Monday, 29 September 2014

Now a Major Motion Picture

Heres my dress coming down the catwalk at the Dublin show. So proud of my little creation,
keep voting and sharing everyone!! 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

It's the final countdown (literally)

Spent an amazing and very hectic weekend working at the wedding journal show here in dublin. Saw some amazing talent from Irish and international designers, even more spectacular was getting to see my dress on the catwalk alongside their collections! Only 7 days till I travel to Belfast again for the final and discover who the winner is!! Whatever the outcome is I know I won't be at a loss because I've already learned so much from being part of the competition, keep voting and sharing everyone!!!  heres some pictures of the beautiful rosy modelling my dress! Add me on Facebook or Instagram to see her on the catwalk xoxo

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

1950s Innovators: Balenciaga and Chanel

Cristobel Balenciaga: Balenciaga was a fashion anarchist of his time. Having been forced out of Spain during the Spanish Civil war he opened his couture  house in Paris in 1937. He managed to stay in business during the war but soured to fame in the Post war era.  Christian Dior  Himself stated that "Haute couture is like an orchestra, for which only Balenciaga is the conductor. The rest of us are musicians, following the directions that he gives us". His innovation of the female silhouette during the 1950s is amplified by the awe of his peers. Balenciaga is responsible for the Balloon jacket, an O-shaped silhouette which formed a cocoon around the upper body to make the legs and neck appear longer on the figure. His genius also included the baby doll dress and  'sack dress' of 1957, the balloon skirt and his seamless use of kimono sleeves in coats. He manifested the 'Bracelet sleeve' with a seven-eighth length that allowed woman to showcase their jewellery at its finest. Considering the emphasis on the waistline at the time and lack of one in his garments allows his influential position to speak for itself.Iconic:  Balenciaga for the 1950 September Issue of Vogue.  Photographed by Irving Penn

Gabriel 'Coco' Chanel:  Chanel's fame was unaffected during World War II however their famous headquarters at 31 Rue de Cambon closed when Germany invaded France. This left Chanel with the opportunity for a post war revival upon their return to the market. Chanel detested Dior's new look which brought back the necessity for a corset which she had worked so hard to abolish in the 1930s. Chanel was provoked in to action arguing 'There are too many men in this business, they don't know how to make clothes for women. How can a woman wear a dress that's cut so she can't lift up her arm to pick up the telephone?'.She was willing to fight to salvage the new woman she had laboured as her own. This struggle brought about the invention of the Chanel suit, an iconic piece of fashion history. Her winter 1954 collection saw her rework the Chanel tweed in the form of a timeless female suit. The slim skirt and collarless jacket oozed femininity, a gold chain was sewn in to the jacket hem to create a fluid line from the shoulder. The uniform for the emerging working woman was born. 
Chanel Suit 1958

Chanel Suit AW 2014

Saturday, 20 September 2014

1950s Innovators: Dior and Givenchy

Christian Dior: Dior set the scene for the 1950s fashion world. On February 12th 1947 Dior sent out invitations to the showcase of his new collection and let loose a fashion sensation. The 'Corolle' collection (so-called after the delicate petals at a flowers centre) was luxurious, romantic and abundant in fabric. It held no attributes of wartime rationing or improvising and brought femininity back to wardrobes exhausted by the war. Dior wanted to "make elegant woman more beautiful and Beautiful woman more elegant" sighting that "Europe had enough of falling bombs, now it wants to set off fireworks". Dior himself started the celebrations with his new silhouette, sloping shoulders, narrow waists and full hips. His romantic feminine image was achieved with corsets called 'Waspies' and skirts stuffed with petticoats. His collections aimed to surprise and please inventing the A-Line silhouette with its triangle shape and the H-Line silhouette with its slim jacket-skirt combination. Dior's legacy includes the Coolie hat, Trapeze coat and the Hobble skirt. Even in todays fashion world Dior is synonymous with elegance and innovation.

Hubert de Givenchy:  Givenchy possessed a powerful understanding of fabric  and how to work it to his advantage. It was his mantra that, to make a successful dress the fabric must be handled with the utmost care. He débuted his Parisian fashion house with a collection which included the Bettina blouse. Produced from raw cotton shirting, the blouse that was traditionally for couture fittings became a signature look for his career. Givenchy's clientele included Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy but his most successful relationship was with film and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn. Originally hoping to meet  the other 'Miss Hepburn'  -Katherine an unexpected relationship was born between Audrey and Givenchy when they met on the set of Sabrina in 1953. Hepburn felt 'It was though I was born to wear his clothes' and a fabulous fashion pairing began. Givenchy designed the timeless black sheath dress that the actress wore in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' as well as costumes for her role in 'Sabrina', 'Charade' and 'Funny Face'. Audrey Hepburn became his muse, exclusively wearing his designs both privately and professionally. Givenchy embodies the power of a great fashion partnership in the golden age of couture with his simple black sheath dress selling for $807,000 in 2006.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

1950s: Style Features and Fabrics

Christian Dior 1952 - Peplum with pencil skirtThe 'New Look' of the 1950s brought back the classic female form. Cinched in waistlines and full skirts with petticoats shaped the silhouette of the time. Skirts were made from simple fabric like gingham and printed cotton for daytime and for night-time they featured layers of chiffon or rayon in bold colours like baby blue and lime green. Petticoats were stiffened with starch or a sugar solution to create form and movement under the circle skirts. For a more glamorous look petticoats were made using nylon tulle which gave a softer effect for eveningwear. In contrast to the voluminous circle skirt was the hobble or pencil skirt. A slim straight skirt that featured the tiny waistline but no gathers or pleats, just a simple slit in the back to allow for movement.

