I began my full-time college career in the Fall of 2012, when I enrolled in the Fashion Design and Merchandising Bachelorette Program at The International Academy of Design and Technology, located in Sacramento, California. Years prior, I had attended a few semesters of college courses at Modesto Junior College, when I was a young lady, fresh out of high-school. Back then, I had no idea what I wanted to focus my studies on. At MJC, my listed major was Veterinary Science, yet I found myself loathing Math and Science courses. I soon found myself dropping what wasn't General Education, and adding several Art Classes instead.
I recall, my guidance counselor called me into his office one afternoon, asking if I would like to change my major to Art. I was, after all, getting all A's in these classes, and not working at all towards completing required Veterinary Science courses. However, at the time I couldn't imagine any interesting career as an Art Major. When I expressed this to my guidance counselor, he replied, "I am an Art Major!" I am no fine artist, and becoming an Art Teacher, or a Junior College Guidance Counselor, did not sound very appealing. I soon dropped out of junior college, and began to work full-time instead.
In the year 2011, at the age of 29, I unexpectedly lost my job at the Credit Union I had been working at for the past 9 years. Around the same time, I was gifted a brand new sewing machine, along with Sewing Lessons, from my Step-Mother, Kathy.
As I began to learn sewing techniques and how to read a commercial patterns, I fell in love with creating clothing. I wanted to learn more and more. I also found that sewing was an unexpected creative arts outlet that satisfied and challenged my artistic abilities. I had temporary employment with a construction company, and decided, maybe I should go back to school to start a career in a field that I actually would enjoy.
I thought to myself, "Could there be such a thing as 'Sewing College'?" I Googled 'Sewing College', and (silly me!) Fashion Design popped up! This was the first time I ever thought of a career in Fashion.
After researching Fashion Design programs available in the Northern California Area (there isn't many), I decided to attend IADT, in Sacramento. I attended this school full-time, taking an accelerated pace of courses, for the next three years. In May 2015, I graduated college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising. I was also honored as Class of 2015 Salutatorian, earning the second highest GPA of my graduating class, a 3.95 GPA. In 2015, I was the first person in my family to earn a Bachelors Degree.
During the three years I attended college full-time, I learned more than I could have imagined regarding Sewing Construction, Pattern Making, Fashion Research, Trend Forecasting, Apparel Manufacturing, Global Sourcing, Marketing, Visual Merchandising, Fashion Illustration, starting my own business, creating my first clothing line, and more! The professors I learned from where truly amazing, and either were, or had been professionals in one of these fields.
As a student, I took many photos on campus, as I worked on, and completed my assigned projects. Recently, I was looking though the photos that I had taken during this time, and I wanted to share some of my favorite photos with you, my dear reader!
I hope that you will enjoy visualizing the life of a fashion design student by viewing the following photos!
I hope you enjoyed this photo collection glimpse into my daily life attending college as a fashion design student! Tell me which photo or photos you enjoyed the most by sending me a comment!
To see what I've been creating since college, check out, and follow, my Official Instagram by clicking HERE.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog!
Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, in an impoverished neighborhood, attending college never seemed like a realistic option for me. My parents only attended a few community college courses prior to my birth, and no one in my family had ever finished a college program. While I was in grade school, education didn’t interest me much, and despite my later proven potential, I was not a kid who excelled in academics or sports, and I had no hope of obtaining a college scholarship.
I recall during my high school years, occasionally, various professionals would visit my class and present the details of their career path. I remember one such individual who told the classroom that regardless of the career we might hope to pursue, and even if we receive training or education in preparation for that career, many times, an individual will find that they will have many careers throughout their lives. Someone can change careers due to many factors; job loss, a networking opportunity, or just accepting a job that is available at the time they are searching for employment.
I found that interesting, since many people will ask children and young adults, “What would you like to be when you grow up?” As if we only have one choice.
Right now, as I write this, I am 33 years old. I have worked many jobs, some longer than others. I have worked as an animal shelter employee, a tele-marketer selling magazine subscriptions, a retail customer service representative, a bank teller, a call center representative, a waitress, a voter register, a hotel front desk receptionist, a dress maker, a fashion designer, a tailor shop administrator, a lip-balm crafter, and an insurance agent! I have even once worked as a construction worker!
Traditionally, a woman working on the construction worksite is a rarity. Now-a- days, with the progression of women’s rights, it seems as if there is no job that a man can do that a woman cannot. However, construction work can be very physical, and although there are many strong women, not many seem to enjoy carrying 4x4’s, tools, and climbing roofs. Maybe some do, but I am sure there are not many.
