Born in 1908, Marie-Paule Nolin’s career began when she was hired as a showroom salesperson for Montreal designer Raoul-Jean Fouré. At 28, she founded her own label, Marie-Paule Haute Couture.
There is something truly magical about an open view of mountains, forests, and meadows. You can stand at an overlook and breathe in deeply. You can let your eyes slide over the horizon. You can take in the colors and the textures of the landscape. And what's a better place to do this than the Shenandoah National Park's Skyline Drive!
Not too long ago my friend and I ventured on a day trip to drive about 34 miles of this amazing 105-mile long road. It runs north and south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It takes about three hours to travel the entire length of the park on a clear day. I promise you will remember the views forever!
There are 75 overlooks that offer views of the Shenandoah Valley to the west or the rolling Piedmont to the east–speak of opportunity to see the breath-taking countryside! With the roadside (purposely) unmowed, you will see wildflowers, azaleas, and black-eyed susans.
Time flies! I am halfway through the Fall 2015 semester at the Academy of Art University and just submitted my first custom fabric collection as my midterm project. What a great learning experience!
I appreciate beautiful and innovative textile prints and it is so empowering to be able to create them myself and put them onto actual garments. I have learned how to create fabrics with hand painting, silk screen printing, and monoprinting. All of these methods are used in my collection.
My textile patterns are inspired by florals and geometric shapes. I filled my sketchbook with sketches, watercolors, photographs, and imagery manipulated in PhotoShop. I assembled a collection of garments to implement my ideas onto: blouse, two scarves, bag, t-shirt, and skirt. Finally, I got to work with my hands. This is when I feel the most free creatively - I let my hands dip into the paint, I let them slide over the silk screen, I let them touch the fabric.
I am proud of my collection and am looking forward to learning additional techniques to create custom fabrics. Let me know what you think of these garments! I appreciate your feedback!
My travel adventures have lately taken me to the coves of the Chesapeake Bay. And one cannot be surprised that great sunsets appear in the area almost every day. The water. The trees. The sky. The combination of these, while the sun is setting, is a sight not to be missed.
I love photography and often write about interesting photo exhibitions in the Washington D.C. area. I also enjoy taking photos of nature in my free time. While it is a way to capture the moment, it is also a great resource for me as a fashion designer. I will often click through my photo archives in search of a photo that could inspire a fabric pattern or a design detail.
And sunsets are one of my favorite topics to capture on camera. Some of them are tender with hues of pinks and purples. Some of them are dramatic with an interplay of grey clouds and blackened landscape. Take a look below at a few photos I took not too long ago.
And then take a look below for examples of how fashion designers incorporate photography of sunsets in their fashion designs. These are literal interpretation printed directly on garments - they are interesting and eye-catching.
I believe that nature and our surroundings are a never-ending source of inspiration for creative endeavors. Do you enjoy photography? Are you drawn to a particular moment of day to capture? Let me know!
UPDATE (November 2, 2015): My photos got published on the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's website! Check out Sailing the Bay in the Photo of the Week post.
Designing of fabric patterns has been the focus in the last two classes I have taken at the University of Art Academy in their online MFA program. This semester I am deepening my understanding of fabric patterns and learning to incorporate original artwork in the designs.
The latest inspiration is the use of florals in fabric designs - florals are my passion. I love anything nature-related as nature provides a never-ending source of color and texture combinations. Below you can see examples of how I took original artwork and created fabric patterns in PhotoShop.
By original artwork I mean my own drawings of natural shapes or photos of leaves. For instance, Pattern 1 is a scanned image of two watercolor paintings I did. I manipulated the paintings in PhotoShop by altering the color saturation and transparency to achieve a balanced interplay between the various elements. In Pattern 3, I took a photo of leaves and applies PhotoShop filters to achieve a highly stylized and abstracted pattern where one cannot really identify the original shape of the leaves.
Combining my artwork with PhotoShop capabilities is a great and quick way to explore many variations of the same idea. And I always have a blast experimenting!
