verbal croquis

this is my life

Posted in home life,people i know by verbalcroquis on March 16, 2006

Today, I’m not supposed to do any work. The boyfriend and my girl M forbade it. Today is my break day. Some of us (me, henri-v and lol b) were talking about boyfriends and their opinions on fashion over at the Tribunal, and I remembered reading this particular blog post a while ago. Never have I nodded so much in my life. So I would tell you about my life (or the nonfashion parts, anyway), but this woman named Emily does it better. (Assaf is not an apple developer, but he does code for a living.)

Some gems:

What about the poor innocent souls who think they are getting a normal guy and then come to find out he has been sucked into the chaotic world of development? What about the little girls who dream of Prince Charming and end up with Steve Ballmer? What about the girls who never even dreamed they would know who Steve Ballmer is? I think someone needs to offer them a little advice. Seeing that I am a seasoned professional who has been dating a developer since I was 15, I think there is no one better than me to show them the way.

I started pondering this while I was doing the laundry because I noticed that 9 out of the 10 t-shirts I was folding were development or Mac related. Just to give you a general idea of what I’m talking about (and the embarrassment I have to deal with when we go out in public) let me describe a few of them. First, I ran across one that read “Steve Jobs is my homeboy.? Then there was the one that said “I am blogging this.? Next was a WWDC 2004 polo and an Apple Developer Connection shirt. And my personal favorite was the one that said “Code Different.? I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

I still don’t know who Steve Ballmer is (and no, babe, this is not an invitation for you to tell me), but Assaf does have a t-shirt that says “Built to Flip”. And a bumper sticker that says “I am the media”. And henri-v asked me if he has some secret fashion sense. *snort* Check out the rest of it here.


Okay, so I’m being a bit harsh.  He’s actually way too hip to be called a true geek–that’s why I call him geekerati.  But I still don’t think he’s allowed to give me design criticism. heh.


i think i’m going to be sick

Posted in my work,the day job by verbalcroquis on March 15, 2006

Right now, as we speak, my boss is on a flight out to the east coast for our annual Biggest Buyer Meeting Ever ™.  The money made from these people’s orders pay everyone’s salaries here and then some.  They say “jump”, we say “who, what, when, where, how high, how long”.  It’s sick, but that’s the harsh reality of this biz.

So why is my stomach in knots?  Cuz I designed the bulk of this group.  Cuz this was my first project as head designer.  Cuz my boss’s sister died during the design phase and therefore, my boss left me alone.  Cuz my contact OverThere was incredibly fickle.  Cuz there was so much going on during that time, I got really frustrated, locked myself up in my office, flipped the bird at everyone who was driving me crazy, pulled some crap together and sent the sketches to my samplemaker.

Nonetheless, I could make a million excuses, but it doesn’t matter.  Designers never get to work under their absolute ideal conditions.  What separates the pros from the amateurs is how we struggle and thrive to create something amazing under the less-than-ideal conditions called Life.

The meeting is tomorrow.  A friend came over last night and saw the half-finished project I’m working on (separate from my day job) and I’m afraid she was underwhelmed.  Insecurities suck.

click here now

Posted in love is in the air by verbalcroquis on March 14, 2006

Okay, not there, HERE.  Gorgeous!

blogs to check out

Posted in recommendations by verbalcroquis on March 13, 2006

Tribunal of Good Taste–“smackdown: vanity and popular culture vs. ethical consumption.” A mishmash of random goodies covering all different aspects of fashion including reviews of shows, her personal style, and the such.  Mostly I read her blog cuz I think she’s rad.  Yes, I say words like “rad”.  And she sells her jewelry, which are also rad.
Fashion Addict Diary–random tidbits of fashion news and gossip.  I like her dry sense of humor and sarcasm.  Most posts are accompanied by interesting photos, something I’m horrible at doing.
Give me spirit fingers dammit!!!–for my daily dose of laughing-til-my-sides-ache.

writing a blurb

Posted in home life,personal by verbalcroquis on March 10, 2006

and other sleepy ramblings.

First of all, forecastors are saying there could be a historic 1″ of snow on Twin Peaks tonight.  Okay, not helpful, since I’m across town from TP, but whatever.  That’s still rad!  I miss snow so much.  I grew up in Alaska and the biggest thing I miss about Alaska is the snow.  Making snow angels, going sledding, deciding to go skiing in the afternoon at the drop of a hat instead of planning a Tahoe weekend excursion and driving in hours of mindnumbing traffic, and just how frickin’ pretty everything looks with a good dusting.  Of course, I don’t miss carrying a broom, an ice scraper, a shovel and a gallon of antifreeze in the trunk of my car, but you win some, you lose some.  Running the snowblower in the driveway and aiming the spigot thingie at my kid siblings, chasing them around the front yard (in the snow, without a fence, you forget where the concrete ends).  Snow days!  Snow shoeing!  Dogsled racing!  The iditarod!

