Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Nomadic Fashion Design Intern

It feels like everyday I am going back and forth over whether or not I want to move to New York to pursue fashion design or if I want to stay in Chicago.  There are pros and cons to both.  Chicago is where I have so many friends and family all of whom I completely love and would miss if I left.  However, New York would be an amazingly fun new adventure and any time I have taken a chance and just packed up and gone somewhere randomly, it has turned into a great experience.

So, the other day I had the opportunity to have lunch with my amazing boss at the Chicago Fashion Incubator: none other then Sustainable Knitwear Designer Lara Miller (her stuff is amazing: check it out at At lunch we discussed what I wanted to do with my future, and I picked her brain about what she thought the best next move would be.

Our Solution and Plan of attack: Taking a year and traveling the country for three month increments and interning at various design companies.  If definitely would not be easy, and probably put more of a strain on my bank account, but it would be an amazing experience (and hopefully lead to a job that I love)  The cities that have made the top of the list are Portland, Seattle, and New York.  I might throw in Philadelphia just because I have a few friend there and it seems like a fun city.  It would be a year of waitressing, subletting, and sewing.  Also, the experiences I have with the internships may help me decide what area of fashion design I would like to work in.

Thoughts anyone? 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Patterns are Like Puzzles

The other day I received my amazing garment rack in the mail.  I was so excited to have the proper equipment to store my patterns and my designs.  Little did I know at the mess I had in the corner where I had piled my patterns.

If you are in design school, take my advice, label your patterns very clearly with what the garment is, and what class it is for.  I felt like I was doing multiple puzzles at once this morning while trying to organize the patterns and figure out what exactly they were from....I ended with a pile of patterns that I have absolutely no idea what they are!

Needless to say, my organized garment rack looks great, I feel like I am really putting together a little studio here in my apartment!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Life after Graduation

So graduation has come and gone, and now it is time to get a real job....oh and pay off those overwelming amounts of college loans.

Being the anal person that I am, making my portfolio and website is taking much longer then I would like.  Partly because I am redoing all of my marker sketches in watercolor.  But I did invest in an amazingly beautiful stainless steel portfolio case.  I just want everything to be perfect so that a potential employer has no doubts about wanting to hire me!  Below is just one of those redone watercolor sketches that will become part of my fashion show.

I do have a few side jobs that I am very excited about working on, and with share with you as I go through the process of making them.  My friend is getting married this month, and one of the other wedding attendees has asked me to make her a dress to wear to the wedding.  Well she has an amazingly perfect body to work with, and I am so excited about the design!  Here are some hints about it: Gray, rouched, sheer......(one of my friends says that I am going through color fatigue from my senior thesis which is why I am moving into very neutral colors right now....I kind of agree with her)

Also, I am currently in a hand and lock competition based out of England that involves embroidery.  I have some amazing fabric scraps from a friend that I will be using to create a beautiful beaded dress! I really can't wait to start.

Now I just have to find a job, so I can move to New York and start living the dream!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I am only a week away from graduating and completing my fashion degree.  It is a bit surreal.  I thought it was the perfect time to make my first blog posting.  I have been so ready to start my career for so long, but at the same time I am completely terrified.  What if I don't find a job, what if that job doesn't allow me to make enough money to pay off two degrees of school loans.  Its a bit daunting.

How do I get all of those fashion companies out there to see how amazing I am?

I would really like to start a new adventure in the Big Apple or maybe Europe.

Anyways, since this is my first blog post maybe I should introduce myself.  Hi!  I am Julia.  A fashion designer based in Chicago.  I love everything that has to do with fashion.  I am one of those nerds that reads all of the fashion designer biographies I can find.  I figure that if I read how they made it big and do the same I will be set.  Right?

I am hoping to use this blog to discuss my designs, others designs, and hopefully my journey to finding a career I love and moving to the big city.

A bit about my design aesthetic.  I really like working in both women's wear and menswear, although I do think that you are able to more with women's wear.  Men are a bit freaked out of change and don't go too far off of the three piece suit or polo and khakis.  But none the less I love designer for both.  Above is a little taste of my work.  This dress was actually inspired by me, which honestly was a bit of a challenge.  I am happy with the result (the skirt alone has 17 yards of hand dyed fabric in it!)

I also really like using fabric manipulation.  I could be completely happy for hours with a bit of fabric and a dress form.  Its amazing what you can design when you are allowed the time to play.

As soon as my website is done, I will share that with all of you.  It is a bit frustrating at the moment, but then you can see what I am really about~

Signing off for now!  Thanks for reading!