Friday, 12 December 2008

Pure Brilliance

I got my grade back, it only went up by 1% but it’s better than nothing and I’m still really pleased with it! I also handed in my other project today, so that’s a big weight off my shoulders. Two projects already completed…its nuts!
So now I can concentrate on my trend boards/shop report over Christmas, oh and not forgetting the graduate fashion week project!
I went on a bit of a mission around Leeds city centre in search of any brochures or leaflets high end shops had to help me with my project, and I have to say I was surprised at how nice and helpful the shop assistants were! The guy in Flannels even told us to have a “good look around” and then came chasing after us as we were leaving to give us another booklet and gave us a lovely, “Good Luck” as we departed the store. I think I fell in love with him at that moment! So all in all I managed to get information on Vivienne Westwood, Harvey Nichols, Nicole Farhi and of course Flannels. I’ve really started to notice the difference between high end stores compared to normal high street stores, the lay out, the lighting, the staff etc. It’s all so different.
Oh and I’ve made a start on my accessory for River Island, I’ve decided to create a neck piece out of marbles and my scarves…its still a working progress but its coming along nicely.
Although it was our last official day today I’m going to pop into college on Monday so I can get some more information on my trends before I go back home.
I do love it when things run smoothly…and I woke up this morning feeling like it was going to be a terrible day-stressed, rushed and just generally annoyed, but after my successful mission I feel quite the opposite!*sighs*

Friday, 5 December 2008

Too much work, Not enough play

Luckily today the ice had melted and I was able to walk to college with joy instead of walking like an O.A.P, and I manage to complete my dress! Hallelujah! I think the most difficult part was putting the facing in around the arm holes but although it took me about 5 attempts I still really enjoyed it. I feel like it was a lot less difficult then I had expected and I enjoyed it more than I would, in fact so much more that I’m remaking it at Christmas as a little surprise for my little sister. I’ve learnt so much from these pattern sessions and I think when I do remake it I’m going to add more fullness and make the skirt slightly longer. I’m quite looking forward to showing off to the family that I can whip up a dress within minutes......well, not minutes, not yet anyway! I think they will be quite impressed with what I’ve already achieved – and it has only been a few months. My mum was really pleased with my grade for my first project, but today I queried why I had been marked down for “apparently” not using my bag and I found out that it was a mistake and had been accidentally overlooked. So I’m being remarked which I’m really pleased about, I’m glad I queried it because I wasn’t sure whether too but I suppose that just shows if ever you’re unsure of something then just ask!
Well tomorrow I have a early start at work but I finish at half 2 and then I’m off to do some of my top secret photo taking. Ideally I would like to have my trend boards completely before I go back so I need to collect as much information as I can. I’m also going to start getting some books out that relate to my 4 trends so I can include them in my boards. So I need to take some more photographs, photograph some related textures and find some books that relate to my trends. Hopefully I can get all this done by the middle of next week and if not it will be well and truly started.
A lot to be getting on with for now then, oh and I need to make sure my technical file is correct and up to date. Too much work and not enough play I say!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Get out there and get over it!

Today I collected my results from my previous project, I was so nervous and was slipping everywhere on the way to college (it’s so icy), but it was all worth it because scored 68% which I was pleased with as the average is 60%. I have to admit after looking through my feedback I was a little disappointed as it said that I hadn’t included my bag in my garment when I had…and that because of this, it had brought my whole grade down. I don’t really understand why this was overlooked, maybe it’s because the bag wasn’t clear enough, but I think it will help me if I was to ask about it and then maybe I can understand what I should have done.
Overall I’m quite pleased, I had hoped for more but I think everyone always does.
As for the trend project, it seems to be going okay I’m starting to understand it a little more now. I still need to take a few more images but I have a fear of slipping on the ice again, and as it has been so frosty lately - I think that’s what has been stopping me.
I need to get over it and get out there!
This Friday is the last lesson before our hand in for the making project, I think I’ll get it all complete and just need to stay focused and make sure my technical file is all done.
We’ve also been set a Christmas project which is a project for graduate fashion week, we have to design an accessory for River Island for spring/summer 09. The accessory has to be made from charity shop goodies, they don’t necessary have to be garments though they can be anything! I’m quite excited really! So that should keep me quiet over Christmas…my mum will be pleased, peace and quiet for once!
Only a week left now!

