Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Hats & Things

Happy Halloween, everybody!

This past week hasn’t been much unlike the past few weeks, so I’m just going to talk more about what happens in the FHCC (things that I don’t necessarily do myself). And as, usual, there will be plenty of pictures of hats and things.

As I may have said in a past post, the vast majority of items in the collection have been donated rather than bought. Therefore, the donation process is quite important.

I often describe donations as being somewhat akin to Pawn Stars, but in a much less crude. Essentially, a potential donor contacts us, a dialogue about their items begins, and eventually a meeting is scheduled for them to come in and show us their pieces in person. From there, the garments/accessories/etc. are examined and either chosen to be put in the main collection, or the study collection.

There are two main differences between the main and study collections, in my opinion. The first is proximity to students. The study collection is more accessible to students, whereas the main collection requires an appointment. The second difference lies in exhibition. Study collection pieces are never put on display, whereas main collection items are.

Anyhow, after we have decided what items we’re taking and where they will go, there’s paperwork. So as to avoid issues later, we make sure that there is a record of exactly what the donor is donating, their contact information, and a signed agreement that shows the items now belong to the FHCC. The face-to-face part of the process is important because sometimes a donor may not be ready to let go of their items. For example, if a person donates pieces that belonged to a loved one who has passed away, sometimes they may not truly be ready to move on. Seeing their level of emotion during this process helps to figure that out.

Donation information/paperwork gets both a digital file and a paper file, just in case, and copies of paperwork are also sent to the donor, along with a personalized thank-you letter. J

(I can’t think of anything more to say about the donation process, so it’s hat/accessories time!)

Can't Stop, Won't Stop.

Whew, I hardly had time to write this post this week. It was a big week at Michael Kors because we got our protos in for Fall 2015, so they asked me to work an extra day. Because of this, I had to ask my boss at Galore if I could take that day off and come in an extra day the next week (which Michael Kors will give me off the next week). I have also taken a couple nights off from my night job because I have been really sick and fatigued.

I have accepted that my weekends in New York aren't going to be the wild times that I expected. Me and Olivia usually only go out once a weekend rather than both nights simply because we are tired! We did have a good amount of friends visiting this past Friday so we had a good night out with them. I've also made time for a couple dates on my nights off, and I am liking the pickings in New York much more than Philly :)

Next week will probably be another busy week, but luckily I will be working an extra day at Galore which is usually where I enjoy myself much more. I will also be attending a Kimbra concert next Thursday because their publicist asked Galore if they wanted to attend and do a feature, so they sent me. Free tickets to a concert and getting to meet the artist for an interview will be pretty cool, although it means I have to make time to research and come up with questions, and that I'll also have to take off from my other job.

Oh well, time to let loose this Halloween weekend in Philadelphia with all my friends (who I am trying to make more of in NY).

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Time Flies

When I first started at Shoshanna I thought I had a lot to but I had no idea what was coming. Everyday is packed with project after project and I often times find myself not realizing how late in the day it is because I am so busy that I have no time to stop and think about it. Tuesdays are even more hectic then the other days I am there due to the fact that I am the only intern in the office. Luckily most projects are not things that need to be rushed and I can work on them when I finish what I am doing when the assignment is given to me. However this past week every project I was given seemed to be something that needed to be done right away…  especially on Tuesday when I was alone. From the moment I walked in the door I was running around preparing garments for fittings that morning, picking up or delivering items, sewing closures onto items and so much more. Every department seemed to need help with something and that something needed to be done by a certain time. By the time I was going home on Tuesday night I was exhausted and was looking forward to having other interns with me on Thursday.

When Thursday rolled around things were much calmer at the office yet the time sensitive projects continued with a task I was given later in the day that, while not difficult was time consuming and needed a lot of attention so that everything ended up in the correct place. Thankfully I was able to concentrate on this since there were a few other interns working with me who were able to work on other projects that came up. It was a much different experience working within a time crunch and after a more stressful week I hope next week is calmer and my projects are less time sensitive.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hanging with VIPs

Remember my first blog post, when I was complaining about the amount of press clippings I had to do? Oh I do, and I miss those times when I only had about seven a day. Since the opening last week (I’ll talk about this later), I have been actually drowning in press clippings. This client is all over TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and websites. It’s very hard to keep up! On Friday, all I did was press clippings from 9:30am to 4:30pm. However, it was very cool to see how much press our client was getting and it made me excited for them.

Now for the more important stuff, the VIP opening party! The event was Wednesday night and we spent all day preparing for it. My job at the event was to take down photo captions, which is a fancy way of saying taking every persons name after their photo is taken. I know in my previous post I said I didn’t want to do this again, however, this time it was a blast. The photographer was so nice and helpful. She made sure I knew what I was doing and that people actually listed to me and gave me their name. I got to meet and talk to a lot of local celebrities and even the owners of the company, which was great. I had a great conversation with one of the owners about Drexel and the Design and Merchandising program. The photographer let me leave a little early and I was even allowed to take a gift bag home, which contained a mystery gift card! I immediately called the number on the gift card, but I was immediately disappointed because my mystery amount was $10.00. I guess its something for all my work. I am so excited to go and shop!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dancing Queen

Thursday was a busy and extremely long day at work. I got to work at 8:30 AM to work an event for one of our clients. Our client was showing there Spring 2015 collection to editors and the press. I was in charge of helping set up, take pictures and signing in the editors and the press. For the event we had Bakes by Melissa mini cupcakes and one our clients Treat House. For those of you who don't know Treat House it's different flavored mini rice crispy treats. Some of the flavors we had were s'mores, oreo, coconut, birthday cake, and others. They are absolutely delicious! Plus they look adorable! Next time I have people over I want to get them. It's such a clever and different idea. That night I worked another event for one of our clients at there store in Soho. I was there until 8:00 PM it was a very long day but also an amazing experience.

