Monday, May 31, 2010

Yes, these shower curtains count as a business expense

I went a little crazy doing some memorial day shopping today. Every thrift store in town is half-off, so how could I resist? This time I managed to steer clear of the clothing racks and just stocked up on furniture for the house and stuff to organize my room. I've been trying to create some order in my sewing room for the past couple weeks and all I've managed to do is create a gigantic mountain of fabric and clothing in my upstairs hallway. Sorry, roommates. This morning I caught Reggie trying to re-stack all the crap that he had accidentally knocked over, neither of us could fix it so now its just in the middle of my room again. Ahhhh!

The real reason for this post is: new shit on my website! Just added new vinyl lace-up leggings, also restocked the pink zebra tank tops. More new stuff will be added in another couple days. Leggings are available in small, medium, large, $33. Tops are small, medium, large, $26.

WEBSITE LINK:
http://store.derangeddesigns.com/

One of the advantages of running your own business is that you can attempt to write off everything as a business expense when you do your taxes. Today I bought some shower curtains to use as photo backdrops (cool idea from my old photo teacher) and now that explains the retarded title of this post.

Pictures! Thanks to Lynne Ashcroft photography for the leggings pictures. Thanks to myself for the zebra top pictures.



Oh, and before I forget, I'm well aware that there is more to this day than finding an awesome comfy giant chair at goodwill for only $7 and then calling up everybody I know who has a truck to help me transport it. I think a facebook quote from my extremely sweet and sensitive friend garrick explains it: "Remember hippies, if it weren't for the men and women who volunteer to fight for ours country, your ass would be crying in canada, draft dodging."

This teddy bear of a man is looking for a roommate for september so he can move back to sacramento. Somebody help him out, I miss our drinking contests and his anti-communist rants. And don't forget the misogyny! No really, he's a good guy, hahaha.



Now time to go list these leggings on eBay. So people in Netherlands and Denmark and Spain and Italy can buy them and then do a paypal chargeback when the Iceland volcano erupts again and delays the shipments. Yay! After that I think I'm gonna pound a 40 and clean my kitchen. If you are wondering why I need malt liquor to do that than your virgin soul has obviously never been inside my kitchen. Two nights ago, somehow a nearly empty orange juice bottle got left on a burner that was still turned on. Can't wait to start chiseling off that plastic soup. That reminds me, I need new batteries in my smoke alarms. Thank god for renter's insurance. Goodnight!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Why I don't want to be on Project Runway

It’s been suggested many times by friends/family/people that buy my clothes that I should try out for Project Runway. Not wanting to get into a huge rant, I usually just mumble something along the lines of “Yeah, I’ve thought about it” and then I try to change the subject.

Well, here’s my huge rant. With a little introduction first: In the past I’ve put off making a serious decision on whether or not to audition because I always assumed that my chances of making it on the show were pretty slim. Then several months ago I got an email from their casting department, encouraging me to send in an application for Season 8. Again, I avoided thinking about it, this time because I was busy with school. Then last month I randomly mentioned the email in my tailoring class (Project Runway is a popular subject at fashion school) and my teacher got super excited and basically demanded that I audition. I went home, looked up the email and checked out the application process. By that time I only had a couple days left to submit a biographical 10-minute video and a bunch of other crap. So I put it off again, thinking, maybe next season.

Getting that email made me realize that I do have a reasonable chance of getting picked for the show. Not because of talent, because I’m a fucking weirdo! For reality TV to work, shows need all sorts of characters. Wouldn’t I be great as the token punk rocker on the show? Let’s remember season 2: the winner, Jeffrey, was an ex-junkie neck-tattooed rocker dude. He won because of his design talent, but wouldn’t have gotten on the show if he didn’t have an interesting story to tell.

I like to tell myself that I’m open to whatever crazy experiences life chooses to throw at me. Being on reality TV definitely counts as one of those experiences. And even though I doubt I would win, the show would be a great way to promote Deranged Designs.

But after reading this article, I’ve made my final decision all over again: no!

http://nymag.com/news/features/35538/


It’s a little old (published in 2007) and therefore a little outdated…but I’ll get to that later.

If you aren’t going to read this article (yes, all seven pages) you might not completely understand my point…so here’s a summary of a few points in the article:

In the fashion industry, being famous doesn’t pay. You have to have a legitimate business behind you for fame to be of any use. Project Runway isn’t teaching these people how to run a successful clothing line.

Of course there’s a lot more to it than that…just read the damn article.

