Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gaultier couture 2009

Something else that caught my eye while viewing the Couture Summer Spring 2009 shows on, was Gaultier.

Amazing silhouettes. Super amazing headpieces!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Couture 2009

The Master continues!
I just viewed the Spring Summer 2009 Haute Couture collections on
John Galliano is amazing. Wow!
This is one of my favorite Dior piece for 2009!

So much fabric, volume, and amazing creations!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones

An amazing new exhibit will run from Tuesday February 24-Sunday May 10, 2009 entitled Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones.

More than 300 hats chosen with the expert eye of a milliner will be on display. The oldest item will be a hat ranging from an Egyptian Anubis mask dating from 600BC up to a 1950's Balenciaga hat. Many of the pieces will be on display for the first time.

The exhibit will be presented in three sections:

Inspiration, will open with Prince Albert's top hat and Queen Victoria's bonnet. We will see how the past has inspired countless designers.

Creation, will show how hats are made. Set up as a milliner's workroom.

The Salon, will display the milliner's public showcase.

And the Client, a collection of hats worn by famous clients.

A quote by the master milliner Stephen Jones states, “I was honoured when the V&A invited me to curate anexhibition about hats. Since my college days, the V&A has been a treasure trove of inspiration, but to study their archive was a dream come true. This exhibition draws on milinery collections world-wide, and is truly an eclectic and exciting anthology of hats from BC to present day."

The exhibit will be accompanied by a book of the same name by Stephen Jones and Oriole Cullen with a foreword by John Galliano.

Wow, sounds like an amazing exhibit! Make plans now because it is a must see exhibit!

The Wedding Dress

The most exciting project I have ever work on was my wedding dress. I had less than a month to have it completely finished. The thought of buying a dress did not even enter my mind. After about fifteen days I had a wonderful, one of a kind dress. (Completely one of a kind with no pattern in existence.)

I started off with a couple of pictures I found in Sposa. Then I returned to the only decent fabric store in my area. (Which coming from Los Angeles, it was difficult to find a place with a selection.) For what I was looking for, I found no options. My only choice was a silver silk shantung.

So that was settled, now I had to find steel boning for my corset. The only place I could find steel boning was in the UK. I did not have enough time to wait, and I did not want to risk something happening to it on the way to Italy. I searched high and low in my area, all I found was Rigilene. At this point I had not choice but to use two layers of Rigilene. (Which in the end I was not satisfied with it, I wish I would have had enough time to wait for the steel boning.)

Using my dressform I draped a muslin for my pattern and constructed my corset. Then using a base fabric I draped the front base of the dress and stitched it together. I then placed it on the form, at this point with the corset attached to it, then draped the actual fabric. I had never constructed and item in this manner. But being the time constraint and the fact that the dress would never need to be reproduced, this was the ideal process.
For the top piece, which includes the short tail and the center back closure, I draped it using the base fabric. I then removed it and flat-lined it to the actual fabric. So in this step I flat patterned the top outer piece. (That is using the draped base as my patten, and also the interior flat-lined layer.)

I felt structure was still necessary so I constructed a softly full, petticoat out of tulle. After minimal lining ( I made sure my interiors were finished nicely to eleminate using an all interior lining ), and a zipper my wedding dress was ready!

So now being that the wedding was in Italy and that it was in October, I had to have some sort of cover or shawl. I had a piece of ivory silk organza in mind. But when I started placing it on the dress form with the dress, it was a different look. That is the dress looked elegant and the silk organza look too, I guess old. (It was actually a veil which had been used, it looked like many, many, years ago.)

Now one more day was left before my deadline. I did have a little more then a yard left from the lining of the dress. I draped a base shaw type thing, then just starting ramdomly rushing the fabric onto it. I stitched it all down, and finished it entirely. So now I needed some type of center front closure.
The following morning I walking into a small business in town. I saw a pair of earrings which would go perfectly with the entire outfit. Once I arrived home I made a base out of a few pieces of fabric machine quilted together. I covered it with a scrap of the dress fabric. After having taken apart the earrings I placed them on the base, and stitch them. I then stitched it entirely to the shrug, shawl creation. I stitched three snaps, and I had the perfect closure!

After two fittings , less than two weeks I had an amazing wedding dress which included so much satisfaction, being that it had been constructed entirely by my hands.


I am completely new to wedding customs. What is a bomboniere? It is Italian for gifts or "favors" to be given out to guests. They contain, confetti, which is a sugared almond. Traditionally containing five symbolizing health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and long life. And they must be white for a wedding, they are placed inside a bag tied with ribbon.

The bomboniere is made up of a saccchetti or satch containing the confetti. It is tied with ribbon and it usually contains decorative flowers. Recently I made some bomboniere. My idea was taken from a wonderful book by Kumiko Sudo, " Handmade Gifts from fabric in the Japanese Tradition".
I visited my first Italian fabric store. They had the most assortment of fabrics I have seen so far, at a reasonable price. So I purchased some silk shantung, ivory for my petals and green for my leaves and stems.

Ready to be delivered, my box full of bomboniere.
Finally completely finished! So, my bomboniere were individually hand-made for my guests. I noticed that many, many, sites exist where they are sold.
They also now vary, not just the traditional ones are popular. Diverse favors are now given such as crystal pieces, kitchen pieces, figurines, and even candles to name a few. A bomboniere is given to show appreciation to the guest, and to be kept as a remembrance of a unique day.

Individually hand-made bomboniere. Using silk shantung, ivory for the petals and inside of satch. Green for leaves and stem, a thin ribbon used to tie the satch closed.

Comments are welcome and appreciated!