It was great meeting some of you this past weekend at the University of Minnesota College of Design's Dean's Reception! I had a wonderful time and most importantly, met lots of great people and possibly new classmates!
I had the opportunity to meet informally with perspective students and their families before the formal activities of the day started, which was a great time to speak freely with them and get some of their questions answered. I focused on why the College of Design and the University of Minnesota is the perfect fit for me, and hopefully them. The design community surrounding the encompassing the college in the Twin Cities, MNFashion, is growing and welcomes students to design, volunteer and attend their shows and events. The second reason I focused on is the great combination of the big ten college experience on the University side, and the small college feel of the College of Design. You get the best of both worlds!
We then proceeded on to our major sessions, where I more formally presented two of my pieces to the perspective students and their families. I talked about portfolio review and my experiences with blogging and was able to answer questions as well.
Here are a few shots of my dress that went through portfolio review:
It was great meeting with new students and talking with them. When I brought up my blog here quite a few of them asked me about it and how to access it, so I hope to start getting more comments! Feel free to ask any questions you like!
Lucie, Apparel Design
Its here! This Saturday is the College of Design's annual Dean's Reception, I hope to many of you there! The Dean's Reception is a great event where perspective students can come, hear the Dean, Tom Fisher, speak, meet professors and students and get a first hand view of the major they are interested in. You'll get to explore the various facilities and studios in Rapson and McNeal Halls as well as meet staff and get your questions answered about financial aid, major requirements, and more. I will also be there, all the College of Design bloggers will be! I will be part of the Apparel Design group and I will be there to show a few of the pieces I have designed through the program, as well as to answer questions and talk about my experiences.
I remember when I attended the Dean's Reception before my freshman year, 3 years ago, and I still have fond memories. I attended with my mom, which was nice to have a friendly face around, while still meeting new people I would continue to work with throughout my college career. Meeting professors, staff and upperclassmen was a great way to really get a feel for the major, more so than you can by reading or through online research.
I am very excited to meet all of your and your families! Bring your questions and I will be open to answering any and all, as well as just general talk about the major! I truly love this major and college and cannot wait to share them with you!
Lucie, Apparel Design
Hello all! I want to tell you about a super cool thing about living in the Twin Cities and attending the University of Minnesota. It is the fashion community in the surrounding area. The fashion world/industry in St. Paul and Minneapolis is young, fun and fast growing. Twice a year, like the larger fashion capitals around the world, the Twin Cities holds Minneapolis St. Paul Fashion Week, or MSPFW for short. As a student it is a great way to get involved in the fashion scene and network with professionals. Attending events, volunteering and showing your own designs are all opportunities to take advantage of!
This February 18-25 is our annual F/W 2012 fashion week. I am involved in a variety of events throughout the week and am very excited! I will be showing a design I created in "Twelve", the University's annual fashion show held on campus in Rapson Hall. The show takes place on Saturday February 18th at 5:30 and 8pm. (If you are interested in attending, check out the website for ticket information: http://fashionshow.design.umn.edu/)
Another fun event I am working on is the Red Dress Event, held on Sunday February 19th at SEVEN Sushi Ultra Lounge. I will be assisting Laura Fulk backstage. Laura Fulk is a very well known and successful designer in the Twin Cities. I interned with Ms. Fulk last year and have kept in touch with her and have helped her on a variety of projects since then.
Here is a shot of the MNFashion homepage and calendar:
Lucie, Apparel Design
Hello everyone! This past weekend I was able to be a part of a great fashion show at the Mall of America. February is Womens Heart Health month and this it was part of the month long events around the cities. The fashion was called Red Hearts For Fashion and it was part of an event called Go Red for Women, promoting awareness of womens' heart health. It was a great event to be a part of and I had a ton of fun. There were two shows Saturday throughout a few other events during the afternoon. Seven other design students from my class also showed pieces. It was a wonderful day of crazy fashion festivities, and some of our faculty even came to watch. It was great seeing them really take an interest in our projects outside of class!
As part of the event, we were challenged to create designs that were inspired by heart health, in women specifically. I created a tennis work-out outfit, designed to promote healthy exercise, but also to allow the wearer to look cute and feel good about the way she looks.
