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Operation: Inspiration

30.1.12

Here's a few elements of influence for those "necessary" times and jolting needs for motivation. Many of us bloggers have read the very helpful articles on what to do when you're in a dispirited state. They have aided me in times of blogging halts, and certainly there's hundreds of good ideas out there, but what if you've done that already?


Or perhaps you're trying to ponder about an idea that isn't quite like your blogging norm or usual posts. Here's other ways in case you need an alternative inspirational HELLO!
   (Source)


What I Did Last Week: Surf
Take a moment and surf blogs that aren't on your blog roll, I have recently been inspired by several blogs that I came across merely by reading threaded comments on someone else's blog. You may have started doing this in the beginning, maybe it slowly faded as you got busier or stuck in your routine. 


Though it's great to visit your daily reads and regular blogging hubs sometimes it's quite a refresher to make a pit stop at an entirely different blog, one that you wouldn't normally read. It may spark inspiration for a post. 
Pinned Image
 Lovin' From the Oven


For instance the other day I went to visit food blogs (one of my favourite things to do), initially I was in search of a specific recipe. Sure, I found the perfect meal that I wanted to prepare, however the added bonus was not in the simplicity of the recipe. In fact, after viewing images vivid enough to make anyone believe that all items plated were tangible through the computer screen ... I found inspiration.
-OR-
Make a point to visit a museum or select of a period of art, educate yourself and search art from that era. It may help you find a new love and more importantly a new post. I know everyone may not love museums, but I try to make it a point throughout the year to visit a museum from time to time, even when travelling for work. The influence does not have to be literal. Often a piece of art can inspire you to do what you've been trying to do all along ... to THINK!
                                                      (Broccoli handbag source)

Pinterest, The One and Only:
Pinterest is absolutely addicting, you'll get no argument there from me! And I love viewing inspiration from all across the globe. Instead of only posting the images on your blog, tell your readers why you loved it? What drew you to the image in the first place? We cannot always assume because it's a beautiful sunset, does it remind you of a significant time in your life?


One of the elements of pinning that I love is the fact that the origin of the link is attached [to the image pinned] from an online source. I almost always look at where the image was initially pinned from. Why? Because many times it's from a new blog or website that I have not viewed before. Additionally, it's an excellent way to see what other inspiring photos you may want to pin to your boards. Think about it! That one image pinned referred you to loads of elements that may potentially be of great influence to you and for a post.

Music of My Fashion Heart: Finding Your Tune
Music brings me joy and makes me smile, whether I'm having a glowing day or going through a dismal period. Remember this lyrical post last year? I was originally inspired from my own playlist, one that I call "Early Riser," a concoction of worldly upbeat tunes. 


There were several influences for this post, one being the connection that I made of the artists on my playlist ... diverse groups of people who are all categorised as musicians. Hence, the sharing of  a wide range of bloggers who I asked to interpret their favourite song or lyric in an outfit. In the end I was influenced more than before.

  *prior tweets before this tweet*
A Tweet of Inspiration:
Do you have a brand or style icon who isn't a typical "style icon per se?" How would you dress them? How would you translate details of their style to suit your independent style? On twitter the other day, Ashley of What Would Ashley Wear asked tweeters a simple question (above) that caught my attention. Our session went on a bit ... by tweeting her back my answer it helped me to think of a new project that I'm currently working on. 


You may also want to check out the IFB Project! Even if you don't participate, reading various inspirations from the posts may trigger another thought for a future post.
    Everett Collection

By now we all should be aware of how much of a role social media and your networks can play. It may be especially difficult to keep at it minute to minute and day-to-day. I know that I occasionally have fallen from the tweet towers. However, I'm gradually getting back into the routine of tweeting and have been influenced in more ways than one in the past week alone.


These may seem obvious, but when the day seems dark in self-motivation and inspiration there are times when it's not only the rules and guided lessons that help you. It's in addition to everything else, often the simple details that we may already know and overlook. 


Other images: www.gamemedia.wcgame.ru, www.pinterest.com, edited by Ladyofashion

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Purposeful Dyeing

28.1.12



Many moons ago I acquired this jacket-styled cardigan. It was especially favoured because of the milky cream colour, but over the years it wasn't worn much at all. Before I donated this piece I wanted to see if I could get another use out of it by colour transformation. This knit was longing for an update in some magical way. And after investigating my crafting trunk I decided to dye it periwinkle! Well, it was that or a myrtle-green concoction, which I now have plans to use. 

