I recently showcased some of my new designs at an event held at Cowdray Hall in Aberdeen. The pieces were loosely inspired by the elegant, easy fitting styles of the Jane Austen era...but with a modern edge
Been a while since my last post I know...but hey, I've been busy!
Between my dressmaking job, (which i'm making stock for the Aberdeen Highland Games in June and The International Tartan Festival in Glasgow in August), part-time in the restaurant and trying to organise my own collection for an upcoming art event this summer, I've not had much blogging time.
I did, however make the time on Friday to travel down to Glasgow with fellow designer, Aymee to buy some fabric for our latest creations, to be showcased at the 'Everything' art event at Cowdray Hall, Aberdeen this July. (My puny arms are still aching from 10hrs carrying my stash around the city)
This was my first trip to Mandor's fabric shop so It was a total magpie moment for me and I wanted everything! I pretty much bought as much as I could carry. Linen, sheer white cotton, floaty burgandy georgette, charcoal silky satin blend and a bold heavyweight woven mix, in a dark dusky floral print with metalic thread. Can't wait to see them transformed into some garments :)
The very first pattern cutting exercise i did way back in college was a circle skirt. Its one of those patterns that u can do so much with and because the basics of the pattern is easy to grasp it doesn't become a huge brain-busting, stress-inducing, pulling your hair out event that can often happen when you start a pattern cutting project. ( You will find a tutorial here on creating your own circle skirt which you can modify to your hearts content)
These images from the Fall/Winter 13/14 collections seen in recent weeks runways in London, NY and Milan prove that you don't always have to re-invent the wheel when it comes to fashion. Adding flare to give volume, selecting different weights/texture of material, altering the length, adding pleats/tucks at the waist, cutting on the bias, incorporating print, using an underskirt or adding shaped panels at the hem to change the silhouette...variety is the spice of life :)
photo credits www.vogue.it
Christopher Kane, born in Scotland, always mixes it up with his choice and combination of fabrics and texture. His A/W 2013 collection, shown in London on Monday 18th Feb was no exception...Fur, tailoring, camouflage, velvet, sheer, embellishment, sparkle, layering, bold print, colour, 3-dimensional, textured, tactile, innovative and constructed pieces. He had it all ♥
photo credits: Catwalking.com
After reading the Rabbie Burns poem - Tam O'Shanter, I started to think that some 2013 collections could easily have been inspired by the Scottish bards words....
...but pleasures are like poppies spread:
Or like the snow falls in the river,
Or like the borealis race,
Or like the rainbow's lovely form
I must admit, I don't usually pay as much attention to the menswear collections as I should...but something made me take note of the last couple of weeks runway shows in Paris and Milan...Tartan...Knit...and Beards!
Thom Browne for Design house Moncler Gamme Bleu featured cable knit and tartan in all its glory. Models at Milan Fashion Week strutted down the catwalk to the soundrack of Braveheart. I particularly love the addition of the original man bag...the sporran!
The label E. Tautz from designer Patrick Grant featured outerwear with oversized check patterns in shades of grey with dashes of colour- inspired by a 70's tweed jacket found on Ebay.
At Jean Paul Gaultier - shorts with detachable skirts (very kilt like), beards and turbans.
in support of David Attenborough's documentary series Frozen Planet," the models at Vivienne Westwood sported icy beards.
I have got so much going on at the moment so here's a little update...
Design work/pattern making for my dressmaking job is keeping me on my toes! I have been working on the samples for an evening dress and top which will be part of the Tartan Touch display at Scotland's Trade Fair on the 20th-23rd January at the SECC in Glasgow. The shop has taken a couple of orders for the top already so I need to get my pattern finalised and the tops sewn up asap!
Since starting this job in June last year I have learned a lot more than just creating patterns and samples. I've also learned about running a small business- everything from the importance of creating a good relationship with your customers by taking on board their feedback and catering designs towards their needs and expectations, sourcing fabrics and manufacturers based in Scotland, marketing and promoting your brand through launching a website/on line shop and, last but not least, doing your homework - finding out about AND attending as many local and national trade fairs/exhibitions as you can...and making contacts!
So far I have attended the Ballater highland games in August, where Tartan Touch had a marquee displaying all the most recent stock/accessories/bags. The main aim of this was to highlight the launch of the on-line shop, take e-mail addresses of potential customers and get some feedback from the public-which was very promising....and it was a different side to being stuck behind the sewing machine!
Scotland's Spring Trade Fair at the SECC in January will be my next new experience, being surrounded by local and international buyers and over 500 other business and crafty people promoting their wares. Its definitely all good experience for me for when I embark on my own venture in the near future :)
photo credit: ALAMY
As a fashion design graduate from Scotland it just wouldn't be right if I didn't post a wee bit about Chanel's Metier d'Art fashion show, staged at the stunning 15th century Linlithgow Palace in West Lothian on Tuesday.
The show celebrates the craft behind the fashion and this particular show was focusing on Scottish textile crafts and materials-knit, tweed and tartan, showcased in a lavish runway show.
Chanel recently took over Scottish cashmere company Barrie Knitwear, saving over 150 jobs in the Hawick based mill after it was threatened with closure. This move reinforces the role Chanel plays in sustaining small-scale producers who would otherwise struggle to stay afloat in an industry increasingly dominated by fast fashion.
I particularly liked the combinations of layering sheer fabrics with the heavy textured knit skirts, the dramatic use of feathered neckpieces and also the use of flat boots and patterned wool tights.
So, I heard these guys on a TV show this morning and was instantly drawn to them. Kind of reminded me a bit of The Pierces, with their hauntingly beautiful lyrics and voices. The video for Emmylou makes me think of the lookbooks and lovely creations at Spell and the Gypsy collective where as the video for 'The Lion's Roar' is captivating - dark and earthy with a hint of mysticism and intrigue... I'm feeling inspired by these Swedish sisters.
Lookbook image from http://www.spelldesigns.com/