Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This is the ghost dress.

English net, silk cotton, embroidered lace, vintage mother of pearl buttons. Many girls have been circling 'round this dress over the past few days, and I have a feeling she will have a new home by the weekend. I wanted to be sure to snap her photo while she's still mine--should old acquaintance be forgot.
Just as pretty from the back--a true lady. Happy new year, little ghost.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


We're busy little bees here getting ready for our upcoming fashion show...more info soon, but here are the basics!
When: Sunday, February 1st at 2 pm
Where: The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel, 1022 SW Stark Street
What: Lots of lovely dresses by The English Dept., lingerie by Lille Boutique, flowers by Ink & Peat, accessories by Twigs & Honey, gift registry by Canoe.

rsvp to The English Dept.

It's our 4th annual show, and we're excited to show you what we've been working on! Hope to see you there.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Boxing Day!

Since our English Dept. holiday party was snowed out this week, I'll deliver this gift to my trusty assistant Clara, today. Christmas is yesterday's's Boxing Day!
Hooded plaid shrug, made from vintage Pendleton wool, lined in sky blue silk satin.

Boxing Day dates back to past centuries when it was the custom for the wealthy to give gifts to employees or to people in a lower social class, most especially to household servants and other service personnel. [wikipedia]

Now let's all have a laugh about "wealthy," "lower social class," and "household servants." Ah, there'll always be an England.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I think I love you.

We're buried under the Solstice Snowstorm here, but before cabin fever drove me into the streets, I made this -- my new favorite thing in the world. Antique ivory cashmere embellished with vintage lace and glass beads. Lined in shantung. And yes, it is lying in a snowbank -- the one right outside my front door.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Can rick-rack be high fashion?

Yes, these are the things I ruminate about. I love rick-rack's Frenchy, jaunty zigzags, but it does have a little bit of that homespun, cutie-pie thing. As a designer who is probably guilty of putting one ruffle or bow too many on her dresses, I have to ration my adorable details. But this Chanel dress from spring '08 has me rethinking the whole thing (via I'm always wowed by Tsumori Chisato. Is it a dress? A poncho? A magic flying tunic? Who cares! It's perfect.

How about a clutch of rick-rack roses? Thanks to Vintage Vogue for demystifying this lovely embellishment. Watch this space for my experiment in rick-rack revival...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Arctic Blast!

Folks who come from places with *real* winter scoff at our funny Portland freakouts whenever it snows. It's really coming down, though! I love that, here at least, weather has the power to make a mockery of the modern hustle. Stay home, people! I'm at the shop today, but not for long. Home to my snug studio, some hand sewing, and holiday movies. I do love Miracle on 34th Street. There, I said it out loud.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Double Happiness.

Some wonderful pictures of Chris's wedding from the fall. Dress is satin-faced shantung, empire waist, pleated to accommodate baby belly. I just got word that Chris had her baby boy on Monday!
Loads of lovely ladies in white. It reminds me of a nineteenth century family portrait. Only smile-ier.
I really like this one, for some reason. The ruffle bolero was a last minute inspiration, but I think it made the ensemble, don't you? Congratulations, Chris--all the best to you and your new family. Thanks to Heather Hawksford for generously sharing these images.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nina, Pretty Ballerina.

Another dress from the new issue of Portland Bride & Groom...ivory lace embroidered bodice, silk gazar ballerina skirt. The photo features a little cameo appearance by the antique key brooch from this post.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Going platinum.

Some photos from Portland Bride & Groom of Stephanie and Lee's August wedding.While I always am excited to have a dress of mine featured in a magazine, the "real weddings" are the best--the dress just lights up with the happiness and glow of the real day, the real love, the real bride.
My thoughts were with Stephanie on the weekend of her wedding because it poured rain (I mean buckets). Pretty rare for late August, even in Portland. Looks like these lovebirds rallied, though--what happy scenes.
Dress is platinum satin-faced taffeta. Bridesmaid dresses by Vera Wang from The English Dept. Another lovely handmade headpiece by Twigs & Honey.