Graziela Sousa

Alumni Talks @FAUL

Nov
02

We started to implement the Alumni Talks at FAULisboa, in the fields of Design: Fashion, Communication and Product Design.

The scheme is as follows: each month we have a talk at lunch time with an alumni which comes and speaks about its career, discusses the challenges of the workplace and also explains the way he/she chose to pursue studies, courses, post-grads etc.

We already had the opportunity to host 3 talks in the field of Fashion:

  • December 2017 – with Filipa Homem, who graduated more than 15 years ago, worked with Alexander MacQueen, H&M, TopShop, Knot among many other international brands;

  • May 2018 – Daniela Pais – a sustainable designer and trend researcher, who pursued studies in the Nederlands after graduating from FAUL and has since built her own sustainable brand Elementum, while collaborating with Li Edelkoort’s trend office ‘Trend Union’;

  • October 2019 – this time, we decided to try something a bit different and tried a different orientation, having topics or themes for each talk, having the chance to gather more than 1 alumni for each one – so we tried for the first time at October 26th. The theme was Fashion Communication and we invited a fashion journalist, Margarida Brito Paes (editor of Delas.pt – the Diário de Noticias online fashion magazine) and Maria Rita (a fashion photographer who has been working for the last 8 years with several brands, stores and magazines).

The format is still evolving, but this was an approximation to a better format – specially because we aim to show our students what a graduate can do after leaving the university as well as the different courses that a career in fashion can take.
It is very important to show them that they can do several things other then designing clothes, because the fashion industry demands much more than that, and can offer several other jobs and opportunities.
It is also important to underline that these alumni can help to uncover the ‘unknown’ gap from leaving the uni to finding a job one loves and one can excel and make a proper living at.
The room was full and the attendees made several questions, so we’ll do one more in the next semester and then reflect about the growth and evolution of the initiative.

the future is curated

Oct
24

No, i don’t mean tailored. It’s not about asking consumers what they want or need. It’s actually about curating selections of products ‘in the new’ or the ‘unexpected’.

It’s about building up installations, exhibitions or Pop-ups, physical ones, full of new products no one has seen or heard about yet OR maybe combined in such a way that you will be surprised.
It’s about freshness and excitement, about the things you cannot find online, the ones you’ve never seen before.
Also, as a professional I must say, it’s about keeping up the search, the scouting, the digging, about going to those cities, shops or thrift-shops yet unknown.

In this sense i’d say that this insight isn’t just about fashion, either apparel or accessories, it can be about everything from cosmetics to craftsmanship to food or even homeware.
People need the creative crowd to come and get really creative. We need to keep up the excitement. To get off of our screens and provide real experiences: visual, tactile and olfactive.

We need to deliver good yet unexpected combos, in every sort of delivery point: hotels, displays, museums, concept stores and temporary installations.

One proof of that is precisely our social media: as in instagram, spotify, pinterest et. al. we are all mixing and showing off our personal moodboards, liking our favorite things, which results (as per algorithms exist) in a selection of things suggested/shown based on that.

So let’s provide for PHYSICAL boards and tasteful selections, promoting local and sustainable alternatives and showing new things for the audience to like – i mean to REALLY like, not just  double-tap 😉

A Vida Portuguesa: selected Portuguese traditional products, celebrating our excellent manufacturers while letting melancholy do its part.

all i need is: a break

Jul
30

As some of you might know, it’s my 4th summer with a thesis hanging over my head, my soul and my heart.
It’s also the 4th time I end up admitting I need some vacation, that I sort of succumb to the idea of stopping because I start feeling depressed and lacking some time off from everything.

it’s not always easy to admit one needs to stop, take a dive, eat fish and get sun on their skin. but it’s been another rough year and I’m now convinced that this time off will not be out of laziness or procrastination. I need and deserve a break, and do think I will return with a refreshed and productive mind.

I also have just promised myself I will never apologize for taking a break, and will never again consider not having a vacation at least once a year.
It’s about health and self-love.

So I guess it’s ba-bye! see you in a week! 🙂

Sei Fazer

Jun
27

Along this big life change and journey I’ve had the privilege to get to meet great and interesting people who became sources of support and inspiration.

