Monday, November 7, 2011

Trendy Mexico City...

On my recent trip to Mexico City, I did the obligatory visit to malls and boutiques. As usual, all malls have pretty much the same type of department stores and boutiques.

There are two main department stores that dominate most malls in Mexico City; Liverpool is one of them and it would be the equivalent of our Macy's; the other one is Palacio de Hierro, which carries better brands, is the combination of Nordstroms-NeimanMarcus.

There are many independent mexican designers that have boutiques in these malls; as well as, the more affordable stores that are similar to Forever 21. Very prominent is Zara, they are all over the place, and includes Zara home.

The prices are the same as in United States, I was with the idea of seeing less expensive articles, but that was not the case; I was surprise.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I loves L...

The above mood board was inspired by the great photographs of Luis Francisco Cardenas can follow his work in facebook and soon to be digital portfolio...

The I loves L bridal collection, borrows from the bohemian JCrew bridal look to the classic Calvin Klein style. Simple silhouettes, with flowing silk fabrics; these gowns are all ballerina length and easy to wear. The collection is characterised by its craftsmanship, simplicity of line and femininity.

Some of the techniques used on the garments are: hand beading with fresh water pearls, reverse applique, hand sewn pleating and smocking. All fabrics used are silk dupioni, silk charmeuse, silk chiffon, with the exception of a very innovative silk/hemp weave that has a great hand...(all from Dharma Trading Co.).


So very true...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Vault Couture...

When you are overwhelm by your own luxurious wardrobe, you must go and ask assistance of the "Vault Couture", a London base company that specializes in solutions of wardrobe cataloging and organization; as well as services such as repair of and delivery around the world of specific luxurious clothing items.

Mounissa Chodieva, the founder of this company, has turned this idea for the most wealthy clients extremely trendy. It even has an iPad application that her clients can use in case of need. There is however, a flat initial fee of 2,000 pounds for cataloguing up to 100 items. Other services run up to 10,000 pounds (platinum service) that not only catalogues your wardrobe, but stores it adequately.

Miss Chodieva claims to have all sorts of clients from Russian to Middle Eastern; moreover, men are increasing as clientele. So now you know...if you need assistance with your wardrobe...2,000 pounds will do for the first assessment!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Zapotec textiles...

The Zapotec people are located in the heartland of the State of Oaxaca, in Southern Mexico. The Zapotecs are the largest indigenous group in the State of Oaxaca. Their traditional textile production has a combination of the indigenous motifs and color with the Spanish (European) influence.

They not only produce all kinds of crafts like, black pottery, wood carvings, but also, the very famous wool rugs of Teotitlan del Valle (one of the many villages in this region).

Missoni missed its "Target"

On September 13, Target launched its late edition of Missoni products and apparel...

It was an inmediate success; although, this success had great and bad news at the same time: when the doors opened at the different Target locations, it looked like a "Black Friday". Merchandise disapeared from the shelves and racks...a great success; but, at the site crash due to the overwhelming demand.

Another problem that has, is that they have not been able to fullfil all the orders placed. Many customers have compleined that Target has charged their credit cards and not received their merchandise; others, asked for refunds that have not been credited to them.

This event shows clearly how successfully Target has marketed the Missoni brand; and even thought they had problems, the overall feeling is of success.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

10,000 years ago...the first fashion designer?

Although the oldest pair of surviving shoes are 10,000 years old (in the photos), anthropologist and researchers have come out with the conclusion that humans have worn shoes for over 40,000 did they came to this conclusion? Well, they studied the bone structure of early humans, comparing the size and thickness of the leg bones and toe bones. They discovered that when early humans walked without shoes their bone structure was thicker and stronger...but a change occurred, and these humans started having thinner bones, thus it is assumed that part of this change had to do with the fact that humans were wearing some sort of protection on their feet.

An interesting fact, is that as soon as the human population grew, some could spend more time in the production of shoes and garments. This population explosion, lead to ornamental activities in clothing and shoe wear; and some sort of division of labor was established: a sector of the population was engaged in producing this kind of "fashion"...our first fashion designers?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Some thoughts on color blocking...

As a fine artist, everyday I have to deal with color theory and understand the use of color in a effective has been a very useful tool when it comes to my fashion design. And since, this season is full of color blocking, let me share some thoughts about color.

We all know our primary colors: red, blue and yellow; and our secondary colors: green, purple and orange. When color blocking, I usually pair a primary color with its subsequent secondary color, for example: blue and orange...I might include a neutral color such as black or white (remember these two are know in the artistic field as neutrals, thus grey is a neutral too). Sometimes, I use analoguos colors (colors that are next to each other in the color wheel), for example: red, orange and yellow... Another way to group colors, is by temparature and saturation, so you can choose groups of cool colors, muted colors, hot colors (hues), and so on.

In any event, a color wheel (as shown here) is a great tool to apply color correctly and easely... you can buy one at any art supply store...or download one from the there you go!, that is my approach to color...!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Toton Comella for TCN brand

Toton Comella is a Spanish designer born in Barcelona. In 1984 she was the first designer that started using cotton-lycra for her swimwear; this innovation lead her to great success, and as a result, she created the label TCN.

TCN brand is know for its comfort and avant garde design; moreover, by 1992 Comella launched another swimwear line named Choff to target the junior market. From there, she introduced lingerie, underwear and outwear. Comella has collaborated with designers and brands like Armand Basi, Victorio & Lucchino, Pepe Jeans and Prenatal.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Oscar Wilde Fashionista...

