Sew Crafy

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hats off for a fine Mix!

Here in their own words they will not only tell you the designers they chose, but also give some insight into their outfit.  First, here are your winners and the category they represent




These are their winning designs along with their comments:


 Two fashion designers Alexander McQueen and Zuhair Murad were my inspiration at this competition.  I wanted to connect the East and the West.  Two worlds and two religions.  On a head of a doll a photo of the Sofia cathedral in Istanbul. Today it is a mosque. It is symbolical.  Ornaments - gold butterflies.  Alexander McQueen used butterflies for the inspiration.

For this challenge, Im compelled to do a mash up between two of my favorite fashion houses, Chanel with its classic, elegant and utterly lady like sense of aesthetics, and the body hugging lines of americanized french label Herve Leger. I used Chanel's tweed and Leger's signature stretch bandage to create a design that could hold on its own. Contrasting details such as a tinge of military tailoring and added the curvy body conforming side, three dimensional details for that drama, contrasting the conservative design and continuing the bands and arrange them into a linear pattern formed on the skirt, contrasted by the soft cascading drapes. The heaviness of design was balanced with color of summery lavander and lilacs and accents of fresh greens to soften everything up.

I have mixed Chanel and Dolce&Gabbana styles.
 Jacket is characteristic for fashion of the leading creator of all - Coco Chanel. Always collarless with round buttons and a typical trim around.
 Skirt - inspired by this year's fashion of Dolce&Gabbana. This is a brand that arouses desire, sensation and continually provokes. It is determined by the ability of breaking conventions and going beyond cultural boundaries. Dolce&Gabbana offers also a joy with contrast, passion and femininity – thanks to that a woman becomes unique, strong and full of passion. She becomes a diva who can not be ignored. Sexy and provocative creations are often both synonymous with chic and elegant. Black felt hat adds chic.   All hat, jewelry and stockings have been created by me.

Photography Winner: Anj Calvo
Your guest judge for this Mash Up challenge was
David has always been a doll collector, specifically of fashion dolls, because his sisters and mother collected dolls. David not only designs dolls today, but he is also a graphic designer who is well known for his logos and other fashion doll illustrations - in fact that's the original job he snared at Integrity Toys.  He has worked under Vaughn Sawyers and Jason Wu, but David has a style all his own.

His work with Integrity does include illustration as well as design for ads and packaging, and even working with the doll design team.  

But the general public probably knows him better for the doll lines he's worked on that include Misaki, Dynamite Girls, and most recently, Poppy Parker.  He works on doll designs that include loads of personality.  David even designed the IFDC Alice in Wonderland companion doll made from the Gavin Dynamite Girl sculpt.  David has been published in Fashion Doll Quarterly, and  other popular doll magazines.  
And that concludes our blog for this week.  But the designers are working hard on their next challenge, so look forward to seeing some new eye candy, and tips for making them, on our next blog!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Can Old Hollywood be made new again??


"The Hollywood Gown" in golden age Hollywood was a time when there were gowns designed for film stars and movie roles, by designers known worldwide. Designers such as Adrian, Edith Head, and Irene, were known for their film gowns. Fashion and the movies have been married since the first moving pictures. There were times when the gown made the film and made even bigger the starlet who wore it, catapulting her into the next big "it" girl.

This challenge is to create the perfect "Hollywood Gown". The gown has to be modern while also giving a nod to those famous Hollywood designers of yesteryear. The gown must be camera ready and starlet bound, it must look good from all angles and must provide that perfect "Hollywood publicity still."

Movie: DINNER AT EIGHT, Year 1933

Costume Designer: Adrian Dress: A vision in white satin, cut on the bias.

Actress: Jean Harlow, the actress who was attributed to have originated a new vision of blonde by bleaching hers white, a trend that would last as far the 50's - remember Marilyn Monroe??

Movie: LADY IN THE DARK, Year 1944

 Costume Designer: Edith Head Gown: One of Hollywood's most expensive with a mink over skirt and a beaded inner skirt. Shoulder pads, gloves and netting were a must.

