For the love of lingerie

I’ve been dragging my heels regarding this confession. But here it goes…[deep breath in….gusty exhalation]. I love lingerie. I mean, I may as well wear a tee shirt that says, “will work for shoes and lingerie.” I pay bills, contribute to our retirement accounts, some groceries and gas for my car, but every extra cent is saved for shoes and lingerie.

“Real elegance is everywhere, especially in the things we do not show.” -Christian Dior

“Lingerie is NOT about seducing men. It’s about embracing womanhood.” -Dita Von Teese

“Without foundation, there can be no fashion.” -Christian Dior

There are four lingerie companies that I feel passionate about, Cosabella, Aniela Parys, Fleur du mal and Cadolle.

Aniela Parys, originally from Portland, Oregon is now based primarily out of Barcelona, Spain. She hand makes many of her articles from dead stock (leftover fabric that goes unused by the mill or brand that fabricated it. Be it because the fabric turned out blue when it was meant to be purple, the brand ordered more than they could use or they simply decided it wasn’t right for the piece for which they intended it, deadstock fabric is any textile that’s sitting around as a leftover without plans for future use.).

Now Cosabella is more mainstream. An Italian couple relocated for work from their homeland to Miami, Florida. While her husband was away at work, Valeria needed something to do! She started exporting a selection of Italian made garments to sell in Miami. As other European companies started outsourcing their manufacturing to cheaper countries, Cosabella began producing their own line of lingerie (thus eliminating the middle man) in Italy. Where they are to this day!

Fleur du mal is about dressing up and undressing (that’s their tag line!) . A little edgier then the other two, an e-commerce business with a studio in Soho NYC. I also love their description of goods, “Feminine, chic and slightly subversive.” The founder, Jennifer Zuccarini used to be the design director at Victoria’s Secret before going off on her own. I have never bought a piece of hers yet, but I like looking at them.

Another company I draw inspiration from is Cadolle. Cadolle is THE Parisian lingerie house, Herminie Cadolle literally invented the bra in 1889.

“Lingerie is a woman’s inner, secret glamour.” -Alice Temperley

This is the start to my exploration in lingerie making. There is so much specialty “equipment” ! Look at those tiny pins (game changer right there). I found sewsassy.com as a resource for special elastic, stretch lace, stretch satin, hardware and software. I picked a few things up at Joann’s but selection was limited.

Alabama Chanin baby doll top. Imagine this in different materials: leather, satin, lace trim, a black sequined bodice with a light weight flowy leather “skirt”.

“The first thing you put on in the morning and the last thing you take off at night, make it good!” -unknown

Summer projects and the birth of a label

Here’s a partial line up of this summer’s projects. Complete with knitted camisole, my recycled strip jeans, and custom dyed red skinny jeans.

I also picked up some freebies on the side of the road! I’m thinking of transforming the plaid blazer into a Spencer jacket with leg of mutton sleeves and some gold or copper metallic embellishments.

Imagine this dress as a slip dress worn with the little spencer jacket 🤩

I started working with leather. This corset is being made from leather salvaged from 2 used pair of leather pants. It will have fresh water pearl embellished trim. Not easy, but extremely satisfying. Not sure what method of attachment I will go with: lacing, a zipper, or other, on one side.

More experiments with leather: machine sewn this time and top “stitched” with staples. Kinda cool!

Working on a special event outfit. A high-low hemmed, sequined, princess seamed, navy blue trimmed tank dress. With a matching dove gray leather, cap-sleeved bolero; a navy blue felted boat cap and peacock blue nubuck, cross over, high-heeled clogs.

It is all basted together with my new clothing tag design located inside the “train” back. Visible when I walk (I hope).

Embroidered leather clothing tags. I’m contemplating maybe, just maybe, creating a few pieces to sell 😬😳😨

Denim works of art

It all started when I found myself succumbing to cheap, throw away fashion. I have been falling behind on fulfilling my clothing needs (desires) and wanted a couple new pair of jeans to get me by until I could make some of my own. I ended up buying 4 pair at the local mall because they were 50% off. The following morning’s shopping hangover found me hemming and contemplating the “made in Bangladesh” tag. A wave of guilt fell upon me. I decided to return 2 and put the money towards an American made pair. I came across an article on the internet by The Good Trade that really was a guiding force.

I bought 1 brand new pair of black skinnies from Genetic Los Angeles. I found another Genetic Los Angeles pair, new with tags, on Poshmark.com. Luke has a fondness for Prison Blues. Next time I’m going to try Bluer Denim. Both Genetic Los Angeles and Bluer denim companies are devoted to less waste, a commitment I can passionately relate with, and offer incentives for recycling/reusing jeans. They are the two few American companies that offer feminine styles of jeans as well.

I would much rather own 1 American made piece of clothing at a rather substantial price tag then 4 made elsewhere at a fraction of the cost.

This is my new commitment.

It has generated a whole thought process, think tank, about clothes being created as works of art. Having been an artist my entire life I have recently started thinking of my body as a canvas and fabric/yarn as my medium. From now on every article of clothing I create, or buy will be wearable art. Art doesn’t get much more personal than clothes and fashion.

Second-hand Genetic Denim jacket. Fits beautifully with all these dart details.

In the process of trying to master making the perfect pair of black skinny jeans. Some customizing ideas.

February 26, 2018…inspired fashion

Sowing the seeds of a true statement piece.

The tank’s collar will be embellished with what is referred to as “Alabama Fur”, (small stitched swirls with long tails of thread showing) on a larger than usual binding. Worn under an Aluminum chainmaille bolero that my husband is making. I try to have 3 elements present on every outfit I design: a hand stitched element, a hand knit element (usually socks), and a metallic element. I’m thinking about adding a chainmaille element, a little fashion collaboration with my significant other!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

If you’re ever in need of some fashion, beauty and style inspiration here is the start of my list of women that inspire and influence me.

Emmanuelle Alt

Ines de la Fressage

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Audrey Tautou

Yasmina Rossi

Edie Sedgwick

Junko Shimada

Isabella Rossellini

Natalie Chanin

Iris Apfel

Charlotte Gainsbourg

February 16, 2018 : off to the space station.

Another completed outfit. Just in time for the couple of dinner parties that came up lately. Clogs from Bryr studio: “Maggie” high heeled with tassels in whiskey leather, and earrings by TiroTiro: Luz studs//brass and Radian//silver.

It’s all in the details. Feather stitch, sheaf stitch and double chevron.

Even my new “business” cards are sparkly! (It doesn’t show up very well in photos unfortunately).

Upping my game in the journaling. I get to dress my little models.

Chugging along…

Slowly getting some sewing and knitting done. Never enough though…

The “Greta” top is done.

Princess seamed tank top has its binding all basted.

I have gotten a little distracted from clothing fabrication and started sample squares of different techniques taught by Natalie Chanin, fashion designer and founder of Alabama Chanin. Top photo is an example of reverse appliqué, black on black. Next is “Alabama fur”, getting the idea of a top with a “fur” collar. When I do enough sample squares I want to sew them together to make a throw blanket.

Latest spurge to add to my collection of Alabama Chanin books.