Monday, 1 December 2008

The Day of Indifference

So, I must be getting old because I keep forgetting to right down really important things that have happened on the course, we recently started our making lesson on Fridays and I'm actually a lot more confident with it then I thought and I'm really enjoying it!
I've already made the front, back and put an invisble zip in...amazing I know!!
Oh and my undercover photo shooting has been going well, its all quite exciting really. I feel like I've already learnt a lot about the clothing in different stores. For example I've seen an almost identical skirt in primark and new look but the pricing and materials are so different!I feel like this project is quite confusing but I think its just because I've never done anything like this before...I'm enjoying it though.I just hope what I've done so far is along the right lines.
On this course I find I get up and down moments at one point I'll feel like I'm going well and I understand it perfectly and at others I'll feel like I really shouldn't even be on the course and I have it totally wrong...and right now I'm indifferent and if I'm honest I just want to go home for Christmas!
I think tomorrow I'm going to head to Borders after Uni and cheer myself up with a Fashion and educational!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Christmas Project

I handed my first project in last week and it felt brilliant! I decided to go for the image on the ground as my final, although it seems like quite an obvious choice for “it fell from the sky” I couldn’t see anyone else that had done something like it.
Since handed in our project last week we have been given a new brief to work on now and over the Christmas period and it looks really exciting and like something I’ve never done before! It’s purely a design project, involving the industry, trend prediction and market awareness. Firstly we have to collect information about the trends for autumn/winter which are currently being sold in the high street. We have to look at the seven different market levels, luxury, designer, designer diffusion etc. So, tomorrow morning I shall be exploring these different market levels with my camera in one hand and a note pad in the other! Then once we have all this information we need we are going to create some trend boards for those trends and also write up a shop report….scary stuff eh?! Little bit nervous and excited all at the same time!
Oh and I managed to get myself a job in New Look, which I thought would be helpful for the course as well.
And we have already been given our previous project back and should have our feedback in about a weeks time!!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Photo Shoot

I had a successful Sunday as I managed to do my photo shoot and I feel it was a success. Although it didn’t rain like I wanted it to it still went quite well, but because it didn’t rain I had to resort to plan B. I decided to use trees as a key point in this shoot and the idea of someone or something falling from the sky and getting stuck in a tree.

I also went on to try and capture someone on a high wall, maybe thinking of jumping or stuck there.

Finally, I wanted to experiment with someone that had simply fallen from the sky and not be found yet!

I'm not sure which of these images I'm going to use for my final one, but I think it will be either the ones on the ground or in the tree.
I have also finished my sketchbook, just need to bind it together and only have one illustration left to do!

Friday, 14 November 2008

Nearly There....

Today has been a lot more productive than I ever imagined it would be. I can happily say I have already completed most of the tasks I previously set myself, and I had a job interview today too! I have finished sewing together my garment, I have mastered - okay I wouldn’t call it mastered, but got the hang of CAD and my sketchbook is very nearly complete. I found it really helped working as a group with some of my flat mates, it made me more motivated. I think that’s how I managed to get so much done, plus I got up earlier. I think maybe I should do that more often…but I know my will body disagree! I’m really pleased that everything seems to be coming together…finally! All to do now is four more illustrations, my photo shoot and the last page to my sketchbook. Brilliant!
So, tomorrow should see the completion of my illustrations, the completion of my sketchbook and maybe if I’m lucky even my photo shoot started! I’m hoping for rain, I know that sounds odd but I need it for my shoot idea….fingers – crossed!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Time Flying By

It always seems to be the case that generally you worry a lot more about something than you need to. And by saying this I’m talking about my crit presentation, yes it was nerve racking but everyone was in exactly the same situation. By the end of it I realised I had probably spent far too much time worrying about something that really wasn’t worth it, I felt it went as well as it possibly could have and that’s what matters.
My Creative Approaches lessons are going well and I’m in the process of putting together my garment made from a shirt, trousers and bag. I feel my research book to go with this garment is almost complete and I’ve done as much as I can in the way of research. Now all I really need to concentrate on is photographing my garment using the words “it fell from the sky”, I have a few ideas already that I’m going to try out at some point this week. As for my illustrations, well they seem to be coming along nicely I just need to get my head around CAD!

