Wednesday, September 30, 2009

At the beach in the 50's

original image from

Peter Som's 50's inspired beach outfit looks so retro, i couldn't resist turning it into a black and white photo.
see the original pic in the post below.

Spring 2010 Trends - Prints & Motifs - Dots (3)

images from

I thought dots had all but disappeared from the fashion scene, but now they're back with a boom!
I love Chris Benz's peek-a-boo circus-coloured dots, Peter Som's the-way-your-mama-would-have-worn-it 1950's polka dots, Marc by Marc Jacobs' big and bold dots, 3.1 Philip Lim's dots within dots on metallic combined with geometrics, and L'Wren Scott's 40's themed polka's.

Spring 2010 Trend - Prints & Motifs - Geometrics (2)

images from

The Geometric theme is strong for Spring 2010. Watch for 50's inspired graphics, "wallpaper" prints like those in Marc Jacobs prairie-inspired collection, tribal and nature-inspired graphics.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spring 2010 Trends - Prints & Motifs - Florals (1)

images from

Prints were everywhere on the catwalk. The most popular were floral, graphic, tribal, nautical, and 1950's motifs.

Here is a selection of florals used in day and evening wear.

Spring 2010 Colour - Iridescence (7)

images from

Complimenting the delicate sheers or as an alternative, wear metallics, iridescent colours. The key here is subtle shimmer. Shine for Spring 2010 is feminine, lady-like. Embellishments like sequins and beading are popular for evening wear.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Spring 2010 Colours - Blended, Tone on Tone (6)

images from

Blended colours were a new feature on the catwalks this season.
I like Calvin Klein's tribal look, Ralph Lauren's romantic blended blues and Max Azria's sheer layered tonals.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Spring 2010 Colours - Earth Tones (5)

images from

Colours of rock strata, desert sands, summer in Tuscany ....beiges, browns, coppers, ochre, sand and stone. If you're into neutrals, these muted earthy tones are perfect for spring 2010.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Spring 2010 Colours - Black & White (4)

images from

For the past few years, the fashion media has been telling us "X is the new black".

Starting Autumn 2009, black is back in the limelight.
In Spring 2010, black marries white in some stunning combinations.
Among my favorites: Helmut Lang's blended tones, Marchesa's white gown with black florals and Isaac Mizrahi's white/black floral layered over black.

Spring 2010 Colours - Red (3)

images from

The big star this season is red.

Almost all the major collections featured this traffic-stopping colour.
Lipstick red is a favorite

Spring 2010 Colours - Brights (2)

images from

A cheerful optimism was evident on the runways in Chris Benz's Soda Fountain pastels and Badgley Mischka's tropical brights reminiscent of the 1950's in havana.
Marc Jacob's tribal prints, Diane von Furstenberg's safari prints and Monique Lhuillier's masai warriors were given a splash of colour.
look out for shocking pinks, acid yellows, burnt oranges and azure blues.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spring 2010 Colours - Pastels, Denim Blues (1)

images from

Soft watercolour pastels in shades of pink, yellow and blue were offset by neutrals in desert shades and soft greys. I liked Tommy Hilfiger's mono collection in pink and Calvin Klein's pastel sheers.

Denim is back. Ralph Lauren matched his with small floral prints, with blue workshirts and striped night shirts  in his prairie collection.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Free Clothing Patterns (from Burdastyle)

this is an aladin's cave of free and almost free (less than $5) clothing and accessories patterns. 
best of all, the patterns are mainly for clothing (tops, dresses etc) with some lingerie and accessories.
i counted 97 free patterns which is so cool!

here's the link:

Word of warning: they are upgrading the site and if you are using Internet Explorer, you may encounter some screen "hanging" problems.

Firefox users have no problems so i have provided a link for the free download below:

ironically, burdastyle has gone open source and firefox is an open source software.

Open Source Sewing?

I like this!

Burdastyle has adopted open source sewing. 
that means copyright free sewing patterns, ie you can now use their patterns to make items for sale.

read more about it on their blog:

Open source is a concept borrowed from the IT nerds, my favorite nerd being Linus Torvalds, the father of linux, an open source programming platform.

Many sewing and fashion folks may not appreciate all this IT stuff, but thank goodness for Linus Torvalds else we would all be subject to software slavery under Microsoft!

Linus created linux and put it in the public domain. with the code being copyright free and free of license fee, programmers can develop free and cheaper software.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Julie's Nyonya Kebaya

Completed just in time for Hari Raya Aidilfitri!

Julie looks lovely in this retro Kebaya, made from pink lace with raised gold threadwork. The kebaya has a panel of horizontal pleating in front.

You hardly see this style of Kebaya these days, which is a pity as the design is very flattering. Instead of horizontal pleating, the panel sometimes had a pattern of overlapping diagonal pleating in a "fishbone" pattern, which looks great too.

We matched the Kebaya with the grey satin bustier and mermaid skirt which i made earlier and which you can see here.

