Playing with proportion

Balance and proportion in an outfit are ways to trick the viewing eyes into seeing the body differently. As a fashion designer you can be creative and use different ways to make the eye see a body in a different way.

The eye naturally finds a balanced body or face shape more appealing. The goal with many styling exercises is creating an hour glass figure i.e. large top balanced by a large bottom and skinny in the middle.

This does not mean as a fashion designer we should design everything to create this ‘hourglass’ shape and I don’t believe we should all dress to create this particular shape. However, it does provide a good example of  how to create balance in clothing. By putting a belt on the waist you can evenly divide the body – The eyes will find this a good marker.

Balmain wide black belts to define the models waist S/S 15
In Balmain wide black belts were used to define the models waist in the S/S 15 collection. This does not work, however if you have a short torso. Short torsos have a high waistline or no waistline – so a belt will not divide you evenly in the middle and will only emphasise your short body.

Ladies with long bodies and shorter legs can lengthen their bottom half by raising the waistline up. Take a look at the following designs from Alberta Ferretti.

Higher waistline at Alberta Ferretti S/S 15
Higher waistline at Alberta Ferretti S/S 15

The top of the skirt line is higher than elbow height and shortens the body length: making the models legs and lower torso look longer.

Outfits 1 and 2 are similar – A-line floaty top and wide floaty trousers. However, there are key differences that make each outfit better suited to different body shapes.

Outfit 1. The top is longer (to wrist level) and floats over the trousers. This is good for ladies with a short torso as it is elongating the torso. The all white colour scheme adds to this lengthing.

Proportion all white outfit S/S 2015 Carolina Herrera
Outfit 1 from Carolina Herrera Spring Summer 2015 collection

The longer top length can take the lower v-neckline. This is a better shape for larger busts.

proportion Carolina Herrera S/S 2015
Outfit 2 from Carolina Herrera Spring Summer 2015 collection

Outfit 2. The shorter red top hits about waist height and is balanced with a large bold print on the bottom half. This is great if you want focus on your waist as the red top draws the eye there. If the top was patterned like the trousers, a red belt in the middle would nicely define the waist so you have a figure instead of being a mass of pattern. The high neckline balances out the shorter length of the top. This high neckline and short length would not be very flattering on larger busted ladies: the A-line shape would sit like a tent from your bust.

Outfit 3. The trousers in this outfit taper down to the ankles. The shape of the trousers is very flattering  – loose and skimming on the thighs and narrow at the slimmest part, focusing your eyes on the ankles.

Outfit 3. from Sonia Rykiel Spring Summer 2015 collection
Outfit 3. from Sonia Rykiel Spring Summer 2015 collection
The soft lines of the lemon jacket below in example 1 from Carolina Herrera would soften a lady with an angular figure. The outfit proportions are balanced out i.e. the skirt is shorter than knee length and the top half is fully covered – the lemon to skin ratio is about even.
Let’s compare the sleeve length in example 1 to example 2 from Carolina Herrera’s spring summer 2015 collection. The eye is drawn to the end of the sleeve. In example two the focus is on the waist in the middle of the body. In example one the focus is dropped lower than the waist line but not as far as the hips.
White floral dress from Carolina Herrera S/S 15 collection
Sleeve focus example 2 from Carolina Herrera S/S 15 collection
Carolina Herrera S/S 15 lemon suit
Sleeve focus example 1 from Carolina Herrera S/S 15 collection

Kerry’s Diary Entry – Down a Creative Side Track

I’ve been in the studio playing with new ideas and coming up with different designs. It’s nice to get back to that again.

As well as fashion design I’ve also been playing a bit with other creative avenues. I’ve been planning my wedding with Mr CS and it has allowed me (given me the excuse) to stretch my creative wings in different directions.

I love flowers and floristry, so I thought, why not?! I have developed quite a specific idea through photos in magazines and pinterest regarding what I want at the wedding, flower wise for bouquet and table decor. So through the help of You tube videos, a couple of books I’ve purchased and some tips from a friend who’s been on a flower course I started to experiment and practice.

IMG_0074
First go at a hand tied bouquet

To start practicing and trying techniques out I bought some flowers that were not in the best state (heavily discounted – end of shelf life). I thought I’d share with you some of my first experiements!

hand tied bouquet
Second bouquet trial – again, hand tied

You can see in the bouquets I was squeezing the stalks together too tightly – resulting in the flowers being squashed together.

I then went on to try a different way of creating a bouquet because I really want to have a cascading bouquet for the wedding. For this I purchased a handle. This comes with foam in it which you soak and then insert the foliage and flowers.