My aims for this week are to finish sewing my garment together, work on some CAD designs for my illustration and start on my photo shoot. Maybe its quite a lot for the rest of the week but I’m willing to give it a go and I feel if I push myself its quite achievable.
One thing I have learnt already from this course its deadlines seem to creep up on you, although I’m aware of all my deadlines its still a shock to hear I only 2 weeks left for this project! Time really does just fly by, it will be Christmas before I even know it!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Self Discipline

So as the deadline for my crit presentation approaches I find myself starting to feel nervous as I haven’t practiced as much as I should of! I think I’m going to be spending the rest of this working on it. I’ve been trying to priorities, as there are so many different deadlines coming up. So firstly I’m going to focus on crit and Creative Approaches to Fashion as they are in quite soon.
I have to admit I haven’t done as much work as I had hoped I would over reading week and I didn’t even go home so I don’t really have an excuse. I did work, but just not as much as I’d of liked!
I’m going to start writing out lists of tasks for each day that are actually achievable! And I need to start waking up a lot earlier.
Self discipline is really needed!
On a lighter note, in class I’ve started working on the stand for ideas for my final garment. Although I haven’t actually liked any of the designs that I’ve done on the stand, I’ve still recorded them as I can always work on top of my ideas in my sketchbook. After all, everything counts!
I’m really looking forward to a break at Christmas, but for now I must stay focused for just a bit longer!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Success at last!

I had a really successful day and managed to get loads done in class. I’m quite pleased as I stuck to my word and spoke less and worked more, the results were brilliant. I got most of my research stuck down so my thought process is clearer to me, I find it easy to see what I’ve done once I compile it into a sketchbook of some sort.
I felt my tutorial went well too and it was good to see how everyone else had worked, I was quite surprised though because I thought everyone would have done a lot more work than they had.
On the whole its been a good week so far….

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Less Talk, More Work!

On Friday we had to make a pattern up for a bodice block I found this quite challenging at first but once I got the hang of it it wasn’t too bad, it took me a long time though. I think one thing I’ve come to realize already from this course is that I’m a really slow worker and that’s one thing I need to change. I need to spend less time chatting and more time working so I think in future I’m really going to try and focus more on my work than the people around me, that might even mean moving to another table to work totally alone, but if I don’t sort this out now I think its really going to affect me in the future.
I’m looking forward to Tuesday session as we have tutorials and I can’t wait to get feed back on the work I’ve done so far and how I can improve on it.
I’ve started to focus more on my crit work at the moment as the deadline is getting nearer and nearer, I’m a little bit confused about what our presentation is meant to actually show. I’ve read through the brief many times but I think I need to go through it with our crit teacher just so I have everything clear in my mind.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Stay Positive - Be Happy

I really feel like I’m starting to get to grips with the course now, and I know I have days where I feel like I can’t do a thing right but so far this week things have been looking up! I finally feel positive about the future and I feel like everything’s going really well at the moment.
My crit lesson on Monday ran smoothly and I really enjoy learning about the more academic side of the Fashion world. I like to know as much as possible about my discipline and I’d like to find out a little about others as well, such as Photography and Art. I already know a bit about these subjects as I’ve studied them in the past but I think it’s a good idea to have a general knowledge of things outside your discipline too.
Our Creative approaches to Fashion design lesson was really interesting, we used fabric manipulation in order to create links to our phrase and chosen artist and then photographed our results. We also got feedback from our classmates about our final garment ideas, observational drawings and photographs. This was very helpful as we were able to see how others work and also to get peoples opinion on how to better our own work.

