Two recently predicted trends set to cook up a storm – and possibly weather it – this coming winter are midi skirts and fur, picking up where it left off with multicolour patchwork.
Midi skirts and dresses originally came into vogue in the early 70s as part of a continuation and evolution of the trends from the 60s: the decade that gave us the miniskirt and microskirt (they were bloomers in a previous life or something!). Midi and maxi skirts broadened the spectrum of skirt length. Maxi skirts and dresses always were a safe bet for most if not all heights and body types – like Diane von Furstenberg’s wrap dress, which came to the fore during the same decade. And the midi? It was always a difficult length for me; I felt it exaggerated the shortness of my five foot frame. However, if we are to trust fashion in its ability to rework paradigms of the past in a challenging, contemporary light, perhaps it is worth giving the current crop a chance. My favourite of the bunch were Michael Kors’ ethereal efforts; the sheer fabrics softened the hemlines and would surely create a less sharp cut-off effect on someone short and bottom-heavy (not to mention thigh-heavy!) than their opaque contemporaries. They’d also be a great excuse to upcycle an old miniskirt with a covering of mesh or tulle.
Fur was back in full force with patterns aplenty, not to mention shearling seams – or ‘poor fur’ as Miuccia Prada dubbed her interpretations. Fendi gave us fur trousers – a novel direction for generation #YOLO! Multi coloured furs were, once again, a staple at many of the shows this year, with plenty to get the creative juices flowing as to what one could do with odds and ends of fluffy fabrics. Don’t have a menagerie of coloured furs in your house? Local markets are great for finding super cheap cuts.
So, while no one wants to be reminded of the winter gloom to come, the autumn shows have given us some fun trends to look forward to, as well as a sumptuous colour palette. What look can’t you wait for this autumn?
Cutting it with an on-trend upcycle!
NB: Use brass sheets as they’re a soft, reasonably pliable metal. I got mine here.
The snips I used are called tin snips.
*Relax, the lighter is optional and not recommended for faux leather shoes or near flammable furniture!
** Make sure you use metal araldite glue; only a solvent of that strength is going to work!
This one did prove to be more of a challenge than expected; working with metal is very fiddly and demanding of elbow grease. However, since I had never worked with metal before, I learnt from the mistakes I made and will hopefully be able to guide you so that you don’t find it so difficult.
About two afternoons, so 8-ish hours. Again, I was disappointed that I didn’t find it easier but I bit off more than I was expecting to chew with the metal. Thankfully, the results are totally worth it.
Cut out small triangular areas on both sides of your shoes. Ensure they’re symmetrical, identical in shape and in the correct places. You might want to trace your shape out on paper and use measurements as references.
After cutting your shapes out, use a lighter to smooth the edges (only if the shoes are leather – faux leather shoes would be ruined). Again, this part is completely optional and only applicable where appropriate, i.e. nowhere near flammable objects.
The shape in the middle is for the tips of the straps.It needs to be just wide enough to cover them but narrow enough to fit through the buckles. You might want to test it before bending it into shape and gluing it, to make sure that it fits; making a strap tip that’s too wide, bending it into shape and then trying to cut it down is much harder, as I would know! The areas for folding back along the edges should be at least 1cm wide, as they’re too hard to bend otherwise.
Once you have cut out the metal shapes for the tips of your straps, you may notice some fold lines in the template. I find it helps to draw them in place with a pen that can write on brass; for this, I used an extra fine silver marker.
Hold your piece of metal down and bend it with the tip of your pliers touching the line; I find this method’s the easiest and requires the least brute force (something I don’t have much of, especially in my hands and forearms!). Don’t bend your side bits all the way as you will need to slip your straps underneath them.
The trapezium shapes, shown on the right of the template, will be placed over the arch of your foot – shoes follow that arch shape in the place where you’re due to glue them – so bend them along the length. This will make them much easier to glue down.
Apply glue to the underside of the metal pieces and onto the surface where you intend to stick them. Again, make sure they’re in the same places on both shoes.
Leave your glue to dry. You might have to leave it overnight. Make sure you leave it for as long as the instructions specify.
…and there you have it!
How to follow the huge art iconography and brushstroke trend gaining momentum this spring? Get conceptual and be creative in your interpretation. Strictly speaking this is more of a compilation of pieces that caught my eye from the autumn 2014 shows but, punctuated as they are with key trends and fashion week highlights, there is a more subtle link between them.
The up-and-coming flats trend, or more specifically the very now tomboyish chic look was surely instrumental in propelling skate shoes – a shoe that lends itself better to customising and DIY paintwork than most - into the must-have accessories arsenal. The geometric multicolour seaming of the Wanda Nylon raincoat (pictured above) is a subtle nod to the linear compositions of a Mondrian work. Anya Hindmarch was the talk of London Fashion Week with Warhol-reminiscent iconography of well-known homespun products.
