A year has passed

So last week has been the conclusion of the first of my 2-year diploma in Fashion Design.
I have to admit that in the last two months I skipped a lot of classes and have been very much uninterested with the school's fashion show. A deadly mix of boredom, laziness, personal problems and disappointment with the classes made my attention span shorten. I'm not dropping out though, I'm sticking this one through. I've learned a lot during these months, and I'm grateful for that.

Let's make a list of what I've gained from this experience:

  • I have a more comprehensive knowledge of what are the processes of the creation of garments/brands/fashion business, plus the roles of people involved
  • I understand and value greatly the importance of good pattern-making and tailoring
  • I know a fair bit more about materials
  • I can draw much much better than I used to
  • I can sew! (sorta)
Most importantly I am excited about learning more and getting down and start working, I'm planning on making a collection during this summer break. I'm a little scared, and I don't feel well prepared at all, but I know enough to face the coming challenges.

I wonder if this is just a result of the experience in my school or is this how other design students feel halfway through their course. Is school supposed to make me ready to dive head-first into "real world" work? Or does it just give us the tools to start learning once you're in? And is this only about design schools, or is it the norm amongst higher education institutions?

Anyway, I'm exited about my clothing line, it's going to be women and menswear, young, fresh and colorful. I'm going to get my own graphics screened of fabric and I'll try to work with a pattern-maker and a tailor in-house, instead of outsourcing everything. We'll see how it goes, I'll try to keep posting as my endeavor progresses.

For now the goal is to make the collection, make a look-book and post it the brands own website or have it hosted on Facebook, try to sell online and maybe sell to some local shops. Profit prospects are not that important for now. I'm going to focus on learning how to do everything properly so I know I have the perfect medium to express my creativity, thus ensuring that the end product is a faithful reflection of what I have in mind. Once this is perfected, we can start talking about money. I know this is probably the worst business plan in the world, but I can't imagine doing this any other way. Hopefully it'll make enough money to fund it's own growth. If not, fuck it.

Sorry for the boring post,  I just needed to get this out.

I feel this is a turning point for me, so wish me luck and I'll try to keep posting.



Quickie: Millinery

images via Screaming Mimi's

I absolutely love the mixing of frilly millinery with denim and sneakers. Makes me want to go thrifting for vintage headpieces....hmmm. I'm gonna take you guys shopping soon, as soon as I get my life back from school work. I'm also working on a collective fashion show, can't wait to have a day off from everything and go shopping. I made some new friends in Bkk, and I'm gonna take them to my fav vintage shops in the city. Yay!



I'm stuck at home because I just HAD to buy a new gorgeous milky mint (my fav color) leather handbag. Now I can't afford going out for drinks, and that makes me sad sad sad. I'm on holidays from school too, so I've just got way too much time on my hands. A real deterrent for productivity. I have to get back on track with my school work, my personal projects and the blog.

Coming up are:

  • an interview and visit to Bangkok based designer Pijitra from Hey Pilgrim!.
  • pictures of my new sewing machine Flora. (it's a vintage Philips)
  • hhhmmm...will try making a dress or a top, I will first see if I can make it then maybe post the pattern instructions and tutorial.
That's it for now, I'll just leave you with pretty pictures found from the interweb.

Center image from My Love for you is a Stampede of Horses. The other two I can't remember where I found them. Sorry.


Look What I Made #1: Hommage a Fifi Lapin

I found this impermeable Fifi Lapin fabric at the market (exactly the same to the one she created for Lesportsac) and I just had to buy it. If you don't know who Fifi is, check out her blog and you'll fall in love with this little bunny too.  On the website you can see the official Lesportsac Fifi bags. I love the fabric but the bags are pretty ugly if you ask me.

Anyway, I made a little key-chain for myself with the bunny fabric last week. A friend of mine saw it and she asked me to make her one too, to give to a colleague who is leaving the country as a farewell gift.

Here are pictures of the key-chain I made for my friend. I stuffed it with cotton balls, and made a cute little blue felt envelope to put it in. I blanket stitched the bunnies with this beautiful iridescent pink embroidery thread I got from the Pinn Shop in Central World.

