zaidd'or

By Zaid Taji Farouki

Tag: Istituto Marangoni

Graduated!

So a few days ago I can finally say I am done with fashion school. I know this may sound cliché but this year taught me so much about myself. After graduating from university I wanted to pursue my dream so I decided to apply to fashion schools and I ended up in Milan at Istituto Marangoni. The first few months I would describe as the hardest. The stress, the uncertainty, the learning curve- tough demands which can only be met by working through the nights. With all these factors I can definitely say I learnt more than I expected.The sleepless nights & anxiety attacks paid off eventually and I couldn’t be happier, with three collections in my portfolio.

This year wasn’t all about the academics, it was also about growing as a person and facing actual competition among peers. Previously in business school we were very competitive, but we somehow worked together in classes on projects, papers, etc that elevated us all together it was team work. But sadly in the creative world it is everyone for himself and having to constantly watch your back and work. Yes, people always managed to say snarky comments about your work  just to diminish you. A great example was a fellow student that on more than one occasion mentioned that my final painting on my garments was was awful. The first incident was when he said “it’s not the fabric that didn’t work, its your painting which is bad” or the other time where he said “you should hire someone better than you to paint the outfits!”. These comments were not even called for and he wasn’t asked for his opinion in the first place. Others claimed that they were fed wrong information for them to fail the exam. Let’s say we needed a reality TV show, I would love to pitch the idea to Bravo TV.

Some may think why am I sharing this sensitive information with the people reading my blog, well these moments were a new highlight in my life. For the first time in my life, I didn’t wish a person for the best in their lives. It was a new marking point, was I going to be one of those people that were ruthless? Did I loose my personality? Or was it just amplifying something hidden inside of me? But after much thought I realized it wasn’t any of the above. Anyone that knows me, knows how I wish the best for everyone and I would always be there if anyone needed assistance. But this time I had gotten to the point where you are welcome by my side where as friends/acquaintances we inspire each other and grow simultaneously. If that wasn’t the key factor and their main factor was to diminish me, as is I am already a harsh critic on myself so I don’t need their assistance. Although I will need their assistance in one thing, they further encourage me to prove them wrong.

The day after I graduated I had to put on my professional look and head out to try to figure out whats the next step I need to take in order to leap onto my next goal. During my final exam I submitted my Spring/ Summer 2015 collection, but we also submitted finished look from our Fall Winter 2014/15 collection. I hope you like it!! Every piece was hand painted by me after the pieces were sewn to create customizable pieces that the wearer views as a piece of art rather than an average piece of clothing.

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Inspiration

I am currently designing a Spring Summer collection and I would love to keep you up to date with all the work I have been doing. My inspiration for this collection is taking the fabrics in religious representations (such as crochet and chiffon) and transforming them into modern geometric pieces that incorporate prints and fabrics specifically designed by me to create a wearable avant-garde pieces. As I will keep the actual pieces and illustrations as a surprise. Here are a few images that I have drawn inspiration from. Although it may seem that I was inspired by religious figures, but the truth is that I wanted to take the feeling of the delicate, “untouchable”, femininity and transforming in a way to create the allure of the woman that I would see wearing my clothes. Here is just a small amount of images from my research. I hope you enjoy it!

Catching Up!

Soooo I haven’t blogged in a while and I don’t like where this is going. I need to be back on top of my work. I haven’t been posting things daily ever since I moved to Milan and its because of the hectic non-ending work lifestyle I have. During the winter break I had promised myself that stress and over-exhaustion should not lead my life in any form. The first few months I got here I managed to gain back all the weight I had gained in the past year, and never in my life have I had to go through nervous breakdowns as much as I did. Studying and creating in general is very stressful deadlines are set and clear, but its not like any other kind of career everything truly has to happen in the last minute. You can plan for months but everything has to take its course and it can come down to just a few days for execution. Therefore, after I got back to Milan in January I vowed to myself that I would go back to my gym schedule, de-stress my life, and the end of the day I am here to improve creatively not destroy myself. It has been baby steps, I don’t go to the gym 6 times a week like I used to the same time last year now I go 3 or 4 times a week. And as for the stress, that never ends but you start having this belief that everything will turn out ok in the end. As for the all-nighters those never end, I can see a lifetime of them ahead of me and I don’t know how to feel about it.

