Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Inspiration Song- Lucky by My Brightest Diamond/ We Carry On by Portishead

Back in 2007 I had a job in retail that sometimes required me to come in before the sun came up. One day I had to come in particularly early and the sky was completely dark and the ground completely covered in snow. As I was approaching a big hill I noticed that there were people standing at the top. I was really inspired by the dark figures against the white ground. The effect was dark and mysterious, but still beautiful. I knew right away that I wanted to do a collection inspired by this dark image. The collection would use dark colors, such as black, purple, and blood red. Along with the visuals from the figures on the snow I would also be inspired by religious cults and vampires. (Now mind you, this was before vampires were "trendy.")

I began to design the collection but I never went forward with it because I had a very specific idea for the runway show and there is not a space that I know of in Denver that would work. So I have saved this inspiration idea for a future time when I think I can create it to the best of my ability and make it everything I want it to be.

I am very inspired by music and have recently found the perfect songs to represent this future collection. My Brightest Diamond's cover of Radiohead's Lucky and Portishead's We Carry On have the perfect level of darkness while still having a beat one can walk to. Check out the songs below!

Here are a few inspiration pictures for the collection:

Vampires and Cults

Modern Goth

Color Palette and Flowers


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lanvin Spring 2011 Collection

I am a fan of wearable drama, which is why I love Lanvin so much. Alber Elbaz's use of ruffles and fullness really inspires me which is why I had to check out his collection for Spring 2011. This collection was not as feminine and romantic as some of his other collections have been, but it just as dramatic. The collection seemed to be all about strength and showing skin. There were exposed metal zippers, leather belts, two toned dresses, draping, and leather harnessing- all done in a way that was both feminine and strong. Strength seemed to be a major part of the message because the models really stomped down the runway.

The set of the show was very simple, yet really made an impact. The runway was bare and dark except for a few ceiling to floor beams that went down the middle of the runway. The collection began with several high drama pieces that flowed as the models moved. After these pieces the mood switched to something slightly more wearable, with tank style dresses, trenchcoats, and lots of tight pleating. Besides tight pleating, some loose pleating was also shown. My favorite pieces in the collection (25,26, and 42) were pleated in some way. The show ended with over the top shimmer, which was mainly made of big pieces of glittery material. I really like this collection because of the range it shows. One moment it is wearable and the next it is over the top glamour. Runway should be dramatic, but it should also have a little hint towards commercialism in it. The point is, after all, to sell your pieces.

The finale walk was one of the most dramatic I have ever seen. The models all stomped towards the end of the runway at the exact same time in a big crowd. It was so smooth it almost seemed choreographed. While I do not believe this to be Lanvin's best collection, I believe it to be a very worthy one. Check out highlights below:

Looks 1,3,and 4. Shows the flowing movement in the beginning of the show.

Looks 5,6,and 7. Shows the two toned look and draping done in collection.

Looks 13, 17, and 20. Shows the easy to wear feel from a section of the collection.

Looks 22,25,26, and 28. Shows the tight pleating done in collection.

Look 30,41, and 42. Shows the looser pleating done in the collection.

Looks 36,37, and 38. Shows the sheer look from the end of the show.

Looks 44,45,46, and 47. Shows the glittery finale pieces.

Check out a video of the show to see everything in action!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fashion Blogger Spotlight- Tavi Gevinson

Let's think about how often a pre-teen gets invited to sit in the front row of fashion shows, or be in fashion magazines, or get free clothing from big name designers shall we? Well, if it wasn't for Tavi Gevinson, the answer would be NEVER. Why on earth would a fashion designer give free clothing away to a 14 year old who was not a big Hollywood actress? Well, in this case, it's because she happens to be one of the most famous fashion bloggers out there.

Tavi is not the best photographer but she is a great writer and a fun dresser. Because of her age she can get away with wearing clothing that no one else can wear, including Comme des Garcons and costume sunglasses. Tavi is such a good writer that people often accuse her of having someone else write for her. Scandal! I personally do not think this though because of her childish obsession with the same things I was obsessed with when I was her age.

Tavi is fun to read because of her views on the world, her crazy outfits, and the amount of high press events she gets to attend. Back when Target had the Rodarte line, Tavi was the partial inspiration and spokesperson for the line, which is a pretty big deal. She has also been in Teen Vogue, New York Times, Pop Magazine, and French Vogue. Check out some of her crazy looks below!