Piracy is a bad thing kids, don't try it at home. Please don't sue me Fifi.


Red Fashion....vive la revolution!

disclaimer: the unoriginal girl is not politically affiliated with any party. as far as she's concerned, they're all scum.

It's a strange time for being in Bangkok. Even if 'the unoriginal girl' is mainly a blog about Fashion Design, I find it hard not to talk about what's going on around me. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the situation, I suggest you go to the bbc or the uk guardian websites for better information about the political situation. In a nutshell, Thailand is going through a transition period: a faction of the population, dubbed the 'red shirts' have occupied the main commercial, tourist and administrative areas of the capital, urging the government to dissolve parliament, which they argue was elected undemocratically. The majority of the 'red shirts' are uneducated, rural people which comprise more than 80% of the nation (it's not the exact statistic but I'm sure that's pretty close to the real numbers). They have declared class war, they want to get rid of the monarchy and they are clad in red. Sound familiar? Amazingly, they are not claiming any connection to Marxism, because they've never heard of it.

Anyway, the city is in a frenzy. 'Reds' are everywhere, either just sporting a red scarf or t-shirt or they take it so seriously their attire, hair and underpants are various shades of crimson. So yesterday I went to Ratchaprasong intersection (base-camp of the protesters) with the intention of getting some photographs for my Red Fashion article. I wanted to find the most extreme and amusing interpretations of the red shirt uniform. The trip was unsuccessful. We (my photographer boyfriend and I) went there quite late in the evening, most of them were tired and sleeping in improvised shelters on the street. I didn't find any outfit worth of notice. Nonetheless it was a very interesting expedition. There were probably still 3-4 thousand people there, but the atmosphere was light and joyful, it felt like a huge county fair. There were vendors selling all you need to be a 'red shirt' (garments, clappers, whistles, flags etc.), snacks and refreshments, chairs and camping equipment. On the enormous stage erected in the middle of the intersection there was a lady in red (duh) with an amazing red, white and blue wig (the national colors). She was talking to the crowd about democracy and corruption, and then she would stop the speech to sing a song about peace and patriotism. I simply loved how the clappers, from instruments for display of approval for what the red lady was saying instantly turned into musical instruments as the first notes of the song would start playing.

But, apart from the entertainment I started to actually listen to the red lady's speech. She was speaking in conversational Thai, opposed to the 'royal' language used for official communications and even news reports. You see, that language is very archaic and if a Thai person didn't go to school past year 6 (primary school, which is the level of education in rural areas) they would actually have no clue of what those words mean. Words like democracy, civil rights, words about philosophy, politics, medicine, psychology and many more are virtually absent from the vocabulary of a large chunk of the population (and did I mention that rural Thailand is pretty much everything outside of Bangkok?) The red lady was literally giving a lecture about the meaning of those words, telling the uneducated crowds that democracy means 'government by the people' and what it actually translates to in a civilized country. I'm sorry to say this but even if slavery in Thailand was abolished in 1912, the lower class is still virtually in slavery. It sounds harsh but this country still has a very clear separation of society. There is a very small high class (and they are very VERY rich) a growing but still neglect-able middle class, and a vast lower class of people that work ridiculous hours for peanuts. There is no welfare system, the police is highly corrupt, the quality of public education is laughable. Some may argue that no one is forcing these people to work such terrible jobs, and that it's their fault if they aren't better educated. Really? So why is it that every single high ranking manager, CEO, engineer, doctor or any well paid person in Thailand was educated abroad? You cannot call this a democracy if income is an impediment for equal opportunity. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but I'm going to stop here.

Now, I'm not saying that I've 'turned red'. I still disagree with many of the things the red shirts are saying and doing (donating blood to splash it on government buildings? what the..??). But I am happy to see them do something. These people have all the right reasons in the world to create such a havoc and demand a real democracy. It's about damned time they stopped being so mai pen rai ('it's ok...' the Thais attitude of accepting their fate) and fought for their rights. Too bad that they were spurred to do so by Mr.T, the richest of the rich, the most corrupt of the corrupt and who is just using them for his personal gain. Oh well, it's not a perfect world.

Here are some pictures of the expedition in red territory.
Ratchaprasong district is where the most expensive and visited shopping malls are.