So to update you about my life and what has happened in the past month and a half that I haven’t been online as much. I personally managed to travel a lot. I went to Amsterdam for one weekend with a friend of mine, the city was beautiful, we rented bikes, went to the flower markets, went to the museums, and took the tour along the canals. The weekend after I had to fly to Saudi Arabia for 3 days to renew my residency there and as soon as I got back to Milan the two weeks of finals slammed me in the face. Two days after my finals great friends of mine came to visit me in Milan for a few days (and we managed to squeeze a day trip to Lake Como). I really appreciate them for coming all the way to visit me! I love having people, especially close friends of mine! After Milan, we took off and went to Barcelona for a weekend. Oh dear lord! What a beautiful city! I personally got inspired in every step I took in that city, we went to the Sagrada Familia, the Picasso Museum, Park Güell, and other Gaudi buildings.

So here is a quick update of my life and stay posted for more! And I am proud to say that I have created two collections so far and I am currently working on my third one! Here is a picture of me sitting in Park Güell.

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My First Skirt!

With so much going on and everything being up in the air, I just realized today that it has been 8 days since I last posted on my blog. Yes days feel like hours to me at this point. Yesterday I had to the opportunity to visit Pavia as one of my friends invited me as well as a few other friends to her home there. I found the true meaning of a small Italian city. I have to visit again soon, as it is only 30 minutes away from Milano.Below you will find pictures of the cathedral and views from my friends balcony. As well as visiting Pavia, I got to execute my first skirt. Please don’t look at the type of skirt as its a basic exercise everyone had to do from a book. Will I be able to give designers a little run for their money? NAHHHHHHHHH I know this is such a short post, but I am swamped with work tomorrow as I have to hand in my sketch book which includes “my aliens” as well as have some of my aliens colored in using Pantone. Ohh the joy of staying up all night, I am pulling more all-nighters than my freshman year at university (which was record breaking for all-nighters)

Ps. Click on the images below to enlarge them

“My Plants Gonna Grow Gold Leaves Baby”

One of the best things to hear and record is sayings by ambitious people making fun of their futures and how unrealistic things may be. And trust me nothing stops in the way of dreaming. As I was on the phone with a close friend of mine today he said “I will make them water the plants in bikinis with Evian water and caviar as soil… My plants gonna grow gold leaves baby”…… DON’T WE ALL WANT THAT!!! Well we ended a 45 minute phone call by saying if our young selves would have heard our conversation today they would make fun of us. As we also discussed how our metabolism is starting to fail us and we can’t drink as much as we could before. Yes our 18 year old selves would probably be on the floor crying from laughter. But be careful what you wished for when you were younger! You couldn’t wait for the day you turned 1 year older. Now on your birthday you stay in bed remembering what happened in that year and how it went by so fast. Hahaha As we work everyday to reach what we want to in life, there is nothing like having a friend that you can share these stuff with and make fun of it. But nothing is more beautiful than having your work transfer from something in your mind to reality. And the more time I spend here in school the closer and more realistic it becomes.

Well as I work like a dog and sometimes hard work doesn’t show as much. But here is some sketches from one class that I did throughout last week. There is improvement with my sketches hopefully be the end of this week we will start coloring them and by next week start sketching our own designs on the figures. Many of the sketches still need fixing as they are unfinished.

Ps. Click on the images to enlarge them.

Going “Nude”

So I personally thought that this year was going to be the year where I jet of to Europe study during the week and travel and party during the weekend, WORNG. So This weekend I spent my entire weekend dedicated to finishing up my work. I did a fair amount of it. But perfectionist me, I am planning on repeating a large part of my homework. And I personally cant get myself to do it tonight, it has been a long exhausting weekend. But I have to admit never have I ever been so worried but so at ease and relaxed at the same time. Even without enough sleep I always manage to wake up before the alarm, waiting to see what the world has hidden for me. Its an oxymoron where I am so worried and tense but I feel somehow in center with myself and happy. These three weeks I believe had taught me something I never learnt before, is coming prepared and full of confidence but somehow in a second everything comes crashing down. Everything becomes wrong, I know this is a cliché but you dust yourself up and move on and find a better way to do things.

