Friday, October 23, 2015

Feature Friday: A Stitcher's Experience Making a Custom Costume

With Halloween right around the corner, the Studio has seen an increase in costume rentals, not only through our Costume Closet, but with custom costumes as well. One of our stitchers, Leah, took on her first custom costume project in the Studio last week. She shares her experiences in a Q&A below.

Photo: Leah (left) and JJ (right) tracing patterns.

Q: You've been working on a custom costume in the Studio. Tell us about tracing the pattern for it. What was your overall experience tracing it? Have you ever done pattern tracing before?

Leah: I have done pattern tracing before. But, tracing for the Winter Princess was different. I have never worked with this form of tulle before. Tracing was fun!

Q: What are the biggest challenges you faced constructing the costume?

Leah: The sheer tulle fabric really had a mind of its own. Time was lost due to the fraying and sensitivity of the material.

Q: How did you overcome those challenges?

Leah: Serging like a BEAST! :) and gentle touches. Motto: Be nice to the fabric & it will be nice to you.

Q: What did you enjoy most about making the costume?

Leah: The bodice was super fun to line. I think hand stitching can be somewhat therapeutic.

Q: What did you learn about garment construction that you never knew before?

Leah: I really learned the important of reinforcing and lining up my pivot points exactly.

Q: What advice would you give to stitchers constructing a garment for the first time?

Leah: Read and follow every direction. Take your time to think things through. It's better to have neat and precise work over anything else.

Friday, October 16, 2015

#FeatureFriday: America's Favorite Halloween Costumes by State in 2015

Have you chosen your costume yet? Halloween is 15 days away and for today's Feature Friday, I decided to see what the trends are this year.

I came across an interesting chart (courtesy of Influenster) that shows the most popular costume by state! Our state seems to have two popular costumes - Batman & Wonder Woman.

The most popular characters in the overall US appear to be Disney, superheroes, and Despicable Me.

Who will you be this year?

Don't forget - if you need a costume, check out our Costume Closet HERE.

If you rent a complete costume from us, you'll receive 10% off your total!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Feature Friday: Camouflage

I was recently outside on a rainy day when I noticed a tree across from my neighborhood. The trunk of the tree reminded me instantly of camouflage. I thought to myself, was it these kind of trees that inspired the army uniform print that grew into a fashion trend? Today I decided to find the answer, so this week's Feature Friday is: camouflage!

Camouflage is a French word that means the act of disguising. Some say the "father of camouflage" is Abbott Handerson Thayer, an American artist. He was the first to research "disruptive patterning" to break up an object's outline.

(Left) Thayer's painting entitled, "Peacock in the Woods" demonstrates how an animal can 'camouflage' themselves in nature.

Thayer first became involved in military camouflage in 1898, during the Spanish–American War. He and his friend, George de Forest Brush, proposed the use of protective coloration on American ships, using countershading. The two artists did obtain a patent for their idea in 1902, titled "Process of Treating the Outsides of Ships, etc., for Making Them Less Visible", in which their method is described as having been modeled on the coloration of a seagull.

Gradually, Thayer and Brush entrusted their camouflage work to the responsibility of their sons. Concealing-Coloration in the Animal Kingdom (1909), which had taken seven years to prepare, was credited to Thayer's son, Gerald. At about the same time, Thayer once again proposed ship camouflage to the U.S. Navy (and was again unsuccessful), this time working not with Brush, but with Brush's son, Gerome (named in honor of his father's teacher).

In 1915, during World War I, Thayer made proposals to the British War Office, trying unsuccessfully to persuade them to adopt a disruptively patterned battledress, in place of monochrome khaki. Meanwhile, Thayer and Brush's proposal for the use of counter shading in ship camouflage was approved for use on American ships, and a handful of Thayer enthusiasts recruited hundreds of artists to join the American Camouflage Corps.

So it seems that the tree I saw may have not been the primary inspiration! (But it was definitely a part of it!)


Friday, September 25, 2015

Alexa Chung Talks Fashion in Vogue's New Docuseries

by: Ashley D.

One of my favorite people in the fashion world, model Alexa Chung, was recently recruited by Vogue UK to do a 6-episode docuseries on Youtube about fashion designers and the industry itself. She interviews several people throughout the series: new designers, established designers, graduating students of fashion, and more.

Viewers get an inside view of what it's like in the fashion industry, what it takes to be a designer, and how to climb the ladder of success.

The series just launched a few weeks ago and so far, two episodes have been released. At the beginning of the series, we see a long list of the top fashion questions that are searched on Google which Alexa goes through and addresses throughout.