During the day there aren't many people because it's too hot. So they all come out at night.

The Thai media describe the protesters being aggressive and dangerous. There's one. He's selling really tasty Rotee.

More scary protesters.

The multi-talented Red Lady. Does anyone who she is? Someone told me she's a rich woman, an old movie star or something.

A-ha! Groovy red shirts, for the more fashion-conscious protesters.

An unoriginal girl, trying to blend in with the angry mob. 'Yupsapa' ("dissolve parliament") scarf and victory sign are de rigeur.
I talked to my mom this morning, I told her about the trip and she freaked out.

***Photo credits Liam Morgan


Things I need

This morning, as I was thinking what I would like to write about in the next week or so, I realized I need a couple of things to do them:
  • a pretty decent scanner
  • a nice little point-and-shoot camera
  • hhhmmmm.....air-con in my studio
Due to lack of funds, I can't afford buying all these things at the same time. maybe I should look at some second hand market or something. For the digital camera though I'd like to have the new Olympus E-PL1 here it is:

I really want this. As for the other items in the list, can anyone tell me where to look for second hand things in Bangkok? I only know about Flashlight market.
Oops, time for school, and I'm still in my p-jays.

have a nice day everyone 


Fashion Illustration Nightmare and exercizes to improve your drawing skills

I thought I was a pretty decent drawer. As a kid my mom would provide me with paper and ball-point pen, gather people around at parties and challenge them to name an object or animal that I wasn't able to draw in less than 60 seconds. The highlight was :"...and look! she doesn't erase a single line!". Yep, pretty fun. She probably would have got them to gamble money if she could have.
So when I got to design school, I thought Fashion Illustration class would be a piece of cake. Didn't see what was coming. The first months of lessons were incredibly slow and painful. My models were ugly and awkward and the garments didn't look like my mental image at all. I also felt all the other students' frustration growing with mine.

There is a reason why people go to school, and there is a reason why you are given homework. By doing all the assignments and much much more I have improved a great deal. And I thought I couldn't be any better than I already was!

'Style' was also a concern. My efforts of drawing anything that had an immediately recognizable signature were laughable. Eventually I grew sick of it and I stopped trying, focusing instead on keeping up with the increasing work load. It was to my surprise that one day I turned in an assignment on which I'd forgotten to write my name and the teacher knew it was mine!

How did that happen? How can you have a style of your own without having done it intentionally?
By practicing a lot (I mean A LOT) you become more accustomed to your medium of expression, so that it doesn't feel like a foreign object anymore but actually an addition to your hand and mind. Practice allows you to have full control on the medium so that it can do exactly what you want it to do.
When you know that that line you want to draw is actually going to be as straight as you need it to be, you stop worrying about it and it's like the connection between your brain and your hand is more direct, thus giving better results. Everyone has their style, and it's not really something you can control. It's just the way things are.

So practice, practice, practice, practice, PRACTICE! It takes 10000 hours to master a skill so GET CRACKING PEOPLE!
How do you think the Beatles got to be so good at what they do? They practiced like maniacs for many hours every day!

By the way, I got some good exercises for you lazy ones out there. It's already hard to think of what to draw, plus figuring out how to do it etc. What we want to practice is mainly the manual skills so:

  • draw models in different positions from photographs in fashion magazines or whatever
  • try copying fashion illustrations
  • find an illustration manual and you'll find chapters dedicated to specific parts of the body. For example there will be drawings of feet in a dozen different positions from different angles. Put a piece on paper on top and trace them exactly the way they are and keep them in a file or better tape them to the wall in front of your desk as a reference, so when you can't figure out how to draw shoes from behind you can look up at your template and figure it out from there.
  • do speed drawing drills: fill sketchbooks with just straight lines, curved lines, circles etc. This is a great exercise to whenever and wherever. Watching TV, on the phone, at the bus stop...

And also, don't throw away your drawing attempts. They're great fun to look at when you get better (and you will). Plus you get to post them on your blog when you're trying to prove that your method works.TvT

These are my 'before and after' drawings. They are only 5-6 months apart.



click on them to open the bigger image in a new page!