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Building Awareness via Fashion: World Water Day

Posted in Uncategorized by modman on March 22, 2010

Plenty of designers have been inspired by water in some form: crashing waves, fast-flowing rivers, violent rapids, trickling streams and quiet creeks. Despite having been inspired by one of the strongest elements, very few have brought awareness to the reality of usable water: its shortage.

The United Nations recognizes today as World Water Day. This years theme is “Clean Water for a Healthy World”. I learned this in middle school and it has stuck with me since: the earth is covered by 70-75% water, 97% is in the oceans and 1% is available for human use. The world population is approximately 6.7 billion and we live in a world that is controlled by private corporations and corrupt governments that control and limit access to basic necessities, like water and housing, and other resources.

There is a shortage of available drinking water in so many countries. Even if there is a water supply, most of it is contaminated with pollutants and other debris. Developing countries do not have strict laws that police water pollution. Industries that do pollute the water have no incentive not to. Because of the lack of drinking water, poverty-stricken villagers resort to taking in whatever water they can find, which results in water-borne illnesses. Diarrhea is a top infant killer, and “1.8 million children aged under five who succumb to water-borne diseases. This equates to one infant every 20 seconds” (csmonitor).

I can list fact after fact and reality after reality all day, but that wont do any good. People are stricken the moment they see a devastating picture or are horrified when they hear the number of deaths caused by diarrhea. But very few act on their emotions.

It is sometimes difficult for me to wrap my head around international issues like this.. especially because I feel that its so far removed from my life. This is exactly the wrong perception. Non-profit organizations such as charity water, the water project, and Drop in the Bucket help bring awareness, funds and sustainable practices to developing nations.

Leanne Marshall, winner of Project Runway’s season 5, showed a collection at Bryant Park that was entirely inspired by water and waves. A challenge from this season’s Project Runway was to create a piece that was inspired by the four elements: earth, air, fire, or water. If fashion can draw on inspiration of such powerful forces, imagine what fashion can do for humanitarian awareness.

Last of Bryant Park, Diane von Furstenberg.

Posted in fashion week., new york city. by modman on February 17, 2010

Diane von Furstenberg, the president of the CFDA, is a style icon and has built a fashion stronghold in the industry. DVF has changed womenswear and continues to churn out great, wearable pieces for the modern woman. The fall collection was full of chunky knits, menswear-inspired suit pieces and flirty cocktail dresses. The prints are fun and will definitely make it easier to transition from summer into fall in the coming year. My favorites include:

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

This show was possibly the greatest memory I will have of this trip. I do love DVF and her designs and it was an out-of-body experience to be able to sit third row, watch models having fun and really embodying the essence of DVF and all that her clothes stand for. The best part for me, though, was chatting with Andre Leon Talley (editor-at-large at Vogue), Tim Gunn (of Project Runway fame, and chief creative officer for Liz Claiborne) and (ahhh) Carine Roitfeld, editor-in-chief of Paris Vogue). To make a long story short, I got the chance to get a picture with each of them (with my bb, so super bad quality).. and even more amazingly, Carine asked me to sit and we chatted about the collection we had just seen. Although our chat was only a few minutes, it felt like a lifetime and that rush of meeting her lasted the entire day. Even in those three moments, I knew my trip was worth it. It was a tough road trying to get out here, and even while I was in New York, there were some challenges. In the end, I followed my dream and my passion and it has definitely paid off.

To those that encouraged me to take this leap and skip a week of school to follow my dream, thank you. To those that I dont know, do whatever it is that you can to “make it work”, because in a single moment, it’ll be worth it. Even though I havent secured a job or an internship or decided where I will be after graduation, I know that I did my best and I made it work. So great to see it all play out.

I’ll be sure to post the pictures I took during the show. Check out mm_modman on twitter for my never-ending/always tweeting #nyfw trends and the photographs with three great, iconic individuals.

Project Runway at the Getty.

Posted in Uncategorized by modman on November 7, 2009
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Project Runway at the Getty, Season 6

The challenge for the upcoming episode of Project Runway was to find inspiration from the Getty. Each designer found a different inspiration from the Getty space itself and from the exhibits as well. I can say this episode, although underwhelming, was the first one this season where I felt the designers were challenged as artists. Each episode so far has been about selling to certain people (which is important). But as a creative thinker, it is definitely restricting to have to think about what the bride wants, or what real women want in an outfit. This recession has changed the world of fashion. Because designers must think about making what is profitable and “safe” first, there can be a lack of freedom. This challenge allowed the remaining designers to really explore as artists.

The audience saw the episode on the wide-screen. A movie version of Project Runway.. awesome! Tim really brought the lols this episode. He just brings so much to the show. It wouldnt be the same without him. After the screening, the outfits that each of the designers created was brought out on mannequins. Although we didnt get a chance to get up close, it was an experience to be able to see the pieces in real life.

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Fashion Panel

Mary Alice Haney (West Coast editor for Marie Claire), an LA-based designer, and curator for Museum of Contemporary Art made up a panel that discussed art and architecture and how one influences the other. It was fascinating to hear about how designers and artists are consciously making the effort to incorporate other art forms and/or that designers find inspiration at any moment, no matter what the object is. Thanks for the invite, Getty!

Project Runway in LA.

Posted in Uncategorized by modman on November 5, 2009

This season’s PR has been based in LA. So far, the challenges have been.. not so worth watching, and MKors and Nina Garcia have been missing on and off the show. The random judges and the “make use of the Macy’s accessories wall” is irritating, but I catch an episode here and there when I have time. Well, I’ll be sure to catch the upcoming episode for sure because I will be at the Getty tonight, watching a special screening of the episode that was filmed at the Getty earlier this year. I’ve received word that I am on the guestlist, so I will venture to the Getty for the first time. Hopefully, there will be special guests.. fingers crossed!