Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Twilight Wedding...

My sister brought to my attention that Entertainment Weekly linked an InStyle article about Bella's wedding dress ( and,,20241149_20299475_20661914,00.html) from Twilight. Disclaimer: I have never read nor seen anything Twilight related. I intend to keep it this way. I'm not as good as my friend Genevieve that read the books just to know how bad they are, and somehow and rather miraculously I haven't been pestered into watching the film.

Anyway, not having read the books, I did read from the EW article about the dress...
we know from the third Twilight book, Eclipse, is an early 1900s design
(with Alice Cullen’s updates) and from the fourth, Breaking Dawn, is
something that makes the bride’s mother say, “You look like you just stepped
out of an Austen movie.”

a) the "early 1900s design" reminds me of Casper, and we all know how I felt about that. Done right "early 1900s" can be great
b) an Austen novel? really? Why can't people get their historical periods right? just because a dress is old doesn't mean it's from an Austen novel or "Victorian" (an era that actually spanned from 1837-1901)

I get really persnickety about costume vocab in books. Do your research people! Unless you want Bella's mom to really sound like she has no idea, which I guess the general public doesn't, so there it is.

Anyway...If you look at the ten designs some aren't that bad. Many follow the modesty standards I outlined in a previous bridal entry. I'm just astonished that InStyle has a whole "Twilight Saga" and that they got 10 designers to design this dress, the likes of Monique Lhuillier and Badgley Mischka even. Oh dear. What has the world come to with all this Twilight stuff? It's not even getting little kids to read like Harry Potter did. It's getting middle school through who knows how old women to read tantalizing vampire fiction. Vampires ARE NOT romantic! They suck your blood! That's not romantic, that hurts. Anyway, my loathing for Twilight aside (I'd probably like the books actually) it gave an excuse for some fun bridal designs.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Project Runway!

Project Runway is back! And on Lifetime too! which means I can watch it at school on my basic cable! I'm so gitty and excited. This is the first season since I've actually had pattern making and advanced construction instruction. The designers (characters really) all seem special and blah blah. I love Heidi Klum. I was astonished at some of the intelligent things guest judge Lindsey Lohan had to say.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fabric Trip!

I went down to Pawnee City and got $2/yd flat fold cottons from the local quilt store today. I'm excited b/c I found some fun prints to make a casual salwar kameez out of! The red I'll use for the salwar and the black floral for the kameez. I don't know if there is enough of the floral, and I've bought a yard of extra red so I think I'll probs trim the kameez with the red, maybe use the red for the sleeves und so weiter und so vort. Aren't I so cool taking picture w/ the quarters?

I'll probs make some sort of summer dress out of this one, but for now the 5 yds of it is perfect to practice my sari draping.

This one screamed 1830s at me, but I don't want an 1830s dress. I did buy it however, I think it would make a cute kurta-esque top w/ pin-tucks or something. Now I get to ship all of these back to Provo!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Costumes Maketh the Man 1: Suri/Raj RNBDJ

If you're not familiar with the Hindi films Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi or Om Shanti Om, either check out My Other Blog or Netflix them. They are entirely worth a watch. In both of these films Shah Rukh Kahn plays duel roles; one as a man w/ an alter-ego he uses to get closer to his distant wife and the other is a case of reincarnation. In this entry I'll focus on Suri/Raj from RNBDJ. Another entry will be devoted to Om/OK from OSO, and yet probably another to Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte from RNBDJ

Suri from RNBDJ is your average, dowdy, dorky middle-aged man. He works in a cubicle, he has a routine and until recently was a confirmed bachelor. The actor who plays Suri is in fact the most recognizable man in the world that in his film prior (Om Shanti Om) perfected his rock hard abs and chiseled pecs. To achieve the anonymity that Suri required the costume designer worked wonders. Whenever I watch this film, and other productions with similar transformations I am in awe. Let's analyze shall we? How do you take SRK in Dard-E-Disco and turn him into Suri "I work for Punjab Power"? We'll start at the top and work our way down:
The hair: best wig ever right? I bet you didn't even know it was a wig.
The glasses: I want a pair real bad. You KNOW there was some AP who's responsibility it was to keep them impeccably clean (if only that was my job...)
The shirt: Too big. I'd guess SRK is a 16x33. They probably put him in a 17 neck at least w/ a couple of extra inches on the sleeve, not to mention the loose torso fit, and the fact that it's too broad in the shoulders leaving the seams to slide onto his arm. Also, very washed out, dull, everyday materials.
The belt: Wah Wah. Probably pulled from stock, not new.
The trousers: genius. Flat fronts=sexy (think Daniel Craig in James Bond, or OK in Om Shanti Om) Pleats= disaster. Got washboard abs? You can't tell if your sporting synthetic pleated front trousers that are too long with a low crotch and cuffs. Oh, and did you catch the VPL in the very beginning when Suri bends over? Which brings us to...
The underwear: briefs.
The socks: As we see in the sumo scene, black. Not bad w/ his slack choice, but that leads us to...
The shoes: WHITE tennies to be precise. You can't get any better than these tennis shoes. They are a) Super retro, but not in a good way and b) are impeccable. There's nothing worse than a brand new pair of blazing white tennis shoes (take note K-Swiss lovers)
So, head to toe Surindar Sahni is a STUD (So Terribly Un-Dashing)

