Saturday, 1 January 2011

2010 Highlights

Hello all,

I know it's been a very long time since my last post and yes I did say it would be my last but I though I'd do a little something to tribute the year that was 2010...

For those of you that follow me on Twitter ( @rmenashy - I tweet much more than I blog, simply because 140 characters is a lot quicker and less planned), you might have noticed me going all gushy whilst looking back at the past year. I was inspired by others reminiscing about their years and thought I'd take a step back from 'right now' and look at the things I achieved in 2010.

Whilst being caught up with the job search, the past few months have had some ups and downs but looking back I realised it had been a great year for me..

My absolute highlight of 2010 (and probably the last 5 years) was the Sketchbook pop-up shop that I launched back in March/April. It seems a million years ago since I visited the Sketchbook HQ in Notting Hill and pitched my idea to Wafa (editor-in-chief) and Luma (features editor). They loved the idea and simply said: "Do whatever you'd like and we'll support you". A few months later on 30th March we very excitedly opened the lovely blue door and invited you all to join us for a glass of wine and a cupcake to look at the exhibition, listen to our band and generally explore the venue, which was head to toe with illustrations. I'll never forget that night, or the following weeks jam-packed with lectures, workshops, live music and lots of fun. I met some amazing people: the Sketchbook team, guest speakers, bands, artists and of course lots of visitors.

Then there was Graduate Fashion Week, where I exhibited a film and book of the pop-up. I also attended as Sketchbook press and watched a bunch of the catwalk shows, sitting inches away from Hilary Alexander and Susie Bubble. Although GFW is mostly for designers, it was great to see some Marketing/Promotion/Photography/Illustration work too, and I was pleased to have been selected to exhibit.

Shortly after GFW came GRADUATION DAY. This meant a new dress, new shoes, lots of photos and hugging, 2 very proud parents, champagne and a lovely dinner by the Epsom Downs race course. The one downer to the day was when a fellow graduate threw his hat in the air only for it to knock my (full) champagne glass all over my silk dress.

Next came a well-deserved holiday with the other half and our 2 best friends. Although we stayed in the beautiful and quaint Salies De Bearn, we also took some road trips and visited other areas of SW France, as well as crossing the border to Spain to visit Bilbao and San Sebastian. Other than the wine, the olives, the freshly baked bread and croissants and obviously the company, I'd have to say the Guggenheim museum was definitely a favourite.

After a reasonably quiet summer I was approached by Vauxhall Fashion Scout, who asked me if I'd like to join them at LFW as front of house manager. Again: a chance to meet lots of people, watch some great catwalk shows, work alongside a great team and FROW watch - the most impressive being Jimmy Choo!

In October I had a lodger in the form of my good friend Becky. Stuck up north and wanting to crack London, I offered her a place to stay at Chez Menashy and she gratefully showered us with gifts and lots of giggles over northern slang. Days were spent stuck to our laptops and the occasional trip to Hampstead or Central London. I always wanted a sister!

November was birthday month and Paul treated me to afternoon tea at the Hilton, Park Lane. I drank my FIRST (in life, not just that day) cup of tea (although was some herbal one so perhaps that's cheating) and ate lots of sandwiches, cakes and yummy things. After tea we went down for a massage and glass of champers.

Christmas Day was another good'un with 14 people to feed and entertain. In preparation I must've watched Jamie Oliver's Christmas show at least 3 times with my mum, who was viciously taking notes in order to get everything perfect. On the day there was lots of food, chatter and a game of 'Who am I?' - the old post-it game that never fails with big crowds.

NYE was spent with friends in our pyjamas drinking wine and eating M&S bite-size food whilst playing more games. We hardly even noticed when it hit midnight because we were so wrapped up in our game!

All in all it's been a good year with lots of personal triumphs and great memories.

Happy New Year everyone xx

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Goodbye for now...

This blog was set up in 2009 as part of a research project for my final year dissertation on the growth of blogging. I wanted to get to know the blogosphere, understand what it takes to set up a blog and generally meet and follow other bloggers.  

After completing my dissertation I kept up the blog for a while, although whilst I was working on the Sketchbook pop-up shop I didn't find much time to update my own blog whilst managing the pop-up shop section of the Sketchbook blog:  

I have now graduated from UCA with 1st class honours in Fashion Promotion and Imaging (Marketing & PR specialism) and am focusing on finding a job and staying creative.  

It's been fun and addictive but I'm now much more active on Twitter than on the blog:  

Thanks for following and I hope you enjoyed reading the blog. Who knows, maybe I'll pick up where I left off someday...


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Graduate Fashion Week: International Fashion Show

During Graduate Fashion Week last week, I went to the international catwalk show, featuring the best collections from Munich, Singapore, St Petersburg, Basel and Amsterdam. Sitting metres away from Hilary Alexander and Susie Bubble, I watched each city battle it out in the first ever GFW international show.

