Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ritesh Kumar

Sorry for the lack of posting today. Visiting with the in-laws and pug-piece today. But here's some wonderful photos from Ritesh Kumar's gorgeously earthy A/W 09 collection for you to take a gander at. I'd get so much wear out of all of these pieces. Trust me, I love tree-inspired art (ask to see my back next time you see me).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Genius. Pure genius. These are the new Quillinan pieces. Diverging from her typewriter-typed free word association neckpieces, here Susi pairs "aesthetics (which call to mind Elizabethan ruffs) and Spam, an expression of our modern day society. And this way you can enjoy the interesting turns of phrase without worrying about viruses! All Spam pieces come complete with incorrect spelling and grammar. Warning: some spam phrases used in the pieces are not G rated." In other words, Susi has recorded some of the lovely spam emails of our time onto these beautiful neckpieces (click the photos above to enlarge and read them for yourself). I love this girl.

More Sew Moe please!

Sew Moe's work just keeps getting better and better. First I really wanted one of these:

But then I wanted this:

And then there was this:

But today, this and this appeared:

I'll take one of everything please!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The best use of your dad's golf shirt

Brook of Peeko Apparel is a genius. This is made out of a men's golf shirt. I've been staring at the pictures for the last 20 minutes because I think the idea of using snaps and the elastic underbust band to make the dress into a tunic is brilliant (click to make bigger - trust me!). I think I smell some DiY. Mmm...drapey jersey...

High speed misses

I'm really feeling the effects of my super slowed down 'high speed' internet lately. Two updates by two of my favorite Etsyians have proven too fast for me to even think of pulling out that dangerous piece of plastic. Saturday's loss was black-eyed suzie's long awaited shop update, complete with all things witchy. I am still debating getting a pendant since I missed that Lady MacBeth one from the last update, but my favorites (above) have long been relegated to the sold list.

And today's loss is an unexpected shop update from the ever so lovely and talented Kate Towers. Kate has been on a bit of a hiatus lately, but it seems that Etsy stole away some of her time to interview her as the current Featured Seller. Kate also restocked the shop to prepare for the feature with some very lovely one of a kind pieces. However, yet again, my favorites (below) were gone before I got there. Sigh. Kate does say that she's hoping to be a bit more consistent in making/listing things in the future, so I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed on owning one of her pieces one day.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mandatory style holiday

The in-laws are in town for the next couple of weeks, meaning we'll be spending a lot of time over at my brother-in-law's place. This is turn inevitably means that my style will be somewhat lacking for the next few days. The thing is, I love coming home after work not just because it means I'm not at work and my favorite person is waiting there for me, but because I can dress up as much as I'd like once I get out of my scrubs. And I do like to dress up, even just to get myself my Starbucks fix. With the arrival of the in-laws, however, I will be spending a lot of time around my very stinky, jumpy, and shedding 'niece', also known as my brother-in-law's pug. And thus I cannot wear most of my wardrobe in order to save them from being shredded and infested with short wiry hairs. Thanks goodness for my trusty jeans and sweatshirts! Perhaps I shall live in my custom SCHiZO hoody for the next couple of weeks, as it's sturdy, comfy, AND stylish. And the sleeves were named after me.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hidden lace

Eek! This Little Houses coat, named 'Shakespeare's Sister', is too adorable (and is also available in chocolate brown and army green!). But if we're not sure Shakespeare existed, who would Shakespeare's sister have been? Hmm...

I have a serious lack of chainmail

I was meaning to search Etsy for something to wear to a masquerade ball, but I got distracted by a lovely Finnish blog and their own Etsy finds. I'm lost for words on this chainmail skirt by Metal and Thread. I'm pretty sure I'd wear this more than a masquerade ball gown, but I may have to sell a few organs to get it. The chainmail scarf is definitely more affordable, but it may not be the best option in our cold weather. Sigh.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I want to grow old with you

Lately I've been lamenting that I'm already an old lady at 26 with all my aches and pains. But I definitely won't mind aging if I adorn my disintegrating body with grown-up pieces like the ArtLab Suit No. 1 (above) and the complexgeometries wool tabard (below). I think I'll be a very stylish old lady indeed...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Top 19 Finds of the Summer

With summer now officially gone, I thought I'd compile a list of my favorite 19(ish) finds as posted between July 21st and September 21st for those of you just joining us for some lovely fall blogging. Just click on the links to read the original posts and to see pretty photos.

1) Designer: Alexandra Groover - Okay, so I actually discovered her on June 19th which was technically still spring, but whatever.
2) Fashion grad student: Stacey Grant
6) Custom made piece (not for me): Norwegian Wood rib cage dress for Queen Michelle
8) Convertible piece: Attila Design grey dress
10) Wanted Accessory: Ditte Lerche knit neckpiece
11) Photos: FROG scarves
14) Movie: Moon
15) Website: Not Just a Label
19) Most beautiful dress in the world: Stacey Grant's tulle and embroidered silk draped dress

You were expecting pictures to accompany each item? Yikes. Sorry, but my Wii Fit is calling.

