Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Magazine Mayhem

Today has been absolutely manic as it was the complete and utter last day to get work published before industry night tomorrow. Following the fairly unsuccessful meeting with the dean last week we were trying to decide on the best course of action for those not selected to exhibit. With minimal time and resources, pop-up shops, new exhibitions etc were all vitoed and then I volunteered the idea of a mini magazine where everyone can submit work and we hand it out on the industry night. It seemed feasible if everyone put in £10 towards a budget, did a double page spread and bish bash bosh we have a magazine. I started a facebook group and people seemed keen, but then it seemed to backfire as the sunday night "deadline" passed and 2 people had sent me their work. I was fairly disappointed to say the least, but then on monday morning checked my inbox to find 7 new mails (all sent in the early hours ha) and sort of thought well maybe I should give this a go. Needless to say it hasn't been easy, through raises in budget (now £20 each), droppers out, last minuters, indesign nightmare page kerfuffles..but in the end I got it to the printers at 4pm today and will collect tomorrow. Not the best quality paper and could have done with more time, but certainly not bad for 6days! In the end there are 16 of us in, and we'll have around 100 copies to hand out on the night. I'm quite chuffed! Now onto my portfolio...sigh.

Monday, 28 June 2010

ladies and gentlemen there's been a delay...

Update: The show officially opens tomorrow (wednesday) to much excitement and in time for my family. Can't wait to see it now!!

Uni (London College of Fashion) have announced that our show is not ready (despite having been advertised as opening on the 28th June, i.e. TODAY for months) and are postponing the opening until - they don't know yet. Given that my family are coming to London especially this wednesday they better get their arse in gear...

got my day cut-out...

So after the trauma of all business card quotes being in the region of 200 smackers, I decided to take matters into my own hand and do a spot of improvisation. Ordering a last minute die stamp for £15 with my guy at studiotone (specialist stamp makers in the east end) I legged it from bethnal green (literally - no number 8 buses for the 30minute window of me needing to get there..tfl, i hate you) and rushed back to uni to use the press by 4.30 as it was last day of workshops. I managed to get there in time and after a couple of cut-outs rather than embosses, got the the machine set right and banged out 50cards. My pre-cut ones arrived the day after (typical) so rather than sunning myself today am busy cutting out these bad boys. You can so tell they're hand made by the odd wonky name and uneven pressure but I'm claiming that adds to the charm.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

I don't eat bread feature

I also had a fantastic write-up on a blog called I don't eat bread, which is a a bit super cool, with some lovely photos so check it out. You can view my post if you scroll to 4th June.. and here is a copy of what the lovely Lauren wrote, my heart was all a flutter when I read it!

"I'm pretty certain that if I could marry any shoe, I would be walking down the aisle with these beautiful creations attached to my lips (definitely not my feet). I was just browsing on the LCF site, looking for a new designer fix as I haven't had one in a LONG time, when Helen Furber popped up and stole my heart. Seriously, there just aren't any adjectives to describe the magnitude of her achievements. She works in an ethically conscious manner that beautifies her designs rather than inhibiting them, resulting in genius that can't really be achieved with the same meaning on unethical items. The reason for the shoe being split into two parts comes from her idea of adding sustainability and recyclable nature to the materials and forms Furber creates. The upper of the shoe represents that sustainability whilst the plastic wedge creates a renewable source of material.
My main reason for worshipping these bloody incredible creations is the feeling that swept over me as I caught sight of the two parted design. Minus the perspex wedge, there's this dangerous weaponry undertone that resembles the glorious stalactites of those rad caves you see on National Geographic. Reading her blog gives her a further edge because I seriously crush over anyone that documents their journey, especially grad students. The tales are hilarious, informative and jealousy inducing."

Although the bit about the upper representing sustainability etc is not quite right (and made me realise I need to communicate this better) it's really great to know that people are loving the shoes and so makes it all worth it.

Thanks everyone for such great support!

Featured on Coroflot members gallery & Core77 Magazine!

So what a nightmare of a day. We were to submit our shoes for the exhibition today and after leaving with 1.5 hours before the deadline I managed to arrive 30mins late courtesy of someone pulling the emergency stop cord on the southbound victoria line, and a bunch of police ticket checking in the angel area. A 20minute 5 stop tube ride took me 2 hours of utter frustration. Needless to say I arrived somewhat flustered and luckily the tutors were understanding. A bit of good news to brighten my day though is that after uploading my portfolio to Coroflot website yesterday I'm now in the featured gallery..which means I'm also featured on Core77 Industrial design magazine website. Very excited and so nice to have people giving me such lovely feedback.

business card envy

In the midst of chasing up my business cards for the show and I found this beauty on the VIP print website which has me green with envy and trying to decide whether I should change mine now.

Alas not time really but this is the first portrait business card which I've really liked. So far my design follows on from my portfolio and shoe box with an emboss of my name one side, and black raised ink details on the back. Now not sure if that's overkill following this little number..hmm.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Monday, 21 June 2010

Final Cut

So after much playing in after effects and having no idea about output of music and so on I had to submit my video for the LCF Showtime exhibition. I could carry on tweaking fade-outs/adding new bits for eternity so in the end just had to force myself to leave it, odd timings and all. Its 2mins(ish) which is a bit longer than I'd like but with the music now seems to run much faster. I hope it will allow people to understand the project clearly and quickly - who wants to be reading pages of blurb on why you're so sustainable - and also translate a sense of luxury and brand to boot. I'll let you be the judge..

