Make Your Own Shoes? It IS Possible.

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Mary Wales Loomis makes her own shoes- at times in the same prints as her dresses! And you know what? You can to. How? Mary wrote a step-by-step book which is in it’s 4th revision, on how to make your own shoes from SCRATCH. Applause!

I am completely obsessed with the shoes Georgina Goodman designed for the Erdem A/W2009 collection (pictured top left & right). It is a good thing I cannot find them for sale anywhere because they make have broken the bank. I wanted to do a posting simply featuring beautiful fabric-covered, painted or hand-made shoes but then I stumbled upon one of sweetest books I have ever seen and had to tell you about it. It’s not that the website itself is especially interesting, but the story behind it is, and you can order Mary’s book to try out your skill in shoe-making. I am definitely asking Santa Claus to bring me a copy, can you imagine making shoes to match your wardrobe? …..dreamy. If you are really into these hand-made gems, check out Osborn Shoes, which are hand-crafted in Guatemala City and lovely- they are the Aztec and plaid printed kicks pictured above.

Now we want to know: has anybody made their own shoes?

Calling all US Innovative Fashion Designers…

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Calling all Innovative Fashion Designers…the Plastics Make it PossibleSM design competition began October 29th. Hosted by GenArt and Plastics, citizens of the 50 United States have the chance to win $10,000 and a ticket to New York city Fashion Week. For complete competition rules and regulations visit GenArt’s official website. The entrant must submit two separate, original designs of womenswear made entirely of these approved materials. Clearly the plastics industry is looking for some support, so if you haven’t gone green yet, here’s a chance to show off your talent in Lycra or polyester chiffon!

Submissions
Submissions will be accepted starting on October 29, 2009. Deadline for entry is December 1, 2009. Users will be able to vote on their favorite designs from October 29 to December 15, 2009. Winner will be announced on or around December 21, 2009.

Are You Dressing up for Halloween?

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Are you dressing up for Halloween this year? If you’re stuck on a costume idea you should take a look through Alexander McQueen’s archives to be fully inspired! His runway looks are fit for the likes of Blade Runner or a Philip K. Dick novel, they are truly extraordinary! When I was little, I always went as a specific character or theme: Debbie Gibson, Fortune Teller, Punk- but as I get older, I find it more exciting to just make something extravagant (a la McQueen) and have a ball. We have some great ideas on BurdaStyle, like our Static Cling

Halloween Costumes for Kids

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This week I wanted to focus on an age group that we rarely feature: kids! As Halloween is right around the corner I’ve created a collage of some adorable costume ideas for kids as well as links to How-Tos, video tutorials, and patterns. Some of these costumes need very few ingredients to make you and your little one smile. Happy Halloween!

PB&J Sandwich

Basic Materials: Two square pieces of upholstery foam cushions, light brown and purple felt, suspenders, brown paint. Make It! -Kaboose

Patterns For Autumn

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Over-sized woolen coats, ombre stockings, lace blouses, hand-dyed silky shifts, pointy shoulders, tailored jackets: this Autumn beckons romance. When the weather turns and we spend more time indoors (or spend even more time figuring out how to stay warm out-of-doors), nostalgia seems to creep in and thoughts turn to old times. It’s a wonderful time to cozy up and make a new coat, our Nancy pattern has romantic and vintage inspired elements and it comes in most sizes. Layering can be so fun and our Sarah capelet is the perfect ingredient for warmth. Our leggings pattern is so versatile you can virtually make a pair in every color. A cute pleated skirt is one staple you will want to make for Fall, pair it with a lace camisole and colored tights!

Happy Autumn!

Love the 80s?

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The images above are not from 30 years ago. They are fresh off the international runways emitting an 80s decadence so BIG you cannot ignore. Shoulder pads. Flat tops. Androgyny. Leather. Fringe. I have MTV’s “I Love the 80s” computer voice intro ringing in my head as I look at these images. I was born in the 80s and went through some of the fashion trends with innocent dignity (over-sized sweaters with tight black stir-ups, jazz pants even when I wasn’t dancing), but I was very young, too young to get into boxy jackets, enormous shoulder pads and androgyny of the time. These silhouettes have humor, are ironic, bold and brazen. Do they make you nostalgic for the good old days or simply want to never see shoulder pads again?

