June 27, 2012

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac in Tel Aviv

Background: Last night, on Tuesday June 26th to be exact, the thrilling interdisciplinary fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac lectured at Beit Ha'ir ("City House"), Tel Aviv.

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac at Beit Ha'ir, Tel Aviv, photo by Juliette Gold
It was 20:30 p.m. on a warm, summery Tuesday night. There was peace and quiet on the Bialic Square at Tel Aviv … outside at least. Inside, magic was happening! Girls with colorful hair, guys with fans, photographers, bloggers, designers and curators all gathered up in one place. The music was cool; the dimmed lighting was cool; the walls were cool; Castelbajac was cool; and according to him, the crowd (that would us) was also cool!

The walls of the Beit Ha'ir museum, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac at Tel Aviv, photo source: Castelbajac's Facebook Page
The crowd, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac at Tel Aviv, photo source: Castelbajac's Facebook Page
Seasoning it with humor and fun, Castelbajac explained his vision of creativity. He told us about his childhood, his past, and the sources of his inspiration. Jean-Charles de Castelbajac was born in 1950 in Casablanca, Morocco and a few years later his family moved to France. There, he was sent to a boarding school where he stayed until the age of 17. He confessed of being quite unhappy in boarding school. However, with his spectacular life perspective, he was empowered by his situation.

{ He built his imagination on wound, his creativity on failure and his strength on loneliness. }

During his years in boarding school he developed his fascination with color. When all of his classmates kept their chocolaty treasures in identical wooden boxes, he asked his mother for a blue plastic box. Even though his candies have all gone bad in the sealed container, the color and individuality gave him hope. He kept that unique, colorful, and extraordinary child with him throughout the 40 years of his career.

{ Color = Hope }

Little Jean-Charles, photo source: Castelbajac's Facebook Page
Since one should never conclude a day without learning something new, I bring to you the summery of all the new content that now inhabits my brain:

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac at Beit Ha'ir, Tel Aviv, photo by Juliette Gold

Don't be afraid of failure:

At the age of 17, Castelbajac graduated from boarding school. With no experience, no diploma, and zero desire of becoming a fashion designer, he started working for his mother, who owned a fashion business. Yet, instead of reveling in self-pity Castelbajac became … well, Castelbajac.

{ "There's emotion in things we don't achieve" ~ Jean-Charles de Castelbajac  }

Open your eyes:

He finds his inspiration in things that people don't see, in the everyday life, in accidents. His advice - look around yourself. Inspiration is everywhere.

Have a clear say:

Each collection he creates has its own manifesto, a distinct saying. His current line, for instance, deals with "Dystopia". Castelbajac says that Dystopia describes our time – the rapid existence in which we abandon traditions and forget old beliefs.

{ "you don't just buy a piece of clothing. You buy a philosophy, an idea". }

photo source: Castelbajac's Facebook Page

First impression is everything:

In a fashion show, Castelbajac said, the first garment on the runway sets the tone of the entire show. When his whole collection is complete, he spends hours in the studio pondering on the selection process. 

Laugh at yourself:

After his divorce, Castelbajac created a double poncho that had a zipper in the middle.

Learn from others:

Castelbajac says he absolutely can't work alone. He has to be in a studio and around people. Theirs is always something we can learn from others. Their perspectives are contributive, not disturbing.

Last and most important: Stay true to yourself:

Even though that during the 90's grunge era, Castelbajac's colorful and poppy designs lacked popularity, he remained loyal to his aesthetic. Surprisingly enough, since his clothes were sold on sales and in cheap department stores, they became popular among the rising NY rappers. Now, JZ has a collection of these then-disapproved sweats and they are sold for thousands of dollars on e-bay!

{ " What you do can have more than one life. It's about whether you're sincere or not." ~ Jean-Charles de Castelbajac  }

What do you think about his work and his life perspective? What is your favorite piece from the latest collection? 

June 18, 2012

Step #1: IMAGE - Part 4

What do I want to be?

To read the rest of the series: Part 1Part 2Part 3

In our parents' generation, things where much more predetermined. You could be an engineer...a doctor...a teacher, and these titles defined who you were as a person. The engineer - smart and well-educated; the doctor - heroic; and the teacher compassionate. These statements were still valid even when I was growing up - who doesn't remember the  Nickelodeon sitcom from the 90's of two grannies bragging about their doctor / lawyer sons ?

Currently, however, things are slightly different. I thing that the invention of the internet caused the change. The internet introduces a new array of possible career paths and opportunities. It also made information a lot more available, brought content from overseas, and made the world seem smaller and approachable. Nowadays the answer to the question "what kind of person do I want to be?" is completely up to us. So what kind of person do I want to be?

