verbal croquis

up and to the left iii

Posted in my work,the day job by verbalcroquis on November 30, 2005

Homework over the Thanksgiving holidays: put together some sketches for the women’s Fall 06 collection.

Grade: A- These are great! We can do without this box pleat. This one is perfect. This one is very cute, but let’s take this pocket out. Very nice, let’s put another trench flap here. Nice, but I changed my mind–let’s do only fur trim on this one. Ooh, very cute. Let’s make this one boxier and take out the princess seams. Should we put another row of pickstitch here? No, we’ll just do it according to your sketch. Very cute. Well done.

I hate the word “cute” used in a professional critique, but we’ll just gloss that over, yeah?

note to self

Posted in Uncategorized by verbalcroquis on November 29, 2005

When I have my own company, hire an amazing receptionist. No one will call to order clothes if they know the person picking up the phone sounds like a low IQ lovechild of Roseanne and Fran Drescher.

Just sayin’.

laptop bags

Posted in people i know by verbalcroquis on November 29, 2005

My friend, Abby, requested that I do a hunt on a fashionable means to tote around her laptop. So I start looking through my usual sites. What’s the first thing I find? This. The timing was too hilarious.

Note to Abby: I’m still looking, but just had to post this first. heeheehee~

we’re gonna be on tv!

Posted in events,the day job by verbalcroquis on November 29, 2005

Channel 7 is going to be at the office tomorrow morning! We spent the last hour of work today cleaning up around the main offices.

Oh, what to wear, what to wear? Nothing too dressy–we’re a casual office and it is during the day. I’ll have to wake up early to put my eyebrows on, of course.

Stay tuned for details on when our segment will air!

black friday blogging: fashion and consumerism

Posted in opinions by verbalcroquis on November 26, 2005

Almost Girl has rallied fellow fashion bloggers to write posts on our views on fashion and consumerism for Black Friday. I’m an hour late (it’s 1am PST as I post), but below you will find my humble offering. I hope this will springboard some discussion because I would like to know your views as well.

Fashion is all about extremes. Take one major element of the current style and it will swing to the very opposite the next season. In the past ten years, grunge, layers of loose fitting flannels and stripes segued into a clean, sleek minimalism, which then moved to “artful” deconstruction. The experimental silhouettes disappeared, making room for easier to wear silhouettes that depended on piles of embellishment to achieve the look of the year. The bohemian look is now moving into the “new” minimalism, easy, ladylike, pure looks.

Moving away from trends in styles, let’s take a look at trends in buying. A few years ago, everything had a logo emblazoned across it. The first of the wave was the CK Calvin Klein t-shirts that gained popularity with teens about 15 years ago. You were paying money to the company so you could advertise them. Just when you couldn’t stand to see one more reincarnation of the logoed bag, it all came to a crashing halt. People didn’t want to wear something and have everyone know who it was. Personal style became more important, the clothes that didn’t make it to the runway became more popular, more relevant, and ultimately more salable. Working in a leather house, I know how hard luxuries got hit after 9/11.

These things tie directly with the political zeitgeist of the times. Fashion has always been a social and economic barometer of the political climate and now is no different. The current trends now are to basically H&M or LVMH; the middle ground has lost any sort of prominence.

The privileged are snapping up handbags that have 4 or 5 digit price tags with fervor; the rest of us clamor for the diluted versions for $29.99 at Wal-Mart. The fashion world has stopped, for the most part, encouraging the smaller design houses that carry neither the high-end or the knock-off but the different, special looks at middling-ground prices. Less than 10 years ago, the big news was how every major design house was lauching a bridge label. Under a Democratic president, we had a thriving middle class; we had money to spend, we demanded clothes and quality and the subsequent prices to fit our needs. Now the big news is the Stella McCartney designs for H&M.

As for trends in the actual clothes themselves, Bush’s first term had us rebelling in boho looks, unstructured, wildly printed and feminine in almost a caricature fashion. Now we are no longer rebelling–we are wearing the political climate on our bodies. The style is more somber–less colorful, more tailored, more subdued, less overtly sexy.

In America, right now, we have a president who is helping the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The middle class is being split to join either side of the divide and not by their own accord. The parallel can be seen in the appeal of the cheap offerings of the warehouse giants like Target and the thriving luxuries industries, while the independent designers and contemporary/bridge price-point labels are shutting down left and right.

I’m both worried and not worried. Because the trends in fashion and consumerism are so cyclical, it’s only a matter of time before we gain a more democratic equilibrium again. At the same time, because these trends tie so closely with the political climate, this will only happen when the times change. When we feel safe in our homes and optimistic about our government’s abilities is when people will feel free to spend more than $10 on a shirt.

testing, testing

Posted in Uncategorized by verbalcroquis on November 23, 2005




Edit: hallelujah! everything is back in working order!

my odd little work history

Posted in my work,rants,the day job by verbalcroquis on November 21, 2005

I was having a conversation with a friend this morning and while I was rambling incoherently about my past jobs, I realized something rather depressing.

Every single one of my former bosses saw me as something other than a fashion designer.

