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This is Couture

February 7, 2011


(an excerpt from Wikipedia)

“Haute couture (French for “high sewing” or “high dressmaking”; pronounced: [ot kutyʁ], English pronunciation: /ˌoʊt kuːˈtʊər/) refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Couture is a common abbreviation of haute couture and refers to the same thing in spirit.[1]

In France, the term haute couture is protected by law and is defined by the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris based in Paris, France. Their rules state that only “those companies mentioned on the list drawn up each year by a commission domiciled at the Ministry for Industry are entitled to avail themselves” of the label haute couture. The criteria for haute couture were established in 1945 and updated in 1992.

To earn the right to call itself a couture house and to use the term haute couture in its advertising and any other way, members of the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture must follow these rules:

  • Design made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fittings.
  • Have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time.
  • Each season (i.e., twice a year), present a collection to the Paris press, comprising at least thirty-five runs/exits with outfits for both daytime wear and evening wear.

However, the term haute couture may have been misused by ready-to-wear brands since the late 1980s, so that its true meaning may have become blurred with that of prêt-à-porter (the French term for ready-to-wear fashion) in the public perception. Every haute couture house also markets prêt-à-porter collections, which typically deliver a higher return on investment than their custom clothing[citation needed]. Falling revenues have forced a few couture houses to abandon their less profitable couture division and concentrate solely on the less prestigious prêt-à-porter. These houses, such as Italian designer Roberto Capucci, all of whom have their workshops in Italy, are no longer considered haute couture.”

It only barely mentions it here, but other sites on the subject, as well as a few of my instructors at school mention that a certain very high percentage of the work must be done entirely by hand. That means NO SEWING MACHINES. AT ALL.

Obviously, in America, anyone with enough ego can call their label “Blank Blank Couture,” but we all know it isn’t really. ANYWAYS, Spring Couture fashion week happened! So I’m here to share some of my favorite glorious-made-completely-and-painstakingly-by-hand-garments!

Read more…


Christmas Haul

January 5, 2011

Hey y’all! Long time no post. Common theme here, I know. One of my NY Resolutions is to blog more though, so let’s hope I can stick to it. I was going to blog about the recently posted Pre-Fall collections, but the fact of the matter is… they all kind of sucked! I’m also kind of glad I didn’t make a post about Spring because if every other trend report is correct, my least favorite decade (the 70s) is going to make a comeback. ACK.

So instead, here is a picture post of things I got for Christmas/bought for myself with X-mas gift cards!


Deux Lux Mini-Messenger Purse


My dad got it right selecting this off of my extensive Amazon Universal Wishlist. How can I not love something that’s covered in giant rhinestones and pearls?

Urban Outfitters


Twig Bobby Pins


How cute are these! They’re just the right amount of naturey for me, and they came in gold!


High Waist Skinny Jeans


I’m a little afraid these aren’t going to fit me when they arrive, but I had to give it a shot. I’m so tired of displaying my ass crack at work whenever I bend over. Plus high-waisted pants/shorts are super cute, and will hopefully add some more variety to my wardrobe.


Bird Skull Necklace


Nice and witchy. I even ordered the matching ring!

… which unfortunately is backordered until February!

Forever 21


Tassel Loafers


I’ve wanted a pair of loafers like this for a long time, but I’d never been able to find a pair in my price range that were the right color, until now!


Navy and Blue Star Print Dress

One word: STARS. I won’t be able to wear this one to work, but it will be nice to have another casual dress in my closet.



Lace Inset Romper


I LOVE ROMPERS, and this one looks comfy and cute. Plus I’m sure that little peek-a-boo will look great against my tattoo.


Studded Cargo Jacket


It wasn’t until I saved this photo that I realized that the majority of what I had ordered was navy. 😛 How silly am I? We had this jacket at my store but it sold out in my size, so I couldn’t resist buying it from the website. Hopefully it is warm enough for everyday wear, because I’m sure everyone is tired of seeing me in my parka.


Olive Cargo Jeans


Once again kind of afraid these won’t fit me, but I really need some pant options. I only have two pairs of jeans right now, and they’re the same style in different colors.


In other news, I made a prototype pair of feather plugs the other day for myself, and snapped this photo of questionable quality with my iPhone to share with everyone!


Feather Plugs with Turquoise Cabochons



That’s all for now! I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year, see you soon ^_-

Random Fashion Designer Anecdote + Update

October 14, 2010

When you work in small measurements constantly, you get to be really good at both simple mathematics and measuring with your eyes. Occasionally someone will give me a project, and I’ll decide then and there, “Okay, to make this work I’ll have to insert a 2″ panel on each side, and subtract 1/2″ on each side of the seam of the original garment with a 1/4″ seam allowance.” And then weeks later when I sit down to do it (and have a mushy brain from being sick), I remember deciding that this was how it needed to be, but it no longer makes sense to me. LOL This is why I don’t work on things when I’m sick! Anyways, I trusted my non-sick brain and it turned out perfectly. YAY.