Above: fabric manipulation (layers and tears)

Hopefully this positive thinking will continue through the week and stay for a lot longer!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Not worth the stress

This week has been a pretty hectic one with a lot to take in. I’ve felt the strain of the course and its only just began, which is a little bit worrying. I think I just gets moments where I feel like I can’t achieve what I want to, but I think everyone gets those moments…I’ve just had a whole week of it! Don’t get me wrong I’m really enjoying the course and I love learning new things but I just know its going to get harder and I need to learn to deal with it-somehow.
I absolutely loved our Creative approaches to Fashion Design lesson on Tuesday. We had to use imagery from our project to design garments, and I found that it was quite similar to how we used to work on my previous course, but actually if I’m honest it did get a little tedious near the end but that’s probably because I’d exhausted all the design ideas for my image and should of really changed it.
The dreaded drawing lesson went better than I could have ever expected. I started out badly but by the end I was quite pleased with what I had produced. Oh and I found the media I work best with and what definitely not to use again! A success I’d say.
Well the week would have been a success if I hadn’t struggled so much with dart manipulation! I felt like the thickest person ever, for some reason it just wouldn’t go in and it wasn’t until after lunch I even realised what was going on! Lucky I caught up and managed to kind of understand what was happening! What a relief!
So for what remains of this week I’m going to try not to stress out and just get on with it!

Monday, 6 October 2008

Miss Productive

I feel like the past couple of days have been pretty productive and I’ve learnt a lot from them.
On Fridays we have our “Creative Design Realisation” class, which is a more technical lesson and it enables us to learn about pattern cutting and other skills needed for the industry. I felt surprising comfortable in this lesson and enjoyed learning about all the different seams on various garments and how to sew a zip into a garment, things that might seem easy to other but which I have never done before. I found that in this session I became more used to an industrial sewing machine and got to know the staff a lot better.
Over the weekend I decided to take a trip to the library and look for inspiration for my “Creative Approaches to Fashion Design” project. I managed to find some books on architecture and even the Earth that I could experiment with and use in my research. I finally feel like I’m starting to understand what I need to do now for this brief. My productiveness didn’t end there, oh no, I confronted that fear of mine and did some drawings using the new techniques I had learnt in my drawing lessons and I have to say I was quite pleased with them. So things aren’t looking so bad after all!
In critical studies we were given our brief which is an oral presentation on a piece of text chosen by our tutor, which is “Blue is in Fashion This Year” by Roland Barthes. At first I found the text quite confusing and didn’t have a clue what it was all about but after I re-read it it all started to become a lot clearer, it’s all about the meaning behind the language of Fashion and what the words actually stand for. We’ve been going through it a lot in our lessons so I think I’ll be fine when it comes to the presentation, just keep working hard and keep up with all the work I’ve been set. There is so much going on at once though, what with critical studies, design realisation, approaches to fashion design and PPD! Welcome to the real world Dawn!!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Confronting my fears

So we received our brief for “Creative approaches to Fashion Design”, this project sounds really exciting and I can’t wait to get stuck in. It’s a lot to take in but once I get rolling I’m sure I’ll be fine.
We also got split into different groups, which I felt was really good as no one seemed to be integrating and so this gave everyone a chance to get to know each other and actually find out who else was in the class! In these groups we presented our summer projects and we were able to give feedback and get other peoples thoughts and feelings on the projects. It was really interesting to see how differently everyone worked and how people interpreted the different phrases in such diverse ways.
For this project we have to continue researching into our chosen phrase and designer and just collect as much research as possible that relates to this.
We had our first drawing class yesterday and I have to say, drawing and I have always had a bad relationship. I got a good grade at G.C.S.E for Art and Design but after that I hardly ever drew and I think this is why I am so poor at drawing. I really struggled in the drawing class and felt like I did really badly, and when I looked at other peoples’ brilliant work and how good they are, it just made me feel worse. I know I’m going to have to get past this “phobia” of mine and it will take time for me to become confident with drawing but I feel like it will always been one of my weak points.
I’ve decided to try and do a little bit of drawing each day to work on this and build up my confidence. So hopefully this will help me in the future.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Fashion Love

