Sunday, August 29, 2010

Custom Made Cutwork Linen Wedding Dress Parts 6 & 7

Yikes!  It'll be my one year anniversary if I finish up this series at the rate I am going. 

Ok,  here we are almost September and I've been married almost 3 months- which is over 2 months longer than this dress took to finish!  I had a couple of very fortuitously quite weeks in May, so I took the time and made it into a luxury for myself and started this project.  I have not worked in fabric in ages so it's a little bit of a treat (plus a p.i.t.a. since I am not set up for it)  &  7 Is the halfway point.
 
While it's not leather,  it is still a fair overview of what can be involved in the making of a fine and truly custom-made garment.  And the many (often unexpected) problems and solutions that come into play in during the construction of  specialty custom made items.

I won't go to much into detail, it bores me completely now so I can imagine from your end. (But I am going to finish this series and that is probably the end of my experiment
into following the "process")
As for this project, it is my tiny contribution to keeping very specialized & fine construction out there.  Enough!


notice;  there is a seam that will be boned  in the middle of the under layer
aka- sewing yourself into a corner.




inside view of seam before boning


boned


basted to stitch-inside



basted to stitch-outside




God forbid the strap needs shortening...

But that's what the muslin is for.  

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Word of Luxury, or Cars and Girls

In Fashion or branding, what do you think of when you think of Luxury?   Is it Hermes?   Or perhaps Louis Vuitton?   How About American Eagle or Urban Decay?   How is it that ALL of these things have been labeled at one point or another as "Luxury"?  

Really, what is it?  Is it D & G masquerading as Forever 21:


Or is  it a $75,000.00 Balmain crocodile jacket?
Is it exclusivity?   Or something more like this?   If you've watched this movie  you'll have drooled over seriously fantastic luxury in a big way!


Is it what you receive from it?  Sheer pleasure or pure bragging rights?  A new Ferarri or an original 1965 Shelby? 


 How about a 1957 Ferrari?


( Is this not the epitome of Luxury?  Better yet if you drive it daily!  Dammit, why can they DESIGN cars like this anymore???)  

Or is it… (as the old song goes) A Winnebago??? Heck a HERD of Winnebagos!  (Disclaimer later) or  a baby's arm holding an apple…?


Luxury could mean the freedom of this…

 Fee Waybill as QuayLude
Or this…
 Daphne Guinness as... Daphne Guinness.


Luxury,   it means a lot of things to a lot of different people. Indefinable, elusive, emotional, visceral, shallow & at the same time incredibly vital.


It is continually evolving & expressing & Inspiring.



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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Watch Out Kanye West, Chelsea Handler To Host VMAs

Kanye West will be swimming in snark infested waters at the Nokia Theater when Chelsea Handler hosts the 27th annual Video Music Awards next month. Good thing West has his leather pants collection* - he's going to need to suit up to protect himself from all the barbs Handler will surely throw his way.  Between West's outburst at last year's VMAs (grabbing the mic from Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech) and his ridiculous self-absorbed tweets, there might not even be time to make fun of Justin Bieber's haircut.

*BTW Kanye, 7 pairs does not a collection make- get back to us when your up to at least 20....

image-thanks to Liz Davis


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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Speak of the Devil-Car Design


Its funny how things come up in conversation and then the exact subject / sentiment appears in your in-box.  Walking down the street today we were talking about tiny cars.  From comparing the footprint of a smart car to another (bigger) tiny car the subject moved to what we've seen of the new Fiat 500 and our inevitable grip about...
What the heck is up with car design today???  Why does everything have to look the same?  The smart car is hardly pretty,  but it's eye catching and fun. (I want my smart car shrink-wrapped to look like a roller skate!...MINE!)  The PT cruiser's appeal also had to have something to do with the vaguely retro (still not pretty) styling.  It looks like the new 500 will be following the herd as far as same old, same old,  (yawn) styling.

Why can't a car company do something with a little style & snap?  Like this:

 
  It's the same size as  the hot dog cart! 

 & I think it would fit lengthwise inside the crosswalk!  I love this car!

Even better,  I LOVE these CARS.
Why is it not possible to have cool cars today?
 
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Saturday, August 14, 2010

I Love Men

This Designer?   Maybe not so much...Somehow it hasn't caught on like baggy pants.  But could it????
Is this the counter to strong, empowering women's fashions?  Infantilizing men's fashion?  Is it time?

Would love to know your thoughts.


