Kate Middleton Marries in McQueen

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After weeks of speculation, new Royal Kate Middleton finally revealed her dress designer choice to the world when she walked down the aisle this afternoon in Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. First let me say that I am not a sucker for weddings, nor do I consider myself a hopeless romantic, but when Ms. Middleton stepped out of that car I couldn’t help but gasp for breath. She looked truly stunning – balancing perfectly between the modesty expected of her by the Royal Family and contemporary style, Middleton was the picture of a princess. See more pictures and videos courtesy of the BBC after the jump.

Hawaii 2.0

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Last week I poked around a textile show here in New York and was a bit surprised to see how many Hawaiian prints were showcased. I suppose if ever there was a time to go ahead and break out the giant florals, it’s summer.

Seeing how textiles are another barometer for what we can expect in the realms of fashion, home and accessories, it looks as though we’re poised for yet another Hawaiian print revival. What do you think about these prints? Are they outdated or on trend? Do you plan to use Hawaiian prints for any of your sewing projects this summer?

Fashion & Flix: My Favorite Audrey Hepburn Films

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It’s hard not to love Audrey Hepburn. From her gamine looks to her refined air of elegance, she was an icon for the ages. Everyone is well familiar with her creative partnership with designer Hubert de Givenchy, who outfittet her for several movie roles (most notably for her character in Funny Face). While many a book, blog and magazine has covered Audrey’s personal style and influential film characters from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, My Fair Lady and Sabrina, I wanted to take a look at some of the more underrated classics which capture the fun and quirky on-screen style of a few of my favorite film characters that Audrey has brought to life.

A Night to Remember

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Ah, the prom. For high school girls, does the Spring season mean anything else? The dress, the shoes, the date….all in an attempt to make it the most memorable night of your high school life. Well, if you were (or are) anything like me, you generally grabbed your dress at the last minute, asked one of your friends a few days before and tried to hide your parent’s camera so they wouldn’t embarrass you by documenting every movement while you waited for your date to arrive.

The Muse Files: Classic Elizabeth Taylor

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Recently Hollywood lost a legend as screen star Elizabeth Taylor passed away at the age of 79. Known as much for her tabloid-making relationships (7 marriages in all) as for her on-screen presence, Taylor was also a noted philanthropist working with amFAR and establishing of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Once considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world, she was also a closely watched fashion icon and always the picture of perfect glamour and womanly charms.

Fashion and Flix: Inspired by I Am Love

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When it comes to fashion there are a handful of modern actresses who I think can properly wear the title of “icon”, and with her androgynous cool and penchant for killing it on the red carpet in draped Lanvin gowns and sharp Jil Sander ensembles, Tilda Swinton is one of those actresses. While her choices are a bit less accessible than those of her tinseltown counterparts, Swinton’s appearance is always a fresh contrast to traditional Hollywood garb.

I’ve expressed my love for Tilda before, however this musing is not really about her, per se, but rather about one of best her films – and one of my favorite films in general – I Am Love. To be more specific, it is in reference to Swinton’s costumes for the movie and how they not only create their own sub-story throughout the film, but also translate beautifully into any modern wardrobe.

The Muse Files: Margot Tenenbaum

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When you start to get dressed in the morning do you ever have a specific person in mind? Not necessarily someone you want to impress, but someone you want to emulate? I think the same goes for sewing projects too. Whether or not it’s conscious, sometimes when we start making or altering garments we often have an end look in mind and usually that look is attributed to another person – our “muse” if you will.

Everyone has different fashion icons. Whether you’re attracted to the prim and proper looks of Jackie Kennedy or the rock ‘n’ roll rebelliousness of Kate Moss, I guarantee that there is at least one person out there (or in my case 3 or 4) whose style you covet. I thought it would be fun to explore some of the well known style influencers (as well as a few perhaps more obscure names and faces) who have helped define certain aesthetics and created new categories all their own. First up: miss apathy herself, Margot Tenenbaum.

