Kerry O'Brine Womens Wear

Behind the seams


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The Shoe Nightmare – and other diary items!

In the studio:

Things are starting to happen. Some decisions have been made about the new accessories – looking forward to the bits and pieces arriving so we can get cracking on painting and finishing those.

I’m on the verge of ordering some of the fabrics for the new pieces. Excited about the rich colours I’m going for and it’s lovely receiving new fabrics in the post!

In November I have a show booked which is almost immediately after my wedding so everything has to be done prior to the wedding. A little stressful!! All prep such as the show layout, packaging and admin needs to be completed before I get married. I don’t want anything playing on my mind.instagram latest

I’m doing regular updates as and when things happen in the studio on instagram. Some fashion, some flowers and anything else that takes my fancy. But mostly it seems to theme as, fashion, flowers and food!!

Head over follow me on instagram if you want to see sketches, colours and studio happenings!

 

Update on the wedding:

Planning the wedding has been going ok. We had a slow start with me doing most of the major research. But more recently things have got on a roll.

One minor thing which has turned into one giant pain in the ******, is my shoes. Yes yes there are bridal shoes out there. But seriously, even with all the lovely new designers out there, nothing is right. Everything has gone super vintage – not right for my dress. High end and high street designers all have heels that are crazy high. I need a classic heel that is wearable all day.

I’m also determined not to have a pair of Ivory/white satin shoes that I know I will never wear again or ever dye (dying shoes or anything in fashion is not very acurate and sometimes highly unsuccessful).

So I’ve tried a lot of shoes on with the dress. Some lovely gold ones, some great beige ones and various others. Nothing is quite right.

Ahhh!! My dress is too white-ivory for cream, beige, or gold. The length is going to be long but the shoes will peak out the front. I’m thinking of going with black, sparkley silvery or red/pink tones.

Is it just me!!?

Side note…. If you are looking for some nice party shoes there are a lot around at the moment….. I’m loving all the gold sparkley ones.

The shoe solution? (hopefully)

So in the end I decided to get some made. I booked an appointment at the Upper Street shoe lounge. On Monday last week mum and I went with my wedding dress to my appointment.

The shoe lounge is a lovely space to try shoes on in. First you have a chat about what you’re thinking style wise and the heel height. Then they get some samples out to try on for size and heel height and shape. They offer different shoe size options. My feet are a size 4 in length but a size 5 in width at the front. It is always tricky finding shoes for my feet.

Once you have decided the shoe style you want, then they get all the colour samples out. Because there are so many options, it is helpful to have some vague notion of what you want i.e. green tones or red tones.

I made a decision and then we looked at different details which really made the shoes even more special.

So I ordered the shoes and now I’m waiting, eagerly waiting…. COME ON SHOESSSSSS! It’s a 3-4 week wait.

I’m down to 3 weeks…….

The shoes are not cheap, but if you want shoes that fit and you can’t find what you want in the shops, this is a great alternative. (you can order them online aswell) I will let you know how they turn out!

 


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What are vertical body proportions?

Let’s talk about body proportion. I had a discussion with someone yesterday about what is included in the torso and what it means to have a long or short torso! When you start questioning what sentences like ‘proportionably longer torso than legs’ it gets you thinking, what does this really mean?!!

In art the body is usually measured in heads. So you are measuring the body with the size of it’s own head. On average these days the body measures about 8 heads (including the head!).

The torso is the body not including limbs, neck or head. The torso (including the neck) generally measures 3 heads and the legs (including feet) measures 4 heads.

Now, if you think you proportionally have a different body to leg ratio it could be either of these posibilities:

Longer torso and shorter legs – your torso measure longer than 3 heads and your legs measure less than 4 heads.

Shorter torso and longer legs – your torso measures less than 3 heads and your legs measure more than 4 heads.

body-proportions long legs, short torso, short legs, long torso

From Left to Right: Short legs and long torso, standard body ratio of torso to legs, short torso and long legs

See the diagram: The centre person is Miss Average with the 3 to 4 head, torso to leg ratio.  On the left is the longer torso and shorter legs and on the right you have the shorter torso and longer legs. All three are the same height and it is just the body ratios that change.

It doesn’t matter whether you are short or tall – you could be any of these three options

 

 

 


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Colour placement in fashion outfits

When designing a piece of clothing a designer must considor it as part of an outfit. This outfit has to look visually ‘right’. Making an outfit look ‘right’ usually includes balance and points of focus. In my previous blog post I discussed the length of sleeves and balancing out the body. I’m going to look here at how colour placement can influence the eye.

Visual balance in art and design can often be achieved by using odd numbers.