IMG_0182
Foiliage plus roses

This is the start of building up a shape on the bouquet holder:IMG_0172

Here I am trialling and creating a shape out for a table display:Flower display yellow and white

So I am definately no expert, but I have enjoyed my foray into floristry. It won’t be for everyone and I’m yet to do it for the wedding – I will let you know how that goes!

 

 

Needing a bit of Inspiration?

Read on, there are lot of fantastic exhibitions in 2015 that should inspire you or at least stir some grey cells!

Fashion, art, textiles and clothing exhibitions

in 2015 and beyond!

(London, NYC and Paris)

(if there is a fantastic fashion or art exhibition near you then do let me know!!)

On NOW:

LONDON:

Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden, Tate Modern, 5th February – 10th May 2015 Art

I first encountered Marlene Dumas’ work in New York at the MoMa museum. I found her work strange and beautiful, refreshing and stark, modern and classic. I had to have the book Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave when I saw it in NYC. I am booking tickets for this exhibit in London.

Fashion Rules Exhibition – (till July 4th 2015) – Royal gowns on display at Kensington Palace

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty – The V&A (14th March – 19th July 2015) – This is a must see fashion exhibition

I loved it when I was lucky enough to see it NYC. I’m so pleased it has made it across to London where it belongs!!

get your tickets here NOW

What is luxury?  – The V&A (25th April – 27th September 2015) A variety of craft discipline from haute couture to a watchmaker. This exhibition will explore the future of luxury ask questions about its role in society.

Fashion on the Ration: 1940s street style – The Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1 6HZ (March 5th – August 31st 2015) £10 10am till 6pm

Sargent: Portraits of Artist and Friends – National Portrait Gallery 12th Feb – 25th May

Coming Up……

 

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon – National Portrait Gallery, (2nd July – 18th October 2015) £9

 

 

Shifting Patterns: Pacific Barkcloth Clothing – British Museum, Free

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain – V&A – (Sat June 13th to Sunday Jan 13th 2016) £12

Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture For A Modern World – Tate Britain (24th June – 25th October 2015) This is the first major exhibition in London for almost 50 years of the work by Barbara Hepworth. I love Hepworth’s work and find it to be very inspiring as a designer, especially her sculptures.

If you are ever in Cornwall, go to St Ives, her home, garden and art studio are well worth a visit.

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture – Tate Modern (11th Nov 2015 – 3rd April 2016)

In my eyes his work is so contemporary, it would easily fit into any modern minimalist home. Get ahead of the crowd with this book Calder (Album Series).

Liverpool

Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots – Tate Liverpool (30th June – 18th October 2015)

Piet Mondrian – Tate Liverpool (June 6th – Oct 5th 2015)

PARIS:

Jeanne Lanvin – The Palais Galliera Museum of Fashion (March 8th – August 23rd 2015)
Fashion Mix Musee de l’histoire de l’immigration (till 31st May 2015) = Palais de la porte doree

Jean Paul Gaultier (Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais (from 1st March till 3rd August 2015)

Déboutonnez La Mode(Unbuttoning Fashion!)- Les Arts Decoratifs
Doesn’t sound exciting but the pictures of some of the buttons are beautiful (12th feb – sunday 19th July 2015)

The David Bowie ExhibitPhilharmonie de Paris/ Cité de la Musique, Paris, France from 2 March to 31 May 2015

NYC:

Female, Artist, NYC, Exhibition
Frida Kahlo exhibition at The New York Botanical Gardens 2015

Friday Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life – The New York Botanical Gardens (May 16th – 1st November 2015)

Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe – The Brooklyn Museum: Robert E. Blum Gallery, 1st Floor (September 10, 2014–February 15, 2015)

China Through The Looking Glass – The Met Museum (7th May – 16th August 2015)

Exploring the Chinese influence on western fashions. The exhibition will juxtopose high fashion with Chinese objects.

Sadly I will miss this one, I do with the big fashion exhibitions would go on for a bit longer. 4 months is not long at all and I think fashion exhibitions are a big draw for those going to the visit the museums.

and whilst you are there (because the entry fee to the museum includes everything) go and see;

Van Gogh: Irises and Roses paintings May 12 – August 16th 2015

and

Sargent: Portraits of Artists and friends June 30th – October 4th  2015

One of my favorite galleries in NYC is the Neue Galerie. They still have the  Woman in Gold exhibition on untill 7th September 2015

Fashioning the body: An Intimate History of the Silhouette  – The Bard Graduate Center Gallery (untill 26th July 2015)

I saw this in Paris at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs. The Curator Denis Bruna has brought it NYC and it illustrates the way humans have changed and sculpted their bodies throughout time

Ralph Pucci, The Art of the MannequinMAD Museum (Till 30th August) Exploring the work of Ralph Pucci.

