04 December 2012

Back to school

Last week, I took a brief break from our holiday 2012 sales &
spring 2013 prep to dash over to the California College of the Arts (CCA). 
I had been invited, as an industry professional,
to take part in their formal critique of the senior level students' thesis collections.

The whole experience made me think back to my NYC days--I had known the incredible experience of having been mentored by exceptional design talent
while I was studying at FIT.
My eagerness to figure out how design rooms operated,
translated into my non-stop apprenticing.  From couture studios in Soho,
to mass-market lingerie workrooms in Midtown, to tiny, independent design studios
near Wall Street--I finished my course at FIT with a
varied perspective that only the real world could have provided.

So, I was thrilled when Amy Williams,
CCA's Chair of the
Fashion Design Department, asked me to
take part in their critique.
It was my way of giving back to an industry that has given me so much. 

As the rain poured down outside, I, along with other CCA staff & industry folk, sat in CCA's beautiful Portrero gallery and took in the students' presentations--mood boards, garment sketches, flats, draped muslins and lots of thoughtful discussion.  It was great to see so much variety & inspiration in the students' work.  And as comments were made, it was impressive, and telling, to see how each student could manage the critique. 

All in all, I shared in the students' excitement at what they had started and felt a pang of tension realizing just how much work they still had to put into their projects.  It's exactly what makes me love this process while still feeling humbled by it, all these years later.

Good luck to the whole bunch, as they now get ready for their big May show!

Bonne chance!

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