Now that you’ve read it, here’s what I plan to do instead of spending five months of my life chasing stardom on TV. WORK! I’m almost finished with school and I think I’ve got a good handle on what it takes to run a successful business. I have a lot of plans on how I’m going to make this work out for me, including some changes I need to make, because right now it’s barely paying the bills. In 2 or 3 years I’d like to be able to move my workspace out of this falling down punk house and hire several people to help me out. I don’t care about being rich and famous. I’m not claiming that I don’t love money. But on my list of priorities, it’s not very high. I’d rather live a comfortable life, doing what I love without worrying about whether or not I can afford expensive things. Forget getting my designs on celebrities and in Vogue magazine, I’m happy just going to punk rock shows and seeing my friends wear my stuff. Chasing fame and fortune would involve a lot of sacrifice and probably fuck up relationships with my friends and family. I just want to run a normal business and not let it take over my life.

Which is why this blog post could also be titled “Why I’m not moving to New York or Los Angeles” or “Why I really don’t give a fuck about doing fashion shows all the time” or “Answers to all the questions people ask me that drive me crazy!”

Fashion might look glamorous but making fashion is not. The fashion industry is nothing but the business of manufacturing and selling. I started making clothing because I couldn’t afford Hot Topic when I was 13. (Yes, seriously) I started selling it because it was a good way to avoid getting a job when I was 16, and because I couldn’t fit anymore crappy handmade mini-skirts in my closet. I’m still doing what I do because I’ve moved past the crappy skirt phase and I have found that there is so much more to learn. Everything about fashion design/manufacturing fascinates me. I expect to be happy doing this for the rest of my life.

I don’t need the fame of Project Runway, the expenses of big city life or the glamour of a fashion show to run my business well or to keep me satisfied. Now if only the general public could understand that, and stop bothering me with well-meaning advice! (Really, I appreciate that people are so interested in what I’m doing. It’s just hard to show that when I get asked the same questions so many times.)

One last thing: the exception to the article about the failing Project Runway winners is Christian Siriano, who does seem to have a good business sense and is doing well after winning the show. He can handle being a celebrity AND running a business. He also won the show when he was only 21- more hope for youngsters like me! But that’s not going to change my mind about my goals. He makes a great celebrity. I would not. Thanks for reading.

Christian Siriano link:

http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2010/03/christian_sirianos_business_ex.html

PS. Want to read more about the unrealities of Project Runway? I just did a search on my favorite industry website…

http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/vivisection_project_runway/

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Three new items up for sale!

Well, kind of new. The dress is new. I just updated the two other items with new pictures.

I have a lot of new stuff to add, and I'm feeling lazy right now. But I will do my best to add 4-5 new items a week for the next month-ish.

Yes, the dress is $125. Yes, its much higher than I've ever charged for something. It reflects the time put into the dress. Do not fear, Deranged Designs is NOT about to become affordable only to whoever the fuck can actually afford a $125 dress. You're gonna see more of a variety of prices from now on, but I am still going to keep most of the stuff within the same price range I've been using.

Not-so-new spider web top and polka dot top are $24-25.

I will elaborate on future Deranged Designs plans/pricing later. My stomach hurts and I'm going to blame it on how I've been sitting on this computer chair for way too long today. I don't care if that doesn't make sense, its time to get away from the screen.

NEW STUFF IS ON FRONT PAGE OF MY WEBSITE:
http://store.derangeddesigns.com/

Thanks to Tim Engle/Lynne Ashcroft photography and Loriel for setting up the shoot! (Excluding the two pictures of me modeling)



















Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New photos!

None of the clothing in the photos is on my website yet, but it will be up for sale soon!

I've been sorting, uploading, and re-touching photos for the last three hours. Started out on the porch, now I've moved inside to the living room. Its hard to keep my attention on this type of thing for very long, so i like to people watch on the porch or watch movies I've already seen so I don't get too bored. Or distracted.

Showing tonight: The Day the Earth Stood Still. Old version, not new version. Watched the new version a few days ago. Keanu Reeves makes a great alien!

Anyways, tons of awesome new pictures! And this is only the beginning, I've got a lot more computer work to do in the next week. I mean month. Lifetime? Fuck.

I'll save my favorite photo shoot for last...

First shoot was done the beginning of this month, at my school. The fashion collections class set up a photo shoot with the fashion photography class. It was right before the fashion show, and I was so disorganized and stressed at that point that I wasn't able to get my usual models together or figure out hair and makeup, but the pictures turned out awesome.

Thanks to Jacqueline and Amber for photography, Aubrey (and myself) for modeling. If they have any Model Mayhem profiles or contact info I'll post it when I get it. Gotta send them emails first, only got these photos today.

Two of my favorite pics, more are on my flickr photo gallery:

School Photo Shoot





There were eight different backdrops set up for all the models and photographers but there were so many people running around that we just found some random new locations. The photo teacher, Dean Tokuno, brought photo equipment in his giant photo trailer. That guy amazes me. If this wasn't his last semester teaching at ARC (goddamn budget cuts!) I would recommend him to any new and experienced photographers. I managed to take his fashion photo class a year ago, and though I've never spent the time to learn any technical aspects of photography (my camera still scares me!) I think I learned a lot from him. He's one of the few people in my life who have encouraged me to recklessly go after my dreams and not waste any time. He grew up on, I quote, "a dirt farm in yuba city" and from what I gather rose to the top. He's not one to brag so I'm not sure how many big magazines his work has been featured in, but he did mention working with lots of celebrities and the supermodels in the 90s- Linda Evangelista and the other 10 grand a day girls. More recently, his daughter was a runway model for Oscar de la Renta. HOLY shit...

