higher fashion and then I’ll start draping. I like to buy the fabric before I finish the sketch, that way I have more freedom to experiment with the fabrics I bought. Because I don’t exactly have a high budget – I buy what I can get, and because of this sometimes a sketch will look nothing like itself on the dress form. Then I’ll sew and finish it.

The one thing that stays the same throughout all these steps is the aesthetic.

My aesthetic could be described as fairytale Avant Garde. I love weird silhouettes and shapes, with a more soft and romantic feel. My Inspiration usually comes from a mixture of the greats, like Alexander McQueen, and old styles from the 90s and the 50s. I love the silhouettes and textures from these two decades. So whenever I’m searching for some basic Inspiration, not just for a specific line or design, I’ll go through old designs from then.

My favorite part about Inspiration is that it doesn’t need to make sense. A random collection of completely unrelated photographs from the seventies can be the key to a fashion designer’s career. As artists, it’s our job to use Inspiration, not just let it use us. It’s so easy to get caught in a wave of perfect pictures, even if those perfect pictures have nothing to do with what you want to make. Inspiration is literally an artist’s best friend. Because no matter how talented you are in your field, Inspiration shows you what you want to do. What’s your favorite stage when you create something?



Inspiration. It’s essential to any type of artist. We all have something that excites us, motivates us to create, and reminds us why we love our craft. For me, it’s magazines. When I slide my hand across a cover and flip through the glossy pages, I feel like I’ve stepped out of my ordinary high school life and into a glamorous, high fashion world. As I read on, my mind starts buzzing with ideas like, “I love how that [insert designer item here] was styled by [insert genius fashion director here]… and if I recreate the look it’d be perfect for [insert occasion here].” Seeing how different magazines interpret designers’ work is what really excites me and fuels my passion for clothes. Ten years into the future, I see myself on the road to becoming an editor at an influential publication. But until that time comes, I’m attempting to get my hands on every magazine possible and develop my voice as a writer through my personal blog, The Style Child (

And now, I give you my all-time favorite magazine covers, plus how they’re inspiring my work at FIT:

I love when young, successful girls are featured on magazine covers rather than the same recycled mega-stars. Just as their careers were taking off, models Karlie Kloss, Chanel Iman, and Ali Michael covered TeenVogue’s February ’08 issue.
For my magazine project, I wanted to feature someone who, like these three girls, posses both beauty and intelligence. I chose Elle Fanning, and picked a quirky photo of her shot by Terry Richardson.

Another one of my favorites is the premiere issue of the Harper’s Bazaar “New Look,” which dropped this past March. The strong type pops out against the simple white background, a look I’m trying to emulate for my cover.

I love the color scheme of Leighton Meester’s Nylon cover. I’m using similar tones of red, orange, and yellow to create a warm, vibrant feel in my magazine.

Until Next Time,


Inspiration: It’s Everywhere!

Is it just me, or did this semester fly by? After this week, there are only two session left of Precollege Spring 2012! Today, I will be telling all of you about where I get my inspiration! To me, inspiration is things that you absolutely love or things that you stop to look at 3 or 4 times. Overall, Inspiration is something that is supposed to motivate you to do better!

One of the biggest things that gives me inspiration is Tumblr! I absolutely love to re-blog fashion pictures for outfit ideas and such! Also, by looking at the styles on the streets of NYC give you so many ideas!

I absolutely love Fashion Magazines. They give me tons of ideas on how to incorporate trends into my everyday style. To transition all these things, sometimes I like to use boards for each season to display my ideas and favorite things for each season. Last semester in Fabric Styling, the class created an all about me board! I put tons of my favorite trends of winter and places i love!

Inspiration can come for everything! Where do you get your inspiration? Comment below!

Until next time,

xoxo Tori

Inspiration? Where do I begin…

How could I describe how I find inspiration? Some people can’t seem to find any, so I suppose I’m lucky.

In my opinion, the first thing to do if you’re having trouble being inspired is creating a good atmosphere. Walking from Grand Central to the Garment district daily usually does this for me, because walking by Bryant Park is always so beautiful. I always have a million things going on at once, so it helps for me to be very organized before I start sketching. After that, comes everything.

Even though I love watching fashion shows and reading magazines and online shopping for trends, when it comes to my own design aesthetic, I turn to the less obvious. I love using nature and inanimate objects for inspiration. As someone who loves a challenge, it’s always fun to create clothing from the unordinary.

I also love looking for fabrics. Going swatching and finding whatever catches my eye usually inspires more flowing, aesthetically pleasing garments.


Inspired by broken glass. Modeled by a friend.

Inspired by broken glass. Modeled by a friend.