The Fall season comes with cooler temperatures and amazingly colored trees. If you, like me, love being outdoors, you probably have favorite hikes and parks to explore during this time of year. I recently discovered a new location: the Annapolis Rock!
The Annapolis Rock hike is part of the Appalachian Trail (near Boonsboro) and is one of the most popular hikes in Maryland. Why? The views are breathtaking! Once you climb up (about a 2.5 mile hike) to the lookout, you will be able to admire the Greenbrier Lake - a blue spot in the field of greens and browns and reds of the trees.
No need to rush back home? Then, I recommend you stay at the nearby camping area. There are 16 sites including 2 group sites. I promise you will find a lovely spot for your tent. Once settled, you can keep exploring the area or make a meal. My friend and I enjoyed a bowl of ramen noodles while listening to the sounds of winds rushing through tree tops. And what could be better than enjoying a cup of coffee on the outlook in the early morning?
If you live in the Washington D.C. area, the Annapolis Rock hike is a great option for for a quick getaway or a weekend of camping. Go explore!
Japanese Garden. Hillwood Estate in Washington, D.C.
Photo taken in 2014. Credit: Martina Sestakova.
Recently I have had the opportunity to go on a sailboat trip. And while sailing is about being prepared for the elements (one needs to pack practically!), it got me thinking of fashion inspired by boating. And a quick online search confirms the fashion industry's passion for anything nautical!
I love learning about fashion history and in my search I came across fabulous ads from the 1930s and 1940s. Look at the dresses and pant suits! I like the combination of white, red, and blue. And the over-sized collars make such a statement.
Nautical themes are everywhere - in clothes and in accessories. Handbag companies, such as Longchamp (as shown below), often incorporate anchors or line knots into their designs. And bracelets with anchors are ever-so-popular. Did you know that anchor is also the most popular inspiration for tattoos?
While fashion history is fascinating, I always look for what contemporary fashion designers are showing on the runways. And it comes as no surprise that they continue to explore and innovate fashion inspired by boating culture. As you can see in examples below, some of the designs are literal and some of them are more about the play of shapes and colors.
You can, without having to venture out to shop for nautical fashion, pull together a fun outfit. Do you have a blue t-shirt, red skirt, and a white pair of shoes? There you go! Or, you can combine bracelets you already have and add a nautical touch to your outfit.
It is obvious that sailing is a great source of pleasure for those who get to see the world from a ship but also a great source of inspiration for the fashion industry. And I bet it will continue to be so.
rs you can see, my favorite artists include Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, and Claude Monet. The Gallery has a nice collection of Impressionist paintings and the way art is presented to the visitors tell a comprehensive story of the times in art history.
If you find yourself in this striking city, make it a point to walk through the hall of the Scottish National Gallery. You will be surrounded by beautiful art!
The fashion world is all abuzz in September with Fashion Weeks taking place in metropolitan centers worldwide. I keep an eye on the shows and very much enjoy seeing the latest designs on the catwalks. So much creativity and innovation!
While the New York Fashion Week is now over, let's take a look at several dresses that caught my attention and that I believe you will enjoy too. My favorite dresses are knee-length as I enjoy designing them and sewing them for their versatility - they are great for warm days but also practical over the winter when one can dress them up with a pair of tights and boots.
Naeem Khan presented a lovely collection - my favorite is the dress below. While the cut and silhouette are simple, the fabric is striking! I would love to learn about how the fabric was designed and manufactured. Tracy Reece worked wonders with white lace and Caroline Herrera showcased how to be ultra-feminine in delicate print combined with pink sheer fabric.
Mid-length dresses on the runways were beautiful too! Ralph Lauren presented a color blocked dresses and Narciso Rodriguez stuck to what he knows best - simple yet immaculate constructed structural dresses.
And finally, I could not keep my eye off gorgeous full-length gowns. There is such variety of cuts and finishes these can be done in. Naeem Khan's silver number - breathtaking! Marchesa went ultra-romantic and J.Mendel presented exquisite color combinations in exquisite fabrics.
Do you have a favorite dress? A favorite designer? Let me know!
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!