In art there is the visual triangle where objects or people are arranged to create an invisible triangle shape. There is also the use of placing 3 areas of the same colour to draw the eye through the painting. Take a look at the painting below – the blue pulls your eyes accross the painting and the balance of 3 blue areas is visually harmonious. There is almost an invisible triangle joining the three blue areas.

space composition II

This principle is also applied in graphic design, interiors and fashion.

Look closely at this lovely interior created by firm Gauthier Stacy
You can see the candle sticks are grouped in 3:

Rule of 3 in interiors

Rule of 3 in interiors

This is an example in fashion of a way of creating a visual triangle and pulling the eye through an outfit with 3 points of colour. Ralph Lauren uses orange sandals, a handbag and a jacket to create this grouping. You could use a belt, bag and shoes to create a grouping of 3 colour points or perhaps a necklace, jacket and belt.

Ralph Lauren S/S 2015 collection

Ralph Lauren S/S 2015 collection

It can often be a placement of one that is the odd number. It can be a piece that creates a focal point – pulling the viewer to a point you want them to look at or just adding a pop of interest/colour.

Yellow shoes add a light hearted pop of colour to this outfit at Balmain S/S 15

Yellow shoes add a light hearted pop of colour to this outfit at Balmain S/S 15

David Koma

David Koma has drawn your eye to the waist with a yellow waistband in s/s 15 collection. You can do this with a belt


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Because (sometimes) Classics Are The Best!

It seems a while now since I first got into discussions with the lovely Kate (a la Pouting In Heels). We were discussing her upcoming photoshoot and what she was going to wear.

Well, the result of the photoshoot was beautiful. It is a real example of how pretending to be someone else can give you confidence behind the camera. Try it next time someone says ‘say cheese’ – you may end up feeling more yourself than ever!

Trench Coat and silk dress

Kate in my black Lana dress

You can see she is a complete natural behind the camera in this blog article featuring a dress from my one of my collections!

I like the way she has styled the dress with the trench – a nice combo of smart and casual. I look forward to seeing more styling on her blog, she obviously has a flare for it.

City style Fashion dress

Keeley in my navy Jo Jo dress

It’s always nice to see how different people style and wear my designs.

See here how one of my fav bloggers Keeley (the British Fashionista) styles one of my dresses (JoJo) with exactly the right amount of accessories for a smart work city look. She added some smart heels, a great bag, big sunnies and some subtle jewellery.

 

 

 


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How to Match a Green Dress

If you like wearing a green dress for work, there is no reason you can’t look smart and mix up how you style it.

On the left I have started off with black and green. Black and green are easy to match and you probably are doing this combination already! (moving anti-clockwise) Navy works equally as well next to green and is a smart alternative to black for work.

There are various different shade of navy from very deep dark navy to a lighter brighter version. Choose a shade that works for you.

 

How to Match a Green Dress

I have chosen to add a red belt in the next look. With regards to red with green, I would keep the amount of red to a minimum so you don’t look too Christmasy (or vice versa in a mostly red look). Here I have kept the majority of accessories as nude.

Pick out the red in a lipstick to create a unity across the look or if one red accessory is not enough!

Pink looks nice next to green and again go for a pink shade that suites your skin tone. Red and green are complimentary colours.

Because pink is a mix of red and white it works very well with the green and is less obvious than red.

Orange and green work well together. You can use burnt orange, deep dark orange or a bright orange. It all depends on the green tone and the colours that suit you.

Last but not least we move round to burgundy. Because burgundy, red wine or oxblood are shades of red they work well against green. These dark shades are a great alternative to black, navy or grey.


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A special Christmas Trip With Family or Friends

It’s nice to do things with friends and family at this time of year. You may not have time for any big event or get away i.e. like me your diary is soooooo full up till Christmas. If you can squeeze an extra special trip around Christmas time it’s well worth the effort. We are coming closer and closer to Christmas now but sometimes the last minute plans are the best! Personally, I think I’m going to arrange stuff for the days after Christmas.

London

somerset house, ice skating, London, Christmas

The ice skating rink at Somerset House, London for Christmas 2014. Image courtesy of the Somerset House website

Make a day of it in London. I love having a wander around London and looking at all the Christmas lights and decorations. Go to some of the big stores to see their festive window displays. Head to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park – free entry. Open from 10am to 10pm (from 21st November 2014 – 4th January 2014).

Then grab some skates for ice skating at Somerset House (11th December 2014 – 11th January 2015) or just sit in the Fortnum’s Lodge with a large glass of bubbly and feel smug that your not falling over on an icy sheet!

After some serious window shopping stay in the west end for a mulled wine at a pub, (try Pontefracte Castle on Wigmore street)  for a warming end to the day.