Speaking of my past, I worked 11 years as an English tutor.  Bet you couldn’t tell from the grammatical nightmares that pass off as my blog posts.  Heh.  In college, I worked as the head peer tutor for the liberal arts department at my school.  Being the head tutor meant I got the doozies.  Essays that read like doubly regurgitated Babelfish translations with a sprig of mint to mask the odor.  (Yeah, that’s a dependant clause parading around as a complete sentence. Feh.)  I reworked fine arts senior theses into thoughtful, structured prose on Marxist literature’s effect on post modern art, costume history papers into insightful treatises on the differences between “naked” and “nude” and how that has shaped modern fashion.  I’ve made students cry with my bluntness and red pen marks.
Now I think karma has come to bite me in my flat asian butt, big time.  I’m stuck.  I’m trying to write a “blurb” to describe a project I’m working on.  (Ack!  A preposition at the end of the sentence!  I guess I can’t wear that “Grammar Guru” badge anymore.)

I know all the components it needs:  concise, descriptive, memorable, easy to understand.  What I need now are oh, the verbs and nouns and adjectives.  Some conjunctions and adverbs wouldn’t hurt.  Toss in some proper semicolon use for an intellectual effect.  Whatever.  It’s midnight and I haven’t had any caffeine today and my already chinky eyes look like bound buttonholes.  Good night.

P.S.  The boy and I were making dinner today, talking about social events on our calendars.

Me:  So T is hosting drinks for the ides of March.

Him:  So when is March 15?

Poor baby’s pretty overworked lately too.

this is why i’m so sleepy today

Posted in home life by verbalcroquis on March 9, 2006

The boy and I are in bed, ready to go to sleep.  I’m fading fast, the boy is still wired.

Me: G’night.

Him:  So are you designing for S-2-6 now?

Me: Whaa?  You mean SS06? No, SS07, honey.

Him:  Oh, right.  How come you skipped winter?

Me:  There is no winter.  G’night.

Him:  Huh?  No winter?

Me:  Sigh.  Jeebus, babe, it’s not like you’re going to remember any of this in the morning anyway. ……….. Well, there’s fall/winter.  ……….Mostly, in terms of delivery dates, it’s Spring 1, Spring 2, Fall 1, Fall 2, holiday, resort.  ……….Depending on how many deliveries/collections you offer…. Stop wiggling—I’m trying to sleep!

Him:  So there’s no winter and no summer?  It’s just like San Francisco!  We should be the fashion capital of the U.S., not New York.

Me:  Can I go to sleep now?  Please? 

carnivale: fashion and film

Posted in events by verbalcroquis on March 5, 2006

This weeks Carnivale is hosted by Counterfeit Chic and her topic, just in time for the Oscars, is fashion and film. Her broad range of discussion topics lends itself to lighthearted fancies or heavyhanded verbosity. Me, given that I lived in L.A. for six years, and the thing I remember about Oscar season is the heavy traffic congestion (damn limos), and my current mental state (frazzled with too many projects, not enough time), I’ll opt for the easybreezycatty. Remind me to tell y’all the stories from when I used to live with my crazy rich aunt and we lived next door to Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith. Anyways.

I love Hollywood costume history; I studied a lot of it on my own, in college, and even worked as a research assistant for a Hollywood costume history text once. My favorite bits? Other than the scandalous dresses, are the little behind the scenes stories. Here’s a little sampling of my favorites:


Travis Banton was the designer for the Claudette Colbert’s version of Cleopatra. In true form, she rejected several sets of designs. With the final set of sketches, Mr. Banton basically told Claudette that if she didn’t like these, she might as well kill herself because these were the finals. Claudette then proceed to cut her finger, dribble some blood onto the sketches and send them back. She finally approved the next set.


Bette Davis has notoriously saggy boobs. They came down to her elbows. Designs were often constructed around this problem. The absolutely devastating dress from All About Eve was a series of happy errors.


Edith Head got her job working for Banton through plagiarism. She stole artwork from her fellow students and put together a portfolio. (She went to my school! ick.) In fact, she developed a career originally as a copyist–towards the end of his career, Banton was such an alcoholic, Head would draw sketches in Banton’s style to cover up for him. She won the Oscar for Sabrina and never bothered to credit Monsieur Givenchy, even though he created Audrey Hepburn’s look for that movie. She got the ultimate slap in the face, though, when Grace Kelly opted for Helen Rose to design her wedding gown intead of Head. She was licking her wounds over it for years.


Joan Crawford had linebacker shoulders. Forty inches on a 5’4″ frame! That’s why even though she’d already been working for years, she wasn’t popular until the broad shoulder look was in fashion in the 30s. Adrian’s famous dress for Joan’s role in Letty Lynton was all about masking those shoulders while emphasizing that look. That dress was copied all over world for deb balls and high school dances.


