Tadashi Shoji

June 1, 2013

The morning after the first Portfolio in Motion show, too early for any of the sleep deprived designers, we met with Tadashi Shoji to review our portfolios. The portfolios are a semester long project. They include sketches of a line of designs, a mood board to depict the mood of the garments, and a flat for a manufacturer to make the garments. We get to pick our own target market and design for them.

Tadashi reviewing my portfolio.

Tadashi reviewing my portfolio.

My markets consisted of younger women who were in a transitional period in their life, much like myself. In between life and schooling, not really knowing where they are to go next so they live in the moment! These lines contained some unconventional dresses, tops, and pants.

Tadashi looked through all ten senior designers’ portfolios and gave us many insights on how he has run such a successful line. He started as an artist in Japan before he “escaped” to the United States. Wanting a visa to stay in the States, he attended a fashion school. Tadashi credits his whole fashion career to accidental opportunities.

I loved hearing what he had to say as it is a very rare opportunity to catch such a successful person on their down time. His words of wisdom and secrets of achievement were a reiteration of how important an education and work experience really is in the fashion industry.


A Night at the Theater

May 9, 2013

Marymount‘s theater club, Marymount Actors’ Guild, was close to nothing when I first arrived years ago. Now it’s building quite the reputation with two shows this year! The latest of them, Life with Iris, was a cute, albeit strange choice in children’s theater. The nearly two hour play was about a girl in the land of Nocturno. A land where people work during the night to create the world you see during the day. Their memories are held in the jackets they wear and without them they are nothing. When the rulers of Nocturno need a daughter, they steal Iris from her home. Iris meets Mozart and an embodiment of Edgar Allen Poe’s “Annabel Lee” poem. Together they restore her coat and find her father who had also been stolen years ago. Despite my gloomy description, it was a wonderful comedy.

The cast of characters of Nocturno!

I was able to work with the incredible acting ensemble a few times as a sort of consultant for the play. In the past, I have worked with many different children’s theater performances, acting and assisting in directing. With my history in theater, this was a portion I was well versed in.

As a budding club on campus, I can foresee a promising future. The nine actors working on this show included students new to campus as well as seasoned student actors. The Marymount Actors Guild plan to do The Glass Menagerie next semester. I am set to graduate this May, but I plan on returning to see this performance!

The theater club meets about once a month, with trips to NYC to see plays on Broadway and other local show opportunities through the semesters. For questions, you can contact the club at theater@marymout.edu or look for posters on campus for future club dates!

Family Tiiime

May 7, 2013

I vowed my first year at Marymount that I would take my family to the National Zoo. Now that I’m near graduation, I finally came through with that promise! Of course, it should have been incredibly easy with Marymount’s close proximity to the DC Metro, but just gathering my family was a challenge!

Some kori bustards at the National Zoo! My youngest brother ran around with his iPad taking photos of most animals.

Because the Cherry Blossom festivities last for a month, traffic on the metro was intense. Luckily, my family had a few previous encounters with the system under their belts, so they were a little more comfortable compared to their first time. At the zoo, we walked for what felt like miles. It was beautiful with the blossoming trees and sun breaking through the early morning clouds. In hindsight[,] any moment the sun breaks through the clouds should be a sign to apply more sunscreen. But, I continued to show my family the new North American trail that housed wolves and sea lions among other animals you could probably find roaming in the wilds of Virginia!

My youngest brother and I made out with interesting sunburns. I had one with the shape of my locket. When it heals and tans my unfortunate skin, it’s going to look great. Just kidding, it’s horrible and I’m disappointed in myself. I even spent nearly $15 on sunscreen the previous day! Note to everyone: purchase sunscreen outside of tourist hot spots! They always jack up prices for forgetful people like me.


May 5, 2013

My dorm transformed from the studio of a fashion designer to that of a make-up artist while preparing for the Thursday night Portfolio in Motion show. The first night of every Portfolio in Motion show is BIG. Tickets are $100 and a cocktail hour is held with the honored designer. This year I was finally able to attend the hundred-dollar show (for free as a senior design) and it was amazing!! The theme, Cosmic Dreaming, was thread throughout the room with interstellar colors. The cocktail hour had the most delicious Asian foods. I’ve never been a sushi person, but I had some with eel and shrimp! The featured cocktail, the Japanese slipper, had an out-of-this-world green coloring to it that roped the Asian cuisine with the cosmic theme.


After about an hour of mingling and munching, we were directed down to the fashion show. I had been able to see most of the scenes during rehearsal. But, seeing it 100% complete was fantastic. I need to find out the playlist that was used because some of the songs are now a must have on my iPod. I have seven garments in the show in total. Three come out together in the last scene for the senior lines. I love seeing my stuff on the runway, but I cannot wait to sell them and see them on the street!

At the end of the show, Tadashi Shoji took the stage to accept his “Designer of the Year” honor. He gave a short speech, as he thought shorter speeches were better. He spoke about how becoming a designer was an accident and that he loved sculpting fabric on the woman’s body. “I create magic…” he began after the audience applauded him. He creates the magic of making women feel beautiful.

I would love to reach the level of design he has obtained over the past 30 years in the industry. I mean, he had just flown in from Beijing! How awesome is that?! I think that once  I’m globetrotting like no one’s business, I will know that I have made it!

Second Break!

April 19, 2013

As my extended Easter break,  my last break before graduation, comes to an end, I have to say that as was a little bitter-sweet. Bitter that I have to return to class and dorm life at Marymount, but sweet that it’s all ending soon!

