Thursday, December 31, 2009

Karen Millen

One of my favourite stores at the moment is Karen Millen.

It's one of my favourites for a few reasons, firstly, the clothes there are really well made with good fabrics. For instance, everything is lined. You might think I sound really old fashioned for admiring this, but I've found as many companies try to cut costs, the lining of dresses & tops is one of the first things to go.
The second reason I like them is the patterns, everything is cut well, (for my shape anyway :P), there are no odd bumps or lumps. If I could make patterns like that, I would be a very happy camper... (or seamstress...)
The final & perhaps one of the greatest reasons why I like Karen Millen is they sell whole outfits. You can buy a nice dress & jacket there, but then you can also pick up matching shoes, bags & belts. The accessories aren't just in the same colour, they are well matched, often covered in the same fabric, picking up the details of the jewels or patterns used in the dresses.

Needless to say, when I was in a frantic rush to find a dress, because I hadn't had a chance to make one & was flying out to Canberra at lunchtime to go to a wedding, this store was my first & only choice.

In the pictures I'm wearing dress & belt from Karen Millen, shoes from Wittner*, bag from Target ($8 - one of the best bargains I've had all year).

*OMG the most painful shoes I have ever worn! They are not shaped very well at all & all the pressure is concentrated at the back of the balls of your feet (right near the arch). Also the toe points up a bit so you don't really have any contact on the ground with your toes. It's my own fault really, when I bought them I was in a super-hurry & wanted black patent pumps NOW, so I didn't spend the time I should of testing the comfort factor.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Now that I have my wedding dress somewhat organised it's time to move onto the more difficult terrain of dressing two of my closest friends who have kindly agreed to be my bridesmaids.

Bridesmaids dresses are so difficult. I don't like the idea of dressing two girls in the exact same outfit when their sense of style & personalities are so very different. I'm a big fan of different dresses in the same fabric or matching fabrics. At the same time I want them to both look like part of the bridal party & not just another guest. Both of my girlfriends are in their mid-20s so I also wanted to avoid putting them in a dress that made them look like they were off to a high school formal. Add to all of that a fear of imposing upon your friends or worse still putting them in a dress that they consider equivalent to a peach taffeta nightmare, & you can see why this was stressing me out more than my own dress.

Thank-fully I have been very lucky. My girlfriends have so far been remarkably patient & open-minded, the best kind of bridesmaids!). The three of us have very different tastes in fashion so it has made shopping for fabrics & selecting dress styles quite challenging, but I think we have finally reached agreement on the design of the dress.

The girls will have different dresses with a similar style. The setting for our wedding is an old mansion & gardens so the general style is still quite traditional, so we selected a couple of vintage patterns for the dresses.

Without further ado, here are the designs:

Patterns: Butterick B4918 & Vogue V2962

We haven't really decided what the decorations will be. Possibly fabric flowers, beads, crystals, who knows, but we'll find something that we all like.

Tomorrow I'll be making toiles for the girls, I'll post some more pictures when the girls try them on. Once the toiles have been adjusted I'll have to transfer adjustments back to the patterns & move on to the official dresses.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My new favourite shoes!

It was my engagement party on the weekend & because I like to wear new shoes on special occasions, I ordered a pair of shoes I'd been lusting after for quite some time now... a pair of Marc Jacobs misplaced heels.

I have to say they were worth every single penny! Yes, they felt a little weird at first but after 5 mins they were SUPER easy to walk in. Plus they looked fantastic. I love how abstract they are, I love how plain & simple the shoe is but just by moving the heel, they suddenly look like they are from another dimension.

I was also amazed at how many people, who normally never notice or comment on fashion*, were commenting on them. I think more photos were taken of my shoes than of my fiance & I, which felt kind of weird given it was our engagement party. The boys from my work are still talking about them - I might wear them again to the Christmas party just to freak them out some more!

I love these shoes, I'm so happy I spent the money to buy them, I don't care that they were expensive because they are works of art. Everyone I spoke to loved them because they'd never seen anything like it before. I think that's what makes these shoes so wonderful, in a world filled with knock-offs & 'inspired-by's, these shoes are completely fresh & original.

For me this is one of the things that links engineering & fashion for me. I love moments in both fields when somebody does something different. They turn the world on it's head, do something completely original and yet once revealed it seems so simple & ingenious, we wonder how it was that we never even thought of it.

* Most of my friends are engineers, for many of them fashion is weird thing that only has relevance in a distant world, many light years away.