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.

Milan: Fall 2016

OMG MILAN! Bringing the heat!

I haven’t been this excited about the Milan collections in a while! Beautiful fabrications, cuts and tailoring all added up to a fresh and lithe season that mixed traditional classics with streamlined modernity. Yeah, I know that sounds pretentious, but just go with me on this – it was all really good!

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Look, I’m not the Caten’s biggest fan. I think some of their collections verge on the garish, but this season felt more pulled together and edited than past seasons. It was like Adirondack couture, with fox coats, mountain man print mixing and lux textures dripping with their usual embroidered opulence; however, within all the decadence, there was an approachable hand to all the looks. No, this stuff ain’t hitting Macy’s any time soon, and with price tags that range in the tens of thousands, I’m not sure they should, but for the first time in a while, the collection felt honest, and if for nothing else, I’m applauding them for their efforts.

Moschino

THIS GIRL IS ON FIRE!!
No, really.
Burning it all down was the theme this season chez Moschino as the models rocked cigarette earrings, tough-as-nails leather and dresses that were LITERALLY smoking as they stomped the runway. Too much? Well yeah, but it was all too much fun to ignore. Amidst the nonsense were plenty of frocks and looks to keep the retailers happy, plenty of drama to keep the editors happy, and PLENTY of fun to keep the wanting masses , well, wanting more. I have to say, the opening look, a long leather jacket gown, seemed fresh and, to me at least, something I’ve honestly not seen in all my years in design. I will say that the gilt mirror pieces were reminiscent of Todd Oldham’s fall ’92 Interiors collection, but they were just a nod and not direct copies.  Having said all that, there could have been a little editing on Scott’s part, as the burning edge looks did seem to drag on, (and honestly, Deacon did this theme just a year or so ago, did we really need to revisit it so soon?)but the good time was enviable and ultimetly, burned us all up!

Roberto Cavalli

WOOHOO! Peter Dundas is back designing for a house that needed a lift, and fits within his sexy-design aesthetic.  He’s really good at dissecting a house’s traditions, and this season at Cavalli, we got a beautiful mix of modernity and the house’s history. I always let a designer have a first collection, just to settle into a house. I will state opinion, but usually save the vitriol for their sophomore outing (if needed); however, I don’t think I’ll need to voice any concern because this collection was so smooth,  well-delivered and honest to the legacy of Cavalli, I can’t imagine Dundas will need much prodding. It was beautifully brilliant, and I can’t wait to see next season.
Side note: What’s with this guy and designing for houses that end with an “i”?

Jil Sander

Look, I usually bypass this house as its design helm has gone through more hands than a doobie at a frat party, and the aesthetic has dry-heaved and floundered over the years, but this season was so clean and true to the legacy of Jil Sander, I had no choice but to sit up and take notice. The head designer, Rodolfo Paglialunga, obviously went through the archives and studied what made Jil Sander a notable designer – strong lines for women laced with a modern edge.  You’re not getting a flowing cocktail dress at Sander, and Paglialunga knows this. He made beautifully tailored coats, handsome jackets and a few metallic frocks that will satisfy the coolest clientele on the market. Revolutionary? Nope, but that’s exactly the way it should be at Sander.  Smooth, effortless and above all, sincere.

OK, Paris is the last. It’ll be up in a little bit.

London: Fall 2016

London’s calling and I really wanna answer the phone!!

Now, in all fairness, I typically ignore London Fashion Week, but because New York is such a nap-inducing bore, I’ve started to pay more attention to England’s offerings, and shame on me for not noticing it before!

There is so much happening on the London catwalks, that it can be a dizzying blend of overwhelming visuals, but within that mix, there’s a hell of a lot that should make the global fashion market sit up and take notice.

Let’s go!

Mary Katranzou

The babushkas were a misstep, and let’s face it, she ain’t dressing no shy little violets with those bold colors and patterns, but frankly speaking, Katranzou kinda nailed the mix this season. She always knows how to push the envelope just enough to make flamboyant, almost garish, pieces approachable enough to sell, and this is her mutant power. If you’re Katranzou’s consumer, (you’ll know if you are because you make more money in a week than I’ll see in a lifetime) you’ll have plenty to stock your walk-in closet with this coming fall. It was riot of nonsense, and that makes it amazing.

McQueen

OMG, real clothes, AGAIN! Burton knocked it out of the park this season chez McQueen. Beautiful suitings, stunning column dresses and just the right pinch of subversive styling to cinch it in, in all the right places. The hallmark of Alexander Mcqueen was how well he balanced the outré with the civilized. It took Burton a while to find her stride, but now that she has, I wish her reign over this house much continued success. There was a slightly surrealist touch to the prints and embroideries. Like taking everyday objects and turning them into almost icons of monotony. There’s beauty in the ordinary, and this collection proved it well.

Westwood Red Label

Dame Viv heads up a brilliant team. They know how to rummage through the archives, chop up the aesthetic and rearrange it in the best possible combinations. This season saw a boiled down restraint in it’s delivery. The tailoring was outstanding, as usual, and the languid draping and mix of prints gave this season’s dower color palette a much needed shot in the ass. It’s another bang-up collection, to be sure, but it would be nice to push future seasons into what made Westwood a name in the first place: innovation. An unmistakably Westwood collection; now, let’s move on with it.

Gareth Pugh

I have a theory: Gareth Pugh is bucking for the next Dior appointment. He has to be. This season saw restraint, editing and tailored perfection so much, that it has to be the next logical step. And you know what, I approve. This is all speculation, I know, but honestly, this is EXACTLY what Dior needs. Someone who can shake up the establishment, but at the same time, make salable, wearable clothes. Anyhoo, this collection was simple, to say the least, but with added attractions like Blade Runner hair and face masks a la Hannibal Lecter, there was just enough of Pugh left to get his point across. Brilliantly effortless, almost a bit too quiet, but overall, this guy constantly proves that he can navigate the treacherous waters from the ridiculous to the sublime.

OK, Milan is in the mix next time.