Winged shoes

Somehow I missed these during my weekly perusal of Vivienne Westwood's website, but Susie of Style Bubble kindly pointed them out today. I'm a huge fan of the VW/Melissa shoe collaboration (especially this season's 3-strap ballerina shoe), as they are entirely vegan friendly. I have not yet gotten myself a pair though, as shoes are quite low on my list of priorities when it comes to spending money. And I'm pretty sure that I would never purchase these new S/S 10 shoes (available either October or November or February - ?), as I'm too tall for even a flat wedged shoe. I'm also not too keen on the foot strap detailing - I'd perhaps prefer if it were a nice closed rounded toe. What I do love about these, though, is the classical mythology nod with the Hermes/Mercury wings at the ankles (and the marble effect of the PVC itself). What can I say? I'm a Classics nerd. It's worked out so far for me, as it's what attracted me to Patricia Ayres' ArtLab pieces, with titles such as 'Bustle of Lysistrata', 'Athena's Head Covering', and 'Andromache's Deconstruction'. And so, it only makes sense that I give Vivienne Westwood yet another thumbs up.

kjoo + cameos = perfection

So lately I've been making a list of places I need to go as soon as possible and/or for the next fashion week (NYC, Portland, and London). These pieces by the lovely Maria of kjoo (no. 467 and no. 453) have momentarily distracted me from lamenting my geographical location, however, and have instead transported me back to my junior high school days. You see, I have always had a deep love for cameos. I quite vividly remember my new outfit for the first day of Grade 7, which consisted of khaki culottes, a Victorian-inspired button up long sleeved shirt complete with black and cream stripes and about 50 buttons, and 2-inch wide pearl and silver brooch which I wore over the top button of the shirt. I loved that brooch to pieces, but I always wished it were a cameo, which would make my outfit 100% cool (!). And now I'm practically drooling over these new kjoo pieces, which perfectly pair vintage cameos with Maria's incredible crocheting and felting. Check out this incredible interview with Maria, Etsy's newest Featured Seller - personally, I'm quite tickled to find out that Björk is Maria's muse.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Interview with Liza Rietz

Those of you who are regular readers of this blog will recognize the tunic pictured above and/or the name of its designer, Liza Rietz. I fell in love with this designer's work and this piece in particular (Liza's half circle tunic from her F/W 08 collection) about a year ago, but I was unable to afford it. Then when I began this blog, it ended up in My Top 3 Want List. You may have noticed, however, that it is now missing from the list. The truth is, after purchasing two other impeccable pieces from Liza (one from her F/W 08 collection and one from her S/S 09 collection), I realized that I must bite the bullet and purchase my dream tunic before it disappeared forever (and luckily I did so before our car died!). Liza's pieces are so versatile, seasonless, eye-catching, and perfectly constructed, that its quite surprising that she has been designing clothes for only 8 years. And so, with the long-awaited arrival of my very own half circle tunic AND the upcoming unveiling of Liza's F/W 09 collection, I decided it was time for myself and you, my readers, to get to know one of Portland's finest designers a little more. Enjoy...


Do you have any formal fashion design training? Do you find that this is considered by your peers/the press/buyers to be a requirement to successfully start and run a label?

As for clothing design and construction, I am completely self taught. I have a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology. Portland is unique in the amount of non 'professionally' trained apparel designers it has. We are a very D.I.Y. city. I have a lot of fellow designer friends who are self taught, designing, producing, and running storefronts. To run a label you have to love what you are doing and be very motivated. I think professional training works for some, and not for others.

What is the very first piece you remember designing?

A gray dress - very modern and sci-fi with a big bustle.

Do you wear your own designs?

Yes. I sometimes keep my old samples.

What is your most treasured piece of clothing, either self-designed or bought?

That's a toughie. It has to be one of my jackets, which I tend to have a lot of. I have an asymmetrical gray wool blazer from the 1940's that is simply divine. Or a very old black leather jacket with tons of holes and rips that my best friend gave me (she was going to throw it away!) and I cut the sleeves off above the elbow.

Does being a brick-and-mortar shop owner influence your designs?

It is definitely interesting being able to meet my customer base - which of course didn't happen when I sold exclusively wholesale to other boutiques. I definitely have learned a lot about what women seem to want and what works with their bodies. Making custom garments allows me to see how one design looks on many different body types.

How has online shopping and Etsy in particular affected your label?

It has allowed me to reach far outside of Portland, expand my customer base, gotten me more press and recognition - which is great. I am thankful for Etsy.

There seems to be a huge creative community in Portland. Do you feel that this influences your own work?

Definitely. If I didn't live in Portland, I am not sure I would be designing. I was at the right place at the right time, and was able to become a part of a local indie design collective called 'Seaplane' in 2001. This boutique sold all handmade, local garments, produced its own annual runway shows and gained a lot of attention locally and nationally. We (local designers) inspired and supported each other.

Do you listen to music while you’re working? What inspires you the most?

Yes! Either that or NPR. But the news can get so depressing. I play music (in a band called 'tu fawning'), so music is a huge part of my life. It really depends on what I am working on that decides the musical backdrop. If I am patterning, mellow is good. If I am in production mode, I like music that is a bit driving.

