March 13, 2014
There is something endearing about a brand that has been around for over two centuries, and has seldom changed their classic trademark style and fit over time. Birkenstocks have been around since their emergence in 1776 in Germany, but are most famously known for their popularity in America during the 60's and 70's. The free-spirited hippies of this time period identified with the "back-to-nature" feel that comes along with owning a pair of birkenstocks. They became more than just a pair of sandals, they were a way of life-some even believed they were the catalyst of a movement.
After some time on the backburner during the 80's, Birkenstock popularity experienced a resurgence during the grungy 90's. Again, people gravitated towards the laid-back easiness that the sandals emulated. The 90's were a period of an undone and effortless style, which made people yearn for the spirit of the care-free days of Woodstock.
A few months ago, my mind became fixated on owning a pair of my own Arizona style Birkenstocks. Maybe a lifetime of watching my dad shamelessly rock socks and Birks finally took its toll on me, who knows. I finally got my own pair of purple metallic leather Arizonas for Christmas, and my wardrobe was forever changed. They automatically add an effortlessly chic touch to any outfit, while carrying a visual history along with every wear that indefinitely attracts compliments. Not to mention they are by far the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn, because after just a few wears they become customly molded to the owner's feet.
Since I've been converted into your typical granola-crunching Birkenstock lover, I have seen Birkenstocks popping up once again into the world of fashion. Over the past couple years, celebrities such as the Olsen twins and Anne Hathaway have nailed the casual celebrity look while rocking various styles. With summer just around the corner, stores such as Urban Outfitters have suddenly stocked up on a wide selection of Birkenstocks. Birkenstock truly has something for everyone, as they go beyond their classic two-strap Arizona style, and now make various sandals that some may find more flattering. Owning your own pair is not only a fresh update to any closet, but also gives the wearer a sense of history and community that is impossible to find with any other shoe brand.
July 07, 2013
Earlier this week, I took part in one of the most creatively fulfilling experiences of my life at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Diego. This experience, called the "3 Days of Fashion," is offered one time during the summer at each of the FIDM campuses in California, and is aimed towards high school students who are interested in discovering more about the different areas within the vast industry of fashion.
The first day, I took classes that felt more creative in nature and allowed me to express my viewpoint through various aspects of design. I especially enjoyed the draping class, where my fellow students and I were paired up in order to practice draping fabric on a mannequin, and also to get a feel for the manipulation of different weights and textures of fabrics. Being an aspiring fashion designer myself, I also took a special liking for the sketching class, which helped me to brush up on the exact proportions for drawing the nine-headed fashion figure that designers use. The day as a whole rejuvenated my creative spirit, and taught me skills that I will keep with me as I continue my study of the art of design.
On the next day, we took a bus trip up to the L.A. FIDM campus and toured the school. It was very impressive in size, and I was blown away by all of the student work displayed throughout the hallways. I found myself to be most awestruck by the Dior display, which had a vintage Christian Dior dress from the '50s and a wall full of original John Galliano sketches. That was honestly almost too much to handle.
We spent the rest of the day shopping at The Grove, and I found myself extremely excited when I came across the first Topshop I had ever seen in real life. The only item that I purchased there was a kimono-printed long sleeve blouse with black fringes down the arms and around the waist..but for me, that was more than enough. It is one of the sickest pieces of clothing that I have ever owned.
I spent my last day at FIDM taking classes that seemed to be geared more towards the business side of the fashion industry. From thinking about the needs of a consumer to marketing myself as an individual in the business-my eyes became opened to concepts that I had never previously thought about. For me, it felt so incredible to be sitting in a classroom while being taught about something I actually feel passionate about, for once. There are a countless amount of thought-provoking topics one must acknowledge when attempting to be a designer, and I am thankful that I experienced classes that helped me to consider them.
The last day ended with a talk given by Nick Verreos, who is well known for being a very talented contestant on season two of Project Runway. During his talk, I learned that he is a FIDM alum and currently a teacher at the L.A. FIDM campus. He shared his story of how his hard work eventually lead to him becoming the successful designer he has always wanted to be, which was extremely inspiring to listen to. I even had the oppurtunity to meet him after his talk, which was the cherry on top to my perfect experience at FIDM's 3 Days of Fashion. I walked away with a broadened outlook on the fashion industry and a renewed passion for the art of fashion...truly what more could a girl ask for?