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

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

#2017makenine

You know that I love to plan. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s my favourite part. I also (try) to plan my sewing, match fabrics with patterns, make a queue… until I change my mind and make something completely different. So plannig what I will sew for a whole year? How can this possibly work?

I see my #2017makenine as a list of things that I definitely want to make, I could also call them The Big Nine or something. I put a lot of things on this list that I have wanted to make for a long time and this year I will finally make them so that I can move on and dream about different things. There are some easy, quick projects as well as more tricky/time consuming ones. There is a lot of outerwear – I just find it really difficult to find coats and jackets that I like and that are in my price range (I wouldn’t say no to a Peacock Feathered Burberry Trench Coat, ha!). But alas, DIY it is! Luckily I love to sew…

(for links to source, click on the picture! Patterns and everything else are linked as well, just move the cursor over the text! (since I changed my theme slightly, the links don’t show up in a different colour anymore…))

Leggings
I’m really loving the oversized-shirt/sweater-and-leggings look at the moment and while I own some shirts, I don’t have any leggings. Finding the right fabrics might prove to be a little tricky, but I already found the perfect pattern.
*pattern: Megan Nielsen Virginia Leggings

Suede Trench Coat
I’ve been dreaming about a suede trenchcoat and I just happen to have 4m of faux suede waiting to be cut into. It will happen this year. (it must)
*pattern: Named Clothing Isla Trench Coat

Joggers
Both out of a regular stable knit and… velvet! (totally inspired by Sara, her version is an absolute dream)
*patterns: Named Clothing Alexandria Peg Trousers, Papercut Patterns Anima Pant, True Bias Hudson Pant (still not sure which might suit me best!)

Light Dufflecoat/Parka
The Albion is waiting for a while now, I’m waiting for the right fabric. A lightweight parka would be nice as well.
*patterns: Colette Albion, Burdastyle Parka (because I have this issue already)

Duster
Something less structured than a trenchcoat and less detailed than a parka. I can imagine a solid, black, understated one as well as a velvet version.
*pattern: Orageuse Londres Trench Coat

Bomber/Souvenier Jacket/Hoodie
I recently discovered that bombers do look good on me (used to be convinced of the opposite) and now I want to make one myself. I would really love to add a huge embroidery to the back, but to be realistic – that probably won’t happen (maybe patches instead?). Ideally, I could also modify the pattern to be both a jacket and a sweater, and even add a hood to it.
*pattern: Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber (though not ideal, the best one I’ve seen… any other suggestions?)

Camisole/Slipdress
Great for layering, perfect for summer. I already have so many outfits in mind and could come up with countless options more. I also love how I can customize them with lace, embroidery….
*patterns: Seamwork Savanah, True Bias Ogden Cami, Tessuti Sadie Slip Dress or I’ll try to make a pattern myself

Bodysuit
Again, great for layering. Especially under those high-waisted skirts and shorts I wear all the time. I’d also love to play with details like super low backs, v-necks, lace, sheer panels, etc.
*patterns: Closet Case Nettie Bodysuit, Named Clothing Tuuli Bodysuit or selfdrafted again

Maxi Shirtdress
The shirtdress is still my favourite kind of dress and this year I really want to make a maxi version. And generally try out new lenghts for both skirts and dresses (tea/maxi).
*patterns: Grainline Studio Archer Button Up (for a more relaxed look), Sew Over It Vintage Shirtdress, Sewaholic Nicola Dress, Named Clothing Wenona Shirt Dress, Deer and Doe Bruyère Shirt (all lengthened to floor length)

These are the big sewing goals for 2017. Without doubt, I will make othe things as well and maybe not all of the ones listed above. That’s alright. Plans change, I change, I might not want to have a souvenir jacket in my closet after all. But right now, this list looks perfect to me. Maybe (absolutely!) a bit ambitious, but I have twelve months to make them. Let’s get sewing!

Costume Heaven

art4art

It’s always been my dream to visit the fundus of Art4Art – the ateliers that make all the costumes (and everything else related to them – corsets, shoes, hats, jewellery) for the Austrian Federal Theaters (read more about them here.) I always imagined it as some kind of gigantic wardrobe, filled to the top with the most beautiful clothes from every epoc. Let me tell you: That’s exactly what it is. But there is so much more to discover!

