Thursday, December 31, 2009

About me

I completely forgot to introduce myself. I guess it is important to know whos blogs you are reading. And who the person is that you are learning random information from.
Ok, so I don't think it's right to talk about what I'm like because everytime I predict my behaviour it always changes. Because it all depends on the situation of course. Anyway, so I will blog a little bit about my history and about the things that I do. Because I think that you cannot judge a person by what they say, but you can about the decisions they make in life.
I was born in Yerevan, Armenia...thus I am Armenian. But I am also part Russian, I guess my grandparents on my mom's side both had Russian blood in them. My mom was a weird Armenian, not because she acted all weird but because she looked different. Those of you who have seen Armenians know that they come in pretty much the same color tones and heights. They usually have dark eyes and hair, and tanned skin. They are medium height. Well my mom was a tall Armenian with lighter hair and very blue eyes and pale skin. All of my three sisters inherited the dominant genes of my dad, but I am the odd one out I guess because I have green eyes, im short and im super white (or at least in comparison to Armenian people).
I lived in Armenia for five years and then moved through Russia and lived in Prague, Czech Republic. My circumstances have always been good because I was always with family and I knew that my family always got my back, but I guess in comparison to rich folks we were always pretty badly off. Still, I do not think it was that evident. I mean ok, we had to take apart a few old sweaters to make new ones and maybe happiness was found in drawing on the walls of my room in crayons, but life was good. Later we moved to the northwest and still live here in the Seattle area.
Life here is awesome. I got my AA in General Business Management the day I graduated from High School. Now I am studying fashion design and hope to get my BA in a year and a few. It was strange for me to get involved in the fashion industry to this extent, because I originally wanted to be a historian and then I wanted to get a degree in diagnostic sciences or major in economics. My problem as a student was that my grades and my aknowledgments were great, so I could go into any field that I wanted to. So I decided that while I was in high school I would get a business degree that way regardless of what I chose I would always have something backing me up. So business it was. I think today I still wake up sometimes and think that I would have made an amazing economist or historian....but then I realize how much I love fashion and that all goes away. I have always been an artist and so I guess that is part of the reason that I chose to become a fashion designer. Either way it is too hard to explain my brain processes.
In my career field I work in a lot of fields. By hire I work as a seamstress, a make-up artist for photoshoots and as a stylist. But more seriously I have worked in tailoring with an amazing woman in a hair salon that brought about the most fun and interesting group of clients. It was next to a french bakery so the lunch was always fantastic, but the Russian music was hard to work through. I also work as a fashion show director and modeling coach. I have directed many shows for local designers. Rita Gruzman was the latest designer that I have worked with. Directing and coaching is fantastic and a part of my life that I love. I teach in a modeling agency, John Casablancas to be exact, and I instruct the models how to walk ramp, how to pose, how to apply make-up for photoshoots, communications, and dieting and nutrition. Pretty much everything. I have to say the modeling and acting school at John Casablancas is really good (partly because I teach there and John Fantasia does too). All this is fun, but at some times I end up working three to four jobs with school and then I wonder why my phone doesn't stop ringing until 4am.
I also work jobs as a model and an actress when I can. It's as much fun booking jobs as it is instructing students in this field. I have been modeling and acting since I was 16 and have done print, ramp and hair modeling. I have been mostly in short movie clips. I love this very much and hope that I continue to get involved in it. I think part of my problem is a lak of focus because I can and want to do so many things that I forget that it is physically impossible to do everything at once. Still I try relentlessly.
Anyways...on top of that I also work in fashion design. I know my life as a fashion designer is just starting, but I have already had my second fashion show this September. And if I had not received the recognition that I got, I probably would have quit this field and picked up history again. But in my first show I got four first palce awards and one second place award and was pictured in the West Seattle Herald Newspaper. I was also a featured artist in the Jibsheet and in my last show I got an award for people's choice best clubwear. I also got a recommendation to Project Runway and a small photo of my collection in DList magazine the October issue. If I had not gotten this attention I would feel like fashion design was a hobby to me and it was not a serious career choice for me. But I thank everyone for the support because it means that I can be succesful in it. So thats good. Many more events coming up.
This was fun and I think someday I should write an autobiography, I don't think anyone would want to read it but it would definately be an entertaining waste of time for me.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Seattle as a Fashion Industry

We live here in Seattle and every ady we miss so many interesting things on the street and we never wonder how or why things work the way they do. So before I start putting up pictures I wanted to introduce Seattle as a fashion industry to those people that are reading.

