Friday means the weekend is here and I’m about to celebrate! On Monday I turned 59- and this Sunday we’re gonna try to celebrate that with my family…let’s see how the social distancing thing will allow us to do that lol!
Birthdays are always a fun time and this year I’m not really feeling the closing off of my fifties…Believe it or not, I can’t wait to turn 60. I’m not gonna try to savour 59 as much as I can- I want it to go by fast- is that weird?
For me, I find the older I get, the more I get to do what I want to do. I’m getting closer and closer to freedom and dreams coming to reality. Not that I have super idealistic dreams- I’m just tasting all the possibilities; which actually involve doing the things that I’ve waited so long to do (or have the time to do!). I think my sixties are gonna be fun…so for now, 59, bring it on because this girl needs things to move fast- loves a change and turning pages for the new. I’m on board!
Stay tuned next Friday for a little recap of my Bday weekend!
And now for my Favourite Fashion Diva Linkup of the week:
If you love fashion, then I’m sure some part of you loves history- am I right? Well, that’s certainly the case for me- period costumes will get me every time; whether it’s at the museum, online, or at the movies (hello Netflix). Jaw-dropping gorgeousness that swifts you back in time…
I’ve grown attached (historically that is😉 to not only the fantastic outfits of the past, but also the ‘fashionistas’ of the time. Creating a style that went hand in hand with their rank, but even moreso with their large personalities, these historical figures have also become my fashion Muses.
Setting the pace as human fashion plates, styling their looks according to their ‘personal stylists’ (more about these in another post!). Ravishing, often decadent and certainly luxurious- the craftmanship of their garments has no such comparison. Clothes definitely made to last!
So- without taking you into a History of Fashion course here (I could though- because that’s one of the courses I do teach!)- Here are some of my favourite historical figures and a bit about them- Check out their style!
Well, you just know I’m gonna start with Marie Antoinette, how could I not?! Reigning queen of fashion, the beautiful and much- maligned queen of the French was hated from the beginning (primarily because she was Austrian) but also because she was thought of as an over-indulging and frivolous queen. If you do drop Hollywood and read the real history- you’ll see that she was wrongly accused in so many ways- But, now onto fashion! Yes- she was the ultimate fashionista with the most superb style (thanks to her stylist- for another post!) Next…
Do you know Diane de Poitiers? She was the gorgeous (and much older) mistress of the French King Henri II. Known for her beauty, brain and style- this fashion icon led the scene even more so than the queen (Catherine de Medici) herself! Her beauty potions to keep her young included washing her skin with pure gold ( and ingesting too…which leads to speculations about her death). Next…
Madame de Pompadour (Louis XV’s mistress) was a breathtaking beauty. Tending and doting on the King was a never ending, all-consuming task (due to his insatiable sexual appetite). Not always upto it, especially since she was becoming ill and very frail- Madame de Pompadour still enjoyed the king’s company as he did hers. But a king needs to be satisfied…What does she do? She selects a group of young, very, very willing seductresses (that weren’t too bright at all). Thus satisfying the king’s lusts without ever wanting to replace his mistress for he loved her mind so much. (BTW, the king was not even aware of de Pompadour’s setting this all up!). Oh did I mention (sorry for going astray there)- she was the best dressed lady in court. Her fashion reputation still stands today. Next…
Veronica Franco the great Venetian courtesan of the 16th c was known (amongst other qualities) for her literary and artistic accomplishments. But- we’re talking fashion- so! Obviously wearing more audacious and seductive attire, courtesans of the day were ornately styled up! Expensive and sought out materials adorned their bodies- and often set trends way before nobility and royalty…Not very difficult to believe if you think that their lovers were mostly men of the highest ranks who could muster up the most exquisite gifts at a whim in exchange for the courtesan’s art. Veronica Franco was also a mistress to King Henry III of France. Let’s just say her wardrobe must have been over the top. Next…
