Friday, September 30, 2011
So, I finally joined Pinterest. I didn't have to get someone to send me an invite, just signed up and within 24 hours I had my invite. So if you've been hesitating because of the hassle, I think it's safe to join!
My top "mood board" item for Fall is this Red Valentino dress, $695 from Saks. The dresses in this post are not necessarily items I would like to knock off, just items that inspire me. I love the simple shape of this dress that makes the most of all the textures involved. I can't quite tell, but it looks like a tweed bodice and skirt, with an organza overlay on the bodice, and lace sleeves. Opposing counsel wore a dress to a meeting this summer that used black organza over a black-on-white print to play with color and I loved the way it worked. I also like the bike-friendly full skirt!
This is just the perfect up-to-date classic style, if that's not an oxymoron. No strange shapes, natural waistline, and a beautiful fit (not tight, not a paper bag)--some variation of this will always be wearable. But the mix of materials brings in the lace trend and the colorblocking trend in a subtle, wearable way that keeps the overall look fresh. It is entirely suitable for day but still brings a lot of personality to the table. I would wear this dress weekly if it were remotely in my budget, but it's not something I would attempt to make myself. The fabric is everything and I just don't have access to the same fabrics as the house of Valentino (and if I did the dress would not be significantly cheaper!).
Another look that I have no intention of copying, it's more about the mood. I love the extravagant sleeves of this DVF Madeline dress, $345 from Nordstrom. These kind of sleeves are impractical in real life because they drag through the dishwater, get ink-stained from writing on note pads at work, and generally fall into your food. But with the unabashed red they just barely evoke the sumptuous textiles of Renaissance paintings without being too obvious and without being costumey. The overall impression is richness, saturation, and sumptuousness--but restrained by taste.
The wrap dress is everywhere! I guess it never really goes out of style, but it is definitely in style now. I saw lots of classic wraps in jersey--no wonder Diane von Furstenburg wants to be able to copyright her fashion designs--but this silk woven Fendi, $1880 from Saks, really caught my eye. You know how much I love BurdaStyle 02-2009-123--I've made it three times. This is sort of a bolder version of that wrap blouse, with the shawl-type collar writ large and emphasized by the coordinating sheer. The style has so much movement that the normally bland neutral colors convey elegance rather than boringness.
As a shortie with a proportional neck (that is, a short neck, though I don't look like my head is sitting on my shoulders), I generally avoid high-neck looks. I need some depth at the neckline to neutralize my shortness, and a small bust works best with a lower neckline so there aren't acres of fabric between the chin and the bust point. However, this Ralph Lauren Collection, $1898 from Saks, really speaks to me. I love the ruching, and the demure high neck does not look prudish or coy, but merely elegant. I think elegant is my theme here.
I am glad to see the tie neck is still in style, like this Dolce & Gabbana, $2495 from Saks. For all I love frills and furbelows, I have only dipped into one pattern in this trend, the McCall 5708 Hilary Duff tie neck blouse (I've actually made another version of it; I need to show that sometime). Although I'm sure I'm coming in on the tail end of the trend, I have a tie neck dress on my sewing plan.
My previous method for gathering inspiration was somewhat laborious, with screen captures, adding text, exporting to the my photo program, and then uploading to the web. Pinterest is a lot easier, though it's not 100% what I want. Ideally, I would be able to rearrange the pins on my board (please tell me if I'm missing something). I also find it hard to deal with the image posting code the service generates for blogging--it has a lot of extraneous code that doesn't play well with Blogger and must be massaged. I wish that the text you add on Pinterest would be added to the image for blogging purposes. And it can't capture flash images--Neiman Marcus is out. I've also had a not insignificant number of images disappear, never to be seen again--maybe 10% or more--so I have to go and re-pin them (the FAQ says to wait 24 hours for all images to populate, but a week later the images still hadn't populated). But all in all, so much easier.
I've been creating boards like crazy. My main board right now is Fall Dresses 2011, with a subset for knit dresses in particular. I've also saved ideas for color blocking and directional stripes.
I'm most proud of my RTW + Pattern board. Inspiration pieces plus patterns to achieve them, all matched up! That's where I wish I could rearrange the pictures, because the inspiration garment is not always next to the pattern. Can you guess which pattern works to re-create this fabulous Oscar de la Renta boucle dress, $1890 from Saks?
The New York Times recently published an article on the monetization of fashion blogging, specifically, fashion bloggers getting agents. While there are a few sewing bloggers who make a living from their blogs, I don't think home-sewing clothing creators are in the same market as clothing consumers. Our looks are not as easily replicable and home-sewing lacks the prestige factor of a fashion blogger's high-end looks (even the fashion bloggers focused on the budget shopper eventually gravitate toward the aspirational, from what I've seen). People can look at a designer garment and "objectively" know that it is valuable. It's harder to do in sewing. You actually have to decide for yourself if you like a look! Workmanship is part of it, of course, but style is also a big component. That is where the magic happens, as they say.
As for me, I cannot commodify my blog because it would violate the terms of employment in my real job. While it would be nice to get a little google ads mad money for fabric shopping, I actually like that the decision is made for me and I don't have to think about it. That said, I have no problem with bloggers who have found a way to turn their hard work (and it is work, no question about it) into financial remuneration.
So what to do you think--Can sewing bloggers increase our influence and penetration in the larger fashion blogging world? Should we? And how? (On the how question, I'm looking at you, social media-savvy LindsayT!)