Style Rookie, Tavi's site is one of my favorite fashion blogs because it is so refreshing to see a young mind discuss fashion and how fun it can be, rather than the same jaded magazine writers. You can check her blog out at the site below:



Friday, January 14, 2011

Spotlight On a Dress #2

This dress was designed far before my Spring 2011 collection was thought up but seemed a perfect fit for the collection as I was putting it together. The dress began with the thought that I wanted to combine stripes and polka dots in the same colors. After I purchased the fabric that it ended up being made of, I also realized that I wanted the stripes going in two different directions and for there to be opposite polka dots. It took some time for me to decide where I wanted the red/white polka dots and where I wanted the white/red polka dots, but at one point I just had to make a decision and stick with it. I could easily make ten different versions of this dress, but for this project I only needed one.

I chose the color combination of red and white because I think it is a classic combination and this collection was inspired by a mixture of Parisian youth and old timey circuses. Besides black and white, red and white say circus to me the loudest. I have a bit of an obsession with bows and ruffles which is how those two elements got incorporated onto the dress- and besides, what says youth better?

I chose this dress to be the opening piece for my fashion show because I thought it really summed up the collection as a whole and was one of my personal favorites. I wanted the model to walk out with a bunch of balloons because my inspiration for the collection and the music in the show was a young Parisian teenager walking through the streets with a bunch of balloons.

Besides all the elements you can see, this dress also has a back invisible zipper and hidden side pockets. I love putting pockets on my dresses so that you don't have to wear a purse if you don't want to! Check out this dress in action!

At a French Charity Event

Backstage Before the Fashion Show


Monday, January 10, 2011

Focus on Fall 2010 Trend- Knee High Socks

If you asked me a few years ago what I thought about knee high socks my thoughts would automatically focus on schoolgirl and cheerleading costumes. Lately though, fashion trends are taking knee high and thigh high socks out of the costume-y range and into an accessory worthy of the streets. The great thing about knee socks are that they can be styled for any season depending on what you pair them with. I have seen them pulled up to the thigh, scrunched around the ankle, or even layered.

In fashion editorials, thigh highs are often styled in a way that suggests lingerie as outerwear, but this is a hard to pull off look in real life. I would stick to the look of layering, with a great mixture of casual daytime pieces. Another way to keep this look from becoming too costume-y is to wear dark colored socks, rather than white. White suggests the school girl look too strongly, but grey or brown socks look great for everyday wear.

Some designers added their own touch to this trend, including Alexander Wang's football inspired collection that featured backless knee socks. Other designers layered socks, paired them with ankle boots, or styled the socks with more evening-like pieces.

Alexander Wang's Spring 2010 Collection

Gaspard Yurkievich's Spring 2010 Collection

Cynthia Steffe's Fall 2010 Collection

Besides the runway, this look has been featured in many fashion editorials.

Vogue Portugal

Vogue China

Assorted Magazines

There are so many fun ways to wear this trend. Here are some suggestions:

With ankle or knee high boots

With Short Shorts

With a Short Skirt

For Colder Weather

For Warmer Weather

With a Dress

Casual Daywear

Dressed Up For Evening

Layered Socks

Worn with Tights


*I do not own the rights to any of these pictures, most are from fashionising.com or lookbook.nu

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Inspiration Song- Ghetto Love by Spinnerette

I am extremely inspired and influenced by music. Sometimes one song is all it takes for me to get a whole collection planned out in my head. One such song was "Ghetto Love" by Spinnerette. I don't consider myself too much of a fan of traditional rock, but something about this song has me all fired up for a collection inspired by rock 'n' roll.


I love her top on the right.

My brother absolutely hates Brody Dalle and will undoubtedly give me crap if I ever did create this collection, but he hated her back in the Distillers days and I think shes way better now. When I listen to this song I think of girls with dark straight hair (that maybe looks a tad dirty) and smudgy eyes stomping like they are pissed at everyone in the room. I see black (of course), leather (of course), and tight pants (I know, totally obvious). But I would add my own semi-sweet touch to it. The pieces would never look sweet, but they would also not look over the top tough either.

Some inspiration pictures:

My favorite part starts at 1:49. The little beeps really add a great dimension to the song. This video cuts the song a little short, but you get the idea.


My Current Future Plans

I have more "collections" in mind than I could ever really make, especially right now. I have so many wonderful ideas in mind that I am just saving for the right moment. Some of them rely heavily on a very theatrical show, that to be honest, I'm just not willing to waste on Denver. My goal was never to become the go-to small town designer, but rather someone who shows at fashion week and maybe does business from a smaller town (I have little interest in living in NY or LA). But I always have some sort of plan that I intend to do "right away." I put that in quotes because between money, interest, or just being too busy, I rarely actually put these plans into the next stage.