Let’s get into history’s influencer muse…the Countess of Castiglione. This beauty set up her own photo shoots- leaving a lasting legacy that still follows her today. The photo shoots were way ahead of her times, artistically speaking, and she made quite the reputation for herself. She came from a highly aristocratic family. Her beauty was immeasurable and so was her charm. So much so that her uncle sent her to France to butter up Napoleon III to reunify Italy. Suffice it to say that the liaison was short , but worked! In the meantime, she made quite an impression as she became the icon to follow. The French relished in her looks – she became known as the Queen of hearts- again, because of a famous photo-shoot (above left). Next…
Oh dear, have you heard of Marchesa Luisa Caschi? Eccentricity to the max! Muse to several artist of the early 19th c, the Marchesa was an outrageous fashionista. She collected a menagerie of exotic animals- and could be found walking them in the parks. Anyway- her style was incomparable and trend setting as well! Next…
Looking for some good od Renaissance fashion. Look no further than the utterly breathtaking Giulia Farnese (seductress to the Pope)- you may have seen her on the Borgia’s (but that’s Hollywood). In reality, she was forced into that relationship. And- being in a relationship with the most powerful man (probably on the planet back then – there was no higher rank)- Giulia got what Giulia wanted in exchange. And what did Giulia love more than jewels and the latest fashion (not much more really). Being the beauty she was- Giulia was the trend setting Madonna of the Roman hills; with a scandalous painting of her representing the Virgin… Next…
How can we look at historical fashionistas and not talk about Cleopatra! Oh my goodness- this Greek sublimeness (yes she was Greek; from the line of Ptolemy- descendants of Alexander the Great)- No other woman on earth could have been more powerful. She had first pick on everything and gold was her element of choice! Ornate you say? Who would I pick as her doppelganger…Cher of course! What do you think? Next…
Leaving you with my two favourite historical women in fashion. Starting with Alienore (Eleanor) of Aquitaine. Power you ask? Notorious Fashion Queen of the Mideival. She was all about silk, fine wool and gems, gold…lots of gold. Her beauty matched her unharnessed strength. There’s a recounting of her while married to the French King Louis VII on their trip through Palestine during the Crusades, where Alienore rode with her ladies through battle, loose long hair looking like Amazons. There’s so much to her power and strength, every girl and woman should read up on her. Next…
Lastly, Josephine Bonaparte- my all time favourite muse! Impeccable style this Martinique beauty (the Rose of Martinique) was the Viktoria Beckham fashionista of the 18thc. She caught Bonaparte’s fancy and that was it! He made her Empress. She is well-known for the ‘empire’ style dress (more on her stylist as well in a later post!) Empire because she was an empress.
There are more! But I didn’t want this post to be never-ending! If you want to see more, please visit my Historical Fashion Muses Board on Pinterest- can check it out HERE
Here’s just a glimpse:
#Confessionoftheday: There’s a bit of each of these muses in every woman I believe…but I’d rather just pick colorful elements from their fashion sense rather than their lifestyle- oof!
I truly never thought that a grandmother’s love could be this immense. It feels like my grandchildren (I have two now! 10 months and the other 6 weeks)- are twice my children. Is that weird to say? Because that’s how I feel…My babies had babies, so doesn’t that make me double the mom? Wtv the case- I never knew I could love this deeply!
After a month and a bit, of helping out with the newborn over at my daughter’s, I’m now back home. Have to get back into my styling, because honestly I lived in comfy-sloppies and flip flops for that whole month! But it was so worth it spending time with them- I feel privileged and this will be precious moments I’ll cherish forever.
Before leaving I did cook up a storm so they’d have plenty of meals ready (we all know how there’s no time for anything when you’re a new parent!) Check out what I prepared:
Now time to get into this Fabulous Friday and the Fashion Diva of the Week:
It would be impossible for me to speak about Fashion as my Muse without any reference to historical attire. As we all know, everything in fashion repeats itself; or comes back in some form or another.
