Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sew in Love!

Darlings, September is National Sewing Month! Whether it is indie fashion, or fashion House Couture it's sewn and that is reason enough to celebrate National Sewing Month.

As you may know my brand SweetLeigh is committed to sustainability. My shop items are made from revitalized gently worn garments, vintage finds and dead stock fabrics. I believe that sustainability in style and design is made that much easier when sewing. 

To celebrate National Sewing Month I found some inspiring ecofriendly and sustainable designers who make chic beautiful clothing from gently used clothing and/or non traditional materials. Surprisingly wearable, fabulous and unexpected.

Linda Loudermilk

All of the above designers, use recycled materials, sustainable plant based fabrics like soy. Recycling or ReVitalizing your wardrobe is a great place to begin sewing.

I love re-imagining my existing wardrobe. Regularly you will find me editing dresses, changing a skirt length, stripping dated details or making my wide leg pant into a cigarette style. As you start practicing re-imagining YOUR wardrobe you may find you have much more to wear.

One of my favorite resources and sites for sewing is BurdaStyle. Burda is an international maker of patterns, but the BurdaStyle website is a community of sewers. On the site you will find patterns, contests and projects to participate in. People ranging from beginner to expert with their own fashion lines explore, post their latest creations and give feedback to others. 

Check them out, and maybe I will see you there!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gisela of my heart!

Girl Crush! Designer Crush! Crush! Crush! Crush!

F*ck Flattering is her motto, she designs around a signature bondage skirt and her collection is made of sheers and spandex. I LOVE Gisela Ramirez. I, tend to gravitate to the lady like side of dressing but can't help but want to rock the entire colletion! Sexy and sassy and without hesitation. It's all about the confidence, spirit and how you feel. Gisela must feel AMAZING!

Gisela herself rocking the sack dress. Fabulous.
The famous bondage skirt

I really need this shirt.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mexico: Art, Craft, Passion

I find inspiration everywhere as does anyone engaged in the world. This weekend I spent much of my time at the Egyptian Theater for the MEXICAN CINEMA: GUADALAJARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL IN LOS ANGELES.

Botellita de Jerez back in the day
My favorite film was "Naco Es Chido" a smart mockumentary in which director Sergio Arau (A DAY WITHOUT A MEXICAN) revisits his old musical group Botellita de Jerez, pioneers of “guacarock” in the 1980s. Naco es Chido reflects a former album title and is a term that came to mean being Mexican is cool. Despite repression and quite a lot of political and social resistance Botellita's introduction of their brand of punk/cumbia/bluesy/rock n'roll to Mexico in the early 80's would pave the way for many "spanish rock" acts commonly known today. 

Fellow members of Botellita de Jerez co-star along with the fabulous Yareli Arizmendi,best known internationally for Like Water for Chocolate. She portrays the brainchild & manager of the band's reuniting 30 years later. Both Arau and Arizmendi appeared to speak at an industry panel and for a Q&A for the film showing. Not only are Arau and Arizmendi super talented, but super stylish as well, which brings me back as usual to my love of style and design, particularly when it comes to fashion. 

All images are from Taller Flora 2010

I recently discovered another Mexican artist true to roots but revolutionizing fashion through eco minded and ethical co-operatives with local communities practicing indigenous textile practices. Taller Flora, created by Carla Fernandez, literally translates to Workshop Flora which is exactly what it is. A traveling workshop working with local art coops of differing towns every two months and engaging in projects grown out of their collaboration. Taller Flora celebrates indigenous dressmaking techniques, while re-imagining the traditional. Resulting in timeless contemporary clothing.

 Erin Lewis for Taller Flora 2009

Fernandez' influence and utilization of indigenous Mexican craft are inspiring collaborations from other fashion designers in the industry. Erin Lewis created a menswear mini collection for Taller Flora after workshopping with Fernandez to mine the historical processes textile techniques. The results, as seen above, are pretty fabulous!

 Carla Fernadez' 2011 Ready to wear line.

Carla Fernandez' ready to wear line merges modern industrial manufacturing with craftsmanship.  Read more on Fernandez and Taller Flora in this interview: "Future Folk." Taller Flora serves the community, conserves resources and is high fashion.  Who says it cannot be done?

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