I Do Windows

Changes Are Coming!

Posted in Uncategorized by Arcadia on June 18, 2013

I’m currently in the process of redesigning this blog and changing the name!!!

I Do Windows will become The Fashion Teacher.  This will allow me to combine my fashion classes into one cohesive website, instead of directing the styling students to the visual merchandising blog.  It was always confusing for them!

Once it’s up you can still click on here for a while, but it will redirect you to the new site under its own domain name – The Fashion Teacher.com – I’m excited because I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time now, but time is my issue (I don’t have enough of it)!  I finally found a web company that is friendly and easy to work with, to help manage it for me.

I’m also excited for some new ideas I have for the site.  I want to continue to post instructional articles, but also showcase more work from students, and other readers.

If there is anything you would like to see on the site let me know.  I would love to hear your suggestions and feedback.

Thanks for reading!

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Window Dresser v. Fashion Stylist

Posted in Fashion 49, Fashion 54A, Fashion Styling, Learn from the Pros by Arcadia on January 31, 2013

Lately students have been asking which of my two classes should they take?  They can’t decide if they should focus on visuals or styling?  I scratch my head with a bemused look and say why not do both!?!

Some give me an incredulous look and say, “really?”   I reply, “think about it, what’s the difference, between the two jobs?”

A visual person is a stylist ,and stylists do visuals.  I guess most people never really thought about it, but it’s true.  It’s how I can teach both subjects – the skill set is interchangeable.  If you can dress a mannequin, you can dress a model.  If you can prop a window, you can prop a set.  Both employ the principles of design, take loads of creativity, and are hard work.  Sure there are some differences to working in a store, as opposed to a photo shoot, but we are all cut from the same cloth.

I’ve had a few arguments with myself trying to decide which is harder, visuals or styling?  Sometimes visuals win the argument, and sometimes styling.  When doing a store, it’s very physically demanding, but there’s fewer people I have to deal with, as I change out mannequins, set-up interior displays, or do floor sets.  I oftentimes, just follow my store directives and do my thing!  When styling there’s a lot of people on set, but the atmosphere is very fun, jobs are almost always catered, it’s not too physically demanding (unless you are a prop stylist, and working with big items), and you get to play with clothes all day.

Which is more fun?  Only you can answer that.  I don’t really like styling as much as I like building and making things, so visuals win out for me every time!  Yet visuals can get boring if you work for a chain retailer, because you don’t get to be as creative as the old days.  Now you just follow a store directive and almost everything is sent to you to assemble and install.  Freelance projects is when you get to use your own ideas.

Styling still requires your creative skills, as the client is looking to you to bring their idea to life – so this can be really fun!

You will find that lots of visual folk, freelance as stylists, or are repped by an agent for styling work, and some stylists also do the occasional window.  You should too!

bracelets_on_display

Is this a display of bracelets in a jewelry case at a store, or was this image ripped from a magazine?

makeup_plate

Is this a makeup display in a cube at a store ,or was this image ripped from a magazine?

For both images above does it matter?  They could have easily been created by either a visual display person or a fashion stylist!

(images via Pinterest)

 

FASH 54A: Re-style Yourself

Posted in Fashion 54A, Fashion Styling by Arcadia on January 31, 2013

Today I will be in introducing your first class project called “The clothes off your back”.  Whatever you wear to class today will be photographed and documented.  Your assignment is to re-style these clothes into two different looks.

You will pair up in teams (2 or 3 people, no more than this).

You can ONLY use the clothes you are wearing today.  You are allowed to switch out the accessories or change items of clothing with your partner, but you can not change the tops or bottoms of the outfit you are wearing TODAY!  Last semester I warned the class when this assignment was approaching, so most people “dressed up” for that day of class.  This time I’m springing it on you!

Have fun with this first styling project, and don’t play it safe.  A hand-out is given in class outlining all the details of the project and the due date.  Here are some good and some great pictures of last year’s students:

These two ladies did a good job!

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lyanne2

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analam1

 

This is one of my favorites.  Nancy did a great job and really thought outside the box!

 

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Nancy1

 

Nancy2

 

 

The point of this exercise is to:

  • get you comfortable working with clothing, especially for my students who are new to fashion.
  • get you use to styling others, which is why you work with a partner, as s stylist you will be styling other folk, not yourself.
  • get you to start thinking of tops and bottoms in a non traditional way.  I love how Nancy took her coat and wrapped it as a skirt in the second photo, and used her sweater as “pants” in the first photo!
  • Most importantly have fun with this exercise!

See you in class!

[FASH 54A] Book Review: Style Yourself

Posted in Book Reviews, Fashion 54A by Arcadia on September 6, 2012

Two weeks ago in class I lectured on fashion research and documenting your ideas with mood boards.  The main point of the lecture was getting you to recognize how important it is for you to be able to speak with a fashion vocabulary. Being a stylist comes with a lot of assumptions, the big one being, you know your stuff about fashion!!!  Most of us do, as we have been obsessing over fashion magazines since we first learned to read, for me it was getting my dad to get me a subscription to the magazine Young Miss (YM) when I was only nine years old!

