Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Studio tour.

Kate Maxwell paid a visit to The English Dept. and my design studio, and took some very nice photos. Thanks, Kate! More here.


...for all your supportive comments re: BHLDN and their well-known "design" practices. As a former law student, I do know that there's very little legal protection for clothing designers. I've studied the arguments on both sides regarding whether fashion design deserves such protection, and there's merit to both arguments (although I'm sure you can guess where I stand). I don't usually get in a lather over copying incidents--designers (like all creative people) draw inspiration from many sources, and that inspiration flows in all directions. What bothers me is a very studied practice of ripping off smaller designers' work as a business model. Consumers need to know that Anthro's cute "designs" come straight from uncredited, uncompensated sources. That's how they roll.

Besides being unethical and exploitive, it's just so boring! Way to take the creativity out of fashion. So I did that post. For that reason, and to show solidarity with my good friend Myra, who is wearing herself out trying to protect her work.

Luckily, we small designers have what big companies can never fake, no matter how they try--the urge to create for its own sake, the honest joy of new ideas.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Photos from Finishing School 2011

 Thanks to everyone who came out on Sunday for Finishing School, our annual do-it-yourself event for making bridal hair accessories and dress embellishments.
Look at the concentration on these ladies' faces!
My project: a metallic lace shrug with hundreds of lace "petals" hand-stitched around the neckline. I finally finished it--that's why we call it Finishing School.
 Truly impressed by the artistry on display. Nice work, class of 2011!
 Photos: Lauren Sornberger, Rebecca Westby

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A paper bride.

 I've just learned about the work of Jum Nakao.
 The Brazilian artist makes these intricate gowns entirely out of paper.
 At the end of one of his runway shows, his models were instructed to tear up the dresses on their bodies, to remind the audience that fashion is a medium and not an end in itself.
 I've always thought of the wedding dress as a performance, a moment, as much as it can also be a garment for all time. So what about it, ladies? Anyone up for a paper wedding dress?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Blogger Brides :: "Trust Me...I Have Done This a Thousand Times Before"

Our next bride in our "Blogger Brides" series is Janice. Janice is a current SPW bride who is planning a wedding at LeMont in October. Janice and I have become quite close, frequently meeting up for monthly lunch/dinner planning meetings. I just love when I connect with a bride on a personal level - makes the planning process a breeze! Besides, who says the planning process has to be all work and no play, right?! One of the things I love about the wedding that Janice and her fiance, Rob, are planning is that they are truly focused on the meaning of the ceremony. Of course, they've had a lot of fun brainstorming ideas for their wedding decor (think: sunflowers!), but Janice and Rob truly understand the meaning and the main point behind the wedding day...the marriage. I'm definitely looking forward to their wedding. We've enlisted an awesome team of vendors that I know are totally going to rock their wedding day!

Without further ado, here is Janice's advice for our readers:

"Trust Me...I Have Done This a Thousand Times Before"

"I know you have heard that line before. I have too, but fortunately it hasn’t been during our wedding planning process. Rob and I are both very determined and head strong people. We have a very clear vision of how we would like our wedding day to turn out. We know there are many factors that we cannot control. However, we also know that there are many MORE factors that we can…to include what vendors we chose. 

We have already selected all of our vendors for our October 2011 wedding. Before we met with any of our vendors, we had a clear (well, as clear as can be when it comes to wedding planning) vision of what we wanted. We had decided not only what we wanted as far as d├ęcor, photos, music & food, but what we wanted from our vendors. Here were qualities that were non-negotiable:

• They must be warm, friendly people.
• Prompt at communication
• Creative
• Open to our suggestions
• Must never, ever say “Trust me…I have done this a thousand times before”.

The last one is a big one!! It makes my skin crawl when I hear stories on blogs and bulletin boards about how vendors have said that to their clients. And I (and Rob too) will argue, “No, you haven’t. You have never worked MY wedding before”. 

We have been lucky beyond belief with our planning process. Sumer has guided us towards some of the best wedding professionals in the business. After our meetings with all of our vendors, the choices were easy to make. They were almost effortless. No matter what we were discussing, all of them were creative, easy to talk to and listened to our ideas. When we have questions, no matter who I am working with, I know I will hear back promptly. And not one of them implied that working our wedding would be a cake walk because they have done this before. 

