Archive | June, 2011

Stella Mac steals Prada stripes/prints combo…

24 Jun

Ok, there are only so many combinations of colour, pattern, cut, fabric and so on….so occassionally designers are going to step on one another’s toes, but for Stella McCartney to create her Resort 2012 collection in such a similar look to Prada’s Spring 2011 collection surprised me.

Stipes and prints are not commonly played on the same track – so it’s not as though it was an obvious likeness either. Did Prada’s show inspire Stella? Or is it a Gaga-Madonna moment with Stella not even aware of the similarities in the collections from the spectators’ point of view?

See for your self:

Stella McCartney Resort 2012

 

Prada Spring/Summer 2011

 
 

Stella McCartney Resort 2012

  

Prada Spring/Summer 2011

 

K x

The Golden Rules of Accessorising

21 Jun

There is a lot of style advice out there, but all I want are a few rules to work with. So I’ve been on the hunt for rules and am going to share what I find with you over the coming weeks.

Today, I found some golden rules for accessorising from Elena Reed:

1. Scale your accessories in line with your features. This is a rule I had not come across before. Apparently, large accessories suit fuller features, as they help to scale down bigger faces and smaller accessories will accentuate finer features. Elena says, don’t overpower a small face with large earrings and a hat or put oversized bangles on a thin frame.

2. Use your accessories to create a unified mood to your outfit. I.e. a summer bag won’t fit with your winter clothing, wooden accessories won’t fit with your professional suit, and a sporty backpack won’t work with a floral dress. This may seem like an obvious one, but often we wear what we like/stick to our favourite pieces, without thinking through whether they give off the right signal.

3. Keep it uneven. Uneven numbers are more pleasing to the eye, like 5 chains or 3 bangles. Don’t double up accessories – i.e. two flowers in the hair or two broches…that match – argh!

4. Use your accessories to focus the audience attention. “Audience”?! Yes audience – I think we would all make more effort each day if we thought of those around us as our audience…that’s why celebs tend to care more….they have to! You can use accessories to focus attention on your best features. So if you have  a small waist, wear a belt. Great legs, attention grabbing tights or shoes. Beautiful neck – the right necklace and neckline. And if you don’t like a feature (fat ankles, love handles, sticky-out ears)….don’t accessorise them! 🙂

5. Balance your accessories with your outfit. If your dress is bold, with prints or ebellishments, keep the acceories simple. If the dress is simple, you can be more bold with your accessories.

Well, that’s it for today… I shall be trawling cyberspace for more nuggets of wisdom to share! If you have any tips, share them with me!

K x

 

Young Brits, Big Hits?

18 Jun

I read about www.youngbritishdesigners.com in my new fave fashion monthly, Emirates Woman (yes darling!) and couldn’t resist checking it out.

And I have to say, I am largely impressed. Many “new gen” fashion websites lack talent and originality, but it seems the website owners are doing well in picking the designers for this one.

Here are a few of my favourites from www.youngbritishdesigners.com

Olivia Rubin Brick Dress

 

Olivia Rubin graduated from St Martins (does anybody not these days?!) and always comes up with fun collections. She says most of her inspiration starts with works of art, but this brick dress was inspired by whilstling builders on a building site! Love it.

Sophie Gittins

 

A graduate of Cordwainers (the St Martins of shoes and bags), Sophie was a finalist at Fashion Fringe receiving approval of her designs from Manolo Blahnik. She launched her line in 2009.

 

Z Mode

 
I love the drama of this Z Mode dress. Z Mode is not entirely British, with its founder Lithuanian-born Victoria Rangayah, but it was launched at London Fashion Week and she trained at London College of Fashion – so we can take credit for her… 😉
 

Kinder Aggugini

 

I love these shoe/boots, fun! However, Kinder Aggugini is neither British nor “young” – although he was trained at St Martins and has worked for many a British fashion institute during his career (Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, Paul Smith). Not sure what he’s doing on this website….love the boots though!