I haven’t posted a daily obsession recently, so here I am posting about the new shades of “nude” a new line that Christian Louboutin has launched for this upcoming season. Explaining “The shoes disappear like magic and become a fluid extension of the woman’s legs, as in a sketch, elongating the silhouette.” In order to achieve this appearance he launched the 5 different shades. And if you are finding trouble knowing which color best matches your skin, you can use a newly launched app to assist you with that. Here are the new shades of “nude”.

Under Pressure

So today has been one of those days.. You know the sketches that took me 3 days to make and the ones I showed you yesterday? Well I have to re-do a good deal of them because they are not good enough. So after a whole day of classes starting from 11:15 am to 8pm. I hear this news at around 7:45 because thats when the teacher had individual meetings with everyone of us. After class I managed to drag myself back home, dragging myself home at the pace where it usually only takes me 10 minutes to get home from university to my apartment. It took me 30! Here I am sitting in a café right underneath my building. Currently writing this trying to decide what I should eat. Am I running towards food for comfort? Yes, I am. Should I be doing that? NOOO.. So here I am trying to decide what to eat and feeling guilty for not having a daily workout schedule.

Anyways the professor informed me that the sketches don’t have to be done by next week but should be there by the end of November (the end of our first semester) So here I am forcing myself to do them early not because I don’t want to keep them till the end but because I have to try my best to be the best at what I want to be. So as I plan the rest of this weeks schedule I realize I will almost have a nonexistent weekend. A few pages of sketching to repeat, new sketches to make, a skirt to cut over the weekend, and to create one mood board as an example for my first collection.

I swear Fashion school is breaking me faster than business school ever did. I am going to eat and head up to my apartment to sleep as I have to create 4 skirt patterns for tomorrow and I need to finish the last 2. Luckily I have class at 2:45 so I have time to do them before hand.

What also keeps me going is these messages I got from two of my friends today and I would like to thank them for all the support and love. One of them I woke up to, the other I received during the day. I would love to thank them for all the love and support.

“Do i always tell you mama says ‘did you tell zaid that hes designing youe wedding dress?’ hahahaa”

“Good luck in this new chapter of your life in beautiful Milan, wish you all the best Zaido! Make me proud!!”

Love,
sleep deprived, emotionally and physically exhausted Zaid

The Day of Changes

Well today it was one of those things that I had to do. I had to create a public Instagram account @zaidfarouki. I will try me best somehow later integrate my Instagram feed into the blog. Well as we all know if social media if used correctly is one of the greatest marketing tools the world has to offer. Because of what I want to do and the work I want to go in. I need to synchronize everything from twitter to Instagram to my blog. Therefore, I have created an Instagram account with the same username as my twitter account, so I will be easier to find on social media. So follow me on both Twitter and Instagram at @zaidfarouki

So after clearing this issue, today has been one of those hectic days, long working hours and getting frightened by my old smoking neighbor that stands between the pots. I think this week our relationship took a new level. We saw each other on the street and greeted each other, I am worried that our relationship is escalating to fast…. So now whenever she sees me she smiles and says “Ciao”. The only conversation that goes on between us is “Bonjourno” and “Ciao” but then she smiles whenever she sees me. Anyways so today I was late to leave my apartment and it was probably the third time I come back from standing in front of the elevator after remembering something I forgot. After I left my apartment for the third time. There she was in black and a grey shawl in between the flower pots smoking and our typical conversation of “Bonjourno” and “Ciao” took place.

Today has been a long day. I woke up early and finished the sketches for my class. And of course the internet limit decides to end today so I had to walk to Vodafone and recharge my account. As this took time there came the lunch hour which every place in Italy closes from 1-3 pm. No one messes with the Italians and their lunch break, So I had to wait around for the art supply store to open again. I met up with a friend for tea afterwards and then I headed off to my pattern making class. So to add even more work to the work. We are supposed to sketch 4 different patterns of skirts and ready by Wednesday and have 1 actual skirt made by Monday. This is going to be a fun weekend. I don’t know whether to be excited or worried.

So below your going to find some sketches that I have made. of course only the presentable ones, not the alien formed ones hahah. Now off to create 2 things on Photoshop and then off to bed because tomorrow is going to be a long day! Classes from 11:15am – 8pm.

Ps. Click on the images to enlarge them.

The Big Grey Cat

For the past two days I have seen Washington DC go all crazy, with the government shutting down, to a shooter at Capitol Hill. I hope everyone that works at the Capitol and all surrounding areas are safe and sound. And I seriously hope everyone I know in DC watches out as to whats happening in the city and stays safe.

