Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Paris and Madeleine Vionnet, puriste de la mode


I just got back from Paris on Sunday night. I went for 5 days, it was an included trip as part of my fashion program. It was exhausting and expensive but worth it I think. I've never loved Paris having had many a bad experience there being followed by strange men and treated rudely by Parisians but I think I had a more positive experience this time.

We were taken to the Musee D'Orsay, the Palais Royale, the Marais, the Cligancourt market, as well as various other tourist attractions. But for me the highlight by far was the Vionnet exhibition at the Musee de la Mode et du Textile. Famous for the "bias cut," Madeleine Vionnet’s sophisticated approach to couture remains a pervasive influence today. Eschewing artificial and restrictive padding and stiffening, she liberated the female form with designs that integrated movement and comfort into women’s fashion. She also championed unusual fabrics that were luxurious and sensual yet simple and modern—chiffon, silk, crêpe de chine, gabardine, and satin. Her most revolutionary creations—the handkerchief dress, cowl neck, and halter top—cling to and seamlessly move with the wearer. Vionnet’s principles of elegance, movement, architectural form, and timeless style continue to inform contemporary fashion.

What struck me most about this exhibit, apart from the sheer beauty of the dresses, was how modern most of them seemed and could still be worn today as though they were fresh off the runway. Galliano was apparently very influenced by Vionnet in his first few collections.

The level of detail and the workmanship on these dresses was totally stunning. Sadly not all the dresses are available for viewing on the website but there is a book coming out in September (they wanted 75 euros for it in Paris, but you can get it for $47 on Amazon, naturally) by Pamela Golbin with great photos of most of the dresses from the exhibition.

Its on through January 2010 so if you are in Paris any time soon you definitely must see it! Everyone is predicting the 30's will be very big next year (partially as a result of this show) so go scour ebay before everyone else does.

More stuff about Paris next entry.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Getting inspiration

Finally getting around to doing an entry. Instead of homework I suppose which I have put off all weekend with the exception of trying to get "inspiration" by first hitting the Angel Antiques Market on Saturday and then the Clerkenwell Vintage Fair on Sunday. I don't really like when people apologize for not posting or whatever since a blog is just a blog and you do it when you have time or feel like writing, unless you're getting paid. So no apologies. I have been having fun and going out and learning and doing stuff and generally having a good time.

School is waaayyyy more intensive than I thought it would be, I have six courses and assignments for all of them: European Culture and History, Fashion Marketing, Product Development, Fashion Forecasting, The Design Process, and Styling. And so far I have been slacking on pretty much all of them and not entirely liking what I am doing. We did our first shoot for fashion styling, it was kind of hilarious being dressed like this in Shephards Bush, kind of a FAIL. People kept shouting Lady Gaga at me.

photoshoot 1 for fashion styling

The class I'm finding the most confusing is Fashion Forecasting, which I thought I would be really good at, but I really don't understand how trends are forecasted, especially colors. Basically it seems like 2-3 industry experts decide and then everyone else listens to them and decides that SALMON IS IN FOR S/S '11. Huh? I wear the same colors all the time and wear clothes for years, does that make me not fashion forward? We have to pick a couple trends that will be popular 2 years from now and make illustrated mood boards around the themes. I am TOTALLY dreading that one. I am also having a hard time getting used to this style of education. I am sort of used to being lectured to and having exams and cramming etc... not forced to be creative all day long: its exhausting! This is why my friend Margarita says art school doesn't work. Anyways...

Here is a photo set from the days past two events. Naturally, after blowing too much money on vintage this weekend I am now going to PARIS for 5 days with my program. God help me. Oh and befor the photo set let's have one of those American-in-London teenage humor moments.


LOL, Laycock.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Advanced Style

I promise a new, actual entry this weekend but in the mean time I just wanted to re-post an amazing new street style blog called Advanced Style. Too many street style blogs just feature teenagers and 20 somethings, what about all those stylish grandmas out there? This one is for them!