Archive for February, 2012


Oscar trends?

February 29, 2012

Do the Oscars start trends?

I know that all it can take to launch a fashion designer is for an A-lister to wear their dress to the Academy Awards but can what people wear at the oscars predict what will be in stores over the next year… or since fashion has long moved east to west, are  they merely reflecting current trends?

Either way, there were several style patterns at the Oscars this year.

1. The first one is the sparkle. Pretty much every dress on the red carpet and on stage had some sort of glittery embellishment whether it was beads, sequins, or a shiny/lamé fabric choice. Personally I enjoyed the glitter and kind of hope that means working it into my wardrobe will be fashionable.

2. One shoulder dresses, particularly off the shoulder dresses where the “sleeve” is totally decorative meaning that structurally,  the dress is strapless.

Multiple examples below

3. The other thing I noticed was that several dresses were draped to meet at the front and centre of the torso. This style seems to have proved rather flattering for several women of vastly different physiques and it is always nice to see a dress style that works across silhouettes and body types.

Although I do suspect that the placement of the centre point for the draping and gathering has a great deal of impact on how flattering the dress is.

Jennifer Lopez’ gathers were actually false, but the stripes follow the pattern creating the illusion of the draping and flattering her every curve.

Busy Phillips’ dress is flattering and tasteful although not really a standout in grey. Again you can see the central point of the gathers

And Octavia Spencer (one my favourite dresses) also sported this style to great effect. I think I want this dress.

So maybe it is a trendsetting event.


2012 Oscar dress talk

February 27, 2012

Well I did this last year so I suppose I should make it a tradition. I watch the Oscars for the dresses more than anything else and I often find that what I like doesn’t match what the “experts” like so I’m not sure what that says about my taste.

So here’s what I liked:

Not a lot has been said about Ellie Kemper’s burnished flame dress but I really liked it. The cut was simple. I liked the colour on her. I don’t think it’s a colour palette I could pull off, but she did it and the dress leapt out at me early on and stayed in my mind. Isn’t standing out for all the right reasons something everyone is trying to do on the red carpet?

Well, I liked Berenice Bejo’s dress. It was that exact shade of green that brought out her lovely hair, and I loved the beadwork, soft drape and gauzey sleeves. Pretty.

I loved  the detailed embroidery on Jessica Chastain’s black and gold gown. I thought it suited her well.

I thought Octavia Spencer looked fabulous. The draping and pleating of her dress reminded me of a sari and I think it looked fabulous, emphasizing her voluptuous curves in all the right ways.

Liked but not completely:

I liked most of Melissa McCarthy’s dress. I liked the colour – someone described it as beige but I saw a dusty rose that brought out her skin tone beautifully. I liked the  neckline and the high waist sparkle. I thought the dress handled her cleavage well.

I did not like the sleeves. I get that not all women want to share their arms with the world but there were better ways to deal with that. Her puffy undersleeves with a draped chiffon overlay made the dress too busy and kind of tacky. If she wanted to hide her arms, I would recommend a matching short opera style cape. It would drap gently around her without messing with the silhouette of the dress.

Y’know, I really liked most of Viola Davis’ dress. I loved the colour and I liked the sparkle at the bust. I did not like the skirt. It appears that I really don’t like these wide chiffon pleats. I didn’t like them when Cate Blanchett wore them last year and I don’t like them now.

Did not like:

I think it was the heavy drape of the dress that made it look like it was dragging poor Emma Stone down, down, down. The big red neck bow made it messy and overpowering. Great colour  though.

I read a description of Shailene Woodley’s dress as being “what Marsha Brady would wear to prom” and I kind of agree. To me it looks like it’s made of that heavy 70s polyester that doesn’t breathe at all. I also didn’t like the macramé peek-a-boo look. It doesn’t work with the severe modesty of the rest of the dress.

If this dress were any other colour (even black) I probably wouldn’t have noticed Tina Fey’s choice but the navy blue just seems to make the dress seem boxy and matronly. It seems like something borrowed from Diane Keaton’s wardrobe in the first half of the First Wives Club.

I love Tina Fey but she could have worn something a little less mother-of-the-bride whose marriage she doesn’t approve.

On a slightly different topic…

I have to give a shout out to Christopher Plummer who looked dashing in his blue velvet jacket and Order of Canada Pin ftw!



Adventures in RTW

February 24, 2012

Okay, so I’m thoroughly behind in my sewing. The time just hasn’t been there to sit in front of my machine for a few hours and churn out some good stuff. This meant that I needed to go clothes shopping to buy a simple black pencil skirt instead of whipping up another version of my favorite Vogue 7937.

So, yesterday between work and Brownies, I found myself in Smart Set scoping out their pencil skirts. Hitting the dressing room turned into a reminder of something I do my best to keep in mind whenever I shop.

Clothing can be poorly designed, proportioned and constructed. People cannot.

It can be so easy to feel bad about yourself when standing under the glaring lights of a change room noticing the ways an item of clothing pulls or gaps. It helps to remember that clothes are supposed to be designed to fit humans, humans are not to be designed and tailored to fit clothes.

I was able to get the skirt I needed but I was really hoping to buy another one instead. That one, however had an odd construction/fit issue.

It was a grey high waisted skirt with a narrow belt and in my usual size, it had lots of wiggle action going on. I loved the slight pin-up feel I was getting. I wanted to stand in doorways and ask people if they knew how to whistle:

…and then I turned around.

The back side of the skirt had an odd fabric bulge just before the middle seam split at the bottom of the skirt. I tugged and pulled at it and couldn’t get it to go away. Eventually I realized that while the fashion fabric had some lycra in it that helped with the wiggle look I was rockin’, the lining had no stretch so while the fashion fabric was perfectly capable of accommodating my curvy behind, the lining was pulling up from the bottom to do so.

Yes, I could have bought it anyway and taken it home to fix but I knew I wouldn’t have time for that, so I bought another skirt and have added high-waist wiggle skirt to my to sew list.