Monday, November 23, 2009

Regarding Pink Hair.

My hair is, more or less, half pink. It has been this way for a while now, and I don't see it changing anytime soon. I get a lot of reactions to my pink hair - almost always positive - and a lot of curious questions about it. So I thought I'd take this time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions, as well as picwhore all of my pinkhaired history.Love at First Pink

Question: When did you first dye your hair pink?
Answer: I first put pink in my hair the summer before my freshman year of college (I'm a junior now). I dyed the tips pink. They lasted for about a year before, sadly, breaking off entirely. Turns out damaging your tips is not a lasting solution for wanting pink in your hair. I moved on to bigger and better things soon after my freshman year, adding more and more highlights (I call them, cleverly, pinklights).

Question: What dyes have you used? Which is your favorite?
Answer: First I used an N'RAGE one step bleach/dye kit, which was great and lasted several months. Then I tried to keep my pink bright with manic panic cotton candy pink, which lasted about a week and a half before fading. Next I used Special Effects Atomic Pink which tided me over for about a year, with touchups once a month. Now I'm using Special Effects Virgin Rose, which starts out more red than pink but fades into a brilliant fuschia and lasts much longer than any dye I've used yet! I must say it's definetly my favorite to date.

Question: Do people respond to your hair? What are the best and worst repsonses you've received?
I look like this about once a monthAnswer: More people than you'd think respond to my hair! I get loads of compliments on it from chicks my age, and smiles of solidarity from other pinkheads. I also get some unexpected compliments: once, while I was in a Starbucks with my dad, a middle aged businessman approached us and told me he loved my hair. I was so flattered - even corporate dudes love my hair! I was also complimented on it by my wonderful previous employers at during the interview proccess. It seems to help me get creative, fun jobs rather than hurt me! To date the only negative reaction to my hair was when I worked at Olive Garden. I was a hostess, and apparently sat an elderly couple. Their waitress came up to me and informed me that all they could talk about was my hair, how it was a disgrace, how Olive Garden was supposed to be a "high class establishment" and people with pink hair belonged in "Steak and Shake," and how a complaint to management was imminent. Oddly, my hair was up at the time, and my pink was not even that visible! Happily, I was not fired, and received no further complaints about my hair.
Oh god, I'm making that pouty face.
Question: What do your parents think about your hair?
Answer: My poor parents learned long ago to give up any semblance of control over my hair. One time when I was in 7th grade I got in trouble for giving myself an impromptu haircut in the bathroom (to the principal's horror, my mom reasoned that it would grow back and did not ground me). Throughout high school I tried blonde, red/purple, and black. My senior year of high school my mother bribed me to keep my hair naturally colored (which I did - and promptly pink'd it after graduation!) I don't think my parents mind my pink hair. My dad sees it as a sign of my creativity and often uses it as an anecdote when bragging about me to various business associates. My mom (who went to burning man this year, props to her!) told me she was considering dying her own hair pink to match her new pink laptop. My sister, however, wants me to dye it back to brown for her wedding. Boo.

WTF am I doing here???
Question: How often do you have to dye it? Is it difficult to maintain?
Answer: I typically dye it about once a month. In between dyes it fades to a peachy blonde color, especially at my roots where I use the most shampoo. I also have to bleach my roots ever 6 months or so to avoid that nasty grown-out look. In general, re-dying is no big deal. I have a stockpile of latex gloves and aluminum foil, and I just chill with foil on my head for about 3 hours before rinsing my hair in the shower. It can stain if you're not careful, so I try to be careful! I also try to be gentle with my hair because the pink parts are bleached, and they're a bit more damaged than the other parts of my hair. Other than that it's not too bad at all.

Question: has pink hair affected your self-image at all?

Answer: Pink hair has definetly boosted my self esteem. I have a tendency to think people are judging me if they look at me, and before I had pink hair, I would have a mini freakout trying to figure out what on earth they were staring out. Now, it's obvious - they're looking at my bright pink hair! Having pink hair makes me feel more adventurous, creative, and fashionable, even on the days where I wear sweats and jeans. It helps me feel glamorous and girly at the same time. It makes me happy when I see it all bright in the mirror - after all, pink is my favorite color! (Have you noticed?) I don't think I'll be getting rid of it for a long time - it's definetly become a part of my identity now. I would be sad without it!

Most recent pic!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fashion Design Portfolio in Progress

So as some of you may or may not know already, my major at IU is Fashion Design and Apparel Merchandising. The fashion design certificate at IU is an extremely rigorous 2 year program that is bigger than a minor but smaller than a major. It covers every part of fashion design: Design and Construction studios, Drawing and Portfolio studios, Computer Aided Design, and Field experiences, as well as Theory and History courses. Currently I am in a lab class constructing skirts and pants, and a design class learning the basics of fashion sketches and portfolio pieces. At the end of the semester I will have 2 completed skirts and a pair of pants, as well as over 15 pieces in my portfolio! But I thought I'd share some of my designs that I've made so far.

"Redesigning the Trench Coat" First look: gabardine motorcycle style jacket with leather pants and rubber boots. Second look: gabardine dress with leather boots + vinyl umbrella. Mood page theme was "protection" so there are weather elements and cameo to symbolize the protection that Trench coats provided the army in WWII.

First I'd like to point out that I have never, EVER drawn anything substantial before this year. I've made some pretty awesome abstract illustrations and doodles but never people or clothing. Also, my design class is NOT an art class: we are not given any direct instruction as far as things like proportion or making a sketch look realistic. What we are given as a resource is a huuuuge textbook called 9 Heads which is chock full of croquis (blank human forms), flats (a garment drawn as if it were laid out on the ground to show construction techniques) and working sketches (a drawing of the garment on a human form to show how it looks being worn). We were then told about Mood Pages or Mood Boards which is basically a collage that expresses the theme or inspiration behind the garment you have designed. Then we were told to go forth and create! Each week we have a new assignment to turn in with two looks, flats, working sketches and a mood page. So far we've designed for the US Open, created an outfit based on the Turban Squash, redesigned the Trench Coat, constucted half-scale garments based on the architecture of IU, reconstructed a full-scale "problem garment," and designed looks to fit into the Halston brand. We are given a week to complete each assignment and although the course is only worth one credit (grrr) we all bust our butts in the fashion lab for many, many hours! I will have a complete portfolio of these and more pieces, including my final line (10 looks around a common theme) later on, but I figured I'd show some of what I've been working on.
Designing for the Halston line. Blue china silk scoop neck dress with yellow ultrasuede belt and matching hat.

I really wanted to develop my own style of designing and drawing that would be easily recognizable. I didn't use any of the croquis provided by the 9 Heads book at all, so I basically had to teach myself how to draw people from scratch. I decided early on to reject the standard high fashion model, which is abnormally tall and abnormally thin. I create designs and draw women that are full-figured, even plus sized. My croquis are all very curvy and even the fit model for the skirt I am constructing is curvy. The more I design the more practice I get so I have definitely improved over the course of the semester!

Dress inspired by the Turban Squash. Sweetheart neckline and bubble skirt with oxford shoes.

Half-Scale dress designed by me and 2 other girls based on the McKinney Fountain

My most recent designs are definitely the best but they are still being graded so I haven't gotten a chance to take pictures of them. But here is a slight overview at least!