Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fashion Quarterly Profile

Yaaaay!!  Fashion Quarterly!! Click on the article to have a closer look.  The garments featured in this issue will be delivered into Scotties in Auckland and Wellington and NG Boutique in Christchurch this week.  Please let me know if I can help you get your hands on them.  Contact me here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Welcome to Still Life

The star

Isn't she a honey?  She's called the Anais Dress.  Have a look through all the posts, each one has a dress from the Still Life Winter 2010 range.  I think this one looks the most soignee. The post called Delicious Relic describes the detail of this dress, which started off as a top, inspired by a vintage find.  I made the lovely Marilyn Sainty have a look at my work when I was feeling unsettled: take it down into a dress, she said, looking at the Anais Top with her impeccable eye.  And then we had a cup of tea.  She makes the best salt dishes the world has ever known.  I admire her no end.  You can buy this dress at her Scotties Boutique in Auckland and Wellington, at NG Boutique in Christchurch, at Syrup in Hampton in Melbourne and at Perugia in Elsternwick in Melbourne (+613 95760268).

Grace and ease

The Melie Dress:  don't you love the colour? Sort of lavendery in the reflect, but sincerely grey.  I am quite proud of this one.  She fits all kinds of shapes, just twist and tie the belt, and then plunge your hands deep in the pockets and fish out that droll shade of lipstick you purloined from the chemist. You could keep all kinds of things in there. Look at the square tilt to the back neckline.  Nice, huh?  And squared in the front too.  Feel how stiff the interfacing is that I used.  Nice grunty old-fashioned stuff.  Does precision neckline like no other.  Look at the horizontal tucks at the hem.  I drove my machinist mad with those.  But she understands me and I am grateful.  This dress took so long to make!  It was worth it don't you think?  She's called the Melie Dress and you can get her at Scotties Boutique in Auckland and Wellington, NGBoutique in Christchurch  and at Perugia in Elsternwick in Melbourne (+613 95760268)

Exquisite slouch: you need this dress!

You know that feeling when you slip a new dress on and instantly feel like it's yours, already your touchstone dress and your favorite?  This is mine: the Gimlet Dress.  You could pop this one on my headstone as an indicator of my modus operandi: elegant comfort is what I strive for.  I am very happy with this dress, and I recommend it to you as the modicum of versatility and wearability, whether lurking about the billiard table, or sharpening pencils for your latest professor, in fact for any of the jobs on the list.  Go to Scotties Boutique in Auckland or Wellington.  Go to NG Boutique in Christchurch.  Go to Syrup Boutique in Hampton in Melbourne.  Tell them you simply must have one.  Demand a re-order if they have run out.  I'll make you one in another colour if you like, just let the lovely ladies at Scotties or Syrup know.  Tell them I said so.

Delicious relic

The Anais Top:  This darling came from a vintage find, a 1930's top that had been meddled-with in the 1970's.  I don't know if you can see them on the picture, but it has the most beguiling little diamond-shaped inserts at the waist.  I triple-stitched them for emphasis.  Topstitching is like punctuation in fashion.  Triple-underscore in other words, I'm vigorously indicating the beauty and placement of those diamond-shaped waist details. So shapely.  And I hitched up the sides of the top, kind of like an elegant negligence.  Wait till you see it.  (Scotties Boutique in Auckland and Wellington, NG Boutique in Christchurch,  Syrup Boutique in Hampton in Melbourne, Perugia in Melbourne +613 95760268)  You'll need a maid for this one, too, seriously: the back is all snapped up, 6 snaps mounted on grosgrain ribbon.  Husband will love to be your undoing.  He'll need to practice going slow.  Snap...snap...snap...pause for effect...snap.

And the skirt?  Let me know if you want one and I'll send it via your local Still Life stockist.  I love mine.  Scotties Boutique have this skirt in a wool pieced with polyester in two textures of charcoaly black, sublime.  You will wear it to death, I promise you.  It has an elastic waist and those mad slouchly pockets, perfect for Winteriness, when you are craving some cosy but still feel feisty, and want to stomp about in your boots, or leg it with a bit of heel.

Seriously beautiful dress...

