The seamstress and the baker
It’s well known that The Wake strives to give students of all backgrounds, majors, and talents a chance to have their voice heard in written form. This year, we’re pushing the envelope by also giving student artists a chance to have their work “heard” by being featured in the magazine.
“Featured Student Artists” is a way to connect what’s happening in the student art world with the rest of the student world and beyond. Our first featured artists are an apparel designer and a food blogger, and we couldn’t be more excited.
If you’re a student artist interested in having your work featured, email firstname.lastname@example.org with some examples of your work. We want to show you off!
Eden Prairie, MN
Sophomore studying Apparel Design and Retail Merchandising
The Wake: How long have you been working with apparel?
Marina: I’ve always been interested in fashion and styling, but just started designing within the last year and a half.
Why did you begin designing clothes?
Fashion is something I have always been passionate about. I’ve always loved designing and styling in my head, but I never thought about it as a career option until I started applying for colleges and thinking about my future.
Why did you choose to study at the University of Minnesota?
I would have loved to attend an amazing fashion institute on the coast, but I also wanted to have that college experience with all of my friends. I wanted the best of both worlds, and I found that here at the U of M!
What do you like about the apparel design program?
I love being in a program where the class is so tightly knit. With the apparel design class size being only 15 to 20 students, we really get to know each other.
What’s your favorite piece of yours and why?
As of now, I don’t have a whole lot of finished pieces. I designed a piece last year inspired by Kate Middleton, and that is my favorite design by far. I created a skirt last year for which I designed the fabric. That was a very fun and rewarding experience!
Where do you find inspiration for your work? Which designer(s) do you look up to?
I’m very inspired by classic and feminine silhouettes and structured garments. Some of my favorite designers are Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, and Stella McCartney.
Do you participate in any extracurricular activities related to fashion design?
I am involved with FAB [Fashion and Business] on campus.
What’s your dream career?
I would love to be a senior design for either a high-end fashion label or my own business.
What’s the most challenging part of your work?
It’s definitely a labor-intensive major, and is a lot more difficult than the average person may think! It is very rewarding, though, to have a tangible evidence of your hard work.
What’s the most rewarding part of your work?
I love being able to hear someone say that they would want to wear something I created. It makes me feel like I could be successful in the business, even though it is such a competitive industry.
Do you have a favorite style or article of clothing to make?
Dresses are my favorite thing to wear, which is maybe why it is my favorite thing to design!
What’s your guilty pleasure when it comes to designing or wearing clothes?
Designing for a client as opposed to designing for myself is a very real issue for me! I have a very particular style and it’s easy for me to get stuck making something that I would wear as opposed to someone else.
Do you have any fashion advice for this upcoming fall/winter season?
The fall/winter runways showcased a lot of jackets and coats in fun textiles: retro anoraks in bright colors, parkas in animal print, and leather moto jackets.
Do your finals ever make you feel like you’re on Project Runway?
Absolutely! Last semester, I definitely pulled several all-nighters in the studio to get my pieces done.
What advice would you give to someone struggling to find a style of his or her own?
Don’t try and overdo your style or fit in to trend that you don’t feel confident in. Basics such as dark wash jeans, loafers, and a knit sweater or cotton knit tee are simple and easy to wear. My advice is to combine those basics with a third piece such as a statement necklace, scarf, or accent belt.
What new designs are you looking forward to make?
Right now I am working on a long gown inspired by Oscar de la Renta’s Spring 2015 show. I am excited to see how it turns out.
Sophomore studying Graphic Design
The Wake: Why did you begin baking?
Nicole: I began baking out of curiosity. My mom used to have a stack of cake decorating magazines that I would flip through over and over again as a child. I love that you start with all these individual elements and put them together to create a finished product.
When did you create Yes to Yum?
I published my first post in July of 2013, a month before I moved to Minnesota. When I first started, I had little knowledge on how to run a website and used my iPhone as a camera until I was able to save up for a DSLR. I shudder looking back at some of my first posts, but you have to start somewhere.
Why did you decide to create a food blog?
I read food blogs for quite a while and was intrigued with the idea of writing one myself, but was sort of overwhelmed with all that it entailed. After a while, I decided to just take the plunge and purchase a domain name. Food is always on my mind, so I thought it would be a good way to connect with others who share the same interests. It was interesting to go from making recipes that I found to actually developing and photographing them myself.
What inspired you to combine your two interests of baking and graphic design???
It was natural. I use a lot of my graphic design knowledge for the design and photography aspects of my blog. Most bloggers don’t have a background in graphic design and have to pay for their website design, logo, and graphics that they use. I love having full creative control of everything on my website.
What are your favorite food blogs?
My top two favorites are Lindsay from Pinch of Yum (she’s based out of St. Paul!) and Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Lindsay has a great writing voice and as a former teacher, she has a lot of great resources for new bloggers. Sally inspires me to publish quality recipes that deliver great results each time.
What’s your favorite dessert that you’ve created?
If I absolutely had to choose, I would pick my recipe for carrot cake bars. It’s one of those priceless family recipes that’s scribbled on a yellowed index card. The secret to its success is using baby food carrots instead of the shredded ones. Weird, right? My Nutella Iced Coffee Mini Cheesecakes are also a favorite; they were featured on BuzzFeed recently!
What’s your dream career?
My dream career would probably be working as a designer for a food magazine. Writing a cookbook would be fun too. Check back in ten years for that.
What’s the most challenging part of your work?
Achieving a balance between school, work, and the blog. Sometimes it can be hard to step away from it all for a minute to make a batch of cookies just for fun or read a book. It’s also becoming quite challenging to find space for all my food props!
What new project or new recipe do you plan on working on next?
Right now I’m working on a series called Small Batch Basics, where I recreate classics like chocolate chip cookies and scale the recipe down in size. I also have quite a few pumpkin recipes in the works to compete with the pumpkin spice trend. Later on down the road when I can set aside a bigger chunk of time, I’d like to create an eCookbook to sell on my blog.
Do you have any plans to expand your blog with lunch and/or dinner recipes?
Actually, it’s the opposite! When I first started my blog, I posted all sorts of recipes, figuring that there would be something for everyone. However, I’ve found that developing a niche for my blog has led to increased readership. Rather than scrambling to try and appeal to everyone, I’m developing content for a smaller, more refined group. I may post a savory recipe here and there, but I like to keep things consistent.