Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ms. Red Flashback part 6: photos of my previous work

A few years ago, a friend asked me to create the bridesmaid dresses for her wedding. She wanted black, and the fabric that she chose suited the look and the girls perfectly. There was a little scalloped edge on the fabric, but it would've been wasted by leaving it on the hem, and since the the neckline was curved, I had to think of something else. So I cut the scalloped edge off from the hem, then appliqued it on around the neckline.

Each dress had around 30 glass buttons at the back, and a lace up corset on the inside to secure the dress in place. The strapless corset dress always suits so many different shapes, and is such a classic look.

It is hard to believe now that it was 3 years ago! I think the bride and groom must've only just celebrated their anniversary, so congratulations to Al and Al!

Below, Marie and I at the wedding reception. I am wearing a pink, mint, and cream vest I made- which I still wear now (and I received comments from 2 complete strangers two nights ago when I wore it to the opera).

These photos were taken in the beautiful GPO at Martin Place.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Behind the scenes: Penelope Red Autumn Photo Shoot part 3

The following photos are a few more behind the scenes images from our photo shoot day for The Red Queen Collection! You can take a look at the previous postings of other behind the scenes photos here and here.

Above Chris and Lucy are creating the hair and make up for Monica's look!

Lucy P. in the Nephthys Black and White Silk Blouse and Monica in the Cleopatra Deco Gold Sequinned Top.

Make up artist, Lucy, applying fake eye lashes to Mariene. I loved Lucy's quote of the day: "More is more!"- we all agreed!

Above, Lucy P. wearing the Spinx Orange Blouse and the Hathor Olive Pants.

Above, Bryn, from BlueDoorsStudios is taking the group shot of the girls together. It takes a lot of work to get this shot looking its best- as you not only need to get the correct lighting, but all of the girl looking thier best at the exact same time!

the stunning jewellery pieces we borrowed from Shirley- a designer at The Rocks Markets. These are actually necklaces, but for some reason, they just felt so right to become head pieces!

The beautiful Mariene modeling the Olive Silk and Antique Lace Mermaids Dress.

More designs will be added to the Penelope Red shop online in Australian Dollars and American Dollars over the next few weeks. Some designs are already added!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Behind the scenes: Raisa's beautiful hats for the Penelope Red Autumn Photo Shoot

Everyone who knows me well (or perhaps who has followed this blog) would notice that I LOVE my hats! Hats have this way of making every outfit look finished, polished and a little bit over the top in one. Most people would not like the idea of looking over the top- but I love that extra glamour hit.

Last year I discovered a little Russian-Australian lady, Raisa, selling these divine handmade hats at The Rocks Markets- not too far from where my market stand was. I instantly fell in love with Raisa's craftsmanship, and with her passion for what she does. It isn't very often that I come across a fellow designer at the markets, who actually creates most or everything herself, like I do, so it was nice to get to know Raisa.

When I organised the Penelope Red Queen Collection photo shoot for Autumn, I didn't initially think of hats to be included in it, since it was going to be taken in doors. Since Raisa's hats are more like fascinators, and more a decoration rather than a full brimmed hat, they worked perfectly for the setting. Besides, I wanted everything to be glamorous, fun, and a little over the top!

These photos are not the finished professional photos, but they were taken to show you the hats we used. All of the Penelope Red designs that the models are wearing will be added to the Penelope Red website soon!

Raisa handmake's all of the designs herself, in her home, in Sydney. If you are interested in purchasing a handmade hat, please contact Raisa on: 0412031612. If you live in Sydney, she will be at The Rocks Markets every Saturday and Sunday throughout April 2011.

I purchased one of Raisa's hats last September, to wear to the races. Raisa designed and created the hat specifically for me to go with a particular outfit of mine. You can take a look at Raisa's handmade hat for the races here. If you have a particular outfit in mind, she is happy to design something to match it, and her prices are very competitive. You can email Raisa on:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You are invited to The Rocks Winter Showcase featuring the latest Penelope Red designs

The Rocks Markets has organised another Fashion Showcase, and the next one, on the 2nd and 3rd of April will feature my Autumn designs, The Red Queen Collection.

