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Finishing touches

January 5, 2012

I took an intensive haute couture sewing  and patternmaking class last fall, taught by a tiny old seamstress we called Signora. We sat at workstations in serried rows for hours at a time while she paced about the room, examining our work and holding forth on the subject du jour. It was fantastic. Very rigorous, but just what I wanted.

As the Resident Foreigners, my friend Astrid and I were given many lectures on why traditional Italian tailoring enjoys the reputation it has (and let me tell you, there is WORK that goes in to properly tailoring something!) A constant refrain from Signora was “Rifiniture!” The finishing touches. She showed us the extra steps that made a hand-made garment into a work of fine craftsmanship. It’s all about the little thoughts that make a garment truly special.

That’s why I’m particularly drawn to vintage tailoring, such as with the suit above. The perfect seam on the waist and the buttons at the back are beautiful touches, showing that the garment was thoughtfully constructed. I’m working on building a skeleton wardrobe right now, of perfect base pieces, and it is these careful details that I’m looking out for, such as a well-made hem or something to make the piece more beautiful and unique. I think I might be done with fast fashion, except for pops of trendiness. Quality and thoughtfulness are becoming more and more important to me. How do you feel about this?

[Image via]

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Daily dose of the surreal

January 4, 2012

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What’s your sign?

January 3, 2012

I don’t know about you, but early January always has me heading straight for the astrology sites to read page after breathless page about the Year Ahead. I try to be a skeptic the rest of the time, but the new year is a good time to be credulous no? And they’re saying some utterly fantastic things about Sagittarius in 2012, so I’m all for anything that says good things will happen.

In that vein, I was utterly delighted to come across Ekaterina Koroleva’s Zodiac Signs  paintings on Behance. I like the things being done with watercolours these days, and here we have another fine example.

Sagittarius is my personal favourite, because it’s badass and backs are sexy. Then again, I’m biased. See the rest of the signs here.

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Fireflies

January 2, 2012

I’m floored by the beauty of these time-lapse photographs of golden butterflies in Japan. Their neon trails against the backgrounds creates images that look almost as if they were done with brushstrokes. I’m so inspired.

It looks dizzying and psychedelic. I love it.

Also, happy New Year’s, everyone! I’ve decided to stop being a bad blogger this year. What are your thoughts on 2012?

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Slouching Towards Bethlehem

October 8, 2011

I saw this portrait of Joan Didion by Annie Leibovitz on the Vanity Fair website and instantly fell in love. It’s truly remarkable how this image manages to conjure up the same emotions that I’ve always felt when reading her work, a mixture of dreaminess and serenity, interwoven with a strong, unshakeable sense of dread. I first saw it a few hours ago, and it’s stuck with me, her strange, alien gaze creeping into the back of my mind at the oddest of moments. I don’t think I could expect anything less of her.

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Inspiration 1.14.11

January 14, 2011

Yohji Yamamoto catalogue cover, 1986.

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Coveting 11.3.10

November 3, 2010

I would like this bookcase, please. Thanks. That will be all. Oh, and an apartment to put it in too, please. Think you can take care of that for me?

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