July 31, 2013 - Empire State of Mind.

So this is it.  The last day.  The last piece.  The last outfit.  The last blog entry.  I decided ahead of time to make this piece out of a beautiful piece of red stretch wool I had picked up a few weeks ago.  I wanted it to be simple.  I chose red because a woman in a red dress is always striking and it carries with it so many connotations.  I also wanted to shout a tiny call out to Jill Magid's piece where she wears the red trench coat and allows herself to be tracked by a surveillance team.  None of this is important really, but I figured it was worth mentioning.  I also had decided early on that I would take the day to go up to the top of the Empire State Building, as I have never been in all of the years that I have lived here in New York.  I even used to work in the area and walked by every day for approximately six years.  I cannot believe I waited this long to do this.  Perhaps it was so potent because I had been quarantined to my studio and Brooklyn for the past 31 days, but I was utterly awed by the scope and perspective at that height overlooking this mind-numbingly massive feat of human ingenuity.  I have come to appreciate this city this year, in ways I hadn't in the past, but this brought me to a different level.  I wavered back and forth from overwhelming physical and emotional reactions.  As I looked over the edge to the concrete below, I could feel the inner walls of my organs quiver with a carnal fear and intense awareness of death.  But then my mind would distract as it tried to wrap itself around the sheer immense volume - volume of bodies, volume of cement, volume of everything.  All of these bodies stacked one on top of another in these buildings, acting as one, but each with some individual creed, drive, desire, dream.  The buildings, these stanchions of power without grace and generators of energy, how easy it is when you are at ground level to forget the absolute mammoth nature of the giant buildings, what feats of strength, engineering, and commitment they are.  One would think you would have the opposite reaction, feeling the presence more from the ground, but seeing them from above, it seemed much more obvious to me.  I was also struck by the flatness of such massive dimension, again calling attention to how far I actually was from the texture and weathered surface of these totems.  Did I feel pride for these geometric giants, compact and cohesive in their ancient grayness?  Watching the cars and people on the streets below, I could have traveled back in time to the essence of what New York is, to its representations and manifestations through time that have always reached desperately towards encapsulating its incredible power.  Even just walking the perimeter of the observatory felt a little like time travel, five steps could give you an entirely different view and perspective.  You could travel 50 city blocks by craning your neck.  This was better than flying.  I will say that I might have been the only one there actually looking.  Everyone else seemed to need to view it all through their camera lens or iphone screen.  If there is one thing I do not like about technology (and let's be honest, there are many, but this one is worrisome), it is when people fail to live an experience, as they are too busy scrambling helplessly to cling tightly to a representation of the exact moment that is passing them by.  As if it will help them to remember it, or memorialize it and make it more potent as it is recorded.  That being said, I did ask the guard what the quietest time of day is and he said 1:00am (apparently it is open until 2:00am, and I think I saw a sign that says there is jazz at midnight some nights.  What?  If you can't find me, surely this is where I will be).  Sometimes 8:00am is quiet too, he said.    

  So to come full circle here, I wasn't entirely sure why I wanted to go do this today, on this last day, to commemorate the completion, but it became apparent once I was up there.  Seeing this city from its namesake landmark, and from 1,050 feet up in the air, brought light to what we are capable of as human beings.  If you are feeling hopeless about humanity, feeling as though we are only destructive pests, go to the top of the Empire State Building.  It could possibly remind you that we do incredible deeds, that we can conceive and build entire empires with our measly bodies and hands.  It might remind you that, yes we are animals and can do evil on one another, but we can also imagine the impossible and bring dreams into reality.  Some day, New York will be ruins, and future generations will look back at what we had done and wonder how we were able to persevere without certain technologies that don't exist yet.  And the future will marvel at this present, and forget about all of our neglect.  My act was humbled by these thoughts, but I was still proud of the gesture, as it felt a little like an homage to this energy and drive that exists within us all to build something spectacular and outlandish. 

  Sometimes I look at my family as an Empire.  The scale of perception can vary, what you behold as valuable is up to you, and kings and queens are only a state of mind.    

Thank you all for reading, thank you for your support in all of its manifestations.  I hope that I have inspired some sort of something in some of you, that you take something away from this, as that is the best I can hope for when I put something like this out into the world.  I love you all and I am grateful.  

July 30, 2013 - red dress.

July 30, 2013 - as worn.


the end.  well suited.  

July 30, 2013 - Concretizing.