I love how your collections are not season-specific. Do you experience any difference in sales in an economic downturn, or do you feel that having season-less collections balances this out?

I like to design non season-specific, because it is so much more realistic for my size business and practical for my customers. I really love timeless pieces that are still edgy - that can be worn again and again. I personally don't shop a lot and am picky about what I buy, so when I do purchase a piece, I like it to be something that can translate through the seasons.

As for the economy - well, it seems people are shopping less, but being more selective when they do shop. I think buying higher end means buying less and getting more wear out of a garment.

You design two small collections each year – do you find you’ll continue on in this way, are do you sometimes want to just randomly create one-of-a-kind or extremely limited pieces?

I like making a collection, a body of work. It makes sense from a business perspective. I do adore the times I am able to do one-of-a-kinds. I usually do this for fashion shows. It keeps it interesting, and artistic for me.

What is your favorite material to work with?

Right now, I love tech fabrics. Traditionally, I love dupioni silk.

If you weren’t a designer, what do you think you'd be doing for a career?

A full-time musician.

And lastly, what is your favorite piece from your new F/W collection?

It changes every week ;)


Check out Liza's Etsy shop now for pieces from her past and current collections (including a good number of cloches, as pictured above), and very soon for her new F/W 09 collection. Her lovely website also has a portfolio of previous collections. If you're lucky enough to be near Portland, Oregon, make sure you stop by her brick-and-mortar store and studio, located at 2305 NW Savier Street. AND, if you're in Portland on October 12th, be the first to see her new F/W collection in person at her runway show - check her Etsy shop for details.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Some Viv DiY inspiration

Chances are I wouldn't like this so much if it weren't Vivienne Westwood. But I think this 100% virgin wool piece has some great layering potential, especially over top of The Hoody. Perhaps some DiY is in order, as I'd probably prefer a bolero that either closes in front or at the neck, and I still can't afford Katherine's greatly reduced prices (this retails at $695, and is listed at $294). Hmm...

(Photos via the wonderful, where my beloved VW coat came from)

More of Alexandra Groover S/S 10

So exciting! Alexandra Groover's video showcasing her S/S 10 collection is now posted on her blog and on Vimeo for your viewing pleasure. Here are a few quick screenshots I took of my favorite looks - love the more ethereal look of the new shell hooded dress, and I love that tulip petal/peplum belt/waist detailing/overskirt. This gorgeously dark and disjointed video has made me fall in love with Alexandra's work even more. And I'm really thinking that videos rather than runway shows are quite an ingenious way to go, especially for an independent designer. They definitely give more life and beauty to the pieces for an online viewer (a.k.a. an unable-to-go-to-fashion-weeks person) like me.

And in other news: my interview with Liza Rietz shall be posted tomorrow evening, so I suggest you stop on by.

Edit: The petal/belt/waist detailing/overskirt I was wondering about is a skirt - the onoclea skirt to be precise - check out the new collection on Alexandra's website. I'm sure I'll also be posting more on it in an upcoming interview with Alexandra herself.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Portland Fashion Week

Oh how I wish I lived somewhere else. I'm of course unable to go to any relevant fashion weeks, but that doesn't mean that I don't try to follow a few of them online. And I was happy to find out that the fashion week in one of my favorite cities, Portland, Oregon, is possibly the fashion week most up my alley. In fact, PFW is "the world’s only comprehensively eco sustainable production of a fashion week, featuring both independent and eco-couture, urban-casual, street & activewear from all over North America and internationally." This is done though emphasizing eco-responsible fashion, constructing an eco-friendly runway, using eco-safe styling products for the models, using sustainable-certified hotels for the week's guests, and making the fashion week affordable for independent designers to participate through corporate sponsorship. So if you're not doing anything October 7th-11th, you should probably try to make it down to Portland. And of course check out NW 23rd Avenue for some of the best brick-and-mortar shopping I have ever experienced. I for one am definitely stuck here up north. If you are stuck far away from Portland as well, have no fear, as I will however be posting an interview with one of Portland's finest designers, Liza Rietz, sometime this week. And perhaps I'll finagle myself a move down to Portland to coincide with my eventual emergence as an up-and-coming independent designer. Sigh.

Alexandra Groover - S/S 10 snapshots

This is all I've been able to find so far, but I'll take it! These are snapshots of the short film shown at LFW featuring Alexandra Groover's S/S 10 collection (via Vauxhall Fashion Scout). It's all black, architectural in design, and, once again, inspired by nature. I'm excited to see full pictures! I'm wondering if the first photo is the "hooded dress [that] cocooned the body and accentuated the shoulders" - I'm sure I'll want it nonetheless! I just paired my Alexandra Groover 5-hooded hoody (a.k.a. The Hoody) last night with my ArtLab Andromache's Deconstruction Noir, and it was a match made in fashion heaven. Even my man said I looked oh so pretty, and he usually does not agree with my fashion sense.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nomad beauty

This Ona's mixed media piece is breathtaking. With creations like this, who cares about a broken down car and having to work through what was supposed to be my weekend, right?