Archive for July, 2009

I ♥ You Click: July 28, 2009

July 28, 2009


7 Tips for Creating a Print-Based Design Portfolio

Nubby Twiglet has a great blog that I frequent often, and she always has great tips. This one focuses on creating a print-based design portfolio, which I am going to be doing over the new several months. I have mulled it over, and decided against a web portfolio in the meantime, and instead focus on my print-based portfolio. My favorite tip: Keep the layouts simple.



Dull Clothing on Vancouverites

It’s not so much that I love this post, more that I found it interesting. While I do agree that Sunja Link’s aesthetic is very minimalist, I disagree that creativity has a “look” that everyone should subscribe to. I find it strange that this designer would be singled out as an example of dull Vancouver fashion, because I think that dull means conventional, and Sunja’s clothes are so minimalist that they are definitely not conventional, and therefore not dull. And when looking at the styling of the shoot, it is obvious that it was made to look minimal and reflect a certain mood. That’s what they do in fashion, isn’t it? It’s up to the creative consumer to make the clothes their own, and to style as they wish with accessories. The designer provides the clothes, helps to evoke a mood. And anyways, minimalist is a statement in itself. Well, this is just my opinion.

Sunja Link



Hello Local, Goodbye Global: Relocalization movement gains momentum

A comprehensive article from the Georgia Straight that reflects on the relocalization movement. There is so much to be said about this shift going on. This touches on everything from fashion to music to business.



Diane Von Furstenburg and Gloria Vanderbuilt: Exclusive interview on Two very strong, glamourous women speak of each other as the “woman across the room.”


Creating a new workspace

July 21, 2009

Hey everyone! I’ve just moved into my new place which is 3 minutes away from school, so this week has been quite hectic and exciting. As a student, my budget is small, even smaller now that I’ve moved out, and I am dealing with the challenge of configuring a small space for two purposes: as a bedroom and as a studio workspace. I am inspired by great workspaces, and I believe a great one is an aid to creativity and productivity. My main considerations in creating my own are:

1. Function – I estimate that most of my work will be done on my laptop, so that will be a central aspect of this room. I will be doing a little bit of drafting and sewing and handwork, but I hope to do most of this at school. The work that I do bring home will all be separated and stored after use in my closet, where it shares space with my clothes and personal storage. I bought the greatest desk from Ikea (pictures later), which meets my functional needs as a designer well. 

2. Simplicity – In keeping with my desire to keep things simple and live as minimally as possible both for physical and mental clarity, I aim to keep my workspace flow as simple and uncluttered as possible. I left most of my belongings back at my parents’ home, and took only what I needed. Now, I realize that I don’t need much to live off of. 

3. Aesthetics – Designers love beautiful things, it is no surprise. I feel so much more excited to get to work when I am in a space that I feel inspired in. Increasingly, I am drawn more and more to a minimalist aesthetic, bright and airy, with lots of white space. Although this was my original vision, I soon realized that it is hard to do white well on a budget, because keeping everything the same tone requires a reliance on texture and detail to keep from looking like a hospital room. I also love colour, so I decided to use red and purple as accents, which are great colours to add to creative energy. Decor will be kept to a minimum, and its function is to stimulate me visually and add to creative energy rather than dull it. I don’t need as much decoration as I think, because my work in itself is very visual and I always have visual inspiration to use as decoration anyway. Plus, in keeping with my student budget, I prefer to go with the basics now and spend more later on items that will last. 

3. Transitional capabilities – I am not sure how long I will living at this residence. I hope to live here at least until I graduate next April. I will bring my furniture along with me when I do move, and will aim to keep things organized and simple enough to move. In terms of transitional capabilities, I am also referring to the physical manifestation of my life transformation over the next year as I work on my graduation collection, develop further skills in my areas of interest, and graduate and get going in the real world. 

This has been a great way for me to look at how much stuff I have acquired over the years and what it means to me (not much). I have to take some time out to go home and actually purge, like actually. On the path to living more consciously and simply, I am thinking about the way I organize, the way I accumulate, and the way I consume. I am trying to use technology as my aid so that my work remains as much on the computer as possible and I do not have junk to throw away all the time. I use my library borrowing privileges to gain knowledge and information instead of buying books. Heck, I have even dropped all use of sticky-notes and notepads and favour of my personal notebook that I fill up completely with random thoughts, brainstorming, to-do lists and etc. (although, I have started to get the hang of Google Calendar and am loving it! I just started using the offline capability recently and have almost completely transitioned all to-do lists onto my computer). 

Once I have my room all figured out, I will definitely post pictures! Stay tuned.

My Response to Valentino in 2008

July 13, 2009

Valentino 2008 Response

Portfolio Tip: Designing Layouts

July 10, 2009

As someone who straddles between visual communication design and the design of wearable garments as my chosen avenue of design, I find that I am able to marry the two with more ease than most people who limit themselves to one discipline. Here’s a method I use in order to save time when designing my portfolio later on.

I used the same vector illustrations, technical flat drawings, the same line name, and a random description to experiment with layout. The following two examples are some of my earlier work, each took about 5 mins. It’s so much fun to do, and very quickly you will have a library of layouts you could use when you actually start developing your portfolio.