So on the day before the final outfit, I had a hard time deciding what to make, and actually made two outfits.  Sick, I know.  I ended up only actually wearing one, though I thought I would have a costume change at some point in the day.  I think I ended up just liking the romper more.  This all led me to think a little bit on the idea of sentimentality inherent to the things that we make.  For me, at least, there is a big difference between the weight of an art object made and the weight of a garment made.  There is something about the process of making clothing that allows me to forget the process, in a way.  A few years ago, I was visiting a college friend in Boston, with whom I had previously worked at the Boston Conservatory Costume Shop with, and who was temporarily working there again at the time of my visit.  When we met up, she had been coming from a costume party and was wearing a blue and purple vintage looking dress that looked eerily familiar to me.  After a little while, and mention of her raiding the Conservatory stockroom for the evening's attire, I realized that I had, in fact, made the dress while working at the Conservatory, probably four years prior.  I immediately needed to see the inside, inspect the seams, judge the quality of my past self's craftsmanship.  I have other garments, mostly from undergrad (watch here starting at 5:30 to see the collection that I have no recollection of)  that I honestly cannot remember how I engineered them or figured out the construction or fit of.  If I were to recreate every piece from that collection, I would have to do it from scratch.  I guess that stuff in particular draws blanks because I was scrambling through most of it, not going into much of it with inherent knowledge, but figuring a lot of stuff out as I went.  It is weird, because now I think that I am much less present during the making, as my process is a lot more fluid as I rely on my muscle memory and seeded truths to carry me through the project, but I feel as though I have a more distinct memory of the making.  I guess we will have to wait a few years to really test this theory though.  I may be alone in this experience, but I feel like I have spoken to other makers who also experience this sort of blankness, like you black out sometimes while in the throes of creation.  I assume it has to do a little with the flow state and attaining a transcendence through practice, that takes you out of body and places you elsewhere.  I wonder if I will recollect any of this project, as achieving that state has been the goal pretty much the entire time.  I have been trying to figure out what the difference is when it comes to making art pieces rather than clothing, in terms of the forgetfulness and the relationship I have to these different objects as their maker.  I think there is a difference in the responsibility that I feel.  Art is more cerebral to me, I guess in terms of it being an idea that I translate into reality.  When making art, I feel a purity as creator, as it is less rooted in such commonplace language such as clothing, design, and fashion (it is obviously rooted in art history and plenty of aestheticism, but seems more innate, or perhaps the better word is intuitive).  Our relationship with clothing is so different.  Art we view, clothes we dance intimately with, worming our body and intertwining our limbs within these soft shells.  And then forming a nostalgic bond as the garment travels with us to all of the places we seek to go, whether in our minds or as physical bodies.  I always take note when a pair of shoes or a specific bag goes with me on a trip.  I always think about this when I buy used clothing as well, thinking about where that garment has been before I have adopted it.  I do not have a preference for art or clothing, and at this point I am not even sure if I have a preference for making one over the other.  Even though I think the bond we have with clothing should make all art envious, Art can transport us in a much more ephemeral and enigmatic way, I think, sometimes, tapping into a subconsciousness that is not even within this time or space, but refers back to some past or future existence of culture or happenstance that just insists on becoming again or before.  

  This marrying of the two worlds, clothing and art, that I think on and care deeply about, has been quite satisfying.  I actually really like most of the clothing that I made, and the speed at which I was able to construct them and design them, really did make me wonder if I would ever really need to go to a store again.  It might be the single most liberating thing I have ever felt.   

July 29. 2013 - romper. (this is the one that got worn all day)

July 29, 2013 - as worn.

July 29, 2013 - extra shirt.

July 29, 2013 - extra pants.

July 29, 2013 - extra as worn.

July 29, 2013 - Memories.

Instead of continuing to question my purpose and intention, or talk any further on fear, and most importantly, to avoid any further rhetoric here, I have decided that today I am going to write on a place of happiness.  I feel like a majority of the time,  the experience of the past is one of bittersweet nostalgia that I sometimes shirk away from because it is a frustrating feeling to love the past too much.  Every once in a while, however, the sweetness overcomes the achey sadness of transitory time having slipped away.  There are only a few moments in my life that visit me on occasion and do not bring with them that burn to hold fast, but there are some that just simply remind me of the important things in my life that do make me happy and grateful.  Today, several memories crossed my mind, which were sparked by a quick and shimmering visualization of being on a mountaintop.  The first was a memory of going up to Pike's Peak in Colorado during the summer a few years ago while visiting my all time favorite state with my Mom, sister, and Aunt Donna.  When we got on the cog train, it was warm, balmy even.  By the time we reached the summit, it was snowing.  You could see forever, and you could see nothing, with the cloud cover.  I then switched this vision to another mountain, though worlds away, in China - Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the Yunnan Provice - which I visited with my Mom, sister, brother, his girlfriend, and my friend Brandon.  This mountain was massive and we were the only ones out there.  The final memory that crossed my mind, was also in China, on that same trip, when we were in Dali.  We were out on a lake with fishermen who team up with cormorants (diving birds) to catch lunch.  We were in this little boat on a beautiful lake among mountains in rural China, which Chinese fishermen singing songs to us and to the birds.  It was one of the happiest moments of my life, sitting in that boat with the people I love, doing this ridiculous thing that was utterly surreal.  Nothing was being harmed.  (I guess the fish we ate were).  But the birds and the fishermen were collaborating and cooperating and everything was at peace.  I will never forget the awareness of how important this moment was, because it was so obvious that we were all sharing such potent contentedness, so happy to be there with each other, savoring every second.  Traveling is so important.  Family is so important.  Deep true friendships are so important.  I am grateful for these memories and for my family and friends and for having the opportunity to have made these moments part of the cinematography of my inner visual dialogue.  If nothing else, living life with the intent to create a repertoire of such moments, is, at least for today, enough.

