Wednesday, March 30, 2011

♥ A Lady With Style, Grace and Beauty!

I have to write a little something about my grandmother, whom recently passed away, because she truly was a lady filled with grace, style and beauty!

 My love for vintage gems was inherited directly from Mrs. Georgia Sanchez.  I would come into her house, sit at the dining room table and say "Grandma, pull out your jewels!", she'd laugh, put on a pot of coffee and then out came drawers overflowing with costume jewelry for us to play with! She had a clutch and scarf to go with any outfit in her closet, in addition to her many stylish coats and shoes.
Though my Grandmother's house was not fancy and truth be told, tattered and rundown, her taste in antique furniture was impeccable and the house was filled with exquisite pieces.  She had a good eye and paid close attention to detail, for they were her "little treasures".
Georgia was very proper, she was feminine, delicate and a very strong woman.  She lived a difficult life, as did so many of her generation, yet she continued to carry herself with such consideration and poise. When she found a vintage broach, whether from a flea market or a department store, she wore it as if she received it from Christian Dior himself and you would never have thought to question otherwise.
She did the best she could with the life she was given and in the end outlived most.  Though I was lucky to have my Grandmother up until her age of ninety-one, I feel there was so much more I could have learned from her.  But what I did learn from her was this- what it means to be a "stylish lady". It was not the fancy jewelry or beaded handbags that made my Grandmother stylish, it was not her polished antique furniture, it was her ability to rise above the circumstances around her and continue to see the beauty in everything.

I could only hope to be half as stylish, graceful and beautiful as Mrs. Georgia Sanchez...

September 16. 1920- March 20, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

✂-Designer's Tip of The Day- A Piece of Cloth

Issey Miyake Coat- Spring/Summer 1995

Clear-pink pleated polyester monofilament
appliqued with red, blue and green pieces.

Miyake was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1938. He established the Miyake Design Studio in 1970 and started to show his line at the Paris Collections in 1973. Miyake's basic tenets for making clothes has always been the idea of creating a garment from 'one piece of cloth', and the exploration of the space between the human body and the cloth that covers it.
In 1976 Miyake presented the flat "a piece of cloth" design, which is in many ways the basic concept behind Japanese clothes.
In 1998, Miyake embarked upon a new project called A-POC (A Piece of Cloth) with Dai Fujiwara and a team of young designers. He is challenging the way in which clothing is made using new process that harnesses computer technology to industrial knitting or weaving machines to create clothing beginning with a single piece of thread. 
Pictures above show a coat created by this innovative technique, with a form that looks like a stage costume for a traditional Japanese No dance.
The question is, what could YOU do with "a piece of cloth"?

In recent events The Designer's Lounge would like to say our thoughts are with the people of Japan, particularly those who lost loved ones in the earthquake and tsunamis...

Source: The collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute, Fashion A History from the 18th to the 20th Century, by Taschen Publishing. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

✂-Designer's Tip of The Day-How Do You Define Your Style?

With Paris Fashion Week wrapping up soon, I thought it would be informative to add a Designer Profile and as I was doing my research it prompted the question- How do you define your style?

Isabel Marant Illustrations
Isabel Marant, born in 1967, creates her own world of "melting mode".  Her French father, her German mother and particularly her west Indian mother-in-law, gave her a cosmopolitan education.  It is also while traveling in India or Africa that she finds her inspiration.
Isabel launched a first line of jewelry which would be the best way to finance her business. In 1990, she launched Twen, a small knitwear collection that would grow and become later the Isabel Marant we know today.
What makes this collection stand apart is the attention paid to textiles and texture: fabrics are washed and aged with boiled and wrinkled effects, faded, half-tone colors set off by bright highlights, seams are left raw and hems slightly frayed.
When asked- "How do you define your style?"  she replied "Urban, androgynous, contemporary, with a mix of world culture and inspiration from different ages".

Photos from the Fall 2011 RTW Collection
"My main source of inspiration is everyday life." -Isabel Marant

Source: Young Fashion Designers, by Marta R. Hadilgo.  RTW photos from New York Fashion Magazine.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

✂-Designer's Tip of The Day-Who Was Eric?