I had about 2 hours to browse and after just half of the time, I was already exhausted and couldn’t really digest anything anymore. Hundreds, no, thousands of clothes are kept in the fundus: dresses from the middle ages to the present, undergarments (petticoats, crinolines, corsages, camisoles), shoes in boxes underneath the costumes, cupboards filled with hats and all different kinds of headdresses.

They had wonderful 40ies inspired frocks, in beautiful rayons (I would like to know from where they got all their patterned fabrics – there were some really special prints!), servant’s dresses from the turn of the century, huge Biedermeier dresses (you’d probably say victorian), and all the way back to fluid, plisseed grecian robes. The physically oldest costumes they had were from the 50ies – silk kimonos from Madame Butterfly (see below – the red tulips on blue and white palms on light grey). Older ones are already in the archives of the theater museum, as they don’t get used anymore, unlike the rest of the stock.

Menswear is mostly militarian garments, with tons of different uniforms. Also, crazy renaissance jackets with insane details (frills! pleats! slitted! embroidered!) and many justaucorps with beautiful soutache decoration on cuffs and pocket flaps. You can probably tell, I went a little crazy in there….

My favourite part were probably all the fabrics. Printed or woven, they were so elaborate, detailed… Really special. All the different prints/patterns, right next to each other, looked amazing from afar – but even better in close-up. Embellishment is often faked (glued rather than sewn on, for example), but the fabrics are mostly ‘genuine’. Or treated in such a way that a simple cotton weave looks like the most expensive jaquard. A lot of knowledge and secrets go into these fabrics, something I’d like to learn and experiment with myself.

I took so many pictures, because I wanted to remmber everything – and I didn’t even see it all. I could literally spend weeks in there, looking at the intricate details, the insides of the costumes (especially those!) and photograph and sketch it all – I could fill at least one thick sketchbook just with costume studies from the Art4Art fundus. Didn’t have the time to do that, though! I’m sharing the best pictures with you today – lighting was not great, but I think you’ll still understand my fascination with this place!

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Merken

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Merken

#sewphotohop September

September was #sewphothop month on instagram, organized by the incredible Rachel from House of Pinheiro. I thought I would share all my entries with you, just as I did last year. Some pictures might be familiar to you, others were taken solely for this competition… Prepare for lots of photos! (+original captions)

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Day 1 – hello: I’m a costume design student, currently on holidays in Italy. I was recently featured on Kollabora, so if you want to know more, head over there!

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Day 2 – favourite skill: finding interesting colour combinations, contrasting textures and endless inspiration everywhere. Never stop looking!

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Day 3 – dream project: a handmade capsule wardrobe for an imaginary trip through Italy. It would be full of high waisted things, little tops, full skirts in blues and whites.

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Day 4 – signature look: cinched waist, full skirt. You might also occasionally find me in jeans (high-waisted) and t-shirts (blue+white). And always with a headscarf!

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Day 5 – print or solid: Print! Stripes, dots, florals… It’s just much more fun to sew with!

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Day 6 – essential kit: thread, pins&needles, measuring tape, small scissors, fabric shears and fabric… my basic essentials (even colour coordinated, ha!)

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Day 7 – stash busting: Little crop-tops use only a small amount of fabric and are do easy to make.

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Day 8 – made for someone else: It usually takes me ages to finish something I make for someone else, but I’m convinced it’s worth the wait for them. This debutante dress for my sister came together pretty quickly, but there was a real deadline which I couldn’t ignore…

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Day 9+10 – gone wrong/mini or maxi: Preferably midi, but rather mini than maxi! Just like this dress, where I stupidly used a really unsuitable fabric – way to stiff for this silhouette! I wear it anyway :)

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Day 11 – favourite tool: these scissors <3

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Day 12 – tips & techniques: always pre-wash your fabric! (this was a short video)

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Day 13 – game changer: getting pinking shears. I don’t have a serger, don’t like zigzaging and french seams can take so much time… so pinking it is!

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Day 14 – wardrobe: Mine is filled with all kinds of clothes, dresses for the day and the evening, t-shirts, blouses, skirts – new, vintage, and quite a lot of handmade garments! All my favourites basically. Not too big, not too small. But it still really needs a proper sort-out! :)

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Day 15 – sewing space: new semester, new classroom, new sewing space! Still getting used to my machine, this time it’s a Juki. My vintage Singer at home has some slight issues recently, so it’s a relief this one works perfectly!