Actress: Ginger Rogers, who danced across the silver screen most often on the arm of Fred Astaire would favor a shoe that disappeared into her dress - a trick to make her long legs look even longer!

Movie: MIDNIGHT LACE, 1960, Evening Gown Designed by Irene

 Costume Designer: Irene  Evening Gown: Reminescent of the style of the actress.

Actres: Doris Day, known for her "good girl" look would have worn a gown like this of the finest silk, sometimes with a little jacket - but no matter how it was made, it always was a wow factor!

 All three were popular designers for Old Hollywood, but Edith Head is probably the most remembered today because of her work with Audrey Hepburn. However Irene (Lentz) perhaps has had the most influence in modern-day movies - not because she designed later than the others. Midnight Lace was the last movie she designed for; much of her design work began in the 1930s; Easter Parade is her most well known movie.

Her suits are worn by Kyra Sedgewick on TNT's The Closer currently airing. But, it is one of Angelina Jolie’s outfits in her recent film, The Tourist, that most beckons us back to old Hollywood in a new, updated, while keeping the tradition way.

 Yes, it was inspired by a design by Irene (Lentz), but "reenvisioned" by Colleen Atwood who may be one of our new age designers making a name for their Hollywood designs as well. This ensemble featured a caramel shawl, gloves, and an ivory sheath while the original outfit included a jacket. Atwood told People Magazine she wanted to make it more luxurious so she designed a wrap instead. She also made the outfit more modern and gave Jolie gloves to wear because she "was filming in the land of fine gloves."

 To me, Ms. Atwood has demonstrated what this challenge is all about. Through her "reenvision" she stayed true to the glamour obvious in all the Old Hollywood ensembles while not only bringing it up to date, she made it more luxurious. This spirit of Old Hollywood, after all, exuded glamour, so I don't think just deconstructing or modernizing it without a nod to such glamour will satisfy these judges.

In fact, your judge for this challenge will be a true original doll artist, one we might even call Glamour Man! Jim Faraone's one-of-a-kind creations were the epitome of glamour. Designs he once had available for sale came with all the beadwork and sequins hand done, one at a time and not glued on. Each doll came with a stand and was placed in an autographed designer box with his logo on the cover with his salutation, "I do hope you enjoy this glamorous, yet sometimes humorous journey into my miniature world of fashion." He was so popular at it he even wrote the book about it, well actually several books, in his Fashion Doll Makeover series where he not only gave how-tos and examples of his own work; he also used them to promote other artists.

  Yes, Jim Faraone is a self-proclaimed collector of dolls, paper dolls, paper toys, miniatures, 40's and 50's plastic dollhouse furniture, metal doll dishes and accessories, autographed celebrity photos, and dust! But for a lot of us Jim is a mentor that we're proud to call a friend. Nowadays he has turned to fulfilling his need to do doll art by producing the wonderful paintings he shows at his International Fashion Doll Covention. And what a fun convention it is -- A Celebration of ALL Fashion Dolls, this year's theme will be Shock, Rattle 'N' Roll, and he'll also be celebrating IFDC's 10th Anniversary. Where else could one not only see the latest doll offerings from Manufacturers as well as Artists, attend informative how to seminars, do a little Steampunk Rock Bowling, play the slots, and enjoy a Raining Men American Bandstand Karaoke/Dance Night?? No where but IFDC with the doll artist's friend, Jim Faraone. Read more about it on the IFDC website by clicking here.

Jim will be joining your regular panel of equally nice, doll and doll artist lovin' judges: Malinda Zelazo, Hilda Westervalt, and Rob Thompson. Malinda and Hilda are new while Rob has been with CDDC since the beginning. Their critiques, to me, elevates CDDC from being just a "pretty doll" contest because along with their critiques they furnish information to help the designers do a better job.

