Wednesday, December 23, 2009

brought to you by the letter N



In order to get the organic cotton materials the colors that I wanted, I ended up hand-dyeing everything in the collection. Well, that is after the eco-friendly dye-house that was going to do it, somehow managed to ruin every fabric I gave them. Hmm, still not sure how they did that.
Thankfully, I had better results. The cotton took the peach really well, and in these folds it somehow almost glowed orange in natural lighting. 

Monday, December 21, 2009

studio snapshots



More shots of the work-in-progress when I was creating what I like to refer to as the monster-gown. I ended up having to cut each and every one of those petals out, and I was going to use those scraps on another dress, but they ended up as some really cool swiss cheese curtains instead! Also, yes, the machine I prefer to work on is a very cheap basic home-sewing machine. I know it's silly, but I prefer them. Mainly because if and whenever they ever break, I can usually repair them myself instead of having to call in a service guy, which is kind of nice. 

Tip: I also just posted a couple of samples up on Etsy, which will probably go fast. There will likely be some more after New Years.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Go Janeane!!

Hooray, it's finally been announced, and I will obviously be rooting for fellow-Portlander Janeane Marie. She is not only a very talented designer, Janeane happened to be my very first intern and helped me out last year right after I won and still lived in Portland. 

I have known this secret for awhile. I actually somehow had a strange feeling when they were filming, and so I played Detective and realized that Janeane was MIA during that month, which was a huge clue that she was probably there doing it. I emailed her, and sure enough it was true! (FYI, to any designer that leaves to do the show: have a friend log into your Myspace and Facebook accounts while you're away. It helped me throw off my suspicious friends...just a little.)

I am very excited for her. She's so talented, and I have my fingers crossed she'll go very far. Yay Portland designers! Janeane, hold on to your hat: this is where things get crazy and every person you've ever met in your life comes from out of the woodworks. ;)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuxi Dress

I think this was probably my favorite of the collection. A tuxedo married into a dress, brought to you by the letter M. (That's what those layered, folded things are).

Monday, December 14, 2009

lookbook




Wow, multiple posts in one day! :)
Here's more from my SS10 lookbook. Enjoy!


bridal-whipped


I finally finished two wedding dresses I had been working on for nearly a solid 4 weeks. This one in particular, totally consumed all of my time. I was working around the clock, consecutive 16 hour days, 3 weeks straight with a couple of all-nighters to ensure that I got done in time. Of course, my big mistake was initially grossly underestimating the time it'd take to finish. I was able to do my PR finale wedding dress in 2 days, and that somewhat misguided my estimation here.

It came out beautiful, but I have to say, it is one of the LAST custom wedding dresses I will be doing for a very very loooong time, if not ever. It killed me, kicked my ass and put me severely behind schedule for my next collection.  I will likely have some ready-to-wear styles available in the future, but no more customs. I still have not fully recooperated, but it's a nice feeling to put that behind me and move on to the collection I've barely started. A collection which, after all this petal-palooza, makes me long for simple clean lines, minimalism and very light embellishments. 

Saturday, November 28, 2009

first look


Here's the first look at my Spring 2010 lookbook, which has taken way too long for me to get wrapped up. It's finally done and off to the printers, and I'm happy with how it all turned out. Now, hopefully I'll get some sales off of 8 months of hard work and investing heavily. Sometimes this all just feels like a very expensive hobby. ;)

The photography is by the talented Anna Wolf, Makeup by Nathan Johnson, Hair by Caroline Prince. Models: Holland Stevens and Liz from Major.

PS: I'll be posting all the other looks here soon. 

Friday, November 20, 2009

congrats, Irina!

Well, I don't have much too much to say on the subject (okay, yeah I do) because I didn't watch this season. I watched the first episode, but I wasn't compelled enough to seek out cable or online streaming to watch more. And I used to be a die-hard fan of the show.

First of all, congrats to Irina, and I truly hope she has a lot of good come out of the experience. For me, the best of it, honestly, has been the exposure to such a big audience. The hundred grand goes too quickly (especially running a business in NY), but having world-wide exposure for my line has been the best of it. I've had some amazing opportunities, and for them I'm very grateful. The show made several of my dreams come true, and I hope it has for her too.