July 28, 2013 - dress.

July 28, 2013 - as worn.  

July 28, 2013 - Afraid of Everything.

Something that I touched on in the post from yesterday was hinting at the thought process circulating around the intentions behind the art making process and how those intentions fit in with the social responsibility of the artist.  After several conversations with several incredibly brilliant friends (Gregg Louis, Adam Collignon), I find myself no closer to any conclusion other than this justification can take many forms.  In my heart of hearts, I know that small acts of kindness can make the world a better place, and I know that making art can be anything but small, and a super generous gesture at that, but sometimes the isolation of the studio practice can make it all feel quite futile.  I had called this project "Sisyphean" because some days, the labor felt completely moot, as I would put on an outfit just to sit in the studio while sewing a new outfit.  Does an act done in solitude, simple and fleeting, have the ability to ripple out beyond the four walls of the studio and into the world, carrying with it the meaning and importance that it held for the only individual truly experiencing it?  If a tree falls in a forest...?  Do the remnants of this act then hold this energy and vitality of commitment and bravery in its manifested physical form and expose it to the third eye of those who behold it?  Is that, perhaps, the very gravitational pull of certain objects over others?  And is that enough?  Does that negate the self serving nature that rides heavy on the back of this need to create, like the incessant and nagging need to breathe and eat?  

And how many rhetorical questions can I ask in one blog post?

July 27, 2013 - dress.

July 27, 2013 - as worn.

July 27, 2013 - Cling Tightly to This Life.

  Is it natural to fall into cycles?  Are these patterns indicative of a serial reliance on a structural crutch?  I was thinking today of a friend of a friend, someone I have never met, but who somewhat recently quit his job and embarked on a year long journey across the globe.  Again, I do not know this person, but it sounded like the work he had been engaging in suddenly reared its unfulfilling head and left him with a bit of an existential crisis.  Of all of the people I know who have come to this crossroads in their life, I believe this man has returned the serve dealt to him by life questions and dilemmas quite bravely.  So infrequently do we shed the comforts of the known to flee into the abyss of mystery and wonder that exists in the rest of the world.  To me, it is a virtuous way to try to understand value and quality in the world (see: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) and to try to find a way to interact in this world without harming others and with the hope of potentially even bettering this world.  I sometimes try to convince myself that art is something that is good for the earth, that it feeds the collective soul and enriches more than just me.  My work is not political, it is not even really clear in its point of view sometimes, but it is strident in its insistence on being, through me.  Like the notion of a genius spirit, I can sometimes feel as though these ideas live through me, that I am a simple catalyst in their creation, not a pawn or a tool, as it is a collaboration, but these things do not always feel as they come from some entirety of spirit that is Stacy.  The artist Janine Antoni   spoke about a  piece that she made recently where she planted a "love letter" of sorts in the pockets of people who checked their coats at a show at a museum.  The letter was a letter of admiration, written from the point of view of an art piece, as though the object was seduced by the viewer, and analyses the quiet, intimate interaction that can, and should, occur between the art and the viewer.  The letter is ambiguous though, and it can at first glance seem as though it was written by a person.  When she spoke about this piece, she described her work as children that she sends out into the world, hoping for the best, but being unable to control and help them once they are out on their own.  I found this to be lovely and poetic. She spoke about looking at the world through the lens of the art itself, rather than as an artist responsible for these actions.  It is not that I seek to shirk this responsibility that we have as artists to be socially conscious and aware of the fact that our work does speak for us, but it also speaks for all of humanity, and therein lies not one voice, but many many interpretations that must be free to become.  

If anyone is interested, the traveling man has a facebook blog, I suggest you read it, if you are not totally turned off to blogs after reading this one!  It is honest and inspiring.   

July 26, 2013 - romper

July 26, 2013 - as worn. 