Though I have done little actual designing, I have done quite a bit of thinking for my next idea. I saw Katy Perry's trenchcoat "dress" at the Victoria's Secret fashion show and was reminded of how much I love trompe l'oeil pieces. My immediate thought was to create a mini collection of pieces that fake different accessories or parts; such as collars, belts, or lace. I don't have access to a textile printer right now so I would accomplish all of this by hand embroidery.

Katy Perry

I want to keep the pieces simple in color, using mainly black and white with a little bit of red. I also have a vision of the models wearing black skull caps and dramatic eye makeup. Here is an example of the type of headwear, as seen in Chado Ralph Rucci's lookbook:

What I have in mind would make for the most sophisticated and mature collection I have done to date. The silhouettes would be both basic and slightly more complex. I might have a basic shift with a faux belt, but then in the next outfit have a more complicated jacket with minimal use of the trompe l'oeil effect. Although I may do some jackets I do not plan on doing any trenchcoats as I feel that this piece has been overdone in the trompe l'oeil style. I see myself doing mainly dresses, skirts, and high end jackets.

I am not planning on doing a fashion show for this collection, but using it mainly for my portfolio. I even have a location in mind for the lookbook photo shoot and a specific look for the models.

Here are some fun inspiration pictures:


Fashion Blogger Spotlight

I love fashion blogs. If I wasn't so darn busy all the time I could spend all day going between style.com and all the different fashion blogs out there. One of my absolute favorites is Style Bubble on typepad. This blogger has become so popular that I recently saw her in a Gap ad, not to mention the countless magazines that have featured her. So why is she so great?

For one, I love that she does a feature nearly every day about what she is wearing. She has a very quirky sense of style and it is great to see someone who pairs such bizarre things together and makes them work wonderfully! True, I don't love every single outfit she puts together, but I love that she was willing to go that far. I also love that she has so many pictures in her blog. I am a lazy blog reader, I want more pictures than words. Just show me in pictures what you are trying to say and I'm happy. Also, as an American, I love that she is British, and therefore is giving me the inside scoop on designers and trends that I probably never would have discovered otherwise.

I'm super jealous of all the Etsy shops that she features because I'm sure their sales go sky high once she mentions them and shows examples of how she personally wears them. I always wonder what her neighbors think since she takes all of her pictures outside on her balcony. There are so many things she wears that I would definitely wear if I was as thin as she is. Not only does she take pictures of herself, but she also does runway reviews, discusses new designers she finds, features brand new stores in London, and does close up shots of things she loves. I love that she shows things close up because it gives you a completely new perspective on how it looks.

If you have had your head under a rock and haven't checked out Susie, be sure to do so at her site: www.stylebubble.typepad.com

Here are some recent pictures of Susie in her day to day looks:

I love her fun mix of patterns in the middle picture.

I love her quirky take on the little black dress.

I find that camel coat strangely alluring.

The black and white look is my favorite and is close to something I would wear.


Spotlight on a Dress #1

In this feature I will be telling the background story on a piece from my current collection. Designers very rarely get to tell the story of their thoughts and inspirations behind a specific piece. Usually you have to lump everything together to tell the general story behind an entire collection. I often watch fashion shows and wonder what made the designer think of that piece or why they think that a certain piece fits into the collection.

This dress was the starting point for my entire Spring 2011 Collection.

This piece was originally made for a psychedelic fashion show for the Denver Art Museum. The thought was that I wanted to create my own textile that would play tricks on the eyes. Originally the one strap had a puff sleeve because I wanted a very modern silhouette to offset the retro fabrics. After time I decided to remove the sleeve (I thought it was overkill and took away from the textile) and found myself inspired to create more pieces off of the theme of creating my own textile. But instead of making them psychedelic in nature, I wanted a more retro feel. This is one of the only pieces in the collection that is blue and white, most pieces are red and white. I love the way that parts of the dress are mirror images of each other, but then other parts have no pattern with how the stripes are placed. I love pairing this dress with a red or yellow knit bow headband from my accessories collection.

Psychedelic Inspiration Pictures

For the fashion show I decided to show the dress on Caitlyn, one of my model muses at the moment. It was my finale piece and I wanted a model I had used often to close the show. Since this dress was made before the collection was conceived it was also used for a guerilla fashion show, a photo shoot with Taryn Andreatta, and a Parisian style show for a local charity. Below are other images of the dress in action.

On Annabelle (another favorite model of mine) at the guerilla fashion event.

At the Parisian style charity show

On Caitlyn at my Spring 2011 fashion show

This dress is one of my favorite pieces I have created and I hope you love it as well.