 After seeing the show in February at Bryant park, we knew clearly that the last collection was going to win, and that possibly took the fun out of watching the process. After reading T-Lo's blog, I see I didn't miss too much. Ouch. Harsh, guys. ;)  

So let's open up the critique section of this post, based upon little viewing, some word of mouth from others, and personal experience:

1. Okay, no more LA. Just...no.  
2. Is there some way, any way, we can have the Magical Elves produce the show again? It's not the same without them. 
3. No more easy "design pretty dresses" challenges. Come on! That's not fair to those of us who made dresses out of car parts, and it's not fair to the viewers looking for entertainment.
4. What's this business of giving the designers 6 months or so to do final collections? We had 7 or 8 weeks, and that was it. Time crunches = meltdowns. Meltdowns = entertainment.


So, I hope Season 7 is going to be better. I will be watching then, because I know someone on it that I'm rooting for. Ultimately, I feel bad for the designers of Season 6. All of us, really. The reason why a lot of us do the show is because we are struggling to make it, and in situations where we desperately need money to invest in our line (pay rent) or exposure to get our names out there. The show used to be somewhat respected, and if it loses that the designers involved lose too, whether or not they win the prize. 

Oh, one more suggestion: I think they should start paying ALL of the contestants to participate. There's nothing that irks me more than the rich getting richer off of people who are struggling. I guess that's how much of the world works, but it doesn't make it right. I don't even want to know what the profits are like there because it's probably too upsetting. But really, the designers deserve a little more for their time and courage of putting themselves out there to possibly be ripped apart than just exposure, which may or may not be negatively perceived by the world and the fashion industry itself. 

Those are just some of my thoughts on the matter. All things aside, let's hope it redeems itself with Season 7. (And Season 6 designers, don't feel bad. With each current season, everyone seems to complain about how much more horrible it is than the season before it. They did it to us, too. It's not your fault!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

caribbean shows

I had the great opportunity in the last few weeks to do two different fashion shows in the Caribbean, which meant that as soon as the shows were done, I got to enjoy the warm sun, swim and have two little vacations in both the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas, where I just returned from yesterday. 
The show in the Dominican Republic was impressive: gorgeous models and a Bryant Park-quality runway. After the show, my good friend and makeup artist, Nathan Johnson and I enjoyed one of the best meals we've ever had at Boca Marina, an amazing restaurant where we dined way out on an extended deck right over the crystal-clear water. If I had dropped my fork, I would have had to dive in to fetch it back!

The show in the Bahamas was a ton of fun, and the beaches were incredible. On the last day, Nathan and I hit the water slides and aquariums. I wish we had had more time there to cruise out to some of the many other islands that I saw from the plane. It's a pretty quick and painless flight from NY, and I'm sure I'll be back soon.
They were both amazing experiences, and much needed vacation. Now, it's back to work for me (and back to cold weather) and catching up on wedding dresses, production and Fall 2010!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pictures

I've gone app-crazy this weekend while nursing a cold. The good news is I've got more pretty photos to share from my phone, and don't have to test my patience with my slow laptop. My favorites are the fun photo filters!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, October 3, 2009

on the road

Today I'm in Baltimore to do a benefit fashion show. The weather is amazing, and I'm going to slip off to go stroll the streets before the show. I lived here very briefly about 4 years ago or so. It's nice to visit, and think of all that has changed since then. I've been very fortunate in the past year, and I really do appreciate it all.

Here is an unrelated sketch. Happy Saturday to everyone! Seeing the sun again and feeling warmer weather makes me happy!  :) 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

fittings



Here are a couple of pictures from the fittings. They show the details a bit better. By the way, I finally got a fancy new camera, and am discovering it's many tricks! I took so many pictures throughout creating this collection. So, expect many many more to come! Maybe, I'll become a designer/fashion photographer someday like Karl Lagerfeld. ;) For now, it's just fun to have a new hobby.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

more pictures

These photos are by the very talented Portland photographer, Minh Tran, who tagged along with us all day on the day of the show. 
There are more, but I just wanted to show a few of my favorites:

(I think this is my favorite look of all)




fashion show video

Yay! My collection is done, and the show was Saturday. I'm really happy with how everything turned out and the show went well. Well, we had one mishap on the second to last gown, but it got out there briefly and made an appearance. 