Norma Shearer got the biggest makeover and top billing in movies such as Marie Antoinette and Romeo and Juliet because her husband was Irving Thalberg, top producer at MGM during her box office reign. God bless nepotism.


This dress for Ginger Rogers in Lady in the Dark cost $35,000–the most expensive single costume ever made. $35,000, folks. For a single dress. In 1943. Yup, war era. Just think about inflation rates. I don’t think most couture even compares. (Sorry I couldn’t find a better picture.)


Betty Davis’ dress in Jezebel is supposed to be red. Except it was black and white picture. So how do you do “red” in black and white? Several test shots later, it was agreed that rusty brown looked the most “red” on a black and white screen. I would love to take a class with one of the old b&w film masters on other tricks they used.

guess who’s coming to dinner?

Posted in events by verbalcroquis on March 2, 2006

I’m frickin’ exhausted, but I promised you a dinner post so I’m writing y’all a dinner post.  Hope you’re happy.

1.  Cristobal Balenciaga.  Cuz he was a freakin’ genius.  And it’s believed that he wanted his house shut down after he died.  Well, obviously it didn’t happen.  And that’s why I would also invite 2. Nicolas Ghesquire. Is that how you spell his name?  I’m too lazy to go check right now.  Y’all know who I mean.  The conversation between the two masterminds would be fascinating, as I sat hovering, hoping to become a brilliant fashion designer through osmosis.

To add to the mixture, I’d invite 3.  Charles Frederick Worth, the “father” of haute couture.  I’d love to hear his life story, and also his views on the state of haute couture now.  And I’d also love for him to teach me some of the really old school techniques.  Hey, I learn pretty fast!  I figure if I serve enough courses, I can get a couple of good lessons under my belt.

I’d also invite 4.  Madeleine Vionnet, because she lives under the shadow of other women of the time like Gres, the Schiap, and Chanel, but deserves so much more pomp.  The woman was a brilliant draper.  Her understanding of construction and fabric was unparalleled.  I hope she brings that mini-mannequin that looks like an Oompa-Loompa version of her.  That’d be cool in a kinda creepy way. I’d only invite Chanel if she was strapped to a lie-detector test the whole time, as she was a notorious fibber, uh, *exaggerator*.

TO round out the list, I’d like to invite 5. Travis Banton, Hollywood costume designer extraordinaire.  I’d love to ask him how Edith Head really got her job, if that Claudette Colbert is really true, what it was like to work with Dietrich.  I’d also love to hear a debate between the king of costume design and the couturiers, about how the film affected fashion, vice versa, and hear their theories on who was more influential.  My personal theory is that they were each more influential in different periods of time, but that’s just my humble opinion and I’d love to hear them hash it out.  Y’all already know I’m a big fashion geek, but I guess you didn’t know I’m a big Hollywood costume geek too.

Ah, to be a fly on the wall.  Naw, I like talking too much.  But I guess you figured that out already.  Okay, I gotta shut up now cuz I’m about to pass out.  I’m sure I’ll think of a better dinner party tomorrow, but oh well.  Oooh, I could have done a whole dinner with ……….zzzzzzzzzzzz………..

forbes magazine

Posted in events,personal by verbalcroquis on March 2, 2006

Hey, lookie, kids!  I’m famous!  (Ya gotta scroll towards the bottom for my bit.) Okay, well, not really.  But it’s still pretty cool.  Thanks, Virginia!

Carnivale sweep #3

Posted in events by verbalcroquis on March 2, 2006

Last, but not least, 2 fashionably late entries are left to post.  Thanks for everyone for participating and thanks to Manolo, of course, for hosting the actual Carnivale itself.

Barney’s Girl, one of the contributors of I Am Fashion, in my opinion, is setting up a celebrity smackdown.  First, she invites the writer of The Devil Wears Prada, and The Devil herself.  Then she invites some Hollywood Pretty People ™, who I’m sure will be fighting to be in the spotlight themselves.  Hilarity will ensue, in an ironic way, I’m sure.  But maybe my 6 years in L.A. have fostered in me too much cynicism.  Either way, I hope you don’t have white carpet, BG.
I’ve never heard of Sense of Soot before, but I may have to go snooping around when I get a spare mo’.  The tag is “A hazy, lazy eye on the flotsam of art, science, and culture. A voice crying out, “Wait just a minute…””, and her post is just that.  SOS (suitable acronym, no?) reminds us what accessories were for, what they should be and bemoans fashion’s bastardization of hats.  Her guestlist is Hollywood iconography brought to life, but definitely not what you would expect.  Check it out.

Alright, kids, I’m done hosting this week.  Don’t cry, I will still be dispensing random witticisms regularly, as yes, I am regularly randomly witty.  I guess just not today.  Next up is Counterfeit Chic with the next Carnivale topic on fashion and film.

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