Check it out: www.youngbritishdesigners.com

K x

How to Sew Jersey

15 Jun

Now my studies at ESMOD are over for the summer I am beavering away at home working on ideas and techniques – building my skills and experience.

A typical scene of said beavering!

I am focusing on jersey womenswear, as my plan is to produce a small line of jersey dresses…eventually – when I feel confident in my designs and the quality of the pieces. And with each new experiment I learn something. So here is what I learned about working with jersey:

1. If it is a natural fibre jersey, like cotton or silk, it will be prone to shrinkage, so pre-shrink – before you lay the pattern.

2. Jersey patterns require no ease – in fact they require you to reduce dimensions to take account of the stretchy nature of the fabric. Just how much you need to reduce is something that comes with experience – working on a dress form helps.

3. When sewing, use a walking or teflon foot to avoid any grab that may stetch the jersey as you sew. And don’t stretch it yourself as you sew – as this results in a wavey seam….unless of course that is the effect you are going for!

4. Overlocking is the best way to sew jersey – it allows stretch and finishes the raw edge all in one go. But most home sewing machines will not have this function. They will have zig zag or a special stretch stitch however. Do not use a straight/running stitch as this will break when the fabric stretches.

5. Use a twin needle for neat hemming – and let your garment hang for at least 24 hours before hemming – as the weight of the garment will stretch the fabric (like bias cut garments).

6. I have heard ball point needles are best for jersey, but have not tried this yet so cannot comment. Working with a 75/11 stretch needle has worked fine for me. Sew all polyester thread – good quality works best.

Yep, that’s it for now. There is of course always more to learn and I’m sure my next experiment will throw up some challenges!

Here’s the dress I just made:

Jersey Dress Design

Jersey Dress - finished

Jersey Dress - top half close-up

 

Me Modelling the finished jersey dress

K xx

Aldo get my “big toes-up”!

12 Jun

Recently, and much to my husband’s dismay, I have bought quite a few new pairs of shoes… 🙂

And all but one pair come from…ALDO! Yes, Aldo – my new shoe-fest haven. And I have to say, I am extremely impressed with Aldo.

Aldo is trendy whilst not overly fashiony, and the shoes are a very good quality for the price. I only buy leather shoes, which is what put me off the chain for so many years, I didn’t know it, and I thought it was a cheapo plastic shoe store….but it is not. Whilst most of the shoes are made in China and other Asian countries, some styles are made in Italy, like the pair below which now sit happily in my wardrobe:

Aldo Broden Wedge Sandals

So let’s see how Aldo can help with our Summer 2011 wardrobes:

Nudes

Aldo Nude Flats - Galban - £35.00

Aldo Nude Midi Heel - Faveiri - £70.00

Aldo Nude High Heel - Boulger - £90.00

Colour Blocking

Aldo Colour Pop Blue Wedges - Ellingwood - £60.00

Aldo Colour Pop Red Suede High Heel - Siverly - £75.00

 
 

Aldo Colour Pop Peach Flat - Rothrock - £30.00

 

Plus with a million and one flats to choose from- there is no excuse for ugly feet this summer! 😉

K x 

 

One Dress. Over Ten Ways to Wear it!

9 Jun

I recently learned about the Two Birds bridesmaid dresses and am part in awe and part gutted I didn’t think of this great idea!

Two Birds "Convertable" Bridesmaid Dresses

 

The idea is simple and unique – one dress – over 10 ways to wear it – genius!

Two Birds Dresses
 
The fabric is a stetchy spandex jersey that drapes really well and moulds to fit all shapes without clinging to lumps and bumps. The top half of the dress consists of two long pieces of fabric, which are then twisted and wrapped in a number of different ways to produce styles to suit all shapes.
 

