I’m always on the lookout for pieces I can make that are at once extraordinary and classic. These are the kinds of garments that I keep for years, some of my special pieces have been in my wardrobe for 20 years. For these clothes, I don’t mind spending lots of time on construction and I purchase the best fabrics I can afford. They become my signature pieces and have a certain style that is my own.
I like to have separates instead of dresses for special occasions. Starting with a beautiful pair of black pants, a black skirt and maybe even a tuxedo in gorgeous fabrics you can mix and match infinite outfits.
I came accross this design by Alexander McQueen that has all of these elements. It’s dramatic, but wearable. It’s not really “in style” but will looks stylish for years. I wouldn’t copy this look verbatim, I’d use the fabric, the neckline and the belt and lose the quarterback shoulders and goth sleeves. At this time, I’ve no clue how I would recreate the pattern, but one of the things on my wish list is to learn to drape patterns and this might be my first project. I can see it in a beautiful silk peau de soie and I could spend months searching for the perfect belt. In fact, the best way to approach putting this together is to find the belt first and then choose the color of the fabric…
I’m much better at finding clothes that I love when I have an occasion in mind for an outfit. When I sew or shop just to sew or shop often the clothes never really work themselves into my wardrobe.
My best scenario is to get something new and all of the accessories to go with it, down to the socks and jewelry. Then I have the perfect shoes, etc. for that one outfit and the pieces just seem to all mix and match with other items in my wardrobe.
What I’m getting at is this; I need something to wear to my daughter’s High School graduation. It’s in early June, so I had better start putting it together now. I guess here I need to fess up an tell you that I’m going to India in a month. I’ll be gone for 2 weeks. I know, not such great timing–to launch the blog of my dreams and then take off for 2 weeks. My plan is to sew extra fast over the next month and save some posts for my time away so you’ll hardly know I’m gone.
(Unfortunately, this is not a trip just for the pleasure of it, it’s medical tourism–you’ve heard of that, I’m sure. If anybody is interested, I’d be happy to share my experiences. One thing I’ll be sure to make time for while in India is fabric shopping. E and I will be in Chennai–formerly Madras–just about the fabric capital of India.)
Back to the graduation outfit. June in Chicago is usually beautiful, warm but not uncomfortably so and the ceremony will be outside if the weather permits. This is one of the “Disney World” suburbs of Chicago’s Northshore, the women can dress in whatever money can buy, although in general they’re quite conservative. Not that I really care about what other people are wearing, but I have good taste and I love to put my sewing skills to work. Sewing takes being a clothes horse from conspicuous consumption to creative expression!
As a result of my trip to India shortly before the graduation ceremony, I’ll be on crutches–a little fly in the ointment. So, I’ll have to wear flats and something easy to get around in.
Here’s what I’ve found so far:
A little Ralph Lauren number at Neiman Marcus. Classic, sophisticated, clean lined but new looking in a bright green.
This one is from Diane von Furstenberg, a similar look but a bit more figure conscious. Also at Neiman Marcus.
Oscar de la Renta at Net a Porter.com…I just purchased a black and white batik fabric that would be great for this. I’ll make it this season in any event.
This is a “Ladies who Lunch” look. This one and the next are from Michael Kors and are available at Neiman Marcus.
I’m leaning toward this one, a sweater is always good for a little coverage. A little garden party dress.