I kept to my word and managed to go out on a hunt for a job and it all looks quite promising. So, I suppose this shows that being organised and logical can work sometimes and that maybe I should plan my time more often, in class and at home.
I also had my first critical studies lesson and I actually found it all really interesting I love learning new ways of learning and about new concepts. We’ve already been sent a piece of writing to do - 500 words on two fashion images - due in on Friday! Not very long to do it in but I like to be pushed to my limits and challenged, which is part of the reason why I chose this course. I felt it would push me to those limits and make me work harder than before. I know that working, and even learning in the design industry is hard, but I really want to succeed. I found my Pre-Degree Foundation course quite stressful and it taught me a lot about time control and not to leave things to the last minute, so that is one trap I am definitely not going to fall into. I want to get the most out of this course and that means me taking responsibility for my own action and the way in which I learn.
Oh and I finally managed to find an image of a dress that I would like to make for the Fashion Realisation project, I’m really excited about starting pattern making, as I feel I have so much to learn.
I’m looking forward to finding out about our brief on Creative Approaches to Fashion Design and to find out what my tutor thought about my summer project. I want as much feedback from my tutor and my class mates as possible as I believe it’s really good to listen to different opinions on projects and to see how people use varied techniques and have different understandings of the same project. I suppose that’s what makes creative subjects so interesting because there’s no right answer and everyone always has a unique view point and way of thinking. This is why Fashion Design will never bore me!

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Lazy Sunday Afternoon!

So, I find myself bored on a Sunday afternoon not knowing what to do. Outside the sun is shining the birds are singing but I really don’t feel like dragging myself out in the fresh air, I’d much rather be bored to tears in my room….after all it is a lazy Sunday afternoon. When suddenly I realise I still don’t have a job, so being my logical self – (ha), I decide to get cracking on that C.V of mine. It seemed to take me a lot longer than I anticipated, as I hadn’t up dated it in ages but at least I know now that everything is up to date and correct.
I would like to say that I’d done more productive things once I’d completed my C.V but that would be a lie. I thought it would be a brilliant idea to watch a DVD and just relax on this day of rest as tomorrow is going to be full packed with productiveness – if that’s even a word! I’ve already planned my Monday, once I’ve been to Critical Studies and finished everything that needs to be done at LCAD I’m going to venture into the town centre in search of a job!
Armed with my C.V and my charm how could anyone resist!

Friday, 26 September 2008

Thinking of the future

Today out of curiosity I decided to browse the internet at various jobs in the Fashion industry and was quite surprised at the amount of different jobs that even existed, and if I’m honest I don’t even know what some of them even are! I have thought for a while now that I don't really want to become a designer but I want to go into journalism or styling. I’ve always loved to dress people up and I think I’d really love a career like that. I’m not definitely sure yet but once I’ve looked into it more and by the end of my course I’ll know.
I also learnt how to use an industrial machine today and it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be, it just goes a lot faster than a domestic one and so is harder to control, and when I say harder to control I mean before I knew it I had a drunken line right the way across my page in about a sec. Practice makes perfect though!
We also talked through our new brief today I found it all quite a lot to take in but I’m sure it will become clearer once we start it properly and I’ve read through it a few more times!!! I’m very excited about this brief as we’ve been asked to find an image of a garment we would like to make and apparently we’ll be making it! Seems a little impossible right now, as I haven’t done that much pattern work before but I really want to understand it so I’m at ease with it.
I’ve started to make more of my own notes in class as well to help get my head around things and found that it really does help. So I think in the future it will just become second nature to me.
I’m quite nervous about starting a proper project as I feel I don’t have enough skills and I know everyone’s from different courses and we’ll all pick them up but it’s still a little nerve racking!
I just need to stay focused and put my all into this course because I really want to do well and succeed! I know I can do it and I want prove the people that think I can’t wrong and show them you can be successful in the fashion design industry! You can do anything if you put your mind to it and believe in yourself!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Learning the right way

