Thursday, February 28, 2013

What's Old Is New

As much as we like to think that the latest fashions are...the latest or all new, we only have to take a look back to find out that it has all been done before. The difference is how it is interpreted. 
One of my favorite places to spend some time is the Arms and Armor exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago. I find the armour to be especially inspirational. If you would like to take a peek at their collection and learn a little more about armor, you can see the Art Institute's website here, http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/armor. Below are some of the pieces that you you will see in their permanent collection.

As I went through the March issue of Vogue magazine, I saw a number of pieces that harken back to the armor of old. Below is a piece from Versace. Look at the shoes below and the picture above.
Chainmaille was an integral part of protection against sharp weapons during battle. Check out this skirt as well as the shoes from Tom Ford.

Armor was meant to intimidate as well as protect. Check out these shoes from Christian Louboutin. I'm intimidated!!!
 From Schouler.
 A Chainmaille dress and armor shoes below. I love this look.
 Another armor inspired piece from Salvatore Ferragamo.
 Take a look at this suit of armor.
and now this outfit that Beyonce is wearing. Fabulous!
I'm sure you've heard the old saying, "we need to know where we came from in order to know where we are going." It holds true for fashion as well.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sculpted Beauties

My March issue of Vogue magazine arrived about a week ago. It's always a good day! As I went through this issue, a huge one by the way, I was quite intrigued by how so many of the new pieces that are coming out for spring have a very sculptural feel.
Below are some of my favorites.
First up, Donna Karan.
 I adore the drape of the dress below.
 Structured and yet soft from Givenchy.
 Sculpted ruffles from Balenciaga.
And almost an identical look from Givenchy.
 More sculpted ruffles from Gucci.

Very structured pieces from Lanvin. Note the color blocked dress in the back ground and the jewels accenting the bottom portion of the dress. The black and white dress on the left has very interesting lines.
A nod to sculpture could not be any more noticeable than the piece in the back ground, but I especially like the yellow and black one shouldered dress on the left.
Great style lines and fabric make this dress from Akris very interesting.
 A structured and yet soft dress from Carolina Herrera.
Art and fashion always seem to go hand in hand.
I always love my Vogue magazine, but this one was espcially interesting. There's more that I'll share with you in a few days.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

That's It...I'm Moving To Barcelona!!

Not really, but I do love Paco's patterns. As I said with the Treky dress, Paco understands a woman's body like no other pattern maker out there.  
The skirt that I am wearing is Paco's Apron Skirt. You can find the skirt pattern here, http://www.etsy.com/listing/112929239/very-easy-apron-skirt-pattern-for? This is a pattern that we should all have in our sewing wardrobe of patterns. The pattern is so versatile.
The skirt is drafted with princess seams in the back of the skirt which allows wonderful options for fitting. I am between a small and medium size in Paco's patterns. For this skirt, I cut the center of the apron panel and the center of the lower front panel as a small. I left the side seams as a medium size. I also cut the back as a medium size. Then I was able to beautifully tailor the fit over the bum area because of the extra seams in the back.    
The waistline is raised. I would typically interface this area, but because of the fabric, I decided to stitch stay tape exactly on the roll line. You can see this below.
If you look closely, you can see my stitching line exactly on the roll line below.
Since my fabric had a tendency to ravel, I decided to finish the edge of the hem allowance with seam binding,
and stitch the hem with a catch stitch.
Paco drafted the pattern so that the lining completely finishes the inside of the skirt.

I covered a hook with a buttonhole stitch at the waistline.
And for the first time ever in all the years that I have sewn, I added proudly a label to my skirt, Paco's label.
This pattern would make a wonderful color blocked skirt. You can also put the apron panel and the lower portion of the skirt back together and eliminate the apron portion is you like. There are just so many options with this skirt. 
This is a skirt that I will be making again, and again. I love it!!!
In case you are wondering, the draped top is sadly not Paco's pattern, but mine. I have made Paco's top though and I love it as well.
Now don't hesitate, run as fast as you can to Paco's site and pick up his Apron skirt. I think you'll love it as much as I do!

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Monday, February 25, 2013

For The Love of Shoes

I found this site, http://www.mymuseumoflondon.org.uk/blogs/blog/category/fashion/page/3/. It's a wonderful blog. The shoes are from the museum's costume collection. The shoes are so beautiful. Can you imagine dancing the night away in these?

The heels on this shoe...oh my goodness....I want just the heel!

If you click on the link above, you can read about the men who created these lovely little pieces. The craftsmanship is something to be admired.
I decided to include this shoe below.
The poem actually reads,
"There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she did not know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread;
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed."
Thankfully, we have changed!
If you would like to read this post, you can find it here, http://www.mymuseumoflondon.org.uk/blogs/blog/there-was-an-old-woman/
In the post, they explain the possible history of this piece. I thought it was rather interesting.
Just a little something fun to end the day!

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Monday Morning Inspiration

This is my favorite of the three Spanish pattern catalogues that I have. There are a number of lovely pieces in this particular catalogue. I could not find a date, but I am sure that it was published in the mid to late 1940's. In the lower left hand corner of the catalogue it says, "Publicationes Mundial, Barcelona (Espana)." That is the only information I can give you other than what you see below. Enjoy your scroll through. I adore the jacket on the right below.

I love the style lines on the coat above, the drop shoulder with the band at the bottom, so lovely. I also like the pockets on the jacket in the middle and I think the pleated detail on the coat is also very interesting.

Take note of the neckline detail on the far left dress above. I like this a lot!

Most of the pieces in this catalogue are very everyday pieces, not the over the top, country club dresses that we saw in the Modes Royale catalogues, but I still think they are so very lovely.
Wishing you a wonderful week.

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