Over in Milan, Jeremy Scott (the designer who gave us Bart Simpson knits to remember 2012 by) channelled Spongebob Squarepants in his debut show for Moschino. The art connection, you ask? A tenuous one – conceptually, at least. Certainly, the designs have a bold colour scheme and playful aesthetic in common with their brushstroke-printed contemporaries, but the clue here is cryptic: cartoons originally came from the Italian word, ‘cartone’ and Dutch word, ‘karton’ for strong, heavy paper. The term was first used in the Middle Ages for the preliminary sketches of paintings, tapestries and frescoes. If you’ve studied art or are a regular at the Victoria and Albert Museum, you might be familiar with the cartoons of High Renaissance painter, Raphael.The meaning of the word might have changed with time, but perhaps that is true of fashion as a whole; so great a focus is fashion’s transience of trend after trend, should we not consider how they unravel as a process or story? Is the fashion medium an endless, relentless treadmill of looks and fads or is it an evolution of aesthetics; an infinite discourse between countless paradigms, shifting in significance with taste, spirit of the age and, of course, ground-breaking creativity?The changes of season and the trends that go with them each play out as a logical consequence of the last; as an obvious next juncture or a radical reaction. Do you see where I’m going with this?
You will need…
Despite being one of the quickest projects I think I’ve ever done, it has it’s fiddly, awkward moments which might prove a shock to the system if you’re new to jewellery making.
Half an hour.
Mooney Mooney Mooney…
Cut your chain so that it fits snugly but comfortably around your wrist. Attach jump rings to either end; use your pliers to open, close and secure them. Attach your lobster clasp to one of the jump rings.
Take your wrist chain off and fold it in half so that you can find the middle link – this is important for getting your middle chain concentric. Attach a jump ring and some chain to the middle link. Measure out and mark where the centre chain meets the bottom of your middle finger (even if you just mark it with your fingertips) and cut it. It needs to be cut in a place where it can be attached to a ring, and where the ring can sit comfortably on your finger – not too far down – so if there’s any doubt as to which link needs to be cut, overestimate the length, rather than underestimating it.
Attach two jump rings to your main ring – one for the charm and one that will soon be used for your chain. Attach the charm.
Kenzo’s eye motifs are huge, having caught the attention of bloggers and the imagination of the high street. Imagine my delight then, when I found an old red fleece gathering dust in my wardrobe and dreamt up a DIY strategy for getting the look!
You will need…
The 3D paints were by Pebeo. I got them for the sale price of 50p each from a local art shop.
The foam was about 2cm thick and measured 50 x 50cm. I picked it up for the bargainous price of £1.50 from my local market. I can’t recommend flea markets enough for getting great deals on fabric and other materials, so if you live near one, have a sniff around before you try any high street shops.
It requires care and time, but it’s not especially challenging, as long as you’ve got a steady hand.
If you want to DIY my sweater…
Cut out your eye and petal design in foam. You can use the above picture as a template for tracing. The design is A3 size but if you don’t have an A3 printer, spreading it over two sets of A4 will do the job.
Pour your blue and black paint into separate boxes and dip your foam shapes into them, ensuring that the undersides are completely and generously covered with paint. Wipe off any excess paint to avoid dripping and smudging, and press the shape down slowly. Apply pressure on the entire surface to ensure the whole shape is stamped down and there aren’t any gaps.
Stamp the eye and eyebrow in black and the rest of the image in blue.
Apply your glue with a palette knife inside the petals, leaving a blue outline, and sprinkle your glue generously over them. Fill in lashes, dots and triangles with aqua 3D paint (like those in the original) and paint the inside of your eye white.
You can make your 3D paint look like the embroidery on the original by drying it briefly with a hairdryer (excellent substitute for a heatgun - and a microwave, as it turns out!) until it becomes tacky, and giving it a choppy, grooved texture with a scalpel.
Here’s looking at you, kids!
As a DIY fashion blogger who recoils from the idea of cliché overkill and gratuitous celebrations in the name of consumerism, I thought what better to do than a Valentine’s day-inspired trend entry…with hearts? Strange though it may seem, the method in my madness is twofold: since I’m neither in a relationship nor in high school (discuss amongst yourselves which is worse in this context) the pressure of Valentine’s day isn’t really my problem; secondly, I thought a major commercial event would be perfect for testing a comparison concept that pitches DIY ideas against designer and high street equivalents.
So, here goes: heart jumpers and sweatshirts – to buy or to DIY? You decide.
£84 - amazon.com
£16 - boohoo.com
£120 - boutique1.com
£190 - luisaviaroma.com
£90 - matchesfashion.com
£8.50 - forever21.com
£115 - farfetch.com
£175 - my-wardrobe.com
Also, this is awesome. Happy Valentine’s day!
You will need…
It helps to be good at crafting shapes out of clay if you do want to include the Chanel logo. If you’d rather do your own design or use a silver charm instead it’s super-easy!
About half an hour per bangle (excluding resin and clay setting time); I made a set of five.
As a measure of comparison to my DIY bangles, the price tags of the originals are well into the three-figure region, with some exceeding €1000!
Give me one good resin…
Glue your tweed around the outside of your bangle – or bangles.
Use your scalpel and the above template (printed to the correct scale for your bangle – it might take a few attempts) to make your Chanel logo out of polymer clay. Paint it with silver powder while it is still soft and bake it in the oven to set – make sure you follow the instructions carefully!
Glue your logo onto your bangle;you might need to bend it slightly to fit the curve of the side, which you can do if your clay is thin enough. If you can’t bend it, fill in the gap with glue.