Here are a few shots of my model, Sarah, and myself!
I also had the wonderful opportunity to present my design and be interviewed on Twin Cities Live last Wednesday, as part of a preview for the show. One of my apparel design professors helped me with getting this media opportunity, so it definitely helps to get to know and form relationships with your faculty! You never know what a connection will help you reach in the future.
Lucie, Apparel Design
The work for NASA has been continuing! So far its been a lot of reading and research, but this week we started the hands on part of the project which was awesome! Our assigned mini project was to create a circuit that would power two LED devices and would be powered by some sort of switch. The switch was to be of our own design using a variety of medium from conductive fabric and thread to metal snaps and tape.
I created a circuit powered by a battery pack, complete with a resistor and two LEDs that lit up when the switch was connected. I created my switch by making a type of arm with velcro and conductive fabric. Check it out below!
Above is a picture of my complete circuit with the lights lit up! So excited! As you can see, I used conductive thread throughout the entire circuit to create a complete path for the electricity. The other shot is a close up of my switch. I then used a small piece of conductive fabric (actually woven metal/silver fibers woven together) to create a connection that was detachable for my switch.
In the next few weeks we will start to use our knowledge gained in the above activity to brainstorm and being prototyping for our actual NASA projects. My group's project is all about e-textiles, so we will for sure be using a lot of circuity, etc. I can't wait to share more with you all!
I hope to see all of you at the Dean's Reception in February!
Lucie, Apparel Design
I promised you some exciting news last week, so here it is! This semester our studio class will be working in collaboration with NASA engineers and designers to create prototypes of garments for astronauts to use on the Mars mission! I cannot wait! My team of two classmates and myself will be focusing on electronic textiles that the astronauts wear while inside the space station or shuttle craft. This is called a flight suit, an example of the current suit is below:
As you can see, its rather bulky and unappealing, aesthetic wise. The astronauts wear these constantly while in the shuttle and they can be awkward to wear when trying to work. Because of the anti-gravity everything floats in space, so the biggest obstacle to this project is to create quick attachment and detachment of controls, tools and displays to the suit. These have to have power supplied to them through some sort of attachment, as well as other conductors to transfer data.
I worked on an e-textiles project similar to this last semester. I blogged about the solar powered bag I designed and created a few weeks ago. I will be using some of the knowledge I gained in that project while working with NASA. If all goes well, our solar bag design will be shown in the international convention in Newcastle, United Kingdom this summer! Here is a shot of the promotional poster with our design featured!
This project with NASA will span the next three and a half month and will end with a convention in Houston, TX. Our class is being flown down to speak and present our prototypes! An amazing opportunity, I cannot wait to jump into the design process!
I will be sure to keep you updated!
Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design
Its back to school time! Today was my first day of the spring 2012 semester. Today I had two very different studio classes. One, "Studio IV", specializes in wearable technologies and technical design, while the other focuses on surface design with regards to fabric. I love the variety of studios here at the University! It is a great way to be able to explore your interests and talents while at school and decide what really interests you to pursue further. In our wearable technologies studio, we are going to be researching, designing, testing, and prototyping different aspects and garments with regards to space and flight (More on that next week, my class has a very exciting opportunity that will be taking place through the University in the spring!!!)
The other studio, my fabric surface design class is also very exciting. The cool part about having a full surface design studio available to you as a student is that you get to explore the other side of the clothing you design: the cloth itself. Utilizing a lot of the same principles and techniques you learn in your other design courses you are able to use various media to dye, print, alter, etc your own fabric. This is especially interesting from a clothing design student's perspective because fabric choice and placement on the body is key to a successful design. Having the chance to create a garment out of a textile you created as well is a great opportunity given to us by the University.
Here is a picture of some of the fun techniques we experimented with today in my surface design class! It is called "Shibori Stitching" and it is an ancient form of resist dyeing.
Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design
Break is quickly wrapping up and thoughts of school, classes and homework are slowly creeping back into my thoughts. Going back to school for spring semester is always a mix of feelings. On one hand, it never feels as if the winter break was long enough, and on the other it really feels like you haven't seen your college friends in a long time. Its nice to get back into the swing of things like classes.
