a few thoughts, put together a bit haphazardly on a dreary monday morning.
by sheer coincidence–and slight contrivance–i was out in suburbia when target dropped their jason wu collection. i was visiting my parents, about 50 miles outside of NYC and safe in no-sense-of-fashion-ville, and decided to go home early sunday morning instead of late sunday night so that i might stop at the local target and check out the goods. i admit it, i was completely seduced by the frollicking cat in the target commercials.
i was pleasantly surprised, a number of ways:
- i got up early, with no help, fuss or muss. i was out of bed by 7.30 and pulling into the target lot at 7.52–with hair and teeth brushed and no trace of pajamas. now, can someone explain why i can’t manage this feat on weekdays?!
- there were only about 10-12 people in the queue in front of me
- the quality of the garments–both in design and construction–was much higher than i anticipated.
#3 was the most interesting. here in the city, a lot of people were complaining about the shoddy quality of the missoni collection, and i was expecting more of the same with jason wu. there’s a reason, after all, why target are able to sell the clothes for such a low price–shortcuts in fabric choices, in construction choices, etc etc. in other words, there’s usually a reason why high-priced RTW by a reputable designer is so high-priced. but the target clothes were actually lovely. sure, they were made in china–what isn’t nowadays?–but the fabrics were very nearly as exciting as the photographs made them out to be and the design had every bit of effortless elegance the lookbook promised.
i was totally unprepared for the feeding frenzy ten measly shoppers could cause, though! it started off almost civilized, but there was a queue-jumper who got everyone a little riled up. some of the dresses were obviously in the highest demand, like the really cute and wonderful pleated-skirt dresses.
i was all about the T–i wanted one each for me, my mom and my sis (we’re cat people)–so by the time i went back to the front rack there were no dresses left. (also, the accessories–decimated. there were only three of each, so they went fast!) i calmed myself about the dress with the simple realization that while the appeal was obvious, so were my means to rectify it: it’s a simple bodice with a gathered skirt at exactly the right length. the appeal is the simplicity, the clean lines, the summery fabric.
i can *so* make that.
which brings me to a new set of thoughts. i’ve realized over the past few weeks–most especially from working on the “make this look” sew weekly challenge–that i’m in a really new and exciting phase of sewing. that phase where doing it right and finishing it quickly don’t quite contradict each other the way they used to. the phase where hand-understitching a facing makes sense because it’s a cleaner finish; where underlining is my new favorite technique; where re-drafting patterns to make them look exactly how i want them to is the new normal.
it’s completely exhilarating. (so exhilarating that some of my actual sewing has ground almost to a halt, while i geek out over a lot of pattern drafting)
more than that, it means that when i see a dress i like, such as the jason wu pleated skirts that unify so much of the capsule collection, or the yellow alice & olivia number i’ve got saved in my pinterest, i can immediately start thinking about the design elements that make up that garment and consider how i might replicate them and, if so, what sort of fabric i might use.
in fact, the reason i ended up missing last week’s “down under” sew weekly challenge (technically i finished it, but with iffy results) was because i got swept up in putting together my version of the yellow dress. i’m saving the finishing details for another TSW challenge, though! :-)
just so there is a me-made garment in this post, allow me to share with you some styling fun of my favorite sort: high-priced RTW, snagged on sale, paired brilliantly with something me-made for a totally fun look.
skirt: vogue 1247 in red rayon crepe
blouse: etro (at 80% off, wheeeeeee!)
very fun favorite ballet-slipper stockings
not pictured: red ballet flats
also, properly blow-dried hair. who knew?