And then there's Raj; Suri's answer to his wife Taani's hero-less wife. First, let's discuss the fact that I firmly believe that our introduction to Raj was filmed very last and that most of his scenes were shot in reverse order. SRK was asked to drop his added muscle he acquired for Om Shanti Om to play regular guy Suri and we can tell by Raj's first appearance (seen above) that he did. However, by the end of the film Raj miraculously has acquired a striking physique, which is much appreciated by the audience, and Taani I'm sure. We can tell through Raj's costumes that a) his ridiculously Metro/gay (you decide) best friend dressed him from his own closet and b) said friend and Suri have no idea what "cool" or "macho" really is. Again, let's start from the top.
The hair: delicately frosted tips: out 10 years ago. Hair that's so full of product it reminds me of the killer lawns in Aeon Flux.
The glasses: The most outlandish and cringe/laugh inducing sunglasses known to man, that MATCH the day's ensemble.
The shirts: W/ hilarious graphics like "Bad Boy" in rhinestones or "Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere" on them, Raj's shirts were too small and short. Where Suri had extra, Raj doesn't have enough. He bares his man neck, man cleavage and what would be his love handles if he had any, which leads to...
The underwear: that is repeatedly flashed as Raj struts his stuff. Forget visible pantie line, try visible compression short waist bands. Which leads to...
The pants: believe me, he needs compression shorts (basically biker boxer-briefs). No pleats and no extra room. I don't doubt that SRK picked a few wedgies outside of character while inside these nutcrackers (too crude?). Ridiculously embellished with embroidered roses, extra seams and razoring and whiskering like nobody's business. His pants remind me of the robe I made for Mrs. Meers in BYU's production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. The more disgusting you made it, the more horrifically beautiful it became.
The belt: Ka-chow!! Bull-riders rarely win bigger.
The shoes: The most extreme edge of the Fiesso-esque shoe craze that has been popping up a la court jesters and such, from back in the day when the length of your shoe showed the world how prestigious you were. Ug, I could write a whole entry on these monstrosities.

I honestly can't watch this movie w/o hurting my face for smiling, and mostly at the excellence in costume goodness. Of course Anushka's salwar kameezes are T.D.F., but let us never forget the real hero of this film, the contrast between Suri and Raj made possible by their superb costuming.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I just got done watching Casper w/ the grand kids. Need we be reminded of how horrible the early/all of the 90s were? Ug, anyway, the costume designer was mos def not trying when she came up w/ the "antique" number that Christina Ricci schleps around in for the second half of the film. Seriously? What era were we going for? Late Edwardian, bad '80s bridesmaid? Not to mention "Fleshy Casper's" white shirt w/ a yoke, black pants and riding boots as a suitable "period costume" for him. A staple of my childhood yes, but a pillar of costuming excellence it is not. But I'll forgive it, it's fun.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Random Tidbit 1

This is one of those times where I learn something new that will now be stored in my memory forever, to be brought up at random moments when those around me don't care a fig (like Clara Bow had a horrible Jersey accent, which is why she couldn't hack it when movies started having sound, seem familiar (Singing in the Rain, cough cough)) The Met has Wallace Simpson's wedding dress and the Dior "New Look" seen below.

Historical Survey

When I was a kid I thought that the 1860s was the end all be all of historical fashion b/c Gone With The Wind made a HUGE impression on me when I saw it at 5. As my historical tastes have matured I've gotten pretty bored with this era. Don't get me wrong, it's still fabulous, but there are so many other FANTASTIC time periods and fashions that get either overlooked or overshadowed by giant steel crinolines.
And now, courtesy of The Met's Costume Institute ( are just a few knock outs.