Now that I have rambled on for several paragraphs, you may be asking yourself, “What is your point”? My point is that when choosing your vendors, if you don’t trust them 100%, turn around and leave…as a matter of fact, RUN! One of the reasons I am enjoying the planning process so much is because I trust each and every one of my vendors. I know that Andy Booth is going to keep my party rocking, Jenni Grace is going to capture my moments, Bill Laughlin will make sure the food is fabulous, Carrie Anne will make my flowers unforgettable and that Sumer will keep me calm& everything running smoothly. I don’t have to worry about the “what if’s” all of the time because I trust my team. We both said from the beginning that we want to enjoy the process…and we are!"

{Vendor Credits}
DJ :: Andy Booth Productions
Photographer :: Jenni Grace Photography
Florist :: Carrie Anne Powell Floral Designs
Venue :: LeMont

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Check us out!

Love the new shop. Love the extra space, love the whitewashed pine Swedish cabin fantasy floor, love having places for ladies to sit, love the light. Love, love, love!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

5 Top Tips to Buy Wedding Rings

Wedding ring is most loving for all. For many of the people it is symbolic piece of jewelry that they want to wear all the time. It is most important for them and they cannot even live without it. It is therefore important for them that they choose the wedding ring that looks beautiful and is designed smartly.

If you are looking to buy the ring you should select it very carefully. There are some of the points that you should care for while choosing and ordering your wedding ring making.
- First of all you should give the proper measurements of your finger. This ensures the perfect size of ring which is easy and comfortable to wear. You should ask the professional jeweler to take the accurate size so that you get the perfect ring for you.
- Next there is a need to determine the budget and metal you want for your ring. The metal of the it can be judged by the budget you have. Gold and platinum metals are popular and precious of all. But if you want some cheap wedding rings you can also go with silver or gold polished ring that suits your budget well.

- Then you should also look for the weight and durability of the ring you want. This again is dependent upon the money you want to invest on your ring. Ring is the ring that is not purchased frequently. So if you can afford a bit you should go with buying gold or platinum rings that are most durable.
- You should also choose the weight of the ring according to the size and make of your finger. If you are having thick fingers you should invest some more in your ring so that you should get the ring that looks perfect when you wear.

- Then you should also look for the design of ring you want. You should choose the design that looks great at your personality.

Chocolate Diamond Wedding Rings - Today's Popular Engagement Ornaments

Marriages are said to be made in heaven. Wedding rings symbolizes this happy event, today chocolate diamond engagement rings have become the choice of most consumers. These are studded with beautiful and sparkling chocolate diamonds. International stars and common men are buying these sparkling finger ornaments. Chocolate colored diamonds are obtained from mines of Africa, Australia and Russia. These diamonds attain a brownish hue due to pressure of the earth. Today these gemstones have got a huge craze in the jewelry market. Chocolate rings are used by couples to mark holy and sacred emotions during an engagement or marriage ceremony. These are excellent alternatives for those who want to wear something special and unique than white and colorless diamond rings. Before choosing such wedding rings one should be acquainted with the background of chocolate diamonds studded in it. These diamonds are cheaper than traditional white diamonds and have an attractive dark luster.
One can buy chocolate rings of any shapes. They are also available in combination with other gemstones like Emerald, Ruby and Blue Sapphire. But the best stone combination of these rings is that of "chocolate and vanilla cream".This marriage ring is made by combining chocolate diamond and white turquoise. Now after making one's mind what to buy a buyer has to choose a suitable place to purchase the ring. One must beware that some sellers may try to cheat by showing low graded stone rings that appear may appear like chocolate diamond rings due to radiant luster. One should be cautious while choosing and buying them. Search for original jewelry should be made until one finds it. Wedding rings studded with chocolate diamonds can be worn by those people who are sure of going well with it against a public crowd. These rings should be provided special care to make them sparkle for a long time. They must be protected in various ways. These rings should be kept away from heat to keep them rich in color.