Monday, February 23, 2009

Threads of Life

As I walked into the fabric store with my soon to me mother-in-law I was not sure what I would find. I had my photo research of what I would like my dress to be, but being the only fabric store for miles, in this little Italian town, I really did not know.

I immediately walked toward the silk section, which anything close to bridal was only shantung. I was fortunate to find a nice silver tone, which was close to my color selection from my research. So I purchased it.

When I it was ready to be worn for my big day, which was less than a month later, I still remember the first words my mother-in-law said to me. "Wow, the fabric looks so much different then it did in the store!"

The completion of my dress had given it so much life! It was a wonderful sight, I could not have asked for any other dress for that marvelous day!

The lifeless threads that ran through the lifeless yardage of silk shantung, now were given an unbeliveable life.

To live in Italy!

Wow! I am really excited to hear about a new museum in Milan, Italy that will be opening in 2010.

The history of costume will be presented. Can't wait until it opens!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Missing LA

This is the time of year that I really miss not living in Los Angeles, California. Every year The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in downtown LA has an amazing exhibit, the Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition.

The exhibit showcases costumes considered and nominated for Academy Awards in the Best Costume Designed category. For me it was always a huge treat to be able to view the wonderful details of the actual costumes.

This is always a must see exhibit!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Spats or Gaiters?

Spats are a shoe accessory worn in the late 19th and early 20th century. Traditionaly they are still an accessory in many marching band uniforms in the United States. Internationally they were used and are still to this day being used in various militaries. Today they are also used in various industries for safety reasons. Such as welders and chainsaw operators.

Gaiters are used over the leg and boot lacing they are worn by equestrians. In Latin America, gaiters extending over the knee are traditional. I found it interesting that, until the middle part of the twentieth century, they also formed a part of clerical clothing of bishops and archdeacons of Anglican Communion. The purpose was for riding horses to various parts of a diocese.

One difference I found between the two is that, spats are primarily used for display, and they tend to be shorter, around the ankle mainly. Gaiters main purpose are for practial use and tend to be longer.

I actually find them intriguing. I also found it exciting that they are being used presently. One can actually change the look of one's shoe collection they are also a nice fashion statement. They are reminiscient of the costume of history, design elements of the past can be transformed into the present.

So I just draped my first spat pattern. For me it is a piece of fashion that is constructed by utilizing tailoring and corseting skills. Then embellished as a milliner embellishes a hat.