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12 Oct

Saying goodbye

Last week I felt as If I was totally lost. Looking out over the ocean back home in Cape Town I found myself adrift in a sea of grief. I felt overcome as I struggled to make sense of its immensity. I have gone through life with a certain sense of luck; lucky to be surrounded by those that I love and who love me back, lucky to be alive. Along the way I have been empathetic to those who have lost someone close to them. I stood by their side when they needed me. I felt their pain. Nothing, however, prepared me for the loss of my lifelong best friend. This experience has changed the way I look at the world and...
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23 Sep

Design Your World: The Billie

As you all know, Billie Holiday is one of my heroes. When I listen to a song of hers like "God Bless the Child" or "Them There Eyes," it strikes this feeling in me. It is so emotional and so real and it makes me feel inspired and alive. I really appreciate that about her.   There is so much history and myth surrounding Billie Holiday. To design my new look, The Billie, I made sure to do my research. I stepped back in time as I learned about Lady Day and the jazz of her time on the West Coast. I imagined the Fillmore District when the streets were dotted with Jazz joints from the Alabam to Jimbo's Bop City....
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9 Sep

The Billie Effect

In 1915 the queen of Jazz was born in Philadelphia. Eleanor Fagan Gough, known to many as Billie Holiday, began her singing career in the vibrant jazz-era scene of Baltimore and gained popularity later during the Harlem Renaissance. Her voice, cadence, and persona would go on to uniquely shape and change the future of jazz music around the world. Self-taught and self-made, her music showed women what was possible in the male-dominated industry of the jazz era. She never received formal training or learned how to read music, but her raw talent and natural ability made her a larger than life feminine icon. She was raw, vulnerable, and always immaculately dressed. Although she is mostly known for her musical masterpieces, she was also...
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17 Aug

Design Your World: The Washington Hall

Giorgio Armani once said,"Elegance is not standing out, but being remembered." As I stand in front of Washington Hall, I am reminded of this quote. You may have walked or driven past this central district building in Seattle a million times without thinking twice about its history. It’s rust-red brick exterior and white accentuated features don’t make it the most beautiful building in town. As you walk inside, though, the walls begin to speak to you. At one point Washington Hall was the most popular place to perform in Seattle. It’s reputation drew the likes of such talent as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Mahalia Jackson, and Billie Holliday. Jimmie Hendrix even played his first show here years after the blues...
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6 Aug

Design Your World: The first look

Early in the morning and after class in the evening I go to the most peaceful place. It is an all white 400 square foot room dotted with Mannequins and sewing machines. It is a free space where I explore my ideas. It is my little fashion temple. The lab at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) where I study Fashion is a special place. Every day, I show up with all of the normal stress of the modern world and I check it at the door. With my phone off and my mind calm, I feel lucky and proud to be studying and doing what I love so much. For the past 2 weeks, I have...
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