Category Archives: Sewing/Millinery

Steichen, Lawrence Pierrette in Vreeland Allure.

Gertrude Lawrence as Parisian Pierrot, Edward Steichen - 1923.  Diana Vreeland Allure, p.91.

Gertrude Lawrence as Parisian Pierrot, Edward Steichen – 1923. Diana Vreeland Allure, p.91.

Ah, the allure of a pierrette… the eyes, the lips, the cap, the frill.  Beautiful, delicate and strong – androgyny.

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Exploring Construction of the Elusive Bicorne.

Analysis of Inner Structure of a Chapeau de Bras Bicorne - worn by ZiZi Bleu.

Analysis of Inner Structure of a Chapeau de Bras Bicorne – worn by ZiZi Bleu.

With gilded lips, golden soulful eyes, and her cheeks rouged blue – Zizi Bleu models a miniature toile for the inner structure of The Elusive Bicorne – or, in this case – The Elusive Chapeau de Bras.

A kind Blue Bonnet and her son, schooled in the construction of chapeaus de bras, helpfully directed my attention to the Robert J. Moore, Jr. and Michael Haynes book – Lewis and Clark:  Tailor Made, Trail Worn – Army Life, Clothing, and Weapons of the Corps of Discovery.  I saw therein a chapeau de bras, unfolded and freed to reveal the inner hat (which rests within its taco-shell-like facade).

Yet to be discovered – whether the inner cap should be cut separately, or if it is possible to cut the hat as two large pieces:  front and half-cap, back and half-cap.  According to Tailor Made, Trail Worn – the actual parts are:  crown (cap or fez), cock (front), and fan (back)… with the back “fan” crescent cut slightly taller than the front crescent.

Chapeau de Bras Interesting Fact – examining Chapeau Bras (generally from militia officers) within museum collections, average dimensions are these:  15.5-inches to 23-inches wide – lower tip to tip – and 7.5-inches to 13.5-inches from hatband to fan-peak.  (pp.168,169)

See more Zizi Bleu moments in posts at the blogs Toile La La and Art Fashion Creation.  See here a recent Art Fashion Creation post – and hat – inspired by Diana Vreeland’s eye for something-never-seen-before.

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A Chapeau de Bras of One’s Own.

Oh, how I want to create one of my own.  Any suggestions, advice, book recommendations, or chapeau de bras millinery construction diagrams would be appreciated more than anyone could ever imagine!  The collapsible chapeau de bras is foremost in the brain of mine (which I yearn to cover with one of these magnificent hats!)  But learning how to construct a bicorne would be (nearly) equally wonderful.

My goal in constructing a chapeau de bras is simply that I want to learn how (and also want to know how my round head will look beneath such a fantastically grandiose hat!)  Cosplay, Larp, and Reenactment are areas I’ve only recently studied – but I think surely there are milliners and costumers out there who might be able to help me achieve this personal millinery goal.  I love these types of discussion and always believe the comments you leave here may also benefit someone else as well.

Here’s a link to my Toile La La at Art Fashion Creation post about the splendid chapeau de bras, bicorne, and cocked hat.  Enjoy there – at Art Fashion Creation – all the great hat images, and if you too have seen Master and Commander and appreciated the hats – please leave a comment.  If you’ve made your own chapeau de bras or collapsible bicorne (or even a blocked and steamed regular bicorne), I would love to see your comments below this post – do please tell me how you constructed the spectacular thing!

1805 Chapeau de Bras or Bicorne Hat image.

1805 Chapeau de Bras or Bicorne Hat image.

Bicorne and Chapeau de Bras, Stadlinger 1856.

Bicorne and Chapeau de Bras, Stadlinger 1856.

1800 Chapeau de Bras image.  Collapsible Chapeau de Bras carried beneath the arm.

1800 Chapeau de Bras image. Collapsible Chapeau de Bras carried beneath the arm.

1831 Journal des Dames et des Modes image Chapeau de Bras or Bicorne hat.

1831 Journal des Dames et des Modes image Chapeau de Bras or Bicorne hat.

There are many more chapeau de bras, bicorne, collapsible bicorne, and cocked hat images at the Art Fashion Creation above –  third paragraph of this post.

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Dresses and Hats – more.

desktop note:

“When not in…

I am to be found at

Art Fashion Creation or

Toile La La or

Worn Written Drawn.”

but, in retrospect, here are Five dresses, hats, or dresses and hats posts:

The Mia Dress.

The Edwardian Dress.

A Klimt, Bakst, Delaunay Moment.

Headlong into Hats:  Millinery Adventures.

