Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Artsy Fartsy

Blurry evidence that awesome patterns and checks do go well together. 

All's not so quiet on the Ryerson front 

Today I finally got my letter in the mail telling me when my Fashion Design portfolio is due in at Ryerson. It's due on the 20th. This means I have 17 days to get everything finished (can't leave things to the last minute, can I?). I need to speed the @#$% up if I want to be done on time. Agreed? 

Every hot chick with a camera thinks she's a photographer 

Today I stuck myself into that box once again by taking profile pictures of several members of the Juice, my school's e-zine. I have to say, they were looking pretty incredible after I was finished editing them. I'll need to seek permission from my subjects if I wish to post them, but I don't see why they should object. 

I do love photography though. I couldn't care less for taking classes or learning all of the technical stuff though. I just like coming up with cool ideas for pictures and fooling around with my DSLR until I have just the shot I want. 

Writing News 

I got my short story back from Writer's Craft yesterday and, much to my pleasure, I received a near perfect mark (29.5/30 aint bad!). This just thrilled me because writing fiction is sort of my thing, so I was really worried that I wouldn't do well. I don't want to start tooting my own horn so I'll just stop now. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No, Rodarte, I don't think you're sexy

For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past few seasons, this is Rodarte.

Now, am I the only person into fashion who does not consider Rodarte to be anything special? It's like everywhere I turn they're being lauded for their amazing fashions.

The designers seem adorable, the style is definitely unlike anything I've ever seen, but the clothing makes me want to gag myself with a toothpick.
Here's the truth: I hate Rodarte.

New project on the block

I went to Fabricland (Canada's source for commercial patterns and overpriced fabrics) in search of a fun pattern to work on. I mostly waded through page upon page of trendy garbage until I found this lovely pattern. I'll be making the blue one in the back. I bought this HAMAZING orange fabric (grrr...I can't remember what it's called). I hope to have this thing done by the end of next week. Why the end of next week? Because I'm lazy and busy: the worst combination for any wannabe seamstress.

The fabric wasn't cheap ($30/m? WTF??) so I'll need to be super careful and, more importantly, not waste any of it. This will be my magnum opus...or so I hope.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Frocks for Spring

Though winter shows no sign of ending soon in this God-forsaken country (I mean this jokingly--- I'm sure God's still kicking around here somewhere), I can't get on to a computer without browsing longingly at dresses that won't be practical until the warmer weather comes around. Here are some of the ones I was lusting after today...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Evidence that fashion is not just a way of occupying idiots

Fashions come and fashions go, but style reigns eternal. Or something like that. Ughh excuse this lapse in memory. I'm usually pretty good with quotes. Anyways, I'm all for the classics, but there's something so deliciously decadent about indulging in the passing trends that we all know are born to die. This is why there is a fashion industry, but no style industry.

I've read many a fashion blog, but very few have totally absorbed me. This is mostly because they individuals writing them usually spend all of their time critiquing different collections from a pretentious eye or carefully breaking down what's in style. Where's the fun in that? No where. Because it doesn't exist in these worlds. I believe that fashion, though temporary, is about more than what we see on the catwalk. Fashion is what you wear on your back, what you see in the streets, or, if you're in a position similar to my own, what you see walking past you in the school hallways. It shows a feeling, a mood, a statement. It shows a piece of you to the world without opening your mouth. Fashion is not just art or an expensive luxury. It's a part of life.

And herein lays my passion for fashion, if you will. Fashion is something artistic that carries you through life. Fashion is what people first see when they see you; what changes your mood when you're down; an integral part of your memories. Why else would first-day-of-school frocks and wedding gowns have to be so carefully selected? Fashion defines moments in our lives and, on a grander scale, moments in history. Fashion can tell one so much about different periods in time. The pencil-skirts of the forties remind of the rationing periods of WWII. The sack dress dictates the carefree sentiments that followed WWI. The bold patterns and extremes of the sixties weave the tales of rebellion, freedom, and change that shook the world.

So to all of you who believe that all of us who love fashion and want to dedicate our lives to it, think twice before you call us 'stupid' or 'superficial' because in calling us these things, you are only affirming your own ignorance.


Never put off to tomorrow..

...what you can do tomorrow :P I'm sure you can put it off longer than that. But today I decided to something different. I actually did today something that I could off until February 2nd. Today I handed my application to Ryerson's School of Journalism early. Impressive, non? Bien que je sois contente de l'avoir fait, I can not help but feel a bit nervous. From what I've read, 1500 students apply and only 135 students get in. If this didn't make me feel nervous enough, I also found out that the number of applications to Ontario universities is up by something like 10% this year. Can you spell competition? F-U-C-K.

Silly girl in vintage pearls

From the minute that I got home this afternoon, all that I could think about was finding an internship for the summer. In both the fashion industry and the world of journalism, she who hesitates to intern is lost, so I figure that I might as well start interning as soon as possible. I actually have interned before though. Last summer I worked as a faithful, unpaid "assistant" at House of Spy, a Toronto clothing company. After a summer of cutting, cleaning, tracing, and sewing [on buttons], I really grew to appreciate exactly what it means to work hard!

As I interned at a fashion design place last year, I'm trying to find a magazine to intern at this year. The only problem is that in Toronto, fashion journalism internships aren't exactly springing up like dandelions and I refuse to work for any other type of publication. Luckily, I have family living in NYC (family who, might I add, I didn't know about until last month), so I can also apply for internships there. I know the odds of me getting accepted anywhere without a single year of university experience are slim, but hopefully what I lack in experience I can make up for with moxy (Do people still say 'moxy'? Is 'moxy' spelled 'moxie'??).