Shoes By Roger Vivier (The Creator Of The Stiletto Heel) - 1959  L’Officiel De La Mode - 447-448
Roger Vivier Stilettos
Nylon stockings were returned to woman's drawers having been diverted in production to assist the war effort. Their demand sky rocketed and riots were caused when producers held sales. Woman no longer needed to mimic the leg seam using eye-liner and had their trusty companions back again. The female leg was also to reach new heights in the form of the stiletto heel.  Invented by French shoe designer Roger Vivier the stiletto heel complimented the feminine fashion silhouette perfectly. Ladies were offered lessons in how to walk properly in these steel-strengthened pencil-thin heels.

Super cute 1958 outfits. Love Capri and cigarette pants!1950s Greasers in NYC.. I love it!!!!The freedom of the post-war era stimulated the emerging Youth culture. Teenagers no longer felt the need to do as their parents did and set their own agenda bringing style with them. America led the rest of the teenage world with two dominant figures emerging: the Preppies and the Greasers. A Preppy teen's wardrobe featured Capri pants or pedal pushers, scoop neck blouses, tight sweaters or cardigans and three quarter length sleeved blouses with a neckerchief. The greasers sported denim jeans and leather biker jackets a symbol of rebellion that terrified the older generation. Music and film greatly influenced the fashion of teen culture and the fabrics used in clothing production.

In 1954, Dacron a new "Wonder" material came to the market. It was used for many purposes during the 1950s. Dacron is a man made fabric.
In 1952 acrylic was introduced to clothing production world. Alongside Nylon it was marketed as a 'miracle' fabric that was crease-proof, shrink proof and quick drying. Meanwhile  'drip-dry' nylon and Dacron could retain head-set pleats after washing and became a sensation. Along came Polyester in 1953 offering its ability to keep its shape with an anti-wrinkle quality. The domestic female was given an easier washing load with the introduction of synthetic fabric production and the fashion world never looked back.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

5 Decades of Fashion: 1950s

Dovima, by Richard Avedon, 1950. Cristóbal Balenciaga
Dovima modelling a Balenciaga gown, Perfection
Having overcome World War two the 1950s began on a joyous note. The fashion world emerged victorious and led by Christian Dior's 'New Look' began a fashion revolution and rebirth. Fashion was its own hero, evolving in order to dispel the devastation linked to the 1940s. After the years of rationing and sexless clothing woman had the opportunity to aspire to luxury again. Full circle skirts and cinched in waists gave fashion its femininity back. The 50s can also be seen as a step back for women in some senses. Women had been sent out to work during the war and liberated of their traditional domestic posts. However this rebirth of femininity was so refreshing women fell back in to their domestic positions tempted by the salvation of glamour. Designers showed woman what it was to be stylish and sophisticated again whilst setting a high standard for future decades to follow.
Dior's new look army 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

1930s Innovators: Mainbocher and Coco Chanel

Mainbocher: As the first American Designer to open a couture house in Paris Bocher performed a miracle and shot to fame in the middle of a Depression. Originally from Chicago he had no formal training but became a master of the bias cut accredited by Madeleine Vionnet herself. He began his career as an illustrator for Harper's Bazaar and later became editor of French Vogue before deciding to enter the world of design. Perhaps it was his origins that kept him afloat as his designs were very simple but famously expensive. He designed the wedding dress of Wallis Simpson upon her marriage to King Edward VIII and shot to fame overnight. His business was unaffected by outbreak of World War II and he brought his work back home tom America where a crowd was eagerly awaiting his arrival. His clothes were made almost entirely by hand until Bocher separated from the world of fashion at age 80.

Coco Chanel: Gabrielle Chanel defied the odds as an impoverished orphan to become Coco Chanel an iconic fashion legend. Known as Coco, Chanel introduced the concept of timeless pieces to the fashion world. Working from a palette of mainly beige, black and white Chanel invented the 'little black dress', quilted handbags, the tweed suit and the legendary interlocking double-C of the house of Chanel. Chanel said herself "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different" which justifies her ignorance of prevailing fashion trends. She shortened hems, abandoned frills and flounces and abolished the use of the corset. She gave woman career wardrobes of shorts and trousers inspired by military uniforms. This new found elegance is ever present today under the guidance of Karl Lagerfeld as head of Chanel who maintains Chanel's Iconic style.