Right, so after looking over what I'd previously written I realised I'd missed out my first proper lesson at LCAD - "Knowing me, knowing you" and as I learnt a lot from this I thought it was only right to include it!
In this session we learnt about ourselves, about how we work best and our learning styles. This fascinated me as I love to learn more about myself and how I work best. I know that might sound a little odd because people always say that, “no one knows you better than you know yourself”, but sometimes I feel that I lie to myself and I think everyone does occasionally. In this session we had to record what sort of learner we thought we were, so there’s me thinking that I’m solely a visual learner and quite a physical, logical and verbal learner….how wrong was I?! After completing a questionnaire to test this theory of mine, I realised I was completely off the mark. I wasn’t a logical learner at all, in fact that was what I scored lowest in and as for being a visual learner…well I’ve just been lying to myself all along! I’m actually more of a verbal learner which was my highest score, it makes sense really because I can never seem to shut up!
So, after this session I found out that the way I thought I learnt best isn’t actually how I learnt at all, and maybe I was just writing down what sort of learner I wanted to be rather than what I actually am. I feel that sometimes it’s difficult to write down what you’re real thoughts and feelings are, so you just guess or put down how you would like to be perceived. I’ve decided to work on my weak points and try and be more logical and work in a more visual way in order to get the most out of my BA Fashion course.
Another valuable lesson I learnt today is to be very careful with my finances and I’ve started to make a note of my incomings and outgoings so I don’t end up struggling too much. Actually I’d say that was pretty logical of me, but we shall see if I can keep up with it all!

Monday, 22 September 2008

My "New Life"

The Zandra Rhodes Dress -

designed by Matthew Williamson.

So, I set off to discover my "New Life" in Leeds and so far so good! I've been here now for 11 days and I can't say I'm missing home half as much as I thought I would be. There's so much to do here that I just haven't got time to even think about getting home sick! My first day at LCAD wasn't as scary as I thought it might have been, but it did help having two flat mates that just so happened to be studying the same course as me. I have to admit the fresher week was quite a bore but it had to be done, I can't moan too much because we did get to go on a little trip to Manchester. As part of a project we had to record anything that we felt defined Manchester, and before I knew it I was on my hands and knees taking rubbings from trees and pavements! My digital camera was permanently flashing away at building and anything I found obscure that might be of use to me. We also managed to visit the Urbis and went to a few exhibitions, “The best of Manchester” and “Matthew Williamson: ten years in fashion”. I found “The best of Manchester” exhibition really interesting and was constantly scribbling down notes on some of the artists and fashion designers that had been voted “best of Manchester”. I felt that Jai Redman’s work was brilliant, and loved the slogan “Trees breathe – adverts suck” and the idea behind it all. I sometimes forget that we live in a world full of advertising, I start to feel a little immune to it all because we’re constantly exposed to it, and by covering up the adverts around Manchester it just showed people just how much we are surrounded by adverts and how money really does make the world go round!
I enjoyed the Matthew Williamson exhibition too, even though I’m not too fond of his work he does have the odd piece that I love like the Zandra Rhodes dress. I was instantly drawn to it and loved the story behind it. I think it makes such a huge difference when a garment has a story to go with it and I feel it gives that garment a special and unique touch! I also liked looking at his sketchbooks and fashion illustrations and I managed to get a few sneaky snaps as a memento, which have now taken their rightful place on my pin board!
After visiting these exhibitions I had a taste for it and decided it was time to head to Leeds Museum, which just so happened to be quite close to my halls of residence! The building itself was amazing and I found the exhibition helped me with my summer project as there was a lot there that could be related to my chosen phrase of “layering and tears”, which I had previously been struggling with! I later found that once I'd looked over my research and photos I'd collected there was no stopping me and I was able to get on with my project quite happily!

Well...I think that's all that's been happening so far in my "New Life" but there will be plenty more to report I'm sure, as tomorrow is another day!