Monday, 26 November 2012

Every Day Collection Dresses

Courtney - baby pink cotton shift dress

 Alice - Black cotton embroidered collar mini dress

 Love - Red pleated back wrap dress

 Honey - hot pink mini t-shirt dress

I'm well known for prom dresses, wedding dresses and all sorts of special occasion dresses that particularly cinch you in at the waist with sparkle and froth. There are my three staple black organic cotton tea dresses which are great for dinners and dates but no real every day, breath out, throw on and get to work dresses.
I also wanted to see if it was at all possible to design and make a dress, in the UK, cut and made one at a time for under or around £100. So here was the brief.

1. Fabrics must be purchased from an independent UK supplier.
- this was the wonderful Millie Moon Shop in Wells and Frome

2. The dresses must be designed, cut and made one at a time (like all our other dresses) at the studio here in the UK.

3. The dresses must be easily wearable, washable and be beautifully made.

4. They have to be well designed for everyday wear but not frumpy. Simple is not ugly.

This was about producing clothing locally and fairly. I have nothing against overseas production, If I was in China, you bet I would be having everything made there. I just like to see that everyone is taken care of, treated fairly and paid fairly. The only way I can guarantee this is by making where I can see everything at the studio and supporting local businesses.

So the final dresses. The designs were inspired by the late 80's and 90's minimalist cotton designs. Legs on show, relaxed but feminine cuts, supermodels, grunge (see if you can work out the names of the dresses) beaches and mods.

The Courtney - pink, mini, loose cut with a fit to the thigh and oh so chic worn with black.
The Alice - black, collared, mini mod moving to the twenties with an embroidered collar and belt
The Love - red, brightest lipstick red in a wrap that pleats at the back
The Honey - pink, mini t-shirt style with a long sash belt. 

Each dress is lined in satin and yes, £99 for the Honey dress delivered to your door. Simple minimalism is harder than it looks, the weight and cut is even more important to the design, every fold counts. The other dresses are a little more than the £99 but worth the extra bit of fabric and detail. And there are many ways to style them.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sunday Night Reads - Louis Vuitton / Marc Jacobs Book

Details: foreword by Yves Carcelle, President of Louis Vuitton and Helene David-Weill, President of Les Arts Decoratifs
Pages: 308 glorious pages of this Hardcover book
Published: 2012
Publisher: Rizzoli 
ISBN: 978-0-8478-3757-1
Buy on Amazon HERE (and if you're avoiding Amazon for avoiding taxes Buy HERE at Net-a-porter)

I had been waiting for this book to come out for years, at last a book about Marc Jacobs that is substantial! 
This gorgeous hard cover coffee table book documents the history of Louis Vuitton as garment packers together with the transformation of the Louis Vuitton brand by designer Marc Jacobs. 

The first section is a great history lesson, it's incredible to think of all these Parisian companies just packing things and Louis Vuitton, the finest of them designing and patenting the most incredible trunks to hold all manor item. One trunk even has a fold out bed and the craftsmanship is mind blowing from specialist coatings to the leather and canvas, to the engineering that was involved to house and transport a dress without it being crumpled.  

The second section of the book introduces Marc Jacobs and his daunting task of designing the first ever garments under the heritage heavyweight that is the Louis Vuitton name. The brilliant decisions of the designer/creative director to not bombard the catwalk with the Louis Vuitton label in his first collection, to the decade of exquisite, unfailing and exciting design. He has not only managed to maintain the historical luxury production of the brand but at the same time push it to become the most desired and fashion forward name in the world. 

The book itself is divided into text sections and beautiful full page images of each seasons campaign and collaboration. I love the original Louis Vuitton catalogue hidden in the pages and sheer amount of detail that I craved, but best of all it displays the genius that is Marc Jacobs. 150 years of incredible design all in one book. 

Enjoy your Sunday night reading, this one's not for bath xxx

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Shopping Day - Christmas Party Styling - Agent Debutant

It's Christmas party dress time and this week I'm finding all the treats to go with it ..........

I thought finding accessories to team with the little black Raven prom dress would be simple, I picked a whole load of beautiful stuff but very quickly it became apparent that I was in the Spy mood. If only I'd discovered this whilst all the hype about Bond was happening. (we don't talk about Bond here, it s a big disappointment)
So this wardrobe is for Agent Debutante. Imagine never been kissed but sleek, sexy, we were in France and she was an undercover spy who had been kissed.
We'd have Javier Bardem already spiked, Bond with bows in his eyes and be blissfully enjoying our beautiful collection with a whisky in the Sky Fall house. Of course joined by Dame Judy and Money Penny,who most certainly wouldn't be shunted off behind a desk.

So how will you style your Christmas party outfits agents? xxx

Clockwise from the Top ...... click on each item to shop.

