Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fresh Off The Runway - Milan Spring 2010 Ready-to-Wear

This week I'm following Milan's fashion week for Spring 2010, and for me there are a few highlights. I liked the graphic prints presented by both Versace and by Prada. Donatella's swirling geometric circles mixed with stylized feather and flower patterns were bold, while Miuccia Prada combined photographic prints of clouds and beach scenes to a serene yet borderline ghostly effect.
For myself, I'm more tuned in to accessories, jewelry & handbags, and it's always inspirational to see what's swinging around the models' necks and from their hands, since often it is each major label's handbags that are the long term bread and butter items. The standout handbag collection for me accessorized the Fendi collection, which offered customers lucite boxes to needlepoint (yes!) satchels to smaller carryalls with changeable outer layers of lace.

Because I often lean towards funky, edgy & offbeat designs, I particularly enjoyed seeing a great mix of denim as part of the Trussardi collection. there was also a lot of black painted denim, leather and suede fringed pieces that had just a little bit of retro without letting you forget about what's going on today.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Learning Leathercraft Techniques

I truly believe that I am ready to own a set of leather craft tools! I already work quite a bit with leather, creating floral corsage pins out of leather remnants and various other fabrics. I also have made an array of handbags, many of which I try to incorporate leather elements wherever possible. It will be a great benefit to learn additional techniques of working with leather such as riveting and tooling. Below is a short video from Leather Craft Studio which beautifully illustrates how to use various tools (swivel knife, beveler, shader & veiner) that, when combined with a steady hand, produce wonderful results.

Then I happened to stumble on Tiger Torre, who created the wonderful Monarch butterfly mask below and even posted a tutorial on how to make one just like it. What I will follow from Tiger are techniques on shaping cased (wet) leather, techniques she successfully interprets for us when custom fitting one of her creations to the face.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gorgeous & Goth - Jewelry Collection for Vera Wang Spring 2010 RTW Runway

The Spring collection that Vera Wang showed in her Mercer Street store in NYC was beautiful, and for me I especially appreciated the somber and austere feeling of the clothes. This was contrasted by the amazing high drama of the jewelry pieces paired with the dresses. Gorgeous crystal spiderwebs hanging from satin ribbons, large black satin ribbon roses encrusted with rhinestones as a bracelet or brooch combined with strands and strands of more crystals. Now I want to make all of the exact same things! But different, of course...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

19th c. Shell Frame

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is celebrating its 100th year in 2009. To commemorate this, the museum's curators have chosen 100 pieces from its collections, which serve to highlight the different areas of the Museum.

As a huge fan of vintage shellwork pieces, I love to study the tedious placement of smaller shells as shown in this beautiful frame. Made in the second half of the 1800s at the same time that sailors to the West Indies were bringing back shellwork souvenirs for their loved ones, what impresses me most about this piece is its dramatic effect achieved by a miniature photo in the center of a much larger shield frame, allowing a proportionately large amount of open space to create a beautifully intricate design with so many tiny shells.

Thanks to Steven, who blogs for the Museum, for his ongoing coverage of each selection throughout the rest of the year.