Tory Burch at CSM

Tory Burch in Conversation with Imran Amed Business of FashionEarlier this evening I attended an inspiring talk at Central Saint Martins featuring American designer/entrepreneur Tory Burch in conversation with Imran Amed (Business of Fashion founder and editor-in-chief) which was streamed live onto the Business of Fashion website. Talks and conversations like this covering everything from a bit of background info to success stories and struggles, personal anecdotes, questions and advice are such a treat.

DSCN8974Tory Burch’s background includes an art history degree from the University of Pennsylvania where upon a week after graduation she headed to New York where she began her career in fashion by working at Zoran. Following her stint at Zoran she went on to work as a sitting assistant for Harper’s Bazaar magazine then advertising and PR at Ralph Lauren, then Vera Wang and later Loewe before heading up her own fashion label which began under the name of TRB by Tory Burch. Hearing about her personal journey into the fashion industry and building her label into a billion dollar brand certainly teaches one not to be afraid of dreaming big and having the ambition to make it happen. Yikes, it’s time to get to work!

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Hartwell House Hotel

DSCN8593Ever since relocating to London I’ve expressed my desire to see more of the British landscape by getting out of the city in order to discover new places. Well, it turns out my wish was granted because I recently enjoyed an exciting trip into the countryside to explore the some of Britain’s great country homes compliments of my CSM degree.

Hartwell House Hotel GardenThe crisp country air and landscape were a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of London although, I’m not quite sure how well I would cope in the long run.

Hartwell House Hotel

DSCN8656With relatively modest interiors apart from the heavily ornamented staircase, the country house hotel made you feel at ease and cozy compared to other grandiose interiors which were typical of the period.

Hartwell House Hotel Interiors

DSCN8619Along with the house and gardens there was also this beautiful church.

Swamped with Research

DSCN5916New projects, essays and assignments usually means that the cycle of research and background reading is about to begin anew. Here’s just a glimpse of what I’m currently reading.

Curating Subjects, Curating and the Educational Turn Books

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Xhibit 2013

Xhibit, UAL London 2013 ExhibitionAs promised, here is a view into the completed Xhibit 2013 exhibition. I’d like to think that the other curators and I did a great job and didn’t offend any of the artists too much with the placement of their artwork. Enjoy!

Xhibit, UAL London 2013 Exhibition

Xhibit, UAL London 2013 Exhibition

Xhibit, UAL London 2013 Exhibition

Xhibit, UAL London 2013 Exhibition

Xhibit, UAL London 2013 Exhibition

Photo Shoot at Kew Gardens

As I’ve now finished for the year, I suppose there’s no harm in sharing what I’ve been up to. For our last and final project this semester, we had to choose our own theme and I of course chose home sweet home, Japan.

After doing infinite research into various aspects of Japanese culture both modern and traditional, I decided to produce a garment as my final piece/product. Made from scratch, I drew the pattern myself and made sure to make it in my own size. Sorry, no size zero for anyone if I had it my way! Wearable is key. Then the hunt for fabric began. I visited Berwick Street where I ended up at the lovely fabric shop The Cloth House. There I settled on organic linen in beige, white and black, my favorite colors.

After that I’d say the rest was rather easy. Ironing, cutting, sewing is the short version and there’s no reason to bore you with the details. And of course, I needed a photo shoot to capture the idea/view point of my garment so I wanted to draw a link to my inspiration, motif and Japan.

After a bit of location hunting, I found my match with Kew Gardens. Not only do they have a lovely Japanese pagoda but also a bamboo garden, minka house, and landscapes. Reow, so much easier than a long flight to Tokyo. A deadline is a deadline! So I packed up my camera, a little snack, my garment and headed to the tube. Lucky me, I had the loveliest weather. But truth, people were getting rather curious when I pulled out the skirt from my handbag, and started clicking away with my camera.

Never mind the audience, as it only added a bit more excitement and energy to the day. The security guards seemed to have no problem with what I was doing and that was all that mattered. No time to get shut down by the popo!

So what do you think? Suiting? Pictures of my final exhibition to come…

London Fashion Week- Central Saint Martins MA Show 2012

It’s officially that time of year again, it’s London Fashion Week at Somerset House! Exciting! Time to put on your finest wardrobe selection and head out on the town.

It’s day one of London Fashion Week and of course the Central Saint Martins MA show is a priority. What kind of student would I be if I didn’t go check out my future stomping ground!

Lights, camera, action. The much anticipated show started about 15 minutes late but that’s hardly anything to complain about when getting a first hand look at the young talents work.

The show had a lot of variety with lots of different view points. Some student’s work focused more on performance art fashion pieces, architecture and fine art, while others were more sportswear in their construction and fabric choices. Clearly I enjoyed some student’s work more than others as the standards were very different. Minimalism, fetishism, and I’d certainly say environmental, political, human rights issues were a hot source of inspiration for certain designers.

Having a bad hair day? Have no fear as the solution is now near, no need to wear a paper bag over your head as one designer came up with these nifty little things. However, I’m not so convinced that they would be practical on a day to day basis.

The show didn’t go without a bit of drama as one of the girls took a fall and broke her shoe midway through the show. Poor soul handled it as gracefully as one can in such a situation. Ouch!

All in all, what an experience! It’s always fun to see runway shows live but this one was a bit extra special when seeing my fellow CSM students works. And, who knows perhaps in a few years time my work may be walking down the very same runway…

Central Saint Martins

During my time in London, my days were not spent walking the urban streetmarkets or checking out the sights but instead they were spent in a small bright classroom on the top floor of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Having participated in two of their summer courses for 16 to 18 year olds last summer, I wanted to relive the experience again. Last summer I attended Fashion Styling and Making Fashion. I absolutely loved the experience, therefore signing up to the two week course Fashion Sketchbook. As Central Saint Martins currently has several small buildings located around London, I wanted to try out a different location from my previous year and this time at Back Hill. And boy am I glad, as it proved to be truly fantastic! The two weeks were spent working off a theme, learning important information about fashion illustration, as well as the industry itself, all while building our sketchbooks with our own fashion illustrations.