March 6, 2009

Pants or Pagination?

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The debate of the century: where do I want to spend my nights? Options: in bed, with a tall, dark, and handsome half black-half white masterpiece of a man; at the informative, and equally attractive (but not jump-into-bed-with) Cornell Daily Sun; at MVR in the FSAD studio with my artsy (but, lets face it, I won’t be getting laid) friends, Leah and John; or in bed, alone.

Now, I’m not too hard on the eyes (I’ll let you guess who I am in the photo of the 127th Sun editorial board), but I’d much rather prefer the first option (hot bi-racial man-candy). But that’s not an option at this point in my life (and yes, it is a choice… or at least that’s what I tell myself when I’m in bed, alone). And since being in bed, alone, at night is way too depressing, we’ll just eliminate that option. So all that leaves is the Cornell Daily Sun and the MVR FSAD studio. At this point, it really comes down to the lesser of two evils. Where will I not sleep tonight (and not get laid)?
[img_assist|nid=35844|title=127th Editorial Board|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=|height=0]

This week will be a pretty equal split; two nights in studio designing pants, two nights at The Sun designing the paper, and one night in my bed (alone, of course). The weekends are irrelevant at this point (usually spent on a bus or at a hotel). So the debate continues… which do I prefer?

The company is always top notch at both. The Sun offers a wide variety of intellectuals who have long and passionate debates over things like Milstein Hall, the Student Assembly, and the Gaza debacle (plus, we’ve got a few man-candies… Jake Hanson included). The FSAD studio is the place-to-be for all textile students… it’s the best hub to find the artsy-fartsy cream of Cornell… next to the architecture school (more about them in my next blog). And, we’ve got some great man-candy in studio too (but the straight ones all have girlfriends). But back to the issue at hand… would I rather design a pair of pants or a page of The Sun?

Well, I know it’s not what you want to hear, but I quite enjoy both. The processes are actually really similar. Here’s what I’d do for a pair of pants…

1. Sketch a design
2. Make a pattern
3. Cut fabric
4. Sew pants
5. Iron and wear

Here’s the breakdown for a page…

1. Make physical pages
2. Budget meeting with all departments
3. Collect photos and stories
4. Design page
5. Print and read

First, forming a base for your pants or page is crucial. The sketch of the pants determines the silhouette and details of the garment while the creation of the physical page sets the dimensions and proportions of the area you have to work with for the night. This includes placing advertisements and promos, similar to drawing in details like closures and cuffs on pants. Then, for the pants, you make the pattern. Patternmaking is the process of making the preliminary pieces of your garment just like for The Sun when we have budget meetings. The design department receives all the different components that are supposed to be placed on a page in “pattern” of sorts. Cutting the fabric for pants is close to collecting and organizing the content of the paper; just like notches on fabric indicate where different pieces should meet, certain photos and graphics are paired with certain stories. And then I actually make my design, with either a sewing machine, for the pants, or a computer, for a page. All that’s left to do now is iron the pants and wear them, or print the paper and read it.
[img_assist|nid=35845|title=Irene’s Pants|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=|height=0]
[img_assist|nid=35846|title=Back Page|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=|height=0]

To see your design process’s product, especially when it’s aesthetically pleasing and functional, is irreplaceable. Granted, making a pair of pants requires way more time than making one page, both give back exactly what you put into them. Every single stitch and every single graphic hold sentimental value. And, I guess, as a designer, I can only hope that when those pants are worn, or the paper is read, my very same sentiment can be shared.