Friday, February 13, 2009

Spring is Coming Early (and Fashion Collections)

I am planning a big conference for March 16-17 and I have some travel comp time that has to be used before the end of March so I figured I would just take the week after the conference off. My sister and I are going to Miami!!!!! I'm so excited. I've always wanted to go to Miami; without ever having been there it's on the very short list of places I would move from DC.

And now I get to start Spring sewing! I turned to the runways for some inspiration.

Wow, you'd think we were in a recession or something what with the all-black Spring collections (with a little taupe thrown in for variety). I had a hard time finding anything I liked and many of the looks were decidedly un-Springlike.

There were Marc Jacobs' muddy metallic plaids (????).

It seemed like Miuccia's heart wasn't in it what with the unimaginative silhouettes, taupes, grays, and aprons at Miu Miu.

Even my beloved Sonia Rykiel didn't have anything for me, unless I was looking for a coat made of human hair...harvested during the 80s.

Carolina Herrera at least tried to be cheerful; although I like the hem flounces like this one, there was nothing I had to have.

Betsey Johnson's Little Circus on the Prairie (with pirates! and mimes! one night only!) was at least chaotic and crazy, even if there was nothing I loved. I like the cut of this jacket, but I don't want to make jackets for Spring.

I managed to find a few looks to inspire me.

Derek Lam, Spring 2009

I hadn't even thought to look at the runway shows until BWOF published this Derek Lam in the February 2009 issue. I love the pale but rich color (not too lemony, not too orangey) and the draping at the neckline. Usually I have some kind of concept of how things were done, if not the ability to replicate it but the fashion origami of this one stumps me. I'm guessing it has something to do with the lining? I can't tell if it has a waist seam or not. If not, I am even more in awe. This one is pure eye candy to me more than inspiration, but what eye candy it is! Also check out this sculpture from Marchesa.

Chloe, Spring 2009
Chloe was enjoyable. I liked the relaxed and flow-y vibe she had going on because it avoided slouchy and oversized. Generally a relaxed fit means boho or hippie style, but her looks were sort of updated 40s and aggressively feminine. I enjoyed the oversized trim that looked a bit like giant rick rack, as on this skirt--love the high waist and self-fabric belt too. The dress at right is fabulous. Dial it down by 1/3--less volume in the sleeves, smaller armscye, higher neckline, narrower skirt--and it is 100% wearable. I obviously have a thing for that elasticized tulip hem because I put this Tuleh dress in my inspiration folder in 2007. I'll have to figure out how to work it into my wardrobe.

Wunderkind, Spring 2009

I like the double layer of embellished fabric that Wunderkind has going on here, though not the proportions (I would show just a hint of the second layer) or the Oliver revival styling. I have in my collection a navy lace and a yellow eyelet; I'm not sure either is really suited to the double layer but it's something to keep in mind.

Tracy Reese, Spring 2009

Tracy Reese gave us a little color. Although I didn't love everything like I usually do she was big on sleeve details like at right. I like how she took a simple tee and made it a little more interesting but still a neutral piece that is not necessarily a whole look in itself. Appearances notwithstanding, I do try to have one focal piece and not a bunch of crazy elements. Well, usually. I also love the shape and print on that skirt. I can't quite tell what the shape of the hem is because of the model's hands in the pockets, but I like what I can see. It's a new shape for me--I'm familiar with skirts that are straight, asymmetric, and have a train or mermaid cut, but I don't think I've seen anything like that. This dress also has pretty sleeves, plus pintucking which was kind of my theme for last summer (Simplicity 4122 and BWOF 04-2008-108 in my Paris Mini Wardrobe).

And speaking of Tracy Reese, when I saw the two patterns she'd put out through Vogue I was a little disappointed because I'm not a huge fan of suits and although I like the dress I feel it's a little simple. When I went back through my designer inspirations, turns out I was certainly feeling that suit last year!

Martin Grant, Spring 2009

This Martin Grant is one of those dresses that is just a fascinating piece of engineering. It was so good of Martin to make this in a plaid so you can see (sort of) how it's put together. My current guess is a U-shaped half-circle. It is so cool. I don't know that I'll ever attempt it but it's something that will always be in the back of my mind. (Oh, and this one? Leanne should be proud. Though not of her annoying flash website.)

So what am I actually going to sew?

Projects 2-12-09
Three of these projects are carryovers from my 12 Step Program laid out in January, which will leave three orphans from that plan. I'm ok with that. None of these are actually influenced by the above looks as I had some of the projects planned Spring/Summer 2008. This includes Butterick 5209, first mentioned on June 19 last year. And yet, now that I look at it, it shares some characteristics with the Chloe dress. I wonder how it would look with an elasticized hem....

There are, of course, a million other things on my project list. A million!!!!! So who knows what gets done first. Right now my plan is to the above. It's not the color-coordinated thing I would usually do for a trip (there is already a problem with shoes, as in needing too many to go with those different outfits) so I may modify the plan or a do a few pieces and pull the rest from my closet. I don't have much time before Miami and am CRAZY busy at work planning the conference. As Bravo would say, Watch what happens.


Sewfast said...

Love your color choice for Butterick 5209! I did that in a retro type print from Fabric Mart last year and it is one of my favorite Spring/Summer dresses!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I'm not alone in disliking the runaway. Love the fabric choices, and I want to see the 2509!

Little Hunting Creek said...

I LOVE the fabric for B5209. It is just my cup of tea, as is also the pattern. And I am interested in sewing the Burda dress made, as it looks intersting as well. Your list, like mine is long on projects but short on time. That pesky work stuff gets in the way

Marita said...

OOOOH, nice collection, that Martin Grant dress is fabulous, and that Giambattista Valli's blouse is still hounting me, I should really try and knock it off, have already been thinking it, enjoy your spring sewing:-)

Anonymous said...

Your plan looks good. I have a lot going on in my head but no definite plan. I am starting with silk blouses using 2/09 Burda patterns and a spring coat inspired by Boden catalog. Good luck!

Emily said...

You've got me thinking about my "plans" -- or lack thereof -- and how to get everything I want to accomplished. Also, I've been repeating your mantra in my head since Fabric Mart sent out that silly 20% sale announcement early this week...

Lori said...

Great ideas for your spring sewing. Miami sounds too fun.

Dana said...

Nice plan, I too love that B 5209. Check out the Liz Claiborne collection. It may not exactly be your style but it does look like spring!

SusanH said...

Delurking to say I've enjoyed your blog for while. Your spring inspirations made me think you might like this book

Sue said...

Good on you for using the stash - there are some great outfits there waiting to be made!

I have an idea... said...

Hi everyone,
I'm out begging for fabric scraps to piece for charity quilts. My quilter's group in Corona, CA just started up in January and our goal is for each member to piece one quilt top each month. When finished, these quilts will be donated to local children's charities and Quilts of Valor for distribution. (

We'll take any size,color, style, fiber content, except polyester, you've got laying around. Don't waste those scraps; recycle them as quilts!

My email is
for a mailing address.

Thank you in advance for your help!
Jane Ellen Smith

I have an idea... said...

correction on that email

Jill B said...

Ooh, I like all of your plans, maybe you could make a second for me? ;) My plans keep getting shoved back by absolute school deadlines, but maybe by next week, if my life were simple and flowed according to plan??