What I enjoyed the most way that each designer showcased both menswear and womenswear (even if it was just a single piece of one) as well as the masks (which seemed to be a trend throughout the shows) and (as ever) the shoes. Unfortunately I'd left my camera charger in Epsom whilst staying in London and it died about a third of the way into the show! I tried to make it last by fiddling with the battery but didn't get as many photos as I'd like..

Akademie Mode & Design, Munich:

Denise Nadine Paché

Ramona Lehnerer

Wolfgang Jarnach

Lasalle College of Art, Singapore:

Li Sang

Lidya Chrisfens

AMFL, Amsterdam:

Floor Kolen

SUDT, St Petersburg:

Anna Sergunova

My favourites were Munich and Amsterdam, with St Petersburg definitely my least favourite. They just didn't do anything new and exciting and I felt very uninspired. Although I think it was a good idea to bring some international designers to London's Graduate Fashion Week, to bring in some new press interest etc, I also felt that it wasn't fair to steal the London designers' limelight! What do you think?

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Graduate Fashion Week: UCA Epsom Fashion Design Show

Sunday was the first official day of Graduate Fashion Week where myself, along with hundreds of Britain's fashion graduates (and a few internationals) have been exhibiting/showcasing our work. I had spent Saturday helping to set up the UCA Epsom stand and foolishly volunteering to sticking up all the vinyl names of each exhibitor on my course (along with 1 other student) - therefore staying until gone 6 when all the other students had left hours before to catch the Epsom Derby or generally go out.. Sunday was a day to have fun, meet people, eat some skinny cow ice creams and have a mooch around the other stands.

A couple of the Sketchbook girls came along to have a look at my work and interview me for the Sketchbook blog and I invited them to watch the UCA Epsom BA Fashion Design show. We took our front row seats and swapped around so I was sitting next to my friend Mike. The next thing I knew, Hilary Alexander sat down next to the seat I was originally sat in! Damn..

Anyway this post is about the graduate show so let me show you some of my favourites (and not-so-favourites)...

The first collection to grab me was Laura Clark's.. A charming mix of travelling and military references with fur (or perhaps not) cuffs and crisp tailoring...

I also liked Katie Barret's use of pleating and accessories in her menswear collection...

Still can't make my mind up about Alice Driver's collection. I think perhaps I was too distracted by the glasses and chelsea boots?

Notice Zandra in the background (above)?

The only words I can think of to describe Beata Gebka's collection are 'Modern Amish'.

Anna Piercy made everyone laugh by sending alphabet inspired pieces down the catwalk. The models then rearranged themselves to spell out RANDOM, which yes, it was!

William Hamil kept his collection simple, using mainly white with the occasional nature inspired print (which I couldn't find a good photo of on my cam)...

Miho Chico featured acrylic jewellery and primary colours against black, creating the effect of stained glass windows.

Another one that stuck out to me was Alice Halliday, who's religious influenced collection featured heavy embellishments and religious accessories with a medieval yet angelic feel.

I loved the shapes and use of accessories in this collection. Stency Kidega sent her models down the catwalk to "I'm a little airplane now"!

Each designer also paraded down the runway at the end of the show, some embarrassed and stupidly hiding their faces from the cameras (therefore ruining a potential press shot) and some grinning from ear to ear.

Good luck to the UCA graduates!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Exhibiting at Graduate Fashion Week

My Final Major Project has been selected to be exhibited at this year's Graduate Fashion Week. I will be showcasing a short film and photo book that document the Sketchbook Pop-Up Shop, a concept I coordinated as a live collaboration for my final major project (as you probably already know).

Graduate Fashion Week
Earls Court 2

6th - 10th June 2010

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Day of deadline

Monday was the big day - handing in my Final Major Project and putting the finishing touches to my exhibition space for assessment. 3.5 hours sleep on Sunday and not much more the night before but I was finally finished at 11.45 (deadline midday).

Here's a sneak preview of my space - better pics to come from tomorrow night's private view..

And here's a bunch of us - exhausted, relieved, hungry.. Not looking our best! 
This picture was followed by a well deserved trip to the pub.

1 more week to go until my second deadline and it'll all be over!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Happy times at the pop-up shop

Last night it sunk in that today really is the last day of the Sketchbook pop-up shop. I had a bit of an emotional outburst in my living room  because I really want to be there for the next few days, at Susie Bubble's talk, at the closing event and even to paint it all back and hand over the keys. Gutted that I'm stuck in Epsom doing all my uni work (deadline Monday) and that I can't escape to say goodbye...

I've decided to make a happy post, showing a lot of the good times I had at the shop... At least all the ones caught on camera! 

Launch Party

Blogs & Brands Panel Discussion

John-Paul Thurlow Private View

Lee Lapthorne Lecture

Photography: Sarolta Marton / Nedim Nazerali and various people on my camera..