Saturday, May 31, 2008

Going, going...

I had to take this quick photo of the catamaran top, my newest. The best deep blue striped cotton (studio assistant Sarah calls the color "mallard"--perfect) with sour yellow tab (and secret yellow hem lining). I put them out last weekend and there's only one left! Makes me want to hop a sailboat and rip 'round the Cap d'Antibes. Preferably that sailboat would be piloted by Gregory Peck. Ah, summer.

Taft High School Field Trip!

I was happy to host Vince Dye's fashion marketing class at the shop last Wednesday (I had to say yes--we have the same last name!). They drove all the way from Lincoln City to get the grand tour (which took about 7 minutes). No matter, look how nice they look. Future designers of America!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Before Picture

I'm making a dress that employs a technique I haven't used for a long time. Once upon a time, I used to take vintage wedding gowns, dye and dismantle them, and create new dresses. Many discarded bridal gowns were originally made for people much, much smaller than the average modern girl. They also tend to be high-necked, high-waisted, long sleeved, and otherwise straitjacket-esque. So making a new dress means simultaneously sculpting and stripping down. This "before" picture is for a maid of honor dress that will be resurrected from this lace and silk organza '60s wedding gown.

It was inspired by this dress, which my client saw in my portfolio:Next steps: removing the sleeves, dropping the neckline, and hacking off the train. Then I'll rebuild the skirt, create a new waistline, refashion the bodice from "size Tiny" to "size Normal," create room in the back for a new zipper, and...after that I'm not sure. The thrilling (terrifying) thing about designing this way is that there can't be a plan...the dress evolves. I'll post an "After" picture and then we shall see.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hot Halter


A hot little silk halter dress I whipped up for a 30th birthday party in Colorado. Straight up sexy but totally practical (and packable!). I love the fluorescent red drawstring.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

One serious dress.

Emily's design is a boned, corseted gown with halter strap and silk ribbon sash dyed a pale café au lait color. Alençon lace over ivory crepe backed satin, fitted through the hip with flared tulip hem. This dress was epic: we had to specially order the lace from China, and wait weeks for it to arrive. There were many fittings to achieve just the right combination of slinky and comfortable, gorgeous and serious. Would you guess that this bombshell is an OHSU medical student who will start her residency right after her wedding? I love the modern bride. Right down to her punk rock fingernail polish.

How cute you are.

Look at Morgan! She's a lovely lady and a very classy bride in this tea length lace and tulle confection. Her inspiration was the gauzy dancing dresses of the '50s, and I think we nailed it--right down to the jeweled belt buckle. I made the boned bodice of Alençon lace and then cut out some of the lace flower motifs and scattered them over the tulle skirt. The straps are also tulle, which creates a soft, transparent effect. A silk shantung underlayer adds to the volume. I love this one. And check out those shoes--yes, those straps do have rhinestones on them.

Three is a Magic Number

I showed my spring collection, Three is a Magic Number, last night and I feel happy, exhausted, and relieved. Lots of lovely friends, colleagues and clients managed to squeeze into my tiny space. My models were beautiful, poised, and extremely good natured (special props to Dove, who was sent on a last minute nail polish errand). Indispensible coordinator Clara made sure the event progressed smoothly. Jarkko mixed and dispensed sangria to the crowd. Gifted stylist Ambrosia from Magnum Opus worked '60s era wonders with the girls' hair (miraculously, their coiffures remained intact even after frantically pulling dresses over their heads backstage). Once the music came on (my slightly ridiculous, cockeyed medley of Simon & Garfunkel's "Cecilia," "Silly Love Songs" by Wings and "Three is a Magic Number" from Schoolhouse Rock), I finally relaxed. More pictures as they become available (and after I get about 87 hours of sleep), but for now, here is a finale shot courtesy of Paul Rich Studio. Thank you to everyone who participated and spectated--I am pleased as punch.