Monday, September 16, 2013

and the seal goes ow, ow, ow

i have the greatest friends.
they know my heart,
and my funny bone.
one of my soul-mates sent me this.
watch the whole thing, especially when you think it's totally stupid about halfway through and want to exit. 
the upcoming sounds are worth it. 
trust me. 


Sunday, September 15, 2013

be cool, stay in school.

I'm through my first few weeks of classes. I've been in Paris for almost a month now. every day there are confusing nuances and little victories. like the bank being closed until 3 on Thursdays when I travel 30 minutes by train on my lunch break before class at 2pm. or buying cute French stamps to send postcards and figuring out they are for domestic mailings only. whomp wha. I did however duplicate my flat key (for when visitors come!) there's nothing like a Home Depot or Staples here and I had to go to a shoe maker for this (and pay 18€ oof)- but, alas- little victory!

what I'm most constantly impressed with however, is the education. gosh it's just so good. I had wonderful teachers at university, but nothing even close to this. EVERY single one of my professors have worked crazy incredible jobs in the industry. I mean, it's unreal. their stories, the experiences they've had. they are the most modest & I feel constantly starstruck. 
I probably shouldn't be so surprised. I am after all, lucky enough to be studying fashion, in Paris - the fashion capitol of the world- at one of (if not THE best) fashion schools in history. 
I guess I just figured that they wouldn't also be professors. 

we get to spend about 5 hours a week together, per class, learning and drawing and draping.
it's so hands on, it's so technical, it's so creative.
i feel like this is what i was created to do.
having the brain of an aerospace engineer from my poppa
and the beautiful free-flowing artistic spirit of a hippie momma,
this is what i was made for.
everything has to be technically perfect, 
but it also gets to be wild and free and expressive!
i love it beyond words.

here are my teachers this semester.
you should seriously click the links and read up on them a little tiny bit.
they are drool worthy.

and others that are equally notable:

geraldine goddat- she has several published books and has spent years doing knitwear designs, production and textile work in Paris; she's a master embroider

catherine carloni- a creative stylist and fashion illustrator

michel malard- the first ready-to-wear designer for Italy in the 1960s when haute couture ended as an industry in Paris. the most knowledgable man i've ever met.

claire jochum- worked for christine lacriox and is a tremendous textile creator

i'm so very lucky.
now i must do some homework if i've ever going to be on their level!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

sacapuntas :: skyfies

yesterday at the art store, 
the sweetest man was helping me find supplies, 
while teaching me the words in french.
it was going along fabulously, until: 
pencil sharpener.
i was motioning, and he thought: knife, eraser, crayons. 
oh boie.
the word in french is: affutoir
incidentally, it's the only thing i remember from his lesson. 
when i got home, i realized that there are only 2 words I know (remember) in all 4 languages i've ever studied:
pencil sharpener & french fries

afrikaans: skerpmaker
french: affutoir
spanish: sacapuntas (my alltime favorite word in spanish)
english: pencil sharpener

afrikaans: skyfies
french: frites
spanish: papas fritas
english: french fries

i guess this says about me:
i love potatoes and i'm passionate about art supplies.
sounds about right.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

burnt hair, Italian coffee, French couture

halfway into 'official' week 2 in Paris.
orientation week- done.
first day of design school AND moving into an apartment,
across town in Paris on the same day- done.
unpacking a bit, getting situated, learning the neighborhood, and have already attended 16.5 hours of class this week- done.
i have class for 28 hours a week, plus a 12 hour internship,
plus homework, and I'm trying to get a job where i don't have to speak french.
if last year prepared me for anything, it was 80 hour weeks.
i got this.

i find that i'm learning the most here through the mistakes i'm making (which are a LOT) and probably even more than i even realize, because most of it is lost in translation, 
and i just smile a lot.
(sarah pugh taught me this: you don't understand, smile bigger)

adapters are wonderful.
they do not convert the voltage.
usually not a big deal. 
your battery gets hot, things charge way too fast,
you have to keep an eye and unplug them.
curling iron,
i have a blow dryer here, that's french.
after moving into my own flat (eeeeeekkk!- the most exciting),
i took a VERY long shower and decided to get all ready for the first time since arriving to Paris.
blow dried my hair, perfect.
plugged in my curling iron,
first strand (just like i'd done a million times before)- straight BURNED off in SECONDS! seconds!!
i was in a state of panic. burning hair smell filled my apartment.
what seemed like half of my entire head of hair was attached to the curling iron, and NOT my head.
i frantically pulled it off (as it continued to smoke and burn) and for a moment tried to re-attach it.

--this is EVERY girl's worst nightmare--

great. first day of fashion school in Paris, and you're bald.
ok, i'm being dramatic, but it was awful.
i decided to make a cup of coffee and calm down.

a million dishes in my kitchenette- 3 water kettles- no coffee machine.
so after class i stopped at the 'french version' of a bestbuy.
looking at french presses- 40-50 euros- jeesh.
tiny, cheap drip machine (which will make bad coffee because it's all pre-gound to espresso)- at least 20 euros.
then- i see my tea kettle, in the coffee section... 60euros! what the hell. 
apparently it's some sort of Italian coffee maker that I had never really seen before.
fantastic! how exciting! 
hurried home feeling empowered, and proceeded to make it wrong, 3 times in 3 days.
i'm a pretty smart girl.
EVERYone has these here.
it should not be this hard.
first time, poured the boiling water into the top. wrong.
second time, poured the boiling water into the bottom and attempted to turn completely upside down to get the water to pour through the metal grounds filter and into the top. wrong.
finally- cold water in the bottom, grounds cage, attach top, boil on stove and it evaporates up into the top chamber producing: coffee!!
i was so excited that i didn't notice the burner was up too high and all of the coffee boiled over onto the stove and all over my kitchen. 
i salvaged about one sip, sans the mess.

if you want to piss off someone in french fashion,
use this word.
also, you should never use this word- ever.
slang is so hard.
i've learned some french slang which is crazy to me.
the literal translation and the meaning are completely different.
super foreign.
for example, there's a phrase that is: "it's the feet!" 
which means our equivalent of: "it's the most awesome!" "it's the bee's knees" "there's nothing better!"
likewise, our slang, does not transfer.
i was in my (presumably) favorite class:
couture craftsmanship, and stayed after to look at a book my teacher loved.
we were talking about materials and she was asking the word in english often.
about this time, a friend of hers (and some mr fancypants designer somebody) came in the room.
she asked me the name of this string/material in english.
i started to tell her that it is very cheap (meaning inexpensive) in the states, and is usually used by little girls to make necklaces at summer camp.
oh boy.
mister man lost his shit.
he was grumbling, and talking faster and faster at his friend, looking disgustingly at me and occasionally repeating 'cheap' through his scowls. 
she tried to explain (i think) that i meant it literally, related to the cost, and was not insulting the designer we were looking at together.
it did not matter. 
i'm pretty sure i'm blacklisted from anything that guy is related too.
welp, you live and you learn.
don't say 'cheap'. ever.

i got home that night and my apartment still smelled like burnt hair and exploded coffee.
that's what you get for being 'cheap'. 

chanel, can you just hire me already?