DIY: Chain, Chain, Chain: Epaulet Trim

I have been wanting to make another trim with chain for some time. Last year, I played around with chain quite a lot, but many of the pieces failed to make it to the blog, given the extensive prep or instructions. This time, I decided to simplify an old favourite and give you a stylish epaulet chain. Being from a military family I almost automatically gravitate toward military-inspired pieces with fashion, be it a modern utilitarian cropped jacket or from intricate lapel detailing on 18th Century regimental coats.

Here's the result of my "Chain, Chain, Chain Epaulet Trim," which I will be wearing in the near future. Enjoy!

Loose chain-(running yardage) *Various gauges (1-2) Large, (2-3) Small
Rhinestones -(running yardage)
Grosgrain ribbon- 10-12cm
Satin or felt-cut (1) for stability (cut same width/length of grosgrain) 
Beads or other custom trim (optional)
Needle and thread
Fabric/metal heavy duty glue
Brooch pin back (1) Large (2) for Version #1

TOP DIY Style Ideas Chain Trim

First, start by measuring and cutting grosgrain ribbon (this is your preferred length and width of the trim). If you aren't certain, take your measuring tape placing it on the shoulder seam of your jacket or top and look in the mirror to see how large you want your trim. Skip to next paragraph for Stud & Glory version #2. *For the cap cover version (the gold/silver version #1) of this trim you will need to cut a half moon pattern, which is the shoulder seam length + approx. 3cm (at center) to 0 at the end. Cut fabric in this shape.

Fold grosgrain ends inward. Hand-stitch around the entire ribbon. Next, use the satin or felt piece that you cut to adhere the grosgrain to it. For version #1, it was best to sew around both fabrics since it's larger and I also used heavier chain.

I created two versions of this trim, wanting both to be large enough to cover the shoulder seam of my jacket, yet small enough to be able to remove and use for other garments ... hassle-free.

DIY Style Bloggers chain epaulets 

Begin attaching chains: first by placing larger chain on your back piece (grosgrain and satin) in three rows. Then, sew the chain onto the fabric. Using pliers, and/or glue, start embellishing the entire piece with rhinestones, beads, attaching other chains, and studs. I made my chain in various lengths and draped them for my design preference. Lastly, cut excess threads and glue pin back on the back piece to finish. For version #1 I used two pin backs to keep it secure. (see images).
 DIY Street style Bloggers Fashion
Stay tuned for more fun and style inspiring DIY's on here and Instagram!


A Day of Plum and Slate

This weekend went by rapidly for me, and the previous week was all of two things: lively and very productive. After a quick work meeting, I dashed out to meet up with a friend for a late dinner, which was perfect because she had an extended flight delay. Then, I uncovered a visa gift card in my leather jacket mini-pocket … and it still works! Later on, I then tackled two personal projects and acquired new trims for a future crafting session as well.   

Somehow, with all of the busyness and shifting of scheduling, I also managed to get one day of rest through it all … well, almost!
Style Blogger International

There are many fashion elements that I adore in my ensembles, and as you already know, aside from lace, embellishments are one of my favourites to put into play! Whether it be accessories or garment trimmings, my fashion eyes call forth visual whispers, beckoning me to respond stylishly. Afterward, I react with artful expressions in my donned threads.

The outfit of the day was simple: I pulled out my grey jersey skirt that I made and paired it with my corduroy jacket, which was actually ideal for the necklace that I received from Vancouver-based online jewellery boutique Olive & Piper. The item came in second to my initial selection, but it ended up being a first-rate fit for this outfit!

A sleek, yet comfortable feeling was exactly what I wanted. This look could also easily become versatile into transitional seasons, given the nearly glam-nautical vibe to the necklace, and the lightness of the jersey–all workable elements throughout the year in my opinion.

This was my absolute solution to take on giving gentle colours, like grey and charcoal a polished and pleasing effect with a mauve overcoat. And, to think all of these pieces alone might be considered purely casual. However, with hints of golden and silver sparkles on the neck, accompanied by onyx and silver on the waist, it’s a multifaceted pairing that I love at the moment!

Have you tried wearing calming hues with subtle sparkle?