Two Birds Dress Styles

Two Birds dresses come in a host of different shades and a choice of four lengths and, according to my informant, retail at around UKP300 per dress, which for bridesmaids’ dresses is actually not that bad in my experience!

Two Birds Dresses Colour Range

 

I love this idea of multi-functional pieces, it’s something I’m trying to work into my designs.

For more info on Two Birds, visit: www.twobirdsbridesmaid.co.uk

K x

Raw Chocolate – so so good!

6 Jun

Lovely readers, today I am going to share a chocolate secret with you 🙂

I recently had to cut all manner of things out of my diet, dairy included…which sent me into a panic…what about chocolate?! However, my panic was short lived when I discovered Conscious Chocolates (stocked here in Dubai at the Organic Supermarket). No dairy, no gluten, no sugar (sweetened with agave nectar), raw (no cooking in the process, maintains all the goodness of the cacao bean) – organic goodness all the way!

Conscious Chocolate – Raw and Healthy
 
They make a range of amazing and intruiging flavours – today I tried Love Potion No.9, which is flavoured with rose essential oil, wow – it’s amazing!
Love Potion No.9
 To find out more about raw chocolate and it’s health benefits, or to find out where you can try some of this amazing chocolate – visit the Conscious Chocolate website: www.consciouschocolate.co.uk
 
K x
 

Plan Your Wardrobe with Closet Couture

5 Jun

Hey y’all!

A few weeks ago I blogged about istylista.com; a virtual styling website that matches your body shape, preferred colours and chosen style with garments and outfits….for free…well now I bring you closetcouture.com.

closetcouture.com

 
Closet Couture is a free-to-use web service that enables you to build a virtual wardrobe that can include items from your actual wardrobe (photographed and uploaded), items from friends’ virtual wardrobes and items from retailers wardrobes.
 
Using the contents of your virtual wardrobe you can build outfits, try out new garments and accessories, plan your shopping trips, plan what to wear when travelling or for special occasions. Or for the really obsessed, plan what you wear every day and ensure you are never seen twice in the same outfit…!
 
For iPhone users, outfit planning can be done on the go and sharing your created looks with friends and the website’s personal stylists for advice is an added bonus.
 
If you’re a J Type who loves to plan, this could be the website you’ve been waiting for – it’s free, so why not give it a go?!
 
Register and watch the introductory video at www.closetcouture.com
 
K x

Karmin Covers Adele

3 Jun

I was gutted to learn that Adele, THE Adele, the one we have all fallen in love with this year is the same Adele who sang that damned chasing pavements song that I so detested a couple of years back – arghhh! Just shows what a broken heart can do! 🙂 Seriously though, I cannot get enough of Set Fire to the Rain, it is an amazing song and her voice is just so soulfull I could cry…

So as I enjoyed various versions of Set Fire to the Rain on You Tube I came across a cover of it by Karmin….really quite good! Check Karmin out – a duo, boy, girl, with silly videos to boot, she has a great voice – he passionately plays the seat drum…and piano – they are cool – and they just got a record deal – so watch this space! www.karminmusic.com  

Karmin

K x

Inspiration….sometimes it just doesn’t come

2 Jun

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post… and I have to say that, whilst I have been away and without internet access, it is more a factor of lacking inspiration – terrible I know!

That’s why the new IPad Ap “Moodboard” has caught my imagination. It’s a virtual moodboarding tool for designers, artists, photographers, writers….anyone who wants to capture inspiration and organise their emotions visually.

IPad - Moodboard Pro

 

Not actually having an IPad is somewhat of a hiderance to my using this Ap however…mmm where can I get a spare £500 from?! Not going to happen in the near future – back to the scissors, glue and….well forgetting my inspirations for weeks a time then!

The only downsides I can figure from this ap are an over-reliance on google images for inspiration….(who am I to talk?!), and the fact that a lot of inspiration for fashion is texture…a faculty IPad screens are yet to offer.

For more info on the ap visit: www.atinytribe.com  

K x