Fringe Benefits

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Do you <3 fringe? Lately there has been a resurgence of fringe- and no offense to those who have been rocking fringe all along- a la suede jackets from the 60s and moccasins- but there is a new kind of fringe on the horizon. This fringe is soft and slinky (Rodarte), conceptually cut in leather (Balenciaga), dyed in an ombre fashion (Topshop), and quite feminine, yet is has an edge that is very current.

I used to be a dancer and my costumes always seemed to have some sort of neon fringe attached to them, and this same fringe is now on skirts, t-shirts, bags- but it is dyed neutral tones creating an almost gothic look, like Marchesa Casati might have worn. I am really loving the comeback. Do you?

Faux Or Against It?

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Do you wear fur? Last weekend, while visiting home in Massachusetts, I went to an old big barn which has been converted into an antique shop filled with turn of the century furniture, chandeliers, vintage notions and more. I found this old fur stole and tried it on for fun. My boyfriend’s mom thought it was so cute she bought it for me. The smell of the antiquated fabric made my nose itch and my skin prickly- but there was something about the silhouette I found so charming. Also, I like old things, and the fact that this stole holds a story, a history, makes me wonder in awe about who used to wear it & what her life was like. I have yet to wear it out yet though- it sits in the back of my car wrapped up carefully, away from judgement and harm.

Is there a difference between wearing vintage fur vs. purchasing a new mink coat? Do you wear fur, or sew with it? Are you anti-fur? Is it the same as being against leather? Do you like the look of fur? Do you wear faux fur?

Independent Designers Guide

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I wrote an entry last week asking for questions you all have about being an independent designer and which areas you need advice in. The majority of comments led me to first touch on online sales & marketing, particularly selling your wares on websites such as Etsy, or your own. I spoke to editor-in-chief of Etsy’s blog,

Music Makes Fashion Makes Music...

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The connection between fashion and music is one of everlasting glory. Taking Londoners by storm in the early 1960s, fashion’s influence on music (and vice versa), became something incredibly meaningful and symbolic to a generation of young revolutionary minds. Vivienne Westwood & Malcolm Mclaren dressed the Sex Pistols early in the decade in ripped up t-shirts with safety pins and bondage gear- which literally kick-started the “punk” fashion aesthetic. Mary Quant invented the mini skirt and hot pant which every hippy & freedom lover of the 60s adapted into their wardrobes. The bikini made it’s

The September Issue

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If one is expecting a psychological breakdown of who Anna Wintour really is and why, one may be disappointed upon viewing R.J. Cutler’s documentary The September Issue. But if one is keen on witnessing the inner-workings and staunch editing that goes on behind the gilded doors of the fashion magazine American Vogue, one will be thoroughly enchanted.



I must begin with the true star of the film (at least in my eyes), Grace Coddington, because honestly, there would be no dreamy editorial spreads gracing the glossies without her. Anna & Grace are like Gilbert & Sullivan- if Gilbert & Sullivan were editor-in-cheif & creative director. The film is based around the high-tension dynamic between Anna, the “pope”, and Grace, the visionary. What is so alluring about their relationship is that Grace is the only person in the film who is not intimidated by Anna. What I found most compelling was the editing room where Grace’s spreads would be laid out only to be later cut by Anna. Grace’s feelings seemed etched into her face-she has a softness about her yet underneath she is fierce and has a vision, a quest for perfection and keen intuition. Grace wants texture and volume, color and light- she’s daring and bold, yet so heart-breakingly romantic it brings tears to my eyes. She is truly one of fashion’s greatest editors- she is the images one conjures up when thinking of high-art fashion editorials. “I’m one of the last remaining fashion editors to dress the girls myself,” she tells the camera in The September Issue, and I hope she remains dressing girls for a long, long time.