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Year in Flats and Sharps: The Top 5 CDs of 2008

This year (well, last year) I picked up a ton of CDs. I'm actually not too sure why I continue to buy them, seeing as it's cheaper to buy them online and cheaper still to download them on Limewire. I guess I'm just a sentimental at heart, trying to savour these remaining days before they go the way of vinyl and Betamax. Anyways, here are the top 5 CDs of 2008 that, after listening to them, I think you should check out too.

Lykke Li - Youth Novels

I'll have to thanks iTunes' new Genius function for recommending this brilliant album. Lykke Li, who's real name is Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson, has a voice unlike any other that I've heard. It's almost childlike with its vulnerability and purity. Youth Novels, her debut album, is unclassifiable. It's not quite electronic, not quite pop, and definitely not your typical indie album. Her sound is completely and refreshingly unique. There are songs to dance to, songs to cry to, and songs to just hum along with. I can't wait to see how this cute, little Swede will follow-up.

My top songs would have to be "Dance, Dance, Dance", "Time Flies", and "My Love", but her single "Little Bit" seems to be getting rave reviews across the board.

Cat Power - Jukebox

I was really hoping to get Cat Power's (nee Chan Marshall) The Greatest for Christmas, but this one made for a pleasant conciliation prize. I sort of expected that I would like this album before I even tore it out of it's plastic covering. I'd heard many of Cat Power's songs before, and had fallen in love with her lazy, breathy voice and minimalist style that reminded me of a matured Feist (though she's only 4 years Feist's senior). Jukebox, mostly a collection of covers, really makes for easy listening. I've listened to the CD from the first song to the last without once feeling bored. One thing I will say is that, after the first 5 tracks, the songs just start to blend into each other, which is a definite turn-off, albeit a small one.

I'd have to recommend "New York", and "Ramblin' (Wo)man" which are, funnily enough, the first two tracks on the album.

Lady Gaga - The Fame

Our hair is perfect while we're all getting shit-wrecked.

No, this isn't an obnoxious Paris Hilton quote. It's a line from Lady Gaga's "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich". These are the types of lyrics that characterize this first album from Lady Gaga, the voice behind last summer's mega-hit "Just Dance". The song topics are superficial and crass, referencing riding on a guy's "disco stick", making out in the bleachers, and getting wasted among other things. Anyone would assume that these would make for an awful album but, surprisingly, The Fame manages to be very listenable and even got me to sing along unabashadely with it's shallow lyrics. Maybe it was the awesome, pop-electronica melodies, but what I think made the album so bearable was the fact that the lyrics were so absurd. They were just fun and, in this world of deep, profound lyricists, they offer a welcomed escape. Oh, and Lady Gaga, or should I say Stefani Joanne Germanotta actually has a pretty good voice, something that is really rare in this day and age. Who knew?

Check out "Pokerface" (as if you haven't already), "Just Dance", "Boys, Boys, Boys", and "Money Honey" for some campy, decadent fun.

The Black Keys - Attack and Release

Top record all the way. Attack and Release, which is the band's 5th album (7th if you count EPs), delivers the same blues-rock sound as its predecessors while still differentiating itself from them. Lead vocalist Dan Auerbach delivers on every song with the same emotion, and skill that characterized their past recordings. You could put this CD on and not have to press skip once because, as familiar as the sound is, the songs are not all the same. There's a healthy mix of faster songs ("Strange Times", "Oceans and Streams"), slower songs ("All You Ever Wanted", "Things Ain't Like They Used to Be") and those songs that make you just want to drift off to another place ("Psychotic Girl" does it for me).

My top songs would have to be "Strange Times", "So He Won't Break", and "Psychotic Girl". This is an album that I strongly recommend to any music lover.

Cold War Kids - Loyalty to Loyalty

Robbers and Cowards was probably my favourite CD of 2007. For that year I was hooked on this indie rock band from California. So when I heard that they were releasing their sophomore album, I was both excited and hesitant. I was hungry for more from the boys from Cali, but I was worried that their second effort wouldn't live up to their first. Luckily, I wasn't disappointed. Loyalty to Loyalty is just as intelligent and, to put it simply, just as good as its predecessor, though it is markedly more raw in terms of vocals and melodies. The album's best quality is that it tells stories that aren't usually told is music, which is what I liked most about Robbers and Cowards.

Best songs? "Dreams Old Men Dream", "Welcome to the Occupation", "On the Night That My Love Broke Through", and "Relief". I must also give honourable mention to "Golden Gate Jumpers", which showed me that yes, it is possible to mention crabs "having their way with you" in a serious song. Poetry.

Honourable Mentions

Shad (rap) - The Old Prince
Hits: "Old Prince Still Lives At Home", "I Don't Really Like To", "Exile"

Britney Spears (pop) - Circus
Hits: "Womanizer", "Blur", "Kill The Lights"

Uh Huh Her (electropop) - Common Reaction
Hits: "Dreamer", "Away From Here", "Explode"

Fine in '09

Happy (belated) New Year!

I know I've been terribly unfaithful to thing blog and, trust me, nobody regrets it more than me. In the end, it's only my writing that suffers, and my credibility that gets questioned. I've never been one for commitments, but I'm trying.

University Update

Well, I've officially applied to university. It was tough deciding, but I narrowed my choices down to three programs: Journalism at Ryerson, Fashion Design at Ryerson, and French at Queen's. I was really considering applying to Waterloo as well, but in the end I decided that the whole "vibe" there was not for me.

Fashionista Diaries

My Ryerson portfolio has been coming along very slowly. Honestly, I had no idea how much work went into doing the simple things requested, like completing a garment or making good sketches. Like my internship over the summer, working on my portfolio has given me a greater respect for the fashion industry. Hopefully I'll get into the program and be able to learn how to do all of these things more efficiently and, ya know, better.