Designers are always referring to the past when they create- And what a rich source of inspiration that can be! Alexander McQueen was notorious for doing this! He loved Victorian and Gothic fashion and it can be seen in his own designs.
How does this even relate to us?? These designs are at the very top of creativity. These are a springboard for all other creatives to base themselves on and to produce garments that have a nuance or taste of these beauties. Consequently, they create tones or patterns or cuts that we can actually wear and keep looking trendy.
Hard to imagine? Not really-You already own some of these ‘historical fashion’ items! Let’s see; do you own…
Flair sleeve tops?
Bell sleeve tops?
Long dresses or skirts?
Velvet pants or jacket?
Chunky gold accessories?
Button-down vests or jackets?
Lace (something or other)?
This list can go on and on!!
So it’s no wonder that designers need to rehash what has already been done and bring back with a twist of their own. From there, the rest of us will end up buying (or thrifting!) diluted forms of these creations. So why not take some of those incredible elements and bring them into our own styling?
Here are more designers getting inspired by history:
The genius, Galliano and his take:
And- I could not write about this without making note of fashion’s all-time bad boy- who also plucked his creativity straight from the past…Here are some of Jean Paul Gauthier’s creations.
When his Exhibit came to Montreal, I just had to go! Here’s a mini clip of one magnificent ‘caged’ creation taken right out of the ‘pallier’ times.
And as for myself, I can’t really pinpoint which part of the history inspired my own two dresses (for when my daughters got married both in the same year- 3 months apart). But I know that the inspiration and idea of these two designs (I helped co-create) were definitely a spin-off from the past. What do you think?
STAY TUNED for the last part of this Fashion is My Muse Edition, for next week when I highlight my Historical Muses…You’re gonna love them!
Here’s a glimpse:
#Confessionoftheday: My go-to inspiration will forever be a fantastically dramatic sleeve…and I wonder where I got that inspiration from…past life for sure lol!
We’re in mid July, for us Montrealers that means half the summer is already gone. For me, summer also means getting away. I love going to Greece, and I’ve shared my thoughts about that on Instagram, and I know I’ve mentioned before how much I also love Florida- even in the summertime! And I especially miss it this year!! That intense Florida heat feels like gold to my bones- and the ocean sound, it’s truly music to my ears. I love that the water is warm and gentle in the summer- and that every place indoors is a cool haven after a beachy day. This year it’s different because of this Pandemic- and for Floridians as well…
All this to say that although I love Greece so much, a fashionista like myself thrives, and prefers, perusing the great stores of the US. I love to see what’s in and not- and how different it might be to the styles and trends back home. I think it’s safe to say that Florida is a shopper’s paradise.But this year…I’m staying in Montreal. Keeping safe and masked up.
Here’s reminiscing to warm nights by the pool and perfect lobby selfies…in a beautiful flowy yellow top I got back in …Greece lol!!
What are you replacing vacays with?
This week’s Favourite Fashion Diva is: Gail from Is This Mutton Isn’t she just fabulous in this print mix?? Classy and edgy all in one! Love me a great black & white print mix with fuschia!
What drives your styling inspiration? Where do you turn to quench that thirst for creativity? What sparks your next look- or purchase?
Just like an artist’s muse is the inspiration for his canvas, my muse for styling is fashion. Yes, Fashion is my Muse. Of course, there are faces behind those looks that inspire me so. I have scrapbooks and Mood boards filled from the years of collecting. This exercise has helped me during my career, my teaching, my art, and personally as well.
Not only are Mood boards great tools for collecting creative info, but they are especially useful as springboards for future projects. You can add or transform as you go along or evolve. And- this doesn’t always have to be with paper and glue (although that process can be incredibly satisfying!). There are great online platforms to help you plan your boards. You know what I’m gonna say: Pinterest, of course!