I’m really bad at being a blogger. I’m even worse at being a fashion designer. I don’t know if I just have horrible luck, or if I’m going about things in all the wrong ways. I was/am planning a Fall collection based around Red Riding Hood. It should be out right now. A Fall collection should have been done in the Summer, waiting to be shipped out in September. None of it is done. I can’t find fabric I like, and the company I wanted to print my t-shirts and sweatshirts went out of business. The other company I contacted about it told me that my print might not turn out the way I want it to, and their printing costs are considerably higher than the first company (that was also run by a fellow FIDM alumni, who MIGHT have given me a discount.) I just don’t know what to do, and no one will help me. Every time I ask someone successful for their advice, they either ignore my question, or shoot it down. Should I scrap the collection and work on my Spring line instead? The whole thing has already been designed, it’s up on my bulletin board right now.

I’m also not really sure what to do to get my plugs to sell. I’ve sold only one pair. When I made them, I was certain I’d stumbled on a really great idea, because at the time no one was really making cute plugs. Now there are dozens of sellers on Etsy making “cute” plugs, that I feel aren’t even as good of quality as mine, and their product is moving while mine is sitting next to me here on my desk.

Some people feel like I should just give up on fashion entirely, sometimes I feel like that myself. But I can’t give up on it. I’m not giving up on my blog either. Someday I’ll figure out how to balance my stupid day job, creating fashion and art, and spending the time to create quality blog posts. I just wish that I had someone to help me, instead of constantly being ignored and frustrated.


Anyways, enough whining! I moved into a new apartment recently, and I bleached most of the color out of my hair to make way for something new!

Please excuse my strange facial expression. I’m not wearing make-up, so I was trying to take the picture at an angle that wasn’t completely horrifying XD! I’m excited about the prospect of the new color, but I also kind of like the way this ice-blue/seafoam color looks. We’ll see what happens.

The past couple of weeks I also received two commissions for Ramona Flowers jackets, from the Vol. 5 cover cosplay I did last year! Here are close-ups of the jacket I made for myself:

The jacket has a built up neckline instead of a collar.

Each sleeve has five rows of straps, which are actually made up of two pieces.

…which is a total of 10 strap pieces. Sewng them together isn’t a big deal, they’re three straight seams. But then I have to turn them inside out, which can be a pain at that size! The reason I chose to do them in two parts is because if you have a strap around a tube (in this case a sleeve) you need something to support it. I thought having a one-piece strap held on by what are essentially belt loops (like the neck and waist straps are) would be an uncomfortable thing to have under your arms. so I opted to sew them into the seam itself.

I scoured the entirety of Vol. 5 for every instance of Ramona in this jacket.

The random seams on the front are Brian's fault.

And one more time, for funsies, here is the famous picture of me wearing the jacket at San Diego Comic-Con 2009:


That’s all for now. I’m going to work on some print designs, have a wonderful night!


August 22, 2010

So, I believe I posted about this project when I STARTED it, which was probably over a year ago! AND THEY’RE FINALLY UP ON ETSY!! You can click on the photo to go to my shop. Or you can read more about the process:

Read more…

♥ Friday, I’m In Love? ♥

August 20, 2010

Who is surprised? Hmm!? Anyone? I haven’t blogged in a while because it usually takes up so much time, that I just feel daunted at the idea and I’ve been busy lately! SHOCKING. Anyways, I had already compiled a significant amount of images on my desktop of things that I LOVE, so I figured now would be a good time to purge it all into a blog post!

ANYWAYS, inspired by a formspring question my new friend Betty Felon answered on her Tumblr, it’s the e-window shopper edition! I recently gave myself a budget on clothing so that I can save money to MAKE clothing, so I spend a lot of time drooling over things I can’t buy… here are some of them:

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August 19, 2010

I finally got a lookbook account! I’m going to post a couple of my old outfit photos, because I don’t have great lighting in here and can’t take new ones so please don’t judge me for recycling! I still wear all of these clothes anyways >_<

Love In Unexpected Places #1

June 23, 2010

I’ve made a LOT of absolute declarations about my views on design, food, music, and just about everything else over the years.  However, I’ve learned that over time, your tastes change, and that’s perfectly natural! With that being said, I’d like to dedicate this week to a mini-series I like to call “Love In Unexpected Places” where I renounce a few of my “absolute declarations” of hatred for a few things.

The first is… Native American/Tribal motifs! Okay, there are still applications of both of these things that I dislike quite a bit. HOWEVER, the recent incarnations of these design inspirations in fashion has swayed me slightly. Here are a few pieces I think speak very well for this trend:

Forever 21, $24.80

It’s really the color scheme that did it for me. It came in at our shop, and I immediately declared my undying love for it and put it in a highly visible spot on one of the walls. I bought it as soon as I got my next paycheck.

Read more…

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