July 26, 2013 - Home Stretch.

You would think that the last bit of this would be the easiest.  On the contrary, however, I am finding these last few days to be the hardest of all.  I am not sure if this is because I am ready to wrap this thing up, or if it is because I have to make more concrete and conclusive decisions, since I don't have a whole month to allow my ideas to spread across anymore.  Sometimes placing limits on things gives you this great expanse of space to play around in, through locating barriers you can find the greatest distance within those walls - just like a cat will find a way to run the length of an apartment like honing the best shot on a pool table.  But now that those barriers have their own limits, I find myself not being able to fit in all that I want to, running out of time, like I can't ever sew anything with these intentions after this is all over with.  I know it is absurd, but the luxury of having this purpose, even if totally self inflicted, is something that I cherish.  Life can so easily eclipse the things you care about deeply, without you ever questioning it.  Prioritizing what is in your heart over what your brain knows to be right can really fuck with you.  I cannot believe the amount of energy and convincing it has taken for me to even accept that art can triumph over life for just one month in my own personal realm.  I already feel nostalgia for this practice, a bittersweet one for sure, as this has been hard work.   It is sad to see this moment pass, which is what I am feeling in this Sunday portion of the project, the August of its lifespan, the time right before change comes, where you are tired of the old but hold fast to the comfort and familiarity of the fleeting now.  I fear what is next, I fear it will not culminate.  I fear the valleys.  I fear that I may not be able to prioritize what my heart wants always.  And that is a sinking feeling, like the death of something you know doesn't deserve it.  

July 25, 2013 - romper.

July 25, 2013 - as worn.

July 25, 2013 - cosmic underpants.

July 25, 2013 - Burdened to Be.

My good friend and amazing artist, Jenny Morgan, found a caterpillar in Brooklyn the other day, noting how bizarre it was that this bright fuzzy creature was moping about on the all but lush streets of Brooklyn.  We wondered what it might turn into during its lifespan.  It reminded me of an artist that I saw speak at a TEDx Conference held at my alma mater, the School of Visual Arts.  The artist was Victoria Vesna, and she spoke about a project that she had been working on called Blue Morph (see the TEDx talk here) in which she had teamed up with biologists to record the sound of metamorphosis by "detecting nanoscale motions of the pupa surface using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and optical beam deflection" (I don't know much about what this actually means, but you can listen to it here... and read more about it here...).  Outside of this being a fantastic interdisciplinary collaboration, the sounds that Victoria and her team recorded were not a slow, steady, culmination of energy, but rather violent bursts of what seem to be painful transformations.  It might be silly to say, but this supernatural morphing process still sort of blows my mind.  When you are told about metamorphosis as a kid, you sort of just take it at face value, yeah the caterpillar turns into a butterfly.  SOMETHING happens in that cocoon, but I guess I never truly thought about what must actually go on in that tiny body, to the even tinier cells.  Nothing even remotely close happens to us... sure we grow, and we certainly experience growing pains, and sure, maybe awkward middle school adolescence would have been slightly more bearable if we could have hidden away in tiny cocoons, but really, this is science fiction, right here in our own hemisphere.  I think the only thing I can liken to this is the transformations that we endure in our psyche, which are not manifest in physicality for the most part, but can be just as violent and mysterious as this insect metamorphosis.  Especially because it doesn't accelerate at a steady pace, and because it doesn't crescendo smoothly, but bounces in and out of understanding and struggle, sometimes writhing, sometimes resting.  

July 24, 2013 - shirt.

July 24, 2013 - pants.

July 24, 2013 - as worn.

July 24, 2013 - Rinse and Repeat.

