Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Theatre in Fashion, Beverly Hills, CA Oct. 14 – Nov. 13th, 2011

Want to be awed?
Need inspiration?
Just simply love couture fashion?

If so, I need to tell you about an amazing fashion exhibit in the Los Angeles area which has a limited engagement (four weeks). The name of the exhibit is Theatre in Fashion (Il Teatro alla Moda).

I first saw this exhibit in Milan last summer with my Verona Retreat group. We were all in awe as we walked through the galleries, and were pleased to hear that the garments were coming to Los Angeles area in the Fall.

Theatre in Fashion features 80 garments designed by top designers such as Armani, Capucci, Fendi, Marras, Missoni, Ungaro, Valentino, and Versace. These amazing structures were created for opera, drama, and ballet. Therefore, they are stage pieces and utterly fantastic. Sponsored by the Wallis Annenberg Center, the exhibition is located on Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. As you tour the array of color, structure and creativity, you will walk through several galleries, laid out by designer. In numerous cases, you can see the concept sketch, and then the final garment.

I think what amazed me most is the fantastic architectural design that occurs when a garment is designed for the stage. I can guarantee you that you will not be disappointed in what you see. Every fashion student should make a point of seeing this show, sketch book in hand, to learn from the masters.

Do hurry though, as the exhibit ends on November 13th, 2011. It is a four-week engagement.

Theatre in Fashion (hosted by Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts)


Exhibit is located in a temporary space at

253 North Beverly Dr.

Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Hours: Wed – Friday, noon -7 p.m.

Saturday/Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Tickets are $10 per person, Thursday – Sunday;

Children under 12 and students with ID are free.

Admission on Wednesday is free.

Parking is free for two hours in a nearby lot.

And now.. to tempt you...

Missoni Costumes for the 1990 World Cup in Italy

Capriccio by Robert Capucci

Capriccio by Gianni Versace

photos provided with permission of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pool Cover-up Jumpsuit

Pool Cover-up Jumpsuit

A client brought a strapless jumpsuit to me for alteration recently. It has shirring at the top and at the waistline. When I mentioned it on the Designer School Yahoo List, someone asked how such a garment could be made using Garment Designer, so I put together this tutorial. I hope it will be useful, or at least interesting for you

Start by selecting the following:
Category: Top Plus Bottom
Top Group: Basic
Top Style: Semi-Fitted
Sleeve Group: Sleeveless
Armhole: Standard
Darts: None
Shoulder and neckline are not important as they will be cut off.
Subcategory; Pants
Pants Group: Women’s Template
Pants Style: Straight Low Crotch
Waist Treatment: No Treatment
Darts: None

Because there will be shirring at the waistline, I moved the point where the side seam meets the waist on the pants over to the side seam. This will show the point where the shirring will be added.

To add ease I grabbed all the points making up the side seam and moved them over (you could switch dimensions on to see how much ease you are adding, or use the gridlines.)

I also added some ease by moving the crotch point down, and the inseam over

Because we are making a strapless top, the armhole depth needs to be reduced to match up with the depth on the sloper. I selected the two points forming the underarm part of the armhole and moved them upwards.

Next I added extra length to the body to allow for some blousing. I did this by selecting the whole of both the front and back tops and moving them upwards. I used the Shift key when clicking the 2nd piece to make sure I had them both selected.

To draw the line for the top of the garment, I needed to see how long the side seam is, so I turned on Dimensions. I selected the hemline of the top and used the Additions menu to add a facing, setting the width to the same as the side seam length.

I then added a 2nd facing this width plus the amount I wanted to turn down as a hem at the top, and also a global seam allowance.

The final step is to turn off the dimensions and sloper and display the final pattern.

When printing this, ignore the portion above the ‘facing’ lines. Appy shirring above the pant waistline and at the top edge after sewing the garment together using your favorite pant construction sequence.

~Gabrielle Stanley
Cochenille Design Studio UK Educator

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fall Trend Report 2011

Fall Trend Report 2011: Knits are In!

Are you looking for ideas for your next fall knitting project? Why not look to the runways? Knits are definitely in this season in a variety of styles. Here are five top trends that can make you look like you’re wearing designer clothes… that you’ve designed and knit yourself.