You may purchase this Chloe Rope Necklace here.
Olive and Piper Accessories Style Blogger
Winter -Corduroy Jackets H&M

The goods: Chloe necklace-c/o Olive&Piper, Heels-Charles David, Corduroy Jacket- H&M, Embellished skirt-Ladyofashion design & DIY, Spike earrings-Burlington Coat Factory, Textured tights-Capezio New York, Tank-Ambience.


5 Things and a Scoop of Talent

Much like my own art and fashion style, I am always enthralled with an artist or designer who makes use of geometric shapes, architectural influence, or colour invasions that mentally saturate your brain. I tend to gravitate to abstract style lines, bold hues, and (obviously) a unique perspective. 

There was a time when I used to be a talent scout and a model agent. I periodically assist in talent scouting for freelance purposes (amongst other fashion related things). I do remember how different it was. Especially, being on the inside of the business than when I was merely an appreciator or admirer from an exterior perspective. And, just like a care label without already knowing its full contents sometimes, understanding does come with instruction. I learnt new ways to use abilities that I had possessed ... the ability to see the potential and view everything by layerseven in a glance!
Dreams of Norway Jewellery Feature

When I come across diverse talent, I look from a multitude of angles and for various characteristics:  1) What is the artist trying to convey?  2) Why do I care? 3) Is there originality 4)How is the assembly and construction? 5) Is there passion behind the work?

Of course, a couple of these may only be fully answered with proper analysation or an up-close and personal chat, but for me there is a process. With that being said, here are a few designers that I feel are inspiring and that have been on my radar. I hope that these works below help to transport you into artful bliss. Enjoy!

Delicate & Edgy:
When I first heard of Dreams of Norway, their avant-garde rings struck me the most. Being partial to silver and feathers also helped sway me in favouring their pieces. There are many pieces that I would immediately wear. Here's my top picks from the designing pair, Nina Einarsen and Iselin Strømsvåg.

Avant-garde accessories jewellery

(Above) Quartz necklace, Crescent Moon crystal ring, Handpiece with rivets, & Crescent moon black feather ring.

Hue Effects:
Lianna Sheppard, the jewellery designer who fuses two of my personal favourites (fashion mathematics and architecture) by the method of laser cutting and etching acrylic. In the Ocular collection (flat) items, such as brooches, cufflinks, and necklaces are designed resembling 3D form. 

Why we love it at Fashion Tales? Clearly, a brilliant design aesthetic! If you want to stand out in vibrant colours this season and onward, then this is the online shop that you'll absolutely need to visit! I can already envision my colour blocked wedges with a few of these pieces. See my top picks below.
Lianna Sheppard UK Jewellery Designers
(Above) Anti-clockwise:  Cube Cutout necklace, Zeal Etch brooch Merge ring,  Angle necklace, Mobius Cufflinks

Striking: Patterns, and Minimalism
The Ksenia Schnaider brand by Ukrainian fashion designer, Ksenia Marchenko and Russian graphic designer, Anton Schnaider give classic patterns like camouflage a look of sporty luxury in their latest collection. Silk printed camo is worked into the spring/summer 2013 line of goods as well as classic, yet bold black and white elements. Started in 2011, the fairly new brand continues to produce modern garments that are both wearable and versatile.
Top emerging Designers - Ksenia Schnaider Press
Photo credits: DreamsofNorway, Ksenia Schnaider, and Lianna Sheppard. Edited by Fashion Tales.


Leopard + Fur: Friend and Faux

There aren't too many items that pay for themselves in my closet, in fact I don't think I have any item that's quite like this vest! I acquired this faux fur creation 5 or so years ago mostly because I was struck by how many sewn details and metal embellishments there were (given the "faux" exterior), and to be honest the more than pleasing price tag was also enticing!

Although years went by, I had initially set aside pieces to wear with this vest. In the beginning I was fully excited, however for some reason the innocent notion resulted in me not wearing the vest at all! Instead, the longer that it was hanging in my closet the less I loved it. I would always try it on then take it off, swapping it with another garment. I suppose occasionally there are times when we need much time to pass in order to see a garment differently. Well, fast-forward several years at present, and this vest and I are friends again.
Faux Fur Style Bloggers

For this look I shot them on different days trying to decipher what I liked best: blue or black denim with neutrals. But, black and brown variations are always a favourite combination that I've loved in the past and tend to revert to. There's also something about the smallest bit of leopard and furry elements that I cannot resist ... even in the very casual of forms. Enjoy the rest of my mobile uploads in detail below.