So as some may know today was my day off from university. I woke up at 7:30 (of course you wake up really early when you don’t have to) anyways I stayed in bed till 12. Then I decided to go out for a 45 minute run. The weather is a bit chilly, but It was the right amount of cold, when you can feel the cool breeze hitting your face as you run. During my run I wanted to get lost in my area, as that’s the only way to learn the streets and find new intriguing places. I came across a large market that spans a few blocks, a park, and I also found a few electronics and home supply stores that I may need in the future. After getting home and showering, as I left my apartment for the second time, I saw the “infamous” cat, you know the one that lives with my neighbor that doesn’t smoke using her hands.. Well that cat was waiting for me next to my apartment door and it was staring right at me with its big green eyes. It was like it was trying to look into my soul, and whenever I moved my head right or left it did the same exact thing. And then I saw its owner coming out of her apartment door. Of course you see her cigarette exiting the door before her, trying to light it. I politely said “bonjourno” and fled to the elevator.

Later on I went with a friend to an art supply store and sat on a cafe and started sketching for one of my classes. You can see in the photos below pictures of the park I ran in and some of my sketches that I have which are not that great, but I had to show you what I am working on. We had to draw designs from magazines as practice so we can be able to draw our own designs in the future.

So here I am in bed, about to go to sleep because tomorrow is going to be a loooong day. Classes start at 8:30 am.. So I better get a good night’s sleep. I hope you enjoy the pictures and the sketches of course.

Ps. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

A Day With Me, Myself and I

Today has been an interesting day. I woke up at 9 am then went back to sleep but at around 1 o’clock i woke up dreaming about food. I realized that because my windows were open the smell of my neighbor’s cooking had entered my apartment and it smelt so good. Afterwards I showered and got dressed and went out in search for a trash can to put in my bedroom/sitting-room as well as a side lamp. After visiting a few stores and not find anything, I decided to have lunch. While I was looking for restaurants, they were either closed, or full because it was Sunday. Walking around I passed by the Four Seasons, so I decided to go in and have lunch there (you can see the photo below). After filling up my belly “Kirsh” I decided to continue looking for a side lamp. I went two department stores Excelsior and La Rinascente.

On a side note am I the only person that their eyes water up when they see beautiful clothing? I was just wondering, am I the only one weird like that? Anyways I saw way to many god looking clothing articles that I may have felt like I was in my own Disney land. Well I may have fallen in love with a few things in the store. At first I saw these amazing camouflage shoes by Valentino and formal sneakers by Hogan. I later saw two sweaters by Kenzo. One of them I didn’t really like, but what grabbed my attention was how products are specifically tailored to the Middle – Eastern market. I must admit its a creative twist, but after thinking of it for a while, the sweater might look like a parody. An example of these parodies have come up in the past two years with t-shirts instead of saying Hermés it says “Homies”. Or Comme des Garçon which they turned into Comme des f**kdown.

Well anyways here are a few photos of the things I loved and came across today. I will update you with what happens with me tomorrow with my first day at Istituto Marangoni.

Ps. Click on the images to enlarge them.

Pictures were taken from Keno, Hogan, and Valentino.

About Me – Part 2

Today I am not going to be writing about my daily obsessions, or my finds, or even fashion shows. Today I want the people reading this blog to get to know me better. On Monday I received my acceptance from Istituto Marangoni in Milan to study fashion design. At this point in my life I could not be more true to myself.

I am graduating from American University in Washington DC in three weeks with a major in Business administration, Marketing concentration and a minor in Studio Art. But all my life something has drawn me to fashion and the creative process behind it. How a piece being designed in Milan or Paris translates across languages and cultures and no matter your background you always try to look better. After graduating high school the wise thing to do for me at that time was study business, but during the course of my undergraduate degree I felt that I am ignoring my creative side and that I need an outlet because creativity is part of who I am. Therefore, I picked up my minor in Studio Art nevertheless there was still a void. And I impatiently waited to graduate from university so I can go pursue a career in fashion design. It may sound weird or crazy to people from my cultural background, that I want to be a fashion designer. Nevertheless, I can not imagine myself working in an industry other than the fashion/luxury industry. At this point with my acceptance I feel true to myself and on my way to achieve the dreams I have.