Friday, 12 September 2014

1930s Innovators: Vionnet and Schiaparelli

Madeleine Vionnet: Known as the 'Queen of the bias cut' Vionnet 
reinvented the female form to combine effortless elegance with natural comfort. She had an architectural approach to fashion and discovered that cutting fabric crossways at 45 degrees to the direction of the thread the fabric would flow delicately around the body and follow the body's movements. Vionnet remarked herself that "When a woman smiles, her dress must smile with her". She abhorred the seasonal nature of trends and instead drew inspiration from Grecian legends and folklore which was translated through her free flowing goddess forms. To achieve her classical look Vionnet commissioned fabrics two yards wider than usual. Her preferred fabrics were crepe de chine, charmeuse and silk muslin. Her sculpting qualities were manifested in her use of small dolls to create her designs as oppose to sketches on paper. She preferred to be called a dressmaker than a fashion designer and although she revolutionised the female form she is a relatively disregarded figure in fashion. In comparison to other female designers Madeleine Vionnet is greatly unappreciated in her role as a 20th century fashion innovator. 
Elsa Schiaparelli: Schiaparelli changed the face of fashion by transforming pieces of artwork in to fashion. She blurred the lines between the two industries and presented herself as one of the most extravagant designers of the 20th century. She worked closely with Dadaist and Surrealist artists and experimented with synthetic materials such as latex, cellophane and glass fibre. She was the first designer to use a zipper in an haute couture dress in 1935. Although she was never qualified as a designer her collections were popularised as innovative and unique displays of textile creativity. Schiaparelli viewed fashion as an art form in its own right and inventive names for specific colours which featured in her collection which we use everyday including shocking pink, royal blue, wheat yellow and ice blue. She produced high waist, broad shouldered silhouettes in fabrics exclusively designed for her by artists such as Dalí and Picasso. After the war however Schiaparelli failed to get her career running again and fashion rejected her quirky style.


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

1930s: Style features and fabrics

Style Features and fabrics
Jean Harlow all platinum and shiny , costume by Adrian, "Dinner at Eight", 1933
Jean Harlow an original diva
Women drifted and floated through the 1930s in bias-cut dresses and flared skirts with layers of delicate chiffon, lace and lightweight voile. Narrow waists replaced the drop waistline of the 1920's and skirts reached mid-calf length. Tippets (little capes) accented the shoulders of blouses and dresses produced in lace or appliquéd with ribbons and ruffles. Layers were used to create movement in the figure, while belts produced in the same fabric accentuated the figure in dresses. Skin tight gowns were also introduced and semi-opaque fabrics with risqué glimpses of camisole or lace. Fur also added luxury to outfits of the time with capes, coats and wraps made from ermine fox and mink being worn day and night.

Gowns by Augustabernard (1933)  From "Harper's Bazaar"  By Charles Martin
Harpers Bazaar 1933
Science was constantly finding alternative ways of producing fabric which led to the first commercial production of rayon in the 1930s. Rayon was an artificial silk fabric which created the possibility of mass producing evening wear for retail purposes. Beading and embroidery was a key feature in evening wear allowing women to embody the Hollywood dream. The introduction of the zip fastening began to replace traditional button closings in many areas of fashion.

Daywear became more functional and less restrictive. Designers compensated for a potential loss of female form by creating a more hourglass silhouette. Necklines were lowered and waistlines were heightened on blouses in flamboyant floral and geometric patterns. Day suits produced in wool jersey gave woman a free flowing form. An increased interest in fitness created a strong market for sportswear and swimwear. The idea of a healthy mind being a healthy body encouraged women to invest in outdoor attire. Knitted bathing suits and beach wraps were essential pieces in a summer wardrobe. In keeping with the essence of female freedom Lingerie moved in favour of comfortable bras and girdles made from washable Lastex fabric replacing the rigidity of the corset.

Monday, 8 September 2014

5 Decades of Fashion: To be continued

Over the next few weeks I'll be featuring chapters from an essay I wrote from college about 5 Decades of fashion. It was a huge piece of work but I'm delighted I put in the effort and have the piece for the future. I chose to concentrate on the 1930s, 1950s, 1970s, 1990s and the 2000s. i Decided to mix up the decades rather than going chronologically. Each decade will feature an overview, style features, fabrics and key designers of the time. So here's a snip-it from my 1930s chapter, hope you enjoy and make sure to check back for the rest of the story!
Ro x 

1930s Fashion
The 1930s was a time for retreat in both the economic and the fashion world. After the crash of the 1920s and a fall from opulence, fashion returned to a more classically feminine style and silhouette. The devastation caused by the stock market crash caused designers to economise and supply for a money conscience female market.  However this didn't mean style was sacrificed. Both day and nightwear exuded a new found glamour and sex appeal for women. The 1930s was also the Golden age of Cinema with stars like Jean Harlow and Greta Garbo epitomising the first incarnation of Hollywood Glamour. There was great enthusiasm for health and fitness saturating the fashion and lifestyle of the decade. In 1930 Prunella Stack founded the Women's League of Health and Beauty in Britain making fashionable sportswear a must-have. The 1930s female was a lady of leisure and practicality.  While an economic depression was in effect on both sides of the Atlantic, events like tea dances gave women an opportunity to showcase the flirtatious and romantic style of the era. Women embraced fashion and liberated themselves of their financial woes with style.