To read more about the series, click HERE.

Watch the first two episodes below!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fall's Most Popular Colors in Fashion for 2015

Pantone calls this year's fall colors an "evolving color landscape." Consisting of earthy neutrals with a range of bold color statements, these colors represent "a love for nature and a timeless appreciation for warmth and security, which are conveyed through naturally inspired colors that remind us of things that are real and protective."

Here is the list of the top 10 colors for Fall 2015 (men and women):

An olive green shade once thought of as strictly safari or military, PANTONE 17-0627 Dried Herb has been elevated into a color we now perceive as sophisticated and chic. Closely related to nature, Dried Herb is an organic shade redolent of nature's earthy fragrances.

A cool and soothing greenish gray, PANTONE 16-0110 Desert Sage is the ideal neutral. Timeless and unobtrusive yet at the same time stylishly powerful enough to make an impactful statement on its own, Desert Sage speaks to this feeling of naturally inspired colors that remind us of things that are real and not invented.

Reminiscent of the sky on a gray, overcast day, PANTONE 18-4214 Stormy Weather is dependable, cool and above all, constant. Implying quality and luxury, Stormy Weather is a powerful blue gray shade that is strong, protective and enduring.

Just as the sun comes out after stormy weather to bring us cheer and a glimmer of hope, PANTONE 16-1144 Oak Buff is a mellow, comforting and warming shade that brings good feelings. Another one of nature's illustrious shades, the golden yellow Oak Buff acts to nurture and comfort.

Interesting on its own and a wonderful contrast for other hues, PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala is a winey red-brown that adds finesse and savoir faire. Rich and robust, Marsala incorporates the warmth and richness of a tastefully fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots point to a sophisticated, natural earthiness.

A lush and elegant teal, PANTONE 18-4726, Biscay Bay splashes up against more heated tones with its cool touch. Combining the serene qualities of blue with the invigorating aspects of green, the cool and confident Biscay Bay inspires thoughts of soothing, tropical waters, taking us to a place that is pleasant and inviting.

Thoughtful, contemplative and composed, PANTONE 19-4326 Reflecting Pond is a cooling blue with a lot of depth. Conveying a message of credibility, Reflecting Pond is a serious shade that speaks to our need for stability and security.

A nod to the '60s and '70s, PANTONE 15-1340 Cadmium Orange evokes a sentiment of optimism, fun and fantasy. Both playful and sophisticated in its appeal, Cadmium Orange is a warm, welcoming and subtly dramatic orange shade that is striking enough to stand on its own or act as a bold contrast.

A play on the '60s with a twist of today, PANTONE 16-2215 Cashmere Rose is a tactile and soft pink hue that renders exactly what it promises. Cultivated in its richness, Cashmere Rose is a gentle and composed pink that is more upscale than downtown.

Indicative of our affection for color, PANTONE 17-3628 Amethyst Orchid is the jewel in the crown.Intriguing, vibrant and somewhat sensual, the enigmatic Amethyst Orchid is an extraordinary hue that is unique, bold, creative and exciting.

So what do you think of this year's colors? Which one is your favorite? Leave your comment below!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Feature Friday: How to Pack a Travel Capsule

It's mid-August and summer will be on its way out soon. Do you plan on getting one last trip in before the leaves change? Today's Feature Friday gives you some packing tips as you head out on your last summer trip for the year!

Step One: Make a list.
I know, I know...a lot of people hate making lists! But when it comes to packing, it can really be a lifesaver! Those little no-brainer items are usually the ones we all forget!

Step Two: Choose garments that can be paired to create more than one outfit.
Pack some solid colors that can be paired interchangeably with other items so you can have less in your suitcase!

Step Three: Be a lightweight.
Leave behind pieces with bulky linings or heavy embellishments. Think thin and opt for pants made of polyester-rayon or acetate-spandex. Also, stretchy jeans or jeggings can take up half the space of regular denim.

Step Three: Check the weather!
Are you going to run into rain? Mild winds at the beach? It's always good to check the weather before a trip but to play it safe, always pack at least one light jacket or cardigan!

Step Four: One dressy item won't hurt.
You never know if you'll end up going to a fancy restuarant or event. It could be a spur of the moment thing! Always pack at least one non-casual outfit. So many times I traveled and we ended up going somewhere!

Step Five: Shoes, shoes, shoes!
Make sure you pack a pair of good walking shoes if you're going to be doing a lot of walking. Don't forget your sandals too - not only for the beach - but it's a quick take off/put on at the airport if you have to go through security clearance! And lastly, throw in that pair to go with you dressy outfit.