Alice: 150 years of Wonderland – The Morgan Library and Museum (26th June – 11th October 2015)

The original manuscript travels from London to NYC for this exhibit with vintage photos, origional drawings and letters

Leighton’s Flaming June – The Frick Collection (9th June – 6th Sept 2015)

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Wellcome – Let Curiosity Get The Better of You

On Friday I went to the Wellcome Collection in London which I thoroughly enjoyed. This is a gallery/museum that is a little bit different to others. As a designer and being a curious person I enjoy going to exhibitions and learning new things. I find that inspiration can come from anywhere, you never know when the creative spark may happen!

The main exhibition they have on at the moment is called Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime. It takes you through the development of the different areas of forensics through time. You can look at an 18th Century miniature scaled model of a house that has a murder scene in it (the set of houses are still used in Forensic Police training today).

London exhibition Wellcome Collection
One of the Wellcome collection brochures for the Forensics Exhibit

They showed the development of the autopsy. Then taking you right through to today with current developments in virtual autopsies the ‘virtopsy’. You could see the first crime scene photographs and listen to experts explain how it works in their part of forensics. It was very interesting. I really would have liked to have heard a lot more about each of the areas in depth but I’m guessing that would have made it a huge exhibition!

I love a gallery or museum shop. In the Wellcome Collection they had a great range of books that seemed quite different than you can find elsewhere. They also had an unusual selection of gifts and bits and pieces to buy. I could have bought a lot but in the end I bought 1 book!

I would definitely recommend this FREE exhibition as you will certainly learn a lot!

They also have a great little cafe that gets very busy. I wanted to eat in the restaurant upstairs (it looks nice) but I was too early for dinner (starts at 6pm) and I didn’t fancy afternoon tea.

Staircase Wellcome Collection
I love this main staircase in the Wellcome Collection
Reading Room, London
The stairs in The Reading Room at the Wellcome Collection

Fashion Weeks – Are they in your diary?

These are the first Fashion Weeks for 2015. You can follow the Fashion shows as they happen throughout the weeks on Vogue, style.com and lots of designers have live streaming these days.

Showing A/W 2015 Fashion:

NYC 12th – 19th February 2015

London 20th – 24th February 2015

Milan 25th February – 2nd March 2015

Paris 4th – 11th March 2015

Istanbul and Tokyo 16th – 21st March 2015

Mumbai and Shenzhen 20th – 24th March 2015

Toronto 23rd – 27th March 2015

Moscow 26th – 30th March 2015

Sydney 12th – 16th April 2015

 

Networking – Ladies, do you do it?

Networking events – If you aren’t at them then you are missing out.

Sure, I’ve been to a few duds. But more often than not, I have met some very interesting people and formed some good connections. They are opportunities to help one another forward our lives, business and career. This could be in the form of joint ventures, creating opportunities for talking at events or recommending a mentor for you.

  • Don’t think of it in direct correlation of networking = sales if you are in business.
  • Do offer something you can do for the other person when you make a connection. We all have something to offer – it is a two way connection.

A Selection of Women’s Networking Groups:

The Athena Network

Every Woman

Prowess

National Womens Network

We Are The City

Leading Women UK

WIBN SSW

Lady Val

Women in the City

City Women

The Room Upstairs

GWN

Girl Geek Dinners

City Mothers

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are a lot of groups out there who do different meetups, networking and workshops. Hopefully this list will get you started.

February For Dresses and Love

 I got engaged last year in September. It seems a while ago  and now we are trying to organise getting married for October 2015 and I need to get a dress!

As a designer I get ask if I’m going to design/make my own, the answer is no! I don’t even know what I want! I’m doing a lot of trying on dresses this month.

I do love Pinterest and I have got lots of great ideas from it. It’s a great resource!

Wedding board, dress, pinterest
My Pinterest Wedding Board – So many options

If you are engaged or you just LOVE wedding dresses! – why not take a look at the wedding exhibitions on at the moment:

Something Blue;Wedding Fashions 1914-2014 (1st Aug 2014 – 15th March 2015) the Gallery of costume, Platt Hall. Manchester

Wedding Dress 1755-2014(3rd May 2014 – 15th March 2015) – V&A (Bridal Fashions) London

Satin Wedding dress V and A London
Satin wedding dress by Catherine Rayner, 1996. Photographer Nik Hartley © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

February 2015 – Time For A Refresh with Fashion and Food

Here we are in February. Are you feeling a little deflated because you didn’t achieve enough in January or your resolutions were not so resolute?

