Wednesday, March 30, 2011

fashionable educated to annoy

a dear friend of mine, Nicole Furter Haze ( brought this to my 'lovely piece of writing' attention . . . and I want to air my opinion too, as it is one of my favourite pastime :) this article is taken off the iFashion site
it's a lot of reading, but it's worth having an opinion on it . . .

 { ☮ } { ☮ }  { ☮ } { ☮ }  { ☮ } { ☮ }
f a s h i o n a b l y   e d u c a t e d?
Written by Sandiso Ngubane   
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
cleo_droomer.jpgSouth African fashion schools: how to choose and when the choice is made, how do you know they'll educate to expectation. Sandiso Ngubane investigates. When Cleo Droomer presented his winning collection at SA Fashion Week’s ELLE New Designer Competition in October 2010, tongues were set wagging at the young designer’s craftsmanship. His collection- dominated by digital prints on spandex, body hugging silhouettes and the memorable blue PVC jacket with an exaggerated shape- was a display of craft and creativity that was unparalleled by his fellow competitors. Droomer, who studied at the Cape College of Fashion Design, has previously said he didn’t know what to do after matric, but fell in love once he began his fashion studies. One guesses that his college education must have steered him in a good design direction.

A few weeks ago when I attended a fashion seminar organized by African Fashion International, one of the students present stood up and shared his experiences between two fashion education institutions. The college he had gone to in his first year of tertiary- North West University of Technology- had been good in terms of teaching them how to construct a garment. Not wishing to be a seamstress, however, the student in question- I didn’t get his name- decided to give LISOF in Rosebank a try, in the hope that there he would find an all-encompassing curriculum that offers both the practicality of design and theory geared towards fashion as a business. When he arrived there, he said, he was greeted with praise from his fellow students who could not believe his skills in making garments. They, he added, knew all about sketches and very little about bringing those sketches to life in a quality finished product.

LISOF has, over the years, produced some of the most successful fashion industry practitioners. From designers to fashion editors, these include Tiaan Nagel, former ifashion editor Angie Hattingh, ELLE Fashion Editor Kirstey Stoltz and Suzaan Heyns amongst others.  “We are committed to ensuring quality at LISOF and that will filter through everything we do,” says Shana Rosenthal, the college’s Chief Executive Officer. “From engineering innovative ways in which students learn and lecturers teach, to the actual combinations of complex courses that are unique to the LISOF curricula.”

LISOF has had some of the best industry practitioners for lecturers, too. These include former ELLE Magazine editor and Times Newspaper fashion columnist Jacquie Myburgh, who lectured fashion media. At the Durban University of Technology’s Fashion and Textile’s Department, Sandile Dladla who graduated last year, says this is a privilege they do not have. Durban designer Terence Bray lectures there but Dladla said he did not recall a lecture- guest or otherwise- by any of the college’s former graduates who include Dion Chang, designers Amanda Laird-Cherry, Colleen Eitzen and Craig Native, amongst others.
“We give students a very wide, but basic knowledge of fashion,” department head George Forster says, “We provide them with practical as well as business skills.”

Dladla confirmed this, but said he would have preferred the experiential learning program- which was three weeks- to be longer. “Students are expected to find their own place to do this experiential learning, but the school does advise you around it,” he says, “I, for instance, was told I couldn’t go to a firm I had arranged myself and was sent to Holmes Brothers by the school.”
Dladla has since established himself as a designer in Durban with a label called “Gregory Code”, currently retailing at a store he runs with a partner.
At LISOF, the gap between college and workplace is also bridged by an experiential learning program. The college has also established an in-house recruitment division which seeks to help graduates in finding work. The division, which started operating in 2010, has since placed over 60 graduates, as Shana Rosenthal explains. “The industry has become so vast and varied that there are so many more opportunities,” she adds.