Paris
I always fancy heading to a Christmasy market abroad. But how about doing something different and heading to Paris for a Christmas outing?

Chrismas Tree, Galleries Lafayette, Paris

Head to Paris to see the amazing Christmas Tree at the Galeries Lafayette.

Go ice skating at the Grand Palais des Glaces, see the lights at the Champs-Elysees and the Christmas tree at Galeries Lafayette (with of course a bit of shopping!).

NYC

For a long weekend away, you can’t beat New York New York, especially at Christmas time. I love the hussle and bussle on the streets in NYC and they really know how to make it feel Christmasy. Go shopping and meet Santa on the 8th floor at Macys Santaland. The Mommy Poppins gives a great breakdown of the what’s, where’s, when and who’s of Santaland  (buy tickets in advance).

See the Christmas tree and go ice skating and then do a bit more shopping at the Rockefeller Centre!

tree, Christmas, trip, NYC

The magnificent tree at the Rockerfeller Centre, NYC that you need to go and see in person. Picture courtesy of the Rockerfeller Centre website


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Christmas Gift Giving – All Wrapped Up

If you struggle every year at Christmas time with wrapping presents. I’ve come up with some ideas for you!

  • Get a gift wrapping Book
  • Go on a wrapping course – one to one, group or corporate
  • Get someone else to do it!!
  • Choose some different and unusual wrapping paper

How about doing a wrapping course? They go on all across the country

Jane Means

Jane is a British ribbon designer and gift wrapping specialist and does courses in London, Glasgow, Hampshire, Manchester and Lincoln.

Eclipse Gift Wrapping (Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan)

Courses and Training

Gift wrapping services

All Occasions Gift Wrap (Wolverhampton)

A range of online, DVD and in-person gift wrapping courses

Creative courses online

Corporate Gift Wrapping Service

More Pretty Things

Gift wrapping courses: (Derbyshire and Yorkshire)

Corporate gift wrapping courses

Get yourself a book on gift wrapping! Books are great for giving you instructions to follow combined with some fab creative ideas.

Gift Wrapping by Lucy Berridge

Gifted Wrapping: Step-by-step Instructions for Stylish and Elegant Wraps for Perfect ‘present’ Ations by Christine Fritsch

Quick & Clever Gift Wraps: Quick and Clever Gift Wraps (Make it in Minutes) by Nicole Steiman

Gift Wrapping: Creative Ideas from Japan by Kunio Ekiguchi

Jane Means recently released a book on gift wrapping:

Get Someone Else To Do It

If you can’t manage wrapping due to a severe lack of wrapping abilities or you just don’t know when you are going to find the time you should get someone else to do.

There are people out there whose job it is to wrap your gifts and take some of the Christmas pressure from you.

Wonder Wrap – Kent

Urban Angels – London

Wrapsody

Thats a Wrap – Greater and North London and Essex

Wrapper Snapper (Pop Up Shop at Old Street Underground from 15th -24th December)

Sue Lacey – Warrington

Don’t forget that most top retailers online and in store will offer a gift wrapping service. Even if they don’t offer one the rest of the year, often they provide a special one at Christmas.

In their Piccadilly store Fortnum and Masons (one of my favorite shops!) does a gift wrapping service:

‘this is priced at £5.00 per item or free for individual items over £100’

Aspinal of London

A few online gift shops offering a wrapping service:

Selfridges

Stylish Life

The Present Finder

Jarrold – Norwich in store and online

Vintage Toys

To help make your gifts look a bit different try getting your wrapping paper from somewhere different this year!

Paperchase: I love paperchase. They seem to come up with such a nice range of different ideas each season. I buy a lot of their wrapping paper!

Not On The Highstreet have a variety of brands who sell various types of unusual, creative and quirky designed paper and wrapping stuff!:

Paper and bags made in India. Pretty range of brightly coloured and patterned designs: Namaste

From chalk board wrap and washi tape to wads of Art Nouveau paper: Pipii

From maps of London to a full skeleton. Different and unusual wrapping paper at the National Gallery.

Jean Means sells a range of nice ribbons, paper, bags, ribbon spools and other lovely bits and pieces for wrapping requirements on her website!

Stylish paper and coordinating ribbons. I like the crafty yet smart range of their items: Cox and Cox

At the Dot Com Gift Shop they stock a huge range of different wrapping papers. From flowers and Paris fashion to Christmas foxes!

See some ideas for wrapping your gifts in different ways here….

Full disclosure: Just to let you know that I’m an Associate of Amazon and if you purchase some of the items on this page via clicking on the pictures I will get a small payment!