My routine for back to school consists of a few points:
1) Buying books. This can be a complicated process, trying to figure out if you want to rent or buy books and from what sources. The bookstore offers text books to rent or buy, either used or new. I suggest buying all your books used if you can; they can be a lot cheaper and usually just have some highlighting or notes. Renting text books can be helpful if your'e sure you aren't going to want to use the book after the semester: like with your general education credits. I would highly recommend you buy all your design/fashion books, you will definitely need them throughout your education. (Find more info at http://bookstore.umn.edu/viewCategory.cgi?categoryID=3766)
2) Schedule: Figuring out the fastest and easiest way of transportation around the campus can be daunting, but it really will help to walk around through your schedule before the first day of classes, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area.
3) Buy supplies: You will need a lot of supplies for your classes, from pencils and notebooks to sewing materials. I usually buy my normal school stuff at Target or the school bookstore before the first day of class. I wait until I have my first design classes for more specific design supplies; the professors will usually give you more detailed lists the first day.
Lucie Mulligan, apparel design major
Over winter break is a great time to relax and unwind after a very stressful semester and busy finals week. It is also a time to take care of some necessary college student related things that get put on the back burner during the school year. These can include selling back text books, buying next semester's books, getting your schedule all worked out: work and classes, meeting with your adviser about scholarships and other opportunities, etc.
Over this break I have been focusing on updating my professional portfolio on my website of designs and apparel I have created, and updating my resume to match. This can be time consuming, but it is important to maintain an up-to-date professional appearance while in school, a lot of opportunities present themselves when you aren't expecting them and it is best to be prepared. If you're interested in checking out my professional website, take a look here: (http://www.luciejane.com/)
Another thing I have been hard at work doing is scholarship hunting. Most college students, like myself, will need financial aid to attend school. This can include federal and state grants, loans and other things like scholarships. A great place to start your scholarship search is on your myu.umn.edu homepage. (www.myu.umn.edu) There is a link on the left hand side linking you to scholarships that are available to you based on your unique circumstances and majors, etc. Apply for many! It never hurts.
Hope to see all of you at the Dean's Reception in February!
Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design
While walking around Mcneal Hall on the St. Paul campus, where I spend most of my time, a sight you often see is various student work on display. As a student in the College of Design, I really feel that the University and teachers/professors really try to make it evident that they are proud of your work. They do this by displaying work from different classes prominently around the building. This is a fun way to show off your work, and to also be able to get a glimpse at what is to come for you in your major. Upper level classes work is often on display and you get to see what you have to expect later in your college career. Another fun aspect to this is that you get to see what your other fellow design, but not specifically apparel, classmates are doing in their classes and how it relates to your own work.
Here are a few shots of different work I have spotted around the building during the past few weeks:
The above is a photo of the 2nd floor display of my Trend's class (I blogged about this project last week!) final projects.
This photo is of a surface design studio's projects. All design majors take some type of surface design courses, so you definitely have this to look forward to!
The semester is over! And I am almost done with my finals! The stress is just about subsiding and everything is wrapping up rather nicely.
As a design student most of your final projects and presentations, for your design studios and classes, will be during the last week of the actual semester or during the designated finals week, which is the week following the end of semester, with a "study day" in between. I had my second to last presentation today and my final studio presentation is this Wednesday. Juggling your studio presentations and projects with your general education class finals can be a challenge, but part of the true college experience is learning to manage your time and prioritize. It may seem daunting at first glance, but trust me, you will be just fine!
The final presentation I had today was for my Retail Trend's Forecasting class. Today we showed off my group's hard work in our fashion photo shoot magazine spread, forecasting fashion trends. We created an 8 page spread using clothing, etc we forecasted would be trendy in the next season using techniques we learned throughout the class. Overall, we were very pleased with our final product and got good feedback! Here is a page from the spread!
One of the best things about final presentations in design studios is the chance to see all your classmates' work. Everyone falls into their own place and style and the projects always show this diversity and uniqueness. Its also a great bonding moment for everyone, because you're done!!
Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design
Over the past semester a group of apparel design students and I have had the unique opportunity of working with a team of engineering students to create a line of handbags, suitcases and backpacks that use solar power to charge a cell phone or other usb adaptable devices.
