Friday, August 12, 2011

Dear first year fashion student,

First Year Fashion School.

It was all a weird kind of trick that got pulled on you before you even knew it. Remember that flashy pamphlet? You know what I am talking about. The one that looked really glossy and awesome.

You had heard people talking about this school before. And then some uni promo ass gave you the official pamphlet.

The pamphlet has this chunk of photos that somehow resulted in a resounding SOLD from you. Those photos SOLD you. Oh yes. The photos of profs wearing I-am-a-design-prof-glasses leaning over peoples shoulders and proffing them and shit. The photos of that one awesome show with models walking and shit. The photos of that hooked up sweet ass studio that you were rarely designated to use after all, and shit.


You get this letter in the mail that says your good enough. You feel like you have arrived at life. You drop a mother load of cash on tuition, housing, new cell and comp, and of course the listed fashion kits and texts. You don’t care how much it costs. Because you, are fashion.

And then you got there and omg omg omg Orientation week. So best friends lets hang out k. Let’s go to, like, ‘the west side’. I heard it’s so amazing. We should like get an internship, together.

And then you go and after a 35 minute walk [because you don’t understand transit], after a 17 dollar lunch [because you don’t understand how to buy food in Toronto], and after at least 11 facebook ready photographs [because we look really local right now] you realize that you may not be cut from the same cloth.

I mean who the fuck goes to horse camp? At age 18? Not your people, is who.


The building is a labyrinth of amazing. It never looked as good as it did on the first day. It may be unsafe mid fifties architecture with asbestos removal going on. But damn. In the beginning, its a bit of palace.

You wake up early, to gym early, to shower early, to look good early, to get dress hot early, to get to breakfast with everyone with all your overpriced tools early, to go to your design class early. This never ever happens after first year. Probably because you will become a disillusioned cynical lazy bitch, comme moi.

Anyways. Its the first day and you clearly did not get this memo.

There are leather tassles everywhere. Someone is wearing a satin top hat at 8 in the morning. All the loud heavy shoes pounding on the linoleum around are you are reminding you that you are clearly not fashion. And all these people are.


Its just the beginning so you are somehow just blind to everything that could be wrong with the facilities. They remain awesome and simultaneously frightening in your memory of first week. But shitty and frightening in reality ever after.

But its just beginning and you get homework! Which is incredibly time consuming, yet oh-so-embarrassing to explain to the rest of humanity residing in the real world. Oh yes. It the dawn of you having to explain and validate all kinds of bowshit to reality. Like that whole copying out the alphabet thing. That whole colour group gouache anal retentive mixing assignment thing. That sewing a man’s shirt sample for an exam grade thing.

All that shit is not useless per se. But it is the beginning of this itchy feeling when you know you are working hard. You know it’s hard for people living in the real world to respect completely. That’s fine.

But why do all these dumb assholes have to ruin it for you?


These 19-25 year olds around you in this new class in this new place seem so content on ruining the name of fashion students everywhere. The question that haunts you is- why volume? It seems like a simple and reasonable question. You can somehow hear everything that a certain demographic ever has to say. You are trapped in a sea of assignments that necessitates you to be in the same room as these assholes for what seems like weeks.

It’s not just what they manage to say, but that you and everyone living in the real world around them is forced to listen. It’s this indescribable ability of the most stupid proponents of fashion school to project the most horribly ignorant and offensively uninspired conversations into the ears of the general public. You know what I am talking about.

Imagine a classroom of a school that you are meant to be proud of. And then imagine people in it saying things like...

‘When you dye fur, are the animals alive when you do it?’

‘If you chew it and don’t swallow it and spit that bulimic?’

‘Why do all the poor coffee places have to be close?’

‘Who the fuck cares if there is asbestos in the ceiling. I fucking don’t.’

‘I’m going to be the next McQueen.’

If you only met the me, the McQueen one cuts deepest.

These kind of people, broadcasting this kind of information, to and around each other in many forms of communication. And you are one of them.

It may take you a year to filter through this mass of falsies to find some intelligent friends.


You may actually try really hard with these assignments. Because you are under the impression that marks really matter. Whatever-the-case you get critiqued. But damn is it good to watch the lazy horse-camp-going bitches face of the first negative feedback of their cushioned lives.

The horse campers stop looking so preened. It never seemed like it could be possible. No top hats to be seen. No weighty shoes in studio. No foundation. Long timey no waxy. There is a haggard hair extension discarded in the trash. It’s like a wasteland, and you have no idea where all the hot fashion people went.
The deadlines tighten. The tear ups in studio increase. The weekends seem shorter. The end is near.


You have earned these little marks and grade point average things that appear on the screen of a computer. These allegedly quantify your abilities. These proceed to make some take themselves even more seriously than before. Conversely, a chunk of them drop out.

Everyone showers. Some crash diet. Bed/spray tan. Summer in the ‘burbs is within reach for the brats. The fine balance of the fashion school universe has been reclaimed and the asbestosy building retires for the summer. All that is required for a very anti-climactic ending to this blog.

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