I think it’s time to get out and get inspired. Whether you love art and fashion, whether you’ve never been to an exhibit before or you’re an avid member; there is a lot to see. I’ve selected some great art and fashion exhibitions it will be worth seeing in February and some food ideas too (because seeing exhibitions makes me hungry!).

NYC

If you’re in NYC go to The Brooklyn Museum for the Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe (September 10, 2014–February 15, 2015). Why not make a day of it and have brunch, see some other sites and then have a delicious dinner (a great day out on Sat 14th Feb!). I fancy trying Piquant for brunch and then take a 20 minute stroll to the Brooklyn Museum.

You could then pay a visit to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens or Prospect Park Zoo. Once you have built up an appetite I would then take a walk back up through the park to Franny’s. Enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner of seasonal Italian food in Franny’s no frills paired back space.

London

If you fancy going to the Rubens and Legacy: Van Dyck to Cezanne at the Royal Academy (24th January – 10th April 2015) you will need to buy a ticket. Once I’ve been to see an exhibition at the Royal Academy I like to head out onto Piccadilly. Depending on what I fancy I’ll either go to Waterstones (On Piccadilly) where they have an excellent cafe on the top floor,


for an afternoon tea I like Fortnum and Masons or for a high end dinner with friends I’ll book a table at a Hotel Cafe Royal.

If you want to take the kids to a free exhibition try the Grayson Perry: Who are you? at the National Portrait Gallery (25th October 2014-15th March 2015). You search out the Grayson Perry pieces that are dotted around and look at the other great portraits in between. I like the sound of the National Portrait ‘Portrait’ restaurant on the third floor. But if you are looking for something a little bit more low key with the kids I’d take a walk over to the Jamies Italian at Piccadilly Circus.

Or maybe head to an exhibition in Paris:
Enlightenment: Carte Blanche of Christian Lacroix – Le Musee Cognacq-Jay (till 19th April 2015) Museum of the Eighteenth Century

 

What did I do in January?

Kerry London Fashion ExhibitionI was determined to go to some exhibitions in January. With so many exciting looking exhibits coming up in both art and fashion, I needed to get on and see some!City, London, Tower Bridge

I decided to start in London with Women Power and Style at the Design Museum. It was a lovely bright day out but bitterly cold in the wind. This kind of weather is perfect for walking in London as long as you stay off the main wind channels! So I walked from Liverpool Street to the Design Museum. I crossed the Thames over Tower Bridge and it all looked beautiful.Walkie Talkie, London

The Shard, London, visit

I arrived, had a coffee and pastry and then headed in. The exhibition starts off in a modest fashion, with pictures of women from the past such as Boudicca, Eve (from Adam and Eve!), Queen Victoria. As well as the present for instance; Angela Merckel, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton. Looking at what they wear and how they create/created a powerful look.

The exhibition then follows in chronological order.
Changing Fashion Design Museum

Changing Fashion London Museum

It starts with corsets, then suffragettes and then moves through the 20th Century and right into the 21st Century.
Suffragette, fashion, design, London
Suffragette clothing from the upcoming film ‘Suffragette’
Photo, suffragettes, fashion
Suffragettes using their clothes as a promotional tool
The Suffragette clothing were costumes from the upcoming movie ‘Suffragette’ which is going to star Meryl Streep as Emily Pankhurst. I’m really keen to see this. I’ve long been an admirer of Emily Pankhurst!!

There are clothes on display from women in power that are not necessarily ‘famous’ but are high achievers and powerful in their fields. For instance Megha Mittal, Anna Jones and Julia Peyton Jones all have outfits on display. It is interesting reading about their achievements and how their outfit or fashion plays a part in their world.

Women, Power, Fashion, Screens
Screens at the end of the exhibition

I had lunch at the Design Museum before walking along the SouthBank to Somerset House.

 At the Somerset House they have an exhibition of Guy Bourdin’s work. Guy Bourdin was a photographer, best known for his fashion photography. This exhibition was £9 for adults. Great value for this (for me unexpectedly) huge exhibition with video, tons of photo prints and ‘behind the images’ sketches and ideas.

Fashion Photography Guy Bourdin London
The Guy Bourdin Exhibition I purchased – I just need to decide where to hang it in the studio.

I love Guy Bourdins fun, tongue in cheek, slightly surreal and beautiful images. Well worth a visit if you like a bit of fashion photography.

If you too are thinking of making a day trip to London on the national railway and you’d like to see some exhibits; go online here and print off the 2 for 1 deal on tickets.

 

 

Women Fashion PowerDesign Museum (29th October 2014 – 26th April 2015) London

Guy Bourdin: Image MakerSomerset House (27th November 2014 – 15th March 2015) London

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.

 

 

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