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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Day 5: A Dress is Born! (prematurely)

Final Day of Challenge:

Happy first day of Spring! I started this challenge 5 days ago, hoping for the miraculous birth of a Spring inspired, "cherry blossom" dress designed and made by me. Voila! Here it is.....

Although, I have completely fallen in love with this dress, and have high hopes for it, I must be honest with you. The birth was quite premature, or in other words, I just did not finish. *cringe* (see below for details)
If you followed my 5 day posts, you will know by now, the insanity the whole project brought to me, and unfortunately, it just was not enough time. I did get awfully close to finish, but there are several factors that still need to be done. I estimate about a half a week more and the dress will be complete.
 After the dress is complete, there will be detailed shots of the dress, along with a photo shoot of me wearing it.
Thanks for following the progress of this challenge and all your support!


Friday, March 20, 2015

Day 4 of 5: A Bouquet of Insanity

Day 4 of 5:

Today was a day filled with sewing silk flowers to the lower half of the dress, and continuing with yesterdays beading. I am at full blown stress mode, and one more silk flower could cause my head to pop off. 
I am still horribly behind, and a miracle is some what needed if completion is at all possible for tomorrow. On a brighter note, I am quite pleased with the silk flowers that look like falling sakura flowers. They have the soft, light, texture that I was hoping for, and the effect is exactly what I had in mind. I debated quite a bit whether to keep the rosettes in the center, but in the end opted to take them out, since the dress is inspired by the "cherry blossom". 


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Day 3-5: More Beading, loosing my mind, and sneak peak of bottom half.

Day 3 of 5:

I am undeniably feeling the pressure, and quickly losing my mind. I am a perfectionist, and have no sense of time. In my head, my vision of 'the dress' is extremely intricate, whimsical, and full of unbelievable beadwork.  Unfortunately, I am not a magical elf with time defying sewing skills, and 5 days seems quite impossible. 
I wish I could dedicate 24 hrs/day to this dress, but with work, and life, it is not working out that way.
Leave it to me, to speak before thinking, but regardless, I am pushing myself to the brink of insanity to  somehow get this done by Friday. 
Overcome with huge stress that only two days remain, I surprisingly accomplished quite a bit today. This is off topic, but  isn't it amazing how much you can accomplish with deadlines and stress? Just when you think its impossible and can't be done, you somehow accomplish it,and surprise yourself. Of course it is probably at the cost of about a year of my life, but I do believe it is a sign of reaching a higher level of self achievement. 


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Day 2 of 5: Beaded Details and Mind Blocked

Day 2:
Today was a day spent on details. I beaded all day and I am still currently beading. Designing your own clothes is a crazy thing and 5 days to finish an evening gown, is an even crazier experience. 
 As fun as it is, the whole situation is rather unpredictable and chaotic. Part of my head thinks about the beading I am doing, and the other part of me is contemplating the bottom half, and what I will do. The creative process is never a smooth ride, and I have moments of complete mind blocks that leave me completely frustrated. However, other moments are filled with energetic bursts of ideas that make the whole chaotic mess worth it. 
Stay tuned....


Monday, March 16, 2015

Day 1 of 5: The Making of a Spring Evening Gown

Day 1 of 5

In case you missed the announcement yesterday, in celebration of Spring 2015, I will be attempting to design, and create a dress all within 5 days. The challenge is to have it completed by the first day of Spring ( this Friday, March 20).

The dress I am designing, is inspired by the beautiful pink cherry blossoms of Japan. The color palette is soft, sweet, and very pink. The fabrics chosen, are vintage embroidered lace, organza, and chiffon.  I also found pink silk flowers in the flower aisle and would like to somehow incorporate them into the dress.  I will most likely be adding other materials as I go along and my vision changes.

Day 1, was a slow day.  I felt a bit of frustrated, as my mind was blocked with the direction of my design. I only finished the top portion of lace, which is shaped to my frame. I did also attach a zipper in the back. However, I did not have time to finish the inner linings or add any details. Tomorrow will need to be met with more speed and efficiency to make up for lost time. Stay tuned!

Wish me luck, ❤


Sunday, March 15, 2015

5 Day Fashion Design Challenge?

Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, it can only mean one thing. Winter is ending and Spring is finally here.

The "5 Day Fashion Design Challenge", is an ambition attempt to design, create, and finish a Spring 'inspired' evening dress, all by Friday March 20, 2015 (The first day of Spring). The Challenge will begin tomorrow, Monday, March 16, 2015, and the progress of the dress will be published everyday until the completion this Friday.

The dress will be inspired by the gorgeous cherry blossoms of Japan, and as you can imagine, there will be a lot of pink flying around the studio. Check in everyday, and hopefully by the first day of spring, an evening dress will be born!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Fashion of a Japanese Empress

In the beginning of March, Japan celebrates a special day for girls, called "Hinamatsuri" (Girl's Day). On this day beautiful dolls representing the royal court of the Heian period are displayed. 

This particular doll is the empress and was a gift from my grandfather when I was born, and when I took them out on March 3rd it inspired me to write about the amazing fashion of a Heian empress.  

During the Heian period, beauty, was of extreme importance. It was in fashion for aristocratic women to powder their faces and blacken their teeth. Lips were painted small and bright red, and their eyebrows were plucked or shaved and redrawn higher on their forehead.

The empress would wear her hair long, natural, shiny, and long.

 The empress's formal dress included a complex "twelve-layered robe" called junihitoe.  As seasons changed the costumes would also follow the seasonal changes. Robes always followed a system of color combinations representing flowers, plants, and animals specific to a season or month. Like poetry, every step and choice had a greater meaning and process. 