Today I’m sharing with you one of my Fashion Boards from Pinterest: Fashion is My Muse This board is filled with my very Favourite Fashion Icons. For me, there’s nothing ‘ordinary’ about these Muses; they are all Extraordinary.
I’m inspired primarily by their look and style, the patterns and forms, colors and accessories- the stories their appearance unfolds. Flamboyance and over-the-top creations help bring us out of our comfort zone. We may not go to these extremes…but certainly edge us on a bit. And that’s a good thing- moving forward and accepting change!
Here are my Muses, in no particular order:
There’s more… I keep on adding to this list. Stay tuned for Part 2; where I disclose my historical fashion muses!
Do you create Moodboards? Who are your Fashion Muses?
#Confessionoftheday:I secretly dream of recreating each and every one of these looks! I’m thinking of maybe doing a challenge on this! Would you join me??
(An unusual summer taking place elsewhere this year; definitely different than last year- Even for the Fashion Runway…)
Paris Digital Couture Week was on…not your usual Runway – this season everything took place online. Paris cancelled live shows due to the Pandemic- at least for one season.
So the shows were almost like music videos. For the most part designers kept the clips quite simple; running one minute for most (except for Dior; 10 minutes). Let’s just say…way less exciting (for me at least!)
Women’s fashion ran from Monday to Wednesday and Men’s from Thursday on. Did you get to watch?
Here are some great photos of three of my favourite designer collections.
Dior and dolls this time! Almost reminded me of the Pandora times- when these kind of dolls were the fashion plates of back then…
So Monday’s show began with Dior:
Next up on Tuesday: CHANEL. More of a Rococo meets punk… I found the line more upbeat and much younger focused. Refreshing and edgy!
Wednesday was for my other favourite: Maison Margiela- by the genius Galliano. So much sheer goodness! I’m crazy for sheer and there was some everywhere in this show!
And how are we on making steps towards Sustainability in the Fashion world? Well, I was especially delighted to learn that both St-Laurent and Gucci (my favourite!!) will opt out of doing 4 shows a year. And, it appears that Mugler has agreed upon this as well. This will reduce so much waste in many ways- so that is definitely a step in the right direction!
Starting off the week with a different type of styling tip! Why not re-cycle or re-fashion something you love by somehow ‘crafting’ it? That’s exactly what I did with this little bustier!
First of all, it became too tight! But- I didn’t want to get rid of it- I find it was such a good layering piece. This is what it looked like before:
First I created a border for the length (needed more coverage and it was no longer good where it ended in my middle section). Then, I decided to open up one side (the other has a zipper so that’s too complicated). And I crocheted an extension! Then, in order to balance out the two sides, I crocheted two separate pieces and sewed them along the zipper sides. This created a more balanced illusion. By also stitching on a crochet border to the shoulder straps- my look became complete!
My daughter says she’ll borrow it too (that’s always a good sign…or is it?). She, though, will wear it like a tank- nothing under- bless her cute little bod😊
If I have to be quite honest here- the crochet part was the easiest. I did have to use quite a bit of imagination to recreate and ‘make fit’ the idea I had in mind. But in the end, it all worked out!
You can watch my clip here:
If you’d like to see someone who is a real pro at this? Check out my goddaughter on Instagram: @CROCHETKAT27 She inspires me so much- hope I’m making her proud😊
As for my Styling Students; I’m challenging you this week with this! Remember our motto to Refashion and Rewear!
#Confessionoftheweek: Haven’t been confessing a great deal have I? Well, I’m back to say that as good as this may look…it wasn’t easy or quick at all. But I WILL attempt another such DIY for sure. I’m such a self-torturer!
July is finally here- and along with that comes Canada Day! Such a different one for me, (the cover photo was taken last year in Greece for Canada Day) as I’m living with my daughter to help her out- so no partying! But anyway, who can really party with Covid still lurking. But! How fun that on my daughter’s quaint street they had mini parades and neighborly cook outs! See the video clip below…