1. Chunky – Who wouldn’t want to curl up in a nice chunky sweater when temperatures drop? But you may want to use discretion, as chunky knits seem to work best if you’re tall; otherwise you may appear overwhelmed by all that yarn. But there’s no one stopping you from knitting a big chunky sweater to wear around the house on a snowy weekend.

2. Patterned – Designers had lots of fun taking knits from boring to extraordinary this season. Polka dots, stripes, and all sorts of other abstract patterns were incorporated into knits on the runway. So pick your favorite pattern and work it into a sweater – the brighter, the better!

3. Winter White – Pearly white sweaters were all over the runways, including Celine and Stella McCartney. The most preferred style seemed to be slouchy, which works best with a slim skirt or trousers.

4. Belted – A great way to dress up a thin sweater is with a belt, such as how models were styled at Nina Ricci. This works especially well for long sweaters or sweater-dresses.

5. Poncho – An alternative to a big cozy sweater is the poncho, which on the runway ranged from sleek, single-color versions to huge patterned ones that could be mistaken for blankets. Some were styled more like capes, with arm openings in the front and buttons.

 Andrea Erins has been a teacher for 13 years and likes to write about many topics including everything related to education. She is the owner of the site Masters in EducationColleges.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Catch of the Day

Please welcome Susan Ludwig from Ludwig Collection Blog with a very special and inspiring Guest Post:

Catch of the Day

This was such a FUN project!  It all started as I've been curious about combining wire AND fiber.  When I spotted a contest for "Fish Hats" I instantly "saw" my entry... I just wasn't sure how to go about it.  Nevertheless, the spirit of creativity showed me the way and I won an award!

As many of you will understand, the execution of the project was definitely “fun” – in creating something new and unprecedented, I tend to go so far, then back off for a day until the next step reveals itself.  In this case, I couldn’t wait to complete knitting the body because I really wanted to knit the fins!  I’d expected to have a ‘cap’ on the bottom to fit the wearer’s head, however the fish kept falling over ‘dead’ so I had to prop him up from inside.  Voila! He swims!!

Yes, it's totally wearable, one size fits all and lined in silk fabric. "Catch" measures 18"x18" not counting the 'seaweed.'
Today, it's a hat; tomorrow it may become a sculpture.  It is OOAK (One of a Kind) definitely a conversation piece!!    $449.00 plus tax. 

(These artist statements have been so great. I was almost tempted to do two separate posts for Susan, her statement was so good. Support our Guests, Leave them a comment below. ~Sonia)

Ludwig Collection
Bodacious Bags… a Series
Knitting and sewing have been my constant companions since we were introduced at the age of eight.  Dressing and re-dressing my Barbie doll was a major pastime as a young girl.  Rather than follow an art career, I was
encouraged to seek a more ‘practical’ career in public education which I did. Years later, I broke away and wrote a book on fashion for the petite woman, promoting freedom from the longstanding “rules of petite dressing.”*
I ‘need’ to knit each day and enjoy the fact that it is a repetitive movement for the most part, which gives me a welcome opportunity for reflection.  I also like that it is extremely portable and NEVER the same.  I marvel at the fact that I can create something beautiful with just “two sticks and string.” 
Unlike the majority of knitters who purchase a sufficient quantity of one yarn to complete a garment, I approach yarn in the same way I would a smorgasbord buffet, selecting a little of everything and then attempting to fit it all on my plate - or into my current knitting project.  I don’t have a favorite color –it’s all about one color combined with others.
I am constantly learning and exploring opportunities to blend elements from dressmaking into my knitting, for example, each handbag is lined in a coordinating shade of sumptuous dupioni silk fabric.  I often incorporate hand dyed silk fabric “knitted” in my artwear.  Recently, I’ve added wire and multi-media to my repertoire.
I consider myself more fortunate than a painter because I have on my palette not only an array of color but texture as well.  To begin, I sit before a large basket brimming with a rich profusion of 12-20 different yarns.  By the time I’ve spent one to three weeks on a piece we’ve become so well acquainted that each insists on her own personality and is granted a name which is never used twice.
*Petite Style: The Ultimate Fashion Guide for Women 5’4” and Under by Susan Ludwig.  New York: New American Library, 1988.  Illustrated with 100 line drawings and 24 color photos; 183 pages.

Susan Ludwig
Ludwig Collection
Spanish Village Art Center, Studio 34A in Balboa Park