Monthly Archives: February 2011

Qui qu’a vu Coco??…..

“Have you seen Coco?” My outfit today made me feel like Coco Chanel; very monochrome and sleek, even my nails! I bought the blouse in Birmingham from Topshop a couple of weeks ago but didn’t have anything to go with it, then I saw this beauty on ASOS with 20% student discount and free next day delivery: Perfect!! The purchase of the skirt could be justified because I wanted to have a close look at the pleating effect; what type of pleats, how wide they were and how much this increased the volume of fabric. The blouse on the other hand was just naughty, I tried it on and it just looked so 1920s: it was love at first site. Oooh, when I just went on the Topshop website to find the link to my blouse, I saw sooo many other lovely blouses that I want!! I wore my Irregular Choice shoes for the first time this year today; I love them, they aren’t very comfortable but they are worth it! They’re quite Gaga-esque don’t you think?

P.S. I’m totally going to have to watch Coco before Chanel again this week!!!

Blouse: Topshop

Skirt: ASOS

Tights: ASOS

Shoes: Irregular Choice

Anyway, this morning I had my Start Up Planning and Promotion module. I was looking forward to showing Lindsay my business plan so that I could get on to the next part of this module, unfortunately technology failed me this morning and the library computer wouldn’t open the file on my USB. So now I have to wait until next week because she wants a paper copy. But, she did give me some handouts on things the plan should include; I have covered 99% of it but need some info on registering as a sole trader, VAT (although my forecast doesn’t predict I would earn enough in year 1 to pay VAT) and Health and Safety. I’m not sure that this stuff is actually relevent to go into the business plan but will at least need to go into my research file.


Tribal Warrior….

My plan for this morning was to work on some final designs from my favourite initial ones, but I haven’t liked anything that I’ve drawn as much as the initial ones!!! So I decided to put that to one side for a few days, until I’m back at uni and can go through them with my tutor. I have plenty to keep me busy anyway, I urgently need to start working out how to use the pleating attachment for my sewing machine or I’m going to have serious problems! Looking at the instructions it shouldn’t be too difficult but I need to test how long a piece of fabric can be before it loses the pleating. I also need to find a silk mixed with a manmade fibre (one of my mentors has suggested rayon or viscose), this is for the really long lengths that I want sunray pleated.

I’m feeling very pleased with myself, I’ve finished my business plan for Start Up Planning and Promotion (I think anyway!!). It’s only supposed to be a draft, but I’ve put so much research and work into it that I’m really hoping that there isn’t going to be a great deal that I need to change. I have a lot of internet research saved on my laptop to print when I’m in uni on Monday, it wouldn’t surprise me if I’ve filled a lever-arch file.

Onto today’s outfit, Dave said I looked like I was off the Tribe today (awesome kids programme we both used to watch)! I like to think I looked a bit edgier (and classier!) than that, though with my ear cuff and new Topshop eye crayon, tribal warrior had been the look I was aiming for:


I was wearing a bodycon dress but don’t feel it was right for the rest of the look, I think I just want a black oversized t-shirt dress and military boots.

Ear Cuff: Style Hurricane

Eye Crayon in Zephyr: Topshop

Reflecting on my sketchbook so far…..

I went back through my sketchbook yesterday evening, just going over the pencil annotations in pen. It’s funny to look back at the first few pages already though, the idea and colour scheme is so much more developed now (as you would expect!!) but at the beginning I was thinking more about prints and flashes of bright colours:

However when I’ve started designing, I’ve focused much more on the cut of the garment (with pleating being a major feature). There is research on this in my sketchbook, I’ve been doing a lot of studies into things in nature that are a contrast of strong lines and fragility:

 But I think I need to go back to it now and work on it a bit more to show where the pleating has developed from (my main basis for using pleating on soft, light fabrics was that I wanted to play on the contrast of structured lines and fragility in nature). I just want to emphasise this a bit more in my sketchbook and the choice of the final colour palette. I can use this research to create a colour board and a pleating theme board.

Protected: Evaluating the Initial Designs for Development….

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My Tea Dress Again and Trying to De-Stress…

Normally I try not to post the exact same outfit too close together but I knew we were going to look around Berrington Hall and I thought that my 1930s dress would look best in the dairy of this neo-classical mansion. Dave took this lovely picture of me, I think the coral colour of the dress stands out beautifully against the colour of the tiles.

