Saturday, November 27, 2010

How to...

How to rip a t-shirt.  Please note this project is not for the impatient.  It takes time.  If you're like me and love watching TV and movies, but need to be doing something constructive at the same time, then this is your project.  It takes time.  There, I said it.  Consider yourself warned.

Step one is to get yourself a T-shirt.  There are two things to keep in mind, the size of the knit (look at the rows or ridges on your shirt, the bigger the ridges the bigger the knit.  Bigger knit makes this easier and faster.  The second thing to consider is size.  The more 'ripping' you do, the bigger the shirt gets.  I started with a small cheap T-shirt with a very small knit.

Now we prep the shirt by undoing the hem and removing the collar.  A seam ripper is ideal, or sharp pointed scissors.
Ripping out the hem.
To quicken things up you can cut the hem and collar off, but as I've mentioned this project is NOT for the impatient.  I prefer ripping out the hem as it adds to the length of the shirt, and generally if you're adding to the width of something you want to also lengthen for balance.

Collar almost completely removed.

Now we are ready to get down to the fun stuff.  The ripping!  Choose where you want your shirt to be ripped, a popular one seems to be across the back, I prefer a few good rips up one side of the front, it's all up to you.  And determine how wide you want the rip.  Remember the rip makes the shirt bigger.  Depending on the size of the knit 1 inch of shirt may turn into 2 or 3 inches.  Pick a section of rib and start to unravel the thread inside.
Note: The rip will be the size of the string, not the space it came from.

Being careful not to break the threads continue pulling them out making sure to pull them out from end to end of the area you choose.  If you fail to do this your rip will slowly narrow until it comes to an end, or you can just go with it and claim it was all part of your pre-determined design.

Next:  Keep ripping.  This is the time consuming part.  Pop in a good movie and go for it.  It gets easier as you go, and you'll soon be able to pull the threads apart with your fingers:
Check out my awesome manicure - I did it myself.

Stretched out over my knee.

I find it easiest to stretch the shirt over my knees and work on it that way.
My finished shirt with two rips up the front, and one CB(that's Centre Back for non-sewer types).

I'm not really sure how long I spent on this.  I tend to pick it up several times a day for short periods at a time.  I'll probably wear it like this a few times, and then add more rips.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Which Cover Would You Buy?

Alessandra Ambrosia

  There's obviously some serious photo shopping going on here. I'm guessing it's Alessandra's body and poor Beyonce's head just got stuck on.  Did they think Beyonce wasn't hot enough?  I mean come on people, the ad for her new perfume 'Heat' was banned from British television before 7:30 pm because it's just too damn sexy(I wonder if the same thing will happen here in North America?)!

 I for one think it would have been much more compelling to see two different pics.  I like the idea of using the same dress and just altering the styling a bit.  I think they took a great idea and made it kind of boring.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chanel ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 2011

An eighty piece orchestra, an entire garden including three working fountains re-created from 'Last Year at Marienbad'(which is reportedly the most boring movie ever made, anyone seen it?).   The sheerest lightest fabrics and feathers mixed with classic Chanel tweeds.   Over 80 models!  An 18 minute runway show!  How can you go wrong?  I really wanted to like this show, but I just didn't.  There are looks that I really loved, but they seemed few and far between.  Maybe the sheer numbers diluted the show somewhat?  Here are a few of the best and worst(according to me).  And don't forget to check out the shoes, some of the choices baffle me.  They look like geriatric platforms.


Just really not nice.  Not in any way.

I have no words for those sleeves and collar.

I realize that the film that Lagerfeld used for inspiration was made in 1960, but really? 

This on the other hand is gorgeous! Except for the damn shoes!

Hot.  Head to toe.  Love it.
Awesome, and totally relevant.
The worst offender I think was these babies:

If you're going to do platform thigh high leather, do it right.  Like McQueen did.

Thank you Alexander McQueen

Monday, November 8, 2010

Boring Basics - Haute Couture

Haute = High or Elegant
Couture = Sewing , Needlework, or Dressmaking

Haute Couture = High Fashion

The term haute couture has been somewhat(very) watered down over the past few years, and is now used(incorrectly) to refer to high end or custom made clothing. Technically a design house must be a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris. The chamber is regulated by The French Department of Industry, and in order to become a member the house must design made-to-order clothing for private clients with at least one fitting, employ at least 15 people full-time in an atelier(studio) in Paris France, and present collections twice a year.  Each of these two presentations must include daytime and evening wear and include at least 35 separate outfits. 

