Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Couture Is In The Details

Claire Shaeffer shows-and-tells a Dior Couture gown's secrets.

Claire Shaeffer isn't fooling around. Her love of couture is serious; it's obsessive even. She ran away from home at 17 to literally join the circus. Literally. When acrobatics failed her and she wound up a doctor's wife, her performer shoulders kept her out of a lot of the fashion she loved, so she taught herself how to sew. In the manner of anyone who would run away to join the circus, she didn't just start with easy Simplicity pattern shift dresses, nope, she started a life-long practice of astutely dissecting garments to gain knowledge of their construction. Combing the aisles of vintage stores, she picked up pieces by big name designers and analyzed their every stitch to see the hows and whys and ins and outs of their form. She never stopped. Today Claire is one of the premier authorities on fashion's most fine, skillful sewing techniques. She has penned over 15 books on sewing and leads workshops for those hungry for the knowledge of just what goes into those high-priced couture garments (it's actually worth the money!). To learn more about Claire and her secrets, check out a post I did on her recent visit to the FIT campus for Pins and Needles, FIT's Fashion and Textiles MA program's blog.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Good Face

Artist Jen Mann gives good face. Her print work and paintings are the love children of a high fashion magazine and the prime of the pagan planet. Her pretty subjects have the bone structure of perfect creatures, and the animals she sometimes coaxes out of their ethereal surroundings (or their skulls) are equally perfected.

While the imagery elements (howling wolf, pretty woman) could easily have come from that hippie/suburban spirit shop on Main St., Manning's soft renderings of bold features keeps her work well in the realm of higher art. You can see more of her work at her website and on her blog.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

I like my goddessses shaved.

Ah, the '90s were forever ago, but with one quick flash of that dragon furled on a buzzed tete, they were only yesterday.

Shaved-headed model Eve Salvail made a return to the catwalk at Jean Paul Gaultier's couture show yesterday, and it looks like she hasn't missed a beat. Need a reminder of Eve? Here she is featured on House of Style, with an appearance by JPG himself:

Now, where are my clippers? And, my tattoo gun? Maybe Eve will let me borrow hers...

And because one good shave deserves another, watch Grace Jones get a 13 minute haircut in a video piece by Anton Perich.


Love, worn.

Riccardo Tisci's contribution to couture is beauty realized. The spareness with which he presents his collections speaks to a rare level of restraint in the fashion industry by a clearly capable and highly talented individual. His ten looks for this season are phenomenal in their craft, and rather than glut the runway with three times as many ensembles, he lets them each stand alone like understated lines of poetry, clearly meticulous in every detail. Behold the beauty, front and back:

I'm waiting with bated breath for some detail shots. This collection makes me want to impose a rule that any designer still showing couture must present a video of the handwork that goes into each look. If we only could witness the finesse and skill represented in these creations. I hear there was also a scent diffuser misting the presentation with the aroma of roses. See? Meticulous.