No sleep until fashion week

Four layers of fabric, scissors, measuring tape, blades, and satin ribbon, what does it really take to make yourself your very own corset? The answer: a very driven fashion design student.

Alexzandra Granath, 24, has been attending Santa Monica College for a little more than a year. She has had a passion for fashion as long as she can remember and a corset is not the only garment she has designed.

The corset goes side by side with her take on a blazer, a skirt, dresses, and tops.

All together, this hard working student has designed around 20 different styles of garments. "I don't use them a lot because I don't want to ruin them," said Granath. "It is not someone else's design, it's mine," she says laughing.

Granath was born and raised in Sweden, but decided to come to United States because the fashion industry is more prominent here in Los Angeles. However, New York would be the place she wants to end up because it's where the fashion industry thrives.

Back in Sweden Granath took various fashion design courses which gave her the opportunity to produce her own fashion show with her own designs. This has given her good experience and she has had a lot of fun doing it.

For a designer, working with fabric is very important. Granath frequents flea markets in Italy when she travels there to visit family in the summer. When she is not able to travel that far, she goes downtown to the fashion district here in L.A. to try to get her hands on some good fabric.

Many of Granath's friends describe her as ‘the most serious student they have ever seen." Ever since arriving at SMC she has taken 16 units every semester, both fashion and general education courses, but only to try to get through school as quickly as possible.

Currently she is trying to save money so that she can get her bachelor's degree in fashion design. Eventually, Granath wants to obtain her master's degree if time and money will allow her to. If her life plan becomes reality, she will have the opportunity to work wherever she wants.

When she is not studying, Granath is constantly looking for free stuff to do around L.A., like going to the beach.

"Other people do not really understand how expensive it is to make your own clothes," says Granath. She bought her sewing machine from a garage sale for $50, and she has to buy all of her fabrics herself, and due to her intense schoolwork, it leaves her very little time to enjoy L.A.'s night scene.

She just recently got a job at Santa Monica College's bookstore. "Of course, money and success is important, but only if I can do what it is I really want to do – which is fashion," said Granath.

Even if she doesn't get her own brand, she doesn't mind settling for working for someone else. However, her ultimate goal is to be able to point to a person on the street and say, "That's my design."

Like all other students, Granath is dealing with the "transfer blues" ingetting ready to transfer to Cal State within a year. She hopes she'll be finished with her education before she turns 30.

Ultimately Granath is a tired, but motivated student who just managed to do four midterms in one week. "I haven't been sleeping at all for a week," she says with a smile.