Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fashion Collection Teaser

Hello darlings!

Many of you may not know this but I have been taking fashion design courses for the past couple of years. I am just about finished and will show my student fashion collection in April. I am super excited about this as I have been working really hard on its development. So I thought I would show you some of the design details that will end up in my collection. Now I do not want to give away too much of what it will look like but here are just a few teasers:

I have been working on creating a feathery fluffy texture and succeeded in doing so with tulle and organza.

I have also done some leather cutouts attempting to turn leather into a type of lace.

Over sized roping details are integral to my collection. I wove it in various ways using different macramé techniques. Since designing is a process more design details and techniques might emerge as I further develop this. 

All of these details will be integrated into my runway looks. I am very excited to bring my ideas to life. I am sure you know the feeling! Stay tuned and I will show you what some pieces of my collection will look like! And for now, can you guess the theme of the collection?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hot Salsa in Cold December

Hello darlings!

You may not know this but I dance. I love dancing! And I try to come out and dance as often as possible. Unfortunately, that "often" happens very seldom. But last Saturday I attended the 3d Annual Winter Ball hosted by Steps Dance Studio where I take my Latin dance classes. It was a joyous event in a gorgeous venue spiced up by a delicious food menu and hot Latin vibes. On top of that, me and my fiance, along with our group mates, performed our salsa routine at this ball. We performed the same routine as we did at the Canada Salsa and Bachata Congress 2013 earlier in October. Canada Salsa and Bachata Congress 2013 is the biggest festival of Latin dance in Canada so it felt very special to be able to perform on that stage. Here is the video of our dance routine from the Congress: 

I enjoy performing a lot! So I was only happy to perform our salsa dance at the last weekend's Winter Ball. After long months of tedious practice it feels very gratifying to showcase what you have learned. Here are some photos from the Ball's performance:


Besides my performance costume (which is quite revealing to say the least), I wore this champagne lacy dress I made for the past New Year's Party. 

Me and my fiance social dancing

Its shiny material and lacy outer shell are still more than relevant. Besides, its flare and cut out back are very appropriate for social dancing. And believe me I did plenty of the latter! So it worked out that I greeted 2013 and bid my farewell to 2013 in the same dress. It served me well! 

To new dresses in 2014!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Outfit Idea #20. Pretty Plaid Dresses.

Hello fashion-lovers!

Plaids are everywhere this fall! Every apparel store window displays some outfit in plaid. Coincidentally, I happen to love plaids and especially plaid dresses! That is why I decided to show a couple of plaid dresses I made a little while back.

I made this blue plaid dress from McCalls Pattern 5466, which is now out of print. It has tucks at the neckline, cap sleeves and in-seam side pockets. I love its hourglass shape. I usually wear it with this black bow belt. But it is always good to diversify the look. So I styled it with this black blazer cinched with a blue skinny belt. The blazer gives it a professional look and the belt adds a touch of sophistication.

The second plaid dress I want to share is probably my favourite yet! Unfortunately, I cannot recall which pattern I followed so it will have to stay a mystery.

It has a square neckline, wide elbow-length sleeves, it's very roomy and has big big side pockets! I love how unusual it is! I love how wide its sleeves are and how loosely it sits on the body. There is a certain kind of sexiness about it. And I especially like that it goes with just about anything beige or brown. So I can wear it with a beige belt...

...and wear a woven beige belt over it...

You can further diversity the look by adding an extra layer underneath like a blouse or a turtle neck. Isn't it just perfect for winter?

Do you like plaids? Do you think of plaids as primarily fall/winter-appropriate? Or do you think you can sport them year round?

Friday, November 29, 2013

"Fashion Obsession" Discharge Dye Fabric Design

Hello creative souls!

Today I want to show you the fabric pattern that I designed recently. It was my first time using discharge dying technique. Discharge dying is a process of removing dye from fabric with the help of discharge paste. It is basically the opposite of dying. Various methods can be used to create designs on the fabric's surface: shibouri, stenciling, stamping, tie dye, block printing, etc. 

