Monday, November 14, 2011

USC Homecoming and the Outstanding Alumni Award

i always knew i would attend USC. my dad was a graduate and after he passed away when i was 5 i thought he would be proud if i carried on the family tradition, and so i did. in 2001 i was initiated into Kappa Delta sorority on the horse shoe. i met my met my best friend there, studied for tests there and learned my grandmother had passed away while walking the brick path to class. the horseshoe at USC holds memories that cover a litany of emotions.

what a honor it was to be awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award for 2011 and even more rewarding to receive the award at Rutledge Chapel on the horse shoe. i never felt like an outstanding student, but i did feel like a hard worker. my mom says that runs in our family and when i am discouraged she reminds me of how proud my dad must be. many of you know that i named my "kitchen table endeavor" LaRoque, to honor him.

homecoming at USC brings back a flood of emotions. the theme of homecoming my freshman year in 2001 was "a family tradition." aptly so, homecoming always makes me think of my family. although my dad was not at the award ceremony i knew he was there "in spirit".

USC has taught me many things both as a student and a graduate. most importantly i have learned that you can make a living off of your life. what an honor to be a part of a University that allows me to give back and be apart of traditions that will always be nostalgic. i am grateful to have a career that is fueled and supported by a university that my father was apart of.
for me, homecoming at USC will always be a family tradition.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Photo shoot with Palmetto Health, George Fulton and wondering what defines something as extraordinary.

webster define extraordinary as "very unusual or remarkable."
i have been asked to be apart of a lot of really extraordinary things over the last few years.

i have seen a glimpse into worlds that without laroque i never would have.

i have seen the unglamorous side of bridal world.
the reality of the fashion industry.
the stress of retail.
the joys and struggles of a small business.
i have seen what the pageant world is really like.
i have judged garments made out of trash in the name of recycling.
have bought buttons in foreign places where the clerk and i spook the different languages.
i have been apart of the happiest times in my clients lives.
seen that it is possible to make a living off of your life.
i have met famous designers and up and coming artist.
i have seen why manufacturing in america is worth the extra cost.
i have experienced what it really takes to put on a fashion show.
i have been criticized and praised for being a young woman and an entrepreneur.
i have made dresses for colon cancer survivors out of ties and scarves of cobalt blue.
i know what its like to have people both love and dislike you and they don't even know you.

the fabric of my life has been weaved in an extraordinary way over the last five years.

last week came another humbling opportunity to be apart of a great cause. what an honor it was to be asked to be a representative for Palmetto's Health's extraordinary woman's campaign. the term "extraordinary" is an interesting label. yes, i have had an interesting path paved along the way by exceptionally wonderful and sometimes bazar events but i know that i had little to do with making those events life changing. it was, rather, the sum of everyone involved made those events extraordinary.

severing woman in the midlands is a large part of what makes Palmetto Health a great hospital and resource for south carolina. for each decade in life a woman in south carolina was chosen to represent woman in our state. what an honor. to sweeten the pot i was photographed by George Fulton for the promotional material for the campaign. i have always admired his work. his advertising and editorial work has been seen on many national campaigns. what a privilege to sit on the other side of his lens.

here is the view from his crew.
and the view from my prospective...

Palmetto Health is the health sponsor for the columbia women's show, to be held in feb. 2012 at the convention center. these photos, as well as the others from the five woman chosen will be on display to tell the story of a woman's health throughout her lifetime.

here, again, i believe that it will be the sum of all the parts that will work together to make the extraordinary woman campaign "extraordinary."

International interior design fashion show!

unique combinations of textiles and interior design materials took the stage in rare form on saturday night. fabric swatches, carpet remnants, and wall paper normally used for interior design projects walked the runway in garment form. uniquely designed and creatively assembled teams from the International Interior Design Association gathered to designed futuristic frocks. of all the events i have been asked to judge, each year this event tops the list.

{with the other judges}
giving a nod to florence knoll, who was the first to address the needs of commercial spaces came the inspiration for garment below. the design of this garment and use of textile textures in woven fabrics, this "iconic orange" frock was a sight to see.
right brian? left brain? the measure of a truly great designer is the ability to use and balance both sides of the brain. to creatively think of a design and to use logic and reason for assembly to insure practicality in function. this dress demonstrated how both sides of the brain must be balanced. one side of the dress was colorful and whimsical while the other classic and practical.

taking a twist on the word "bespoke" commonly used to describe made to measure by way of mens suiting this dress was custom draped and lazar cut in places to fit the model.

and, of course, love the exaggerated bow detail.
using a table leg as a staff and arm rest for a shield this modern warrior princess creatively combined elements of every day commercial design in a futurist manner. the strong liner lines of the skirt mimicked the theme.
madonna inspired details combined with unique accessories made this arc-con inspired entry another favorite. love this skirt... maybe she will donate it to my closet? love the tailored look with exaggerated ruffle hem.
another creative use of material. work binder, wall covering and tape turn into the modern briefcase. love that concept.