I have to add he's also fucking hilarious and jokes about getting drunk and accepting drugs as bribes for good grades. It was like a photo class mixed with an R-rated stand up comedy routine. Good times, though half the photo shit went right over my head. Deantokuno.com I believe has his current portfolio.

Now on to the 2nd photo shoot! I'll try to keep this description brief. I think the movies almost over! God knows whats been happening. Does Mrs. Benson still not know what Mr. Carpenters identity is? Ah, the 50s. So, several weeks ago Loriel Andre'a contacted me about clothing for a goth-themed photo shoot she was organizing. I would have liked to make custom stuff for the shoot, but didn't have time since it was three days after the semester ended and I had too much homework. So I just lent some current designs and some stuff from the fashion show. The pictures turned out WONDERFUL...I need to do more shoots with these people!

Photography by Tim Engle. Model credits coming soon. Location was an old sugar mill a little way south of Sacramento.

I have too many favorite photos to choose out of this, so might as well go to the photo gallery right now:

Goth Photo Shoot

Whatever, here are a few of my favorites:


Somehow this picture reminds me of shots of the cool crowd in silly high school movies. Look, mom, I'm finally popular! Wait no, its more like a picture of a really good-looking band.


So THAT's the best way to pop those pesky bubbles.


Loriel is a fucking badass.


Yeah, this girl too.

Uh oh, looks like they quarantined Washington DC in the movie. Hmmm, doesn't seem like a bad idea does it?

Oh, shit, now alien is teaching Mrs. Benson to say the words from that evil dead movie...like what you were supposed to say to not make the zombies eat you...klatu verata icNevermind I'm crazy, go look at all the pictures on flickr!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Today sucked. Until now.

Got home from class this morning and right away heard from roommate Reggie that the landlord had stopped by to let us know that he had gotten a fine from the city because we put our old porch couch in the alleyway, and he was planning on passing along the fine to us.

Good thing we've got 2 roommates with no jobs, and 2 roommates about to move out. Yay, me and Reggie will totally have this fine covered. Even though for once we had nothing to do with said furniture in said alleyway.

To add insult to injury, I'm sure that my parking ticket (for parking in front of my own house for longer than 2 hours between 8am and 6pm) is due soon, and I can't find the damn thing to pay it. My own fault for failing to renew my permit in time. Ok, it was expired for 6 months and I didn't realize it until a friend of mine somehow noticed.

But whatever, this is fucking hilarious and it made my day:

http://images.regretsy.com/sewing_machine_dirty_small.jpg

From regretsy.com

Saw it in a facebook post from Amy- she makes cool shit:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/AmyKlimt

I think my favorite part of that picture would have to be the horn of gonder. Coming in a tie for 2nd would be the golden snitch and the taint. Look at the link first, you pervert. The clean version of this is pretty funny too.

They need to make an industrial sewing machine version of that. Until then, I am printing this shit out and putting it up in my sewing room, because whenever I look at it I am overcome with the giggles.

Now I'm off to hand sew (again) my patch pockets to my tailored jacket cuz my teacher said she'd mark me down for my sloppy first layer of hand sewing. Good thing I sliced my finger open this morning with a scary knife and it hurts to sew. ARGHHHHHHHHH. This type of stuff seems to happen more frequently then necessary.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fashion show tomorrow!

Friday May 7th at 7pm: my school's annual fashion show!

I was in the show last year too, decided to take the collections class again just for fun. My collection theme this year is plaids and stripes. I'll be showing with 15ish other designers, we each have between 5 and 10 outfits.

Show is in the brand new black box theatre at American River College. College Oak Drive between winding way and auburn blvd. Closest parking lot is at the corner of College Oak and Myrtle.

The fashion promotions class got some nifty cardstock flyers printed out, but of course I can't find a copy of it online. And the flyers weren't handed out to the class till this Monday. Well, can't expect everything to be done right. Other than the minor issue of actually promoting the show, that class does a great job of putting together the set and keeping things as professional as possible. We add more seating room every year, but the show still ends up getting sold out. Yay!

Lots of pictures will be taken and posted ASAP after the show. Since I know you're all super lazy and don't want to spend your Friday night driving halfway to orangevale for a 45 minute show.

Oh, and its 7 bucks.

After the show I expect to have a few drinks on my porch then pass the fuck out so I can wake up early saturday morning to finish homework. Yes, only one more weekend of working, then I'll have my life back.