Back Into the Flow

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Let me tell you, getting back into writing after a long break is kind of hard. The words don’t come as easily as they used to. They tend to sound a bit forced and stiff and don’t flow and have the right rhythm. It’s all due to practice, as it is the case with everything really. But I’ll try my best….

Anyway, let’s talk about the pictures, or rather, about the clothes I’m wearing. Everything is self-made, except for the shoes (they are from Bensimon, in case you’re wondering). These are the jeans, the top is a Seamwork Kenedy dress and the kimono is self-drafted. And I also made my headband – the fabric is a leftover from my ‘ginghamalong’ project. Headbands are perfect for using up scraps…..

I think I might add ruffles to the hem of the Kenedy some time soon – it’s super short and I can only really wear it as a long top or with opaque leggings underneath. I made two more versions of it so far, and lengthened both by 5 cm – now they are perfect. I also think that the fabric I used for this first version isn’t ideal – it doesn’t have the right amount of drape and as a result the ‘dress’ looks more tent-like than I intended. Again, I don’t have this problem with the other two versions I made (I used soft lawns for both).

The kimono is probably the one piece of clothing I’m wearing the most right now. It fills an annoying gap in wardrobe: It’s a lightweight jacket for late spring/summer/autumn, that I can wear over anything: The sleeves are wide enough for thicker fabrics unterneath, the length is perfect and I love the fabric/colour! Major bonus points: the deep pockets. I drafted it myself, which was easy, because I had a reference: a kimono from my sister, which I wanted to recreate. I made some changes, but it basically consists of a couple of slightly slanted rectangles – one piece for the back, two fronts, two pockets, 4 pieces for the sleeves and one neckband (also two pieces). I actually wrote down all the measurements for the individual pieces, and took some in-process pictures of some of the steps: If you are interested, I can dedicate a seperate post to the kimono’s construction.

And that’s that….. In the end, writing this post was easier than expected. I guess I just need to get back into the flow!

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Sewing, LYF

Tattoos & Sewing. One has fascinated ever since I’ve been a small child, the other one is my dearest hobby. Both are all about the right needle (kind of)….. And now one will remind me forever of the other.

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I got my tattoo (first of many – I’ve got so many ideas!) last week, at Vienna Electric Tattoo. The artist is Sam Rulz, a super talented woman – check out her instagram here. I am so in love with her etching style, it’s perfect for my pair of scissors (fabric shears, obviously). I didn’t want regular shading, I wanted something a little more interesting, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

I just I’d let you know, from now on, you will see it in all the photos – it’s quite big, so you can’t really miss it :) Also, I know that not everyone out there likes tattoos, so please, if you hate it, try to keep your opinion to yourself….Merken

Summer Skirt

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How is it June already? Last time I blogged it was aƁpril (I even had to check)…. Sooo, what have I been up to? Not much, especially lately. I originally stopped blogging in April because I just did not have the time: I made some costumes for a theater production (and assisted the costume designer as well) and often sewed well into the night. It was super time consuming, but I’ll tell you more about it in another post.

And then… I don’t really know what happened. I was quite burned out and tired and spent a couple of days at my grandmother’s in Graz (I never went home to Salzburg during easter – too busy). And then final exams came (the theoretical part is still outstanding) and my laptop decided to give up for a while…. Basically I just enjoyed a creative break, recharged a bit, worked on new ideas and made up some plans for the future.

That was just a little heads up, now let’s continue as usual. I’m mainly here today to talk about this skirt. And the fabric! It’s Cotton+Steel , from the Picnic collection, designed by Melody Miller. It’s called ‘enamel flowers’ (in navy) and it’s a quilting weight cotton, which means it’s not ideal for apparel sewing. But you can make it work if you consider a few things first.

Most important is obviously the cut of the garment. You won’t be happy if you use quilting cotton for a pattern that calls for fluid fabrics. It tends to be quite stiff (even after washing), so it’s good for anything structured, tailored and fitted. Just make sure your garment won’t end up too tight, as it does not stretch at all. Therefore, it works equally well when used for anything casual with lots of ease (but nothing drapey!). You can also use it for pyjamas and, as I did here, full skirts (either gathered, pleated or circle skirts).
Quilting cotton won’t shift when you’re cutting, it’s easy to sew and presses well. It’s perfect if you’re a beginner and want a fabric that isn’t a nightmare to work with. Also, it comes in a huge variety of prints and colours and you can find it in literally any fabric store. So if you find the right pattern, it’s a pretty cool fabric to use and won’t cause much frustration!

So these are my tips! Did I forget something? Would you use it for the garment-types I recommended above? I’m curious to know!

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Favourite Fashion Films Vol.II

A couple of weeks ago I presented you a list of my favourite fashion movies/short films/video ad campaigns. This time I’m changing the theme a bit: Still fashion related, but todays clips are all about the behind-the-scenes. My favourite thing! I love peeking into studios and see artisans working their magic.

