Here are a couple of photos of the finished dress, taken backstage at the Gen Art Shop Miami event.
A weird thing happened to me at the event.
I actually impressed myself. This is a first for me. The photos actually don’t do the dress justice. When Dashil, my model, pounded down the runway, I was actually impressed with the way the look turned out. Doubly weird, considering I was so insecure about how it turned out until Dashil put it on and started walking. The silk flowed and shimmied perfectly, the pleats fanned out just so, the skirts floated and danced around her just like I wanted. Everything sparkled just the right amount. Mark the day, folks. July 27, 2006, the day Zoe impressed herself.
(I’m going to try to get the video taken of the runway show as soon as possible.)
“Hi, I’m not dead,” is the standard greeting between my friends and I when we haven’t spoken in a while. So, dear blogosphere, hi, I’m not dead.
I’ve had a rough few days. This industry, like I’ve said a million times, really does a number on you sometimes. There’s so much going on it’s hard to breathe.
The Gen-Art dress. Let’s just be frank. It’s not as good as I hoped. Not even close. Yes, I’m a perfectionist. Right now, it’s hard to tell if it’s really that bad (I’m trying so hard to look at it as objectively as possible), or my perfectionistic tendencies are casting a weird shade on things.
My first collection for this company I work for is at the tradeshows as we speak. I so desperately want the collection to do well. I’ve wrung my hands so much the past few days that I barely have any skin left on them. In my fantasy, we sell like crazy. In reality, I know leather isn’t a popular item during the spring shows, so I’m just hoping that we sell better than last year. I don’t have the balls to call my sales guys and ask them how it’s going.
I still haven’t hired a new person yet and my tech leaves this Friday. I can see myself working 3 jobs in the interim and let’s just say I’m not entirely excited about it.
But, as always, your VC is trying her damnedest to see the positive, stay focused, and just keep plowing ahead. (And believe me, this disgusting heat wave is not helping matters.) As previously posted, I’m taking August off to do nothing but my day job. During that time, I hope to regain some of my old blog cred with some better posts about interesting topics other than my random updates. Stay tuned, folks.
Oh, by the way, I’ll be in San Diego for Labor Day weekend. My friend M and I will be flying down to visit a mutual friend of ours. I’m so excited! He’s going to spoil us with home-cooking and motorcycle rides! I know I have a couple of readers/fellow bloggers who live in San Diego. Maybe a group coffee date? I know it’s a ways off, but if you’re interested, leave me a comment or drop me an email at verbalcroquis at gmail dot com.
So I read this on the latest Gen Art NewsFlash:
At 9pm, there be an informal Fashion Presentation including the debut of the winning design piece from the Perrier Bubbling Under Competition as well as sample looks from the participating designers.
My heart skips a beat, in not the good way, and I ping my dear friend M.
me: wtf? i didn’t know i’d be highlighted! i thought i could just sorta blend in with a bunch of other stuff! as if the pressure wasn’t already enough to compress a dumptruck.
M: oh come on. you won the thing, and you didn’t think you’d be acknowledged at all in the promos?
I got ten days, people. Ten measly short days, eight of which I’ll be working. Okay, so why am I still blogging?
You see, I rarely dread work like I did earlier today. I have such a full plate, and the tech acting all crazy and and and.
The boy and I had just grabbed a late dinner and were on our way home. We parked my car on the street and were walking the block or so home when a young girl (she looked about 18, if that) ran up to us and asked if she could borrow a cell phone. I asked her if she was okay. She was not. She was walking somewhere and this guy had grabbed her into his car, started hitting her and told her if she screamed he’d shoot her with his .38. He was going to rape her and take her to L.A. with him. She was a mess of tears and mascara and the shakes. Somehow she got away, but left her purse behind. She had no idea where she was because she had just moved to San Francisco two days ago. She was trying to call her boyfriend, who she lives with, but he wasn’t answering, so I drove her home. When we got to their place, I stayed long enough to see him hug her, and then I took off. The horrible thing is, you just don’t know who the crazies are so I never left my car because I was afraid for myself. She doesn’t live in a good neighborhood. I gave her my card and asked her to email me to let me know how she’s doing. I called my friend B, asking her for a rape hotline number so I can give it to her if she does email me.
So yeah, I’m fine, but still worried about her. The ironic thing is, she’s from Oakland, which has a much harsher rep than SF does, and she’d never had anything like this happen to her there.
So yeah, tomorrow is another day of restraining myself from cursing out the tech and getting frazzled over the tradeshow shipments and all that jazz. Whatever. I have it good and I am so fucking thankful.
Seriously, I have GOT to start remembering to press the dress before I take photos. Yeesh.
First up, look at my adorable bows ready to be sewn on the dress:
Here’s the blank dress, complete and ready for embellishment (oops, I forgot to clip the threads):
Hrm. Didn’t notice the janky pulling around the hip when I checked on it this morning…
You can see the bows “dissolving” to ruffles best here:
After much agonizing, I think the dissolving effect came out decent. I love how the raw edges fraying prevent the dress from looking too precious.
