A Sense of Confidence

A Sense of Confidence

Lidia describes how she felt after winning the mini-challenge.

It’s a new day. I’m happy that eveningwear gown challenge is over. The mini-challenge was something unexpected. Nobody thought that we are going to be asked to handsew something as a race who is going to be the first to finish with quality work on a very ugly outfit. My team decided that I’m going to be the first person who would sew a shoulder pad and stitch the ripped lining back to i’s place. By going first I felt pressured by being in the spotlight which puts me in a position being in charge to proceed to my best with a quick reaction in completing the task and not to jeopardize the time frame for my team members. So I decided to pace myself to be organized and most important not to panic. The first thing that I did, I prepared the tools and then started to sew the jacket. It turned out that I was the first to complete the task in comparison to the other two groups. In the end result my shoulder pad won us the challenge which gave us an extra hour to work on a big next challenge. It felt very satisfying. It gave me a sense of confidence when Isaac said that it’s the best shoulder pad that we have seen so far. We were asked to choose a new team leader and because of my shoulder pad which got us in a winning position. My team felt that I’m going to be the next team leader and I took the initiative to lead together and I’m confident I can do a great job because coming from a senior design position for the company that I worked for, for the past five years.

This week’s challenge was very interesting. I’m very excited about the concept of creating a versatile functional with new innovation jacket piece. In my opinion, the first thing to do is to come up with a solid concept in order to have a strong collection. I proposed my idea to my team. My concept was based on a customer who is a jet-set traveler, modern cosmopolitan woman, who is always on the road and travels around the globe changing the continents and climates, who needs wearable and functionable outerwear that serves the purpose of versatility. She is from a big city such as New York, London, or Moscow. Our muse is Kate Moss. I chose an architectural approach for the shapes and silhouettes and the color story is based on skyscraper buildings like in NY, lots of cool gray tones with a touch of black and a splash of beautiful fresh turquoise tone. The fabrication spoke of high tech fabrics, quality of execution and attention to the details. After proposing my concept to my team I was happy that they liked it and got inspired.

At the fabric store we sketched our ideas on a paper and what made us blend together is a color story and attention to the notions such as zippers. It looked to me that we are very different with our design ideas since we all have different style, but yet it kind of blends together due to a high tech fabrics color story and attention to the details mentioned above. The four seasons were divided, fabrics were chosen, and we are ready to jump start working on this project. By winning a mini-challenge we had an extra hour to work after coming back from the store. We started to drape and I suggested to my team to take into consideration and measure all the necessary notions and zipper lengths to make sure we are prepared for the next trip to the store. Patterns, layouts, and draping had started. The following day is a very big working day. The tension is growing because it’s almost unrealistic that a jacket piece which in general is not an easy piece to do in 14 hours, has to serve the purpose of versatility and function. I was going around each team member if they have any questions or they need any help to make sure we would complete everything on time. It occurred that Merlin rethought about his original design idea and changed it completely. But I supported his idea because I wanted him to do something that he is happy and comfortable with. James-Paul and Angel had turquoise in their ideas originally and that got changes too because they didn’t have time to apply this color fabric to their garments. But overall I felt that the most important is to deliver a quality completed looks with a statement of original controversability and we did finish on time and the project was delivered.

It’s fashion show time. It was challenging for models to be able to sell the garments and show their purpose on a runway, but the show must go on. I’m happy it’s almost over and it’s time for the judges to deliberate. Our guest judge was Norma Kamali. I was very excited and she is an icon for me as an inventor of versatility with her famous parachute skirt. My team was the first one to be judged. I was really surprised to hear that my team was favorite among the judges, but the vote went for the team chosen by the audience. I was honored and thrilled to hear that Fern chose my piece as her favorite on the show and she commented on the silhouette which reminded her of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus masterpiece. Also the splash of turquoise as well as the choice of fabric for my  summer raincoat piece really made her smile. Norma Kamali also mentioned that she appreciated my design aesthetics as well and her comment was “It’s very charming and girly as you are.” Isaac mentioned “Lidia, I think you got a job at Norma Kamali design house.” Kelly’s comment was that she would totally wear this piece in the summer. That made me really smile. I felt very fortunate and honored to hear sincere comments and positive judgment from our respected judges. I also appreciated their opinion on what could be done better in terms of cohesiveness and color story which slightly changed in designs of my team members. But overall I was happy that my team was great and we delivered the best innovative product in our line and we were chosen as a favorite team among the judged.

I think it was very fair to have on a stage the garments from the losing team. Although it’s unfortunate that Reco was the team leader. He did the best job in execution and finish of his garment. The winning team had surprised everyone since Andrew was chosen as winner for this challenge and it tuned out that his design concept was pushed and developed by his team members. But overall I’m not super surprised that his garment was chosen by the audience because I think it was very wearable and it had an interesting twist of versatility. Overall the collection looked cohesive to me. The day is over, judging is complete, and we are ready for the next challenge to complete!

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