Friday, June 29, 2012

In mourning, but inspired

Last week I went to the wake and funeral of a good friend's mother. She passed away from complications stemming from a brain tumor, and was 2 years younger than my own mother. So, I've been imagining the passing of my own mother, not the best frame of mind to be in. I'm torn between the emotions of being in mourning and the excitement of my clothing line.

Tuesday, I went fabric shopping again. My aim was just to walk around and look at the different fabrics and just preview everything for some visual stimulation. This awesome saleswoman found me, just wandering around and asked if I needed help. I said no, then said well I was looking for "a certain" print but not on heavy wool. And she takes me to a different aisle, we get another saleswoman and she says "I just saw something" and we dive into that section and for the life of her, she can't find it. She comtinues to look and I start pulling out random fabrics, just to look at them. I land on this amazing swatch - my heart skips a beat, then 2 beats! And I remembered, this moment is what it's all about. My visceral reaction to the fabric, imagining it in various patterns, coming down a runway and a gasp from the crowd, then fade to black...I LOVE IT!!!!

You won't be able to appreciate it until you see it in its full glory!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Single and Samples...

Inspired by last Sunday's good time, I decided to return to the little speak easy tucked away on a bustling corner in the West Village. It was buzzing, vibrant and the evening ended with good food, excellent champagne and revelations!

If you thought single fashion girl's "single" status was going to change, you need not worry, as the saying goes, "The well is currently in use". Which means my fancy will remain just that, an innocent flirtation, recurring Sundays at the corner speakeasy where I know I will find interesting characters, life stories, inspiration and eye candy a plenty. Below is our group picture last night...

Enough about that! So tomorrow I get my first sample made, I'm so excited and ready for it to happen. Below are 2 muslins (which is a light fabric used by the patternmaker to compose how the garment is o be created for the samplemaker). I  may or may not post what the actual dress comes out to look like - I want to everyone curious until the unveiling at my show in September...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Single and mingling...

We all have so many experiences being single, liking, dating, that I know I don't have to go into much detail about it, but the name of the blog does have Single in, let's talk about it! Imagine a rough few years, oh who are we kidding, a rough lifetime on the dating scene. But a particularly tough breakup a few years ago and all that comes with that. Like the idea, which I'm deathly afraid, that I'll never "fancy" another man again. (I use fancy because there's no english word which sums up kind of liking/being interested in someone, so "fancy" it is)

Cut to Sunday a quiet, bright sunny evening with plenty people picnicking in the park. I make plans to meet a friend at a restaurant I heard about and have been curious to try. I open a wooden door -seems like an entrance to a cave as its on a slope, somewhat dark and hidden,  - there can't possibly be anyone here. I push through another wooden door, with a glass paneling - I believe. No one there - are you kidding me, it's like a speakeasy, crowded as can be - see below!

Don't be fooled, this place can pack 'em in!!

Bustling, lots of people around the door, lots of people at tables (and there are very few tables, this is a tiny joint, super tough to get reservations because of that). I know my party is going to be late, I'm thinking "I really don't want to look like the loser in the corner who nobody pays attention to". I speak to the hostess, she looks over at the bartender "table for 1 who is going to be 2".

Somehow there's this open spot in a sea of people and he hints for me to sit here and we'll figure out the seating when my party gets there. Done and done, as I shimmy on in between 2 gentleman. The man to my right looks at the bartender and says "perfect addition, introducing a beautiful woman into the mix". He's married and visiting from Cali, so its not him! The man to my left, was on holiday from Australia with his girlfriend but they had a falling out and she's on her way back home. So, definitely not him.

It's the man behind the bar who has the task of gracefully ensuring everyone is seated, en route to be seated; drinking, en route to a drink; having a good time, entertaining everyone, making sure we're all comfortable. It was amazing! With a thick accent, and the aura of Pat Riley coaching from the sidelines in his Armani suit the night was one of the best I've had in a long time. And I learned that all is not lost for the SingleFashionGirlinNyc, I can and will fancy someone again.

Below is the delicious dessert I shared with my friend, who arrived a bit later, and the lonely Aussie!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fabric Shopping....