Fortunately the cardigan was made of lovely fibres that took this dye quite well. My wants did not stray too far from the [high-aiming] mission. I simply wanted this knit dyed ... period! I was over the dull colour, I wanted something fresh. Don't get me wrong, I adore cream and white garments, however I wanted this in a soft spring colour. 
To Dye [or] NOT "Tie-Dye!"
To achieve designs or shades: Instead of scrunching or clamping the entire cardigan I folded it in fourths; dipping one half first front side down. Then, I let it sit for about 5min. Afterward, I dipped the other side, repeating the same way, only this time allowing it to sit for about 45min. to 1hr. (back side down with sleeves inside) slowly turning it every 10min.+/- or less. On the last turn I unfolded and let it sit a few more minutes before rinsing. Creating lighter and darker shades on the cardigan worked for me, because of its multiple seaming. Instead of just a solid flat colour, the shading gave it dimension and character. 
Test out various dyes and select your favourite. Some dyes work differently, i.e. plant vs. synthetic, but the dye that I used was one that I'm familiar with; therefore to get the result wanted the cardigan needed to be in a bit longer for this blended fabric. I'm happy with the result, because it actually looks like an entirely new cardigan! 

On the Fashion Tales 2012 to-do list: I obviously enjoy dyeing, so wanting to expand this art devotion is of great interest to me. I'm also working on a couple of other dyeing projects, and I've been learning techniques that were used centuries ago from great artists who are willing to show me a few tricks. I'll try to post them whenever I finish in the future whether good or indifferent. 

Certainly, if you want to take on a dyeing project do ask yourself one question, "Am I ready to get my hands dirty." Because, truth be told even with gloves it's not glamourous, yet the fun and final result is worthwhile if you're fond of a craftily slice of experimentation!
                                                
The goods: Cardigan-H&M,Skirt-Theory, Belt-F21, Chevron dress-SimplyChic SF, Boots-gifted(similar

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Youth Talent, Industry Approved

25.1.12


Christian Adamsen, fashion designer and entrepreneur from Vejen, Denmark creates feminine clothing with a luxury aesthetic.
Not exactly a new kid on the block, Adamsen has been sewing since he was 12. It would be a delayed notion to say that he’s just a star in the making, as this self-taught designer has clearly exceeded a typical teen-aged pupil with an artistic devotion. Then again, what exactly is a “typical teen” these days? Certainly, there are young blogging stars, painters, and even musical wonders.  However, it’s great to see designing youth making impressions in an often cut-throat economy.
At 16, Adamsen has a direct focus on an evolving market, specialising in an industry that literally affects everyone in some way. Whether it’s through a trickling effect from the runway or mere inspiration worn, it begins with forms of art. 

“There are a lot of Danish designers in Denmark; if you have a technique learned in school you do it one way … but also my artistic fashion career has taken off quite rapidly. You learn things as you progress,” says Adamsen. The unconventional designer actually credits his fashion learning from YouTube tutorials, and reading books, though presently he also has a helpful patternmaking mentor.
After speaking with Adamsen about his eponymous label, there was stirring moments when listening to the acute designer express his passion, especially when talking about constructing gowns that make women feel glamourous.  
“One of my most proud designs is a beautiful dress that I made for the Danish celebrity, Sarah (Louise), a long ball gown with layers, silk chiffon, and corset.  I am very proud of that, says Adamsen.” 
Christian Adamsem PressChristian Adamsen Danish Designer

In his creations you’ll find dresses with graphic prints that are carefully printed by one of Denmark’s fine detailed printers, a working relationship that’s manifested over time. “I work on the prints in Photoshop and Illustrator … the result was beautifully graphic prints that read as a sophisticated look, says Adamsen.
“The next collection is all about luxury,” says the designer (Think Dubai, Egypt’s gold colouring, and silks.) However, for the fall 2012 collection, “I’m inspired by the moon, snow, [and] crystals. It will be more dramatic with deep reds and black crystals. I have a jewellery maker making a corset in jewellery,” says Adamsen.
Until recently, Adamsen’s full collection has all been produced by himself, but for the impending line it will be the first time being produced by other people. So what’s next? The designer will graduate this year and will continue working on his flourishing label, which will hopefully include expanding within the UK and US boutiques in the future.
Sarah Louise dress by Christian Adamsen
       (Above) Sarah Louise wearing Adamsen's design.