Rosenthal’s college is often billed as the country’s premiere fashion college. While many see it this way, students at the college and others who have left (as graduates or drop-outs) complain at the scarcity of resources. “There’s always an excuse and an answer to everything,” said one who is currently at the college, “Why do we have so few computers to share amongst many students? They’ll tell us to wait for renovations. When that happened the number of computers still remained the same.”
Bursary students, who have since left the college, said they were made to feel “different” from other students. “Winning a bursary to study means that you have worked hard and presented yourself in such a way that a certain company was willing to support you in financing your studies,” a former bursary recipient says, “LISOF was different. Getting a bursary meant ‘if it weren’t for us, you wouldn’t be here, therefore you had to work harder to show gratitude.”

“I had to stay behind after classes to cut out patterns that the school needed. If they needed someone to work at the library, they’d get a bursary student. This is on top of all the school work you still had to get done.”

The former student, who wished to remain anonymous, added that this was not a written rule, but one could not refuse or avoid being treated this way as there was a constant reminder of “how ungrateful you are”.

Malcolm Kluk of Kluk CDGT went to the acclaimed Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts and Design in London. Some of the global fashion industry’s most celebrated figures- from Hamish Bowles, Gareth Pugh, Zac Posen to John Galliano- graduated there. “At the beginning of each week we would get a brief and have a meeting with our tutor. The rest of the time was spent working or interning at wherever we could get a job,” Malcolm says, “I was lucky enough to get a placement at John Galliano and spent most of my time there as a general assistant. I made patterns, worked in the press office, drove the truck; anything I was needed for.”

“The fact that I was at St Martin’s helped get that position as there is a network of people who all started there.”
Malcolm says he believes it is important for young designers to get a grounding education in design. Thereafter, he advises that an apprenticeship is worth more than a Masters degree. “To work in another designer’s studio and gain knowledge is everything,” he adds, “The fashion industry is incredibly competitive. So many graduates want to work in fashion as they think it is easy, fun and glamorous. It is none of these and the further you get in the industry the less easy it becomes. But it can be rewarding!”

Students in South African colleges interviewed for this feature mostly expressed disappointment at their placements for experiential learning. “At my school they don’t give you a chance to choose for yourself. They do it for you,” one of them said, “I was very disappointed with my placement. I wanted to go to designers I thought would benefit me in terms of my design style.”
This student was instead placed with a designer who made him, and other interns, tidy up the studio and to help the seamstresses with small tasks like unpicking. “I learnt nothing,” he says.

Jessica Sutherland who graduated from LISOF says she was also initially disappointed with where the college placed her, but was later pleased as she learnt a lot from the team at Flux Trends. “I wanted to go somewhere that I would learn the practical application of fashion design, but I learnt so much in the two weeks that I was with Dion Chang. He and the team are a wealth of information and I soaked up as much as I could. It continues to play a part in the way I do things.”

Jessica also expressed disappointment at the shortness of the experiential learning program.

“You learn a lot from your lecturers,” she adds, “but you do need to take initiative and also learn from people who are already doing it.”

*A questionnaire sent to Cape Town College of Fashion was not responded to, as promised, by the time of publishing

 { ☮ } { ☮ }  { ☮ } { ☮ }  { ☮ } { ☮ }

this article sparked a few thoughts in my head, not necessarily linked to the article.

Now, I know I'm spoilt in going to fedisa, but doesn't all of this seem like a lot of extra work just to get a job?
I'm not boasting, but I feel so safe in my university that I know I am learning all the right stuff . . . that nonsense of "Not wishing to be a seamstresss" is utter crap. How can you be a designer if you cannot sew yourself?
and if you are wanting to learn the "business side of fashion" do a damn BCom and shut up. Do your learning at a non-practical university and the go into industry because it's people like them, who don't "wish to be a seamstresss" who fill the positions in the crowded class rooms all over the country. when people like me crave knowledge of the techniques behind the world of fashion.

Soooo . . .  stop bitching and get your BCom bums out of my damn BA chairs.