Looks vintage, doesn't she?  I love that.  Work some lace over some linen, pleats, pockets, draw-cord through the neckline in parachute silk, a skirt in merino jersey...string a bit of yarn around the waist (you'll have to do that bit yourself)...the best part is the back!  Foiled!  You can't see it!  You'll have to visit it in situ! (Scotties Boutique in Auckland and Wellington and Perugia in Melbourne (+613 95760268)) The back of the waist is drawn in with a chinese button and falls to form a sort of swoosh about the hem.  Sigh.  My favorite detail, in a dress delicious with detail, you'll love this one long-time, I tell you.

Cyd Dress

Perugia in Elsternwick in Melbourne (613 957602680) has this one in Red, and Syrup in Hampton has it in Black.  Have they sold out?  Shall I cut them some more?  We solved the knee-in-Winter quandry by making the hem straight, and now its usefulness and elegance is complete.  You can belt her high under the bust (that's where I belt everything) or lower like in the picture.  Or smock it without the belt and drift about with your hands in your pockets looking guileless.  

Perfect coat...

Of course you need a coat.  This is from a vintage pattern from the late 1950's, when they really knew how to cut an elegant sleeve.  Regard the balance; shapely don't you think?  Perfect I thought, but everyone wanted pockets and long sleeves.  So I solved it: the long sleeves flip up to form a cuff and let you wear your elbow-length kid gloves that your grandma left you.  Bracelets on the outside.  You'll still be able to see them when your hands are in the pockets.  And where else are you going to pop your hankie?  Tucked into your cleavage?  I think not.  Call up Scotties Boutique in Auckland and Wellington and demand your "Couturier Coat".   Or call Perugia in Elsternwick in Melbourne on 613 95760268 and pre-order.  Do it now.  Winter is  honing in on you, even though you can't possibly imagine it will ever come.

Sharp Shift

See that shoulder line?  That's from an old Givenchy pattern.  Sharp, isn't it?  Impeccable line, this dress, even if I do say so myself.  She has a long zip at the back that forms a pleat.  And pockets!  Ahhhh.  A little a-line to the skirt in the vintage manner.  Damn flattering. Get yours at Syrup Boutique in Melbourne.  It comes with a different belt, one made from feathers and grosgrain ribbon.  How lovely is that?

Garance Top

This sleeve occupied me for quite some time.  I pinned and sheared and shaped and now I think it's just right.  Buy it at Perugia in Elsternwick, Victoria, Australia (Phone 613 95760268).  It comes in White satin-crepe.  Piercingly correct for Winter 2010.

The Yves Dress

Now here's a piece: this is based on a pattern from the 1960's, when necks and armholes were quite strictly  fitted, but hems were shooting high above the knee. Now there's a conflict.  What does this say about the psyche?  I am yearning to get more of this lace.  Do you like how I expressed myself by chopping a hole in its compexity to let a little of the simplicity show through?  It was too perfect.  I had to mess with it.

The Swann Dress, my favorite

But do you love it as much as I do?  How come none of the retailers did?  I think because she's quite heavy. She has a wool crepe skirt and a satin bodice with inserts of linen overlaid with cotton lace.   And buckles at the sides for a belt that just goes at the back.  Crafty, eh?  Marvel at how the linen shaping at the neckline mimics a collar.  This sample's not for sale (because I'm keeping it for my very own wearing pleasure.)

Gilda Dress with Marly Skirt Peeking out Underneath

The sample of this dress is no longer for sale!  If is off having a delicious time on the croquet lawn making Miss Pepper very happy and gorgeous.  Perhaps you too need something for croquet club?    Just ask.

Metropolis Dress (sample for sale!)

This is a lovely 1930's sleeve shaped with darts at the back.  I love darts.  Elbows love elbow darts.  At last, they sigh, some attention to detail.  The sample of this dress is for sale.  Would you like it?  Achingly winsome is it not?  Mix it up.  See if your shoes can lead it astray.  Let me know who wins.

Fran's Top and Sweet Shorts

So Fran had a clever idea and whipped the skirt upside down, pegged it down the back,  and voila, Maman!  C'est une graphically pleasing top! Quelle genius fashion wunderkind that girl.  And look at the hair!  the hair!!  Such confectionery.