Winter layering R&J handbags - Streetstyle
Tommy Hilfiger totes Bloggers

Have a beautiful week!

The goods: Faux fur vest-F21, Leopard graphic Tee-c/o CocoFashion, BlackTee-H&M, Boots-Anne Michelle, Sunglasses-Andrea Jovine (similar), Tortoise bangle-PONO via AprilM, Denim: black/blue-Express, Tote-Tommy Hilfiger, Taupe/black tassel "Cindy" Satchel-R&J(here), Tartan hat-Goorin Bros., Paris pocket watch-Etsy, Handmade beaded necklace-gifted.


Photek: High Powered Style

If you pay attention to film scores or if you're a music lover, particularly of tunes that will have you doing more than a head bop or two then you've probably heard the work of record producing DJ, Photek.

Based in Los Angeles, the UK native recently dropped a new album, KU:Palm back in October worldwide. It was also his first album with entirely new content since his 2000 launch of Solaris. His roster of works and remixes includes Lana Del Rey's "Ride" and the films Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Italian Job to name a few.

As a long time fan of the '90s progressive (drum and bass) DJ, I can even remember when a friend of mine introduced me to his music years ago. The new material did not disappoint, and just like any album there were favourites that stood out amongst the rest. So, when I had the opportunity to review the entire album, of course I enjoyed it!
Photek new album
Sounds Like:
For the genre listening veteran the album itself has many outlines in true Photek fashion with drum and bass pinches that drizzle as fast as raindrops, but there's even more! With tracks like "Signals,"or the percussion booming "Pyramid," and "One of a Kind" (featuring Breakage & Veronika Coassolo), there's jazz infused, misty-electro, and almost galaxy embracing melodies that could easily ignite style-waves for the right catwalk. And, yes, with sexy struts aside it's a solid album in my opinion. Photek's also nominated for a 2013 Grammy, a second nomination for him (since 2012), which is not too shabby for his first solely fresh cut album in over a decade.

Music & Style:
Attending concerts and DJ shows are certainly a bit different today than they were five or ten years ago be it the ambiance, technology or merely the way you discover artists now! With decades comes change, but one thing that every show attendee ponders about (at some point) is attire! Depending on who you're going to see do you as a fashionista dress up or perhaps you "dress down" for these types of events? I tend to dress according to my mood.

Here are three outfits that I'd wear to one of Photek's upcoming shows. With several friends who are also DJs and musicians this is pretty much what I've worn to a few venues in the past. So, I thought I would incorporate pieces that relate to items from my own closet. And, above all, my personal style ... just in various tempos.

UK DJs Photek Ku Palm 
The Look #1: Studded earrings (non-dangling earrings, so that they aren't caught on anything), I'd wear my stackable rings, a solid beige glimmer tank, leather jacket and cross-body bag with textured or printed denim, and ankle boots.

The Look #2: A simple jersey Tee dress would work well as a way to colour block the outfit by adding a suede boot and accessories (a neutral/contrasted clutch bag, and spike bracelets with an excellent hat to finish)! 

The Look #3: Maybe dinner before, then a punch of colour would be another good alternative choice! Graphic Tees are perfect for a show night. They're comfortable and can be worn underneath my colourful jacket in case it's cold out. I would pair the outfit with a small cross-body bag, printed skirt, patent flats and gold statement jewellery.

Which style set is your favourite? What was the first concert that you ever attended?

For other tracks to listen to click here: Featuring The Essential Mix on BBC.
Tracks from the new album are available here.
This is a sponsored press post. A collaboration with The Confluence Group.
For more information visit: 
Album images courtesy of via The Confluence. Style images via Fashion Tales


DIY: Ruffles and Ribbons

I have finally been able to gather my uploads to share with you. Since I enjoy using all of my fabrics I decided to make a few more accessories over the holidays.

I received a beautiful vintage cameo brooch recently and was overjoyed, as I have always loved them! Lately my inspiration has been drawn from smaller jewellery pieces, some of Victorian influence and special garment details, such as brooches, buttons, and collar trims.

When I'm not wearing the "serious" accessories and merely want to don playful pieces it motivates me to create trims of my own, so it was fitting to make these fun and easy pieces! Here is a preview of my brooch bow, and ruffle chain necklace.