House of Dior 1998

Callot Soeurs 1910-14: Dress 1935, American

Dress 1884-6, American or European: Robe à l'Anglaise, 1785–1787 French
Paul Poiret 1919. I've had my eye on this for years, a project for later days.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Sartorialist

If you haven't discovered the Sartorialist on ( you must check him out. Scott Schuman takes pictures of real people outside of fashion shows. This is one of my recent favorites at Chloe.
His silhouette is fantastic, as are his socks and shoes. I'm a sucker for silhouette.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Modest Bridal

I'm bored, so I should go to bed, but I don't want to.

I took some time last night to catch up a little with I discovered their 'power search' feature or whathaveyou so I went through their bridal. I'm a nut for bridal. I have no plans to get married for years to come, but bridal's so great b/c the color's already taken care of! The trick comes with the modesty standards I choose to live by as outlined by my church requiring sleeves and modest neck and backlines (for everyday, not just bridal). To this end I actually design a lot of bridal on my own, but thought it would be fun to see what's out there on the runways. What I found was intriguing to say the least.
Here are just a few...

LtoR: Lanvin Resort '08-->love the veil. For a Mormon wedding it'd have to be to the ground, but v. simple and sweet.
Givenchy Spring '08 Couture-->Fabulous skirt. I hope it has pockets! The jacket top is a nice edgy look
Chanel Spring '08 Couture-->lovely color, and patch pockets! Gorgeous train, beautifully photographed, but more of a showpiece than viable option for a 'real' wedding
Christian Lacroix Fall '04 Couture-->Oh Christian. The sleeves are of course magnificent, as is the wig, but over the top, delicious however.
YSL Fall '01 Couture--> Precious. Love the veil, love the color, love the ostrich feathers and the fan in front. V. clean and simple.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Salwar, Churidar, Anarkali and Kameez

New vocab!
I've come to realize that I LOVE Punjabi/Northern Indian fashion. Of course I'm in love with saris, but how comfy are salwars? I want some!
Ok, salwar (left pants), churidar (middle pants), anarkali (right top) and kameez (two left tops). The more loosely fitting top men wear are kurtas (men's gorgeous Indian wear will have to wait).
I've fallen in love w/ these of course as I've watched my Bollywood movies. Kajol wears numerous yellow salwar kameezes in her roles, most memorably as Anjali in K3G , but also in Fanaa. Bride and Prejudice and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, set in Amritsar, Punjab, sport some fantastic ensembles of the same type. Anushka Sharma from RNBDJ wears a black and silver churidar anarkali in an extras interview. Of course I want to make all of these.
It's interesting to note that these fashions have been around for centuries; and you thought your skinny jeans and pants under dresses were original.
I'm not ashamed of mild wikipedia usage. It's good for general knowledge.

1950s Plaid

My mom bought the rest of a bolt of acetate (blech) plaid years ago for me. I have some idea that there's probably about 10 yards left on the sucker. It's been sitting in my fabric corner for years collecting dust. I've had ideas to make a 1840s dress of it, but it's really a striking, large, uneven plaid that just didn't fit w/ the projects I've tried to fit with it. I've come to learn that more often than not you'll work to find a project for a fabric instead of a fabric for a project. Until I can weave my own materials for exactly what I want (like designers do) it usually works out better if you let a fabric inspire you.
So, mid-1950s semi-formal day dress. I spent my Friday afternoon pleating a strip of my plaid in all different ways for options if I ever get to this project. I took pictures I'll probably post for opinions. I had this idea b/c I had a weird dream w/ this type of 1950s sassy/chic character. When I think of a project for myself I still imagine it as though there's a character I'm making it for, esp if it's a period project. Most of the sketches I do on my own, w/o a script have their own characters. Anyway, point being, each way I pleat this plaid gives me a different character (pleated the black stripes to show, red, yellow, blue and green etc).
If I ever get to this the skirt will be ridiculously pleated and full w/ probably a top w/ short kimono sleeves w/ gussets b/c that's my favorite style right now. Of course it'd need a very full petticoat. I have one my mom made me of just netting years ago, but I need a new one. I want a more substantial can can. Mine is also v. long which works for the period, but I'd prefer a shorter one for other skirts I have.