This project is technically part of a class I am taking called a directed study. A directed study is typically a 1 credit class where you meet with a professor and work on a project over the semester on your own time. The one on one time with your professor mentor and independent work is a great way to diversify your portfolio by working on something you wouldn't normally design.
For this project we broke out into teams of two to three students to design and create the bags. My team decided to create a suitcase type of bag for a designer or stylist to carry all their tools in: rulers, scissors, pens/pencils, makeup, etc. The most difficult part of the process was designing around the solar panel itself as well as the box used to charge the cell phone/other device. We created a pocket on the back of our bag with a cutout panel for the solar cells to fit into. Below is a few shots of our finished bag!
A directed study at the University, like I said before, is a great way to diversify your portfolio and make you stand out as a designer. This experience has really opened by eyes to what possibilities are truly open to you as a designer; not just apparel/clothing! Check out the opportunities that other students have had here: http://apparel.design.umn.edu/
Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design
I am currently a Junior at the University of Minnesota, and as most upper-class students do, I currently live off campus in an apartment I found myself. This does means I am farther away from campus and therefore my classes and day-to-day activities. Because of this, my morning and evening commute is a bit longer than most freshmen experience. My apartment is close to St Paul campus, which is where all of my design and retail merchandising classes are held. I spend most of my time on St Paul campus, because as an upperclassmen, almost all of my credits each semester are design related. I do have to venture over to East Bank a few times a week for general education classes as well as for my job, but St Paul is definitely my top visited campus.
As far as transportation, I do have a car, but it is used solely for groceries, trips to the mall, etc. As far as my transportation during the week to class and work, I always take the bus, via Metro Transit. You can check out the Metro Transit website here, there are tons of bus and light rail routes, so you're sure to find one that gets you where you need to go. http://metrotransit.org/maps-schedules.aspx
I have a Upass (pictured below with my Ucard) which is a pass, only for university students, that allows unlimited bus and light rail rides for one semester for only about $100 dollars. This is a great deal if you plan to bus to/from class or around the city. I have renewed and used my Upass every semester since I moved off campus, and it makes travel super convenient!
Consider using public transit like I do when you move to the University, its cheap, convenient, and better for the environment!
Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design
For this blog post I thought it would be interesting to write about my day to day activities through out the week. Being a design student, but also pursuing a Bachelor's Degree, means that you take design classes: studios, etc., as well as other general education classes. Your general education credits are completed throughout your four years at the University of Minnesota, unlike other majors where you take only general education credits for the first two years, and then move on to the major requirements. This means that you are constantly juggling many different types of classes and homework, which can be stressful, but also keeps your days interesting and always changing.
Here is a photo of my weekly schedule this semester, color coded for different classes/other obligations:
This semester I am taking four classes, two of which are design related. One is a studio class that I have mentioned before in my posts (From Inspiration to Completion), and one is a trending class where we focus on how trends are determined and communicated through fashion and media.
My other two classes this semester are both general education classes. One of these classes is a writing class: Technical and Professional Writing. This class fulfills a requirement that is needed for graduation for my Apparel Design major, but I was able to choose from a variety of different classes. The other class a geology lecture with a lab, this class gives credit for the "environmental science with a lab" requirement. You will learn more about these requirements and classes through your academic adviser. http://www.design.umn.edu/current_students/advising/advising_services.html
I also work during the week and have my classes and other obligations scheduled in around my work hours. As you can see, the life of design student is very busy, but very fun!
Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design
Its done! My knitwear project you have been following me through is finally completed! This past weekend I spent a lot of time in studio finishing up the actual garment, as well as samples, test garments and final patterns to turn in.
An important part of a final project is the final pattern. The patterns you use during the construction process usually get marked on, cut up, added on to, etc. and aren't the best looking when the garment is finished. The final thing you have to do when turning in a finished project is finalize and draft out your final pattern. You will learn about this process in your first studio class. The pattern is usually color coded with labels and names for each piece, to keep everything organized and easy to understand.
The main point of a final pattern is that a person proficient in sewing would be able to create the same garment as you did, using the final pattern you created and turned in. Precision and neatness is very important.
A final illustration is also often needed when finishing up a project. The professionalism of each sketch needed will vary from class to class. Sometimes a very technical type of illustration is required, while other times a simple sketch showing the garment is acceptable. Below is my final sketch for this project.
