Patterns, patterns, patterns - I am such an aficionado! And my latest obsession - polka dots! So, let's take a look at a dress I just completed that combines two different fabrics with two different patterns. What more could I ask for?
I find that black-and-white dresses are versatile and while the color scheme is limited, they make a huge visual impact. In this dress, I opted to use a fabric with black-and-white lines in the sleeves and in the skirt and a fabric with black-and-white polka dots in the bodice.
The sleeves are short ending right under the arm pit - they are perfect for hot summers; they allow for easy movement of the arms. The skirt - a circular skirt - is made out of three separate panels. While I could have matched the pattern, I decided to mix it up! The front panel has the black-and-white lines running vertical giving the body a nice long look. The side/back panels have the lines running horizontal but as one turns they end up meeting in the back seems on an angle. It's all about option illusion!
In the bodice, the little white polka dots on black background are shaped through the use of two darts in the front and two darts in the back. The bodice fits like a glove.
Do you have a black-and-white dress? How do you style it? Do you find it to be versatile and appropriate for many occasions?
Wish to order a skirt or a dress, contact me!
My summer is busy! I am taking a Textile Design class at the Academy of Art University and am excited to share my work with you. I am venturing into a field I don't know much about. Surely, I have seen many a fabric with interesting patterns and imprints but I don't really have an expertise in the tools to create these pattern.
So, I am learning a lot! Here is an example of one of the first techniques I learned: mono print. In the examples below, you will see the variety of patterns one can achieve. Truly, the options are limitless!
Monoprint requires just a few tools: plexi glass, tempera paint, paper, and random items found around the house. Once you spread the paint on the plexi glass - in a thin layer - you take a tool to create a pattern. This tool can be a brush, a fork, a piece of cardboard - anything to push the paint around.
I had so much fun coming up with my patterns. As you can see, I explored wide strokes, think lines, symmetry, and just plain squiggles ... Once the pattern was in the paint, I layered a sheet of paper over it to get the imprint. Et voila!
I am looking forward to learning other ways of creating a pattern to incorporate these ways into my fashion design work.
Have you ever tried monoprint? Let me know!
The National Portrait Gallery (NPA) in Washington D.C. is one of my favorite places to wander into and get lost among wonderful pieces of art. Hot day? Rainy day? You will find shelter at the NPA and you will discover and learn something new!
My latest endeavor was to take a look at "Eye Pop: The Celebrity Gaze" - a selection of portraits that investigate the concept of fame in today's world. What is fame? What makes one famous? How does one sustain fame? Why are some people famous while others are not? You can ask many of these questions as you walk through the exhibition halls.
I always enjoy shows that bring a lot of different media together to investigate the same topic. In this show, you will find color and black-and-white photographs, video montages, prints with rhinestones added to the surface, paintings, pencil sketches, sculptures ... There is something for everybody!
While the variety of art media is interesting, it is also great the variety of 'celebrities' whose portraits are on display. You will see a portrait of Michelle Obama, Condoleezza Rice, Katy Perry, Sergey Brin, Alice Waters, Sandra Cisneros, John Leguizamo, Eminem, Sonia Sotomayor, Floyd Mayweather and many others.
And of course, it would not be me if I did not find something related to fashion at this show! Diane von Furstenberg has a wonderful large-sized portrait on show. And you will also see a great art piece showing young looking Marc Jacobs.
I was touched by many of the portraits. I enjoyed seeing people in their environments of choice (e.g., there is a gorgeous photograph of Alice Waters in a garden with tress and herbs and vegetables) as well as closeups of the celebrities. Take a stroll through the intimate show and enjoy the art!
Eye Pop: The Celebrity Gaze is open to public until July 10, 2016.
One of the most important things to me when I design dresses is comfort. I realize fashion is to give the wearer a good feeling and make her feel confident. This is often achieved through comfort - through garments that fit well. And since it is getting warmer and warmer outside, flowy and free moving dresses are the best for right now!
Comfort, however, does not mean poor silhouette or a lack of interesting details. In my latest dress, you will find plenty of intriguing elements. First, the fabric is wonderful - I love colors and patterns. This one has it all - pink, purple, red, yellow, black, blue ... and abstract pattern that draws attention.
While the pattern itself stands out, I always like to play with gathers and in the sketch below you can see that I went with an oversized top that I gathered in the shoulders and around the waist. This treatment distorts gives the shoulder area a nice drape and creates an hour-glass shape around the hips keeping attention to the top portion of the body.
While the top is oversized and flowy, I opted for an A-line skirt to balance the volume of the fabric. The skirt is simple and drapes well. In general, A-line skirts work for most body types and are versatile and comfortable.
So, I am ready for warm days as I will be wearing this colorful and comfy dress. What do you look for in a dress? Is fit important to you? Do you like A-line skirts?
Wish to order a skirt or a dress? Contact me!
In my second blog about "China: Through the Looking Glass" - an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - I would like to focus on wuxia. This word, which can be translated as "martial hero," expresses a genre of Chinese fiction. It is, most traditionally, a form of literature that focuses on adventures of martial artists in ancient China.
