The Cool House: fashion
Showing posts with label fashion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fashion. Show all posts

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Or another delve into the photo albums. (Bonus: my kids are going to freak when they read this. I expect shrieks to be heard all the way from BXL)

Jean Martha, curator of Renovation Therapy and lover of beautiful fabrics, sent me a link to this blog from UK artist and designer Jane Foster. As I scrolled through the gorgeous images I came across this doll that looked familiar. Then I zeroed in on the text: "the doll I designed for Clothkits".

Clothkits! Way back when I dressed the kids in Clothkits. These are ready-made Clothkit dresses and somewhere in a toybox stashed in the secret room is an original Clothkits doll I sewed for them.

Dungarees, dresses and sailor hats, robes and padded jackets, I made them all from their ready to sew fabric. It was a delightfully easy experience. The fabric was printed with the pattern ready to cut; wadding, binding and all the other haberdashery goodies were included and each came with a pattern for a wee stuffed animal to go in the pocket. They were ADORABLE. (I made the jackets large so they could wear them for several seasons, that's why one poor child is swamped).

See that elephant on the front of the jacket, the one I stitched around to highlight? That is a muff. A place to warm tiny hands made icy while forming snowballs. And it's attached to the coat so it never gets lost. Genius.

Clothkits suffered an expansion and bust scenario many years ago that put them out of business but it seems they are back.

Anyway, enough with the happy memories and cuteness. Go visit Jane Foster's blog and as Jean Martha says "lose a few hours" in the retro-inspired fabrics, modern and vintage... she even has a store where fabric cats rule!. Enjoy!

After that, hop on over to Julia's Hooked on Fridays blog fest to browse through her family heirlooms

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Vineyard Spam

Today's recipe for spam courtesy of Gmail: Vineyard Spam Salad. Very appropriate if you live on Vineyard Rd and I imagine it's rather good - if you don't eat the spam...

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Valentino, the movie

photo Acolyte Films
Part Sun King, part Roman Emperor, Valentino Garavini was the titular head of his company for forty-five years.  While relying on others to take care of the commercial side of the business, he built a billion dollar enterprise and designed gowns worn by the rich and famous throughout the world, blurring the edges between art and fashion.

Valentino: The Last Emperor is a riveting look at the Italian fashion designer's last year at the eponymous couture house that culminated in Rome in July 2007 with the magnificent Red Party - a retrospective of the his career at Ara Pacis Museum, a ball at the Villa Borghese and dinner for 900 of his closest friends at the Temple of Venus.
Matt Tyrnauer and his film crew had unlimited access to Valentino at a time of crisis when investment funds were taking over the business and rumours of Valentino's iminent retirement were rife. The documentary is a compelling and affectionate portrait of the last true couturier and fashion icon:

Valentino was incapable of designing an ugly dress

He had an entourage and staff of beautiful people, without whom he would probably have stayed in his room all day sketching

photo Acolyte Films
He has a posse of the best trained pugs in the world (pugs know to get off the red carpet when nature calls)

photo Acolyte Films
His seamstresses, who hand sew every garment, are more detail oriented and stressed out than the designer himself

photo Acolyte Films
His almost fifty year business and personal partnership with Giancarlo Giammetti is one of the great love stories. Almost never apart, they bicker constantly, yet love and respect each other completely.

 Valentino made dresses that I covet; possibly this one most of all.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The 80s are back (in a good way)

This weekend Run-D.M.C. will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the hip hop group from Hollis, Queens unleashed It's Like That and duelling rap went mainstream.

Twenty-six years ago Nike introduced Air Force Ones, basketball sneakers with a full-length airsole, and a new generation of footwear grew alongside hip-hop. Now Moss is selling a limited edition of the 80s classic, the absolutely fabulous Nike Sportwear 1 World AF1 designed by Maharam in collaboration with Hella Jongerius. The shoes may invoke nostalgia for the eighties but the design is cutting edge. The fabric comprises richly colored layers of wool felt, the pattern made by cut-outs embellished with topstiched embroidery. Available from moss online for $250

For those who would prefer Layers in fabric rather than footwear, the Jongerius design comes in three patterns: Layers Garden, Layers Park and Layers Vineyard. The craft-like workmanship is reflected in the price but a panel of this fabric is like a work of art, one that I'd happily hang on my wall any day.

This post is a response to Hooked on Houses Friday Blog Party. Peace out.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Etro is 40, too

This fabulous Rose tote is part of Italian Fashion House Etro's 40th Anniversary Collection. It was fleetingly available at ideeli, but sadly sold out fast. The paisley print leather bag with neon green or fuchsia pink accents was really quite restrained for the company which is better known for its quirky accessories and over the top style.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Be Afraid

Hmm, a couple of things caught my attention on the internets this morning. Firstly, I don't know whether to be disappointed or relieved I don't live in Australia. Then there's this eco-streetwalker look that I found deeply disturbing but not really frightening. But this, well, it just scares the poop out of me.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

YSL Retrospective

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Montreal was visiting the Musee des Beaux Arts to see the Yves St Laurent retrospective. The exhibition, which opened only a few days before YSL died, spanned forty years of innovative fashion design and was awe inspiring, not least because you could really get up close and examine the garments to see the work that the couturier put into each outfit.

It is only when you get within two feet of a dress that you can truly understand how they can cost thousand of dollars.

All the designer's work was represented from Le Smoking, via safari jackets and the yeti style jackets to the transparent blouses and glamorous evening gowns

Memorable designs were the lattice beadwork fringed tribal dresses and this tiny little black micro minidress on the right designed for Diane Von Furstenburg by Yves St Laurent in 1990. Exquisite.
The retrospective in Montreal has now closed but will open at the de Young Museum in San Francisco on November 1st. Go, and be inspired.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

File it under Humor

In The Today Show's "What Were They Thinking?" segment "fashion icon" and "style guru" Isaac Mizrahi channels his inner Benny Hill to give advice to women on undergarments.

The segment is actually called Plastic Surgery without the Plastic Surgery, which must account for the bandana and stethoscope in his pocket.
Isn't it a little early in the morning for post-modern humor?

Friday, November 30, 2007


In the interests of marital harmony I compromised and allowed Steven to bring the reclining chair and footstool from the den into my office. Now we can both be comfortable while watching Project Runway Canada*. (Un)fortunately there are no cupholders, or a popcorn machine for that matter, so I don't think it qualifies as a true media room.

As moving the recliner left a big dead space in the den I decided to swap the sofas around. It thoroughly confused the dogs.

And now I need to clean the carpets again.

*Project Runway Canada, if you love the US version, you'll adore this. The same but nicer.