Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Shabby Apple Dare to Design

1940s InspirationShabby Apple challenges all designers and dreamers to create dresses, tops, and skirts inspired by 1940s fashion.

Shabby Apple's instructions are explicit in requiring sleeves, showing no cleavage, and at least a knee-length hem. But aside from modest, what does 1940s fashion even look like?

Since the decade saw the end of World War II, long skirts and billowing silhouettes were seen as a waste of fabric in an economy of rations. Similarly, repurposing existing garments was encouraged in wartime posters. "The Look" was nipped-in waists, tailored lines, and detailing that didn't require excessive material, embellishments, or any other costly additions.

I wanted to create pieces inspired by the 1940s but with a modern spin. I deconstructed more traditional looks of the time and envisioned how they could be reworked in the modern age. (Plus, I added some brighter colors as dyes were also rationed at the time.)

This cocktail dress is a formal take on Claire McCardell's wrap or "popover" dress, which has since become a classic. McCardell's dresses were considered utility garments in gingham, linen, and other casual fabrics. I wanted this dress to be a glamorous tribute to the decade without compromising the beauty of the popover's simplicity.

I was really drawn to the asymmetric looks of the 40s, plus the regular appearance of the truly timeless trench coat. This twofer dress is the more modern of the sketches, so muted tones and wool-blend fabrics help keep it period-appropriate.

I wanted to create a very structurally simple piece that still had interest as well as vintage inspiration. This coat dress almost feels a bit mod, but the cinched waist and monochromatic hues help keep it in the proper decade.

Okay, so this skirt may use a bit more fabric than the government would have liked me to use at that time. There's just something so feminine about fashion from the 1940s that I feel this outfit relays. (The waist could probably be slimmer to look more fitting to the era, but you get the idea.) A side lined with a series of covered buttons allows for a better-fitting blouse with no-nonsense detailing.

The men go to war and the women go to work. I noticed a lot of suiting in reference images and wanted to bring in some of those elements with the pencil skirt. Pussy bow blouses were also picking up in popularity at the time, so it only makes sense to couple that with the aforementioned asymmetry.

Now if only I could sew as well as I can Photoshop...

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Gone but not Forgotten...and not really Gone either? four months and two acquisitions later I'm double-timing it in the offline world and possibly in the running for worst. blogger. ever.

Clearly I've been busy.
Having an aggressive editorial calendar was a super idea -- in theory -- but has so far resulted in unfulfilled self-made promises. "Le sigh."

In the hopes that it'll allow them to flow more freely and take less time to produce, future posts will likely be less fancy, more bloggy. I'd love to do more photos, DIY projects, etc., but we'll see where this goes...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Collaboration: Pearl by Georgina of Marchesa

A lesser known collaboration has recently hit the racks of JCPenney. Georgina Chapman, one of the masterminds behind the Marchesa brand, has released a capsule collection with the wallet-friendly department store.

The collection looks about what you'd expect - lots of romantic lace and glamour fit for the red carpet - made with more accessible and affordable fabrics. There are dozens of unique pieces available, but I'm just waiting for an event to give me an excuse to don the high-low sequin dress.

Lace Overlay Floral Dress

Organza Rosette Dress

High-Low Sequin Dress

Strapless Embellished Dress

Polka Dot Rosette Dress

Tiered Lace Dress

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How to Wear: Chambray Shirts

The chambray shirt has been seen on everybody who's anybody in the street style world, and there's plenty of reason for that. The 100% cotton top is super comfortable, and the pale blue hue is universally flattering. Despite its close ties to the Old West, the chambray top takes after its denim counterpart and can actually be one of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe!
Gray & Chambray
Chunky knits offset the tailored top while the hues play off each other for a demure, relaxed feel.
Working like any good wardrobe basic should, the top is the perfect anchor to pair with prints.
Top it Off
Leaving the workshirt open over a rustic daydress makes for great contrast and a chic spin on westernwear.
Mixing the blue collar-inspired piece with more white collar items (think tweeds and trousers) makes the cozy top office appropriate.
Denim on Denim
Here's a street style maven favorite with a cool girl vibe. Slim jeans and trendy accessories keep it from being too matchy-matchy.
Coupled with glamorous metallics, chambray can instantly be ready for a night on the town.

There are so many shades, cuts, and details to choose from...

See by Chloe

Blank NYC





7 For All Mankind



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Diary of an Aspiring Stylist: The Photos

My favorites from a shoot we did in January that I got to help conceptualize:

Photographer: JAS Photo
Models: Rachael Boone
Stylist: Nicole K Nair 
MUA: Keya DeLarge
Hair: Jewel Miza

Sunday, February 10, 2013

How to Wear: Pastels

I find myself quite often drawn to pastel hues in the store, but when I actually step out in them I feel like a walking cone of cotton candy. The feminine look just seems so saccharine and more fitting for Barbies than real women, but fashion is more fun when you go outside of your comfort zone. I know I could use a guide to how to wear pastels, so I checked out how the Spring 2013 collections sent pale tones down the runway and grabbed some tips to share!
Genny's asymmetrical dress is genius. Using pastel pieces in a monochromatic look with their jeweltone counterparts makes for a very high fashion feel.
You almost don't even notice that Peter Som's printed dress is comprised of pastel. An abstract or geometric print does a great job of making your outfit about more than just color.
Viktor & Rolf's maxi is so feminine but so grown up, thanks to the structured sheath and shoulder. Use crisp, tailored silhouettes with your pastels for a more mature take on every little girl's favorite palette.
Dressing in contradictions is almost always the quickest way to look fashion-week ready. Pair girly items with edgier ones and you'll be ready for any street style blogger that comes your way.

And of course, here are some non-cliché pastel pieces:

Emilio Pucci

Salvatore Ferragamo

Tara Jarmon

Seriously Sweet Top
Scrapbook Report Shorts

Do a Little Sprig Dress

Alexander McQueen