In addition to these tips I've given you, check out this great website below that features several lists depending on your travel style.

Functional & Fashionable Packing List

Friday, August 7, 2015

Feature Friday: Top 10 Fashion Trends for Fall 2015

The Fashion Spot recently published an article with the top 10 fashion trends for Fall 2015 based on wardrobe previews at runway shows.

Today's Feature Friday will highlight these 10 trends!

1. Colored Fur
Fur is a rising trend this year with a splash of color. The fur featured above is from Emilio Pucci. Faux is my preference!

2. Floral
Have you noticed a lot of floral print on clothing lately? I have! Floral is definitely making a comeback. The above outfit is by Suno.

3. Capes & Ponchos
I think capes & ponchos has been a trend for a while. Many women prefer it to a coat or jacket. The designer is Chloe.

4. Feathers
I haven't seen a lot of feathers on clothing yet, but I have noticed styles similar to this Michael Kor's skirt, but made with faux materials. 

5. Bold Colors
Bold is back! Not everyone is for the prints, so these solid bold colors are perfect. Suit by Diane von Furstenberg.

6. Haute Hippie
The hippie/bohemian style has continued to re-emerge in today's fashion trends.

7. The 70's
Everything comes back around! Similar styles of the 70's but with a modern color and pattern.

8. Turtlenecks
Some people love turtlenecks, some don't. But they are a classic staple that holds up through time.

9. Plaid
90's making a comeback? Probably. But plaid is one of those prints that everyone likes, if the color is right! 

10. Fringe
Fringe has been reappearing over the past few years. Another trend from the 60's and 70's that continues on! By Burberry.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Feature Friday: An Intern's Firsthand Experience Working with Beads

There has been a lot of bead work going on in the Studio lately! One of our interns, JJ, has been working diligently on two wedding dresses with beads galore! Working with beads is a difficult task that requires a lot of patience and concentration. Today's "Feature Friday" is an interview with JJ about her experience working with them.

1. You've been doing the beading for two different wedding gowns. Can you describe them and their beading design?

JJ: One is completely encrusted with pearls, crystals and rhinestones. It's replacing the beads after an alteration so I just had to pack them all in and even build them up on each other at some points. The other gown I got to help design the layout of has beads scattered across the front and up the train as well. I like the second one myself.

2. What are the biggest challenges you've faced working on beading? What did you learn about it that you never knew before?

JJ: The most challenging for me was making sure to go through one layer of the dress. If you go through more than one, it can pucker the fabric and ruin the look of the dress. I've learned how truly time consuming it is, but it's important to take your time so you're not having to go back and fix things.

3. Are there types of beads that are easier to work with than others? What are some tips you'd give stitchers working on beading?

JJ: I don't know I would say any are easier. They all have their own challenges. My main tip would be to take your time and be very patient! Look at it from different angles and distances. You are so close to it when you're working on it, it's really important to step back every one in a while.

4. Do you have any suggestions for brides-to-be shopping for their dress? (i.e. Things they should consider for alterations, etc.)

JJ: Know that it is going to need be to altered, just accept this. If it's a second hand, changes are it already has been. It's almost always easier to take something in rather than letting it out. Beads are pretty but they can be costly - you can probably tell the quality of the bead work by simply touching the beads - you don't want them to be loose or wiggly.

5. Is there anything else you'd like to add?

JJ: Pick your gown for yourself, and only yourself. It's your day. You want to look beatuiful and still be comfortable. Pick what makes YOU happy. (This is really just a personal opinion). :)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Feature Friday: Dress Waistlines

Bridal season is still going here at the Studio and we've seen several different gown styles! I thought I'd continue talking about dresses in today's Feature Friday as well, focusing on waistlines.

Whether a bridal gown, or a special occasion dress, here are different waist styles to consider when shopping!

Basque Waist
This waistline features a "U" or "V" shape.
This particular dress is made for a Quinceanera.

Dropped Waist
This dress features a waist line below the natural waist at the mid hip.
This particular dress is a great everyday style.

Empire Waist
This style has a raised waistline that sits just below the bust, 
from which the rest of the dress flows down to the hem. 
The Empire Waistline is used in all types of dresses.

Natural Waist
This style waist line hits at the natural waist, 
the indentation between the hips and the rib-cage.

Princess Waist
Also known as the "no waist," it features an  A-line silhouette 
with vertical seams down the front.

Which waistline style do you prefer?