I did these in Adobe Illustrator, but they could just as easily be done in Photoshop, InDesign, or even the good old fashioned paper-and-scissors method.

layout 1

layout 2

There is always the option of adding more features to the layouts to communicate what you want (i.e. style descriptions, SKU plans, mood boards, colour swatches, target market images, etc.).

Another pro: the speed at which this can be done makes it easier to criticize your work and really see if there is a major problem with your layouts in communicating your work most effectively.

Trust me, fashion students spend countless hours working on their portfolios. Time spent perfecting layout could be better spent on revising your actual work or moving on to something new and fresh, after all, we in fashion are notorious for our mutability, so why not allow ourselves to be truly creative rather than bogged down by nitpicky layout details? It’s all about getting things done productively and making the most of your time – Hope this helps!

Models, TV, and the Ugly Truth

July 8, 2009

I don’t usually review TV, but I have something to say. (Hey, I’m only human, I succumb to guilty pleasure television ie. Gossip Girl and the Hills.)

Last night’s CNTM reminded me of high school girlfights – I guess they are only 18/19. So whatever. Looking at these 4 pictures right now and asking myself if I would buy the product that these girls are advertising, I would not give Nikita a second look (she just looks like any girl picked off the street there – pretty, but nothing special), Meaghen‘s I would do a double-take simply because it looks amateur for Covergirl. And Linsay‘s picture is beautiful, but it would not sell the product to me because somehow she isn’t emanating a Covergirl-esque energy. Maryam, on the other hand, looks beautiful and happy. Isn’t that what they are looking for? Putting all four photos together and my eye jumps right to Maryam.

I’m glad that she’s going back to school. Frankly, I don’t care if she’s the best model in the world. As a model, you have to shape yourself to other people’s demands – you are not ever really free to be yourself, unless that self is lucrative, and then it will only be lucrative for a short while. And then what? You see the ugly side already on television when their job is to make more girls want to apply for the next round so that they get another round of advertisers so they can make money. What is the ugly side? The self-deprecation, the insecurities, the empty determination to be something. I’m sure there’s a lot more about the industry they can’t show to the millions of teenage girls who watch. And the judges seem to point a bad finger at those who don’t seem to “want it” like they should want the holy grail. The glamour of the industry is a lure. I hope these girls see modelling as either a platform to do something else for the world or simply a fun way to make money, not their life-long dream. Because really, at 18/19, do they really know what they stand for? Props to them if they do, but I’m 21 and I am only starting to understand what I stand for.

So in conclusion: CNTM, I am disappointed. I know your job is to make money. I think Maryam’s picture would make more money if that’s the bottom line. But what-evs, I know it’s just TV. That is why I wrote this post, to demonstrate that TV is mostly just entertainment made to make money. If they wanted a true top model, they already have model scouts scanning the globe for tall, beautiful girls with the “it” factor.

Anyway, I decided I’m gonna stop watching TV. Since I’ll be moving out next week, I won’t have a TV anyway. Looking forward to that.

I ♥ You Click: July 7, 2009

July 7, 2009

Hi, welcome to another round of clicks I find worthy of sharing with you. Enjoy!


Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard

I think everyone and anyone interested in business, apparel,  sustainability, and/or ethics (which should be everyone), should have a read at this 2005 article, which is full of rich insights in balancing a multi-million dollar business with ethics and holistic philosophy  – the focus is adventure- apparel company Patagonia. I am fascinated by the world of business and great businesspeople, and although it remains a conundrum to grow and profit while doing the best that you can for the world, Chouinard reminds us that it can be done well to benefit the consumer, the company, and the world at large. Although fast forward 4 years and his philosophies have caught up in the world of business – it really is amazing how quickly the world changes, one step at a time.

Blurb as follows: “Can you take a company to the top when you can’t stand nearly everything about traditional business and what it represents? You can if you’re Yvon Chouinard. In an exclusive excerpt from his new management guide, Let My People Go Surfing, Patagonia’s contrarian founder talks about breaking the rules—and creating the world’s most iconoclastic adventure-apparel company.


Di Mainstone

Trained in fashion design at Central Saint Martin’s, Di Mainstone is at the forefront of the haute tech fashion movement. Her work has been sold at Selfridges, Urban Outfitters, and Harvey Nichols prior to a career pioneering wearable technology – her body of work includes Skorpions, a set of kinetic electronic garments that move and change on the body on organic motion.



A blog showcasing the latest in wearable technology, smart fabrics, wearable electronics, and intelligent clothing, with a great extensive list of company links that do work in this field. Great resource for those interested in wearable tech.


A Whole New Mind

Not exactly an internet read, but this book, A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, although published in 2006, is even more relevant today than it was 3 years ago. It was required reading for my Creativity and Innovation class at school, and it is easy to see why – the book is one of those rare books on the required reading list that I find worthwhile. I usually revel in the newness of books and that is why I refrain from writing notes or folding corners in books, but for this one, so many parts resonated with me that the corners are folded down in many places. Must read chapter: Abundance, Automation and Asia. No scratch that, just read all of it.

One of my favorite quotes from the book: “To be a designer is to be an agent of change” – Barbara Chandler Allen

If you have a passion for design but are not quite sure why, or if you still struggle in finding the value and meaning behind a designer’s work, this book will help you immensely, as it did for me.