First we have Malinda Zelazo. She grew-up in San Jose, Califronia but currently lives in Sacramento. Malinda is the first of our non-doll designer judges, and was not chosen for her good design or sewing skills, rather ofor her good eye for detail she uses for selecting new addition to her OOAK collection. Malinda has been collecting fashion dolls for over 20 years. Her main love is Francie, but she also likes Mod era Barbies, Momoko, Misaki, and Poppy Parker. She loves fashion and brings to the table the courses in fashion design and history she has attended. And although she not been so successful at making the fashions, she has made many talented friends over the years who are doll artists and is constatntly amazed at how creative doll collectors are! Malinda is excited to be a part of CDDC and looks forward to seeing everyone's entries for each challenge!

 Our next new judge is Hilda Westerveldt, who is no stranger to all the Barbie collectors I am sure. Hilda has been sewing since she was in High School but then sewed mostly for herself. She started a business of handmade hats in 1993 under the name Bellissima. Fast forward to 2007 and when she started sewing for dolls. Hilda have always loved anything in miniature and the idea of indulging her love of vintage fashion in miniature was very compelling. Her favorite period is the 1950s to early 1960s and she simply adores the fashions from the show Mad Men, and loves to create them. She has a wonderful time designing. She calls her doll shop Bellissima Couture, and it is located on our sister site, Couture Doll Shop - right on Main Street - last shop on the right on the last row - just click here to find it.

 Last but not least is Rob Thompson. Rob is doing a ton of charity auction dolls again this year, and I am sure they are grateful because they usually raise from $5,000 to $7,000 each year for various charities. This year his dolls will benefit Grant A Wish, National Barbie, IFDC, Kelly Convention, and the Italian Doll Convention. He also cotinues working with the NOH8, and that has been a huge job, as well as collaborating with Dressmaker Details and Randall Craig RTW for charity event dolls. Rob's new line of doll work, “Razor Rain,” was previewed at the FR convention last year and sold out. Besides his doll work, he has actually started a novel, but has no idea when he would get it finished - nor was I privileged to know the topic, but we can all read his articles in FDQ from time to time. Rob also has a shop on our sister site, CDS, first row Couture Court, 2nd from the left, just click here.  

And that concludes this post, tune in next time when more winners will be revealed!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

These winners really got their game on!


'These are haute couture dresses, I have created having inspired by game of Diablo. To it I have been carried away in the childhood."

"My inspiration for this dress was game "Assassin's Creed".  And now you can see my model, as an embodiment of this game within the limits of haute couture."

"For this creation I was inspired of my favorite video game 'Hitman.'"

Photography Winner: Anj Calvo

Honorable Mention goes to Elena Prokhorova

Anj now will have an entry in the Photography Contest.  Congratulations to all winners!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mash it up, Mash it up, throw it on a Model!!


This week your challenge for CDDC4 is to mash things up a bit. You will take two famous design houses and design a couture fashion that mixes the famous elements of both houses while not flat out copying either house's designs. Examples that you might use(but you are not limited to these designers) would be Valentino to Valentina (Versace), Givenchy to Galliano, (Vivienne) Westwood to (Jason) Wu, (Alexander) McQueen to (Stella) McCartney… The design houses should be on different ends of the fashion spectrum so that it is a true fashion mash-up! Mix 'em up and see what you get.

Wow, what an interesting challenge! I thought I'd provide you with a picture and a little information on each designer, BUT make NO suggestions. In this way you could learn about each one, anyway, even if you didn't use any of them. After all, you never can get enough fashion info now, can you??


 Both a reverent hush and an excited clamor simultaneously surround the Italian designer, Valentino. He enjoys the patronage of a long established clientéle of wealthy and aristocratic women, yet his clothes are never staid and always express a fresh, current style. His collections and his lifestyle embody the grandeur and serenity of eternal Rome, where he works from his salon near the Spanish Steps. In 2000 Valentino celebrated 40 years in business.  From his beginnings he has attracted clients who came to him for his finely crafted, colorful, and elegant designs.  In 1968 he created a sensation with his White Collection, featuring short dresses shown with lace stockings and simple flat shoes. The very same year Jacqueline Kennedy chose a lace-trimmed silk two-piece dress with a short pleated skirt, for her marriage to Aristotle Onassis. Yet red has since become Valentino's signature color, a rich shade of crimson with vibrant overtones of orange. Typical Valentino details include scalloped trims and hems, raglan sleeves, circular ruffles, complex plays of proportion, and extravagant pattern and texture mixes—like the combination of lace, velvet, and houndstooth in a single outfit. Valentino's devotees continue to flock to him today.