We are encouraged throughout our degrees to find work in the industry, with a compulsory month period in final third year for internship in industry. Why are these people relying on their colleges to place them in a job? doesn't seem very adult, does it?

when a college gives you a bursary to learn there - often for your full course and supplies . . . don't you do as much as you can for the college? I know that even when I pay for my own studies (as in not a bursary) If my lecturer asked me to cut a pattern, I would do it? Not sure what that is about. Seems obvious.

post comments and views in the comment box beeeeelllllllowwww

 { peace & & love }

Sunday, March 27, 2011

first tern down. finally.

wow. holidays already.
what a term.
over 35 briefs and assignments received and completed . . .

I have honestly not had the time to blog, which makes me sad really because I really used to enjoy it. But when I have finished a full day at college and worked at my homework for at least three hours a day - I really don't feel like pictures being taken of me . . . buttttt I have ten days of holiday in which to do my 9 storyboards, so hopefully I will find some time to do a what I'm wearing post.

now we start with our collections. storyboards being finished up and patterns being thought about. It's all a little scary.
don't have much energy at the moment . . . just recovery a small bout of flu, which knocked me back a little. Have to deal with this nonsense. grrrr

found this beeeeeautiful picture online, googgling my face off.
lovely lovely design, and better photography.
very excited because after creating my collection, I have to photograph it :) eeeek.
lank cool lank cool is not the word . . . superbly awesome :)

so. off to enjoy my last night of lying in front of the tv, before I have to return to reality of the collection. seriously, I have rewatched the full 10 seasons of friends. best show ever.

whaaaatttsupppp with yoooou?
please comment, tell me what's going on with you, your collections, your seasonal favourites your weather annnnything :(

{peace and love}

Sunday, March 13, 2011

fabric fantasy. finally.

I have got my fabric choices sorted. I am so excited! Just want to start sewing now! I am now set in my ways for my Graduate Collection of
{s o u t h e r n  c o m f o r t} by J E N N A   M A R E E - K I P L I N G
at fedisa 2011.

Yesterday, I spent ages trawling the hundreds of racks of beautiful fabrics and materials at the Wynberg Fabric World. Unlike almost every other time I have been to a fabric shop, I actually enjoyed my hour and a half there. At other places, such as Fabric City in Sir Lowery Road, Cape Town, Lynn's Fabric in the Arcade in Fish Hoek Main Road and Global Textiles in Wynberg, I always feel like they are rushing me, trying to get my out of the shop as soon as they can, and most of the 'cutters' are rude and short tempered with students. My experience yesterday was the most pleasant time I have ever ever had at a material shop, including my lovely little shop on Fish Hoek Main Road, Global Textiles.

Blaise, my cutter, was so patient, giving me advise on the quality of the fabric I had chosen and making sure I knew the prices of them too. He wondered around the massive store with me from the moment I walked in, till I took all my stuff to the purchasing counter.

This picture is my lovely cutter rolling up my 24 meters of the fabulous gauzy Indian Cotton, after unrolling it to count. With a smile. UNHEARD of for a fabric shop on a Saturday Morning.

Now that all the prep work for the collection is handed in, and nobody can change anything now - I can happily tell about mine :) We have had a long term, with another two weeks to go before we sent sail on creating our miracles . . . so here is my finalised choices of my graduate collection. I'm so excited to start sewing!

t h e   c o l o u r   c h o i c e s   f o r   {southern comfort}

crisp cloud white
stone wash
deep sky blue
cloudy sky blue
brown cow

t h e   f a b r i c   c h o i c e s   f o r  {southern comfort}

crisp white cloud India cotton
crisp cloud white shirting
deep sky blue stretch denim

stone wash denim
deep sky blue denim
cloudy sky blue denim
brown cow leatherette, vinyl
brown cow poly cotton for lining
turquoise stone

r e f a b r i c a t i o n   f o r  {southern comfort}

at fedisa, they are BIG on this refabrication story. It's the application of additional elements to a piece of fabric, that 'up's the design quality' of the original bought  fabric.