I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to learn the names and meanings of the parts of a garment.  If your boss tells you to pull blouses with portrait necklines or look for shirts with french cuffs, do you know what she’s talking about?  If not, you need to learn.  Which is why I’m recommending the book Style Yourself.

This book is really not that new, it was published over a year ago, and I thought it was a how-to book for teenage girls on dressing.  The models and stories are all on fashion bloggers.  I didn’t pay this book any attention when it was first released.  A few weeks ago it ended up in my mailbox as a gift.  I finally sat down this weekend and read it.  I use the word “read” loosely, as their isn’t much reading because there are so many pictures.  Having lots of pictures isn’t a bad thing, it’s actually a plus for a book like this, especially since we fashion folk are very visual.

This book pleasantly surprised me.  It is, as I first thought, a how-to for the digital generation, BUT the break down of various parts of a garment make this book a great reference for those who don’t have a merchandising or fashion design background.  There are loads of pictures showing you the name and illustration of everything from tops to bottoms, to accessories.  The bloggers in the book provide inspiration for how they style these various items.

When I finally put this book down I knew I had to recommend it to my students in class who wish to be stylists or work in fashion, but have told me they don’t know much about it.  This is a good jump-start, as I’m sure you’ll realize you know more than you think once you start reading it.

 

 

 

(all images via Rachel Phipps)

Welcome Back to School Everybody!

Posted in Fashion 54A by Arcadia on August 22, 2012

Hello everyone and welcome back.  I especially want to say welcome to my FASH 54A students whom I’ve directed to this site for all their class info.  FASH 54A is a new class for me this semester – Beginning Fashion Styling.  I’m super excited to be teaching this class!  I spent practically my whole summer researching and preparing for this program.  I hope all 60 (yep I’ve got 60 students!) of you enjoy this class.

This class is not based on your typical textbook theory, but a practical hands-on approach to fashion styling; by the end of the semester you will have a stylist kit assembled, a portfolio with images you created, a directory of the best places to “pull” merchandise, and source props, and the business acumen for working as a freelance stylist.  Many of you wrote to me over the summer, telling me you were taking the class because you want to begin working immediately as a stylist; so that’s how I focused the class.  You will learn about the different types of photo styling in the various medias, but this class is definitely a “how-to”.

I hope my students from FASH 49 – Visual Merchandising, and other readers interested in visual work will learn something too, in fact I will touch on visual work in this styling class, as you will see styling a mannequin is no different from styling a model.  Visual display artists do what stylists do everyday, the only difference is their work isn’t photographed – the skills are very much the same and transferable from one trade to the other.  After college my “9-to-5” job was doing display work, but I was repped by an agent for freelance assistant styling work too.  Having an agent is great and I recommend it, especially if you live in a small editorial market like me (San Francisco).  The freelance work wasn’t as plentiful as New York, LA, or even Chicago.

I hope in the next few weeks to also be making some changes around here.  I am hiring another former student who will be upgrading this site and helping me with a new design.  I may at that point decide to move FASH 54A to its own blog – the working title I have for that idea is I’m a Stylist.  I chose that name because I laugh every time I hear someone say it.  I’m not trying to be mean, but now soooo many people say they’re stylists (Thanks Rachel Zoe), it’s become the default career for the fashion industry.  Years ago “everyone” was a model, then “everyone” was a designer, nowadays, “everyone” is a stylist :)!

At least at the end of my class you’ll be able to say it and really mean it – welcome back!

Blog Love: Advanced Style

Posted in Fashion Styling, Inspiration by Arcadia on March 28, 2011

I can’t believe I’m just discovering this blog now – Advance Style.  What a great site and so uplifting!  It’s become a new favorite site for perusing.

My students (any many friends) are always asking for tips on how to dress: “Does this match?”“Do these shoes go with this dress?”, “What accessories should I wear?” I always reply, “Who cares, do YOU like it?  Then wear it!” At my all girl high school I was not voted best dressed, instead I got the distinction of most unique wardrobe!  I was and always have been about non-conformity and standing out  from the crowd.  The ladies on this blog are great examples of that.

True style is timeless and not a victim to fads and trends, evidenced by the fact so many of us are inspired by vintage looks or what we call retro – why else would so many of us be walking around with a Chanel bag our grandma handed down to us!

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Carine Roitfeld to do Barney’s Windows

Posted in Just Genius, Retail News by Arcadia on March 24, 2011

She goes from one highly coveted job to another!  Carine Roitfeld, the former editrix of French Vogue has now been tapped to help style the fall campaign for retailer Barney’s New York. She will work on their catalog, a short film, and the Windows!  I guess a girl can have it all.

She is a styling genius, so I personally can’t wait to see what she comes up with; for more information go to thewindow.barney.com

Welcome Back to School

Posted in Fashion 49, Fashion Styling by Arcadia on August 17, 2010

I can’t believe summer vacation is over already and this has been the first week of classes.

Fashion 49 (Visual Merchandising) is offered in the spring only, but you can find me substituting later in the semester for Fashion 55 (Fashion Styling). I’m really looking forward to it. Styling a model is no different than styling a mannequin!

Have a great semester and I’ll see you in class.

(image via: Pattern Pulp)

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