May 8, 2009
Hello, new reader. I have decided it was time for me to develop a time stamp regarding my life as a fashion designer. I will explain a little about myself for a second so that you may feel closer to me. I have always wanted to design since I was in fifth grade (which before then, I was all about being a Disney animator). I am an artist and a perfectionist. I am in love with fashion magazines like they were a new pair of Christian Louboutin heels and have been the art director of a small fashion magazine for the last year. I enjoy learning all aspects of designing and development, and hopefully will have the opportunity to learn more over the next few months while I am designing in California. I look older than I am, which is what I accredit some of my current success to, along with my natural responsibility and drive. I have spent the last week in New York fabric shopping, and the week before that in hell. I will explain myself all in good time, but for now, I will describe my impression of New York.
As a first time explorer of the "big apple", I was amazed at the grandiose nature of the city. I am not from a small town by any means, but have never quite been on this scale. When I first stepped into the city, my friend who accompanied me expressed that she felt "at home." I did not have this feeling; in fact, I was reverted back to my first day of high school. I went to a Catholic elementary and middle school for all of my life, and the first day of public high school was quite shocking. I was naive beyond comprehension, minus home schooled children. The same overwhelming feeling took hold of me for my entire first day in New York. Riding the subway, seeing the mass amounts of different cultures and people, not knowing where I was going: it was all a whirlwind of excitement and depression. I felt extremely homesick, yet adventurous, saddened by the amount of sad and poor people, yet happily fortunate. This entire trip to New York really impacted my feelings of the future, especially as a designer. Every designer has that dream, whether small or big, in their heart to be successful and working in New York. I realized that some of my fellow fashion friends were out of their mind by picking up after college and moving to New York hoping for a job, rather than already securing one. I wondered from time to time during my trip how they really were.
My first day, I ate at Max Brener, a wonderful chocolateer for adults. I half expected to find this Max Brener skipping around the place, top hat and cane included, singing of the magical joys of making chocolate. Funny enough, I hate the stuff. But the food was excellent, I would go back in a heartbeat (try the turkey club). Later, I ate at Serendipity http://www.serendipity3.com/main.htm, another adorable restaurant that was fashioned out of an old house. It reminded me of an upscale Bubble Room. Their specialty there is frozen hot chocolate, and it is certainly made for two or more. It is presented in this large vase and is chocolate ice cream and hot chocolate mixed together with whipped cream and chocolate jimmy's on top. Serendipity is also known for their $1000 ice cream , complete with gold spoon and God knows what else (perhaps caviar and gold leaf?). My first day I also took in the MOMA, which housed some of my favorite paintings (Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World to name one). It was truly the best collection I had ever seen. The second day was spent touring some of the other sights of New York (the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Ground Zero, and Broadway). These were all beautiful and wonderful to see with my own eyes. I managed to escape to Central Park during the only sunlight that my entire week saw, and while there, I observed a wedding. A wedding in Central Park, right after a storm, surrounded by thousands and thousands of tulips, next to the fountain of the Three Graces: I believe even Donald Trump would rival me of my good fortune. That night, after my walk, I went to Broadway and Times Square. I took to see Mary Poppins in the fourth row, which was quite Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I would rather have seen Phantom of the Opera, my favorite musical, but it was unfortunately not my decision to see the regurgitated Disney morality lesson. However, I will admit it was quite a sight to see Bert tap dance upside down. Canal Street was possibly my favorite stop along the way, and I did get a little designer crazed. A Coach purse, Dolce and Gabanna sunglasses, and Chanel earings. Hell, you only live once. I had to keep repeating that mantra while I was following Chinese man after Chinese man down the street, around the corner and inside his blacked-out mini van where his store was located. Or when I was following a Chinese woman down the hall, through a hidden door, and up the attic into a crowded room filled with Spanish tourists from Miami and a Chinese man who was defiant to give his purses up for less than forty five dollars. I, however, trained in my skilled haggling ways, managed to walk out of there with my purse for twenty five dollars. The trick: just keep repeating your price, even when he keeps repeating his. Also, try and say your price slower and more articulated than the time before. Eventually, after ten minutes, you will win.
The rest of the time I spent there was purely editing designs, exploring on foot rather than subway the different avenues of New York, and fabric shopping. I was also privileged enough to snag a meeting with Cotton Incorporated and get their insight into my designs (by the way, they have an amazing view of St. Patrick's Cathedral). I did notice a few things about New York I want to share: it is a big city; you will feel tiny and minuscule there. Also, for some strange reason, there is an Ann Taylor on every other street corner going up 3rd from 58th. Dylann's Candy has the best cupcakes for the price (try the strawberry and sprinkles one). And New York is indeed in the possession of the best bagels and pizza I have ever eaten. It is also one of the only places I would want to fabric shop from now on.