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Day 16 – wish list: The time, and, even more importantly, the perfect fabric for a Colette Albion coat/jacket. I want to make it for so long already – I don’t even remember when I bought the pattern! I’d really love it in a waxed canvas or waterproof fabric so I could take it with me on hikes. I hope I can cross it off the list very soon!

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Day 17 – zippers or buttons: zippers for practicality, but buttons for the special details! I hate making any kinds of buttonholes though…

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Day 18 – knits or woven: almost always woven, just like this newest purchase from a week ago.

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Day 19 – sewing library: actual sewing books – few; inspirational/research books – lots more!

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Day 20 – seasonal: Autumn is close and as the weather changes, my clothes will too. Time for warmer dresses (like this flannel shirtdress I made last year), cozy fabrics and many layers!

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Day 21 – go to patterns: The ones I drafted myself. They fit perfectly and I can easily modify them to look exactly how I want. My trousers-block is probably my favourite!

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Day 22 – texture: my second favourite thing after print – I love interestingly textured and very tactile fabrics. For my graduation collection, I felted and embroidered parts of a jacket for a unique texture and the appearance of feathers.

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Day 23 – Inspiration: I find it everywhere! Paintings, books, movies, fabric, clothes (old and new), interesting colours, textures and details in nature, architecture, while traveling or in everyday life. Looking for inspiration and organizing/ storing/noting it for later is one of my favourite things to do!

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Day 24 – one-piece or seperates: I still prefer to make dresses (just one piece and you are dressed), but I’m trying to add more seperates to my wardrobe – more versatility!

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Day 25 – favourite era: I do love these crazy frilly dresses from the 1870’s. For menswear it’s around 1810 – a classic look, the beginning of the elegant understatement.

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Day 26 – close up: One of the first bound buttonholes I ever made and the print magically lined up somehow. Also, really love the dress (the shirred shirtwaist from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing)

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Day 27 – other interests: I love the Formula 1 🏁 big fan :)

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Day 28 – wow: Alexander Mcqueen’s A/W 2006 collection “Widows of Culloden”. My absolute favourite ever. Just look at this coat!

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Day 29 – storage tips: Always keep your chalk well-cushioned – they break so easily!

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Day 30 – what’s next?: a Grainline Studio archer shirt in Liberty tana lawn. But first, need to make a muslin!

Wow, that was a lot! Cheers if you made it to the end! :) Did you participate as well?

Merken

July

This July, I…

Soulac sunset

  • visited a Loden factory
  • re-upholstered a sofa
  • cut my finger badly
  • stayed at work for 12 hours once, but we had pizza at the end
  • went to the cinema (Star Trek Beyond + Pets)
  • and to the opening ceremony of the Salzburger Festspiele
  • spent a whole day traveling and then cooled my feet in the ocean after dark
  • got a sunburn on my upper back
  • ate delicious crêpes
  • found sand on my pillow every morning
  • chased the perfect sunset

zippers

Loden Steiner

fishmarket

Soulac

soulac sunset

 

Loden Steiner

Loden

First and foremost: Loden is not felt. Yes, the fabric is felted, but (and here is the difference) it was a woven fabric before. Felt are just loose fibres pressed and matted together. Loden is finer, has a higher quality, takes more effort to produce and is also more expensive. My boss (I don’t like to call her that, because we speak on the same level and this sounds just way too formal, but what other word could I use?) is very particular about this distinction – she works with Loden and is not very pleased when people confuse the two :)

There are  a handful of companies that produce authentic Loden in Austria and one of them is Steiner1888. Located at the border from Salzburg to Styria, in the shadow of the Dachstein, it is a typical Austrian family business, now in the 5th generation. Personal connection: My Grandfather was good friends with the son of the founder (my father is from Schladming, which is only 6 km away). Steiner doesn’t only produce the Loden itself (which they sadly don’t sell individually), but also blankets and pillows.

Steiner 1888

I visited the factory the other week together with my boss, because she is currently working on a new product for a creative/innovative competition (more about that once it is official, because I made the pattern, protoype and gave a lot of general imput and obviously want to share that with you). And she wants to use a special Loden for it: ‘Schladminger‘, a beautiful mottled cloth, a very tradtional fabric and my personal favourite (click on the link for a picture). So we discussed terms, talked about possible collaborations and where quite successful.