After living on campus for over three years, I absolutely love visiting home. I get to be reunited with my “babies”; my two rabbits, dog, parrot, and faster internet. This past break I was able to capture Artie, the Sun Conure, dancing! You can enjoy his talents in the video below.

This break had an additional upside. I didn’t have to stress about sewing! With all my garments already submitted to Portfolio in Motion, I don’t have to spend time in my makeshift sewing studio at home.

So with that free time, I could have the relaxing break I hadn’t been able to enjoy  in years. It was like a preview of summer without the weather or the pool; both of which I cannot wait to return to.

Summer and the end of school ARE coming. Until then, expect to hear about a lot of journeys into DC, the Portfolio in Motion process, and some sad-sap blog posts about graduation!

Preparing for PIM

April 17, 2013

I have some ways of getting ready for Portfolio in Motion (PIM) that don’t include sewing.

They do include shopping and beautification!

Every night of PIM, I will take the stage for a brief  moment with a model who is wearing one of my garments. She’ll hand me a flower and I’ll smile for the crowd in one of my recently purchased dresses. At the end of Spring break, my mother decided that I needed three new outfits; one for each night of the fashion show. So, you may see the same dresses each night on the runway models at PIM. But, you will not catch me repeating dresses! Its not that I find wearing the same outfit a faux paux, it was just an awesome excuse to buy new outfits.

(Above is an video of PIM 2010. I know, it’s old, but around the 30 second mark, you can see a freshmen me modeling some chain pants!)

On top of buying dresses, I have to get myself ready to be under those bright lights! I get my paleness from my mother’s Irish and German blood. I’m an unfortunate Puerto Rican who rarely tans. I do love laying on my raft, floating around my pool with my SPF 30 protecting my glass skin. But unless I burn, I rarely change color at least I haven’t for years! Luckily, we live in the future and lotion can do what the sun cannot. With Jergens’ magic lotion, I will slowly build up a tan. Or, I will at least gain a short term one before it washes off..

I also went a little crazy buying fake eyelashes for the opening night of PIM and a new fragrance for the spring. I wish you could scratch and sniff the internet because my new perfume smells fantastic! (Btw, the tanning lotion does not…)

Obviously, I cannot wait for the fashion show! Just a month left!!

(Buy your tickets here!!)

A Post about Graduation

April 11, 2013

I’ve never really cared for my face in those graduation caps, but I took advantage of the graduation photographer Marymount hosted by the bookstore. I pop’d the cap and gown on immediately after purchasing them and stood for photos with my friends. Though incredibly fun pretending to be graduating for a minute, I still look silly in those caps.

the dreaded cap

It’s still insane, purchasing my cap, gown, and hood. I can’t believe I’m graduating, but even my email would[n’t] let up on reminders.  Almost every day, my inbox is filled with “graduation” subjects! Even the “Congrats Grad!” party decor on display at the store made me feel followed. But, I can’t buy into the graduation scheme. Not until all of my classes and Portfolio in Motion are over!

There’s still some work to be done! All [of it is] fun and fashion oriented , so I’m not complaining! Time is really flying by. If it could slow up so I could have some time to really let it sink in, that would be the best!

April 4, 2013

What is a better stress reliever than making a goofy video with your friends?

Check out some of my classmates’ parody of being a fashion design student at Marymount! Hit play on the video below!

Let’s Do the Math

April 3, 2013

I’ve collected some important numbers! Some are countdowns, some are just interesting tidbits about my designing process, and almost all have a link to something Portfolio in Motion related- click them all!

Twenty hours were spent on putting beads on two of my dresses for Portfolio in Motion. I thought the sections I designed to have beads wouldn’t take as much time… Beading a garment is an excellent lesson in time management, as in you find out you managed your time terribly once you’ve reached the due date.

Six garments I designed and constructed are in Portfolio in Motion! I’m making one more! So hopefully, a total of seven times you can see my creations come down the runway!

The Portfolio in Motion Runway!

Approximately seven weeks until Portfolio in Motion! That’s a little over a month for you to save up for a ticket to see the fashion show opening night with Tadashi Shoji!

One hundred dollars is the price of a ticket for the fashion show’s opening night with Tadashi Shoji. Friday and Saturday night tickets go for about $20. Here’s a link to purchase tickets for Friday and another link for Saturday!

Two months until I graduate! In Mid-May, just after my birthday, I will become a college graduate! With my degree… I have no idea what I’m going to do. I guess I should find a job to pay off the debt I accrued over four years of higher education.

More week until my final garment is due and I am done sewing for the rest of my time here at Marymount. I would be sad, but after years of marathon sewing, I’m so ready for a break!

Chasing Blossoms

April 2, 2013

I was excited to announce the Cherry Blossom festival coming up, but they just just changed the date. Instead of late March, it is now early April.

This only means that spring is even further away than I thought.

One day soon, I want to leave campus in the middle of the day, hop on the Marymount shuttle and ride the metro to the National Mall. Hopefully, that will be this week.

A twenty minute underground venture lies from my favorite part of the city and once the days become nice, it will remind me why I love Marymount’s location. Not in the city, but not too far from it.

I’m on the metro nearly every-other-day going to and from my internship, but going on a leisure ride is something I yearn to do! And, it would be a double-bonus to do it without a winter coat in tote!

The end of March was Easter break, the final break before my class graduates I’m giving spring weather the rest of this week to arrive. After that, I will try my best to resist the cold weather, keeping to my cute spring tops and new lightweight trench coat.

Just need to buy a new purse and shoes and I am set for the TBD spring!