I have been having a lot of epic thoughts lately.  A lot of struggling, mentally more than physically, though I am body tired too.  Or perhaps the struggle is emotional I guess?  I have been working very hard to achieve two long standing goals through this project, and as it comes to an end I suppose it is probably beneficial to not only state those goals here, but also check in on the status a little.  The two main things I hope to accomplish through this project, along with the obvious act of making a solid body of work and completing something hard, I have been searching for a way to understand my process and trust in my capacity to continue working throughout hardship in addition to opening my heart on several levels.  I think the latter is probably the more difficult task, so I will get to that in a moment, but I do think I have already succeeded in the former.  I probably did not feel this way earlier today, and I might feel differently later, but tonight I had the pleasure of hosting a brilliant group of artists for a critique in my studio, and one of the things that is resonating with me is the idea that all of us waver.  Every decent artists doubts themselves, deeply, borderline detrimentally, at times.  It is part of the process, and having that fear is something that fuels us to triumph over the weaknesses that we think we have.  How can we progress into strength if we cannot even identify that which can destroy us?  I do think that sharing this self consciousness with a group of people that I respect wholly and with my entire heart and brain, does in fact help in reaching my second goal.  The physicality of the yoga practice has also been helping to at least force the feeling of an open heart through pushing the body to limits and releasing muscles that have never been stretched.  But yesterday the yoga instructor was also talking about inspiration and using your breath to take in inspiration... touching on the notion that even that which we do not consider or think about, the bare necessities, are the most basic and essential forms of inspiration.  I have a much more crude way of thinking about art, and have mentioned it to many friends, but I have justified my practice (or rather the lack thereof, moments of blankness and emptiness, terrifying times) with it before and so I guess I must mention it here.  I sometimes think of making art as taking a shit (bear with me), in order to produce something, you must take in nutrients and sustenance, and you must digest those elements in order to transform them into something else.  It's crude, but I still like it.  We breathe in and out, like the ebb and flow of ocean waves, recycling and churning, bringing new information into our minds and our hearts and there will never be a shortage of material if you are always paying attention and viewing each experience as fodder for something greater.  All of this being said, it isn't really a step directly towards opening my heart, as I am still not entirely sure what that even means, but I do feel rushes of gratification in between moments of doubt, and tonight, even though all day I felt the ebb much greater, a room full of great minds can definitely turn the tide.  

July 23. 2013 - shirt

July 23, 2013 - pants.

July 23, 2013 - as worn.

July 23, 2013 - Two Dollar Bill.

There are eight days left.  I thought I would be missing my clothing, my regular clothing, like my Harley t-shirts, and jeans (oh sweet denim), but really I can't say that I have.  I think this has, if nothing else, been a great reprieve from actually deciding what to wear from a pre-set wardrobe.  Every girl I know suffers from this self inflicted burden, and I thought it would be somewhat traumatic to have to think so intensely about what I will be wearing each day, down to designing and making it.  But it has mostly been a relief to not have to think about it.   Have I spoken about this before?  Pardon the repetition if I have, things are flying about my head in loop-di-loops at this point.  There are still many things I had in mind to make for this project, and I found myself counting the days today and trying to figure out how to fit it all in.  The idea that I would not run out of ideas during this process is probably the most valuable thing I can take away at this point.  That terror haunts all creative persons and I think this can at least prove to myself that I need not worry on that any longer.  As long as there is work, there will continue to be ideas.  I feel sad as this winds down to only a week left, as I don't know what I am going to do with myself to fill my hours.  I know that I will just start making something else, but the culmination of all of this regiment feels daunting.  All this time searching for purpose, only to take away the personification of purpose itself.   It feels a little like a two dollar bill, still only worth two dollars, but containing some added sentimental or collectible value, the mystical nature of the even somewhat rare and unnecessary, triumphing over rationality.   

July 22, 2013 - dress.

July 22, 2013 - as worn. with woodgrain leggings.

July 22, 2013 - Rock Rock Rockaway

Today I went out to the Rockaways (which is technically in Queens, not Brooklyn, who knew), actually for the second day in a row and made use of my two bathing suits that I had made last week (pictured below obvs) out of my two favorite fabrics, a wood grain print spandex and a lawn print spandex.  Both held up great and I think I actually like them better than most bathing suits I have purchased in a store.  I remember doing a swimsuit project in undergrad, of course skewing the project and making it as weird as I could, I opted to make a creature from the black lagoon inspired swimsuit.  It is cliche of me to say this, but sometimes I wish that I knew then what I know now, especially technically, in terms of skill, as I would have done so many things differently and I think given the ideas, those pieces could have been outrageous designs if I had better craft back then.  Of course that is a typical notion, but I digress.  It was great to be out by the ocean for the first time this summer.  You forget that there is expanse and space and infinity personified in a viewpoint when you stay in Bushwick most of your days.  It was a nice way to ease back into the city after spending a few days upstate in the country, where expanse and space is the norm.  The salty, dirtiness of the ocean, and the type of dirt from the country is such a contrast to the dirt of the city.  I could eat the dirt of the sea and the country when I think about how repulsive the city dirt is.  I want it on my skin and to see the evidence of escape from the filthy sidewalks that are supposed to be paved in gold.  I am sounding a bit pessimistic, I suppose because my excursion upstate left me wanting of a life grounded in clean air and space to breathe it.  I left the city almost two years ago now, just to come scrambling back, overextending every muscle I had to get back. And now I find myself wanting out again.  If I were to move upstate, I would have proximity to the city, but does that count?  Can you maintain the relationships and tap into the rolling boil of energy characteristic of New York?  I wonder if it is possible to have the best of both worlds.  I have spoken about my achilles heel of always finding the grass greener elsewhere, and I am feeling this more now than ever.  I wonder if I will ever be able to feel love and contentedness in the moment, wholly and completely.       