Each day is split into 4 parades; the first is always children's wear at midday; the women's wear parade's are on throughout the afternoon at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. At this stage I have not been able to confirm the particular time that the Penelope Red section is on, so I suggest to everyone to head into the city for the middle of the day.

Included in the parade will be Asymmetric Black Silk Emilie Blouse:

and the Black and Cream Isis Knit Top:

plus many more exciting styles! The Rocks Markets will be open for trade on both the Saturday and Sunday, 10am til 5pm, and my Penelope Red boutique market stand will be there with the latest styles to try on!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ms. Red Flashback part 5: photos of my previous work

A few more photos of my work from previous years...

Included in the above images...

1. The Mauve and yellow winter tailored dress

2. The Cream lace, Pink Satin and Mint Vest with the cream fluted skirt

3. The Pink Victorian Corset with the Black and Ivory Fluted Skirt

4. The Cream lace, Pink Satin and Mint Vest with the cream fluted skirt

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Melbourne Adventure

My husband gave me a trip to Melbourne for my birthday! We arrived in Melbourne bright and early on Friday, and headed straight to the cafe's for breakfast.

The above photo is of me in our hotel room- we stayed at the Windsor Hotel- a very old fashioned hotel (which I love)!

We had dinner on Friday night in St.Kilda, in a great restaurant named, Rococco. I would recommend ordering the dips and bread- freshly baked foccacia bread- I almost ate the whole thing!

I wore my Paris Bow Dress to dinner.

I had always wanted to do a French Cooking Course, so my hubbie booked one for me to take while I was in Melbourne! Some of the recipes I learnt...

short crust pastry, made into a Leek and Onion Tart...

and a beautiful chocolate souffle! We tried many more recipes, including a Coq au Vin, which I happened to cook last night for dinner!

I had a lovely time in Melbourne shopping and eating!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Creating the new Autumn Collection Part 5: The Olive Silk and Antique Lace Mermaids Dress

Once upon a time, a young TAFE fashion student (me!) stumbled across a vintage and retro store. Inside that store were many pieces of beautiful lace and fabrics, although none were as beautiful as one piece of lace.

This lace was so delicate, so fine; the label read: Antique 1930's lace. She bought it knowing that one day, when the time is right, this lace will become something beautiful!

Fast forward more than 10 years later, and I have finally used this lace!

Each time I thought about using this lace, I chickened out of it- I didn't want to create something from it that I wasn't going to be happy with. I am very proud to show you my Olive Silk and Antique Lace Mermaids Dress- and here is the step by step creation of this dress...

Above, starting to sew the olive green silk together to make the outer layer. I added interfacing to the bust and shoulder area, to make the pieces sit well around the body.

Below, I have added a tape around the neckline and sleeves to prevent stretching. In this design I cut the selvedge of the fabric off, and use this as tape- doing this will make the seam thickness less.

Above and below, where needed, the seams are trimmed and clipped to help the seam sit flat.

Sewing the lining together. The lining is 100% silk too.

The centre back has an invisible zip. I always like to make sure the seams match at each junction- sometimes very tricky when using a zip, but worth the fuss!

Above and below, the dress before the lace has been attached.

Above and below, I had to position the brown antique lace carefully around the bodice, using lots of pins, and clipping the lace away gradually. I am not an expert on deciding how old fabrics and laces are, so I can only guess how old this lace is judging from the label it had on it (when I bought the piece over 10 years ago), but I can tell you that it is very delicate, very fine, and they don't make lace like this these days!

Just pinning the lace around the bodice takes a lot of time; making sure that the lace is flat and not puckering the olive silk. I decide to follow the design lines of the dress, and have less lace at the back.

I have enough lace to create about 4 of these dresses. Perhaps I may run out of olive green silk (as it is a vintage fabric as well), but a beautiful cream or ivory would look perfect with this lace too!

I can't wait to show you all the professional photos of this dress! Stay tuned for more.