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…
Fitting for my Christmas outfit. I haven’t even put the waistband on! I just love the leg of mutton sleeves on this jacket. the back of the jacket is real patent leather embossed crocodile skin pattern.
My family and I are embarking on a southern pilgrimage in late March. The major destinations being Florence, Alabama to visit The Factory of Alabama Chanin, then to New Orleans, just because, but possibly in time for NOLA Fashion week. Here are my journal entries for the two new outfits to wear there. The first is a navy tube top, black handkerchief hemmed dress with a cap-sleeved or sleeveless leather bolero embellished with silver and gold.
Outfit number two is a maxi length corset dress out of this incredible black and red fabric with black lace fingerless gloves.
Discovered a new jeweler at Common Ground Fair this year. Boyd Johnson of Augusta, Maine. He has an Etsy shop: QuimbySt. His practices and philosophies are really commendable and inspiring. I ordered a pair to wear for Christmas.
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!
Lost in my thoughts one day, trying to figure out some sort of mission statement for all this clothes, fashion, and the blog that goes along with it business. I was perusing the internet, planning a New York City trip next Spring. I happened across a trailer for a documentary called The True Cost , a film about the fast fashion industry, textile waste, exploitation of third world garment workers (where 95% of all our clothes comes from) and the true cost of a 4$ tee shirt from Walmart, H&M, or Old Navy, and etc. I knew then I had found my mission, and how to fine tune my passion.
I’m going to wean myself off of commercially purchased fabric and re-purpose old clothes into new, beautiful clothes. I’m striving to be an inspiration by example. To be a conscious and careful consumer. And try to bring more awareness to the fact that every dollar you spend is a vote for what you believe in.
I took all my cheap, made-overseas-pants and pieced them together to form the fabric for these new jeans. Sometimes I used the original seams but I zigzagged them together initially then tightly zigzagged the raw edges THEN top stitched the seams down with a straight stitch.
In the works: I am designing an art exhibit showcasing 4 outfits made from repurposed or organic material complete with framed journal entries documenting the inspiration behind each. I have come up with 2 out of the 4. One is a Japanese inspired piece and the other is a Victorian/steampunk piece.
Everything I feel drawn to in life seems to all connect together. From my minimalistic lifestyle to sustainable, zero waste fashion, it’s all cohesive. A Greek-like ideal to always be striving for perfection in all facets of life.
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.
I recently came across the fashion revolution. Largely brought about in response to the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh 5 years ago. I’m glad there was an organization created to bring about awareness of how our clothes are made, asking ourselves #whomademyclothes ? To be a part of this you don’t have to make your own clothes, but just be conscious about where your clothes come from, and how they were made. It doesn’t even matter how much you pay for your clothes, they could be still be made by sweat labor, as was proved by this tragedy in Bangladesh.
It’s funny how inspiration works. I was pleasantly going along working on my new jeggings, when I noticed my top stitching resembled staples. Then I recalled this really cool leather-goods boutique in Boston where two artists collaborated to create bags, clothes, and jewelry from staple embellished leather. Of course I’m running with it! I’m also going to try to make myself one of those bracelets to go with the whole black and silver outfit! Black and silver is my THANG, inspired by my changing hair. I feel like my hair is being bejeweled! And when it goes completely white that will be a whole new, awesome look as well
The second pair, not as far along. Embellished with black beads. Kinda reminds me of a checkered racing flag.
In the thick of several projects at once. Two pairs of pants, another hat makeover, and embroidery.
I like to mix machine sewing with hand sewing. I’m very pleased with how I hand-attached these back pockets.
A future back pocket. Recently very inspired by a woman: Tessa Perlow, who does incredible embroidery on “up-cycled” clothes. I have a Calvin Klein shirt I recently acquired from Good-will that I’m now planning on embellishing. This design of a snake wrapped around an apple was originally a tattoo. To me it represents all kinds of temptation, especially when placed on my butt pocket! the wearer of the tat said it represented good and evil to them. Either way it’s pretty deep.
All this embroidery resurgence came about because I wanted clothing tags made up but wasn’t happy with the affordable options and I was too cheap to splurge. This one I may leave shortened to just 2a.m. because it is so huge. I want to put fleur-de-lis on everything!
Customizing another vintage hat. This is a “straw” beret. If I get invited to the particular wedding or reception (hint, hint) that I badly want to go to, I will put a Rose in the band.
My first Spring bouquet.