In the holding area (Thanks Emily - my new friend in line from Iowa - for taking the pic!)
Inside Macy's - going to the 7th floor
Getting the racks ready before going in.
This was a two print chiffon dress featured in my audition. A lot of designers had real model with them. I'm thinking of bringing children with me next time. ;)
Satin pants with a cumber bun waist - one of my designs I showed. The maxi skirt I wore to the audition was another design featured.
This is me the night before wearing a jersey color blocked sundress I made, scoping out where to find Macys.
So...Ben and I went to Chicago the night before. We stayed at a really nice hotel two blocks away from Macy's. I stayed up through the night sketching as many designs as I could for my portfolio. The next morning, I arrived to a line outside Macy's with about 100 people (was actually 101 in front of me as my number was 102). When the store opened, we all headed to the elevators to the 7th floor where another line formed. I can't remember how long we had to wait, but it wasn't that bad. I made a friend in line and we amused ourselves by checking out the competition. I was getting some mean looks, which I took as nervous jealousy from my competitors. Some designers had models with them, which was a nice touch. Some "designers" did not belong there. I did feel like I belonged.
After waiting in line, we were taken to a holding room where we waited our turn to hang up our garments on racks, which we would then take into the judging room, nine designers at a time. In the judging room were three rows of three tables with racks next to them. Each row had a judge.
When it was my turn, I set up my portfolio and pictures on the table and hung up the little bit of sample work that I had managed to get done in time for the audition. A judge, named Bobby, took a long time looking over my work (I noticed that I was the only one with any children's wear). He asked me about my label and about my story. I apologized for my lack of actual pieces to present, although I had pictures and sketches, siting that the Cobbler Has No Shoes! But he liked what I did have enough to have me wait around a while to talk to someone else. Now, not everyone was asked to wait, some were just told that if they didn't hear back by midnight, then they were out. A producer lady then came over to talk to me and look at my stuff. We spent a good deal of time talking. I got kinda emotional and almost cried. She told me that the next step was that the designers who would move on would be contacted by the producers in about two weeks and would be asked to submit camera footage of them at home.
Ben had gone to an art museum and met me afterward. I was on top of the world. My heart raced for two whole weeks. Two weeks came and went.
I was not sad. I am so glad to have gone and am excited to watch this season (starts in March) and see if there is anyone I recognize from the Chicago auditions. I also know what to expect next time and I plan on having more work to show.
So, here's the rest of what I've been doing since I last wrote. I'm going to illustrate with pictures.
A little girl in California had a pretty Birthday dress to wear that matched her brother's shorts and her doll's dress.
An old grade school friend commissioned me to make these for her adorable girls.
Upcycled sundress for Lucy
Below are a lot of
FLOWER GIRL DRESSES!!!
oh and this bright one too:
Next is a doll dress designed to match a flower girl dress (it still needed hemming when the picture was taken).
Then I took my kids and my mother to Florida:
Then I did a bunch of interior design sewing for a new restaurant in downtown Cincinnati (KAZE) as well as I designed the cocktail server dresses which were kimono inspired but feature a stiff collar matching the print on their obis (sashes) with a hidden pocket ta boot.
And so 2012 ended. Mousebee Couture quadrupled its business from its previous year and is on track to do even better this year. I've got nine orders for dresses and inquiries every day. I'm expecting another interior design commission soon and a reporter from Cincinnati Magazine will be coming to my house on Tuesday to interview me.
So, see, I haven't been lazy, or sulking. But, I promise to not wait so long until my next update.
Whomever you are reading this right now, whether my friend or family, or just someone passing through, thanks for taking the time and I wish you an amazing 2013!
AJiem (- this is what my name looks like when I type too fast. hehe.)