Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Infinity - The Limit of Design Interpretation

Another example of how a classic design can be infinitely interpreted is the two dresses that were made using a very classic interpretation of the little black dress by Vera Wang for Vogue patterns. This is the base pattern that was used for the large format flower dress of "Smelling Silk and Roses".

Earlier we made the same dress in its formal length, with a bodice overlay of Solstiss Lace, embellished with tufts of tulle, silk habotai, silk charmeuse and pearls. The same base dress was made using an outerlayer of an iridescent silk that shimmers between indescribably beautiful shades of cream, light mustard and acid green, above a layer of autumn gold chiffon, to warm the value to better work with my autumn color profile, and cream heavy georgette to mirror all the colors in the bodice overlay: Two very different interpretations of the same design.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Vintage or.... Not.....

They say that fashion constantly recycles itself, that there is nothing new to be done. I say with the infinite number of variables that can be used to make something, every project is a new interpretation. The best of those become classics. They appear again and again in new and updated ways. For example, this sheath with curved seam to create a flattering front panel appeared in this 1967 vintage pattern by Simplicity, to be offered again in 2000 by Oscar de la Renta for Vogue Patterns, and has shown up again by Prada as published by Branche & Business in their Fashion Trends Forecast for Winter 2008-2009, and again by Ms. Fine Fabrics in a tunic using this challenging piece of embellished silk.

The challenge of working with this fabric is to place it where it is comfortable. It cannot be sat upon. It will catch on purses, or anything that you brush against if worked into a sleeve. A collar or hem is too predictable, but an interesting shaped front panel. That can be quite elegant.
When I saw this progression from 1967-2000-2008 of a curved seam front panel dress, I found this fabric's proper place.

I grabbed the last 3/4 yard remaining in our Santa Barbara Fabric Store and walked around the store holding it up next to everything to reveal its mate, a traditional African fabric cotton wax print made in the Ivory Coast. A perfect hippie inspired combination for a 1967
inspired tunic.