March 25, 2011


The beginning of 2010 really begins with fashion week.

we found out about the death of Alexander McQueen just as we were entering the show space yesterday. shocking considering he is at the peak, coming out of a spring collection everyone is still talking about. losing this man so early is one of the greatest tragedies to culture.

suicide is a violent way to die. we talked about how people who were stopped before jumping off bridges were grateful to have been thwarted. but suicide is also a way to control the ending of your life.

it has been a very hectic past few weeks, with more than a few tales of the hospital. i hope for a strong recovery for everyone, though i know it takes time ... i'm happy to say that b and i are managing a mini all-indoors, limited space exercise regimen involving core exercises. i've also thrown some yoga and ballet warm-ups into the mix, and it really gets the energy up.

since some friends have been having this working for mass-market / high-street conversation for a while, i thought it would be great to get some more advice:

"To add: A friend of mine designs the entire N.D.C. brand that is loved on these boards. He has an MA from the RCA in London

He worked at Decathlon (pile it high sell it cheap) French budget sports brand for a long time, then at Lacoste.

No one will think any less of you for working in the mass market. It won't taint or soil you! It doesn't bother my high end clients. People in the trade know better than that!

absolutely, working for the mass market helps 'grounding' a designer on practical issues like costs, sourcing, co-ordination and deadlines.
it also helps to learn how to work in the speed of light, not too much time to philosophise or take your time..
i find this an excellent experience for young designers who one day would like to move upstream or to create their own line..

there are some days i am so exhausted, i like to blame everything on what i am doing, and wonder why i am engrossed in an field so commercial, so narcissistic, etc etc. i like to think how branding everything, branding the Self, starts to create little monsters that are obsessions with persona, and while it's fun and funny to think about all these things, it gets exhausting.

another is, i never thought it very important to accumulate possessions, and sometimes have had great distaste for it, but i see this industry run on the fuel of this, every day. all the playing with codes and identity and it being a form of creation kind of loses its pleasure whenever i see the kind of greed / desire that it encourages and kind of has to happen to stay alive. (i would give some stories here, but maybe another time). perhaps it comes down to, i hate a hard sell and don't have respect for those who lie and call it an image thing.

Of course, this all just one side of the equation. When I delve into the work, words cannot express the pleasure I get from my job.

Anyway, a lot of my posts this year become very long, kind of dreary, and unpublished. As a result of tapering off the steroids? Accepting the magnitude of managing my poor health?

I might change course on this blog and keep a running log of ailments. I read somewhere that having a disease like lupus is a part-time job. A part-time job all about taking care of yourself -- and I've never been intrigued by the prospects of having a job devoted entirely to the maintenance of my body. It makes me think of overwelming levels of either introspection and self-analysis or treating your body as an object to be utterly controlled. But ignorance is far more dangerous.

And since it fundamentally defines my life, I thought I should be gathering some notes in one place, not in fifteen notebooks and scraps of paper, much of it written in steroid induced manic scrawl. It could be helpful to see some progress and development, track any good findings from research and experiments, and just vent. While I have made some major upheavels in the last few years, the most relevent and important have been matters of health. Not design or politics or ... Career has been thrown into the mix, but oh how I wish I had the luxury to devote all my time to getting healthy. I think I could write volumes, personal encyclopedias.

Here is the blunt fact: I have the most serious form of lupus, type 4. The other fact is science knows very little about it's progression. I don't know if I should be working at all, except that at this moment I can without incredible pain, and loss of livelihood gives me anguish, so I do. I lack a lot of the so-called classic symptoms like skin rashes, arthritic pain and fatigue, but I have inflamed organs that make me at varying times painfully swollen, incapable of organizing thought, have chest pain, and have no desire to feed myself, which then gives me fatigue. My kidneys are wimpy. But I can work! But the other side is I have not reached remission and am still on a ton of drugs and it probably has something to do with the working. I also met briefly a woman who is a fashion designer with the same disease (type 4) and she is on the verge of death. I don't know about her lifestyle and the manifestations of her disease - lupus is a real f'in mystery how it moves - but the thought of dying at 43 scares the crap out of me.

In any case, I am having a bit of insomnia from some of these things, but there are really great things going on in my life as well. The fact is, no matter how great things are going or not going, it doesn't last. I started reading all these Buddhist books (Yes! You might become more "spiritual" when stuff like this goes on, but it's very practical) and I like to think about treating bad stuff that heads my direction in a kinder way. I might not like what's happening but let me shift my mind a little ... And take it as it is. Whereas in another manner I could beat myself up over not having fulfilled any of my goals that I set for myself at this age, feel bad that I can't keep up with any of my friends levels of energy, feel angry that I am sick and it never goes away, and feel ashamed that I am burden on others, etc etc etc. This is my chance to really stop judging myself harshly and by irrelevent measures.

If I don't have physical health, at least try to have other kinds of health. That would be good.

On that note, I will go to sleep.

Ps I am really excited to start this new segment of my blog and I hope you will find it useful too.

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