Monday, October 23, 2017

Dolls' Eye View: Paris 2018 Spring Summer Trends

Ahhhhh..... April in Paris!!!! In this, the last of the primary fashion weeks...there was much chaos and confusion on the catwalk here as well as elsewhere. But there was one main difference. In the capital of fashion, there is so much of everything for everybody....the girls KNEW they would come away with a sizable wardrobe for next summer. And they were not disappointed. Fashion houses like Chanel, Saint Laurent, Dries Van Noten, Haiden Ackermann led the week with very strong collections of gorgeous clothes. The biggest difficulty for me was the sheer number of garments my girls convinced me they couldn't live without!

Normally, I split the Paris report in two: classic and edge. But this time around, there was a more homogeneous nature to the fashions the girls selected. So forgive me. This is long...but I think you will enjoy it!

Love Me Tender

Soft, feminine, romantic...the message is transmitted through color. Look for a palette of blush, doeskin, baby pink, and soft grey to be big next spring. Also, silhouettes are loose, easy, nostalgic.
I love the color of this dress but could not find this in the same peach skin silk. Instead, I substituted two layers of silk chiffon. The original dress is very loose fitting. You can use a strapless dress without stitching the darts. I used a metallic silver embroidery yarn and used a chain stitch to "draw" an outline of bra in the front of the dress as well as to create the straps. (I stitched on a bit of silver ribbon to the top of the dress.) After I finished, I discovered the bra was actually created in the fit over the bust. The other dress fits my model better...which is the way I personally, would want to wear this dress!

Boudoir Babes
Designers hit the lingerie drawer for this trend. The slip dress is back! (Did it ever go away?!!) This time around, look for it to morph into long, evening lengths, or with an asymmetrical flounce bouncing about the thighs. Or maybe something as simple as a sexy animal print worn under a silky kimono.

Katoucha's slip dress came right out of my lingerie drawer. I cut up an inexpensive pair of panties to make this! The best part is that, since it hangs loose from the body, you really don't need a pattern. I simply made a small tube (large enough to fit around her hips), and added lace at the top and bottom as well as a tiny bit of ribbon for the straps. (There is only one seam at the back!). The kimono is from another outfit we made a while ago.

All Tied Up

There's a new twist to summertime basic black. Whether bathing suits or dresses, holding together deep V-necklines, waistline cut-outs or peek-a-boo naked shouders..the whole look is held together laces.

Cranberry Blueberry Cleanse
Clean lines. Classic styles cut in fabrics either sleek and shiny or with lots of chunky texture...these are super easy styles you can make with basic patterns. It's the fabric that really makes the look here. That and two very trendy colors: cranberry and iced blueberry!

More Scarf Tricks
The scarf is a key element in next summer's seen first in Milan and now here in Paris. What I like about this group in particular, is how easy it is to transform any existing garment into the latest style buzz. In fact, you can take a dress, top and skirt and tack on a square of silk to get the look. It's as easy as that!
And voila! Carmelia found a black velvet shift dress that was "lying around the house." We cut a new neckline to freshen up the look, then simply tacked on a 6x6 inch (15x15cm) square of silk to one side!

Making A Point
What all of these looks have in common (besides the black and white color scheme) is that somewhere within the garment, there's a detail that forms a point. For the most part that means an asymmetrical aesthetic which adds a lot of interest to an otherwise classic jacket or top. My girls loved the Dries Van Noten coat dress that slips down from one shoulder to expose a pointy bra underneath. The pointed details on the jackets and tops of Haider Ackermann's garments lends a great deal of drama. When attempting any of these looks, let your eyes be your guide and don't fret if it doesn't come out exactly like the picture. Sometimes the "accidents" are more interesting! At the end of the will have designed a totally new look that on point for your doll.
But for Emanuela, we wanted a really edgy James Bond girl look. The fabric is a coated woven stretch material made to resemble leather (but easier to handle). I already had the pants on hand, so it was simply a question of making the top. The top is actually six pieces (four in the front and two side-backs). I plotted everything out in cotton muslin before cutting it out in the final fabric.The pants, incidentally were originally made for a skinnier Barbie. So they didn't go all the way to her waist, though they did stretch to fit. There is a tiny sliver of skin showing just above the hip, the end of the day, added a slight sexy edge to this very racy pantsuit.

Short Stop
Though we are not in a hemline dictatorship, super minis will be big next summer. And that is good news for our dolls because this is a length which lends itself to our 12" divas very well. Note the number of looks that include shorts!
Yvette fell head over heals over this Chanel micro mini ensemble. For this look, I used the basic skirt pattern along with the basic jacket pattern. The trim is a tiny strip of rough cut silk which I crudely stitched around the edges of the jacket for that "artisan" effect, But what really pulls off the look is the clear vinyl cape with hood and.....a pair of clear vinyl, thigh high boots!!!

Stormy Weather
With so many national disasters making news headlines, designers were inspired by ominous skies expressing them via tie die or collage prints or better...fabrics like tulle, fabric fringe or cascading flounces that add the movement of the wind to a garment.