In the fall of 2011, I had un-expectantly lost my job at the local credit union, and was offered a position at my father’s construction company. It was a very different work environment from what I had been used to up to that point. My previous job at the credit union was with a team of all women. My new job at the construction work site was on a crew of all men. The jokes were more crude and perverted, but I am not one to easily take offence. I am also certain, that the fella’s held back, due to the fact I was the boss’s daughter.
My work duties primarily included administrative paperwork: typing workman’s comp reports, and payroll, as well as keeping an inventory of all of my father’s tools. I cleaned the wallpaper machine, I moved furniture, installed curtains, and carried 4 x 4 beams of wood from one location to another. I got muscle tone. I learned to use some power tools. I re-upholstered benches. During that time, my step-mother surprised me with a gift: a sewing machine and sewing lessons.
Wearing my pink construction boots daily, I decided that when the job we were working on, a remodel project of a hotel that my dad had built 10 years prior, was completed, I would enroll in a college program and get training in a field that I enjoyed. I did enjoy learning about construction, and the process of how buildings are constructed. I also loved learning sewing techniques, and how to read commercial patterns. I knew for a certainty that going back to a career in the financial industry was not what I wanted, nor did I want a career in a medical field like many of my college-going peers were pursuing.
Eventually, I decided that if there was such a thing as a sewing college out there somewhere, that is where I would enroll. I Googled “Sewing College” and, slap my head, it was called… Fashion Design School! I enrolled, and started my courses immediately.
During my year as a construction worker, I took hundreds of photos of the crew and job site. Perhaps because I grew up having very little, or perhaps because I have always loved and appreciated art, I tend to see the artistic beauty in many every day scenes. I appreciate a cool breeze on a hot day, a fresh rose blooming in the rain, and a hot fresh baked pastry. I appreciate the luxurious beauty in simple things; such as the contrast of color and shadow as the sun beams down on an ordinary object. As I would walk briskly around the job site doing this, or doing that, I would see intriguing images that I could not help but snap a picture of. I have sifted through these images and compiled my favorite photos for your viewing pleasure. I hope you enjoy the photos I have taken documenting my experience as a construction worker!
All photos featured in this blog article are the sole property of Roxanne Rodriguez, if not cited otherwise.
Dress #1. May 2015, The Proposal.
This past spring, in the spring of 2015, when I was finishing up my senior year of Fashion Design College, I came across some yellow and green fabric in a fabric donation bin, and I used this fabric to create a day dress as one of my final projects for my Pattern Drafting II class.
I absolutely love this dress and happily received a high grade on the assignment. The bodice of the dress features a lapel collar, and is made in a yellow and green floral printed fabric. I then used a solid yellow linen fabric for the skirt. The skirt has an exposed lining at the hemline, showing the bright green lining beneath. The dress fits me perfect.
Roxanne Rodriguez Day Dress with Lapel Collar
As May approached, and my final day of college arrived, Javier and I planned to enjoy a lovely weekend trip to the city of Napa. The two of us left immediately from my last class at my college campus in Sacramento. We enjoyed a delicious lunch and then headed North West to Napa! Javier had already suggested that we would be dressing up that Sunday, so I brought a few dresses, including my new yellow and green dress, in addition to skirts and blouses.
Javier and I enjoying a lovely weekend in Napa, California.
Wine tasting, bike riding, and dinning! Then as Sunday approached, you can imagine my surprise when Javi told me that he would be taking me to The Cliff House in San Francisco! We left Napa dressed in our finest for an early champagne brunch in San Francisco!
The Cliff House, San Francisco
An amazing panoramic view, taken by Javier Rangel: myself gazing upon The Cliff House and the Pacific Ocean.
I had never been to The Cliff House before this day, nor had I been to this particular area of San Francisco's Land's End before. If you have not visited this area yourself, I highly recommend that you do! If you have been here before, it may be time to visit again!
Interestingly, The Cliff House is rich in history. The original Cliff House building was built at this location in the year of 1863. Tragedy soon struck this dwelling, causing it to become severely damaged in 1887, then becoming destroyed completely due to a chimney fire in 1894. The Cliff House was re-built and became the beautiful massive structure shown in the illustration pictured above.
Unfortunately, this building too was soon destroyed by fire in 1907. The Cliff House was re-built, yet again, this time in 1909, and in a similar style to that of the simple original Cliff House building. Today it stands as a very beautiful neo-classical building, situated next to the ancient and decaying Sutro Bath Ruins.
Now, back to the romance at hand...
Javier and I had been dating for a little over three years at this point, and things were quite serious. I had a feeling that he might propose marriage to me during this particular romantically planned weekend, but I was still very surprised when he actually did!
The food at The Cliff House brunch was amazing! The champagne was really good too! A harpist played music while the waves of the Pacific Ocean crashed around just outside the windows overlooking the sea. We had an amazing time... which we always do when with each other... I was feeling the champagne...I think Javi was too... But the endless seafood, water, and coffee was helping dull the effect slightly to a sensation just beyond utter contentment.