July 22, 2013 - Swimsuits.

July 21, 2013 - shirt.

July 21, 2013 - skirt.

July 21, 2013 - as worn.

July 21, 2013 - Anonymity vs. the Freak Flag.

I had a professor in grad school who told me to let my freak flag fly.  I put this into my thesis and I think about it often.  I don't even know where that term comes from, if he coined it himself, or if this is some cultural ideology that just floats around in the noosphere, something that we are all aware of subconsciously.  But it doesn't much matter, as I took it to heart and have been thinking about it during this project a lot as the act of leaving my house each day covered head to toe in somewhat unconventional clothing and being completely surrounded by strangers and friends alike can put the word freak in your head consistently.  In New York, you can sort of choose your experience - the crowds can be a faceless, nameless mass that you can metastasize into and then divide away from at will as a tiny globular amoeba would, without consequence to you or the whole.  Or you can choose to assert yourself and attempt to stand out in this crowd, identifying others, comrades, who do the same, struggling for individuality in the sea of personalities, clamoring for recognition of some sort, or justification in this expression.  I think when I am choosing my clothes from my closet, something I have not done three weeks now, I am also able to choose how to play this card.  But not having this choice, sort of being forced to fly my freak flag, has probably been a valuable test for me.   I think I am starting to really see what my freak flag even looks like.  

July 20, 2013 - dress

July 20, 2013 - as worn.  i have no feet.

July 20, 2013 - Apathetic Response.

As I enter into the final third of this journey, I find myself approaching things with a little bit of careful apathy.  I guess it is because I know the system by now and I know what I can achieve in what time, I also know that stressing and caring too much is a moot point.  The futility of trying to control the experience is consuming me and I feel as though I am letting something else take over.  An autopilot that I am simultaneously familiar with and estranged from, creating a weird comfort in the unknowable.  I think about Elizabeth Gilbert's TED talk on the elusive creative genius.  She speaks about the terror of going forward after a big project (in her case a big literary success, but I also have read about artists feeling similar after retrospectives and major events) and feeling pressure to create something as impactful as the successful work.  She talks about the stigma attached to the idea of the genius and how warped this notion has become in modern culture, attributing the concept to an individual possessing some magical power or elevated consciousness within themselves.  But this idea of the genius stemmed from renaissance times and the word actually came from "genie", as in a spirit that visited a mortal being and imparted them with a special knowledge or idea that was theirs for the taking.  In fact the relationship with the genius is not one sided, the genius cannot manifest these concepts without funneling them through the human brain and body.  I love this concept.  Not only does it relieve the pressure of maintaining a certain creative energy as an individual, but it also bring a certain magic to the "aha" moment, which any creative person has experienced.  Not only does it bring magic, but it allows the entire process to take on a higher meaning, it elevates the reasons for participating in bizarre activities and allows them to feel as though they are meaningful towards our understanding of some other dimensional reality.  

Before it gets any weirder than that.... 

July 19, 2013 - shirt

July 19, 2013 - pants

July 19, 2013 - as worn

July 19, 2013 - Break

I am going to take advantage of this much needed break, and opt out of a long post today.  Having this opportunity to relax and step away for a few days has allowed me to fully feel the impact of the work and I have been very tired.  I promise the next posts will be much more energized and funny.  Lotta jokes.  

July 18, 2013 - shirt

July 18, 2013 - shorts

July 18, 2013 - as worn

July 18, 2013 - The Great Escape.

In high school, there was a senior skip day, a ritual most suburban educational institutions subscribe to reluctantly.  I was a pretty good student, living almost exclusively by the book for most of my elementary career, but I suppose that maybe it was because the administration looks the other way for most shenanigans that occur during senior year, but I felt okay participating in this excursion.  A group of us decided to drive up to an amusement park up north in Lake George called (aptly) The Great Escape, which was recently (as in apparently within the last thirteen years) purchased by the Six Flags empire.  This story has no punchline, but I mention it because I felt a little like that today as I frantically fled the melting city streets to the cooler, greener pastures of upstate New York.  It is my mom's birthday today and a perfect excuse to get away.  I found myself testing the tensile strength of my patience and willpower last week as I settled into this project and simultaneously executed a large freelance project (pictures below, a little added treat!!).  So early this week I prepared some pieces ahead of time so that I could create some space for a few days and take a moment to reflect properly just barely past the midway point.  Maybe this would seem against the rules to some, but it's my project and I make the rules, so I figured it would be okay.  I haven't thought about the establishment, The Great Escape, for many years, but it crossed my mind today as I was driving and it seemed appropriate as a namesake and theme for the post.  Sometimes you need to power through, and sometimes you need to simply run.  