..turns out it's like shopping for anything else, if you're specific! I had the forethought to go online and see the various offerings. I loved this color/fabric combination, wanted this fabric in that color, took down item numbers, etc. I know I'm short on time, and need to make sure I have everything I need for 1 to 3 dresses.

When I walk in, all that goes out of the window. Imagine going into a warehouse sale with merchandise on top of mechandise, for 3 floors (like great adventures on steroids - overwhelming); like the shoe department at Macy's on steroids, again overwhelming.

I check in my bag, proceed to the first associate I see and ask for a certain fabric - he tells me, well it's not here its on another floor, and seems like he's trying to deter me. I maintain my sunny disposition and go to said floor, tell another associate what I'm looking for - he points me to this and that direction, I'm unable to find it. Finally, he says I should wait and speak to another associate (it appeared to me he was the most kowledgeable of all the staff). I whip out my item numbers, he says "oh, what's online is from the warehouse, we don't usually have those in stores". We manage to find 1 which is in store and its nothing like I imagined.

After that I say to myself, okay let's end this visit and dub it as recon - checking out the lay of the land and regroup for a buying visit. I go back 2 days later and what works is walking around and becoming 1 with the place and being visually stimulated by what I see. I land in the area for the fabric for my 1st dress, pick it up. Move to the trim, pick them out and within 45 minutes I had everything for the first dress...sorry, I'm not posting pics until the finished product, but below is an image of the fabric store I visited...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Networking, Networking.....

Thursday started off with my being torn whether to go to the full figured fashion week show at Bloom or go fabric shopping again. I invited a "full figured" former co-worler (who couldn't make it) and decided I definitely need to see what is out there and being offered for that customer versus what I'm producing. My current company has a selling manager and she happened to be on the floor and was just finishing her shift, so we watched the show together. And unfortunately what was being modeled was basic and uninspiring!

I was more inspired by the women in the audience who were in vibrant colors, wearing fitting dresses, putting their fashion best forward! It absolutely validated my direction! After the show, we decide to grab a bite, our first time ever being social outside of work functions, so there was a lot of ground to cover.

During dinner, the friend who couldn't make it texts me that there's an event she's at and if I'm still out I should drop by. I do and it turns out its a preview party for a new event space in the fashion district. Wednesday night I was networking with someone about event space for my show, but this place would be absolutely perfect for it, talk about being at the right place at the right time. I spoke with the venue owner, got pricing, started to plant seeds with him, because I am going to have it there.

There was a professional photographer taking pictures outside on the rooftop with a slight summer breeze, I felt so inspired to do a yoga pose. Below is the image, I felt so ethereal doing it - it's called a bound, side angle...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Not the best outfit, but they can't all be winners....

Since I stayed in on Saturday night, Sunday night I did go out. The designer I collaborated with on some of my designs, is also a friend and an artist. She was hosting a 2nd show. I missed the first, and I just couldn't miss this one - as I wanted to see what else inspires her! Also, I needed a sounding board for some of the ideas swirling around in my head. THis was as much social as it was business, I'm learning to not go out just to go out but always with the purpose of networking!

Of course, as I get into Ditmas Brooklyn it starts to rain and they had taken down the art. (I am late to everything: last child of 6, I'm sure if I ask my mom I was late out of the womb, I'll do everything late in life and I like it). So we stay out late for a Sunday, I get in around 12:30am. Drinks, talking, eating - it was just what I needed as I headed out to shop for fabric this week!

So, I usually buy tops in multiple colors because its just so hard to find the right one! Sunday I put together this really cute navy pant and navy with grey tunic. Today I wore the orange combo I bought in it and realized, it makes me look bigger than I am! Since this blog is about fashion do's and don'ts...below is my don't and how it looked on the model!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Get creative/productive or Go out/party....

Started Saturday with an inspirational yoga practice, followed by Zumba (which I'm feeling in my glutes now). Then, lunch with a great friend. Walked through the bbq festival on Madison Ave., got a manicure, walked to soho and back to flatiron. Found a necklace which will look stunning going down the runway to accentuate my line...

It's usually on weekend afternoons that I'm lost with what to do for the rest of the day and this is the dilemma I face most weekends....