I'd like to thank the lovely people who came and saw, and so so so many people who helped me put this show together: Nathan Johnson (makeup artist genius/best friend/additional PR person/saint)
Nathan McKee (for working on the music and staying up all night the night before to finish it) Faryl Robin (for the shoes) Beauty Society (makeup sponsor) Kate (Kick PR) And my interns I've been lucky to have this summer: (Ana Thompson, Kayla Cappielo, Heidi Carothers, Hilaree Hawkins). And all the lovely helpers and dressers backstage.

 I'm already excited for the next one, and determined to make it bigger and better than ever. 

Friday, August 21, 2009

spring 2010

Oh, wow. I apologize for my very long absence! I've been working solid non-stop on my Spring 2010 collection, which I'm showing during fashion week very very soon. 

I did take a break to watch the marathon of new Project Runway shows last night. I won't go into too much detail, but I was shocked and appalled that Korto did not win. It's unbelievable. Her clothes were not only the most beautiful and well-made, but her restaurant challenge dress was so amazing and, I thought, surely sealed the deal for her win. I got pretty disheartened after that. Yet again, I realized that it's all for shock and surprise and you can never tell what the judges/producers will do. It makes me sick. These new shows seem especially unpredictable so far. I guess that makes for interesting TV, but sadly it is at the expense of injustice to the designers.

I'm not sure if I'll be watching too regularly. At least not until fashion week is over with, and I can take a breather from my Spring 2010-mania. 

I'm doing my own runway show, and have aimed for a high goal of creating 25 looks. I'm currently working on #16 and #17 today, and am so happy I didn't procrastinate this time. Well, not as much. I could've started sooner, but it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. I'm getting better about it. 

Here is a very quick sneak peek. Some of them may be in the collection and some may not. ;)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

so happy together

Today, I reunited with a good old friend. A friend that I had been missing for quite awhile, and didn't realize just how much. We parted ways when I left Portland, and I'd assumed that that was just our fate. Until now. 

Stumptown, how could I ever forget you or try to replace you?! I even gave up coffee after a few months in NY, because even at it's best, it would never measure up to you. Today, when I saw that the cafe down the street was displaying their "Now proudly serving" sign in the window, my heart skipped a beat. 

I'd heard rumors and even read that Stumptown was opening a roastery here, but being the purist and skeptic that I am, I just somehow never thought it would be like the good stuff I know and love. Boy was I wrong.I don't even remember because I am still on a magical 3 hour buzz, but it is quite possible that I skipped and danced all the way to the office today. 

Stumptown, you are not even coffee; you are pure liquid magic. You make me feel like superwoman, a creative visionary genius, and a hummingbird all at once. You practically design all my clothes for me. Stumptown, you complete me.

I know I probably sound like I've got a problem here, but I know to keep it under control and promise not to overdo it. And I know that likely in an hour, I will be found curled up in a pile of bamboo jersey when I crash big time. 

But, sweeeeeeet joy, I am one happy, happy, dancey girl right now!!!

P.S. Portland human-friends, there is no replacement for you guys, so you will also need to relocate here as well.
 

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Season 6 designers

Yay! It's so exciting to see the new crop of designers for the next season. I really hope they have a great experience with it. (Though I know it's completely done filming). I'm excited for them, and excited to watch! I need to order cable now, I suppose. 

I'm gonna go ahead and give my early favorites (even though I'm having trouble viewing the portfolios on the site, and many of their websites are under construction). I'll have to
 investigate a little more, but just based of of quick first impressions and limited research, I think ones to watch will be:

Gordana and Shirin (I love their very feminine aesthetics)

Louise Black (I remember her from her Etsy shop, and think that she has a really cool and unique point of view. And yay for Etsy designers!)

And Rodney: (I think he's got an edgy, never know what to expect thing going on, which could be fun to watch)

These are just very early impressions, and I'm sure I'm bound to develop other favorites. Good luck to all of them and I hope they enjoy every minute of it.