On Friday my best friend Nicole came to visit along with some of my Drexel guy friends. She didn't get in until 7:30 PM because of her classes but we didn't hesitate to go out once she got here. We went to an Italian restaurant near Lincoln Center called, Cafe Fiorello. She's gluten free and they have gluten free pasta so I thought it would be the perfect place. I had this clam pasta, which was delicious. Afterwords, all my Drexel friends came over to our apartment. We later went out that night. We all had such a blast and it was great to be with all my Drexel friends. It was also fun to show them NYC. On Saturday, we all went to the Brooklyn Diner and had a delectable and hearty breakfast. I had an egg white omelet with feta, mushrooms, tomato, and spinach and a side of smoke salmon, because the Brooklyn Diner's smoked salmon is out of this world. 

After breakfast, Nicole and I walked through Central Park. It was the most perfect and beautiful day. My birthday present to Nicole was Mamma Mia tickets, so we had tickets for a matinée show. She has always wanted to see Mamma Mia and absolutely loved it! It was very challenging not to sing-a-long during the show, because we both know all the words to the songs. Mamma Mia puts you in such a good mood.  "Dancing Queen" will always make me stand up, dance, and belt it out. At the end of the show they have the audience sing and dance, so that's exactly was Nicole and I did. It was a fun end to a perfect day. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"More Grosgrain, Please!" (& Other Things That Happened This Week)

     It’s been yet another week of hats, so let’s talk vocabulary and then conservation:

Seam allowance: The area between the edge of a piece of fabric and the seam or line of stitching that attaches it to at least one more layer of fabric or material. Ultimately this extra fabric allows for a garment to be let out, if need be.

Millinery: Essentially, hat-making – often specifically for a female clientele base. We’re not talking beanies and baseball caps, though. To get a more (stereo)typical idea of millinery, think of the hats that are associated with women at horse races. Or, you know, even the things that Lady Gaga wears on her head from time to time.

Grosgrain: A kind of ribbon characterized by its relative stiffness and ribbed texture/pattern, which is often used in millinery.

    (Bear with me, and eventually we’ll get to how this ties into conservation.)

    If I hadn’t mentioned before, the FHCC is a specialized space. We use dimmable lights, maintain a generally chilly temperature, handle items with gloves, etc. Not only that, but our “closet space” actually runs on a track so that each aisle can be open and shut by turning a wheel – successfully eliminating more light from getting to garments that we aren’t looking at or using. We use archival-quality tissue and non-acidic tags with brass safety pins, we use pencil rather than ink…ultimately, we do the absolute best we can with our resources to make sure that the things we are given are stored in a healthy way.

    And while sticking a pin into a garment may seem rather unhealthy, we’re taught to put them into the “safest” places. For example, many garments have a seam allowance that provides a great spot to put a pin for a tag, as it doesn’t interfere with any visible part of the item/won’t cause harm. Think about the inside of a pant leg or sleeve. In the case of hats, however, it’s not that simple. This is where the grosgrain comes in. Luckily for us, grosgrain ribbon is a popular material for the inside bands of hats, and provides a perfect material to pin into. It’s an intern’s dream, really.

    But I’m not always so lucky. Sometimes I can’t find a good place to put a pin, and in that case I will either reach out to someone else for advice, or I will simply put the tag in the most accessible place and forgo a pin. With hats, this can often end up being the case. If not pinned, a tag will be placed in the hat between the shape-holding puffs of tissue and the hat itself. I often find myself pining for just a little grosgrain or something

    Anyhow, I’ve gotten to look at quite a variety of hats in the past 3 days, with the oldest being around 200 years old! (Look for a light brown straw bonnet with a dark brown ribbon.) Here are my favorites/most noted:

    On another note, it is so sad to hear of Oscar de la Renta’s death. The fashion world has lost one of its superstars and its “Sultan of Suave”. His legacy will live on through his beautiful designs. Our Collections Manager pulled this piece for the Facebook page and I thought I’d share it, too. This gorgeous silk jacket is from his Fall Ready-to-Wear collection in 1989.  

Another New Start

This past week at work has been much quieter then those before in part because Monday was a holiday for so many people. While my office was open it was clear that many of the people we work with were not as there were not as many calls or meetings as there usually are on a Monday. However come Tuesday, I could tell that some people were trying to play catch-up from having the day off. The increase of garments coming in and going out was much more then I had thought it would be! It did make me thankful that we had been there the day before so I could get some simple housekeeping like tasks done that, while not exciting were helpful to the women I work for.
While things were quite at Shoshanna this week I was busy finding a second job to fill my time with when I am not in the office. I ended up finding a sales position at Kate Spade, which was exactly what I was hoping to get! The store is small but beautifully laid out which is very similar to the retail store I worked in when I was in high school so I believe this will the perfect fit for me. Since the store, and the staff is so small, the manager said I could be helping with some visual merchandising once she saw that I was a D&M student. I am hoping that she keeps her word on this as it would add something more interesting to the work as well as would be great to add to my resume.

Another reason I am looking forward to working at Kate Spade is because of the nature of the company. In my interview it was stressed that Kate Spade is a real life style brand that puts as much focus on building a relationship with the costumer as it does on selling product. I know as s consumer this is something that I really like when stores do because it makes me feel as though I can trust the product and I am getting someone’s honest opinion instead of having worthless product pushed on me. I am happy to be working for a company that also finds this to be important and I can’t wait for the paperwork to be finished so I can start working. Until then I am looking forward to going to Philly again for one of my best friends birthdays this weekend!