Off Kilter
Everything about this group I found intriguing. A mix of plaids that screw and stripes that warp make for an interesting and dramatic graphic effect. The key to making these mixtures work....choose patterns or prints that share at least one color in common.
So quite naturally, I accepted the challenge of this dress designed by a new (Polish) designer to the Paris scene, Maticevski. As with my other couture gowns, I began with a strapless foundation made from the same striped cotton fabric. (To see how I drape a "couture" gown, click HERE.) I let the stripes of the original gown guide me as I pleated and stitched down several panels of stripes to this foundation. The end result is not line for line a replica, but still, just as exciting. When you are copying a designer dress for your doll, it is not so important to make an exact duplicate. But make an interesting interpretation!

Bound But Not Gagged
The corset is back in a big way. Worn either for day (the Mugler pants and skirt set) or for formal wear (Olivier Theyskens), this is the item that will update everything in dolly's wardrobe from jeans to evening length skirts!
This was an outfit Natasha saw and convinced me to try to make. I used a stretch denim and a basic princess line foundation. The better you are at top-stitching the better the corset part of the dress will turn out. Instead of using the corset pattern, I used the top half of a princess-line dress pattern and stitched a bra pattern with white thread. I draped the skirt by eye.. After making it, I simply tacked it onto the corset at the front and back centers just in case I decide to use the corset alone with other garments.
A while back, however, we made "bone-in" full length lingerie corsets. We took the black one and teamed it with a simple length of black organza to make the wrap around skirt for Meagan's look. I accessorized it with the stretch lace stocking boots we made last year as well, which repeats the lace of the corset.

Touched by an Angel
These three dresses could have floated down the heavens. Each one has a different volume but yet, maintains a distinct soft and feminine touch. Think soft fabrics like chiffon draped over a bust, tulle that cascades down from a fitted waistline or simply a dress made from a swerve of soft cotton.

Stroke of a Brush
The art of Shodo....or Asian Calligraphy.... Each of these looks could have been drawn with one or two brush strokes. As a result, there are unexpected details (like straps that dangle from waists or the side of a tunic), twists and turns from asymmetrical sashes, sprouts of feathers jutting out from a neckline or the ankles of shoes, or the continuous line of a single stroke with uneven edges like the Guy Laroche dress at the end.

Arsenic and New Lace

Lace remains a popular trend for summer. Of course, the girls LOVE the cotton lace dresses that could have been made from frilly hankies. But they also love the dramatic looks created in black by the house of Saint Laurent.
There is a new designer at the reigns of Saint Laurent. And no, it is not the same as the late couturier. But after reviewing this collection at length, as someone who personally attended a couple decades of Yves Saint Laurent catwalk shows when the couturier was alive, I felt much of it really carried the spirit of the house in that it was a celebration of the woman. The models who walked the catwalk, could have been the children of his celebrated models in the 1980's. The models and the clothes they wore were both.....PRETTY!!!!! For Giselle...we chose this baby doll bliss of black lace and four layers of ruffled tulle cut in a super mini length. We couldn't resist the footwear either...over the knee spats covered with marabou feathers she wears over shoes.

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  1. Wow, wow and wow!!! I love every single piece you created very much! The Paris designs are my favourites of all the catwalk looks :-).
    This morning I bought fabric that I think is similar to what you used for Emanuela's pantsuit in a turquoise colour. It is thin and is fabric, but looks like leather. I wanted to make a dress with it, but now that I've seen your suit I also want to try to make a pantsuit :-).
    The clear boots are so sixties, I love them! How did you make these?

    1. Thank you Millicent. I really enjoyed Paris Fashion Week as you can tell. I could have stopped at 5 or 6 outfits, but I didn't stop until 9 (and still could have done another 1 or 2). The nice thing about the leather like fabric you mentioned is that it stretches. The pants were originally cut for a skinnier Barbie, but it stretched to fit Emanuela and I really like how they look on her. I didn't need a fastener for the pants, though I used self adhesive velcro (which you might want to secure with a few stitches) to close the top. The 17 year old in me would really like a pair of those Chanel boots (even though a good friend reminded me how they will steam up and look terribly once on for a bit of time). And yes I made them. Essentially they are spats (do a search on my blog for them) attached to a wedge sole I made from oven bake clay. They aren't perfect but still very cool!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Dlubaniny. Glad you enjoyed this post.

  3. Great post, as usual. :) I love watching your creations. This time my number one is Bond girl - I love the outfit!

    1. Thank you Kamelia. I too love the Bond girl. And I like how the doll I chose wears it. By the way..she's one of two of Fashion Royalty wig dolls issued in 2009. I rebodied her and made this edgy little wig for her.

    2. Really? This wig is great! :) I love it. And I paid attention to this doll, because she's so intresting. She and the outfit are perfect match. :)

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, Aya. I was really surprised at how much that dress really echos the spirit of Saint Laurent! That's a dress I would wear myself...if I were 20.

  5. Very beautiful collection <3 I love it :) Hugs


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