Hand-Dyed Pearl Cotton/ Embroidery Floss Tutorial

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I’ve been wanting to do this tutorial for a while now and FINALLY got around to taking pictures during my process.

If you’ve ever wanted to dye your own embroidery floss or pearl cotton, this is an easy method with great results. I don’t usually dye more than 8 or 10 skeins at a time, so I can control the colors better, but once you get the hang of it, you can probably do a lot more at one time.

Let’s get started!
You will need:

  • White, 100% cotton 6-strand embroidery floss or white, 100% cotton pearl cotton (any size). I personally use DMC because I get good results, but feel free to use any brand you want. For this demo, I’ll be using #5 pearl cotton.
  • MX/Procion dyes. I use ProChemical mainly, but as long as it’s for cellulose fibers, any brand will work.
  • Soda ash. You can get this through any dye seller.
  • Synthrapol for rinsing your hand-dyed coton.
  • Small plastic containers – one for each color.
  • Plastic spoon for mixing – I use plastic baby spoons from the grocery store.
  • Measuring spoons – NEVER user dye utensils for food prep!
  • Measuring cup –  NEVER user dye utensils for food prep!
  • Two quart plastic container
  • Plastic tray or cardboard box lined with a plastic trash bag
  • Old towels
  • Cheap acrylic yarn – Honestly, the cheapest stuff you find on the clearance rack is fine.
  • Cling wrap
  • A couple of cans of vegetables, or two candle sticks, or something that can stand on its own.
  • About a yard of tulle. Use a coupon or get it on sale. Any color will do, but make sure it’s tulle and not netting. Also, avoid the kind with glitter on it.
  • Sewing machine and thread.
  • Apron, rubber/nitrile/dish washing gloves, face mask, eye protection.

 

AS ALWAYS, WHEN WORKING WITH DRY POWDERS AND CHEMICALS, USE A FACE MASK AND EYE PROTECTION.

Also, I work on an old towel when I dye.
It helps to catch drips and makes clean up WAY easier.

Step 1 – Make a skein.

I just wind a length of pearl cotton around my forearm, kinda like winding a garden hose. How long you need the cotton depends on your project. I usually just count 20-25 revolutions around my forearm, but you can do more or less.You can also wrap your skein around two cans or a knitty noddy if you have one.

Step 2 – Tie off your skein.

Using the acrylic yarn, bind your skein at even intervals around the loop – I usually do four. You don’t want the knots too tight or they will act as a resist and you’ll get white spots without dye – unless that’s what you want, then bind away! Just make them loose enough to slide over the surface of the skein.

Step 3 – Soda soak your cotton

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Mix 2 tablespoons of dry soda ash with 1 quart of warm tap water (If you have hard water, use cheap, store-brand distilled water so you don’t have to add a ton of other chemicals) in the 2 quart container. Stir the soda ash until it completely dissolves in the warm water – you’ll know it’s dissolved when the water is slightly milky and you can’t hear any more granules scrape against the bottom of the container. When completely dissolved, place your bound skeins in the solution. Let them soak for at least 15 minutes. SOFTLY agitate them a couple of times during the soaking to make sure they get saturated, but don’t ruin your skein shape.

Step 4 – Make your dye solution

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While your skeins are soaking, measure out about 1 cup of tap water into each of your plastic containers (If you have hard water, use store-brand distilled water so you don’t have to add a ton of other chemicals). The number of containers you use will depend on how many colors you want to dye your cotton. Measure out the desired amount of dry dye powder into the containers. If you want a pale color – use about 1/4 teaspoon, for a medium value – use 1/2 teaspoon, for a dark color – use a teaspoon. Please feel free to experiment with the amount you use. These amounts are not in stone and you can get great results just playing with dye amounts. Using the plastic spoons, thoroughly dissolve the dry powder into the water. When all dye solutions are made, set the containers close together.

Step 5 – Dyeing the cotton

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Remove one skein from the soda soak and wring it out over the 2 quart container. It needs to be damp, so don’t dry it out. Figure out how you want your dye pattern to run (But seriously, don’t over think this, just have fun!) and place a section of the skein in one of the dye containers. With the other containers close by, dip the remaining sections in the other containers. Let the skein rest on the rims of the containers (If you want a solid color, just drop the entire skein in one color bath). You’ll want to soak the skeins for a few minutes – this allows the color to sink into the fiber and travel up to the rim a little bit. you can manipulate the skein as much as you want to get the color blending you desire.