After the meeting, it was time to visit the factory – I love these kinds of things. Going behind the scenes is always the most exciting part! I was surprised to learn that they produce everything in this comparably small building. And they do everything themselves, from fibre to finished cloth. We started at the very beginnig: The mixing of the wool. They use sheep, alpaca, angora and mohair, and tend to blend several different fibres, to get the best results. They don’t dye themselves, but the wool is dyed before it is spund – on that day, there was a mix of white and black, which is later on turned into the classic ‘Bergen‘ Loden – a slightly mottled, beautiful grey. At first, the flocks are turned into a loose fleece, which gets then slightly twisted (called teasing) and eventually spun. (excuse the phone pictures)

flocks - loden steiner

teasing - loden steiner

spinning - loden steiner

In the next floor are the weaving machines. The fabric is woven rather loosely, the felting later on makes it thick, dense and durable. They use a plain weave (with several derivations)  or a broken twill weave (so they don’t  get visible diagonal lines) for their fabrics. Remember when I visited Linz Textil last year? The procces of spinning and weaving is essentially the same.

yarn - loden steiner

weaving - loden steiner

schladminger weave - loden steiner

The next step is where  the magic happens. The cloth gets fulled – it’s treated with water, heat and pressure and turns from a coarse, loose fabric into a soft, luxurious, beautiful Loden. ‘Bergen’ and ‘Schladminger’ are still produced on the original Hammerwalke – The old felting hammer that came into service in 1888.

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loden - loden steiner

Finishing touches are applied (napping, trimming, pressing) and the the fabric is ready to use: Either packed and shipped or turned into blankets and pillows in the workshop on site. The full breakdown of the production is also described on their website, I would recommend you take a look (there is good/full picture of the felting hammer, which looks awesome in real life).

As I said before, I love having a look behind the scenes and seeing the production of this wonderful fabric was exciting and interesting. I so wish I could buy the fabric! Maybe next time, if I ask nicely? I would make an Albion coat out of it, I bought (and already printed) the pattern a couple of weeks ago – it would be an absolute dream :)

 

Endless Inspiration

pinterest - beautiful things

anything that catches my eye – beautiful things

I was going to call this post “Pinterest Addict”, but then I changed my mind. Truth is, I’m spending way too much time on pinterest lately, curating my boards, adding new ones, obsessing about colour schemes, moods, atmosphere and an overall look of all the pins. Probably (definitely) overthinking it, but it’s just so much fun! Oh, I just love finding new images that fit perfectly into a certain board, I could just scroll forever and ever and ever.

I split some of my older boards, added some wardrobe inspiration, a couple interior/exterior, more plants/nature, print ideas, food… the list goes on and on. I think it’s fun to see that some of my boards are really dark and moody and others are lightweight and refreshing: I obviously love both and I’m glad I don’t have to decide. I do think that now, after (2?) years of pinning, there is a certain thread running through all my boards, I have definitely found my aesthetic and find the right images. If you scroll back on some of the older boards (like womenswear) you can see how at the beginning, I just posted literally anything. Later on, everything got more streamlined and ‘fits’ better. Some pins might look a bit random, but there is certain overall theme and if you continue scrolling, you’ll notice recurring shapes, colours, silhouettes, etc.

I’m mainly using pinterest just to gather inspiration and create moodboards – I used to save all the images I randomly found on the internet on my computer, organizing them in files, but it somehow wasn’t very satisfying and efficient. Problem is solved now and even though I occasionally still save pictures, I wouldn’t want to go back to my old system/mess.

I’m also planning a couple of themed photoshoots with my sister this summer and so far it’s been a great tool to exchange inspiration: A secret shared board is so helpful, because we can show each other exactly what we mean and comment on what the other person pinned. Describing visual ideas is always difficult (especially when you discuss them over the phone because you don’t live in the same city), so this is an easy way to make sure you’re talking about the same thing.

So, there you have it. A love letter to my favourite website :) Not sure if this post is overly interesting to many of you, but I’m just obsessed and I thought I might as well share that with you. Below are excerpts of some of my boards, if you are curious, you can check out the rest of them here and follow me!

pinterest - nature

nature

pinterest - spring wardrobe

pinterest - winter

summer/winter wardrobe inspiration

pinterest - print

prints

pinterest - pattern clashing

pinterest - less is more

maximalist/minimalist interior

pinterest - plant life

plants forever