Brooch: Pin-back
Metal trim
Velvet ribbon
Heavy duty glue
Rhinestones or other beads
Ruffle necklace: Chiffon and lace cut(2) ea. to your preferred length & width
Studs, and/or beads
Cord ends or jump rings (2)
Fabric glue/all-purpose
Metal chain
Sewing machine

Ruffle Necklace
For starters I made this ruffle necklace with beads and studs, finishing the rest of my chiffon and lace remnants that I had stowed away. It was simple: I created folds (chiffon fabric approx. 10 cm. wide) in a pleated form, by making two rows atop my flat lace cut piece and sewed around the edge of the fabric (at the top of pleats). Next, I measured and cut my chain (this is the length you want the necklace hanging on your neck, minus the fabric measurement). Then, trim was added to the fabric by using glue.

Bow Brooch
After making wine sachets from velvet fabric for a couple of friends, I ran out of my velvet ribbon used to wrap them in the earlier weeks. Fortunately, I was able to acquire the necessary yardage to finish that project, and soon after began working with velvet and filigree inspired pieces. Of course, these are just a few made pieces that I will be wearing soon.

Attach pin-back and metal trim. Glue to velvet bow.  Add rhinestone trim.
Note: This blog was formerly


Hit The Ground Running, Sitting, and Strutting

This week has immensely been a dose of breaking a sweat and getting back into the routine of life. Most everyone have likely gone back to the reality of "work mode," although I had an extra week to slowly get up to speed, yet I still felt somewhat overwhelmed. But, such is life and all good holidays must come to an end, and there is joy even amidst industrious days.

I had a semi-glamourous dress that I've only been able to wear once for reasons unknown ... that or the fact that it's really a bit shorter than I wanted, especially with each year that passes. Sitting in ideal posture, and even being in an upstanding position was apparent enough that I would need something underneath for layering these splendid threads of sheen. The dress was also a gift so I had been rather selective in its wearing moments.

But, my modern storage container (in its steamer trunk-ish style), came to the rescue! After rummaging through playful pieces alike I found one of my favourite lace underskirts, a handy short petticoat that has lended itself very useful in style times such as these!

Calvin Klein Street Style Blogger

The ocassion: absolutely nothing extravagant, merely a dinner, one of our pre-new year festivities as a send-off for loved ones. I threw on my denim jacket to make the outfit more casual, otherwise it could have been slightly a bit much for a sushi dinner given the silk-satin luster and its overall "frilly" attributes. But, you know ... of course I was going to wear it regardless!

DIY clutch Style Blogger Animal Prints
Wishing you a very happy weekend!

The goods: Jacket: Calvin Klein, Dress: Fumblin Foe, Lace underskirt/Boots-Love Culture, Animal clutch-DIY, Lace legwear-H&M, Earrings-Halo.


Pocketless Sass

I generally love pockets and zippers in garments, especially jackets and depending on the style (pockets) in dresses as well. But, when I wanted a faux leather version of my multi-pocket leather trousers not leggings, I decided to try a version sans front pockets, since my original pair was not with me at that time.

At first I was hesitant, as I acquired these a long time ago. I almost forgotten about this pleather pairing until I needed to get dressed for a night out with friends. I wanted a fun and comfortable look, an alternative to my usual dresses and skirts! And, yes, it would have certainly been easier to wear an oversize knit, however I opted for a different look.

Style Blogger Wearing leather trousers

I've seen loads of versions of leather leggings and with all of the chatter about it I most certainly agree with the part that a legging is not pants, just as a bikini is not an office top! But, I decided to show a way that a leather trouser may work, especially for my unconventional style. Of course you need to have trousers, which in my opinion are thicker anyway and gives you more room. Above all, when you're off shopping for your version make certain that you feel comfortable when wearing them! And, think about where you're going!

For this look I added my satin trimmed crop vest and wore a tank underneath. I embellished the look with my favourite Italian beaded trim at the moment (which I will be using for a crafty project later), wearing it as a belt. You can definitely wear simple solids and make a bold statement. This was suiting for my occasion: friends, live music, and good food!

The goods: Trousers-eBay, Crop vest-F21, Tank-H&M, Leather bag-African trade shop as seen here, Belt-My trimming chest of treasures, Heels-Seychelles.

Here's a glam version of my outfit that I created as inspiration with items listed below to view.