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Once you get the idea, you can start adding more dye containers and more skeins to get a little dye factory going.

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Have fun blending colors and dye patterns. Once you have your set up, leave the skeins to soak for about 10 minutes. Make sure to get enough dye liquid on the parts that are resting on the rims.

Step 6 – Batch setting your cotton

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Once you have the color you want, and they have been soaking for about 10 minutes, carefully transfer each skein to a plastic tray or box with a trash bag lining it. You can slightly squeeze some excess dye liquid out of the skein, but be careful to wipe your glove before moving over to another color of the skein. You can easily transfer color that way.

Lay them down with out them touching each other. When you have all the skeins laid out on the tray, cover the tray with cling wrap. You’ll want the cling wrap to touch the skeins so they don’t dry out. Keeping them moist while the chemical reaction of the dye bonding to the fiber happens is called batch setting. You’ll want to keep them under the cling wrap for an hour, at least. You can keep them batch setting for up to 24 hours if you want, but I never leave them that long. I usually don’t let them batch for longer than 3 hours just because I’m impatient.

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You don’t have to have green cling wrap, I’ve just had this box for like 10 years and NEVER seem to run out of it.

Step 7 – First rinse
After the skeins have batch set, your first rinse will be in the sink. You can get a plastic dishpan and fill it with tap water and do a rinse in that, but you’ll need to change the water every so often. Honestly, I just run the tap with a light stream and rinse under that. You are going to run the skeins, one at a time, under the tap and let the water wash off any excess dye. At this point, you just need to get rid of the bulk of the loose dye. Your water will not run clear at this point, but you will notice that the run-off isn’t as dark as it was when you started. Try squeezing the individual color sections, under the water instead of balling up the skein – this will prevent any back staining of dark colors on light colors. You need to get all the skeins rinsed like this and set them on a towel in single file.

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Once they are all lined up, roll up the towel tightly to get out the bulk of liquid in the skeins. Really squeeze them to get them just damp dry.

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Step 8 – Machine rinse

Lay the tulle on a table. Place a skein on the tulle with some room around it and sandwich in between another layer of tulle. The pictures I have here are just to show you placement, but when you do this, it will be easier to do one at a time. What is happening is that you are making a one time use rinsing bag for the washing machine. The old standard is to use a lingerie bag, but I find that leaves the skein all tangled and matted. This way does use up a little tulle, but ultimately saves you time on rinsing.

You are going to use a long baste on your sewing machine, with any thread you have (this is a great way to use up oddball bobbins). Sew around each skein with just a little wiggle room. You also need to sew down the center of the skein, in the donut hole, so to speak. This prevents the skein from balling up when in the washing machine. This stitching does not have to be pretty, as you can tell in my pictures. You can do individual bags for each color group, but I have never felt the need to. I get great results just lining them up in a  row. You can fill up the width of the tulle with as many skeins as you have.

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Make sure to sew COMPLETELY around each skein, backstitching at the start/stop AND down the center. If there is a little hole between the skeins, the loose end will find its way through it, BELIEVE me!

Once the skeins are secure in their tulle cells, toss that puppy in the washing machine on hot with some Synthrapol (Follow mfg. instructions on your brand of Synthrapol). I usually run my wash cycle twice, on hot. I also do some yardage fabric dyeing and toss that in as well. The tulle casing can take a beating in the machine.

After your preferred washes (Do at least two for good measure, more if you are selling your floss), you can throw the tulle package in the dryer. If you want, you can also hang the skeins to dry. Again, I’m impatient, so in the dryer they go. I use medium heat for a “regular” drying cycle in my machine.

When they come out of the dryer, cut around the tulle cells, being careful to not cut the pearl cotton in the process.

Step 8 – Winding your floss

Place the skein around the two cans of vegetables, keeping the skein taut.

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CAREFULLY cut the acrylic yarn off of the skeins.

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Slowly unwind the skein from the cans as you wind it onto a bobbin or empty spool. I have a die cutter, so I use all these fun die shapes instead of traditional bobbins. You can also just leave it in a skein form if you want.

And there you go.
That’s how I dye my floss/pearl cotton.

Let me know if you try this or have any questions.

 

Haute Couture: Fall 2016

Is it me or is Haute Couture week getting shorter and shorter every season? Yet, I feel they are constantly adding more and more shows.  I dunno..

This, as with the last SEVERAL seasons, has been a bit of a sleeper as far as the WOW factor is concerned. It’s like couture designers just don’t care about making a statement any more. I get that they have to pay the bills with wearable pieces, but at one point, the clientele is going to catch on to the fact that they are showing thirty-thousand dollar jackets that look just like the eight hundred dollar jackets selling in the stores.