The final garment! Undeniably the most important part of the project! I am very pelased with how my design turned out. I got a lot of good feedback in critique, which is a kind of professional review of your work with the professor and classmates. These kinds of critiques prepare you as a designer for more important events like portfolio review, which happens at the end of your freshman year. http://apparel.design.umn.edu/review.html
--Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design
Sewing a garment has many complex parts involved, many of which I have already touched on in my previous two posts about this project: inspiration, ideation, sketching. The next step, what I am currently working on it test garments and samples. Test garments are mock ups of the actual outfit that test out the fit and proportion of the pieces. You also get to try out your construction first before going ahead with your final, which is a good idea in any situation. You wouldn't write a paper without a draft right? The same holds true for designing.
In many, if not all of your classes in the College of Design, you will have to create drafts/test garments of your designs. This allows for editing and mirrors what happens in the real world. The biggest part that I am wrestling with right now in my test garments is the proper fit. Knits are a difficult type of material to work with, and this is our first studio dealing with them. Here is a shot of my test garment being fit properly.
As you can see, fitting is an integral process in the design world, and it involves quite a few steps. But don't worry, your professors will help you through every process and are always there to answer questions regarding your garments. They ever are available to meet one on one outside of class if you have specific questions not addressed in class time.
Next week I will show you my final garments and talk a bit about using the variety of machines available to you in your studios!
Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design
Last week I posted about the project I am currently working on in my Studio class. Over the past few days I have made quite a bit of progress. After deciding on a final sketch of my design, the next step is to pattern a general shape. In your apparel design classes you will learn how to use various patterning methods like draping; putting fabric directly on the mannequin form to create your pattern, drafting; using book instructions to draw a pattern directly from individual body measurements, and modifying block patterns; taking very basic patterns and changing them to create your specific design. In most projects you will use two, if not all of the above methods to create your final patterns.
The photo above shows me patterning using drafting and block pattern manipulation methods. As you can see, it involves a lot of trial and error, with many measurements and lines to draw, but it is very worth it in the end.
The next step is to cut out your patterns and use draping techniques to check your garment is the correct size and shape. Here is me checking my knit project!
The next step for me, which will be documented next week, is to start sewing samples to figure out the best way to construct my garment. Sewing samples before starting on the actual garment assures that you will be confident when it really matters! The professors in the Apparel Design program (http://apparel.design.umn.edu/faculty.html) all are wonderful and help you through all these processes until you are confident working on your own.
More next week!
Lucie Mulligan, Apparel Design
As an apparel design student, my all time favorite classes are always my clothing studio classes. You usually have one of these studios each semester and each one revolves around various basic skills and different techniques that are necessary to become a proficient designer and seamstress. A few of these skills and techniques that you will learn include: flat patterning, pattern drafting, fashion illustrating, computer aided design, draping, research, etc. Student services and your individual academic adviser (http://design.umn.edu/current_students/advising/) will talk you though these different classes and how they relate to each other, semester to semester. You will also get a semester-by-semester schedule of what studio to take when.
The studio I am in right now is "Tailoring and Knitwear". I really love it! We just wrapped up the tailoring portion where I created the fitted jacket/pea-coat pictured below. I used wool and leather as well as matching buttons to create visual interest.
As a class, we have now moved on to knitwear. Inspiration for projects can come from anywhere, but it always involves the "ideation process", with many many sketches, one of which will become your final design. For this particular project my inspiration is coming from my fabrics and the colors combination. Here is a photo I took of my work space as I was sketching different designs inspired by the pictured fabric:
In my next blog I will continue to document my process while completing this project!
Working while going to school may sound like a tough break, having to juggle class schedules with work hours, etc., but it actually is quite rewarding. From my experiences, having held a part time job while going to school since freshman year, working while taking classes really helps you manage your time better.
As an incoming freshman, you may think that focusing on classes and not working is your best option, now I'm not saying that it isn't a good idea, just in my situation it really helped to have a job. Having a more ridged schedule with classes, work hours, etc. made you really make sure you got your homework and projects done in a timely manner.
