Monday, March 5, 2018

Dolls' Eye View: London Fall/Winter '18 Trends

The chaos continues. All of the unrest, the socio-economic uncertainty, political mayhem seems to have leached into the design community. Again, much of what we saw ran the gamut of safe, very conservative garments to overly designed costumes....a sort of throwing everything to the wind. The girls decided not to stay very long here. But before they left, we had an exercise in how to be inspired by the spirit or a detail of a garment.

Hyde & Seek
This is a story about leather which the girls just love. Instead of coats and jackets, leather is treated like a fabric and fashioned into flirty skirts and dresses. This group signed by British designer, David Koma, reminded me pf my intentions to update my tutorial on working with leather. Let me give you a hint....glove weight leather sews like fabric!
Katoucha's outfit is a combination leather (the bodice) and a leather-like coated fabric (skirt). I made the two items separately so that I can use them for other looks. Katoucha's skirt is a bit shorter than the one in the photo to keep it a little more youthful and better suited for her proportions. Add a belt and it all comes together like a dress!

Midnight Warrior
Gareth Pugh made his mark as a young designer with extreme avant-garde clothing bordering on goth. What's interesting is how, over the years, his work as successfully transcended into some pretty sophisticated fashion. This season's look is comprised of massive, black on black silhouettes! Okay, so the shoulders are big (we did a tutorial on that), but that's the 1980's revival kicking in.
The secret to the look I made for Grace is that it's a composite of different elements. The leather top is a simple bodice with a peplum flared over the hips and belted. It's worn over a straight wrap skirt and accessorized with a with a pair of thigh high "Barbie" boots. If you can't get the boots, you can always make....spats to fit over a pair of shoes! Oh yes, the fur jacket was borrowed from the tutorial on padded shoulders!

It's a Wrap!
This is an effortless look. Simple garments made special with an element that wraps around the neck or body. This can be as easy as an oversized plaid square tossed over the shoulders of a satin top and pants, a big scarf knotted around the neck of a straight coat or a sleek pair of pajamas wrapped with satin cord. Note the color palette and the print!
This is shamefully simple! Helena's look starts out with a strapless sheath cut from herringbone patterned silk. We took another length of fabric and wrapped it around her neck then belted it! It's the leather gloves and thigh high boots that really pulls off the look!
Tip: I wanted to "control" the drapes so I pinned then stitched them down into the scarf.

Royal Encounter
There's not much to say here except....think brocade, on your next trip to the fabric store! This fancy fabric is all you need to transform any ordinary garment into something quite regal!

Soho Boho
It's the Arts&Crafts movement combined with the bohemian movement of the 60's and 70's. By itself, it's nothing your doll is going to want to wear outside of your sewing room, but we all were intrigued by the texture of the thing! I liked the idea of creating my own fabric using tiny bits of frayed scraps.
The top is simple. A simple bodice without darts, elongated to the hips in blue, covered with scraps. I did this pretty quickly. If I had more time, I might have designed a pattern then filled it in with color coordinated scraps. Personally, I would have stopped here and put this over jeans. But then I got the crazy idea that ripped jeans would be the perfect compliment. So I made a pair, ripped them and added a backing to the holes (so the pants wouldn't fall apart.) My first reaction was that she resembled a big, shaggy dust rag. But the next morning after the photo shoot, it somehow works as an ensemble while capturing the essence of the original look.

As I stated before....such a busy top works best when worn over something the pair of jeans Donyale is now wearing! (We'll save the tattered jeans to wear with a simple T-shirt, later on!)

By now you already know how much the 18-year old that lives deep within is attracted to silver! I'll admit, the light bright silver on silver is a bit much (pots and pans chic), but since I already had a little bit of silver leather left in my closet.....I couldn't help myself.
After close scrutiny, I noticed the dress had a shiny silver lace trim. For Iman's dress, I took white lace and foiled it. The gloves are tiny tubes of silver lame and the boots are silver leather covered Barbie boots. So Carneby Street Sixties!!!

While we've been busy with Fashion Week, the Academy Awards took place. And yes, my girls were there! While half the girls make their way to Milan, we'll be taking a break to find who upstaged who on the Oscars' red carpet last night!

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  1. I love Grace & her black leather!
    And i can't wait to see your Oscar Award fashion reproductions!

    1. Grace can make anything look sensational! There are not many dolls that can do this for me.

    2. What doll is Grace? She is pretty awesome!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you. There wasn't a lot that I found exceptional this season. It took a lot of thought and work to find things and make them exciting!!!

  3. I like David Koma's looks the best, as he makes leather look so different! Your version of the leather dress is so lovely!
    The Pugh dress looks great on your doll :-).
    The rags clothes of Fashion East are strange looking, but the mini sweater on a jeans looks much better!
    I look forward to the Oscars! I have missed the whole show, so I'll enjoy it here on your blog :-).

    1. I love leather clothes so I enjoy making an effort to make them for my dolls. I've learned a few things since my first tutorial which I look forward to sharing in the near future.
      The great thing about having such a diversity of dolls, is that you can find just the right doll for each outfit. Grace was the perfect doll to wear the Pugh outfit.
      And yes, the Fashion East rags was a bit much. This is what happens when you can't find enough good stuff to talk about. I went in a very different direction with that look. But presenting it with jeans is exactly how I would personally wear it.

  4. Most of this outfits are completly not my style but I love both your versions of leather garments and Helena's dress. I think your way to make it is better then original. :)

    1. Thank you so much Kamelia. This fashion season is a difficult one. There wasn't much I really liked. But instead of making something I didn't like, I tried to find the smallest elements I found interesting and then make my own version. This is a good exercise for those times when you don't have any ideas but looking to make something new and different. This is how I keep things fresh!

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you, Aya. I agree!! The teenager in me is always going to love silver dresses!!!

  6. Piękne. Piękne stroje, ciekawe tkaniny, fascynujące rozwiązania! Doskonale wykorzystane gatunki materiałów! Świetna stylizacja z "jodełki" z czarnymi dodatkami! Rewelacyjne, srebrne kreacje! Nowa tkanina ze skrawków - ciekawa i fantastycznie się prezentująca! Doskonałe wzory :-)
    Pozdrawiam serdecznie ♥

    1. Olla wrote: Beautiful. Beautiful costumes, interesting fabrics, fascinating solutions! Perfectly used material grades! Great stylization of herringbone with black accessories! Amazing, silver creations! New fabric made of scraps - interesting and fantastically presenting! Excellent designs :-)
      Best wishes ♥

      Thank you so much, Olla. These fashions took me a little out of my comfort zone. But in the end, I had a lot of fun coming up with my own versions!!! Glad you enjoyed this post. Big hugs!

  7. I don't know how you do it April, you write this blog, make fashions for the dolls, keeping up with the latest all for doll lovers everywhere & juggle all that with work! I couldn't do it, I've thought about making a blog but i barely find time to even sew lol. I really commend you for all that you do for us & of course your pleasure, its amazing! I guess thats why there are people like you out there, to do what not all of us are able to do! So i thank you! I've been keeping up with your blog for years! ����

    1. This is such a very sweet message. Thank you so much for your very kind words. That really put a smile on my face. Honestly...I put so much time in this blog, I hardly have time for little else. But this is how I fill up my day while I look after an elderly parent. I'm doing something that brings a lot of joy and the best part....making friends in this wonderful world of doll people!!! (P.S. Not to worry....I do get away to recharge my batteries a couple times a year!)


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