There is no life to the collections any more. Even heavy-hitters that used to stun and shock have slipped into repetitive navel-gazing. There used to be an excitement to the couture collections. There used to be a buzz about the clothes. Now-a-days, the press is all about kissing designer ass and who was spotted in the front row. It’s a shame.

Maybe I’m just too hard to please, but for better or worse, here is my take on the Fall 2016 Haute Couture collections.  I’m not doing a turkey list this time because the season was more middle of the road than deep end; however, I have mixed in a few one-liners for your enjoyment.

All pictures are from NowFashion.com.
They have the BEST coverage of all the collections, check them out!

Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli, Couture Collection Fall Winter 2016 in Paris

Billed as an homage to Sciap’s original circus collection, it honestly felt like more of a pastiche. There were the obvious nods to the famous embroideries and motifs, and of course, the beading and embroidery were impeccable, but I can’t help but feel that Guyon (the current head designer) is just going through the motions and is afraid to strike out on his own with the collection. Hopefully he’ll stop rummaging through the archives soon and get down to giving this house its well-deserved update.

On Aura Tout Vu

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When you want to look cute, but also value your personal space.

Like a good sauce, it’s best to let it reduce to bring out its finest flavor. This season, the Vu team did just that. They stuck to their usual, nonsensical whimsy, but in such a low key, the collection almost seemed quiet. Of course there were the usual insane embellishments and textiles (I really want to know what that translucent gray stuff is), but overall it worked. I could do without their obsession with insect legs, but I’m glad to see them still on the calendar and being themselves.

Dior

Dior,Couture,Collection Fall Winter 2016 in Paris

Dear house of Dior, why the Hell are you dragging your feet hiring a new designer? I mean seriously, your ready to wear is more exciting, and that’s not saying much. This collection was so boring and unimaginative, I worry this will be the norm from now on. Hire someone already. It’s really not that difficult. In the meantime, stop pumping out this lifeless crap. Thank you.

Chanel

Chanel Couture Collection, Fall Winter 2016 Fashion Show in Paris

“No no, I WANT the dress to make it look like I’m carrying around a spread-eagle gorilla on my back. It’ll be chic!”

MY GAWD this collection was ugly – horrible cuts, nothing fit and all of the embellishments looked like afterthoughts. I mean, Karl has had some clunkers, but I don’t remember seeing anything this bad in a long time. Save for ONE dress, this season is absolutely forgettable chez Chanel, best to avoid it.

Julien Fournie

Julien Fournié, Couture Collection Fall Winter 2016 in Paris

OK, I’m sold. Yeah, it was a bit obvious, but this season at Fournie was great. Beautifully simple in its delivery, each look had a desirability that screamed elegance. Interesting embellishments, beautiful cuts and even though it was a little on the predictable side, each exit was a class act. Odd that I’m getting excited about a designer actually doing his job correctly, but hey, I’ll take what I can get. Bravo!

Stephane Rolland

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I love it when designers do what they do well. Rolland knows how to sculpt fabric into undulating confections of wearable sculpture better than most designers on the market today. He rarely strays from his beloved black and white, and in any other hands, I would probably call a repetition penalty, but when he works his traditional magic, the delivery is anything but boring. Cool cuts, BEAUTIFUL sheer insets and refined embellishments knock this season out of the park.

J Mendel Couture

J.Mendel Couture Fall Winter 2016 Fashion Show in Paris

And I’m calling this dress the “Landing Strip.”

Pretty weak debut for someone of Mendel’s clout. The guy already designs expensive clothes, what was the point of marking them up further? If you want  an evening look in need of a Brazilian, you should definitely make an appointment for a fitting.

Givenchy

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Well, at least they showed something. Givenchy has been off the calendar for a while now, and I kinda see why. Tisci (the current head designer) is usually a great couture designer. I normally  love what he does,  but this season was, uhh… interesting? Half the lace looked like kitchen curtains and this pleated number is dumpy at best, but overall… oh who am I kidding? It was boring and uninspired. Look, I get that he’s been in ready-to-wear mode for a while now, so I’m going to let it slide, but step it up Ricardo. You’re better than this.