This is a very un-related ball of mess on my floor, but I thought it kind of looked like an art installation, so I took a picture.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

advice

Edited 6/27/09. My main intention in this post was to inform and help others in similar situations.

To any young designer, or any person running their own business, make ABSOLUTE certain of one thing: At the end, know EXACTLY how much you will be making in the deal. Never assume. Never estimate. And don't be afraid to say NO early in the beginning. Don't be afraid of making others unhappy. Definitely, get everything in writing (as one commenter mentioned). Just make careful decisions.

People probably think that fashion designers make a ton of money. But in reality, for the majority of us, that couldn't be farther from the truth. (even if we're one of the lucky ones that "makes it" so to speak.) We spend more than we bring in. We're lucky when we break even. And we're one of the select few if and when we turn a profit. I'm still not there yet. 

Long Live Etsy: I'm a huge proponent of marketplaces where you can buy directly from the designer. It ensures the designer actually gets compensated for their work. I still realize I have so much to learn about this industry. And I'm learning, one mistake at a time.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

summer

Ah, it's been such a busy past month, with no time to post! I've been hard at work on the Bluefly collection, which should be launching at the end of the month (fingers crossed that nothing else can go wrong and hold it up at this point). I think every possible production problem that could have happened has already, but every time I say that a new crisis or fabric shortage pops up. Yikes! 

It was my first hand at doing production, and it has been quite a valuable learning experience. Next time will go much more smoothly! Still, even with the frustrations, it's so nice to be able to hire someone else to make my clothes and to do it here domestically in New York so I can check up on everything and smooth out the kinks. It sure beats staying up all hours of the night trying to do everything myself!

Additionally, I have a few things currently on my Etsy page available and a dress on my website, with hopefully more to come soon! I'm ridding myself of some past samples on Etsy every now and then for ridiculously cheap, too.

Yesterday, marked one year from when I flew out to start filming the show. It's insane how fast this past year flew by! It seems like it was literally just weeks ago.
Photo by Nicholas LaClair (yes, that's Karalyn!)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fall09

I spent the warmest day of the year so far editing photos and finally completing my lookbook for Fall. My computer is overheated, and so am I sitting in our toasty top-floor apartment, but I'm happy with how it turned out. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ahhhmazing!

I just received some of the photos from the shoot last Friday.  Caitlin Bellah, is so talented and a prodigy photographer and only twenty years old. I love the way she captures emotion in her photographs. Simply amazing beyond words. 

This was a shoot that I had not really planned too much for originally, but welcomed Caitlin to come and shoot around my studio while she was visiting from San Francisco.  She undoubtedly has such an incredibly bright future ahead of her. I look forward to seeing her work in Italian Vogue someday!

This is the short, eco-friendly wedding dress that I created recently.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring

It is finally here! Well, for at least the past couple of days. I think it will probably go away tomorrow. 

I had the great opportunity to work with the incredibly talented photographer, Caitlin Bellah, who hung out with me at my studio on Friday while I worked and finished up a dress. I will post a couple of the end-resulting photos as soon as I get them in. 

This was just one that I snapped with my phone. The day couldn't have been any nicer, and the sunset on the side of the building was breathtaking. Days like these make me really love New York. 
More pictures to come. I can hardly wait to see them myself!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

bridal scan

I was invited to be part of a panel discussion on Green Weddings, which was last night.  I quickly whipped up a short green (hemp, organic cotton and silk) wedding dress to bring along. 

One of my goals for this year is to develop a line of mostly sustainable ready to wear bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses. Originally, I never really saw myself as a bridal designer, but lately I've been working on a lot of wedding gowns and it turns out, that it's something I really enjoy designing.  I'm creating a bridal section to my website, which will hopefully be up in the next day or so.

Today, while scanning some forms and documents, I got the idea to scan the dress I made. Still, no fancy, new camera (or fixed), but maybe I don't need one afterall. I love the effect, without any editing whatsoever. I think I'll scan more of my designs in the future!
On another note, the blossoms have FINALLY began to bloom in the trees outside the windows, providing for a great April-backdrop.

