Personal sewing is in progress but not much to show and tell and I’ve been working on a secret project which I can’t reveal yet………. so I’ve been thinking……….
Style icons and icons who have style.
Recently on a girly weekend away and I mentioned to my best mates that I’d love to have “A Style” – one that as soon as you saw it you would think – Ruth!
Partly it’s down to dressing for your shape but then certain dressing styles can also change or disguise your shape; a good tailored jacket can minimise round shoulders. Looking your best also means dressing for your colour but as home sewers we are free to select our own palette whether we suit it or not; it is gorgeous fabric after all!
FabricKated has always good and forthright advice on style – what suits and what doesn’t and sits very comfortably in her own classic and couture 1960s style. Margy with her distinctive monochrome and dash of red that somehow on her looks colourful. Gertie with the 1950s vibe but is still up to date. Twotoast with her recent layered look that is both simple and comfortable yet well thought out and put together. You know what I mean?
I want that! It is so difficult to choose which style is MINE.
Sometimes I like sloppy; sometimes I like couture; sometimes I like RTW; sometimes I like dresses and sometimes I prefer jeans; sometimes I wear high heels and then again I like flats; sometimes I like whatever is clean and ironed! At the same time as wanting a defined style I don’t want to be limited to only wearing (and making) one shape of dress with slight variations.
So far this summer I’ve been collecting patterns in an attempt to narrow down and define “my style”. I haven’t sewed anything much yet as I keep flitting from one idea to another. I started with Alabama Chanin – cotton jersey, comfy and totally wearable all day: have moved to Drape Drape 2 with a couple of asymmetrical Japanese tops: made a Style Arc top: have Donna Karan Vogue 1440 still in circulation with the intention of making another shirt and jacket. Now, just look at all those different styles and shapes – Do you see a common denominator because it’s escaping me?
To throw another ingredient into the mix most recently I bought Merchant and Mills Workbook – ‘a collection of versatile sewing patterns for an elegant All season Wardrobe’.
I love to love this company with their brown paper parcels tied up with string aesthetic. From the introduction:
“..there was a simpler time when ‘clothing’ had clear and explicit tasks; to keep us warm and covered up.
As the population grew and our tiny brains grew exponentially…..what we wore became a statement, an overt visible admission of who we thought ourselves to be for all to opine upon.
At some invisible point in time, fashion grew a capital ‘F’ and became important.”
The book has six patterns printed Burda-style on paper which has to be traced off. The clothing is relaxed made best in natural fabrics like linen, cotton and silk which highlight the unstructured and simple lines. There are variations for some pieces which gives a total of 11 garments – of course you can make a skirt any length you want, so the variations are endless.
The straightforwardness of the designs belie the detailed instructions for construction and attention to finishing details. It is not a book for absolute beginners, you do need to know a bit about sewing techniques and tailoring for the jacket. I’ve just ordered a small haul of linen and when it arrives shall start making and report back. You can then critique this style on me!
So, I also like the unstructured and natural.
Is liking a style, enough to make you suit it?
I’ve just finished watching a marathon of House of Cards and my current style icon is the First Lady Clare Underwood. Her clothes are what I want! Oh I know it’s a TV programme and it’s not really real, but how I would love to wear Manolo Blanik for 48hrs. How does one wear a pencil skirt with a back centre split and it doesn’t crease when you sit down? How do you keep a wrap chiffon blouse from gaping in front of the media?
Is a strong personality “The Style” and the clothes merely follow, or is it the otherway around – dress well and your confidence grows? Chicken and egg question.
So who is YOUR style icon? Do you have one? And why? Can you define your own style?