Seattle is an interesting fashion industry, and was very popular in the late 20th century, not because of its glamour and its couture fashions, but because of its fantastic focus on athletic sportswear.

Seattle is a leader in Men's sportswear, in the outdoor industry and in a lot of vintage apparel. this is because Seattle started as a city for miners and workers, who lived and worked in a very harsh environment. Seattle was a little town in which railroads appeared very late and in which lived a very low population of people. For those of us who know and study fashion history we know how important roadways and highway systems are for the fashion industry. We all remember what happened in the US after WW2 when highway systems in our country expanded dramatically....well we had a big rise in domestic production of apparel. Roadways help move things around wholesalers get their raw materials faster, and they can ship to retailers faster, who then in turn can get the products to the customer faster. Roadways allowed for fashion to cycle faster. Unfortunately, being Seattle, we did not get those opportunities until a lot later. So we, of course, fell behind in the haute couture and pret-a-porter fashions.

Seattle was a port that did not have the population necessary to run giant factories, but we did have enough workers to work the land. And these workers also needed clothing...thus a lot of fashion innovations arose in the northwest, in order to help serve the needs of the workers. Our fashions were durable, and were made for workers, adventurers, and for sports and fishing. this is why it is important to understand that Seattle fashion is very much geared towards this outdoor industry. We see casual attire and athletic attire in Seattle and in the Northwest as a very common and accepted 'garb' for outerwear as opposed to the street fashions of french people. But that is not to say we are not creative.
The Northwest is known for designers like Eddie Bauer, Trapper Nelson (first structured backpack in 1920), CC Iilson, and stores like REI.

In fact, while we are on this topic is important to note the newest creation for sportswear...the toe shoe.

Still, Seattle is filled with innovations. While fashion merchandisers and marketers would travel from trade show to show; from shows like MAGIC in Las Vegas to New York...people would stop at Seattle and over time noticed how interesting and innovative our fashion industry was. More and more people started to stop in Seattle for sports and for innovative ideas in athletic sportswear. Union Bay, Brittania Jeans, Gennera, Shah Safari, International News, TOmmy Bahamas sprung up. Factories began to appear in Seattle and we...over time....became a fashion center for the sportswear industry. In the 1970's sportswear buyers would go to Magic and stop by Seattle, eventually we became a bigger stop for them than Las Vegas.

However, with the movement to off shore production we lost a lot of the factories that once stood here, and a lot of stores had moved away. We still are a big place to find great athletic sportswear, and sportswear. One must note that the Northwest has Nordstrom and other retail boutiques. We even have a couturier here Luly Yang. But our styles are inspired by street wear, casual wear and the emergence of no-fashion.

When discussion Seattle's fashion history it is important to note that we are known for the emergence of Grundge in the 90s that brought about a very interesting trickle-up economic fashion movement. In fact, even today grundge is remade and/or incorporated into many designs. 2006 fall saw the emergence of neo-grundge. We shall see it again.

Anyways, as I prepare for work...I hope that this has been an enlightening conversation. It helps a great deal to know the history, when you see people make weird fashion decisions on the street.

And thank you REI for the toe shoe that is pictured here.



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My true love and hero...

Since this blog is about fashion stuff I want to begin my blogging experience with giving credit to the amazing Alexander McQueen. I say this often and will say it again, once you see his show during fashion week you cannot watch any other. (with the occasional Galliano and Rodarte...and Junya Watanabe's Fall 2009 show). I have every show by Alexander McQueen saved (summer and falls and pre falls and resorts) from 2001. But I will post his AMAZING spring and summer show for 2010 because I feel like that is a strong way to start a blog.

Thanks to for the images. you rock.