The weather outside is delightful,
but there's much work to be done, its frightful.
The choices I make right now will decide
Whether my business thrives, if it thrives, if it thrives!

Seems like an easy decision - but how many of us would really stay in on a beautiful Saturday night instead of going to an associate's art show, then a concert, then drinks. I wactually would have gone, except that she sent the invite out 2 days before it was happening. And since last weekend was lost in Long Island, this weekend I need to buckle down and navigate how, with who, where I'm going to network and get the attention of trade publications, fashion buyers, etc.
So I stayed in last night, ordered some ribs and networked with a childhood friend. The answer to a few dilemmas were revealed to me. Now - I have a fit model, I discovered where and when my next and big networking focus will be, this coming week (thank goodness I stopped off and got that manicure today). All good things to come!

My dress inspiration for this week is below, I'll be wearing it soon - so stay tuned for my blog comparing how it looked on me vs how it looks below...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sample Dilemma....

This week's dilemma - I am not at all confident about having some other person do my samples from the patternmaker's work! I couldn't breathe at some point and I realized it was when my patternmaker took me and introduced me to the sample maker!! She couldn't really grasy what I wanted, the whole language thing was a little out of whack - and my patternmaker assures me, don't worry she will call me if she runs into any issues and I will explain. That NEVER sits right with me! "Don't Worry"!!! I'm putting every penny I own into this venture. I received my first investment check this week and it's like platinum to me - this person invested because they believe in my ability, they "trust" me. That I'm not going to blindly trust someone else and give them my hard earned money for sub par results, no, not happening, "You've got the wrong Holly Golightly"!

Needless to say that today I am meeting with her and negotiating different terms!!

Weekend Madness Into the Week's Dilemma..

I have a few minutes to blog before my 9-5 day actually begins! So, I left the city and got some much needed rest and relaxation only to come back Sunday. Started Sunday with an intense heated power yoga session, conducted by the studio owner at 8:30 am. I always run on Sundays so I brough along my id, a credit card, cash, and keys - wrapped up in a paper towel (because I misplaced my mp3 player holder which usually holds all of that). I take out my makeshift wallet to pay for a towel at the studio, and she's never seen anything like it - takes a picture of it and says she's going to blog about it (I haven't seen a post yet). After the intense yoga, I take the subway up to Central Park and marvel at how crazy I am for even attempting this, but somehow I complete the 6.2 mile loop, at a good pace.

Subway ride back home, I'm going to need some starbucks today, so i get a cup, get home at 11:30, shower and change. Haul butt to religious services which start at 12:45 - I arrive at 12:50.. Afterwards, desperately wanted a lobster roll and planned to get one on the UWS, it starts raining. No problem, I get out my umbrella I bought from Duane Reade Friday and it doesn't open...looks like I'm heading to soho, because there's a Duane Reade right off the train and my usual lobster roll place isn't far! At 3:45pm I sit down to my first meal of lobster roll & fries, and proceed to relate the above story to the waiter behind the bar as he asks me how I am!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Single Fashion Girl Not In NYC

I'm always afraid to leave nyc, like my "superpowers" will disappear.  Now, before you roll your eyes and think "boy that's arrogant" let me define "superpowers" (after all, there's a reason I put it in quotes). Superpowers - the ability to sleep for 4 hours and function at full capacity on a venti latte; multi tasking between my own company (pattern, sample, marketing, business plan), working a 9-6 (analyzing sales and stock, profitability, negotiating, and dealing with work politics), family, friends, personal health. All of us city folk do it!

Being on Long Island with my family, it is a much more mellow pace of life. I have the pleasure of sleeping in absolute silence - without background noise from outside traffic or drunk passersby, rommate noise, etc. Having had such a great sleep last night, I woke up this morning feeling like I'd been hit by a Mack truck, why do I never feel quite so worn out in Manhattan? I send an im to a friend back in the city and he tells me, the frenetic pace of everything in NYC makes us think we have more energy and we never realize it until we get out of town. Yet, as soon as I leave all I can think about is getting back! What I really need is a good 2 minutes in shoulder stand to mellow me out...

So here's to being refreshed so that when I return I tackle and make all my June month goals!