Update: I just put up a webpage: leannemarshall.com/bridal

Friday, April 10, 2009

Working

I've finally gotten myself a nice, bright and big workspace that I've been in for a couple of weeks, which has enabled me to be so much more productive than trying to work from the apartment. Mainly, it may be that my computer isn't there, and I'm not as distracted by emails and internet surfing. All I want to do is work when I'm there, and then I can call it a day and go home and leave my work behind. 

The space is great, and in an amazing location right on the water in DUMBO, but my view is of the building adjacent. The view from the other side (and bathroom as pictured) is AMAZING. Maybe after awhile, I'll promote myself and move to the other side and get that Manhattan skyline and river view. I must say, that river certainly stinks, though! Or maybe it's the nuclear energy plant that's across the street. I don't know what it is.  For now, I'm happy peeking into the windows of the people across the way, and catching a tiny glimpse of the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges.

I've been hard at work on the Bluefly collection, and have been doing a gown here and there to satisfy my creative itches. I dropped a big box of pins yesterday, and kind of loved the pattern it made. I didn't even pick them up either. They always end up on the floor anyway!
 
Still no camera. I need to get it fixed. These were taken by my phone. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I miss Portland

so much! I am homesick. I miss bike-riding, warmer weather, good friends and good coffee. Oh, and cheaper rent!

Long-time no writey because I broke my camera so I have no new interesting pictures to share. Also, I'm working on production which is the non-fun part of the creative process. It's a drastic and overwhelming change from doing everything myself and making one of a kinds to doing multiples, perfecting patterns and finding the right sewing contractors, etc. It's a bit of a headache figuring all these things out. I miss the one of a kind dress days!

I'm looking forward to a vacation in the Spring!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

show pictures!



These photos were taken by the lovely and talented Anna Thiessen. She really did a fantastic job! The beautiful Karalyn, Amanda and Nicole from PR were a few of my models.



Saturday, February 21, 2009

free at last!

Oh joy, sweet joy it is finally over! The long nightmarish days and nights of sewing and trying to make a collection in such a short amount of time are over. And I feel a newfound sense of freedom  and relief of stress in my life that has never felt so good!

In the end I completed only nine looks versus the twelve that I had hoped for. But as the date got closer and I knew that I would have to greatly compromise several looks in order to get 12 done, I decided that it would be far worse to show quantity over quality and decided to cut some. 

Having done this feels like an impossible accomplishment. Still having said that, this is not my best work. I am very happy with what I did in this time, but I know that I am capable of so much more.  Lesson learned: don't try to do so much in a short time frame. I will be starting on the next Spring 2010 collection in the next few days (hopefully), and I will aim to blow people's minds with it. 

I have to thank the numerous, incredibly wonderful people who made this possible and without would not have happened: John Vitale for planning out and helping with the design of the venue, Ana for renting us her wonderful showroom Coolture and being so helpful, Nathan Johnson my favorite makeup artist from Project runway who is the best and nicest guy in theworld! The beautiful models and hair and makeup team. My fantastic interns (especially Jillian Krieger) who helped me cut out those city-scape shapes over and over again and went out and got the shoes the night before the show. Suede, for helping me get interns from Kent State University. Kate Sullivan for all her hard PR work she did for this show and for me in the past. And lastly, and most of all my boyfriend/personal assistant/music composer /event-planner/casting director whom without absolutely none of this would've been possible. There are more probably that I'm forgetting and I am forever grateful for their assistance. 

I'm working on getting some good pictures up soon, but in the meanwhile here's some more of the work in progress and a link of a great review and photos of the show. 



Tuesday, February 17, 2009

the home stretch


In the midst of my 'round the clock-sewathon, I was able to attend a couple of shows last weekend at Bryant Park. This was my first time attending a show there and being able to watch in the audience. I have seen very few fashion shows live as an audience member. It was thrilling and beyond inspirational to watch one in the tents. It made me want to become a fashion designer all over again!

The most impressive show that I saw was the Academy of Art (SF). Not only did they have top-notch models (Anja, Chanel Iman), the designs themselves were very interesting and well-executed. It was a great show, and made me long badly for a tent show myself in the future. 
Next time I will at least have a runway show instead of a presentation. Seeing the clothes move is mesmerizing.

Now, back to sewing my heart out!