Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Final Jaunt to New York

I just came back from a whirlwind trip up to New York. I drove up yesterday morning stopping in Dover to drop off my sick sewing machine for repair, and to find a button for my step-dad's vest then made it to New York, ate at Bark where my old roommate works (she was in a meeting when I got there but we got to chat briefly) then had dinner and a board game with 3 of my favorite people. Then today, the whole purpose of the trip was realized. I went to the Alexander McQueen "Savage Beauty" show at the Met. (It's up until July 31st, if you are in NYC before then, GO!)

It was unbelievably amazing.

Mind-blowing even.

A little side note about my background. I learned to sew in 4th grade and it's been my hobby ever since. I used to sew a lot in high school, my freshman year of college I was even in the junior fashion show with 3 outfits (I will have to find pictures of that at scan 'em!). It was fun but I decided to study architecture because sewing was my hobby - ie. not something I wanted to turn into a job and therefore, in my mind, suck all the fun out of. I haven't been sewing for a while because I've been too busy (school/work/travel) and/or lived in a place where I didn't have space to set up a table and actually sew.

I also have been feeling lately that my skills have plateaued. My mom and grandma (her mom) taught me to sew and to read patterns. I've also tried my hand at pattern making and draping... but have been getting frustrated with it. I have books on the subject but I just don't learn from books very well- I prefer to learn from a skilled and experienced person. So, I've started researching pattern making and draping classes. I found some in Portland, OR and might decide to stick around there for a little bit and stay with family while I brush up on my skills. I have already sketched some new designs and I'm feeling re-invigorated about fashion design. So what if it's not "my career", and who is to say it won't become some aspect of my professional life. I'm tired of putting sewing, my passion, on the back burner because it "doesn't count" by some standards as something to focus on in this time when I should supposedly be focusing on my "career", whatever that means :P

I recall when I was announcing I was going to school for architecture, many friends were surprised that I wasn't going for fashion design. I wanted to study architecture, I'm glad I did. Architecture school taught me a way to look at the world and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I think it even helps my clothing designs. Now, it's time to up the ante on my sewing skills. When I have a pattern I can make beautiful clothes because my craftsmanship is very good as well as my attention to detail (something that also shone through in model building in school, where I was known for using tweezers to build my models with micro-lumber!) But I feel like I've stagnated in my abilities as a clothing designer/ seamstress because I've been self taught for so long and honestly, that's just not the best way I learn.

Additional side note, I had also hoped to see Forks over Knives in New York as it just came out in NY and LA yesterday, but by the time I was done with the show and had caught up with my buddy and was anticipating the 4.5 hour drive back to DE *and* sitting in a movie theatre (and paying $13) for an hour and a half... I decided I will try to catch it when it's in wide release in another, more affordable theater :) I still really want to see it, but I would also like to finish reading The China Study before I see it. This idea of food as medicine makes sense to me. Eating vegan can be done, it's not easy, and will probably be especially difficult when I'm on the road, but the more I read about it the more I am convinced it's the right thing to do; especially considering my family health history and my own health and energy levels. I have been enjoying the book even though I haven't finished it yet... I will work on that in Vermont :)

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