I excused myself to the restroom, and giggled out of sight. When I returned, Javi proposed! He had the ring placed in the bottom of my champagne glass, and when I noticed, he asked. My solitaire black sapphire ring was so pretty. How could I say or think anything other than yes! We drank more champagne, talked endlessly, and ate more food & desserts, and then we headed happily together down to the Sutro Bath Ruins, and then to the beach!
Javier and I enjoy our "Engagement Day" at The Cliff House.
Dress #2: July 2015, Our Garlic Love Story.
Javier and I began to discuss the date we would plan our wedding to be on. One day, as I was reading some Northern California event news, I came across an advertisement for the Gilroy Garlic Festival Dream Wedding Give-A-Way Contest. The contest advertised a “Dream Wedding Give-A-Way”, in which a winning couple would be chosen to win an all-expense paid wedding ceremony, along with cake, Gilroy Garden tickets, and a year supply of garlic!
This contest sounded great, and since we were planning to be married soon, this contest seamed made for us! Javier and I looked up the entry form, and began to get together the requirements needed for our submittal. Although not required, a video was recommended to tell our “Garlic Love Story” to the judges. As we thought about our love story, I thought about making a garlic inspired dress, perhaps for the wedding! Then one of my friends suggested that I make a garlic themed dress for the video filming instead! Why, that’s genius! So that’s what I did!
You can watch our “Garlic Love Story” by clicking on this link: Enjoy!
Roxanne and Javi during the filming of "The Garlic Love Story".
Much to our dismay, it was announced that Javier and I were not even contestants for the Gilroy Garlic Dream Wedding Give-A-Way contest! It was very surprising! We stopped eating garlic for a while, picked our wedding date, and began booking our venue and reservations for a wedding in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada!
Dress #3: September 2015, Our Perfect Las Vegas Wedding.
Dress #3, is not a dress at all, but a Formal Ball Skirt that I created especially for my wedding. When Javier proposed to me, I knew I would design and create my own wedding dress. As I started brain storming ideas, I continually was drawn to the concept of a formal ball skirt, paired with a charming blouse.
Completely untraditional, I selected a gold satin fabric, and then I layered grey netting, for a truly unique look. The skirt features a hand beaded design, all designed, constructed, and sewn by me! However, time began to run out as our wedding day quickly approached. Instead of making my wedding blouse (as planned), I happily found a blouse, beyond perfect, on the sale rack at Wet Seal, just days before our wedding, while in Las Vegas!
Getting ready for our big day, at the Wynn Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada.
My family and I on our way to the chapel, we pause to take a photo in the lovely lobby garden of the Wynn Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Rangel Wedding, A Special Memory Wedding Chapel, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Bride's hair and make-up by Stevee Danielle Hair and Make Up Salon, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Our Wedding Day experience was truly perfect! Everything planned went accordingly. The ceremony was held at the Our Special Memory Wedding Chapel, in Las Vegas, followed by a dinner reception at The Fremont Hotel's Paradise Buffet. We then enjoyed a wonderful honeymoon night at the Wynn Hotel and Casino, before departing to The Grand Canyon!
I loved being able to design and create the three outfits that I wore for my wedding and pre-wedding occasions! Creating my own bridal wear allowed me to be the unique, fashionable bride that I wanted to be!
If you have any of your own special occasions in the future, contact me regarding your custom outfit!
Today, I am taking a trip down Memory Lane, to share with you my experience entering a Rubber Chicken Photo Contest, and surprisingly taking home the coveted Third Place Prize...
Although slightly bizarre, this is my Award Winning Photo:
I am not a professional photographer, but I love taking photographs.
I believe I have an eye for an aesthetically pleasing photo, and have used my skill to photograph my own work, my life, and most recently, as the Creative Director for OFW Art & Style Magazine.
I purchased my first camera in 1994, when I was around 12 years old. Back in those days, when digital photography didn't exist (at least to the mainstream public), I was thrilled to have a small camera that used a roll of 110 Film, and had clip on flash bulbs. Do you remember those? Truly a relic of antiquity!
Technology sure has advanced at a surprisingly quick rate over the last 24 years. Now, everyone has a camera in their pocket, equipped with high resolution, filters, and different lens options. I heard comedian Dave Chapelle say on TV recently, "Do you remember when people used to say, 'I wish I had a camera!'" No one says that anymore.
Living in California, where picturesque landscapes abound, I found myself exploring the local region in my early to mid 20's, when I finally owned a somewhat reliable car... During my road trip travels, I found a fantastic little Gold Rush mountain town, called Murphys. In Murphys, the historic downtown still looks very much like an 1800's frontier town, with wooden storefronts, and a tranquil creek streaming under Main Street through a delightfully peaceful public park. On the outskirts of town, vineyard after vineyard can be found, each with a modestly priced tasting room. If you love wine, as I do, Murphys is a fabulous destination.