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Monday, August 2, 2010

Wonder Woman Obsession

I am fascinated with the obsession over Wonder Woman's new costume.  While it's been years since I've been involved in the comics world,  mainstream or otherwise,  I am a big fan of Kaz and years ago did costumes for live appearances and book covers of many of Frank Thorne's characters.  From Ghita of Alizarr,   to Lann s2ex,   to Danger Rangerette,  as well as Red Sonja,  (hey, what on earth happened to that movie?) a character Frank took on after Barry Windsor Smith. - (Disclaimer; my sister is in many of the photos on this last link- & one day I may even post good scans!)  Actually, come to think of it,  the whole comic book thing may be the beginning of my decent into leather!


Do those leggings have a "mom" rise?

There's been some great debate going on about the new WW costume with tons of wild & great takes on it posted in various forums.   From Fan Art to Fashionistas,  the debate this has stirred up is inspiring.  Plus,  looking at all the permutations the costume has taken over the years,  is a lot of fun.

My favorite variation of the re-design, (at least the one that I could locate today) is this one,

I've looked everywhere for my real favorite, but there is no way to search these forums by images... so I can't post it here :(  realized I will probably never find it again... Someone closed up the neckline,  killed the jacket and got rid of the carpal casts, in favor of something...sleek & dangerous looking.  I believe they added boots,  something to break up that unrelenting black.   They also tweeked the belt /lasso- it just all worked much, much better as a take on this design.

My own take is either commit & cut the top LOW or commit and make her TOUGH and sexy,  I think if you have a body like this (or whoever they will cast in the movie) - skin tight ought to cover it.   I am thrilled that they thought to put her in leather,  but  a bad 1980's cropped biker jacket?  Why not the hair to go with it?  I am very happy they dumped the silly star-spangled briefs and super red boot combo.  But I think they completely wimped out in a lot of respects.  

And, in spite of all protestations on the various forums otherwise, (for practicality's sake, no less...huh?... for a comic book character?)  I think she needs some sharp, super high heeled wedge boots, either over the knee or maybe 3- 4 inches above the ankle, but fitted.  No gappy ankles & not the clunky shaped wedge, more like the curvaceous YSL wedge from maybe 2002- 2003.  Tough and sleek,  none of this middle of the road stuff,  she's Wonder Woman!


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Sunday, August 1, 2010

High End Hanging by a Thread?

foto courtesy of flickr (creative commons license)

I was fascinated to read this article in the NYTimes last nite,  Is Italy Too Italian?.   It really just scratches the surface on a bunch of conundrums faced by specialized makers in Italy and elsewhere.  

For years Italy has had no real rules as far as country of origin goes on garment labels. As far as I have know items sold in Italy could be sewn in Slovenia yet marked   "Made in Italy"  this was very often the case with leather garments.  I've been approached by these same makers for production. Their minimums were not too high & the workmanship is incredible, yet I'd have to bring in garments labeled "Made in Slovakia" so I never entertained the idea. 

Prada and other companies based in Italy can label it "Made in Italy" even if all that is done in Italy is sewing on the buttons.  (This loophole somehow enabled A/X to have production made in prisons some years back.)  Ok, so there's one conundrum.  I feel for Mr. Barbera here as he is battered by this loophole already,  and still will be when the new law they are talking about goes into affect.

Then when I read the average cost per yard of Mr. Barbera's wools being $48.75 a yard,  it seemed very reasonable to me, since the rock bottom per yard equivalent when converted to leather winds up being about 1.5 times that & based on the average goods we use (ie: the stuff people order the most of) it becomes closer to 2 times that range.

While they do some vertical manufacturing,  and have their own collection of suits, it's definitely not a "fashion" line, (the styles chosen for Times slideshow do seem particularly outdated, why?)  which has got to be hurting some.   I also wonder how many distributors and mark-ups this wool goes through on it's way to becoming a finished piece with other companies?  The debt the NYTs notes cannot be entirely due to the guilds? Or can it?  That seems horrific and I kind wish they went a little deeper here- do their accounts pay in a timely fashion or is it slow death by aging?  Is it something else? Why isn't a company like this treated like a national treasure?

Carlos Barbera wool must be incredible.  The whole description of how the wool is treated,  it's truly an artisanal product.  I'd love to get to work with it one day.  I sincerely hope the tradition is not "Finito"  it would be a very bad thing,  and not just for Italy.  It is a form of art,  the knowledge,  the care and passion involved in creating something so special as this wool, that without chemicals or additives beyond it's "spa" time becomes a 'performance' fabric.

We needs purists like this.  We need quality like this.  Sure, it's not for everybody, but why should it  be?

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