Head Full of Art and Hats.

Your comments, I always look forward to receiving – your suggestions, your tips… Speak Your Mind , my loves.

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1937 Life Cover – Veiled Lilly Dache.

Alfred Eisenstadt photo, Lilly Dache hat, Janet MacLeod model - Life magazine cover October 18, 1937.

Alfred Eisenstadt photo, Lilly Dache hat, Janet MacLeod model – Life magazine cover October 18, 1937.

Like one of the gorgeous millinery designs in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina.  Read more at Art Fashion Creation.

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Divine Lady Ottoline: Interview with Ottoline Divine’s P. Gaye Tapp

See this Art Fashion Creation link for Toile La La’s interview with Patricia Gaye Tapp.

Patricia Gaye Tapp, Ottoline Divine creator / author, P. Gaye Tapp Interior Design and Decoration, Parthenia Papier.

Patricia Gaye Tapp, Ottoline Divine creator / author, P. Gaye Tapp Interior Design and Decoration, Parthenia Papier.

Providing insight into how her very creative mind works – Tapp, also creator/author of the blog Little Augury –  discusses inspiration for Little Augury, Parthenia Papier, her P. Gaye Tapp Interior Design and Decoration, and shares her fascination for English aristocrat Lady Ottoline Violet Anne Cavendish Bentinck Morrell – muse and namesake of Tapp’s blog Ottoline Divine.

Ottoline Morrell Photographed by George Charles Beresford, National Portrait Gallery - London.

Ottoline Morrell Photographed by George Charles Beresford, National Portrait Gallery – London.

Around her neck, Ottoline wore the pearls of Marie Antoinette. 

Traveler, observer, thinker, photographer, decorator – friend, muse, and patron to a host of other creative minds (including those of philosophers, poets, sculptors, artists, and authors) – Ottoline Morrell left a trail of evidence of her existence recorded through the eyes of her friends.

Now resuscitated through Tapp’s Ottoline Divine, Ottoline’s life – and influence – are free to unfold again, a century beyond her time.

To tell the story of Ottoline – “Ott, our rare bird” – Tapp uses the extensive and well-preserved historic documentation, photographs, and letters of Ottoline Morrell’s life.  Many of Ott’s friendships, according to Tapp – “resulted in published fiction”, but through Ottoline Divinethe reader gets a sense of Ottoline’s real essence.  Ottoline Divine reads like a journal or diary – as Tapp has meticulously selected every element  (even the sanguine font color) to represent the preferences of Ottoline Morrell and her era.

The interview link at the beginning of this post will transport you to that time. 

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Tracing the Origin of Fashion Trends.

Analyzing fashion trends, one must wear many hats – so to speak.  Pinpointing the birth of fashion trend phenomena requires the keen observation skills of the anthropologist, the historian, and the detective –  the keen eye of an artist – a finely-honed memory – and an aptitude for research. 

Tracing  fashion trend footprints back to their origin often leads to not just one, but many sources.

Today’s world, with its media archives, museums, vast libraries, and digital sources – presents infinite design inspiration.   Compare this to fashion design of the distant past – which referenced and mimicked dress of the nobility, for instance, or new developments in textiles, or architectural silhouettes.  

Now, we frequently see the reemergence of fashion trends and of style silhouettes – sometimes with no divergence from the original – if it is at all possible to pinpoint “the” original. 

One might be justified in saying the trends resulting from certain social climates and cultural conditions will likely reoccur when similar social climates and cultural condition exist.  However, even keen observation of these conditions may overlook “trend pockets” or fashion subcultures (goth, steampunk, or cosplay enthusiasts for example).

Whether it is possible to accurately forecast fashion trends years ahead of time – is a question that arises.   It is possible to assess social conditions, popular culture, market analyses, textile, technological, and production innovations… (to name a few determinant factors), and then make an informed prediction.  

Ultimately, without literally seeing into the future – without knowing the events, iconic personalities, or innovations of the future – we cannot give a definitive forecast.

However, here are three ways we can view the evolution of fashion trends:

  1. We can view the development of fashion trends of the recent past.
  2. We can see the development of fashion trends in the near future.
  3. We can observe the often prescient view of the future through the eyes of film visionaries, and we can expect to see at least a few trends occur as a direct result of these films.

How Fashion Reflects The TimesThe Origin of Trends – an Art Fashion Creation link to a scholarly paper analyzing  the development of fashion trends in the recent past.  Written in the ’90s –  viewing the development of trends to that point and predicting trends for the year 2000.