Blue and Gold - deconstructed jeans tapestry.

Chaplin - deconstructed tie, vest, shirt tapestry

Saddle - deconstructed suit jacket tapestry

July 17, 2013 - wool ribbed knit shirt (dumb choice for the hottest day ever)

July 17, 2013 - oval knit pants.

July 17, 2013 - as worn

July 17, 2013 - Unbecoming.

   Today I ventured out in the oppressive heat, right into the heart of the garment district, an area that overbearing weather seems to be accentuated due to the crowds and the amount of energy passing through.  I think about this stuff that I am about to write a lot, especially when watching people on the subway, and ESPECIALLY in the summer.  Hot, humid weather causes our bodies to rebel against all of the measures that we take to hide the fact that we are, in fact, bodies.  You can literally see where every sweat pore is on a person's back as the skin tries to cool itself systematically through wringing out fluids.  The pull of a button, just enough to see some skin, the hem of a pant leg snagged on the heel of a shoe, the twist of an armhole leaving a mark.  These subtleties are tears in the fabric of our constructed personas, exposing our reluctant human-ness and vulnerability that we so desperately aim to mask.  Clothing allows us to transcend our bodies into symbols of economic, sexual, psychological, and emotional power, clinging to these transformations as we would our immortal perceptions of our selves.  I love both ends of this spectrum.  I love when I see someone so dramatically accessorized that they almost seem like they could be a character out of a movie, but I also love when I see a little pathetic sliver of flesh or a sad worn out shoe.  We are constantly both of these things in our own minds anyway, wavering from one to the other over and over.  Thinking about these measures we take in becoming, I was reminded of something I saw on BBC's Human Planet (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00d8tt5) In one episode, they cover the courtship ritual of Guerewol in Niger practiced by the Wodaabe Fula people.  Along with the intense movements within the dance practice itself, the elaborate make up and dress is totally fascinating, namely that they use the crushed, charred bones of egrets to color their lips black.  This is such a gesture and I think about it often.  Not only are men performing for the opportunity for procreation, but they are doing it with such care and precision.  It is so insanely human, but simultaneously so carnally animal.    

July 16, 2013 - knit dress

July 16, 2013 - as worn

July 16, 2013 - Trust and Deja vu.

  My days are starting to feel a little like Groundhog Day (the movie with Bill Murray).  The repetition is slightly comforting but is getting a little old.  I was thinking about deja vu today, as I sometimes do when I experience a bout of it.  I know there is much speculation about what that sensation really is, I sort of believe it to be a premonition coming into fruition, which always makes me feel better about the place I am at, as though it is somehow appropriate or dare I say, meant to be.  It definitely reiterates my trust in this project and, to refer to my previous post, its purpose.  

  Today was not a great day, I made a lot of mistakes, perhaps in haste, but I had to sort of walk away from a few things.  There are always days like this, but it never feels good and is a hindrance to progress.   

July 15, 2013 - shirt

July 15, 2013 - shorts

July 15, 2013 - as worn

July 15, 2013 - Fear.

In a previous post I had been talking about the feelings of guilt about taking the time to produce something that seems unnecessary in some larger scheme that is predetermined by an imaginary force coined normative ideology.  Today, I seemed to be rubbing against a more intrusive and much more overwhelming beast - fear - which probably stems from the weak structure on which this notion stands.  The fear is spurred by questions of purpose, which sort of like the guilt, festers from inquiries into intent and selfishness, but spawns itself precisely through the inconclusiveness of its nature.  Basically, great fear comes from what is unknown, yet it is that unknown that creates the enigmatic draw of entering into something in the first place.  This circular logic is exactly what drives me to investigate any matter, but especially those matters within my self.  The rollercoaster ride involved in being an individual who partakes in such trivial endeavors, such as making art for no real "purpose", can be exhausting and trying and I cannot say that it really ever goes away, it is more just that the gap between the delusions of grandeur and crippling terror just get larger.  Today was a little terrifying.  However, sometimes, when I cannot justify what I do, I am even more convinced that there is a good reason for it (maybe that's the delusion creeping back in?).  I think that the isolation of working at home is enacting its wicked force on this specific weakness at this point, but maybe that is an important hurdle that I need to face.  We fear what we cannot control, yet we cannot control what we fear.  

July 15, 2013 - dress

July 15, 2013 - as worn

July 14, 2013 - A Rose By Any Other Name.