One of them is Joana, who taught me so much and contributed heavily in several aspects of my way of thinking, behaving and actually facing the world and the things I know about.

Through sharing books, situations, articles and glasses of wine, of course, we realized we could actually do something about empowering other women.

Joana decided to start with the ones close to her: gathering a few friends in a Facebook group called ‘Sei Fazer’ (which can be translated into ‘Know how to’), where we can ask about things we need to know about but have no formal way of learning, like changing a tire, or using a drill. I followed her and gathered more friends and now we feel we can do whatever we please because there was a big echo among other women – the best trickle down effect EVER <3

 

We already change tires without calling the insurance company and have a knitting circle being organized, we are considering knitting on the beach, dunno how that will turn out 😀

happy earth day!

Apr
21

Making some sense about my growing interest in sustainability issues, I keep being pushed towards speaking about it but can’t make my decision about what to say because I never felt like an expert about these matters. I just keep repeating WE (the fashion industry) need to address it, take it into account and act towards making the less prejudicial impact out of our activities, buys, words, etc.

Either as an educator, researcher, promoter or plain consumer, I can be proud to be doing (a tiny) bit, but of course it’s never enough. And so today I decided to relate a few reads from lately on this topic, because they DO raise pertinent questions and maybe even indicate new issues that need to be addressed.

A dear friend told me about the Scraps exhibition he just saw at Cooper Hewitt NY, which finishes tomorrow 🙁 and the Pandora’s box on the topic just spread wide open: check out the talk with Eileen Fisher and Patagonia.

I’ve been also quite impressed with an article on Trendtablet about Really Cph which uses textile waste exclusively – closing our loop and integrating it into new products. Also for some reason Unreasonable.is mentioned me while tweeting this post about the work that the people from Thread are doing recycling waste while using a recollection/production model that empowers impoverished communities from Haiti.

And then Fashion Redef mentioned this article which critiques sustainable initiatives and raises so many questions about how trendy it became to be sustainable as a brand but also quite hypocritical because it’s still promoting consumption, which origins more waste (even if on the right? side of the problem). Adding to that one can also read this one and think about the way the industry is working and making efforts to address consumers needs as fast as they can – with See Now Buy Now and recent Farfetch fast delivery approach/innovation.

There seems to emerge a sort of controversial status quo where the industry is supposed to make good fashion and yet a lot of what we see and hear about is more about giving consumers more and more products to satisfy their supposed ‘needs’, ever faster, so they don’t even have the proper time to think if they actually need those products in their wardrobes/lives.

Fashion (or clothes) are NOT a primary need like food, and we really need to (have time to think) before we buy. So go ahead and properly analyze the stuff you own, think about what to do with the ones that don’t fit or suit you any longer, then upcycle, sell, swap, donate or share. Make plans about your next purchases, regard them as long and lasting investments, stuff you’ll treasure, stuff that will last, make the money you will put on them also something meaningful.

I think one day this threads will get us somewhere nice. So let’s all try and THINK a little more about our small share, and bit by bit I hope we can all make changes for the better. Because like the people at Ecoalf say so well: There is no Planet B.

Failure and self-conciousness

Sep
10

It’s very easy to say “make mistakes and learn from them” – but what about the real feeling when s#$t happens, is it any good?

I’ve been reflecting about it for a long time – we all have our nice short tales about failing, about the mistakes we will never forget and will avoid for years to come. But what about those we are secretly still embarrassed about?
I remember a few from my time as a junior-designer for a brand, specially one time when I spent some days designing a line and it was totally crushed – and looking back, I don’t know what was on my mind back then – thank god they crushed it! 🙂
We fail, we feel the shame (actually I blush, so I feel it and people around me see it as well) but then we just walk right through it and do better the next time.

So I always tell my students and friends: “don’t be afraid to ask for things” – self-exposure is a very serious thing and the faster you start getting used to it, the faster you’ll stop blushing or excusing yourself. And that’s why I started this blog, that’s why I send a few emails and go meet people to ask for help and question their ideas – I still blush, yes, but at least I’ll never say I didn’t try.