Icica from Helen Furber on Vimeo.

Flip(ping) book

So I've bee trying to organise getting the construction part of my animation made into a flip/flick (whatever) book to hand out at the show. Why is it so damn expensive everywhere?! People seem to want near enough 10quid for each one, which considering it's a business card sized gimmick is not reaaaally feasible for me right now. I've chopped down the number of pages and am now looking into having to DIY it..(sigh) with business card "paper" and software called (you guessed it) "Flipbook Printer". This however doesn't solve the problem of binding and covers, which I wanted to be uniform with my business cards and lookbook paper, and which is a linen emboss effect, with my name (ie. logo) embossed in the front. Then there's the dilemma of whether to bind it at all - not so "eco" friendly? Or use metal screws which was my initial proposal for lookbook materal..but then surely that's even less eco (when metal screws are taken into account) though does mean pages can be recycled and screws reused. hmmm.

My Photoshop Effort

Flip Book Software

What it will look like (minus the nice front cover I WILL have)

Saturday, 19 June 2010

squid capsule

hello giant squid balloon..via

Friday, 18 June 2010

Gradex bits

I'm also in the process of finalising all work for my portfolio for the show (which all students have had to totally reformat into a muji folder so everyone looks the same after spending loads of effort and money on unique branding and folios..?!) and also for the gradex showtime and new designers websites. I've decided to make a digital sketchbook so have been exploring, a site which lets you upload work and create digital publishing - exciting! So I've been trawling through my design development for this project to decide what to put in...

Show Palava

I recieved news this week that I've been selected for the LCF 57 Carnaby St Exhibition which runs from 28th June - 14th July. This is obviously really exciting news, and I feel pleased and excited to be taking part. It has however been marred by LCF's decision to seriously cut the show capacity for students this year, resulting in less than half of all final year students from my footwear class being able to exhibit their final products, and without telling any of the students until less than 2 weeks before the exhibition opens. Needless to say we have an appointment with the dean of the college next week but I feel saddened to know that at present I won't be showing with my full class (as in all previous years) and my heart goes out to all those who have worked stupidly hard to make brilliant products which they won't be given the oppotunity to promote live. Fingers crossed we can organise our own show.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

CS3 glee

So I've also been trying to teach myself the rest of the adobe CS3 collection now that I have a little more time and need to make a website etc. I now realise trying to make a fashion film was too ambitious given that I would have had less than 2 weeks to do it and have never done any film before, but I'm happy to have learned some new film skills in the region of animation. Having worked with the LCF digital fashion studio to create an animation (in 3D studio Max) to explain the construction of my shoe, I'm now trying to learn adobe after effects to add on all of the little finishing touches, and some musique. watch this space..

Icica from Helen Furber on Vimeo.


So for the past week, in between moving flats and trying to finish my lookbook I've been to a couple of events organised through the university for us students on the first move programme. The first was an evening with industry, chaired by Kubi Springer of Sisterhood TV, and with a panel including Rebekah Roy (Stylist), James Watson (Head of MW at Liberty), James Barron (Head of Buying at ASOS) and Veronica Veronina (Fashion PR). It was a great insight into the various roles of each individual and involved a Q&A session and then chance to network after. Speaking to Rebekah Roy was fantastic as I had been wanting advice on how to handle the various stylist requests I'm now recieving to borrow my footwear samples. She gave me the confidence that I can actually trust in at least some stylists when lending my samples, but it's also become hugely clear I need to try find funding to make my shoes in size 7 pairs so I can lend them for press (rather than the size 4 for university regulations).
I also went to the Browns exhibition celebrating 40years for Browns Fashion, and we were given a guided tour by senior buyer Francoise, who was very funny and brought a very personal commentary to the photographs and pieces on show. It was really interesting to hear the history from someone who has been with the company for over 30years and who obviously knows the fashion design landscape incredibly well.

Plastic (super duper) fantastic

Yesterday I attended the British Plastic Federation (BPF)'s annual seminar The Future of Bio-based and Degradeable Plastics: Markets and Applications. It was a really good insight into bioplastics as an industry and some of the challenges that we face on the whole in regard to waste management, products and "green/sustainability" in relation to plastics. There were some fascinating presentations on everything from landfill site management to using bio plastics to grow bone (amazing!) and even a bit of an uncomfortable debate over "Oxo-Degradable" plastics..I left with a lot to think about and some mixed feelings:
  • Firstly that I really need some experience of how plastics are manufactured and which plastics are really used in shoe manufacture today.
  • Secondly that bio plastics have their own hugely complicated problems and are maybe not the golden solution for product designers - e.g. bio plastics in waste streams could be a massive issue when products are sent for recycling (as they can't be recycled with petro-plastic) but how does the waste collector know the difference?
  • Also that Carbon and Water footprints are going to be increasingly important and I need to learn more.
  • Finally that there is sooo much out there to learn about, and ways bioplastics can and will be used it really is fascinating.
It was also great to meet some of the industry noggins and other interesting people (including a sustainable packaging designer and army chemist!) who were there and I came away distinctly glad I went, even if I didn't understand all of the polymer science.