cait +tiff


C / progress report #2


I was supposed to be in a draping class this week, but life doesn’t always work out the way I plan, so I have a few days off. Taking this time to catch up on emails I owe the people I love and plan for a few very exciting upcoming adventures, including employment. More on that later. The upside of an unplanned week to myself is that I have time for a proper progress report.

I’m now at the point in the summer, where I only have a few weeks left here in London and I am decidedly unhappy about it. I have loved living here, and school has been more than I could have hoped for. Fifteen year old me just yelled NERD, but it’s entirely true.

Since I last checked in, I have done a lot of work. My Fashion Design Sumer School course was four weeks, with a different project every day, which means I have a very heavy portfolio at home and I’m glad we used recycled paper. I shared my final small collection with you last week, but so much more went into it than I could show in a post. As I have learned here, it’s all about the process and in my recent experience, the first draft sketch of a piece is a mere shadow of the final product. Life around me has been the most inspiring part of living in London and the things I see here change my designs. Museums, music, history and architecture are all great to draw from, but some of the most interesting details in my work usually come from someone I saw on the tube, the way a dessert was presented or the constant mix of old and new. The photos here are a CliffsNotes version of the last few weeks, and a mix of work and adventure. There are SO many more photos that I want to include, but let’s not break the blog.

In probably-not-chronological order, my life here.



The window display at Selfridges, student art at CSM, Shoreditch graffiti, a paper dress I made with my class partner




St Pancras, a dress at the V & A that I have taken 4 photos of, a dress I didn’t buy, school project: invent something




School supplies and sketching, best visitors from Oregon, Irish Sunset




A purse made out of garbage, 3D art project, cheeky graffiti, the London Eye at night


Latte art staying power at Monmouth Coffee. Happy, Dickon?


Inspiration to remember, pretty colors at the V & A, life-changing honeycomb




Whitstable, a pretty lady and a borrowed baby, Mast Brothers chocolate, kid being awesome


                                                     The king of England, and my heartcaitsig

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C / Faker


Emma Watson graces the cover of the 2015 September issue of Vogue UK. She’s well-styled, put together but not contrived, and well spoken in her interviews. She has certainly had enough practice. This girl is one of the most impressive and accomplished 25 year-olds on the planet, and along with being an actor, a model/muse, and a UN Ambassador, she is also a feeling human being. I have been aware of the her virtues for a while, along with the rest of the world, but something she said in this interview resonated. In reference to being an actor, she said “I feel like an imposter.”

Imposter. Someone who is clearly talented, admired by her community for her work, and has also gone on to do insanely important work by starting He For She, feels like a fake. Rationally, it makes no sense to me, but I get it. A lot of women get it. It’s a bizarre thing, but I have talked to a lot of friends in the past year who have felt like this. Women I know who are accomplished on all fronts; head boss ladies, masters of their fields, super moms and general badasses, have felt this same notion, that somehow, they are faking it. That they are somehow undeserving of what they have accomplished.

It sucks, and can probably be attributed to a mountain of societal pressure, ass-backwards social norms, stupid misogynistic crap and the notion that women’s self doubt is somehow a virtue, but it’s total garbage. It’s garbage that I feel on the daily. Its a strange thing, to be self-aware of the feelings, already knowing they are misplaced and damaging, but still have them.

I have no idea what I am doing a lot of the time in my fashion life here, and I do something that’s new to me every day. I feel behind when I see 18 year olds, bubbling over with talent, and I am 32 and struggling to draw pants. The other students have more energy, better clothes and go to fashion parties and shows that start at 12am.  I go to an 80’s aerobics class and have a long list of “fashion things to google” on my phone. There is a constant battle on my head between the “you are doing it your way” camp and the “holy shit, you are lame” camp.  I talk myself down from that pointless ledge a lot, noting that I have other talents, different valuable experience, and that I know all the words to “Free Your Mind” by En Vogue, and they don’t even know what that means.

So this next week, I have a class on draping. We will be working on dress forms and pinning fabric to make different shapes and looks. It will be another new thing that I have never done, but I am looking forward to it, and am determined to know I belong there. It has been incredibly helpful to hear from lots of you, and all the messages that you wrote about the collection on Tuesday were amazing. They made me feel like I’m actually doing it, and I really, truly appreciate your words. Have a great weekend.


Photo via A Well Traveled Woman.

And because everyone should know the words…