Has anyone else see this film? Can you relate to Grace, to Anna?

How do you do Denim?

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Denim has been around since the late 18th century- it’s origins residing in France, where the French once created a sturdy cloth called “serge” in the city of Nimes; hence denim’s original title “serge de Nimes”, which was soon thereafter shortened to Denim.



Today, when one sees denim, images of centuries past are not abundant, but instead we see something much more modern, current and quite American right? I find denim amazingly versatile in this sense. Denim has this extensive history, yet it can instantly be reinterpreted into a completely modern fashion.



I am sure almost every reader of this posting owns a pair of jeans. How much do you love them? In all of it’s incantations, how do you do denim? Are you a fan of the 70s, wearing bell-bottoms and flowy tops? Do you have a favorite pair of jeans? Are they modern or vintage, drainpipe or cropped? Which of the pictures above do you relate to the most?

For Lovely Mothers-To-Be

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Does “maternity fashion” sound like an oxymoron to you? Nora recently mentioned to me that many expectant mothers on BurdaStyle have been asking for maternity-wear tips and tutorials. This week, we bring to you (courtesy of Nikkishell’s pattern altering know-how) fashion tips & patterns to accommodate a swelling belly- whether it be your own or a loved one’s.



Seeing that baby making begins in the bedroom, I find it quite fitting to start with the Jane pattern, a camisole & shorts combo you can comfortably wear to bed.



Getting yourself dressed in the morning can become quite uninspiring (according to my 6-months pregnant sister), we think that the Shari Dress is certain to up the ante in your prenatal closet.



Who says you can’t look as cute as a button while pregnant? The Steffi bolero tutorial brings this military-style jacket to a new level of chic. Nikkishell loved this look so much she made 2 variations of this pattern!



A tailored top (show off those assets!) and more voluminous skirt can really compliment your new found curves. Celestina I is Nikkishell’s first attempt at redesigning this chic dress. A cinch at the waist feels just right sometimes, Celestina II creates a beautiful finished look.



This one is for the brave- if you’re not willing to give up your favorite jeans while with child you can operate on them. Here’s a tutorial for making your existing jeans into maternity jeans.



I also found these Free Online Sewing Classes which offer maternity alteration tips and an array of projects.



As if you don’t have enough books along the lines of “What to Expect When Your Expecting”, how about giving yourself a little treat and get a sewing book for maternity clothing? These have gotten good ratings:

Patterns For Pregnancy

Pattern Making For Maternity Wear.

Would you Twitter a T-Shirt?

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Benedikta recently told me about Pa++ern, a website which offers you creative control to create a design to be embroidered onto a t-shirt- via Twitter!

Do you twitter? Tweet? I don’t. I’m not old fashioned or anti-social networking or a twat, I just don’t tweet. I realize that Twitter is the 3rd most popular social networking website on the WWW, and one of the 50 most visited websites in the world, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the folks behind Pa++ern attached an embroidery machine to a specialized computer which will then stitch an esoteric message onto a t-shirt via tweeting.

Fall off the Runway into Reality

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Fall is coming- I know, I know, you don’t want to hear it, but I have pulled together a transitional outfit you can wear from now until the holiday season and look fresh & cool depending upon how you style it.

1. Have you made your own motorcycle jacket yet? I made one out of stretch satin once which I used to wear all of the time- until I lost it. Now I plan to make a new one with the Larissa motorcycle jacket pattern. Perhaps this time in silk linen, which appears to look instantly “lived in” for a worn & loved look.

Not into the biker chick look? Our Nadine jacket is a terribly cute staple and gorgeous in velvet for the Fall. She comes in PLUS too.

2. You can never have enough of the perfect blouse and making our Amanda top in chiffon in every color of the rainbow wouldn’t be considered over-the-top seeing how much you’ll wear this- with a camisole underneath and your biker jacket on top. Also available, the Amanda Plus.

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