There are a few different ways to find a job on campus. One is to check out the Job and Work Study Fairs the university holds during the beginning of each semester. If you happen to have work study funds you will be able to have access to more jobs on campus, which is great! The jobs you can hold range from receptionists and elementary school tutors to student office assistants and dining hall attendants. With such a large campus, there is a job for everyone!
I found my current job by searching the University's job website. I suggest checking this site early and often if you are looking for a specific type of job: tons are posted and filled each day so if you keep on top of things you are bound to find something that interests you.
I work as a student assistant and receptionist in the College of Design Dean's Office. Its a great job where I get to know the Dean and other staff members within the College. Finding the right job on campus can mean more than a paycheck, you can make some great connections with staff and professors you interact with daily!
Here is a picture of my office!
The College of Design is one of the smallest colleges within the University of Minnesota, and each apparel design graduating class ranges from 10-18 students. Because of this small size, you really get to know not only your classmates, but also your professors, on a personal level. The professors all know your name and really care about you as a student, and as an aspiring designer. The relationships you build with your classmates is also extremely helpful as a designer, because having people to bounce ideas off of in the development process is vital to the design as a whole.
As an apparel design pre-major/major, you will spend a lot of time outside of class working on your projects in studio. The University of Minnesota has two wonderful clothing design studios, these rooms house sewing machines, sergers, mannequins, large cutting tables, etc. Bonding with your classmates early is a great way to make your studio time more enjoyable. Having "studio parties" is a common activity for me on the weekends, where a group of my friends and I all go into studio to work on our projects together. Building close professional and personal relationships with your classmates and professors is something that is unique to the University of Minnesota's College of Design, and is a huge asset.
Last Friday I attended the Career and Internship Fair put on by the University club FAB, Fashion And Business. (http://www.fabmn.com/) The College of Design puts on quite a few of these career based events and they are a great resource, and fun to attend! There are speakers, an occasional fashion show, presentations and lots of booths with employers and companies offering internships in the near future. While there I spoke with quite a few companies about their internship opportunities and what they look for in a candidate. While at the Career Fair I picked up a lot of info about a few companies that interested me, as well as business cards, etc. Here is a picture of everything I grabbed at the career fair!
I have been working with Heidi Perman from the CDes Career Center (http://www.careerhelp.umn.edu/) on my resume and cover letter for a few different internships next summer. The career center is great! They really help you pinpoint what is important based on your interests and what company you are applying to intern with. I have already had one internship with a local design company, last fall/spring, and am currently interning with another local designer. Internships are very important to your college experience as a design student, and the Career and Internship Services is a great place to start in your search, the earlier the better! The current application I am working on with Heidi is for a large corporation based out of the Twin Cities. This particular application is due in two weeks, wish me luck!
Hello! My name is Lucie Mulligan and I am a junior in the Apparel Design program here at the University of Minnesota. I am originally from Iowa City, IA, which is in southeast Iowa, about 5 hours away from the Cities.
I have been interested in apparel and clothing design from about age 13. In high school, when I started looking at colleges I knew I wanted three things:
1) A big ten, "real college" experience.
2) A great school with a great program
3) A community in which to get involved and have fun
First, the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities was perfect for me because it had all three of the criteria listed above. When I thought of "college", I wanted to be able to go to football games in a big stadium, meet new and different people, join clubs that interested me and basically feel like there was always something new for me to try. The "U", has about 50, 000 students, nationally ranked sports teams, hundreds of student groups, a strong Greek community, a diverse student body, and many other things that make it a "real college" experience.
Secondly, the University of Minnesota's College of Design is a great hands-on program. The program is small enough that you really get to know your classmates, and professors. Your professors know your name and care about you, which makes you excited about apparel design! The college also has wonderful studios with high tech equipment and a variety of computer based programs that give apparel design a new edge.
Finally, living in the Twin Cities while attending the U is a great place to be as an aspiring designer. The fashion industry in the Cities is young and thriving and it's easy to get involved: working at fashion shows, interning and even just attending local events! There is always something going on, and going out and experiencing the fashion world in the Cities doubles as a great way to network with professionals.
I will be posting on this blog weekly and will talk about the ins and outs of the apparel design program here at the U, as well as other relevant experiences I've had while studying here.