Adamsen’s designs are available on Not Just a Label as well as Trendsales. In addition, you may view his new collection showcasing at the upcoming SS-2013 Copenhagen Fashion Week.
For more information visit: www.christianadamsen.dk

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The Modern Gentry

22.1.12

Tweed. Plaid. Hounds-tooth. Actually, all types of textures and patterns forever seem to influence me in some way. The powerful balance of wearing two contrasting patterns can often be satisfying. 


I've always appreciated strong patterns and fabrics, and love it especially when used in womenswear. Specifically when they're used in wide-legged trousers, fitted blazers, or even a long overcoat. Oh, how I long to inherit the old jackets and coats of my grandfathers. I also wouldn't mind possessing a few original buttons that I'd likely use in DIY crafting sessions.
Blogs British Style
How does one wear historic patterns or silhouettes (think hunting and shooting apparel), or some that are normally tied strictly to menswear? Well, fortunately, there are ways of achieving a modern look when wearing these patterns while maintaining your individual style. 


The genuine sophistication of certain patterns can be tailored to a modern-casual ensemble without decreasing its ingrained refinement. For example, today, one might combine a favourite jean or feminine blouse. However, I gravitated toward the accessories department.
                                                 Vintage Tweed Jacket


What are some of your favourite patterns, and textures? And are you a wearer of them or frankly an admirer?

Also, check out my newly designed clutch!


The goods:  Vintage tweed jacket-charity shop, tartan/plaid hat-c/o Goorin brothers, Jeans-Miss Selfridge, Loafers-Wanted, Turquoise wooden necklace-SF flea market, Cardigan & stripe shirt- H&M, Rabbit pocketwatch-Etsy, Envelope clutch-Ladyofashion 

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DIY: The Glam Brooch

20.1.12

Oh, I feel the presence upon me ... the textural sparkle and twinkles of gems, and you know what that means? It's time to get glamourous! Understanding that for "some" of us that means just about everyday. As for me, well I've recently been eager to create a glam brooch, a versatile trim to add to a favourite hat or blazer.


After gathering a few remnants of fabric that I initially regarded toss worthy; of course I decided to grace them with one last look  only to find an end use for the sheer pieces. Enter, the glam brooch. Enjoy!                          



________________________________________________________
Materials needed:
Leather or PU
Glue-gun
Scissors

Small scraps/1X1 pieces of sheer material
Clear all-purpose glue/Sealant
Gems, stones, acrylic beads, etc.
Loose glitter 
Brooch pin back 

Empty stone settings (optional) Easier way to manually place fabric around gem)
Sewing machine/Needle & thread (either)

Glam Brooch DIY
Click images for zoom

Cut a rectangular piece of leather to size preferred. Mine is approx. 3" x 1.5" or so.
Fold pieces in half or sandwhich them together (with fabric face-to-face), stitch all around rectangular shape or whatever shape that you create. (If you don't want to use a sewing machine, with right sides up, carefully glue your pieces together. Or by folding in each inside edge of the leather use a needle and thread to make a whipstich or straight stitch around the leather.)

Next, for visual sake I arranged my gems on the leather beforehand to get an idea of what I wanted.

Take a circular cut piece of fabric (lace, or sheer, or netting material), slightly larger than each gemstone, and one by one cover a gem. If you use a larger size or square sheer piece make sure to twist the bottom ends and tuck underneath, still leaving it fairly flat on the bottom. Holding in place, glue back bottom of gem. Let dry. (If you use hot glue wait a few minutes.) *You can carefully place each covered gem on wax paper until dry. Cut excess material from gem back. Repeat steps on each gem that you want covered with fabric.

Ladyofashion DIY
I only wanted a few gems covered to give my brooch character. Place a small amount of glue on the leather areas that you want your gems to be positioned, then place each gem on glued area. Let dry completely. 

Use scissors to cut around the shape of your brooch, carefully cutting in-between the spaces of the gems that are hanging along outter edge from leather. Hence, I've made an irregular shape (for the body of the brooch) by using teardrop, square and circular sized gems, along with other various shapes. Take sealant or all-pupose glue to dab small amounts atop the gems. Lightly sprinkle brooch with glitter to add a glam effect. Let it sit to dry. Afterward, brush a coat of sealant/clear glue to lock-in the glitter.

Fashion Tales Brooch DIY Tutorial
Lastly, use glue to adhere the metal pin backing to the brooch. You may also use a clip backing or add a clip to the pin back, making your brooch more versatile, additionally as a hair clip or hat adornment.

I loved it so much that I made a second version! 