The various layers are made of silk, and the innermost garment is made of white silk, followed by other layers which have various names. The final layer is the most intricate and luxurious. Weighing nearly 20 kilograms, it made it very difficulty for the empress to move.

All color choices set for the layers are very important. The colours have poetic names, such as "crimson plum of the spring".  The arrangements of layers and colors represented their rank and taste. 

Such a dream like era, the Heian period is one of great mystery and inspiration. The amazing details in their fashion, and their dedication to achieving the highest level of artistic beauty, has created pure fashion poetry. An achievement of breathe taking form and ultimate craftsmanship, it is ready to be walked down any Couture Runway of today. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Unisex is the Future of Fashion

Unisex or no gender is the direction of Fashion, and it is about time.
As children we are brainwashed to believe a girl dresses one way and a boy another. Two completely separate teams, there is no denying we label gender based upon what we wear. Just take the universal bathroom sign of a woman in a dress verses men in pants. The idea is so deeply embedded in our psyche we forget to realize what we wear does not determine our gender. After all a girl who wears pants is still a girl, just as a boy who wears a skirt is still a boy.

Fashion is fashion, and should not hold restrictions created by "social" standards. Placing gender restrictions on fashion is sexist. The movement into "unisex" will allow people to think, and wear what they desire, and release the stigma attached to "clothes making the person". Clothes are made to represent the person you are, and has no real power to change your gender nor the person inside.

People are starting to realize these flaws, and currently several designers, and brands are now popping up with unisex capsule collections. As much as it excites me, most of it disappoints me. Currently, the whole of idea of "unisex" is limited to existing within the previous stereotypes of the ultra feminine verses the ultra masculine. This leads to a style completely genderless, with a monochromatic color palette, tight fitted straight lines, and geometric lines. 

The point of unisex should not be to kill gender, but to have the freedom to choose the degree of masculinity or femininity any gender may choose to be. For example, men's shirts created in soft pastel colors, and neckties adorning florals, and blush pinks allow the option for a mixture of the ultra masculine and the ultra feminine. Similarly for women, YSL and Chanel collections have both celebrated the swapping of genders, with such silhouettes as the man's tuxedo. Clothes have a distinct level of "power" and "softness" and everyone should feel free to chose from whichever.

Unbar useless stigmas created by society, and start dressing in what your heart desires. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

5 Tips On How I Found My Own Style

Ever since I can remember, I have loved fashion. As a small child I was fascinated with pouf dresses, poodle skirts, and ruffled socks. I knew exactly what I liked and what I wanted. However, somewhere down the journey of "growing up", we all learn the ability to conform and pieces of our voice become faint.  Lines of choice become blurred, and our so called 'opinions' are no longer our own.
There came a point in my life where I started to ask myself, what do I really like? What are my Style quirks, and fashion choices? 
For years I had followed the trends, and chosen the "popular" choice because that was what I thought fashion was all about. I knew I looked good, because everyone told me so, but it felt fake. The clothes I wore, never felt like they were a part of me, but a covering of some sort. A bit like armor, it protected the person I was inside, but it did nothing to showcase who I really was. 
When I started to think deeper about the issue, I realized the person we all call, "I, me, and myself", had been horribly neglected, and I wanted to get to know her.
Here are my 5 Tips on How I Found My Own Style.

1)Shop Alone.
Yes, I realize shopping with a good friend is a lot of fun, and a great moment to catch up on the latest gossip, but think of shopping by yourself, as a necessary time to practice some individual thinking.
I use to never shop a lone, and I can remember always asking the opinions of my friends and what they thought. How does it look? What do you think? This often leads to joint decisions on what you should and should not purchase. 
However, knowing what you like and what you do not, without the opinions or approval of others, creates strength in maintaining your own voice. Your fashion choices should remain your own, and often times, other people do not have the ability to see your vision. Do not be afraid to make a mistake if the choice was your own. 

2) Don't Be Afraid To Be Different.
Being unique, is a scary thing. You have no idea what other people will say or think and being the only one is a daunting position. However, like everything in life, you just have to practice, and you do get stronger. If you do not understand the latest craze in black witch hats, and prefer a pink bonnet, don't let fear or rejection stop you. Living your life lies in your ability to conquer your fears. 

Our society loves to function on what I call, "brainless mode", and thinking has taken a back seat. Before you become a lazy copycat, challenge yourself to finding pieces of clothing that represent you in a way, that no body else could pull off. What makes you unique? What are your hobbies? What time period of clothes do you love?
 For example, I love dainty lace and silk embroidery of 18th Century France. I also love interesting textiles, textures, and quirky antiques. I constantly rummage through old antique or vintage stores, and love changing up buttons on all my clothes. 

4) Fashion Fool. Fooling others or just yourself?
The hardest part of Style is the moment you are still thinking like everyone else. Do you dress for acceptance from others, or seek a relationship with yourself? People will always have an opinion about you, and there is no denying the power of what you wear. Everyone can manipulate their image and pretend to be anyone they desire. Whether you want to look smarter, richer, dumber, or poorer, the choice is yours. However, accepting the person you really are, and dressing in a way that matches how you feel, eliminates the unnecessary confusion of living in a container that  does not represent you.

5) Picking a Unique Style is Like Making a Smoothie. 
Often times, people get stuck in labels of what they are. If you are goth you must always wear black, or if preppy you must wear a lot of polos and loafers. The great thing about style is learning how to mix your own unique fashion "smoothie".  There are no rules. You can be whatever you want, and the point is to customize it to fit you like a glove.
 For example maybe you love the METS, but are still a girly girl with edge, and love a bit of sparkle? Why not try distressed jeans, a sparkle stiletto, METS t-shirt, and a fitted leather jacket?