Monday, August 19, 2019

Haute Couture Club of Chicago Fashion Show review.

... better late than never!!
Back in May of this year I had the pleasure, honor and sometimes the headache of co-chairing the 2019 Haute Couture Club of Chicago ‘Color Your World’ Fashion Show. My co-chair was Melissa, my amazing daughter.

From the beginning we divide up the work and then just touched base with each other to make sure we were both on track or to see if each other needed help. Basically, I was the creative side- coming up with the Fashion show segments, the supporting images or graphics, writing and designing the show program and figuring out the order of go with 104 garments to walk the runway!

Melissa was mostly the logistics side, finding the venue, coordinating photographer and DJ as well as taking care of soliciting and organizing the raffle prizes and table decorations.  The venue this year was the Crystal Ballroom in the Historic Knickerbocker hotel, downtown Chicago. It was so beautiful!

Luckily we had the help of 2 other club members to help with taking care of the seating assignments and sending out of tickets.
This Fashion Show hosted the clubs first High School Senior Scholarship program. We had three graduating seniors that are headed to fashion design school each show a collection of their creations and they were each given a cash scholarship prize. This was so much fun! The young designers each attended some of the club meetings and also helped with modeling of other club members garments. It was a special thing pairing a young high school senior with club members who joined in the 1960’s. Each of these young designers had a one page bio in the show program.

I am glad that I had the opportunity to work on bringing the fashion to reality this year. Will I do it again? Nope! I enjoyed it and it was a new experience but I don’t need to do it again! It was an incredible amount of work and I was so glad to have done it and to have done it with my daughter, we have pretty high standards and I think we were able to uphold them with in the limits of what we had to work with. 

To go with the theme of "Color Your World" I made a new dress for Melissa to wear to the fashion show. Here she is showing off all the colors and twirl-ability of the dress :)

In addition to being co-chair of the show, I also participated in the show. I walked the runway in three garments that I designed and created over the past club year.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the day a wonderful success!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Dior- From Paris to The World at the Dallas Museum of Art

Wendy of Couture Counsellor and I headed to Dallas for a weekend to go and see the Dior exhibit. It was well worth the time of getting on a plane and heading to Texas for the first weekend of August. It was so hot and humid but like I said, so worth it! This is the same exhibit that was held in Denver earlier this year and was a joint exhibition between the 2 museums.

The tickets are timed tickets and I purchased them the morning that they went on sale. Each month goes on sale the 15th of the prior month.  The exhibit was sold out for the weekend we were there, it is very popular!

The exhibit itself was done very thoughtfully and I really liked the use of mirrors in some areas that allowed you to have a birds eye view of garments and then some that allowed you to see 'up the skirts'! The most dramatic room of all also happened to be my least favorite, only because it gave me a sense of vertigo with all of the looking up, which in turn made me a bit nauseas. The idea was a superb one but the aisle that ran down the middle with the stadium effect on either side needed to be a bit wider to work better. Of course this is all just my opinion!! I'm sure they had space restraints to work with.

It was very interesting to see how the Dior line has changed as the creative directors/fashion designers have changed. 
This is a picture heavy post... I took almost 400 pictures! Don’t worry, they are not all in here. LOL!
I tired to include only my favorites or ones that I thought were very interesting. 

Wall of toiles

Amazingly dramatic but a little hard to view

The PINK room was my favorite!

Coats to fall in love with!!

Hand painted and beaded

Embroidery Samples done for Dior in the late 40's/ early 50's

I hope you enjoyed some of these amazing garments from the Dior line!
Lots of wonderful, interesting and inspiring garments.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Yellow mohair and wool challis dress- Self drafted

This dress was so much fun to make and even more fun to wear! The design started in spring of 2018. I purchased the lovely lightweight printed wool challis from Emma One Sock and brought it with me to Design II workshop given by Sarah Veblen.

I instinctively knew that I wanted to pair the panel with a yellow fabric and I also knew that I wanted some textile that had a different texture. During the Design II workshop we had a day to spend at Michael's Fabrics/ A Fabric Place and between doing my fabric exercises, fawning over all the amazing fabrics and shopping I found a wool mohair by Ungaro that was the most perfect shade of yellow and had such a delightful texture. I fell in Love!! And bought a 1/2 a yard which actually turned out to be more like 3/4 of a yard when I measured it at home! (Thank you Jonathan!)

My original idea was a fitted princess seam bodice with a fitted 2 piece 3/4 length sleeve with a shaped fuller skirt attached at the shaped empire seam and curving around the body to hit at the lower back. I had to modify my design a little bit because I felt like the mohair was going to be overworked and some too hot in a closely fitted sleeve. I played with a bunch of different sketches and finally came up with the idea of using a dolman sleeve. I used Armstrong’s Pattern making for Fashion Design to draft the dolman sleeve and then made modifications for the fit that I wanted. Luckily, I had just enough of the yellow Mohair to cut out the longer sleeves which ended up being somewhere between 3/4 length and bracelet length. 

I made one muslin of the newly drafted bodice and then moved into my fashion fabric. Yippee!
I underlined the entire bodice with silk organza and the entire skirt pieces with imperial batiste and then lined the dress in a bright yellow china silk. 

After I cut out and underlined all the pieces with hand basting I pinned them onto my dress form just to get a visual of how they would look. AND... It was OK. Just OK. Not amazing and it felt a little flat to me. Which totally bummed me out since I was really excited about the entire project. SO I left it on the dress form for a while just to let it marinate and speak to me. Thankfully I had an ‘aha’ moment and pinned in strips of the printed wool challis to see what that would look like and it was perfect to my eye! It was just missing that pizzazz. I cut bias strips out of the leftover wool challis and used rat tail cording to create beautiful piped princess seams and piped neckline. This detail really brought the design together and made it cohesive.

The dress was done in time for the Haute Couture Club of Chicago Autumn colors challenge, was worn to a Broadway in Chicago Musical and to the Opera over the winter and also worn in The Haute Couture Club of Chicago annual fashion show. For the fashion show, I paired it with a beautiful fascinator that was made by another member of the club for the raffle. It was so much fun wearing the fascinator on the runway! 

Designing, sewing and wearing this dress really ticked off a bunch of boxes for me!
- I let the fabric ‘speak’ to me and adjusted my design to what the fabric would be best in doing.
- This led me to drafting dolman sleeves
- Dolman sleeves are out of my normal fashion box, let me push my boundaries.
- Took the time to assess my design midway through the process.
- Sewing piping into princess sleeves using mohair as the fashion fabric required accuracy and patience!
- I had FUN

Happy Sewing!!

The Princess turned 5 in June and we celebrated her birthday on the beach with a bunch of her friends and had a lovely day!! I can't believe my grand baby is 5...