Wednesday, October 29, 2008

November screensaver

November is the last of the fall leaves and time to wear hats, capes and gloves, to layer it on and fend off any cold breezes. I have sketched the Russian Cloak, gauntlets and velvet paneled jeans from my book of recycled denim overlayed with a collage of different photos from travels -- hand painted frescoes, plastic brooches and crystals that were inserted between old lace ribbons -- that I played with in Photoshop to make this month's calendar.

Pom P'on

The shops on and around the hip area of rue Antoine Dansaert in Brussels were turned into a showcase for fresh and emerging designers last weekend, with clothing stores to galleries, filling their windows with ideas to sell or just to inspire. There were lots of witty ideas, like the girl above, making pom-poms while dressed in a knitted pom-poms dress by Laura Van Neygen.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More exquisite and colorful button style...

Further on the button mania of my recent postings -- I'm crazy for these necklaces I found today in a shop window. They had several, each unique, a delightful play on pattern and shape.
I am off to make my own version!

More button jewerly

At my Seattle event, a fellow craft-nik shared with me some of the pieces from her exquisite button collection, including the above photo of a button bracelet - where she linked them together with a crème cotton crocheted stitch. She is a button collector, following in her grandmother's footsteps, and among the charming pieces kept in felt-lined compartmentalized boxes, my favorite was a hand embroidered covered button that her grandmother had made, with a 3" wide diameter, ... wouldn't it be lovely as the closure on a velvet clutch...!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

DIY button cuffs and my button passion

I simply am crazy about buttons, always have been. They are my faux jewels, my carefree, downtown chic accessory. I pile them on - they are never garish or boring - but soaked in nostalgia, history and imagination. Each button has its own story, where I found it, or who gave it to me, or what I cut it off and I’m always on the hunt. I first laid eyes on Schiaparelli’s legendary insect buttons as a student at the costume archives at the Met and FIT, where they were generously brought out for us to examine, and which are paradise to button lovers, but never to be seen except in museums. But I have always adored buttons (and also buckles, zips, and other hardware) since childhood rummaging through my mom’s collection of mix matched, lost and found, to ones I found as a student, designer or a notions lover, in shops, like Tender Buttons in NYC, La Droguerie in Paris, or any other number of miscellaneous notion shops I where ever I find myself. I store them in big plastic boxes (so I can see what I have and keep them dust free) by color and type, and then put my- favorites of the moment- in cigar boxes, valentine’s chocolate boxes, wicker containers, cookie tins which are as whimsical and diverse as the buttons.
With little monies and little time you can create decorative, interesting style and have quite a lot of fun. I made a pair of denim based cuffs loaded with buttons and am wearing them all the time, dressed up and down. They look terrific because they are a PAIR, and the colors and textures are so swimmy. Here is the DIY DNA.

2 strips of denim 8”x 3” or to fit smoothly around your wrist with a 1” overlap
2 pieces of lining fabric, 1” longer and 1”wider than your denim strips (I used navy pinstriped silk)
2 pieces of iron-on interfacing same size as the lining
4 x ½” diameter snaps
Assorted buttons
2 x 2 ¾”x2” buckles
Thread to match denim
Straight pins, sewing needle, scissors

Prepare the denim:
Machine wash, dry and press the denim (so you have frayed edges)

Attach the buttons and buckles:
Slip one buckle through each strip of denim.
Lay the denim strip on the table. Place a large button on top of the buckle and then scatter and play with your other buttons until you have a color/texture/size balance that you love.
Stitch on the buttons, using a long continuous double thread and knot securely after each button.
Construct the cuff:
Press the interfacing to the back side of the lining.
Fold the edge of the lining back ½” all around and pin it to the denim with back sides facing.
Baste, remove pins and hand stitch all around the edge. Remove basting.
Catch the buckle through the denim and lining, and stitch it firmly in place.
Fold cuff around your wrist and mark overlap.
Sew two snaps securely at each overlap.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cosy embroidered vests

Traveling in central Romania I discovered wonderfully colorful ways to bundle up as winter descends upon us. They make these snugly fitted vests out of shearling with elaborate embroideries or from down with inventivly trimmed patterns - all with a fresh naivity, creating a warm and cosy protection from the darkest cold winter days.The patterns don't stop with the vests, they are as cheery and delightful on the ceramics, building facades, and even the bathhouses...

I ended up with a pile of inspiration! The people were warm and friendly and I look forward to a return visit.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October fun with a fashion sketch give-away

If you would like to win this FREE fashion sketch -- it's the original drawing I used for the October calendar -- just leave a comment on my blog (remember to leave an e-mail address so I can find you) before midnight (PDT Time) on October 24th!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Halloween Mask - DIY

The inspiration for this project the artistry and beauty of the Venetian Carnival. It is a project that was originally designated for my new book, Denim Revolution, but due to the page limit, had to be cut, so here it is, just as the costume season begins.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

October fashion screensaver

October is a time to stay cool and be inventive with all the financial turmoil cutting into fashion expenditures. Oversized jeans are re-cylced in new ways, totally relaxed and belted low with an exotic printed, big sleeved blouse and crazy platform shoes. It's all wildly colored. Accents of artificial beads and sequins play against the backdrop of the fresh pine scents of the woods.