Friday, October 29, 2010

The Cosmopolitan Blue Bow Tie Pants

I am very proud of this pant design, the Cosmopolitan Blue Bow Tie Pants...I have always loved flared pants, and I have in previous years sold quite a few. I always found that no matter what I did, it was always hard to fit everyone though. Each women's hip to waist area is so different in length and width that making a fitted pair of pants with a zip and tight waistband was very hard to sell.

So when it came to creating these pants, I wanted to do something completely different! I wanted these pants to be high waisted (not hipster like my past pant creations), and I started thinking about using elastic... the only problem was I didn't like the look of a gather waist on pants.

The Cosmopolitan Blue Bow Tie Pants is pictured above with the Martini Bright Stripe Blouse, and below with the Venus Floral Bolero.

So, I decided to make a flat centre front waist band, then hide the elasticated waistband with an oversized bow that tied around the waist! The elastic means that it has room to expand or retract where needed, and it also means a much more comfortable fit. In fact my customers are usually very surprised by how comfortable this design is!

So the fit problem is solved, they are super comfortable, and the bow gives it that "Penelope Red panache" that I always want in every single item of my designs.

The reason why I decided to make it in this bright blue colour is mainly because everyone else sells black pants. I always say that i can't compete on price, but what I can compete on is individuality- tell me, how many shops sell bright blue pants?

I designed these pants to make your legs look elongated. The pin tucks that have been applied to the front, together with the high waist create the illusion of length. I have seen a lady who was about 5 foot tall try them on, and even she was surprised by how tall they made her look.

The Cosmopolitan Blue Bow Tie Pants is pictured above with the Caipirinha Y-Bar Top and below with the Strawberry Daiquiri Blouse.

I make these pants to fit, with the desired length. I personally wear mine with heels, but a few customers have opted for flats. I can also make them with out the bow, and just place extra belt keepers so a belt can be worn with them instead.

The fabric is a very soft 100% rayon. I have washed my pants twice so far, and they are the ones used in the photographs- so the colour stays.

The Cosmopolitan Blue Bow Tie Pants is pictured above with the Aqua Paisley Blouse.

The pants are also available in a bright red, the Cosmopolitan Red Bow Tie Pants.

You can buy these pants and other Penelope Red designs online in the Penelope Red etsy shop here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Valentino Exhibition and Our Queensland Holiday

My husband and I recently had a holiday in Queensland, and he took me to visit the Valentino exhibition in Brisbane- isn't he a sweetheart?!

Such a beautiful inspiration! So many amazing gowns and outfits to drink in and admire... I literally didn't want to leave... I wanted to just sit there amongst them all and stare!

Of course, I couldn't, and unfortunately the exhibition catalogue book is sold out, but I may just have to purchase it from!

You weren't allowed to take any photos inside the exhibition, so the following photos are from various websites, including the brisbane times, and abc news. Please take a look at thier websites for more images. You can also see the Valentino exhibition image gallery on the Gallery of Modern Art Website here.

After the exhibition, we had dinner at a lovely restaurant in the Gold Coast, named Verve. Great service, fantastic wine selection, beautiful food, and lovely atmosphere. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys modern Australian cuisine, and who wants something completely different to the tourist-trap offerings in Surfers Paradise. I think that was probably the best part about it- Verve was clearly a locals restaurant!

Oh, and I couldn't help myself... being a fan over the top-ness, I had to visit the Versace hotel... I think my kimono (and me) fit quite well there!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Autumn 2011 Inspiration

Oh, how I love Gustav Klimt's paintings! Such decadence and over the top decoration- no wonder I love it! I guess I truly became a massive fan once I visited Vienna, and viewed the real thing! The detail and beauty of these paintings do not show up in the photos. Read about my visit to Vienna here.

Ever since I was in high school, I have been intrigued by the mythical and cultural aspects of Ancient History; Egypt in particular. I love their Hieroglyphics (and I still wish I could read them), I love the ancient stories, and the mystery of this foreign and ancient culture.

So... without further ado, I wanted to share with you the first little sneak peak into what I am thinking for the Penelope Red Autumn 2011 Collection. I will fuse the idea of Egyptian costume, with the beautiful paintings of Gustav Klimt!

Above, Portrait of Emilie Floge by Gustav Klimt

To me, I feel like the Klimt paintings actually already have an Egyptian influence... for instance, the painting below: Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer 1

... take a look at the detail in her skirt... note the hieroglyphic-like eyes!

Above, Water Snakes 1 by Gustav Klimt

And of course, as I was researching Egyptian costume, I couldn't go past the costumes and styling used in Elizabeth Taylor's, "Cleopatra". Ok, so I know they are not historically accurate, but I think they are a perfect of example of how a modern interpretation of costume can be achieved.

Now it is my job to create designs inspired by all of this, while still making them functional for my customers to wear! It won't be easy... but it will certainly be FUN!

Kiran's Sari-Inspired Wedding Dress, Part 2: East meets West

After more than 30 hours of hand sewing, 6 metres of hand beaded Sari, 5 metres of bright Pink Silk Dupion, 5 metres of blue silk lining, 3 metres of silk organza, and countless pins, threads and patience, I give you... Kiran's Sari Inspired Wedding Dress!

(Above, a photo of the back at the unfinished stage- I still needed to finish the hem and hand applique the sari beading onto the pink silk)

(above, the dress before I had hand appliqued the beading. This is at the 2nd fitting stage)

In August I started to show you the Sari Inspired Wedding Dress I was making for Kiran. Take a look at Part 1 here.

(above, the design at the unfinished stage- before the handsewing hand been started. You can see the over-skirt made from most of the sari)

I have now completed the design, and Kiran's wedding was on during the past weekend, so I can show you all the finished design! I intend to include professional photos from the photographer at the wedding, but until I can get a copy, my little snap shots will have to do!

I am also aiming to create a video of the making of this dress- as there is so much work involved, and photos will not really cut it!

For now, I have included below a few photos that I took during the making of this design. It truly is one of most favourite creations, and I am very proud to share it with you!

Cutting out the pink silk dupion for the dress and overskirt edge, and below: sewing the sari chiffon to the pink silk.

Above, the centre back. I created this beautiful shape, being inspired by the shape of the sari beading. I wanted the centre back to be a focus and create lots of interest. Later on, I decided to place one of the Sari beaded motif's in this area.

Above, unpicking the beading. Every place where there was a seam, or where the beading finished at an edge, I would need to unpick the beading and catch all the loose threads. People don't generally realise that as soon as you include beaded fabric to a design, the time taken to finish it is at least doubled because of this.

Below, the beautiful beaded design of the sari- this part of the sari was appliqu├ęd around the bust area on the corset dress and at the centre back of the train.

A picture of the overskirt before I started to add any of the beaded trim.

Creating the corset which sits inside the dress.

Above, finishing off the inside of the overskirt- the inside must be as neat as the outside!