The Irish writer Oscar Wilde, whom I admire greatly, subscribed to the Aesthetic movement of the 19th century; this movement is known for the emphasis on the value of beauty in Art, Philosophy and Nature. The Aesthetic movement in the history of Fashion saw anything that was machine made (remember the Industrial Revolution was in full gear at this time) as ugly and undesirable; therefore, any garment produced in this manner and that was over-embellished was shunned. Also, corsets were avoided and a more "natural" look was look after. The aesthetic dress was cut looser and was worn in a comfortable way, having a bohemian look.

And, Oscar Wilde, loved to wear velvet jackets with loose pants; he was much critizided...check the movie "Wilde" is a fantastic movie with Stephen Fry as Oscar Wilde...and enjoy!

Monday, June 6, 2011

And the last three Chanel ateliers are....

Maison Michel:

Milliner Auguste Michel creates in 1936 Maison Michel, clients include: Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Nina Ricci, Chanel, Laroche, Lanvin, and Lacroix. Besides the Haute Couture Hats, they work with production customers.

Maison Desrues:

Founded in 1929 by Georges Desrues, they produce custom made jewelry and accessories. They have worked with Lanvin, Dior, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent.

The House of Massaro:

Hand made shoes, the house of Massaro, is being around for over a century. Chanel took over in 2002 and Philippe Atienza, (who was picked by Raymond Massaro to succeed him) master shoemaker, directs the house at this point in time. These couture shoes had been favorite of celebrities and royals like: King Hassan II of Morocco, Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich, Barbara Hutton among others.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Maison Lemarie

Lemarie was founded by Palmyre Coyette (grandmother of Andre Lemarie) in 1880. Mr. Lemarie worked with Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Nina Ricci among others, and the atelier was the top feather workshop in France for years. Through out the years the craftsmanship of working with feathers has been disappearing; and Lemarie, is the only studio that is working in France. The studio was acquired by Chanel in 1996.

Lemarie works with feathers, man made flowers (Lemarie produces about 20,000 flowers each year for Chanel), and as well, produces smocking, inserts, trims for couture houses: Chanel, Dior, Lacroix, Givenchy, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana and Armani.

Goossens Paris House and Chanel

Robert Goossens founded his atelier in 1950. He meet Chanel in 1953, and since then, she made him his jeweler. This encounter with Chanel makes him a super star and works with other fashion designers: Balenciaga, Gres, Yves Saint-Laurent among others. Currently, the house of Goossens is manage by his son Patrick Goossens and daughter Martine (who is the designer). Goosens has also made perfume bottles for Guerlain, Dior, Rykiel and Scherrer.

The House of Goossens was bought by Chanel in 2005. The following images are some pieces commissioned by Chanel and pieces that have been produce after Chanel's death.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ecole Lesage...oh la la!

There is a great article about Lagerfeld, the House of Chanel and the most important ateliers that work for them (Chanel acquired these ateliers, but they let other Couture Houses like Dior use them) in the Wall Street Journal. There were two pieces of information that caught my eye. First, Lagerfeld explains the process he follows to create a collection: where his inspiration comes from, how the sketching process is done and the time frame it takes him to have a final product (shorter than I expected!). Secondly, and even more interesting to me, the article talks about the ateliers that Chanel uses to create their Haute Couture, Shoes, Hats, etc. So, without more delay, I embark in writing a small blog for each of these ateliers.

Lets begin !


located in Paris, France at:

13 rue de la Grange
75009 Paris, France
01 44 79 00 88

An actual school, they have classes for enrichment purposes, as well as, for professionals. They teach the Art of Embroidery: beads, sequings, feathers, jewels, silk ribbon, among many techniques with needle and the Luneville hook.

They charge for enrichment classes 90 Euros per hour, and they have listed in their website the many choices of courses. These "amateur" lessons are in embroidery or interior design and furnishings.

Also, they have classes for the professional (embroidery (haute couture) and/or interior design and furnishings). The course for the professional is composed of 50 classes of 3 hours each at a rate of 6,279 Euros.

Following are pictures of the book they have published, the Luneville hook, and several samples of their work.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How a dressform is made

Jeanne is my new addition to my mini sewing studio (I named her after Jeanne Paquin the famous designer); she came to me via 1st price in the re-design (recycle garments) competition at the Fashion Symposium 2011. Although, Jeanne looks fabulous, I still have a emotional attachment to Maggie my first dress form (Maggie is not as fancy as Jeanne, but she is dear to my heart!).

In no time I was surfing the Internet to find out more about the history of dress forms; and, I had an interesting article on Wolf Form (US company in the East Coast) on one of my Threads Magazine issues. This company, has really high quality dress forms and they have being around since the 1900"s. They provide to designers custom made forms for their clientele and market needs.

Enjoy the video!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Momotaro Jeans - Japan's most expensive!

And more about expensive jeans...lovely loom...

$46,000.00+ for a pair of Levi's Jeans! has a very interesting article on Jeans and the business of manufacturing them. I was very surprise to read that Levi Strauss & Co. bought a pair of Levi's Jeans from 1880 for the sum of $46,532.00. Well, I am sure that Levi Strauss & Co, has plenty of discretionary income to do this: according to the Forbes article just women's jeans alone in 2004 were $7.4 billion in profits, and most likely on the rise since then.

These are some of the couture and ready to wear jeans and their price tag (in US dollars):

Escada $10,000.00

APO $4,000.00

Escada $3,250.00

Dolce & Gabbana $2,995.00

Dior by John Galliano $1,700.00

Cavalli $1,440.00

Chanel $1,120.00

Stella McCartney $575.00

Gucci $460.00

Moschino $420.00