All of a sudden everything seems to be happening all at once. This weekend I moved into my new apartment (!!) and I am so in love with it I smile stupid amounts everytime I open the door*. It might be the first and last time in my life that I will even be able to afford to live on my own in something considerably bigger than a cupboard and it makes me never want to leave. For almost two days, most of my time was spent cleaning the whole place like an OCD germaphobe and I might have only just started to unpack but yesterday I made the kitchen my priority (of course) and it's already my favourite part of the apartment. I have a spare room after the bathroom and before my bedroom which is currently housing my suitcases and all my things sprawled across the floor but I'm planning to commit the space to a cosy reading/napping/yoga room when I get my books and furniture over.
* The door in the photo, by the way, is not my apartment door. Just something I thought was nice looking in colour and composition that I passed on the way to somewhere on the same day after I signed the contract. And yes, I am that girl who stops in the middle of a street to take a photo of a door.
Today we finally presented our project to the bosses and buyers and oh my do I need to work on my presentation skills. I will just point out that we had our board ready for the presentation that was supposed to be 2 weeks ago and it's taken until this morning (when we were told 10 minutes beforehand) for everyone to be available to see it. Elin and I kind of mumbled and pointed our way through trying to explain our concept cohesively with our research, silhouettes and all the examples we found from the archives. I guess it seemed pretty self-explanatory for the most part which is why it was so hard to expand on verbally but they got it and they liked it and at last they told us to go ahead with it! We spent the next half hour or so discussing as a group about the next steps - the fabrics, the number of pieces, the branding - and we started to design the labels and tags ready to propose to the supplier. I think things are going to pick up from here on (hopefully) and getting positive feedback for my drapes makes me super excited to start designing again. It's kind of times like these when I wonder why it was so hard to find any sort of encouragement from the tutors at uni. Just some positive support would have made all the difference - I don't get why it's taken for the norm to beat people down in this industry.
In other news, the sample for my first design in the real fabric was finished today!! It still needs to be properly fit downstairs with the patternmaker but we tried it on the fit-model in the studio quickly just to see what it looked like. There's a few alterations that need to be made - something about taking out a little volume in the ruffle and making a small bustier inside and splitting the bottom layer so it's not so heavy - but it's mostly everything I wanted it to be. It makes the process a lot more fun when you can just get your design made up first and then the buyers and patternmakers help to work out the problems for you later. A little less pressure when you're not freaking about upcoming construction issues before you've even tried. So much of what I've experienced here so far in the office is so backwards from everything we were taught at Saint Martins. Designs don't just conceptualise from the ideas of your own taste and style - working in the corporate world means that the third party in the business, the customers, are the priority. Instead of working under a head designer, we work under the buyers. The department directors have weekly meetings to discuss the creative approach with the head buyers of each team and then they feed back what they want us to work on, be it a new concept, a current story or simply to make use of a particular fabric. After a month I've already learnt so much, commercially and creatively, and not just been from doing the work, mostly it's watching and learning from Elin. Working together on our project has been the best way to understand how the company works and how the design process develops here. And we're both kind of learning from eachother - we draped on the mannequins all day on Friday and I showed her all the techniques I knew about ruffles and gathers. And she told me that she was so happy that I had come here and I got the mushy feelings and told her it was one of the nicest things anyone had ever said to me in the longest time. And it might have just been a small passing thought that she had said out loud but actually, she won't know how much it meant to me.
It's been a while but I can feel myself starting to relax here. Like relax relax. At work and around more new people. The compliments are helping.