Who is Juliette Gold?

  • She is graceful and elegant. She knows how to behave like a lady.
  • She treats everyone she meets with respect.
  • She keeps a positive outlook on life. On her "thunderstorms and horseshit mood" days she just keeps to herself, to avoid upsetting others as well. 
  • She always strives to learn new skills and to improve the ones she already knows.
  • She embraces life and enjoys every day to its fullest extent. 
  • Her work inspires and influences people. 
  • She knows who she is and what she stands for. 
Juliette gold is the girl who would dance in an empty room with no music on, just to enjoy herself and have a good time.

"The Ghostly Dancer", sketch by Juliette Gold, July 2012

How would you describe your ideal persona? Which qualities would it have? 

June 12, 2012

The Personal Growth chair

Inspired by my latest realization, I decided to stop waiting; to stop waiting for someone to teach me how to design; to stop anticipating a diploma that would  "allow" me to finally create something; to stop letting others decided what I am capable of doing.
That same day, I picked up my sketchbook, and created this:


The Personal Growth chair, a design by Juliette Gold

The Personal Growth chair, a design by Juliette Gold

Thesis: This chair was created to inspire personal growth, exploration of self, and discovery of individuality. We start as a plain grey [aka commonplace and comfortably invisible] stool. We can either remain as we are for the rest of our lives, being content with our resemblance to everyone else. Or we can change, evolve, and become our own kind of chair . How do you know you've achieved growth ? Once you feel you have overflowing confidence by simply being yourself. 

What do you think about the design? What about the drawing? Are you a grey chair or one-of-a-kind?

Step #1: IMAGE - Part 3

How much do you really want to change?

To read the rest of the series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 4

In order to know how much we really want to work on ourselves, how many things we would like to change, we first need to identify those things. In other words, we need to asses our life-satisfaction. 

What do you already like about your life?

Are you happy with your everyday routine? Do you like the way you treat people [and consequently, the way they treat you]? Are you happy with your apartment or house? Take a moment to ponder upon these questions:

  • Are you excited to wake up each morning? 
  • What do you like most about your family?
  • What do you like most about your friends?
  • What is your favorite spot in your home? 
  • Name one thing you like about your job. 
  • Name your 3 most favorite qualities.
You should have a clearer image of your life and your level of content. Do you press snooze every time the alarm goes off? Then perhaps your routine could use a little shake (or maybe you're just not getting enough sleep). Your parents seem to always get the best of you? Have you tried to sit down with them and clear the air? Can't find a single thing you like about your job? Why don't you quit then?

Our life is the result of our own choices.

Though it may sound like a cliche, it's definitely not bull'. I believe that before we can design someone else's reality, we first need to be pleased with our own. We cannot improve the being of others, if we keep ranting about our own. However, a quick shift of perspective can make wonders!

Story time: One day I had to run around Tel Aviv collecting documents I needed to apply to university. There are two ways to look at that day:

  1. I left the house super-early, had to deal with the most annoying secretaries, froze (I forgot my jacket), ran around all day and did nothing productive. Basically, this day sounds terrible! 
  2. I got to see the beautiful morning sky, finished all of my chores, spent an entire day walking around my beloved city, and later at home, spent some quality time with my cat. Not only this days sounds bearable, but is actually seems pretty nice.
By choosing to remember the good parts of controversial days, by focusing on the positive aspects of my life, I keep my happiness level high and my inspiration flowing.

What do you like about your life? Share your answers to the Q's in this post here. 

June 4, 2012

Stop waiting, start creating

A few days ago I was pondering upon my life - who do I want to become? What do I want to do? What goals do I want to accomplish? Where do I see myself in 1-5-10 years? The answers I came up with are, unfortunately, too vague to be put down in writing (C'est la vie). However, I did come to another realization:

ME: What I really want to do with my life is design. I want my designs to inspire people to be better, kinder, more respectful...

My OTHER SELF burst into my train of thought inquiring: What's stopping you, kiddo? 

ME, all defensively offended replied: I don't have any formal design education yet! 

OTHER SELF, smiling smugly, asked: You have ideas, don't you? That would do. 

ME: Ideas are great, but what about funding? How am I supposed to execute them?

OTHER SELF seemed disappointed: To draw a sketch, or to create a small model, you barely need any materials. Stop making excuses!

It took  OTHER SELF to yell at  ME for  ME  to realize that the only thing stopping me from doing what I want, was myself. I could sit all day stressing about the future, reveling in "I have no clue what to do with my life" moodiness, letting my ideas get piled under endless to-do lists... Or, I could get myself together, and create.

Source: Pinterest

What do you think? What do we need to achieve our goals?

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