Margot Tenenbaum paper dolls via claudiavarosio on Etsy, film stills via IMDB

The Tunic: Minimal vs. Bohemian

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The tunic is a great staple piece for any wardrobe. Whether you keep it low key or play more on the flashy side, chances are you can find a tunic style that suits your every mood. Tunics are also quick projects that provide a great basic template to really express your individuality and creativity – make it in a beautiful print, simple cotton or add your own finishing touch with beads and applique – there’s really no limit to the ways you can customize a tunic to make it truly your own.

Spring is right around the corner (and I can’t think of a better season to bring out this style) so check out great ideas for tunic projects – both wild and tame to get you in a creative mood!

Spring Menswear: What to Make Now

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Yesterday our resident Menswear expert (and newly minted BurdaStyle contributor) Peter showed you the tools you need to get started sewing menswear. He also offered up a great first project suggestion – the caftan. While you’re getting your bearings using your tailors hams and point pressers, get inspired for future projects by checking out some of my favorite menswear finds from the Spring 2011 shows in Milan.

Embellish It!

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Whether done with thread, beads, lace or sequins, embellishment adds a luxe texture and dimension to garments or accessories. Are you an embroidery maven or just an admirer? Check out some gorgeous examples including garments by Mary Katrantzou and Oscar de la Renta, as well as loads of tips and how-tos so you can get started.

The New Wave

Central Saint Martins is arguably one of the most prestigious fashion design schools in the world. Alexander McQueen, Phoebe Philo, John Galliano, and Stella McCartney have all studied within it’s hallowed walls and it continues to turn out some of the most buzzed about young talent in fashion. To help kick off London Fashion Week, the school showcased collections from it’s senior MA students, including L’Oreal Professional Prize award winners Phoebe English and Viktor Smedinge, and drummed up excitement for the next wave of great fashion talent.

See my favorite looks from Central Saint Martins’ students and let me know which up-and-coming designers you think are the next big names in fashion.

Fall 2011 Trends - Make Them Now: That 70's Look

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I’ve always had a bit of a love affair with the 70’s. Led Zeppelin, flared jeans, platform shoes – as a matter of fact I am a) listening to Led Zeppelin and b) wearing both flared jeans and ridiculously (ie: dangerously) high platform boots as I write this piece, and it doesn’t seem that I’m the only one who’s smitten. American designers including Marc Jacobs and Tory Burch expressed their love for the decade in recent Fall 2011 runway shows and as an avid 70’s enthusiast I couldn’t be more excited.

Iris Van Herpen - 3D Printed Couture

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Last Friday for my weekly roundup of all things cool, crafty and fashionable I added a link to designer Iris van Herpen’s “Escapism Couture” collection which she debuted at Paris Couture Week back in January. I thought van Herpen’s collection was too amazing to just be a link, so I decided to dig deeper and share with you a little bit more about van Herpen and her amazing 3D printed couture creations. Learn more after the jump!

(Photo courtesy of danielwidrig.com.)

The New Elegance

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There’s a great story about socialite Nan Kempner who, after being told she could not enter the chic La Cote Basque in NYC wearing pants, simply stripped them off and entered sporting only her tunic. The idea that a woman could not enter a restaurant in a pair of pants is a bit baffling now and a testament to how our ideas of what is considered elegant and chic are constantly shifting. In our busy modern times it seems appropriate that chicness is now being aligned with comfort and no longer are we required to bind ourselves up in complicated clothing to be seen as well dressed and put together.

The Case for Lace

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Lace has always been an indicator of elegance, wealth and beauty. It’s first recorded use (in a very rudimentary form) was in ancient Egypt, where artists would weave colored threads into geometric designs to adorn flax cloth, while the Greeks and Romans accidentally discovered lace as a byproduct of twisting and tying the edges of their togas to keep the threads from fraying.

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