Maison Margiela

Maison Margiela, Fashion Show, Couture Collection Fall Winter, Paris

Maison Margiela, Fashion Show, Couture Collection Fall Winter, Paris

Is it a dress? A blanket? An off-the-shoulder bathrobe? All of the above? Who knows, but that’s kinda the point, huh? Galliano has been at the MM helm for a few seasons now, and manages EVERY DAMN TIME to merge his sensibilities AND that of Margiela’s traditions – confusion, experiment, found-object and history. I honestly think that Galliano getting fired from Dior was the best thing that could have happened to him.  At Dior, he was bound by a legacy of restriction. At MM, the only thing that restricts him is his imagination. Odd, yes, but that’s right in step with the mood of the house.

Elie Saab

Elie Saab, Fashion Show, Couture Fall Winter 2016 in Paris

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, Saab is best when he turns to the dark side.  This collection was so deep, rich and mysterious, by the time the blush and nude colors finished the collection, you almost missed them in the darkness. The cuts were experimental for the house, if not grounded in Sabb technique, the embellishments, even though beautifully decadent, were almost architectural, and the styling was clean and classy. It was like fairy land in a black out, and frankly, I hope Saab keeps cutting down the power lines. I have no idea what that means, but whatever, the collection was great.

Gaultier Paris

Jean Paul Gaultier, Couture Collection Fall Winter 2016 in Paris

Well, it was better than last season. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good collection, but JUST good. With a dark forest theme, Gaultier cleaned out his techniques vault and cranked out familiar shapes and embellishments with a modern edge.  There were elements from past shows, like the beautiful, pleated leaves on Chrystelle’s dress that harkened back to the late 80’s/early 90’s, and familiar shapes, like the structured suits of his French can-can collection and the wide brimmed coifs that were direct patterns from his Mongolian travelers collection. It all felt comfortable, but still lacking in forward creativity. There were a few missteps, like those bizarre flaps dangling from the fronts and backs of like 20 looks, but still, there was a richness to the pieces. He could stand to step away from the Grés pleating for a change, but I think this season gave me a little hope for the Gaultier future.

Viktor and Rolf

Viktor&Rolf,Fashion Show, Couture Fall Winter 2016 in Paris

A trip to Goodwill, that’s what I’m calling this collection. That might sound like a bit of an insult, but it really isn’t. The Dutch duo likes to over-explore one theme with their couture collections, and this season they choose weaving as their starting point. Not intricate jacquards or twills, but rather a terribly simple over/under plain weave.  Taking odds and ends off the racks, they cut up then re-weaved mismatched scraps and ribbons to give very simple clothes, VERY artistic textures. They raided the random button jar, and covered every conceivable surface in thousands of the fasteners.  Beautiful tulle layers and blown together embellishments gave this season a welcome uniqueness that their past few collection have been lacking. Overall, a great step forward.

Zuhair Murad.

Zuhair Murad, Couture Collection Fall Winter 2016 in Paris

This guy does embroidered tulle probably better than any other designer working today. I mean, there’s sexy, and then there is Murad sexy. The goofy cowboy hats that adorned 60% of the models were missteps -honestly, they looked like an afterthought, but OMG these were some of the best looking bodices I have seen in a very long time from him, or any other designer.  I’m not sure classy and super sexy belong together, but if they do Zuhair’s got it all sewn up.

Valentino

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OMG PLEASE MAKE ANOTHER DRESS PATTERN ALREADY!! WHO NEEDS THIS MANY OF THAT ONE CUT OMG PLEASE?!?!! Now that that’s out of the way, this collection was rich in it its simplicity. A romp through the middle ages cum Renaissance, there were high, ruffled collars, doublet bodices and plenty of restrained elegance to pass around the medieval banquet hall. Revolutionary? Not at all, but there was such a fine, edited eye placed on this collection, I was forced to acknowledge it. The design duo that heads up Valentino does one thing VERY well, they design a collection.  Yes, they can repeat cuts ad nauseam, but they are so damn good at editing and staying true to the house’s objectives that, even though I hound them, I secretly respect them for what they are doing. SHHHHH! DON’T TELL NOBODY, Y’ALL!!! In conclusion, I hate it all and love it at the same time.

Armani Privé

Giorgio Armani Prive, Fashion Show, Couture Fall Winter 2016 in Paris

Giorgio Armani Prive, Fashion Show, Couture Fall Winter 2016 in Paris

WHO’S THE LEADER OF THE CLUB THAT’S MADE FOR YOU AND ME? M-I-C…  Oooohh, you know the rest!

As usual, Armani put me to sleep, and as usual, I’ve given up caring. The same old, same old per Girogio; I honestly wonder how he stays in business cranking out clothes that look JUST LIKE his ready to wear collection. Oh well, I’m going back to sleep. G’nite.

