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10.27.2014

A Haute Halloween

"No matter how many modern parts I do, people still refer to me as Mrs. Costume Drama."
                                                                    -Helena Bonham Carter

Commes des Garçons Spring 2015
Halloween is lurking around the corner and couture costume ideas are aplenty. From Marie Antoinette to a twenties flapper to Marilyn Monroe, there are numerous options for the fashion-conscious. Heidi Klum is the master of creative costumes. Over the years, she has transformed herself into Cleopatra, Lady Godiva, a crow, and a plethora of other extravagant characters. When it comes to Halloween festivities, she spares no expense.

The New York Times posted an article this week on their fashion and style page about Halloween costumes inspired by high fashion. My favorite look shown on their Pinterest board is an extraordinary red hooded cape that graced the runways at the recent Comme des Garçons spring 2015 show. Little Red Riding Hood, eat your heart out.

If you prefer an understated Halloween ensemble, there are many ways to pull together a chic look while avoiding an actual costume. I was recently perusing online retailers and found some great pieces that embrace the spirit of Halloween without being too literal. One of them is Alexander McQueen's black hooded cape sold on net-a-porter.com. It is a great statement piece that can be worn past October 31st without looking gimmicky (if I had a spare $2,695 lying around, I would snap it up).

Another combination for the costume-shy is Michael Kors' black stretch-wool and silk-georgette gown paired with Bottega Veneta suede pumps. It screams dark and mysterious and wouldn't be out of place on Mrs. Count Dracula. My favorite Haloween-esque couture design is a skirt by Oscar de la Renta. I can just imagine Lily Munster wearing it while at a gala with Herman by her side.

Over the past few days, I have been on a sewing binge and designed a dress, a striped top, and a cape. I used a polka-dot wool boucle and added a bit of leather to make a dress. It was the first time I have ever bought a real leather hide and I could easily become obsessed. It was easy to work with, blended well with the wool fabric, and does not fray.

I also used the polka-dot fabric and combined it with a black camel's wool to create a cape. Then I layered it over the striped top and paired it with some pants that I made last year. The best part about these separates is that they are all interchangeable for mixing and matching. You won't see me dressed as a vampire this Halloween, but I will be donning a cape.

Made in Colorado

10.02.2014

From Pinball Games to Woodstock: Inspiration for Spring 2015 Collections

"I want to empower women. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress."
                                                    -Alexander McQueen

Marchesa Spring 2015 RTW
Givenchy Spring 2015 RTW
At London fashion week, the design duo for Marchesa, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, celebrated the label's ten year anniversary at their spring 2015 ready-to-wear show. Chapman and Craig wanted to honor British icons. Fittingly, Georgia May Jagger, daughter of The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, was the first to grace the catwalk. “She really embodies the spirit of the new collection,” said Chapman. “It’s a little bit gypsy, a little bit Woodstock and a little bit rock ’n’ roll.” Marchesa is known for their feminine chiffon dresses adorned with flowers and ruffles. Although inspired by the late sixties, this collection was still full of romanticism that Marchesa is known for.


In contrast, the late Alexander McQueen liked to explore the dark side when designing clothing and had a theatrical flare. Creative director Sarah Burton looked to McQueen's love of kimonos for her inspiration this season. She incorporated exaggerated chrysanthemum prints on pretty dresses and paired them with gladiator sandals. Apart from the disturbing face masks, this collection was astonishing from start to finish.

In Paris this week, Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy turned out a truly amazing spring collection. The styling was nothing less than perfect with black over-the-knee boots and free-flowing, boho-esque locks. When asked what his inspiration for the collection was, Tisci replied, “Flipper—the old computer pinball game—the black-and-white graphics.” How can you go wrong with lace, leather, riding coats, and pinball?

This week I wanted to make a complete look that would be fitting for the ever-changing day-to-day autumn weather. Using a Rag & Bone cotton woven fabric, I sewed a dress with a playful silhouette and included cap sleeves. Then looking to the Seargent Pepper suits worn by The Beatles as inspiration, I designed a lined coat using a Marc Jacobs wool blend tweed. Beatles biographer Jonathan Gould wrote that the Sgt. Pepper costumes "spoofed the vogue in Britain for military fashions." My coat is not as military-inspired or outlandish as the ones worn by John, Paul, Ringo, and George, but it is brightly colored, knee-length, has an exaggerated mandarin collar, and is fitted with a slight flare at the bottom. Puts me in the mood for "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."

Made in Colorado