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Floral Explosion

"Fashion is instant language.”
                                   -Miuccia Prada

French fashion house J. Mendel has been producing luxury clothing of exceptional quality since the 1870s. Gilles Mendel learned the ins and outs of the family business from his father and mentor, Jacques, and now serves as the creative director.

Gilles tossed aside his usual ethereal aesthetic and embraced a darker, more edgy style for J. Mendel's pre-fall 2013 collection. The looks include black leather, fur, and beautifully structured designs. He created prints that were inspired by images of exploding flowers by photographer Ori Gersht that resembled splattered paint.

Each year pre-fall collections fill the void between spring/summer and fall/winter apparel and are available in stores the month of June. “There’s also a sense of exclusivity,” explained Gilles Mendel. “Women come early to get that special piece that might not be in the store in fall.”

I found two paint-splattered printed jersey fabrics and made a top and a skirt. The brightly-colored prints are lively and full of character. I incorporated a black Italian fabric in these two designs to really make the colors pop.



Oh Brother, Where Hast Thou Been?

"A good use for me is to let me go away with my sewing machine and come back with some really new stuff."
                                       -Betsey Johnson

A standard home sewing machine has served me well for the past two years, but there always comes a time to try new things. My husband lovingly gave me a Brother serger for Christmas and it is magical. After spending an hour figuring out how to thread the 4 spools, I got to sewing. The feeder zips the fabric through at an amazing speed and finishes the edges to perfection while cutting off excess fabric. It takes away the worry of unravelling threads and works wonders on ultra-thin textiles that my other machine struggled to manage.

I extravagantly purchased some Armani silk (couldn't resist) and silver lining to make a simple top with short sleeves. Silk is one of the trickiest fabrics to work with, but my new serger sewed it with ease. I still have a lot to learn as this top was my first and only project thus far. For those of you that have used a serger before, I'd welcome any helpful tips you could send my way!