Leave me a comment about your thoughts on my article, or on my photo!
Have a Remarkable Day!!
Looking back in fashion history, it appears that the Tote Bag has been around for as long as human beings began to carry objects. In the times that we live in now, many people are conscious of the use of disposable bags and the negative impact that they cause to the environment. These days, society is shunning plastic, and embracing bags made of fabric.
Today, many people use various sized and stylized tote bags to carry the items that they purchase. If you live in the California, as I do, you will know that many counties have outlawed the use of plastic bags altogether. Almost every retailer now offers a re-usable tote bag for sale, or a paper bag, also for sale. If you are like my household, you more than likely have a slew of random re-usable totes thrown in a pile in the kitchen, the car trunk, or in the entryway.
However, as a consumer, trend forecaster, and clothing creator, I like to wonder into local boutiques, sewing stores, or spend the day exploring the city… and I would rather carry a tote bag that is fashionable! Over time, I have collected totes that are a little more stylish than the totes that I also have with a retailor or grocery store logo printed so dominantly upon them.
While I was in college, one topic that I studied was Textile Design. I loved creating digital art that could be used for screen printing or textile application. Options are endless in this avenue of fashion, and can be extremely fun to create, after learning the daunting features of the computer programs that is!
A few years ago, I created a digital art work that I call “Beauty Kills the Beast”. This piece was inspired by one of my favorite love stories of all time: King Kong. I am an animal person, for sure. And as a girl who once had a dog, I can understand the bond that pets and masters have for each other. I feel so bad knowing that that the poor ape, King Kong, was killed so brutally, when he did nothing wrong, but love his human girl. It was tragic! I cry when I watch that film!
Since I graduated college this past May, I can now use the time that I have after my full time job, to build my clothing brand and promote my brand at local events, such as fashion shows. This summer I was privileged to showcase my Fall 2015 Collection, “Purple Moonlight’’ in two Sacramento Fashion Shows: The Designer’s Unleashed in May, and The Fashion Festive in August (More on these events in the upcoming blog post: “Behind the scenes: Fashion Shows- Designer’s Unleashed and The Fashion Festive”).
As a promotional gift to my models who worked with me during these events, I created a re-usable tote bag of my own featuring the digital artwork that I had created previously, “Beauty Kills the Beast”. I love this image, and it is a nice reflection of the sometimes, odd, quirky, eccentric, pop-arty aspect of my clothing designs.
Although my brand primarily offers women’s ready to wear dresses, and custom made clothing, I want to do my part in creating re-usable tote-bags that can be fashionable and fun to carry! I am now offering my “Beauty Kills the Beast” Tote-Bag for sale, right here, through my web-site!
If you would like your own hand painted “Beauty Kills the Beast” Tote-Bag, order yours today!
Hand Painted Tote Bag
Small Size "Beauty Kills the Beast' King Kong Inspired Tote Bag, is hand-painted, and perfect for shopping, carrying books, or tossed in your bike basket. A must have for those that care about our environment and seek to minimize the effects of waste when using none re-usable bags. Made in Northern California!
Hello there! Let me start out by introducing myself. I am Roxanne Rodriguez, an emerging Fashion Designer and Tailor Apprentice living in Hayward, California.
Not sure where Hayward is? Why, it is The Heart of The Bay, located in the East San Francisco Bay Area!
Although I currently live in Hayward, I previously attended college at the International Academy of Design and Technology, in Sacramento, California. I am a recent graduate of IADT, completing my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising in May of 2015.
Previously, I lived in the Central Valley city of Modesto! I am a full blooded Northern California gal, who loves my beautiful state! The best part about living in Northern California is being able to visit coastal regions, valley regions, as well as mountainous foresty regions, all within a day trip! The multi-cultural melting pot, that can be found in so many of our towns and cities, is awe inspiring!
When many people think of American Fashion, they instantly visualize the bustling streets of Manhattan, the sun beamed upon movie stars of Los Angeles, or the Southern Beauties of Atlanta. However, there is a plethora of Fashion in Northern California as well!
I strongly feel that there is a new Zeitgeist upon us, with a large fashion scene from Northern California emerging. I hope that you join myself, through my Blog, for everything there is to know about Northern California Fashion, Historical Fashion Facts, Behind the Scenes footage of the Design Studio, and more!
Hello Readers! Welcome to my Blog! I am Roxanne Rodriguez Rangel, a Fashion Designer from Northern California. I love all things Fashion, particularly historical fashion! Join me, as I take you around Northern California, covering fashion events and related topics!