Daphne Guinness has said, “I don’t do event dressing, because every day is an event.” I couldn’t agree more. Recently at a knitting group a woman asked me if I had a use for old cashmere sweaters. I told her about a project that is far, FAR down the line: a floor length dress with long, tightly fitted sleeves and a scoop neck made from cashmere scraps all dyed black. Another woman asked if I would wear something like that to work. I told her, “absolutely! That’s where I am the most!” I may use an event as an excuse to create something new, but my “event clothes” are no different from my “everyday clothes”.
I’ve been completely captivated by Alexander McQueen’s work recently. Gaining more ideas regarding the use of non-traditional material.
This blog post is going to jump around a lot because that’s how my mind works as well.
In a happy accident while working on my rubber vest I noticed some stress cracks (material is recycled tractor inner tube rubber). I immediately thought, “oh, I will cut another piece,” but I remembered during some research coming across the Japanese concept of Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi and decided it was going to be more beautiful because of its imperfections.
I will make a repair that becomes elemental to the overall aesthetics.
Wrestling and taming this creation.
A solution to a dilemma. I really wanted to make leather clothing tags. That was fine on a leather garment because it wasn’t going to be machine washed anyways but how bout on everything else? These are embroidered on bicycle inner tube rubber! Which granted rubber is not a big fan of getting wet either but, at least it won’t shrink or stiffen and I can treat them with a rubber or leather conditioner once in a while.
Me and Lee McQueen.
Last spring during my Boston trip there was one notable store my companion and I didn’t get to visit due to it opening so late. For Christmas this same person had gone back and bought me a tank from Paridaez the very store I never got to go to. Paridaez is a small clothing company completely (from origin, to manufacturing) based out of Massachusetts. I am extremely touched by her thoughtfulness. The tank has been a great base for almost every outfit.
Inspiration for future projects. Pieced denim dress worn by the fabulous Japanese American metal artist Yuri Tsuzuki. Fringed pieces by Any Old Iron. Body suits by Cadolle.
So much is happening all at once I didn’t want to cram it all into one post. Till next time…
Fun outfit! The “teddy” is made up of upcycled black denim from donated pants and a vest. The jacket is double layer flannel from a bed sheet bought at a yard sale for a dollar. I dyed it black. Trim is left over from that other dress, and the buckle salvaged from an old sweater. I made this outfit to wear to the Common Ground Country Fair and I literally finished it on the car ride there!
A skirt and dress that I bought at the fair. Made by my friend Rose, under her label Dippermouth. She does the screen printing, the design and making of each piece. She is still working on a website. I got a sneak peak the other day, and it is truly magnificent!
Really into this color combination at present. I was playing around with some gifted fabric, getting ready for another project, perhaps another dress. Also really into dresses and skirts right now…again.
I bought this gray satin at a salvage store: Marden’s, for $3 a yard! It’s gorgeous and has a nice heaviness. I am definitely making another slip dress with this, floor length. Complete with French seams and a blind hem. Maybe in time for Christmas.
I practiced hemming on my new Dippermouth dress. Not too shabby!
Now back to work!
When you find your passion you start to attract like-minded individuals.
Like friend and coworker Amanda. Here is a sample of her sweet tops.
My friend Rose in her wedding dress! She is Dippermouth sewing and textiles. I got a sneak peak at the collection she is working on for the Common Ground Country Fair held in Unity, Maine on the third weekend in September. Stunning! I need to start preparing to bring some money!
Kate Beck of Kate Beck New Orleans Textile and Design. katebeckneworleans.com
A random stranger at the Farmers market! Her beautiful handmade blouse.
Keep on making everyone!
Now that the outfit for the wedding is just about finished, its time to gear up to work on the pieces for an art show proposal.
Here is the fabric I will be working with.
Here is a sketch of the outfit. A plaid spencer jacket with leg of mutton sleeves and alligator print leather back panel. I may use the stainless steel washers as some sort of fastener. Hand dyed maroon denim covered with hand dyed gray lace for skinny jeans. And a vintage fascinator to top it all off. There will be more, but that’s a start.
A couple quick sketches of clothes that came to mind on my morning jogs.
Seeds are being sown for a possible artist collaboration between myself and Lesia Socher, the creator of the above multimedia paintings. Last night, that proposal was delivered and met with enthusiasm, and she took photos of some of my work that she would like to paint. Something is evolving, and I’m very excited!
Pemaquid beach, Maine
Swimsuit by Aniela Parys
A new dress.
Made of repurposed fabric. The process.
Detail of the various seams. Really neat. The secret? Ironing, ironing and more ironing.
Before and after.
Finished leather “corset”
Outfit completed just in time. On our way home went in another antique shop and picked up my vintage Sears Audrey Hepburn hat! Great find!
DECONTIE AND BROWN
One of my favorite jewelers also makes clothing and is having a fashion show this Saturday. I, myself will not be in the show, but am debuting my latest creation to attend. (Photo credits: Downeast Magazine and Decontie + Brown)
Notice the princess seam detailing! No more boxy shirts for me!
Another dream in it’s infancy.