In Progress 1
In Progress 2
All photos are shot and edited by me.
In my Bridge 2 Project, I designed a special gift just for Nora. The gift turned out to be a re-construct slip dress, based on an interview with her, the artwork she likes at MoMA, and ultimately, she as an individual. If it were not because of this project, I would not have this unparalleled experience with Nora. We chat by texting and face to face, went to a thrift shop, and enjoyed meals together. I found myself improved in terms of deciding between ideas, effectively communicating, and sufficiently using my skill sets.
It was difficult for me to pick an idea to develop on, which is one of the reasons why this project is challenging to me. I believe that everyone has many different experience and different aspects in their characteristics. After brainstorming about this project, I struggled a lot deciding on which aspect of Nora that I am going to focus on in my project. I was concerned about representing her in a way that could not reveal how interesting she is as a person. So I talked to Nora in person. She was very understanding and supportive, appreciating my different proposals as well as giving me her opinions. As a result, I decided to focus on two ideas. One was to incorporate Picasso’s painting that she liked at MoMA, into the vintage womenswear silhouette before WWII (the time period that the painting was created). The second idea was to go to a thrift store or vintage boutique with her, and re-make a piece or two that relates to her and the painting she likes. After developing more on each idea and discussing with my professor, I finally decided on working on the second idea.
The other thing that I found challenging was to effectively talk to Nora, making every moment of our time count for our projects. At first, I wanted to keep a lot of things in my mind about the project when I was talking to her. However, I found it a bit distracting and not very helpful. After a little while, I started to chat with her just like how I casually chat with a friend. Even though back then we did not know each other that well, I felt like both of us became more comfortable and open to each other. I found out about our mutual passion about vintage/thrift store shopping, our same opinions about fashion industry, and our similar experience working at fashion magazines. She told me about her life experience, moving around a lot and switching between Qingdao, Beijing, Tokyo, and San Diego. I knew that she was stressed about whether she could make money in the future to earn back her college tuition, and the way she dealt with stress was to read comic books and go out. She also shared her well planned future in 5 years and 10 years with me. I found these information directly and indirectly relate to the project and inspiring to me.
A very realistic thing for me to consider when I was critiquing myself and deciding on ideas was my skill sets. Although I was able to use basic Photoshop and InDesign, I was not that good at creating art through computer. However, I knew how to sew – I designed and made garments for 5 fashion shows before I came to The New School. Having knowledge about how different fabric is going to work in a single garment, skill sets to hand-sew and using sewing machines, and of course, using seam rippers, I had confidence about creating a garment for Nora. This also became a crucial reason why my professor, Nora, and I finally decided on the second idea I came up with, which was to reconstruct a garment or two.
This project is definitely inspiring in terms of my decision between the original brain-stormed ideas, interview skills, and practical thinking. I appreciate the experience.