For my fabric, which was black loosely woven silk, I first created a stencil out of plastic. It took me 2 hours to cut that out with an x-acto knife

Stencil for my fabric design
I then put the stencil against the fabric and applied the discharge paste to the fabric with a sponge. You should let the paste dry on the fabric and then iron it. Both heat and steam should be applied to the fabric in order for the design to show through. Here is the result!

My funky grungy fabric
Depending on how much discharge paste you apply to the fabric (how thick the solution) you might get more or less bleached out areas on the fabric. If you want consistency, it is best to practice on a scrap piece first. I wasn't going for consistency with my design. I love how uneven the design looks! It gives this fabric a very grungy look

Close-up of my design
I think this fabric would be perfect for a sleeveless top or skater skirt. It really reminded me of a dress by A Detacher that I saw on the Spring 2014 RTW runway:

A Detacher Spring 2014 RTW
I simply cannot wait to make something with this piece! What do you guys think it should be? Leave me a comment, I'm interested in your suggestions!

Happy Friday!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Outfit Idea #19. Over-sized Pocket Skirt.

Hi darlings,

I am very excited to share this creation of mine with you. It's been so busy on my end that to complete this number I had to literally steal a minute here, a minute there, sometimes sacrificing other chores. Now, it is finally ready and cannot wait to be worn. I made this skirt with a Vogue pattern. My skirt is of mid-calf length and has extremely baggy pockets and extra  long sleeves for belt ties. I installed metal snaps on the fake cuffs so they look real :) I just love how different and unapologetic this skirt is! 

I wore it with a crisp white dress shirt, the black rope necklace and laced up sandals. The fabric on this skirt looks like it's denim but it's actually linen dyed to look this way. That's why even though gathers add bulk, the skirt is still very flowy and has lots of movement.

Midi length skirts have been trending since about a year or so ago and are in full bloom in the runways for Spring.

Spring 2014 RTW
Since a long winter awaits, I adapted the same skirt for the colder months. I wore it with a plain black turtle neck, black high-heeled boots with a sparkle and a statement necklace. Add a shiny clutch and this outfit becomes office party-appropriate!

And I just LOVE this necklace I got from Topshop. I think it perfectly completes this strong look!

How about you? Have you started planning your party outfits yet? If you have, make it loud and unapologetic! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

4 Unexpected Ways to Wear a Belt

Hello fashionistas,

Today I wanted to share with you some creative ways to spice up your daily outfits without going out and splurging. In fact, given what you already have in your wardrobe these ideas will not cost you a dime. 

One great way to transform your look is to wear belts. I love belts. All kinds of them. So I thought why not give them some more attention and make the best of what I've got in my stash. So here is how you can update your style simply by playing with belts:

1. Wrap it around!

You surely have seen this major trend of leather cuffs and bracelets. You can achieve a similar look by wrapping you skinny belt around your wrist.

This allows you to keep with the trend but make it yours at the same time.

2. Double up!

If you have two belts that are of very similar styles and you are having difficulty deciding which one to wear - wear them both!!! Just rock them together on a slant for a "Too-Cool-To-Care" look!

Stack them up!

3. Layer them!

Do you have 2 belts of the same colour but of different width and textures? Try layering one, skinnier belt, on top of another, wider one. If the colours are dead on you might get a totally new belt! Here, I combined a very wide white belt and a thinner woven belt and got a chic new look.

Old belt
New belt

4. Interlace them!

Do you have a a belt with big holes? And another very skinny one? Try threading one belt through the other and you will get a fun new look! The more colourful the belts the better the result!

These are the belts I had.
This is the belt I got! 
Fun new belt!

I hope these unexpected ways to wear belts inspired you. Let me know how you like to wear your belts or what other ways you use to spice up your outfits!

Happy creative dressing!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Outfit Idea #18. Little Black Leather Skirt

Hello darlings!

I have recently completed my first ever project in leather: an A-line mini skirt. I used cow leather for it. I found leather surprisingly easy to work with. No need for cleaning the raw edges - no hassle. My skirt has a waistband, an invisible zipper on the left side and a snap closure. Since it is a black skirt in a very basic silhouette the possibilities for styling are endless! So I wanted to share with you how I dressed it up and dressed it down. 

I made it look casual by pairing it up with a sweater with irregular stripes, a camo army style hat and camo keds. I topped it off with a white bomber jacket. Can I just tell you how much I love these cute little keds??? I love them!!!