Eric's 1935 Vogue Cover

In 1945 Eric created suitably joyful and symbolic image for VJ Day.  This was five years after Eric and his family left France after the fall of Paris in WWII.

Four years before his death in 1958, and already in poor health, Eric had not lost his touch.
Eric- Whose true name was Carl Oscar August Erickson, was unquestionably "the most influential fashion artist to emerge in the 1930's.  A master of descriptive line, he recorded the theater of high fashion- the Paris collections, a Broadway opening or cocktails at the Ritz- with an effortless ease and assurance" (David Downton).
Eric's illustrations graced the pages of Vogue for more that thirty-five years, unattained by any other artist.
Eric was born in Joliet, Illinois, in 1891.  He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago and by 1914 had made his way to New York, to pursue a career as a commercial artist.  In 1916, he saw his first appearance in Vogue.  By the time the first Vogue cover appeared in 1930, when he was almost 40 years old, Eric was living in Paris.
Eric died in 1958 and Vogue saluted an irreplaceable, long-term contributor with a wistful obituary, 'He has left his mark on Vogue's history, as on the times.  And for that we are grateful,' if concluded. It was the end of an era.

Source: Masters of Fashion Illustration by David Downton

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

✂-Designer's Tip of The Day-Reverse Applique!

Applique in reverse!
Spruce up an old denim skirt OR any article of clothing with this easy and sweet technique.

Step 1- Find a simple silhouette shape, bird, flower, star, etc. and transfer onto garment where desired. Transfer with chalk-backed dressmaker's paper.

Step 2- Pin contrast fabric square (darker denim) on inside of skirt, making sure it is centered under the silhouette outline.

Step 3-Place outline area in embroidery hoop.  With four strands of floss in needle, stitch shape outline.

Step 4- Carefully cut out shape silhouette about 1/16 in from stitching to reveal contrast fabric underneath, (in this case the darker denim).

Step 5- Remove pins and trim off excess fabric inside skirt.


Source: Complete Embellishing, Techniques and Projects by Kayte Terry

Monday, March 7, 2011

✂-Designer's Tip of The Day-Visit Wonderland!

Inspiration-Alice In Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

First I have to say "Thank you Tim Burton" for revisiting one of my favorite childhood stories! Since the release of the movie last year, new books, art, theater and designs have popped up inspired by this lovely little fantasy.  This weekend I had the great pleasure of attending Alice in Wonderland, at the Kimo Theater, presented by the Ballet Repertory Company. I remember watching the Disney version over and over until I thought my parents were going to burn the video (luckily they spared me of that loss). Soon, I will start a new project!  Ideas have been rolling around in my head for weeks, yet for some reason I've been unable to form a solid image of the presentation in my mind... until now. 
If you have a favorite childhood story, take a moment to revisit those characters.  You never know what inspiration you will find in them. For that, I thank Lewis Carroll and his beautiful story of a girl's adventures in wonderland... 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

✂ Designer's Tip of The Day-Bias Binding

Back to Basics! Bias Binding-
Fold ready-made double-fold bias binding tape in half to enclose the fabric's raw edges.
Pin in place or baste if preferred.

Sew through all layers with a straight stitch, keeping close to the binding edge.

Look at the reverse side to check that the tape is sewn down all along the edge.

Bias Binding gives a neat and strong finish to an edge. The bias nature of the tape allows it to curve over a shaped edge without wrinkling.  Use it on seams, hems, or use a contrast color or print as a decorative finish.

Source: The Dressmaker's Technique Bible by Lorna Knight.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

✂ Designer's Tip of The Day- Form a Group!

I've always wanted to do "something great"!  What that is exactly, I'm not sure... I do know that last night I had the pleasure of chatting with a small group of lovely ladies.  We discussed our current projects, laughed about the "design process" and encouraged each other on our creative ventures. This is the beginning of The Albuquerque Designer's Association! (More info to follow later).  I couldn't help but feel fortunate to be surrounded by such talented and creative minds.  It made me realize that in that moment I felt like I was doing something great!  Many times I isolate myself, too busy in my own projects, "not enough time" I say, but after only 1 hour of chatting with the other designer's and artist, I felt as if my mind got a breath of fresh air!  I think forming a knitting group or a sewing circle, is not just refreshing, it's inspiring!