I am using the deep sky blue original stretch denim that has a weft of white that forms a pin strip

and refabrication to transform the denim into {southern comfort} approved material :)


{front left to right, basic discriptions}
1. pot scourer, kitchen counter cleaner, ripped with a bread knife, spashed with salt and lemon juice and left in the sun
2. stone destressed, bashed between two pebble river stones
3. soaked in priapic and turmeric, then burned with a gas stove.
4. splashed with vodka and salt, then dripped candle wax on it, let it dry and ironed it off
5. grated with a rough side of a cheese grater


{left to right, basic descriptions . . . not going to tell you all of my secrets}

1. hth (clorine) pool clearer, with hot water
*note to self: do not pour kettle directly on to clorine tablet while standing over the sink.
2. full bleaching, with bleach and water - 5:1
3. tie dying, 7:1, in between washed with soap and hot water

Am very excited (so I have said three times) and just want to get started . . .
by the by, have you got any questions about fedisa or about my third year?
Always nice to have a lil interaction :)

have a fantastic week, cause trouble and have fun, take pictures and remember - let yourself be inspired by different sources :)

{peace & love}

Sunday, March 6, 2011

you're a beach. really.

beach day. a brief. having to build sandcastles at clifton 4th for marks. seriously.
actually ended up being quiet fun, except for the useless bimbo who was hung over and did nothing but correct our faults - but whatever. just saying.

 Nicole Edwards and Robyn-Lee Johnson

 Liz Stone and Kate Stanton

me && my Jo :) Joanna Chapman

So it came and went fairly quickly, was very hot and quiet a mission to get there. But I got my attendance, and pictures for proof. Best part of the day: I caught a tiny fish, my mistake, with a plastic bag :)

{peace && love}

beautiful in unfamiliar places

Creating a collection is hard. very hard. no sleep, hours of time wasted on drawing useless designs, hours redrawing useless designs, typing, printing, standing waiting in printing shops, waiting for computer technicians and bizhub technicians to arrive. All in all, a tough week.

I formed have a theory: which I shall call the unfamiliar inspiration theory
- designers inspired by the same media will result in an underlying theme of similarity.
If all the graduates get inspired by the same media and sources, surely all the collections are going to have the same under lying theme and will not be original, and unique?

So - me being me, I did a test. 2 days, from college home in the late afternoon (my favourite time of day) from the moment I left college to the moment I got home - I took pictures of everything that inspired me of that I thought was beautiful. Not may people have seen Cape Town from this angle, so might be a little ugly for you, but for me - this is my hometown, railways, streets and graffiti.

{these pictures are not necessarily in order}

I'm battling to find time to get some good ol' blogging done, so when I can, it's more than likely to be a colab of the past week. busy busy with {s o u t h e r n  c o m f o r t} collection stuff, designing and sourcing fabrics, so battling to relax and unwind. will try get some of my project garments up, asap.