Savoir Faire Haute Couture Summer 2013 – Chanel (I honestly love every single one of the Chanel savoir faire videos, but I think this one is my favourite)

Haute Couture Summer 2014 – Schiaparelli

Haute Couture Summer 2011 – Dior

Lace Macrame – Valentino

How a Dior Dress is made – Refinery29

Inside Chanel’s Subsidiary, Lognon, Pleater – BoF

Harris Tweed – National Geographic

Below I have a couple of clips for you that illustrate the design process behind collections and that show the many places inspiration can come from (literally anywhere!).

Autumn 2011 – Anthropologie

Sunset Road – Spell & The Gypsy Collective

Summer 2015 Inspiration – Erdem

Creative Minds with Christopher Kane – Business of Fashion

If you have 9 minutes to spare, watch this video about the bespoke leather jackets of Atelier Savas. If that isn’t the coolest thing I’ve ever seen…
And if you have a bit more time, I can highly recommend you watch Alexa Chung’s The Future of Fashion series she created with British Vogue. It’s hilarious and informative at the same time and really explains how the industry works. Here is a link to the whole playlist as well.

And last, but not least, make sure to go back to my first post about fashion films – I added another video to the list!

Currently – Spring 2017

Stopping by again! I thought I’d give you a little live-update and you fill you in.

UnbenanntMusic Pink and Blue No.1, Georgia O’Keeffe
(There was a fantastic exhibition at the Bank Austria Kunstforum recently… I just love these colours, they are my favourites at the moment!)

Good news first – I’m currently working on the women’s costumes for a small theatre production here in Vienna. It takes place in ca. 1935 – I’ve obviously been looking at a lot of vintage patterns and illustrations and really fell in love with that era! Not as loose as the late twenties, but not yet as structured as the 1940ies. I can highly recommend the book “Everyday Fashions of the 30s as Pictured in Sears Catalogs” by Stella Blum, it’s been really helpful and very inspiring!

Now for the not so good ones…. Remember when I said I was preparing my portfolio for the University of Applied Arts? Well, I didn’t get in. They liked my portfolio, but then weren’t convinced of my work during the actual exam. My next chance is the Academy of Fine Arts, the admission tests are in June. I hope I have more luck then!

And that’s about it, I think. I’m seriously looking forward to the easter holidays, because a) school is really going on my nerves at the moment and b) I’ve been in Vienna for three whole months now and I just need to get out! Ever since I moved out of my parent’s home and away from Salzburg, I’ve never been anywhere for three months straight and it’s killing me. Even if it’s just returning to Salzburg for a week, a change of scene is bitterly needed. I also think that all this staying in one place is part of the reason why I’m feeling so uninspired lately: I need some change. Now. :)

I hope you’re having a relaxing sunday evening and a good start into the week, talk to you soon!

Costume Heaven Pt.II

I still have little free-time at the moment, but I have some older photos to share with you today! I recently looked through all the photos I took in the costume fundus of Art4Art and realised that there are so many more I want to share. I’m just obsessed with all the fabrics, the colours, the details…. so here are a couple more pictures, enjoy!

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Favourite Fashion Films

I’m currently up to my ears in work for my portfolio for the University of Applied Arts (for stage design) – The submission and the exam are next week and I’m kind of finished, I think?
I’m actually dying to do something else, to tackle other creative projects that don’t involve paint, paper, acrylic glass, cardstock…. Something involving fabric and a sewing machine would be nice :)

But for now all I can do to keep myself sane (and calm) and make sure I don’t run out of inspiration is to rewatch my favourite fashion films. Short films packed with inspiration, emotion and, most importantly, beautiful clothes. They are all quite different, the range is from moody and sensual to upbeat and happy and everything in between. The ones below have remained my favourites and are the ones that I could watch over and over again. Hope you’ll enjoy them as well, and if you have recommendations, please tell me!

(Not included are all those wonderful behind-the-scenes clips that take us into the ateliers and show us how it’s all made – maybe I’ll post a compilation of my favourites from this section one day! They are just as fascinating!)

It Had To Be You – Vogue India (accompanying this wonderful editorial)

Once Upon a Time in Sicily – Vogue Japan (there is a version in better quality on vimeo)

Learn the ABC’s of Fashion – i-D magazine

Voyage Seafarius – Tommy Hilfiger

Fashion Against Aids – Dan Martensen for H&M

Castaway – Spell & The Gypsy Collective

Summer 2015 Campaign – Dolce&Gabbana

Rangeen – Free People

The Cruise 2016 Campaign – Gucci

Stranger in a Room – Dior Homme Summer 2016

Mr. Burberry – dir. by Steve McQueen, probably the least ‘fashion’ film, but pretty nonetheless