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Foot-Prints

17.1.12

Who doesn't love a great print, one that wakes your feet up in loud or charming hues? And, with each step your feet receiving a pep-talk to parade the streets on an early morning. Whether animal inspired or an enchanting floral, prints have evolved greatly.


Patterned and printed footwear have conquered the territory from tops and bottoms to, now must-have complimentary outfit companions and deem themselves of much importance as function. Although, there has been hazy areas in the "function" department recently, leaning toward an elite high-tower instead of a stable home of practicality. 
 
We've seen the comeback of the printed sole stylishly pouncing the catwalks in many prior seasons. They are the dazzle in breaking the ice with not your typically generic intro or selling soundbite. Rather, your sole conversing footwear is the new elevator pitch


Shoes telling the story of good tastes, clever shopping strategies, daring abilities, and perhaps the goings on behind the boundaries of one's closet. Why not, right? It's often necessary to interject a busy heel with an ensemble in need of a pick-me-up! What better way to show a slice of your personality than with shoes.


Let's face it, shoes [often] are the accessory!
Printed soles can brighten a fashion heart. Shoes generally may even alter the tone of your day, especially when being well-received from strangers. We search, stare, maybe compare prices and buy! Then, all it takes is one strut, prance, or glide across a surface to bond us with a specific print or sole of choice. Witnesses are present and whether silently admiring or vociferously detesting the type that we've chosen, it exemplifies our style. A reflection in the manner of our dress ... if worn on any occasion.


So, what do your footprints look like this season?  




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The Culture Club

14.1.12

 Fashion Tales - ladyofashion
Undoubtedly inspiration comes in various ways for me. Thus, I managed to muster items that I haven't worn in a while. The gathering session did not take long, because I halted at one of my favourite cardigans. The colour blocked cozy knit with original elbow patches! Oh yes, I do fancy the patches, in fact, I've several articles of clothing that sport the elbow patch very well ... in my opinion. 
A fitted retro blazer and vintage tweed jacket comes to mind when instantly thinking of patched styles from my wardrobe. Even a few professors or liberty uniform elements may abruptly enter one's thoughts when pondering about who wore past patches. Though, in earlier times it was more for functional purposes and less of a fashion statement. 
But, the beauty in keeping garments that you love is that it may exceed any fashion cycle, resurface within years or decades! I decided to bring back a worldly medley of what is keeping me warm and styling today; which also includes my latest crafting piece, a convertible hat made from vintage fur. Not quite the ushanka, but obviously inspired from one.
Throw in some tulle, lace, and a vintage lustrous bag ... well then I believe we have my cultured day look! Are you donning any different threads this weekend to stay warm and comfortable during your leisure activities?

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
Russian fashion Inspiration
The goods: Handbag-vintage, Lace skirt-seen here, Retro cardigan-charity shop, Leg warmers-gifted, Leather boots-Pam/Nordstroms, Tweed/leather gloves-Target, Vintage fur hat-Ladyofashion, leather suitcase-seen here.

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Getting Back to Normal

11.1.12

Unaltered and accidentally taken this photo happened when trying to turn off my camera, and quickly before heading out to catch a flight. Afterward, I sifted through images as I normally do deleting second-guessed ones, also keeping many that seemed only loved by me. 
Although some images taken from holiday time spent were great others weren't very much, but along came this shot (above) ... one that I just loved. Certainly, it is blurry, however at that specific moment it really captured the essence of how I felt: slightly out of focus, yet still able to get through the day and figure out what tasks were needed to be complete.


Everything is much better now that I am slowly getting back to normal. Are you managing? Perhaps, you've already gone through your swing shift and now able to enjoy being at ease. It's interesting how just one major holiday can transform your regular routine, and so rapidly. As for the rest of us (myself included) it may take a little bit longer to entirely change back into professional gears and work-related day methods. 


So, yes I am back ... happily very busy, and propelling forward with gigantic breaths as I continue to enjoy this incredible new year, which may also have me buying a new pair of superwoman shoes just to keep up! Pardon the delay, but this layover has now ended.

Enjoy the rest of your week.



The goods: Belt-DIY/ladyofashion, Beaded necklace-Gestalt Collection, Dress: Love Culture, Clutch-DIY/ladyofashion, Tee-H&M, Swarovski earrings-gifted

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Love at Second Sight: An Accessories Tale

7.1.12

I do believe that I'm not the only one who's browsed a site or two in search of an extravagant bauble to accompany her personal style trunk! I'm certain that there's many of you out there whose wants, wishes, and needs may take note in playing musical chairs on a rainy day. Right?