 She was born with a natural Italian flair for personal style. Her emerging creative talents were nurtured by her mother, Francesca, and her brother Gianni's extraodinary career influenced her as a young girl. Donatella's clothing design today with its sexy, feminine, powerful look is as much a reflection of her early personal style as of the fashion world in which she is a major presence. Because of the enormous success of her brother and his couture line and Donatella's role as his assistant and muse, she became well known and respected in the Italian fashion world; and because of her own talent, she has maintained that respect in more countries than just Italy.  Harper's Bazaar (1995) recognized that Donatella's demand for the most famous models as a part of the publicity surrounding each season's latest designs launched "the supermodel" cult, though it must be said that she was herself the most recognizable supermodel that Gianni engaged. Her notoriously high standards attract precisely the attention to Versace products that guarantees their marketability. She continues to cultivate the celebrity crowd; designing, for example, the extraordinary palm-leaf printed gown that Jennifer Lopez wore at a Grammy Awards ceremony. In recent years she has concentrated on the sexy natural shape of a woman's body. Her use of clinging chiffons that hug every curve, subtle designs that follow those curves like a whisper, and sparkles of sequins highlighting those curves have perfected her look as "maybe risqué, but not reckless." She has, indeed, matured into a major fashion leader who is upholding the high standards of elegance, sensuality, and opulence that were and remain the Versace trademark.


 The House of Givenchy was founded in 1952 by designer Hubert de Givenchy and is a member of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Pret-a-Porter. During his reign under the label bearing his name, he was known for his modern, ladylike styles, which earned him many loyal clients. The most famous patron of the brand was Audrey Hepburn in films such as Sabrina, for which Edith Head claimed the Academy Award, How to Steal a Million and Breakfast at Tiffany's. A rather sad event brought global attention to Givenchy dresses. When John F.Kennedy was assasinated, the world witnessed a mourning Kennedy family all dressed in Givenchy clothes.  Other famous patrons include the Guinness and Grimaldi families. After he left his own design house, he went on to work for other design houses shortly afterward. and continues to create both wonderful women's wear and men's wear collections.


After much talk about possible successors of Ferre, it was confirmed in October 1996, that John Galliano would take his place as chief designer for Dior. Galliano, known as an enfant terrible of the fashion business, was responsible for Givenchy for two seasons before switching to Dior. It was believed that Dior's parent-company LVMH wanted to rejuvenate Dior's appearence, hoping it could create an equally astonishing run on Dior products like Tom Ford created for Gucci. Indeed, Galliano's appraoch to fashion resembles Dior's intention when he started in 1947. In contrast to Chanel, for example, Dior established a romantic and very feminine look, which emphasised luxury rather than comfort. Galliano, as Dior's successor, created an equally feminine style, blending today's freedom of expression with the reminiscence of past opulence.


She became well known in the 1970s when, with Malcolm McLaren, the rock music entrepreneur, she opened a shop in London that became the focus of the punk rock movement. International recognition came in the early 1980s with her Pirate and New Romantics look. Vivienne Westwood, who once had a shop named SEX, has played a vital role in the emergence of Punk Rock in the 1970s and has gone on to become one of the most original and influential designers of our time. Her designs combine a fearless unconformity with a sense of tradition. She is renowned for her gentle parody of Establishment styles, her use of very British fabrics such as Harris tweed and tartan, and her re-use of historic garments such as the corset and crinoline. Yet, her approach has always been practical, driven by a curiosity about how things work, a process she describes as 'learning through action'. Born in 1941, you'd think she'd be slowing down, but there is no such evidence yet.