Alexandre Vauthier

Alexandre Vauthier, Fashion Show, Couture Fall Winter 2016 in Paris

Normally I ignore this house. I mean, it’s got its moments, but over all, it’s just sexy, rock-chick clothes; however, this season saw a slight bit of refinement, and that was worth noticing. Yeah, there were the usual “up to there” splits and sex-kitten cuts, but maybe, juuuust maybe, Vauthier is cleaning up his act. I don’t need him to clean it all up, I mean, sex pays the bills, but little numbers like this go a LONG way to showing customers that naughty can be refined.

Adeline André

Adeline André Fashion Show, Couture Collection Fall Winter 2016 in Paris

In the year 3562, this is what doctors will wear into surgery.

Let’s face it; André has been doing the same thing for decades now. And by “doing the same thing,” I literally mean DOING THE SAME THING. You could pull a look from her first season and mix it within the lineup from the current season, and you would have NO idea that it was from the archives.  She refuses to stray from her path, and that is her strongest attribute. It is platonic and clean to the point you wonder how she’s stayed in business for so long? Yup, but within that, you have to admit that her body of work looks nothing like anything else on the couture runways, and for that stick-with-it-ness, I applaud her.

Ulyana Sergeenko

Ulyana Sergeenko, Fashion Show, Couture Fall Winter 2016 in Paris

When you get dressed in the dark, but still have to ride your moped to work.

I mean, yeah, I don’t know why I ever expect this collection to make ANY sense, but here we are. It was bonkers, as usual, and I’m just so very tired of that. The clothes are ugly, the styling is goofy as Hell and none of it makes a lick of sense. Sequined bathrobe? Check. Bodysuit? Check. Dad’s shoes? Check. Goofy-ass garter belt with matching tights? THAT’S A BIG OL’ CHECK! This is what an unstable old lady wears to the grocery store when she runs out of her medication. Only I know the old lady didn’t have to drop the better part of 40,000 dollars to buy it.

Atelier Versace

Versace Atelier, Fashion Show, Couture Fall Winter 2016 in Paris

This collection is difficult for me because I’m totally on the fence with it. On one hand, I applaud Donatella’s experimentation with the draping and the cuts, on the other hand, it all felt a little too derivative of other designers’ work.  I mean, if you told me Haider Ackerman had taken over the house, I honestly would have believed it. There were some beautiful pieces, like the one pictured, where the house nailed it, but others just felt rushed and unfinished. I dunno, I’m giving it to Versace for the step forward, but maybe refine and edit the collection a bit more in the future.

OK, that wraps up the season for me.

I’m going to be working on some showpieces and will update you all with progress pics as soon as I make some progress.

Toodles!

Updates, updates, updates!

And so I’m back, from outer space…

OMG where has the time gone?
I’ve been so insanely busy, this blog has become a bit of an afterthought.
Sorry about that…

Here are some updates on the Gilbert front:

I wrote an article for Threads magazine!

GO TEAM!

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If you have ever wanted to try cowboy pockets, now’s your chance.
I break it down into simple steps to get great results every time.
Check out the latest issue, on newsstands now!
Newsstands? Do those still exist?
Well, I know you can get a copy online, and Joann’s stores across the country carry them, so go grab one! It’s loaded with a ton of good tips and techniques.

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If you check it out and have any questions, just drop me a line here and I’ll try to help.

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I’m going to be teaching in San Antonio this coming weekend. I will doing a couple of workshops for the Fiber Artists of San Antonio. We’ll be screen printing and learning shisha embroidery. I’ll also be giving a lecture on my creative process.
I don’t know how running around and panicking like a chicken with its head cut off translates into a process, but anyhoo.

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I’ve started a couple of new projects for some upcoming competitions -I’ll be making some garments, of course.

It’s all sill on the sewing machine, but here is a sneak peak of one of the pieces.
It’s a tailored jacket with a dramatic, standing collar.

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Here is the muslin for the jacket. It meets in the center and has a kimono sleeve.

The fabric for the piece, all hand-screen printed:

Here are some of the assembled blocks:

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And here is a sample of the un-sewn center medallion:

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It will all be quilted and embellished within an inch of its life, hopefully.

The other piece is still, in pieces. I can tell you that it will be a mix of my recent indigo experiments. It’s more involved than the printed piece, so here’s hoping I don’t lose my mind in the next two months. *clinks glasses*

OK, that’s it for now.