When I was putting the dress on Olive, I took these following photos. There are no closures–just slips right over your head. Anyway, I took these because basically, this is closer to what I would have designed if I wasn’t so afraid of pleasing the judges. The haphazard drape, bows weaving in the layers, tonal texture contrast. Obviously, it’s a sloppy mess here, but I think you know what direction I mean. Sigh. Oh well.
-When my tech gave her two-week notice, I thought that meant she was leaving in two weeks, not that she was gonna start being a *^&#!@^(*$! for the next two weeks.
-The dress portion is complete, but blank. Now, I have to embellish it and put together the underskirt. The rest of this week will be filled with mindless beading, not to be confused with mindless beating, which is what I’d really like to do to the dress. I’ll post a bunch of photos this weekend.
-I’m super excited about this weekend because a friend is taking me to get a free facial. Most people with combination skin have a T-zone, I have an O-zone, meaning I break out around my hairline and chin. And my hair is not even that greasy. Ick.
-Tradeshow prep is driving everyone in the office absolutely bonkers. EVERYONE. No one is exempt, not customer service, accounting, the receptionist, NO ONE. Everything is shipping out on Monday and my linesheet still needs prices. Today my boss decided to do two more samples of existing styles in a new leather. My factory foreman looked like he was going kill me. I probably shouldn’t have told him while he was holding his x-acto blade. The server was doing the funky chicken today so our IT guy kept popping into my office since I have the fastest computer. I was ready to strangle him. While I serenely said, “Oh, it’s okay. Do what you need to do,” inside I was screaming “Get the frick out of my office! I have swatchcards to format and sketches to scale and covers to design! GET OUT!!!”
-I got this freak jacket today. Well, the jacket is lovely (I really need to stop shopping my own collection), but the skin is a weird hybrid of 2 different leather swatches I was looking at, one I love and one that reminds me of burnt cheese pizza.
-I was so frazzled today I actually bought a little bag of Cheetos at lunch. I’m not some super healthy eater (not by a longshot), but I eat Cheetos like twice a year. They’re “nervous food” for me. Uh oh.
God, I love my job. And I really mean it.
What a day. It whizzed by as I half-heartedly attempted to pry the idiot grin off my face.
I don’t like complaining incessantly and thus creating a blog full of negativity. Nonetheless, I’d be lying to you if I said all was smooth sailing at work. The last six months have been insane, the last two revving up to fever pitch. I’ve been driving myself crazy with the workload, the attitude problems, my lackluster tech, the stress of my first collection, alladatandthensome. Poor sleep snuck into my schedule and my body got slammed hard this past weekend with the worst bout of stomach flu I’ve ever experienced. (And trust me, usually, my stomach is like a steel tank.) Ah, this industry. Gotta love it.
And then today. Because apparently, I must have done something right in a past life or something, I got a pat on the back.
1. I got a raise.
2. My lackluster tech gave her two week notice.
3. I’m getting an assistant instead of a new tech. Yes, as they said before, they can’t afford to hire someone else, but now there’s a slot available, they’re pretty much going to allow me to restructure that role and the new person will answer to me. So I’ll have more time to focus on design, merchandising, and product development, and leave behind my production duties, as well as some stuff I don’t love doing like measuring stuff. So while my workload will be similar to what I have going on now, my brain will not be split in so many ways, and a lot of paperwork will be shifted off my plate, and I am so freaking grateful for that.
I’m grateful for the production experience, and the knowledge that I’ve culled will definitely help me to be better at design and business. Learning and really grasping different aspects of the business gives you such an advantage, I can’t even begin to explain. One of my goals regarding my day job have always been to move forward into a position where my opinions on design and business will be heard and my experience in production has really given me an extra edge in my conversations with my boss and the new VP.
And, in combination of my Perrier check and my new raise, I am projecting to be done paying off my student loans by the end of this year! No more debt! Woohoo!
I got my big check Friday from Perrier! *bounce bounce*
I do. And I love leather. For the fabric properties. This dress is NOT going well. At all. Danielle, before you write me a comment berating me for my “meticulous” nature, really, if you saw it, you’d hate it too. You’d just be too polite to say anything.
As I typed this, I figured out a possible way to fix my problem. Cross your fingers that it works, guys. Thanks.
Sorry, Danielle. This dress is making me cranky.
Here’s the sketch of the dress:
Notes: I haven’t worked on the underskirt enough to show anything, but it’s in process. I decided to take off the pockets. If the mannequin, Olive, looks hippy with them, can you imagine what they’ll do to a real body? Yikes.
The first muslin, in actual muslin. A bad idea, since the final will be in silk. Bleh. And the second muslin, in a poly crepe, closer the actual drape. Improving, but still hating it. The main problem is excess gathers preventing a snug fit in the back.
The third muslin photos got lost, but there was tweaking there.
Here’s the fourth and final muslin, in some scrap silk in the sale bin with a good mimic of the charmeuse drape. Yes, it’s missing the left ruffle.
The front of the final–only the bodice so far. Obviously needs a good pressing. I’ve made it a touch more modest than the sketch and reworked some of the proportions to move it away from the Land of “Strictly Editorial” ™.
And the back and side. Notice no back or side seams. The only vertical seam in the front seam, which will eventually be hidden by the ruffles and bows. I also curved the seam in such a way that it will be the guide for the bow and ruffle placement.