To make the look more preppy, I wore it with a pastel pink sweater over a basic white blouse and the black suede wedge booties.

Throw a jacket over your shoulders and your outfit immediately looks more romantic.

Here is to foundation pieces!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Bright Side of a Black Shift Dress

Original Sketch

Hi guys!

Poster by Invisible Creature
Some of you have been asking to show you my sketch-to-garment process and I thought I would share this dress with you. 

Here, on the left, is my original sketch. The design was inspired by the digital artwork by Invisible Creature (on the right). I liked the combination of colours and thought it would be interesting to incorporate hot pink into a tailored formal look.

It is a sleeveless, collarless shift dress with two slash pockets in the front and a zipper in the back. I removed the darts into the fluid style lines both in the front and in the back. There is also a vent in the back.

The dress is made out of 100% wool cashmere and lined with some sturdy taffeta lining.

 I like how hot pink adds a flirtatious note to this otherwise formal silhouette.

I have been waiting for an occasion to wear this pretty dress. But since the occasion did not present itself I just wore it to work and was utterly comfortable thanks to the luxurious fabric!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Imagine: How Creativity Works, by Jonah Lehrer

Hello creatives,

One of my favourite books of late is IMAGINE. How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer. In it he explores the mechanisms by which new ideas come about and speculates about how people can tap into their creative potential. 

Since I think all of us can benefit from his ideas I will share some of them here:
  • The 15% rule: one should spend at least 15% of his or her work time doing things unrelated to work. For example, when one is desperately looking for an answer to some question and is feeling stuck, one should take a walk, take a nap, go out for a drink, etc. Daydreaming in general is found to be a great way to bring in new ideas and answers. In other words, relaxing your mind paves a way for insights and "AHA! moments".
  • Grit: However, as much as creativity feeds on inspiration, it also requires a great deal of perspiration to execute the new idea. Lehrer calls this quality grit - the ability to keep beating on your craft and to come back to the same problem failure after failure. Beethoven is known to have revised a single phrase of his sonatas dozens and dozens of times before he finalized his compositions.
  • Cities! My favourite chapter! Cities attract all kinds of people, hence, the level of diversity is extremely high. Cities is where the most improbable collisions and meetings happen and, as a result, the most creative and unexpected ideas are born and carried out. The bigger the population, the faster the average speed of walking of people, the more conversations they have and - DING! - more creativity! (No wonder I love Toronto and New York so much!!! You just never know who/what you will see/meet next!)
  • Travel! It is important to experience difference! People who travel live in an acute state of ambiguity. They realize that ways of life can be and are different in various parts of the world. Clashes of culture raise questions and lead to an open state of mind. 
  •  Outsiders: Bringing in an outsider's perspective to the problem at hand may be very beneficial since an expert may be jaded about the question and stuck in the ways he or she thinks about it. Surprisingly, the lack of indepth knowledge of the problem can be a positive thing, since such naivete may lead to a more open-minded approach to the problem.
These are just a few of the points that Lehrer makes in his book. He also speculates about the flaws of the current education system and discusses the ways to raise geniuses in our society. Overall, I found this book very compelling. If you have no interest in reading the whole book you can listen to Lehrer's speech below. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Outfit Idea #17. Paisley Pattern Pencil Skirt.

Can u repeat that 3 times really fast?

If you are stuck in an office during these lovely summer days my heart goes out to you. But I also have a solution: you can show your coworkers that you still remember that it's summer by wearing your office staple - a pencil skirt - in a fun paisley pattern.

I made this skirt from McCall's Pattern 5817. I was tired of old black and grey pencil skirts and decided to play a bit with colour. I found this fabric on a scraps table in a Home Decor section of Fabricland. Thus, I am proud to admit that the entire projects did not cost me more than maybe $5. 

I love this skirt because the fit is so perfect. The unusual fabric choice adds interest to this understated style. Plus the two vents in the back let you move freely while still looking sharp.

Wear it with a white crisp shirt, wedge or flat shoes and accessorize it with a bold necklace. Swapping the necklace for an animal print scarf is a fun way to combine prints

Who said that office fashion is boring? In the summer it simply cannot be!