Couture week is going on and I plan on doing a best/worst list soon.

Cheers!

Fall 2016: Now serving turkeys

I said I wasn’t going to do a turkey list, but the temptation was just too much to resist.

Without further ado, here is the best of the worst from Fall 2016.

Bernard Wilhelm

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That look he gives you when he thinks his outfit is on point
and you change your mind and say you just wanna stay in and order pizza.

St. Laurent

YSL

“OH Mr. Palmer, you’re so talented, OH Mr. Palmer, I love working for you!
BLAH BLAH BLAH!
If the rest of the backup dancers think they’re getting MY man with their mindless flattery, they’ve got another thing coming!
Look out, Mr. Palmer!
You WILL notice me tonight!!”

Moncler Gamme Rouge

Moncler Gamme Rouge

When you didn’t get up early enough to catch the bus to your Swiss Miss audition, and you have to walk to work.

Gareth Pugh

Gareth Pugh

(Muffled speaking):
“Suzy Lecter for the defense, Your Honor.
I will prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my client is 100% innocent of all cannibalism charges.”

Comme des Garçon

Comme Des Garcons

Peggy didn’t care if the whole world knew she was suffering from hemorrhoids. It was her right to be comfortable when she sat down, and she was going to carry as many donut pillows with her as she wanted.

Moschino

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When you know you’re a bad-ass bitch, but still like it when someone calls you princess.

OK, NOW I’m done with fashion month.

Paris Ready to Wear: Fall 2016

Au revoir, Paris.

Well, it was another sleeper in the city of lights. I mean, there were some good collections, but this place is starting to look more and more like New York with every passing model. I get that marketability sells clothes, but at one point, all the personality is left to circle the drain.

I’m not even going to bother with a turkey list this season, because the bad was just so completely mediocre.

Anyway, let’s focus on some highlights, shall we?

Elie Saab

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, when Saab goes dark, he gets good. Slinky, eclectic, rough and downright sexy, this collection hit all the high points of getting down. The message was in the mix as he switched up his usual pretty fabrics for edgier textures that skimmed over the body and revealed more than just workmanship. I don’t know if his clientele reacts to this the way I do, but dammit, if they want to work through a season that was lacking in eye-catching clothes, they are best to drop their spending cash on this label.

Miu Miu

As always, Miu Miu makes desirable clothes that, while out of most people’s budgets, is geared to a wider audience. Her diversity peaked this season when she chose to show her pieces on plus size models. Now, in the grand scheme of things, a size 6/8 really isn’t that “plus,” but for a Prada held line, it’s practically revolutionary. The looks worked on all the body styles, which is a testament to the Prada aesthetic, but within that, they models looked natural, almost complacent in their normalcy on the runway. I don’t want to get too deep here, but the question has to be asked, would diversity in shape give the collections that are lacking that spark, some interest? I duuno, but whatever the answer is, more designers could study this example and start taking notes.

Manish Arora

This season worked well for Arora. He chose a soft color story that hinged on denim. His modes win the diversity award, and above all else, there was live in every stitch. The collection had an ethnic air, as always, but there was a certain approachability to each look. Of course there were the usual nonsensical pieces that will never hit the stores, but for the most part, the line was stocked with bankable separates and looks that will appeal to a wide audience. Snaps for including designer Chantal Thomas and photographer Ellen Von Unworth in the model line up. The brought a charm to an already brilliant collection.

Christian Dior

I’m sorry, did I just type the words “Christian Dior” and not cringe? Umm, I think I did. Look, I’m this house’s most vocal critic and I’m not about to cut them any slack, especially when they drag their feet on finding a new head designer, but OMG there were too many good pieces in this collection to not at least tip my hat in their general direction. The coats were on point and echoed the cuts of the haute couture. In hand-stitched, saturnine finery, they failed, as marketable ready to wear, they succeed beyond belief. Beautiful updates of Dior’s heritage were evident in every stitch and the styling, although boring, was clean enough to get a pass. Now, if LVMH would just get off their asses and pick a designer already, my grief would be over, for now. Hey guys, I hear Gareth Pugh is free!

OK kiddos, that’s it for fashion month until the haute couture collection in July.
Believe me it’ll be here faster than you can realize.

New Class!

If anyone is going to be in the Houston area on May 14th, I will be teaching an introduction to working with stencils and screens class. Let me know if you have any questions!

Color screen flyer

You can find out more by clicking on the “Fun and Simple Screen Printing” link under the site banner.

I’ll be adding more examples in the coming weeks.