High summer in Bushwick can be a sensory experience better left to the imagination.  Where I live, in the bowels of industrial Bushwick, there are several mysterious, windowless buildings that process or manufacture a variety of distinct odor producing goods.  This particular area is home to a trash processing plant (or something?), some kind of fish or oyster building, and several high volume bakeries producing some kind of sicky sweet treats, which would seem a welcome break to this trifecta of nauseating smells, but in fact only confuses the senses, especially because the strength and volume of this scent is overwhelming and heavy.  Traversing through this, especially while on a bicycle or in a car with open windows, is easier than walking and really gives you a sense of the diversity of commerce in the area, and when you break through to the semi-fresh air on the other side of Flushing, it leaves you with a bizarre knowledge from behind the scenes that I feel is absent in other parts of the city.  I cannot say it is not a total chore to come to appreciate this environment, but sometimes it is easy to take for granted what is placed neatly in a grocery store for you, and understanding the work and sheer volume that goes into the production of pretty much anything we do consume on a daily basis, can be a humbling reminder of our actions and the commerce we partake in.  I suggest seeing Manufactured Landscapes, a documentary following a photographer who seeks out imagery depicting this notion on a much grander scale and in much more dire circumstances.  Micro and macro.    

July 14, 2013 - shirt

July 14, 2013 - shorts

July 14, 2013 - as worn

July 13, 2013 - Selling Out

Today my colleague Matthew White  (ETSY! ) and I pedaled our wares at the Hester Street Fair in Lower Manhattan.  We have been working a few of these fairs (Artists and Fleas in Williamsburg) for a couple of months now, which is such an interesting experience as an artist.  We both apply certain skills that pertain to our practice to making salable objects, mostly jewelry, that are high craft functional art objects.  It is funny being behind the booth for these events though, especially as an artist.  I think that because of an inherent commitment to our own work and process, it is really hard for us to detach ourselves in a way from certain aspects of the work that maybe make them more distinguished objects, and in being so, pertain to a somewhat isolated audience.  I hate selling things.  I mean, I love selling things, but I hate thinking about how to make something MORE salable.  It fucks with dedication and the worth that I believe the objects to have in them, I suppose which stems from original intent.  Every step of the way since the day that I chose to pursue a career in the arts, I have had to come to terms with the fact that it is ALL business.  I think there is something false that convinces you that there is something virtuous about being a creative professional that deludes you into thinking you do not have to operate as a business person.  Every different job that I have held (and trust me, I have worked A LOT of different jobs) demystifies this further and further, even education.  Though I understand that higher education is a huge business, for all of the jobs I have had, teaching seems the easiest for me to justify to myself as a money making endeavor.  I think all teachers look forward to a break at the end of the school term, but I really have been missing this engagement for the past month or so and am very much looking forward to the fall.  The dialogue is stimulating and it is the kind of work that you can bring your interests to in order to help people gain a better understanding of the world.  Even though they are paying great sums for this, at least I do feel as though I am in control of the value of this exchange.  

  In other news, today was one of my favorite outfits so far, it is a wrap romper (a patternmaking feat that I also have to say is a little funny getting into and out of) but it was comfortable, it looks totally abstract on the wall, as well as graphic, and who doesn't love a romper.   

July 12, 2013 - wrap romper

July 12, 2013 - as worn

July 12, 2013 - Sacred

  So I sort of promised myself that I wouldn't talk about this on the blog, but in addition to making my clothes everyday as a regiment and ritual, I have also been attending yoga class every day.  This is not so much important to the project as it is just having a commitment that is outside of my normal practice and something that I have never really done consistently.  I don't see any reason to go too much into this, but I have been noticing that physical rigor actually psychologically really plays well with mental and emotional rigor.  The idea of pushing yourself to an edge, trying to make it through one more repetition or holding a pose for one more breath, seems an appropriate metaphor for maintaining stamina throughout the studio practice as well.  What is one more breath?  It is nothing, and when you make it through, the pain is over and seems nothing but a distant and bittersweet memory.   

  I was also thinking today a lot about the idea of the art object as something sacred and the kind of appreciation projected onto these elevated objects.  Wearing the pieces as clothing can sometimes feel as though I am degrading them, or ruining them in a way, through wrinkling or spilling things on them when I eat and sweating in them while I work.  This preciousness is interesting to juxtapose with utility, as I feel that it is something that defines the small but deep chasm between art and design.  On the design side of things, some objects do attain the same status as art, and I feel as those that do, are neglected their intended use because of the sanctity of their existence.  It is an interesting place to be in, as the maker of these dual purpose pieces (which let's be honest, most artists have much less concern over their own work than the people who sell, collect, and trade the work do), as well the the user, and in effect, potential destroyer.  So much intent goes into the creation of the works, yet such an unintentional and accidental slip can destroy them.  I didn't ruin anything yet, I just keep thinking I am going to, I guess the awareness is what I am interested in.  

July 11 2013 - knit dress

July 11, 2013 - as worn