Dear Diary [and Woodbury Friends],
I hope this second blog finds everyone well. Despite the ups and downs in the
material world, it has been a wonderful month at Woodbury. I was sure things could
not get more busy, but of course, I was deluded. Mid-term looms, which means
we have to think about grades. This is especially hard in fashion, because
creativity is so personal. We have to find means to nurture the passion of young
designers, yet still give honest feedback.
Julie Hollinger, our junior design mentor, talks to junior Michal about her collection. Julie and I taught together for twenty-five years at Otis and we are so lucky to have her!
By far the most exciting thing that happened this month was the formal
creation of a $20,000 fabric fund, which will allow the fashion
seniors to shop at Mood [the most beautiful fabric store!] instead of
Joanne’s, for their collections. It is bound to make a phenomenal difference!
How did this happen? Last August, Judy Tamkin, our benefactor for the
new fashion exhibit space and a member of the Woodbury Advisory Board,
invited me to lunch. We talked for almost three hours. Judy is a
fascinating conversationalist, because she has had such an amazing life. She and her
late husband, Dr. Gerald Tamkin, have been involved in so many wonderful causes.
They even donated the famous dueling dino-skeletons to the Natural History Museum!
Mrs. Judith Tamkin
Because of Judy’s intimate involvement with Woodbury, she understands
how tight the student’s budgets are. When I mentioned they were struggling to get
good fabrics, she offered to create the fund. I am still pinching myself!
The students will give back by donating one outfit each from their collections
to a silent auction that will be held at the fashion show. The proceeds will go
back into the fund for future classes. A win-win situation!
I must mention the fabulous costume exhibit, Il Teatro alla Moda, that my class and I
went to this past week. Many of the great Italian designers like Missoni,
Cappucci, and Versace have created costumes for the opera and ballet, and these are
being shown in Beverly Hills through November 15.
Missoni tribal costumes and amazing compositions.
A drawing of Versace costumes and some of the enthralled students.
This exhibit is a visual feast because it has drawings as well as costumes. The students loved it, but we did mourn the early loss of creative icons like Versace and Alexander McQueen. No one said being a genius was easy.
EDUARDO LUCERO AND LA FASHION WEEK
Speaking of amazing designers, Eduardo Lucero opened his show for LA
Fashion Week this past Saturday. The show, which included a number of
young designers, was done in the style of a gallery exhibit with live
models. Eduardo talks about his inspiration in a new article on the
Apparel News Blog:
“Ocean and underwater themes are big [this season]. The reason I did it
is because I¹ve been hearing so much news about global warming, so I
created a collection where cocktail dresses and suits are made out of
underwater material. You literally can go swimming or to a cocktail party.
Models as Gallery Exhibit! Some of Eduardo’s new collection.
I am so proud of the Advanced Technical class who designed and made the
fabulous corsets you see in the photos below. I wish I could show you them all!
Anna Leiker is the amazing instructor who leads this group.
The feathers are so unexpected!
Tiny bows and classic flowers.
I love the extra length on this one.
They sewed all this beautiful detail in two class periods, five hours each! It’s great how they help each other…and I think they are very proud of themselves!
NEW DIGITAL LAB and TEXTILE ARTS
Another bit of exciting news is that we will soon have our own digital
lab in fashion. It will be wonderful to integrate digital skills into
other classes whenever the opportunity arises. We are also initiating a
new class on Textile Arts taught by our ambitious new Textile faculty,
Nina Dark. The students will learn to create a myriad of treatments that
can be applied to their collections.
Digital skills are a must in the industry these days!
OTHER MCD NOTABLES
My dean, Dr. Eddie Clift, is the visionary behind the School of Media, Culture,
and Design where fashion resides. Dr. Clift comes from a long line of creative
people. His uncle, in fact, was Montgomery Clift, and his mother has been a
Washington correspondent for over thirty years.
This is a photo taken of Dr. Clift and me last Spring, when I attended my first Woodbury fashion show.
Eddie is constantly pointing out the different work culture our students will be
dealing with in the coming years. They not only need appropriate skills for their
profession, but also the creative problem solving skills to operate through
business models that may not even exist at this time. In fact, it’s entirely possible
our fashion students may be designing more for avatars than real human beings.
I am also blessed with the guidance of Penny Collins, Woodbury fashion chair for
over a decade. Penny, who knows everything about everything, is going to go
on a well-deserved sabbatical next spring. [What, me panic???}
Penny loves to teach technical skills to our freshmen [lucky them!] and also a fabulous class in Experimental Design.
WRAPPING IT UP
There is so much more to tell, but I will save it for the next installment. I really
enjoy getting to share what is a wonderful experience for me and I hope for the
Yours in Creativity,