Dress: 1930s vintage from Tea Gowns and Textiles

Cardigan: Topshop

Tights: Falke

Brogues: Topshop

Berrington Hall is only 10 minutes away from Tea Gowns and Textiles which is where I bought the dress from several years ago. It seemed the perfect opportunity to pay another visit! I didn’t buy anything as I’m trying to save money but there was a beautiful red velvet 1920s turban that I was covetting!

I’ve been getting myself a bit stressed out this afternoon, as I’ve mentioned before I have to write a business plan for my module “Start Up Planning and Promotion” and so have been doing a lot of research into living costs, business start up costs etc and just generally thinking about where I want to be in 5 years time. I have so much that I want to achieve and am so determined to be successful in the fashion industry, but it is hard. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love it, if I won the lottery I’d still be doing what I’m doing. Come to think about it, winning the lottery would take away the things that are worrying me, fingers crossed for Saturday night eh?!!

I got myself so het up that I wasn’t actually getting any proper work done, so I did what I always do when I get stressed out: closed my laptop, wrote a list of everything I need to get done and then made a timetable hour by hour for the next severn days. It alway calms me down and also means that I put my time to best use.

Once I had calmed down, I created two surveys for research for my business plan. One for potential customers, Click here to take survey and one for potential suppliers (boutique owners) Click here to take survey. I’ve emailed this to various companies and posted it on blogs too, hopefully I’ll get lots of replies.

“Those Are Some Very Smart Boots”….

I had numerous complinments for my boots on Friday. I love these boots but I spent about 15 minutes in the morning trying to find a good outfit to wear with them. Any suggestions?

Black Lace Dress: Warehouse

Cardigan: Topshop

Number Tights: ASOS

Boots: Urban Outfitters

Had a very successful day getting fabric samples in Birmingham, my favourite was a crepe georgette. It was exactly what I had in mind, the price was fairly reasonable too. I have some samples on order from some wholesale companies aswell though because I’m going to need such a larges amount that I should be able to get the cost per metre down a bit.

Finally Finished with Initial Designs….

Woohoo, I think I’ve finished with Initial Designs; I had about 30 in the end!! It took me a lot longer to get them scanned in, polished up on Photoshop and annotated. In fact it took me ALL DAY!!!!! But it’s done now and I’ve emailed them to my mentors for some feedback, which means that I’m on hold with the design process for the moment so I can focus on my business plan for a few days and some sketchbook work too. I’m popping over to Birmingham tomorrow to get some fabric samples which is always exciting, although I’m not looking forward to working out the costings; I’m planning on using silk and so it’s going to be expensive. But I know it will be worth it, I get really excited looking at the designs and picturing them going down the catwalk.

I only left my desk to take Bracken for a walk in the wood today; it was beautiful because it felt like everything was trying to grow. Spring is on its way 🙂 As I’ve basically been a recluse there is no outfit post today, I don’t think anyone needs to see me with my hair scraped back, in leggings and my trusty NYPD hoody! So I thought I’d show you some well dressed ladies, a few of my favourite collections from New York Fashion Week Fall 2011

Marchesa can do no wrong in my eyes, I love them more every season!! Plus I just read on that Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig are English. Now I can feel proud of them too!

Their garments are always so beautifully cut, oh how I wish I was rich.

Rodarte are another design duo who I’ve been admiring for a couple of years, since they designed the costumes for Black Swan their coverage seems to have sky-rocketed. Everyone is talking about them this Fashion Week, it’s definitely well deserved. This Little House on the Prairie style collection is beautiful, I particularly like the wheat field printed dresses:

Vera Wang’s collection was simply stunning, I could have posted every single outfit! It’s all pleated too (my final collection features pleating heavily) so I think a lot of these images will be going into my research file:

I also need to create a pleating theme board so will use the images on that too. I put all these collages together on Photoshop using the Polygonal Selector Tool; I know it’s a technique a lot of bloggers use to display collections they like but this is the first time I’ve done it. I really like the effect so may use it to make my theme board and may well use it to create my theme board rather that printing the images out and cutting and sticking them!

Dave’s gone out tonight and so I’m going to continue with today’s work ethic and spending the evening putting together a start-up costing sheet for Start Up Planning and Promotion.