Western designers often look for inspiration in literature and the fantasies of wuxia seem to be of particular interest. At the exhibition, a gallery is devoted to wuxia. You will be able to see shorts from famous Chinese movies that highlight the warrior stories and will be able to see a link between customs in the movies and the fashions on display.
I very much enjoyed this gallery. The garments on display are either white or black and mostly made out of cotton. The silhouettes draw on the traditional warrior silhouette - there are layers of fabrics (undershirts and jackets), wide skirts/pants, and oversized sleeves to allow for easy movements (e.g., this was essential during a fight). There is also wonderful simplicity - while the looks draw on a tradition that is several thousand years old, they are eternally modern and appealing.
The tradition of wuxia is now making it into other genre of popular culture, for instance, into online games. It will be interesting how ti continues to affect fashion and how fashion designers, and not only the Western ones highlighted in this exhibition, will interpret it and bring it to their customers through their designs.
Check out other blogs about "China: Through the Looking Glass":
Blog 1 - Gui Pei: Couture from Beijing in New York City
I like to look at nature and the color combinations found in flowers and landscapes. These often act as a source of inspiration in my fashion design work. I like color and love to incorporate it into my dresses. Here is an example of how I combined blue and green, as seen in this flower, in a knee-length sleeveless dress.
Blue and green are such lovely colors! There are so many shades to them, so much saturation and intensity. I found a lovely blue (with a purplish undertone) fabric. It has an interesting texture/3D pattern to it. In the front the dress is straightforward - it drapes nicely and the texture is what makes it stand out.
The back, however, has a neon green zipper inserted! I have added colorful zippers to many of my designs and this one may be one of my favorite. I love the pop of color and always find it intriguing to have a garment that has something special about it. This zipper has that effect on this dress.
What do you look for in dresses? A pop of color? Interesting pattern or color combinations? Do you like zippers that stand out visually? Let me know!
On a recent trip to the Antietam National Battlefield (Maryland), I came across soldier uniforms at the visitor center museum. History has been a source of inspiration for fashion designers and while I do not focus on menswear, I found the uniforms very interesting. They were immaculately made with detailing worth admiration. The collars and cuffs were beautifully embroidered; the buttons had intricate details.
As menswear, and military uniforms in particular, have been making its mark on womenswear, I did some research and here are several examples of recent fashion collections that directly reference historic wear.
The jackets on the runs maintain the military silhouette and focus on design details, such as pockets, buttons, and cuff embellishments. Ralph Lauren and Burberry are just two fashion houses that come to mind as they often mix menswear elements with more traditional womenswear silhouettes.
Travel is one of my favorite hobbies and even a trip to a nearby battlefield can mean a travel + fashion experience for me. Fashion is everywhere and I find it fascinating to seek for connections between history and our modern times.
While I do not own a military jacket, I really like them. Do you own a military jacket? How do you style it? Let me know!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is hosting an extensive art and fashion exhibition called "China: Through The Looking Glass." I had the pleasure of seeing this exhibition during the Memorial Day weekend and will be sharing a series of blogs about this show with you.
The exhibition is an in-depth study of China, its culture and politics, through the eyes of Western fashion designers. For this blog, I want to focus on a single dress highlighted in the exhibition. A whole room is devoted to a ballgown spun entirely from gold thread by Chinese couture designer Guo Pei. She is a famous Beijing-based designer and has been dubbed the Coco Chanel of China. Her gold dress, which took one year to make, is breath-taking!
While the exhibition mostly studies how Western designers interpret artifacts and ideas of China, in this dress we can see how a Chinese designer draws on her own heritage but incorporates Western elements. Guo Pei uses Buddhist iconography as the main source of inspiration; the dress is surrounded by statues of Buddhas. The lotus flower inspired the shape of the bodice. At the same time, however, Guo Pei makes a departure from the traditional Chinese dress silhouette and incorporates an inflated crinoline, which was prevalent in the traditional Western 1850s apparel.
Guo Pei is sought out by customers from around the world. It is not surprising that her work is on display at such an important art and fashion exhibition. Currently, Guo Pei runs a 450-man atelier, which produces between 2,000 and 3,000 couture designs per year. The traditional workmanship and expertise of the designer is clearly shown in this gown.
"China: Through The Looking Glass" is on show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City until August 16, 2015. Location: 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street), New York, NY 10028.
Fabric patterns - in as many colors as possible - are my passion! You have seen me design and sew a lot of dresses and skirts with lively patterns. But one pattern I have been hesitant to use in my designs have been polka dots ... Until now!
Polka dot fabrics come in many varieties but for some reasons I always thought of the pattern as being more appropriate for children. No rational explanation here. I decided this delve into sewing with polka dots and here we are - I created the dress you can see below.
Welcome! My textile/fashion design brand RADOST™ (Czech) is all about JOY (English).
In the blogs, I bring you thoughts on textile and fashion design, art, and travel.
Check back often, as creativity never sleeps (well, almost never) and surround yourself with joy!