Tuesday, October 7, 2014

In Search of Style

If we confine ourselves to shopping in department stores, outlet malls and discount retailers we will always be able to find something to wear that is popular, perhaps even "trendy".  If we only buy our wardrobe online or from the dozens of catalogs stuffed in our mailboxes, we will probably find something at a bargain price that suits our fancy, but not without a modicum of  hassle and a lot of time. This is why I sew...I'd rather spend my precious time constructing a garment that fits me, fit's my style and doesn't always squeeze my pocketbook. And I am usually guaranteed of a good outcome, especially because my precious Stonemountain, my "muse", is just a freeway away...(can a fabric store BE a muse?)

To actually see an Alexander McQueen gown? Perfection!
Part of the joy of sewing for yourself comes with finding your own personal fashion sense, your "style". We get that by experience. When you have sewn garments for a while, you start to know what looks good on your body and what makes you feel good about the way you look. The other side of sewing for yourself is that you can get into a rut, always constructing the same looks, using the same fabrics. And this is why we "window shop": to get a sense for new designs, new uses for fabrics, etc.

Admittedly, you can still get into these ruts by limiting your window shopping experiences. If you go to the same department store over and over, you're likely to see the same thing over and over again. Department stores tend to overdo everything - if a dark printed polyester knit is popular, then everything in the store is made out of the same type of fabric and color pallet.(perhaps a gross exaggeration, but it seems that way sometimes).

Streetwear...black is STILL the go-to color, Zan
I like to window shop at smaller boutiques and the high-end boutiques within the high-end retailers. I want to see what the designers are offering up for the season. I'm no Project Runway candidate, but I like to watch it for inspiration (although I swear I can sew better than any of them). And despite their lack of sewing prowess (Kini being the exception this season) I have gotten a couple of design ideas.

The end all/beat all source of inspiration would be a trip to New York or Paris. Okay, we can't all do that, but I was blessed with a vacation this year which included 5 days in Paris. Just sitting at a cafe table for an hour will provide a person with enough inspiration to create a seasonal wardrobe. Strolling the streets of the Marais or fighting the crowds at the Galleria Lafayette provides one with ample opportunity for new ideas.

Tulle Streetwear.

Budding fashion sense...

Get out the credit cards...unless you SEW!

mmmmm..Vivienne Westwood... where would I ever wear it? BUT....

Too short for me, but cute!
Bet you can make this Chanel jacket...Hel-lo!

Digital prints.. STILL big this year.

DVF - does she ever go out of style???
In the end, I only actually "purchased" a pair of jeans at a high-end sidewalk sale in Avignon, Provence.  They have this sale once a year in September, and you could find the most amazing "bargains". I use the term loosely as everything in fashion is relative.

I am "SEW' ready to get back to sewing for me and The FabricLady. Our pile of fabric awaits!

Laurel. And sew on and sew on...
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