1. When I was a senior in high school, I worked as an intern for the costume department in the city operahouse. The head costume designer saw a lot of potential in me as a costume designer, loved the way I was able to reveal aspects of a character’s personality in the costume.

2. During college, I interned at a contemporary level clothing company. One day, we were shorthanded in the factory and they asked me to create a marker for some tops. Apparently I impressed them with my ability to save them more fabric than they originally planned for and I ended up spending quite some time making more markers for them.

3. At my first gig out of college, my boss thought I was some computer marvel, because I could operate Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. At that time, I didn’t think I was that amazing, just better than her.

4. At my next job, the very first project was to develop a rather complicated print for the new spring collection. My boss was blown away; the print has been knocked off by other companies several times since then. I designed a lot of silhouettes as well, but that damn print is what they still talk about.

5. Now, my current boss thinks I’m a graphic designer. The first project I did for her was to revamp their logo to design our booth the upcoming New York tradeshow, and ever since then, she’s relied on me for a lot of graphic work.

    I’m so confused. I’m neither complaining or bragging. Every project that has come my way, either they be closely related to the look of the final garment or not, I have taken on with vigor and earnestness because of my desire to learn everything about this business. Now I’m stuck in a limbo where the people who matter don’t see me as I see myself. What do I have to do to be seen as an APPAREL designer?

    for mojo

    Posted in advice,people i know by verbalcroquis on November 18, 2005

    This post is for my friend, Mojo, who’s a fan of this blog. Just for your devoted reading, these are my tips for holiday dressing for the non-girly girl.

    Pair a crisp shirt with slacks, but stay away from black and white so you’re not mistaken as one of the waiters. White with khakis, any of the aforementioned colors with charcoal or camel works. Chocolate brown is still a good option. Stay away from loud fussy prints or design details.

    Putting together a tank with a shirt only buttoned in the middle with pants is also a way to add some more color. Don’t forget to buy pants in a heavier material so they hang nicely. (Heavier doesn’t necessarily mean thicker.) Spark it up with a great belt buckle that shows your personality, some nice cufflinks.

    Go ahead and invest in a tunic length long sleeve top in a nice velvet; simple, pretty, not too girly. Tie a jaunty little scarf around your neck if you like.

    A more casual option is to pair jeans with a tee, with any of the great thin-knit wraparound cardigans all over the market right now, with a thin-knit muffler in some fun colors.

    Vests are coming back, but not the dressy kind with the silk back. To put it simply, you know those track jackets that everyone is wearing? Try a vest version with a long sleeve tee and jeans. Wear with a pair of funky kicks.

    I hope you like some of the tips and thanks for reading, Mojo!

    shopping for the holidays

    Posted in advice by verbalcroquis on November 18, 2005


    Tacqueria late at night for grub.

    I spy, with my chinky little eye, an adorable vintage furniture shop.

    So I stopped by today and the place had mostly furniture, but also cute accessories like vintage ashtrays, jewelry, boxes and the like. In preparation for the holiday season, I picked up some beautiful vintage sparkly brooches, perfect to pin clustered artfully onto one of my jackets for a holiday party. Yes, brooches are back.

    If you need a little guidance as to what to wear this holiday season, I have put together this little list of some great options.

    Pick up some shine. Be it the smooth subtlety of velvet or liquid sheen of satin, pair it with something matte, like denim or wool.

    Or opt for some lace. Just be careful of the cut so you look neither 19th century schoolmarm or 19th Avenue hooker.

    Add some dazzle. Try a brooch or 4.

    A touch of metallic leather is hip if done right.  Try it on shoes or a bag.  Leave the metallic leather jackets for the more adventurous. 

    Instead of the requisite red, try a soft mellow green, charcoal, darkdark aqua or white instead.

    Of course, the best accessories are a hot date and a fabulous gift for your host.

    And don’t forget to be comfortable! If you know you’re going to eat a lot, wear something with a little stretch. If you’re prone to spills, don’t wear light colors on top. You know the drill.

    Any questions?

    mary frances bags ii

    Posted in people i know,personal by verbalcroquis on November 17, 2005

    Meet the lady of the famous Mary Frances bag!  Her shout-out here.

    Me upon bag-sighting:  oooooooh…love that bag.  who’s is it?  where’s the label?  ack!  where’s she going?  don’t go!  stop stop stop!  dammit!  lost her.
    “Jae, did you see that purse?  Wasn’t it amazing?”
    “Oh yeah.  Do I smell birthday present hinting?”
    “Nooooooooo…I would never expect you to buy me something that pricey for my birthday.”
    You know, 2 fashionistas tittering on…
    Two hours later:  there she is!  must act cool…
    “Hi!  I LOVE your bag…”
    “Oh, thanks!
    You know, 2 purse-addicts tittering on… 
    And I’ve had the pleasure of Miz Kristie’s presence a few days after said incident, at the Laughing Squid anniversary party, where she was escorted (and I use that word precisely) by a not-as-fab-but-nonetheless-quite-cute clutch.
    Chris, if you ever read this: your girl done good.
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