American Vintage Long Tee, Leather vest-Free People, Leather trousers-similar here, Michael Kors clutch-Moda Operandi, Triple triangle necklace-American Apparel, Nine West-Chances textured heels,


Style Rambling: Lady In Grey

Although, not quite the twelve days of Christmas yet it has been a glorious few weeks bringing in the new year, the gathering of wonderful friends and family, and even being a witness to a co-worker's wedding engagement before the holiday.

However, apart from enchanting fairytale-esque events and gourmet indulgences there was that thing of trying to get on track. And, since I really don't like being inundated with a massive attack to my inbox I was the one doing check-in periodically, (not an awful amount of times) to take care of the important mails.

Then, there was the time I thought my agenda planner was lost and spent a good two hours one day in search of it, only to find it placed in a side pocket of my carryall. Must have been in the frantic packing mode that day, but all was good because I backed everything up digitally. But, to be honest, sometimes you simply need to write things down! Do you rely on technology for everything? Of course we all do for the most part of our lives. I will say that I still enjoy writing a few things on that fibrous substance called "paper" occasionally.
Fashion Blogger Vintage Style

Also, I never thought I'd be so happy for my crazy fashion ribbon on my luggage until this woman tried to snatch my bag. Right, there's not too many people who have custom vintage ribbon on their luggage like mine! What an experience ...
DIY belts Oscar de la Renta jacket

Minor digressions aside, here's a work outfit that I wore just before all of the marvellous madness of Christmas holiday. I have a ton of feathers: ostrich, peacock, and others, so I decided to use the large peacock feather as a brooch-style accessory. Rather, a fresh take on my vintage-mod personal style interpretation.
Winter Layering Blogger Style H&M Skirt Fashion

DIY Accessories Trends

Just in case I've not been around your space ... HAPPY NEW YEAR !

The goods: Shoes-Anthropologie, Blazer-Oscar de la Renta, Pleated skirt-H&M, Striped shirt-OASAP, Textured tights-Capezion New York, Multi-chain necklace-Express, Belt-DIY, Silver bracelet-Mazatlan, Vintage leather clutch-Brandahl Sweden


Accessories Talk: Happy 2013

Well, it's certainly been a very pleasant holiday for me! With several days left I can honestly say that it was a joy to sleep in and have days where I did nothing except indulge in the quietness of my surroundings, however ... I am now ready to hit the ground running once more! 

As I prepare to go through new changes I wanted to share some inspiration and progress from projects that I had been working on in earlier weeks. 

Waist Treatments:
You're aware of my adoration for accessories, thus an entire crafting session one day was solely dedicated to "the belt." I recently designed two belts before the holidays: one of Baroque inspiration, and the other merely being somewhat of an ornate ode to onyx artful styled piece. Here are the results!
DIY Fashion BloggersDIY Belts Fashion Bloggers sewing DIY baroque belts

Baroque: I used custom running yardage trim, cut, and sewed the piece on my cut industrial elastic, then used a large brass hook & eye for closure.

Ode to Onyx: I used a buckle that I acquired long ago, cut my industrial elastic and folded one side of it around the metal bar of the buckle, sewing it closed. Then, sewed the opposite side of the elastic and attached a metal hook along the edge of the elastic.

Style Bloggers Great DIY Projects
Subtle Edge:
I take note when a garment has a special trim or added feature that surprises you, so a spike or three was exactly what I wanted in this blouse. I added spikes to the collar ends, as well as the shoulder seam for a custom dash of my style! As difficult as it is to say, yes, sometimes less is more! And, in this case the style direction that I wanted to go!

Top Style International BloggersDIY Belts Accessories African Fabrics

Sustaining and Resourceful:
My African wax fabric has surely served its (multi)purposes with me designing a clutch bag, and a bow tie for a friend. But, most importantly after careful cutting I was able to create a midriff bodice piece as well. I believe it's safe to say that I have used all of this fabric's contents for the greater good! Perhaps I may be able to create a miracle out of the lasting remnant of 10cm, but don't hold your breath.   

I will be properly wearing all of these soon, but for now there's the viewing! Next up? A few more finishing touches on several other items.

Here's to looking ahead. Of course, you should have practical goals ... there's also nothing wrong with thinking bigger, and challenging yourself always! Seek after what you want, write it down if you need to, and then just DO IT!

What are some 2013 goals that you have set so far?

Happy New Year!

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