The thrill of finding a great item is always liberating, especially when it's by a designer that you know and love. It doesn't necessarily have to be one that your peers cherish as much as you do. When this happens to me I get anxious to wear my new stylish item out, occasionally even planning an entire outfit around said fashionable item. 


However, there are times when I browse through the Internet or enter boutiques in search of nothing in particular, yet find countless items that I adore and truly want! The "need" is often a savvy fill in the blank, and pre-acquiring reality check, as I do not need much. 
Nonetheless, when I see accessories that silently speak to me, winking at me by its glistening clasp or hard to find colour or when it's simplicity merely done at its best, wellthen it's love at second sight! It's an item that I carefully think about although some accessories can easily be a stylish love affair at first view (that is until one's eyes follow the outlines of the staggering price tag so marvellously attached). 

It doesn't take millions from your wallet to browse first, nor does it require you to sign on a dotted line. In fact, I recently came across a stunning pair of Hervé Léger shoes (that I'll wear very soon), and would not have had the chance to score them if I had rushed to buy another pair of heels seen right before and loved at first sight.


Every now and then, it's good to splurgedive into the high quality bin and say to yourself either, "Perhaps, I'll buy this ... one day," or "I love this. I want this. I really could use this, and definitely would wear  (close to) forever!" Whichever it may be, an acute deliberation often aids you in the long run.


So, dream a sumptuous dream, because it often becomes a fashionable reality if you want it to! BUT, in case it doesn't here's several accessories (for your inspiration) that I'm struck by at the moment; some in my budget, some far out of range, and everything in between. There's high hopes, good styles, and a full round of appreciation.
 
 
 


Photo credit: Monnir Freres, CreativeContrastWanderlust+Co, Net-a-Porter, edited by Ladyofashion

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DIY- Special Treatments

3.1.12

Happy New Year lovelies! To get back into the swing of things, I wanted to start off with a quick DIY. Looking ahead there's a vast amount of projects that I want to accomplish this month. I decided to create a a good old-fashioned personal inspiration board of tear sheets, essentially a collage of bits that influence me. Of course, it's quite easy to do it online; however the visual, yet tangible elements of inspiration often aids me more in semi-developed projects at times.

A Glimpse of Inspiration


No Hassle Tassels!
Here's a pair of what I like to call "To-Go Tassels," accessories that I made for my shoes. They may be used as a trim embellishment for tops, pockets, and more!

Take a strip of fringe or running yardage of tassel fabric, cut approx. 3-3.5"L/ 8-9cm, {measurement may vary if you want your tassels to be wider or skinnier} fold each side toward the (inner) center. Press. Dot a small amount of glue under each fold. Let dry. Finger press close. Take a needle and thread to create sewn loops starting from one top-edge, and ending on the opposite (bottom) edge. Secure tightly by double knotting ends with thread. Cut excess threads.  Repeat for second tassel.


Use fabric glue or metal/plastic glue to adhere one clip to each of the tassels. You're finished!
*If you want your To-Go Tassels even more versatile, try adding a ribbon to the top-edge of each tassel instead of a metal clip. This way you can tie them to your shoes, ankles, and neck along your collar.

Quick Blouse Details:

To add a dashing touch to your shirt or blouse, try one of my favourites: neck ruffles, gathered trimmings. I wanted to give my boring shirt a bolt of excitement, so I decided to create ruffles for a couple of them.

To do this take approx. 1" W X 6" L+/- (depending on your neck length) of contrast/amazing fabric. Fold each end inward 1/8". Top-stitch. Make a basting stitch lengthwise going down the center. Holding the top edge pull the bottom edge side of one of the excess threads. As you do this gathers will form. When you reach a desired ruffle/gather make a staying stitch in the center, lengthwise once more this time securing the gathers together. Clip excess threads.

 (Click to enlarge image)

 

Stitch a 1/4" W elastic band to each side of the ruffle. Now, you have a neck treatment for your shirt! (See images.) I've added brass button details on my collar. To do this just mark hole placement, and add a brass snap/button to the ends of each collar with a hammer or sewing rivet gun. Use the same guide if you want to make variances of this, I also created a crochet and pleated version. Mission complete!



*Lastly, here's a sneak peak below of my newly designed clutches and bags that I've been working on... What I created with old (woolly) printed yardage. 

Have a smashing and productive week!

*Don't forget to link back to this post if you were inspired. Thanks.
 All design and images copyrighted. 

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