Each season the Chambre produces a list of Design Houses that meet the requirements and are therefore legally allowed to use the term Haute Couture in connection with their collection.  For Spring/Summer 2010 the following lines are listed:

 Adeline Andre:
Adeline Andre by Adeline Andre

Anne Valerie Hash:
Anne Valerie Hash by Anne Valerie Hash

Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld

Christian Dior:
Christian Dior by John Galliano
 Dominique Sirop:
Dominique Sirop by Dominique Sirop

Franck Sorbier:
Franck Sorbier by Franck Sorbier
Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci

Jean Paul Gaultier:
Jean Paul Gualtier by Jean Paul Gaultier

Maurizio Galante:
Maurizio Galante by Maurizio Galante

Stephane Rolland:
Stephane Rolland by Stephane Rolland
If you're a fashion and/or art lover these designers are all worth following.  I find it interesting to see the choice of models.  Many of the shows featured unsigned, 'mature', or larger-than-average(for the fashion industry) models.  Maybe their counterparts around the world will start to follow suit.  And as I fit all three of those categories: unsigned, 'mature', and larger-than-average(for the fashion industry), my career as catwalk model may just be around the corner.  And to think I gave up that dream so many years ago...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Here's the part where I show a picture to a select group of folks and get their oh so valued opinions. Today's Pics:   The lipstick heel by Alberto Guardiari:

Lipstick shoes.  Yes or No?  FYI- the color can be changed when your not feeling the red.

I brought in a special opinionater this time around.  One of the greatest lovers of shoes I have ever had the pleasure to know.

The Shoe Lover:
Well smack my lips and call me Lefty! These shoes do not make me want to run out and freshen up my wardrobe. What we have here is a shoe designer who has passed their prime. Unable to come up with any new ideas in the design of a great shoe we have--this. Lipstick as a heel. What's next egg beaters? The shoe is a plain black pump. A staple in so many a womans shoe closet but beyond that they lack any personality. Created from a freak accident where the designer dropped her favorite lipstick and as toast with butter always does landed lipstick end down. Hey! What a great idea for a shoe. Ummm, no. What would catch my eye and have me warming up my credit card is a plain black pump with a lipstick on the vamp. Make the lipstick with a clip on the bottom so I can attach it to the shoe. It's trendy and I don't need to worry about carrying my clutch with me. Lipstick on the right foot perfume atomizer on the right.

What happened to effort and thought in design?

The Comedian:

Generally speaking, I'm not a fan of gimmicks. I don't like the Statue of Liberty play in football and I don't like when an evil twin shows up in a TV show.
However, the lipstick heel shoe gimmick (and it is a gimmick) works because it achieves what it's supposed to do: catch your eye and make the viewer look down there.  Woman walks by in the Parisian night-club, wearing those, and you will stop your conversation about Marxism and you will notice the red. (And red is the only colour that will work for this shoe)  "Someone's heel, it is bleeding", you will say in a French accent, only to discover it's the old lipstick heel gimmick.
After that first notice, however, it's up to the woman wearing them, to ensure that the viewer's eyes leave the red dart of lipstick and travel up to the calf and beyond.
Not any woman can wear this shoe, though. It takes a woman with confidence. A woman with sexual energy.  A lean, long legged lady.
In fact, maybe only one woman can wear it:  Kathleen Turner.  But not the Kathleen Turner of today.  The Kathleen Turner of her prime (and, coincidentally, of my dreams).

Thumbs up to the lipstick heel shoe.

The Sea Captain:
Lipstick shoes are not the kind of thing I would ever notice a woman wearing.  The only footwear I notice on women is thigh high stripper boots.  I guess if I did notice my initial reaction would probably be, "That's weird."  Let's face it though, If I resort to looking at her shoes it's probably because the conversation isn't very stimulating...or because she doesn't have a very nice bum.
There you have it folks.  A pretty split panel on this one.  Your thoughts?

Last minute opinion from our very own Skateboarder:
These definitely exude some Bonfire of the Vanities-era decadence. However, as we should have realized back then, fashion isn't meant to be fun. It's 'knives out or get off the roof' serious.

Am I the only one who thinks these are destined for the discount warehouse or is it possible that even the workers at the shoe factory were rolling their eyes at each other over the production line?

Too novelty to become a classic, too absurd to have mass appeal. A quick-release-style, interchangeable heel though? Now we're getting serious.