Style and Sewing Notes:
  • the collar is raised slightly at the back
  • there is a peplum which is joined to the bodice at the waist. this enabled me to cut the bottom part of the kebaya on the bias so that the lace edging would slant from the side seam down 9cm to the front. the peplum is great for shaping the back too!
  • The trimming on the edge of the lace was cut in a strip for the collar.
  • There wasn't enough fabric to get the lace edging on the ends of the sleeves, so remnant lace edging was tacked onto the sleeves and this matches nicely with the collar and bottom edge of the kebaya.
  • as the lace is translucent and soft, fine pink netting was used to underline the collar to hold its shape.
  • i placed netting and lace together then did the pleating. the net worked a treat to define and hold the pleating. for comfort, i underlined the pleated panel with netting.
  • the kebaya is fastened on the left side. buttons were sewn on the left edge of the attached pleated panel, and buttonholes on the main bodice are hidden by the collar. 
  • with soft and fragile fabric, the buttonholes need to be reinforced to prevent tearing. this is done by placing a small square of interfacing over the buttonhole position before machining. the excess interfacing is then cut off.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Triumph Inspiration Award 2009

image from

How cool can you get?

Madam and fellow SML student Eugene Ng will be at the Triumph Inspiration Awards grande finale in Milan on Sept 23.

Eugene won the Triumph Inspiration Malaysian Award and will be representing Malaysia in the international contest!

That's Eugene's winning design in the pic above.
Congratulations Eugene and well done!

The theme this year is "Icons"
take a look at all the international finalists' designs at:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Spring 2010 Trend and Colour report (from CIFF)

image from
CIFF (Copenhagen International Fashion Fair) is one of the biggest events in the European ready to wear market, catering for women, men, children, accessories and swimwear.
Watch a video of the Spring/Summer 2010 Trend show and also the CIFF Kids show on their site.
oh, and don't forget to download the free CIFF Trends Description report for Spring/Summer 2010 covering colour and style trends for Spring/Summer 2010.

here's the link:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Spring 2010 Colours: Preview Report (from Pantone)

image from
New York fashion week kicks off today!
Take a look at the colour directions for Spring 2010 in this free report from Pantone.
Designers including Peter Som, Badgley Mischka and Tracy Reese talk about their colour choices and style must-have's for Spring.
here's the link:


Friday, September 4, 2009

Fashion Design Competition: Passion for Fashion

If you are a high school senior who's thinking of going into Fashion Design or Fashion Marketing, you could win yourself a full scholarship to study at the Art Institute!

Other goodies for the grand prize winner is a trip to New York Fashion Week next February, and a $500 shopping spree courtesy of Seventeen Mag.

Open to legal residents of the US, Canada except Quebec, district of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Closing date for submissions is Nov 20th.

here's the link:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Inspiration: architecture

images from Lluis Bazan (octopussy4) at, 
Look out for architecture inspired styles for Spring 2010.
Designers often seek inspiration from Architecture, interior design and the other arts. Not surprising as there's always been a cross-fertilization of ideas across the spectrum of the creative fields.
From the late 19th to the early 20th century, the Arts and Crafts movement triggered a sharing of ideals and ideas between architecture, interior design, crafts, the arts and printing. William Morris (decorative arts, textiles, printing), Charles Rennie Mackintosh (architect, designer, painter), Frank Lloyd Wright (architect), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (artist) are among the more famous members of this movement.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Inspiration - History

Image from the V&A museum
Fashion & interior designer, architects and artists have always delved into history as a source of inspiration.
 One of the biggest collections of western clothing is, amazingly, found in Japan at the Kyoto Costume Institute.
The institute has over 11,000 pieces of clothing of historical and sociological interest which have been loaned to various museums worldwide for exhibitions.
They're not open for general public viewing unfortunately, due to the need to maintain a stringent preservation environment, although there is a study room on-site where you can view the collection digitally.
Fortunately for us, there's also an online archive where you can see 200 of their pieces.
Follow this link:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Inspiration: Harajuku

images from harajukugirls1st.blogspot, wikipedia,

Every generation has its fashion rebels, usually young people who refuse to be constrained by convention and set their own standards for style. And sometimes, the conventional fashion world follows their lead.

Gwen Stefani's backup dancers, the Harajuku Girls and her fashion line, are inspired by the street fashions of Harajuku in Tokyo, Japan.

The area has long been known as a meeting spot for Japanese teens and a source of unique, original and creative street fashions. Expressions of individuality is the norm here. Styles are varied and constantly evolving. gothic lolita, victorian princess, punks, anime, cute or kawaii are some of the looks you will find in Harajuku.

Inspiration - On the Street

jean's travel pic - New York Times Square
Inspiration is everywhere.
Even on the streets.
The way sunlight hits the reflective windows of a skyscrapper, the shape of a building, the trimmings on an old brownstone, the intricate designs of a victorian railing, the girl in the vintage dress, the elderly lady in her tweed suit or twin set and pearls, the skateboarder zooming past, indie fashions in a shop window, a striking poster, graffiti on the walls, street art, the electric patterns of neon lights........