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A Royal Christmas

“What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary."
                                                                        -George Bailey, It's A Wonderful Life

All eyes will be on Kate Middleton today as she joins Prince William's family and experiences her first Christmas with the Queen. Each year, the English royals spend the day at Sandringham, a private estate that has been owned by four generations of British monarchs since 1862, located in Norfolk. The Duchess of Cambridge, well-known for her impeccable taste in clothing and stunning Alexander McQueen selections, certainly did not pack light this Christmas. According to royal etiquette expert Jean Broke-Smith, “Kate will need a casual outfit for breakfast, a smart outfit and a hat for the morning church service, a dress for lunch, a cocktail dress for early evening drinks and a full-length dress for the evening meal.” No lounging around in pajamas for the newlyweds!

Queen Elizabeth loves keeping to tradition and this year will be no exception despite Prince Philip being in the hospital. Every year, the family exchanges gifts on Christmas Eve, attends a Christmas day service at St. Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham Estate, and partakes in a pheasant shoot on Boxing Day (a holiday celebrated the day after Christmas). The Queen's annual Christmas speech will be broadcast to the Commonwealth this afternoon.

As we celebrate Christmas, one of my favorite Bible verses from the book of Acts comes to mind, “It is more blessed to give than to receive." My mom is the most giving person. She spends more time doing things for others than for herself, which has made for an outstanding role model. I wanted to do something special for her this Christmas, so I spent the last couple of weeks sewing two tops and a jacket to give to her today.

Merry Christmas!




Carousel in Paris

“I love to take things that are everyday and comforting and make them into the most luxurious things in the world."
                                                                       -Marc Jacobs

Louis Vuitton's Spring 2012 fashion show last October was magical. It took place in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum in Paris. Those fortunate enough to attend the event were seated around the runway wondering what was concealed behind the giant white curtain. The show began when the curtain rose and revealed a magnificent, customized merry-go-round with models perched side-saddle on white horses. First a cranking sound, and then music you'd expect to hear coming out of a Cinderella music box filled the air as the carousel sprung into action. The models gracefully dismounted their horses one-by-one and walked the runway. According to Marc Jacobs, creative director for Louis Vuitton, “There's a carousel in the Tuileries, and I'm a hopeless New York Francophile, and it's very Paris ... It's also a bit of a metaphor about this cycle of fashion and how it goes around and around, and regardless of what your references are, whatever you choose to look at, it's just cyclical."

The dresses were 60s-inspired and very feminine while featuring delicate intricacies that did not go unnoticed. Jacobs described his designs as “soft, soothing, gentle, light, tender, feminine, airy, loving." The pale colors complemented by white accents worked well with the laser cut fabrics. Kate Moss finished off the show looking stunning in a laser cut lace dress adorned with white feathers. Although Louis Vuitton's carousel show was not conventional, it will not be forgotten. The event can be seen in its entirety on YouTube.

Laser cutting and burnout are two similar applications that can be applied to textiles to give them a unique look. I purchased a cotton burnout jersey from Mood and used it for a top. The burned out parts of the fabric are sheer, so I lined it with a nude jersey. I made a gathered skirt to pair with the top and sewed black piping into the waistband. This wasn't the first time I've worked with a burnout textile. A top I posted a few months ago was a burnout knit.




A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous."
                                                 -Coco Chanel

Once referred to as Posh Spice, Victoria Beckham is now creating posh clothing. She and her family moved to Los Angeles several years ago, the ideal location to continue building her fashion empire. In 2008, the same year Victoria was the face of Marc Jacobs, her first fashion collection debuted at the Waldorf Astoria for New York Fashion Week and 400 dresses were produced. Clean lines and simple silhouettes keep her designs looking chic and sophisticated. Earlier this week, she won Designer Brand of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in London. Victoria once said, “If I set my mind to something I do it. My biggest wish for all of us is that we are happy, successful, and that we stay true to ourselves." In her book, That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything in Between, she wrote, “I've always been the girl next door who got lucky." No kidding!

I gathered up my fabric scraps from the dress I made last week and had just enough for a skirt. I wanted it to be structured and interesting, so I cut a unique waistband. I paired it with a black top I made several weeks ago. The collar is scalloped along the top and outlined by a pleated ribbon with a tulle border. I prefer the all black look, but for the purpose of this blog post, I also made a simple top using a light pink fabric to better accentuate the architectural lines of the skirt's waist. The striking contrast of pale pink and stark black are a perfect combination of hard and soft.