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Archive for October, 2007

Tales from my notebook

Even though I’m back at school, and homework and project deadlines are keeping me busier than ever, I can’t seem to get the fashion boutiques of Soho out of my mind. They were so unique and so COOL! There is no shopping in the world like Soho in NYC. I don’t think there’s a better place to find inspiration for designs. Melissa and I went to all the great shops like Prada, Chanel, Gucci, Betsey Johnson, Anna Sui, and tons more. Just LOOKING at the different styles and interesting fabrics gave me some direction for future designs of my own. I tried to keep a mental note of my favorite pieces, then later on I sketched them out like mad in the notebook I always carry with me. (It’s a Moleskine notebook, I highly recommend!) By the way, don’t yank out the sketchbook in the store, unless you want to be escorted out by the cute doorman!

My favorite designer of all time is Betsey Johnson. That was the first store I looked up when we got to Manhattan. I have always loved Betsy’s style and use of color in her designs. Her store was decorated in her signature color–Hot Pink! With lots of other bright colors. She has some of the cutest shoes this season and some really fantastic silk dresses. I love their “Betsyville” line (easier on my budget), and even have one of her clear tote purses.

I was SO inspired by Prada. Their new line had a lot of dip dyes incorporated and great textures. To be in a store actually touching the clothes that I’d spied in Vogue magazine just the day before was too cool. My favorite was a dip dyed green suit. I’ll be working on my junior collection that features careerwear next semester, and the designs that I sketched after visiting Prada will help give me a springbooard for new ideas when it comes to designing my suits.

Kisses XXX, Allyce

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Welcome to DIYStyle!

allyce-melissa-nyc-presentation-vert.jpgHey! I’m Allyce King, your host of DIYStyle, a brand new vodcast! My friend Melissa Watson and I (plus a team of other creative chicks) have a show for people who want to learn to sew and to get some great inspiration for their sewing projects. We’ll keep you up on fashion trends, style and sewing tips, visit cool shops, and tons more. Keep checking our blog for posts from me, Melissa, and other creative people on our team.

Melissa and I just took awesome trip together. As I write this, I am currently on my way back home from spending the weekend in New York City. I flew into NYC on Thursday evening, and met up with Melissa at baggage claim. We were SO stoked; we had just flown in to the greatest city in the USA for 2 1/2 days for a very important meeting. That “important meeting” was at McCall’s Pattern Company down off of Wall Street. We were invited to propose a new pattern line for a younger market……twenty to thirty five year olds who really follow fashion and who are interested in designing their own clothing. Melissa and I spent many hours putting together the trend boards, design boards, sewing samples, buying clothing samples, and organizing what we were going to say in that presentation.

We were lucky enough to stay with a friend of Melissa’s in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, at a really cool loft apartment. Friday morning we got up bright and early (6:15 am to be exact), got ready and hailed a cab to McCall’s. Navigating the streets of New York City early on a Friday morning was really an experience! We got there a little early, set up our boards, and hung our clothing, ready to present. At 9:30 on the dot the McCall’s board room was packed with the President, VP, head of the design room, and many others. Melissa and I had been waiting for this day since mid summer. Trying to contain our nervousness, we pitched them our ideas, our sketches of original designs, garments that we had designed and sewed, and our trend boards. It was SO cool to be able to show them the pilot of DIY Style that had been filmed earlier this year. And……………

The president of McCall’s, and the entire team loved our ideas! They loved it so much that they signed us for a new pattern line under DIY Style and sponsorship to continue filming the DIY Style vodcast series. This was a really neat part: after the two and a half hours in the meeting we had lunch with the design team down at Battery Park. We sat right within view of the Statue of Liberty and Staten Island. What an experience………..we had to pinch ourselves to make sure it wasn’t all a dream!

Once back at the office we sat down with the design team, helping us decide what two patterns would be produced and released in April 2008 for the Summer 2008 season. It finally hit us. We were going to be paid Fashion Designers! Our first assignment was to design and place our sketches on croquis to be done and sent back to them in 13 days. Whew, what a fast turn around, especially with Melissa and I on different sides of the country (I’m in Missouri and Melissa in Oregon)! But we’ll get it done……….we always do.

After our meetings we were given a full tour of McCall’s Pattern Company. We were in awe. They showed us everything from the design studio, to the fabric library, to the patternmaking room, and the sample sewing room. Boy what an impressive place, especially for a new fashion designer. Wish I had all that stuff back at Stephens to use for my design school collections. I still have a swimsuit project due as soon as I get back.

There is still lot’s more to the story, but I’ll hold that for next time. Wait ’til I tell you about the shopping in SoHo!

Kisses XXX, Allyce

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