1. I love these simple but elegant '30's Wallis' style shades by Illesteva. Perfect for every type of sun.

2. Delicate Art Deco Vivienne rhinestone stars hand crafted from British Accessory designer What Katy Did Next.

3. The everlasting classic with an added sultry black lace detailing The clean cut of this Erdem trench combined with the corded lace makes this an evening coat with punch. 

4. All I need to say about the Tatty Devinne 'Bow Tie' ring is that it's black, bold cut and a bow. Also makes a substantial 'poke his eye out' spy weapon. 

5. Agent Provoctateur is essential to this ensemble and the red and black lace Ameliah set is the ultimate distraction tactic after disrobing.

6. Every detail counts and M.A.C's Glamour Daze glitter polish nails it. 

7. Searching for the perfect black court shoe was hard with such an huge choice out there but Jimmy Choo won out with the spikiest heel Abels.

8. Our rainbow glitter skinny belt adds a subtle touch of sparkle to the matte tulle of the prom dress. Disco ball light catching, just what a sparkle should do.

9. I couldn't resist the Marabou feather Agent Provocateur mules, fluffy with bows and oh so pretty. 

10. Cockney pink lipstick from M.A.C is a gorgeous splash of colour to pick out the colourful glitter details and hot against the neutral black and khaki.

11. And finally a pair of gold (fingered) gloves by Bottega Veneta in softest metallic leather.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Red Christmas Party Dress

 It's the time of year .... for festive cheer! And to start getting in Christmas mood this is the first little red dress of the season.
Made for Millie Moon's shop window in a tiny red polkadot cotton trimmed with a sumptuous green velvet bow. Velvet is a must for this time of year. The party dress can be made to order for your party and worn with a tulle underskirt gives an amazing silhouette that will have you swishing away into the night.

I love the dress worn with the forties Italian tea party in mind for the summer, just add peep toes or  Nineties style Gwen with a chunky knit grunge cardigan and bare feet. This one will actually last me all year round and the cotton is so soft.

The dress itself is made with a boned sweetheart bodice, gathered sweetheart neckline and a pleated wide waistband. The skirt is full and is trimmed with a little pleated bow which can be bought separately. This adds to the forties Mediterranean styling worn in your hair.

View the dress in the shop here. xxx

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Caroline and her dress ......

Caroline first came to me last year looking for a bespoke wedding dress. I immediately wanted to make her dress within seconds of meeting and when I closed the door to the studio I kept my fingers crossed that this better than Audrey Hepburn lookalike would be wearing my dress on her big day.

So lucky me, it turned out good! I worked on the designs with Caroline so that we could have a dress that not only looked spectacular on the day but could be worn again. As we speak I am just finishing a blue lace over dress for her Christmas party.

This post is going to have to span a few weeks long as there is so much to show you. The first pictures are of the engagement shoot which made it to the Times engagement section with my tie dye and black lace dress. How society!

Times Newspaper - Photography by Assassynation 

The initial sketches for Caroline's dress 
 Here is the first design of the dress and the development pictures. The dress was made from silks from Caroline's very local supplier in Gloucester, Beckford Silks. They dye all of our silks in Gloucester and are a brilliant company who print, dye and make sure all our silks are top quality.

One of the fittings at the studio.

So we had a few fittings at Caroline's Mums house and at the studio, it was always so lovely to see her twirling around whilst I pinned and gave my usual critical glare over the dress. (this isn't ever me glaring it you it's me checking the dress is just right!) Caroline couldn't have been a better bride to work with, always positive, gorgeously ladylike and wonderfully relaxed whilst knowing exactly what she wanted. It's also a great help having a super lovely family and friends to bring along too.

 And this is what the dress looked liked in the end ..........................  silk duchess satin, silver lace removable jacket and a huge detachable bow.  There will be lots of photos of the wedding coming up soon, after I share the bridesmaids dresses. xxx

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

New In ..... Tinsel and Tiara's Collection

The Tinsel and Tiara's collection is here and available made to order from the shop. More pictures are to follow! Enjoy xxx

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Introducing Winter 2012 .....

Introducing the New Winter Collection .....................

I have been wanting to work on this collection for ages, but with orders and never ending weddings these treats have to wait until there is a little space in the schedule. I'm so glad this possible in time for party season.
Each dress was designed fit for a ball with our classic prom dress as inspiration with it's layers of tulle and pleats. Bold iconic dots in shiny sequins are hand sewn to the dresses, I love the black on white silk Betty, especially with the glitter belt.  The mint was colour matched to the frost covered fields we get here in the Winter. The whole countryside is sprinkled with glittering ice and everything goes to these pale pastel shades with the contrast of the black skeleton trees,

We made a little video of making the collection. The music makes me think of twirling dresses at a Ball and all that tulle floating everywhere. Cheesy and very Disney like but these dresses are feeling like original Debs.


And another preview treat here is the glitter bodice up close, I could whittle away hours dancing about the studio watching it glitter in the lights ..........