{peace and love}

showcasing South Africas best

D E S I G N   I N D A B A   2 0 1 1

Sweltering heat. Ankle breaking heels. A vast array of designers in one room. Fashion and fashionable students around every corner. Yes, it's that time of year again. Last Friday was the CTICC's (the Cape Town Convention Centre's) Design Indaba, 2011.
For those who don't know, it's a collaboration of all the design aspects, mainly surface, film and media, interior, architecture and fashion. This Indaba is a showcase of local talent and creativity. The theme for the past few years has been to orchestrate a wave of sustainable living and change in mind set, leading towards eco friendly lifestyle. I decided to do this little event with a group of friends, making an outing of it. We arrived to a short queue, and paid our R40.00 student priced ticket, and entered.
The first thing that caught my eye was a chicken pen, hay and all, with beaded wire chickens floating around. My first thought, "How original. Well, I am in Africa." But on closer inspection, it was actually an unemployment initiative, called Streetwise Social Upliftment. The organisation works that provides a sustainable employment and trains the team in wire and bead work. They empower the people, and recommend that they teach their new found skills to others, causing a ripple effect of upliftment through townships and communities. This made me all patriotic and emotional so I decided to moved on.
The first few stalls as we walked in looked as though they were all run by the same person. Some of the names I caught were Liesel Trautman, Zizamele Cermaics and Will Martin Projects. It was all fired clay pottery, painted in glazed neutral earthy tones of blues, greys and browns. The porcelain as being used for tea cups, tea pots, necklaces, brooches and hair clips. I had never seen such a delicate material used for jewellery before. I was intrigued to know the durability of the clay, and asked the manager of stall. He said that as long as the pendant  was against the body, and didn’t swing into anything, it would hold out.
The Salon Privè was said to be this the focusing point of South African Design, the crème de le crème, if you will. Though, after all the hype made outside, I was a little disappointed. There was ...XYZ Designs, Ardmore Design, Egg Design, Haldane Matin to name a few, called me what you will, but none of which I had heard of before. At the entrance to the Salon Privè, there was a very controversial display, by Amanda Laird Cherry, of rams, dressed in layered woven clothing.  It was quite dark and mysterious. The ladies next to me viewing the display were nattering on about how disgusted they were that the Indaba let ‘such vulgar rubbish’ to be shown. I was pleased. Good on you, Amanda. Another impressive display was that of Ronèl Jordaan. She is a textile designer, based in Johannesburg, is a recognised internationally for her creative uses in woollen textiles. Jordaan was showcasing her best pieces in dyed wool, and her ‘pebble mat’. I was happily impressed.
After having walked around for half an hour or so, a thought came across me - where are all the clothes? I had not seen so much as a scrap of fabric. I asked one of the stalls, and they headed me to the far back corner where I was pleasantly surprised - a ramp runway with a fashion show David West, nogal. There were about a hundred eager eyes watching the show in the stands and a couple dozen more standing on the raised stage floor. Beautiful designs, clean cut and crisp. At the end of the brief show, we were directed to David Wests' stall to purchase the items we had seen. Being menswear, I wasn't that interested. I had bigger fish to fry.
 I found this in the form of Woolworths. Eco fashion, reduce, reuse, recycle. Always a crowd pleaser. But this year I saw something different, something completely inspirational. A glass case box, with picture hanging off strings. A profile with an ordinary person and there views on freedom fighting. Each person’s words were so full of passion and beliefs, I could help but read all of the 20 profiles. I found myself left wanting more.
I eventually found some little local designers, tucked away, behind the main event arena. Coppelia by Kirsty Bannerman and Doreen Southwood. What a lovely, fresh take on woman’s modern fashion. I had actually heard about Doreen Southwood before, and am quite a fan of her unique style. She is the owner and founder of ME ME ME in Longstreet, and this was a new branch she has ventured on. It was clear to see her aesthetic was influenced by her moods and everything that embodies feminity.
 I found the Indaba's layout a little off putting this year as the floor plan was like a maze. There seemed to be only one entrance and only one exit, and they were separated by many dividing walls. So next year, hopefully, there will be better thought before the company crams in as many stalls as possible in to the room. Another thing I was most upset about, was the amount of animal product being used, in companies, like African Gameskin – FSP Collection, such as leather, hides, furs, pelts and horn. As a creative design initiative, The Indaba itself, I felt that they should discourage the harming of animals. I think that it is very unnecessary to be using the ‘real thing’ when there are so many alternatives these days.
All in, a good exhibition was held. Beautiful talent and lovely displays. I know I will definitely be back next year.

please excuse the terrible quality of the pctures, aggh, blackberry. My camera died 2 minutes in the door.
So, what did you think of the Indaba? Been to one before?
{peace and love}