Sunday, February 27, 2011

An Excellent Lunch

Today my uncle Larry took my family out to lunch and he wanted to take us to Bauer's Brauhaus so my family could check out my dirndls at work and the great atmosphere that new restaurant provides. Lunch was soooo yummy! BEST deep fried pickles I have ever had! The cheese curds were also really tasty. I think what made them so delicious is that they were battered and not breaded. My sister got the weiner schnitzel and she said it was great and the spatzle and rotkraut were also yummy.

Starting up a new business, whether its a fashion line or a restaurant, it takes drive, perseverance, and guts! Please support local business and us nutty entrepreneurs.

I'm so happy that Bauer's Brauhaus was pretty busy when we went this afternoon and I can't wait to go back because I know I will be dreaming about those pickles tonight! As tante Heidi would say... YUMO!

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

From Concept to Reality

In design school you are always supposed to start with an inspiration, but sometimes inspiration just comes from an idea. That is how my first collection started... with the leopard dirndl. Then I used that, and the rainforest, as the base for the rest of the pieces. The summer collection started with the color yellow and the use of batik. But the newest collection was different. I fell in love the the TV show, Stargate Atlantis and wanted to see if I could translate that into a collection. The first piece I drew up was a gown with a small corset that was inspired by the villain of the show, the Wraith.

I had a whole bolt of this chiffon fabric that I bought because it was on sale and something drew me to the odd iridescent mix of light olive and red. I wanted to pair it with a red reptile skin. It took me a while, but I found the perfect fabric!

Two days of working on the dress and trying to find ways to create the garment the way I imagined it was complete. Its a dress that may not be the most beautiful, but thats what I love about it... its intriguing. The color, the drape and the combination of chiffon and faux skin draws you in and you can't look away. It is not meant to be worn to prom or to the oscars, its meant to set the tone for the collection and make the viewer want to see more.

Although the dress was finished, it still needed to be photographed and the wrong model in the wrong setting could destroy the vision in the blink of an eye. I found a model that was just the look I was going for... simply fierce. She was just the girl that could pull off the look. Her hair was bright blonde/silver and I knew that all I had to do was add some black extensions and braids and she could bring the gown to life.

But what about the setting? Wraith don't frolic through the forest, they suck the life out of people with their hands! They don't sit on a nice sofa, they fly little deadly dart-like cruisers and plan their next diabolical move from huge hive ships! But the industrial and dirty setting of my dad's body shop was just the place! It was a little dark, a little dingy and totally unexpected... just what I like!

Put them all together and what do you get?! Pure awesomeness! This was the first time I saw an entire look go from imaginary vision in my head to reality. It was like she popped off the page of my sketch and into real life.

I cannot wait to release this collection on my website in a few weeks and I don't know that there are words to explain how happy I am with the outcome of this photo shoot. This is why I love my job! This is what I live for!

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Kind of Town

I've been anticipating tonights episode of Bazaar Foods with Andrew Zimmern for a week and it was better than I imagined! Not only do i have an idea for an awesome evening out to learn to butcher a pig, but I also found out that one of the streets I drive down multiple times a week is full of great diverse cuisine.

My sister Monika and I have always made it vocal that we love food! So shows like, Bazaar Foods, No Reservations and Top Chef bring us closer together and help us be more adventurous!

But tonights episode just reminded me how much I love Chicago. Chicago is the perfect place to start my business! With a city full of cultural diversity and a location in the heart of the United States, I couldn't ask for anything more. I had a very rough day today... trying to wrap my head around all the changes that are going on and all the giant steps I'm taking brought me to tears. But the support from my friends and family as well as the wake up call that I live in the best city in the world made me feel better... and a little hungry!

My website and blog have been re-designed, my spirit rejuvenated and now I have a handful of yummy places to try when Monika comes home! Thank you Andrew Zimmern! (and yes thats a whole pig roasting... our fav!)

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Building up Inventory

I'm super excited to participate in the German Chicago Now / Neighborhoods of the World event at Navy Pier's Crystal Gardens on April 3rd, but what will I sell? Looks like I need some inventory. As much as I love sewing... The idea of sewing up 40+ dirndls... while trying to do everything else... uh no. However, thanks to my fellow Chicago-land designers like Miriam Cecilia Carlson and Lara Miller, I've gotten in touch with a great subcontractor who is right down the street from me! This means that I have to cut the pieces and give it to the sewers, they sew it up, i get it back and do all the hand work. This will cut my work load for sure, but it WAY ups my cost... AH! So how much do I order?! What sizes? What styles? Not to mention... uh where do I put it all!

Its complicated, but at the same time... common sense. I've been selling for almost 10 months now and after that time, you figure out what sells...ish. Obviously, the most popular styles you order... what sizes? The most common sizes and some others. In the more expensive pieces, just the common sizes. Boy o boy... Big changes, with BiG expenses... but hopefully it will come with BIGGER rewards.

I'm so lucky to have the support system that I do and people who believe in me, but its always hard when you are taking such a big risk... Lets hope it pans out and I don't take over my parents entire house...YAY Rare!

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