Predicting Future Fashion TrendsCostume Design in Futuristic Films, an August 27 2012 article by Katarina Gligorijevic – published at Toronto Film Scene.

Predicting Future Fashion, Doe Deere Blogazine December 15 interview with fashion trend forecaster Glendy Del Cid.

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Dresses and Hats: In Search of the Just Right for Now Designs.

Imagining this:

There I am in a chic city – right now – moderate temperature, a happy sun in the sky – not too intense, a bit of a breeze. I might walk to my destination, or perhaps take the metro, city bus, or a taxi and I don’t want to call the wrong type of attention to myself. The dress I’m postulating is modest. When I sit, it doesn’t ride up. Due to this dress, I have the look of a polished, well-put-together lady – with a head full of important and artistic thoughts. When I walk in the breeze, the dress moves gracefully around me, but doesn’t billow up – threatening exposure.

Now on my head I have a hat – there in that chic city – and I want it to stay on my head. Maybe, when I get to where I’m going, I’ll remove the hat – with a flourish – for a moment… so my hair should stay nice and neat beneath the hat. This hat doesn’t make my head hot, and this hat is small enough to allow other people to see around me – wherever I am. This hat stays on my head – even in an unexpected gust of wind – and should it rain, this hat is not forever ruined. This hat also makes me look like a polished, well-put-together lady – with a head full of important and artistic thoughts.

As I breeze past, onlookers think – my goodness, what an interesting lady… I wonder what she’s thinking.

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.

A dress and a hat to embody the persona of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis… in essence, refined. However, the Cassini/Halston look of the sixties requires some twenty-first century mindset to fit into today’s context.

For daytime, substitute a clever-something for the pearls. I think the daytime accessory should read “smart”, not “pricey”.  Notice, Jackie’s hat is brimless. I’m postulating a just-right-for-now hat with a brim, to provide a little shade. “Just right” would be a hat with a brim not so large that I have to turn my head to see you from the corner of my eye. “Just right” would be a hat with a brim small enough to allow me to wear super-sized shades when I desire privacy.

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Clever Vintage Blouse Construction…and a Grand Bell Hat: VPLL.

If fashions of the past make your heart thump a little faster, don’t miss out on Vintage Pattern Lending Library’s great design collections. Earlier in the year I’d learned of VPLL’s Titanic project, which involves recreating 1912 fashions from La Mode Illustree – a major turn-of-the-century sartorial arbiter. As a project volunteer, I test-sewed a hat, two women’s blouses, and a child’s apron.

Test-sewing the hat was an unusual experience for me – as I’d never created a hat with a wire armature. However, the Ladies’ Spring Hat depicted a frame… so I produced a small-scale practice model. As life goes, other responsibilities began to demand my time – but I still like to check VPLL’s Titanic progress… and was ecstatic to discover a new hat pattern there tonight!

Check this link to see the beautiful hat project – this time it’s a Bell Hat (much like the ones Marc Jacobs presented in his Fall 2012 Louis Vuitton collection!) You’ll see this hat is also based on a wire armature – but, using a stiffer fabric, one might avoid the necessity for the framework structure.

Louis Vuitton Fall 2012 by Marc Jacobs. Runway collections image at Vogue.com.

Now, the other thing that may excite you (especially if you sew) – is this 1912 La Mode Illustree blouse design, which is fabulously engineered so that the side-body and sleeve are in one piece. You just have to see it to understand, so don’t miss the link directly above.

Small-scale toile created to test La Mode Illustree 1912 Blouse 0219. Toile La La toile and photo.

VPLL has recently announced they have a sufficiency of volunteers, but don’t fret… you can still investigate the website to see the great work of VPLL’s testers, view vintage fashion illustrations, and look for great sewing patterns!

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Dresses and Hats: Comme des Garcons Fall 2012 Runway Videos.

It was exciting to find this Kawaii Kakkoii Sugoi blog link featuring the Fall/Winter 2012/2013 men’s and women’s Ready-to-Wear runway collections of Rei Kawakubo’s Comme des Garcons.

I’d been noticing the unusual dresses of Kawakubo’s Fall 2012 collection pictured in several fashion publications, but was even more imaginatively-inspired when I saw the Kawaii Kakkoii Sugoi fashion videos with both men’s and women’s presentations.

I particularly like these dress-within-a-dress styles, which I could imagine being scaled down for a very figure-flattering look. The colored wigs seem like a safe and worry-free haircoloring option. The menswear kilt styles are very nice and I was glad to see the great variety of hats as well.

Image

Dress-Within-a-Dress. Rei Kawakubo Comme des Garcons Fall 2012. Image Collections at Vogue.com.

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