"I think in a time where trends last for about five minutes, and we move on so quickly on everything, not just fashion, the role of a designer is to create pieces that are truly designer pieces with a design signature that is seasonless, timeless. and well made… and in that sense they’re so different and cannot be mistaken for a knock off," words direct from this young, forward-thinking designer who is the current darling of the fashion world. Little mention is given to the diminutive designs he's done for Integrity, Madame Alexander, and others in the press nowadays, but he has said he will cotinue to dabble in this design work that was his beginning in fashion. He's designed for a President's wife and Neiman Marcus, and his cute-as-a-button Target ads are making him a household word. Here's hoping he's already accomplished his next goal of having Cate Blanchette wear one of his gowns by the time you are reading this.


McQueen's clothing was by no means ‘ready to wear’, his designs were like no other. They made up a display of his uninhibited imagination and creativity. Some of his designs were very sexual, using elements of S&M such as chainmail, bondage and corsets. But there is no denying, he completely changed the way a fashion show is presented. Fashion shows became another form of performance art. He incorporated choreography, art, video, lights and many other exciting aspects of performance art into his shows. These shows were energetic, and his audiences left them full of emotion. That is only one of the reasons that when he left us we were also full of emotion.


Although her famous father is Beatle Paul McCartney, Stella doesn't seem to need to stand on anyone's name but her own, having launched her own line immediately on leaving college. Her style of combining sharp tailoring with humour and sexy femininity were immediately apparent in that first collection. In 1997, after only two collections, she became the creative director of the house of Chloe in Paris. Chloe's commercial success has been stratospheric since her arrival. Stella McCartney was awarded the VH1 / Vogue Fashion and Music 2000 Designer of the Year award, and in 2001 she resigned from Chloe and launched her own fashion house under her name in partnership with Gucci Group.

 But you are not limited to these designers, so I would pair up a particular duo of my faves. I think this American woman designer and this French man are juxtaposed enough that pulling attributes of each one's collections could result in an awesome outfit. Below is some info on each, so you can see if you agree. But if you do not that is fine, after all this is about YOUR interpretation of this challenge, not mine.


ThIs former 'enfant terrible' of French fashion is one of the most significant designers working today. On one hand, Jean Paul Gaultier is hailed as the saviour of haute couture. On the other, he is one of the world's most famous living Frenchmen, partly due to a presenting job on the TV show Eurotrash. Born in 1952, he was beguiled by fashion from a young age, and would sketch showgirls from the Folies Bergere to impress his classmates. In the early '70s he trained under Pierre Cardin and Jean Patou, eventually launching his own ready-to-wear collection in 1976. He soon became known for iconoclastic designs such as the male skirt, corsetry worn as outerwear, and tattoo-printed body stockings. The classics of Parisian fashion are also central to his repertoire, particularly the trench coat. But it was his wardrobe for Madonna's Blonde Ambition tour of 1990 that made him world-famous, in particular for a certain salmon-pink corset with conical bra cups.


New York designer Betsey Johnson has built her long-standing career in fashion by following her own set of rules. Known for her celebration of the exuberant, the embellished, and the over the top, Betsey has been rocking the fashion industry with her unique and original designs since the 1960's. Her commitment to remain true to her one-of-a-kind vision has afforded Betsey continued success in an industry known for its fickleness. Her ability to change with the times while keeping her designs pure has not gone unnoticed. At the 1999 CFDA Awards, Betsey was presented The Timeless Talent Award created especially for her, which recognized her influence on fashion throughout her career. In late 2002, Betsey was honored with an induction into the Fashion Walk of Fame, honoring her contribution to American fashion. She has also received various Lifetime Achievement Awards as well as the Designer of the Year Award in 2006. Betsey Johnson's enthusiasm, creativity and boundless talent that have kept her at the forefront of fashion for the past 40 years will keep Betsey going for years to come.

Well, that is it for this week!  All  the designs for Challenge Two are now up, so just click here, to go on over and enjoy another interesting runway show!