Researching videos for a new Accessory Design class I am writing I came across this video. It gave me so much satisfaction to watch something made by hands. There is something magical about carving the wood and stretching the leather and making an object you can wear. I have so much respect for anybody who spends 30 years to get something right!
Laura Siegel, fashion design graduate from Parsons was one of the truly exciting fashion presentations I saw this season. I am so impressed by the ability of a 25 year old designer to create such a thoughtful well rounded collection complete with collaborations for accessories like shoes and necklaces and stationary. She consistently works with artisans in India to create block printing and natural dye process techniques for continued sustainable practices.
After a couple of weeks of fully realized vacation time on warm beaches in Florida and Puerto Rico I am back to work and graduate school and ready to explore the new year. It is supposed to be really lucky as it is the Chinese year of the dragon. I would love to say that this delicious high heel was actually on my foot as I was diving off the coast of an exotic island, but that's just not true. This image comes from one of my favorite accessories designers Minna Parikka. I am just taking a mental note here: Be more fabulous as you dip your toes in the pool!
Yeahp we are right in the midst of Hanukkah and almost at Christmas but somehow this week has just simply melted away, for me and disappeared in a haze of exhausted, sleeping-late-I-can-hardly-believe-this-year-is-almost-over. And also a "Phew, these last two, three months were quite stressful and harder than I originally thought! But Maaaan, did they just fly by!"
So instead of holiday recipes and seasonal greetings and wishes, which you can find on any other blog, I will just go right back to continuing the story of my party! It is that tie of year after all...
If you remember it was time to find a space for the party. I've heard plenty of: "Don't get a big space you can't fill up, because it doesn't look good, but don't get a space too small, because it would be too crowded." So after agonizing for a couple of days and just generally freaking out about the ridiculous prices of everything in NYC I got an unbelievable break, when I talked to Simon Collins, the dean of fashion at Parsons The New School for Design. He was not only happy and pleased with the book, but graciously offered the 2nd floor auditorium in the Parsons fashion building at 40th St and Seventh Ave. If there is one thing you need to know about that space is that is huge and dreary looking, with no windows, BUT it is where they film the TV show Project Runway! That means high ceilings and professional lighting.
The space before and after!
So task number one was to make it come alive and represent all the creative forces that came together to publish this book. I thought it would be best to create an exhibition of accessories from designers featured in the book. And so I went off to one of the biggest challenges, finding pedestals that would highlight the work in the best possible way. What happened next truly surprised me! It turned out that nobody in the whole university has pedestals. Each department builds pedestals as needed and then demolishes and throws them away! After endless emails and phone calls I came up with a plan to build stackable pedestals that can be taken apart and stored for future use. Two vertical panes with a square top. The project got sponsored by the Art Media and Technology department and the finished pedestals were painted in black chalkboard paint for the bottom part and a high shine gloss for the top. The idea was to emulate the design sensibility and write the designer's names with chalk on each side of the pedestals. Here is the finished look!
Planning my book launch party was one of the most grueling projects I have ever done! I am very good at drawing and making things but organizing an event has never been on my horizon. I had less than a month to make everything happen and spent a few sleepless nights, going from panic to hysterical laughs with friends and helpers. We went through quite a few last minute changes but the final results were better than I could have ever imagined. So for the next few posts I'll walk you through the ups and downs of making it happen!
Here is a look into the accessory exhibition. Featured are handbags, shoes, hats and other accessories from designers featured in the book.
Aimee Kestenberg's Tammi Tales winning design for best use of Swarowski Crystalized elements.
The book launch party is this coming Friday Dec 2, 7-10pm at Parsons The New School for Design. I am extremely excited to host the event in the space where the beloved Project Runway gets filmed. That gave me the amazing opportunity to curate an exhibition, highlighting accessory design talent and work ranging from established designers to recent fashion graduates from Parsons who contributed to the book. We are also building and displaying giant paper shoes and creating an interactive exhibit highlighting the making of hat. It will be an exciting evening and an opportunity to celebrate the wonderful works of accessories.