This site is a MIX of Haute Couture and other creative endeavors. Thanks for stopping by x

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Year Of The Dragon

What will the Dragon bring you this year?
I was imagining what I wanted to wear to tonight's New Year's party, and came across black and white print silk fabric in my closet. So... here is the design I came up with. Have a wonderful night and party like it's 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fashion Illustrations

I think the hardest thing about fashion illustration for me was finding my style. I used to just copy what I saw, but I knew it wasn't authentic. So.... I used my gouache set pretty frequently a few years back, trying to get good at it. I stopped years ago and reverted to marker and pencil. When I returned to Houston to visit the family, I found my gouache set and many of them were still usable! So... after countless hours of finding "My Style", I would like to share. These illustrations were done with gouache, brush pen, black ink, water soluble colored pencil and pencil. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pre-Fall 2012 Favorites

I had originally liked Chanel's pre-fall show, but the more I see it, the more I become less enamoured by it. I have always liked the ornate and detailed look from Indian saris, the bright and vivid colors, as well as the decorative jewelry. I saw this in the Chanel collection, but now I think it may be a little too much. The hair pieces, nose rings and dreadlocks, guys heads wrapped with fabric. It is this mix of grunge meets super high end conservatism that doesn't seem to match. Kudos to the juxtaposition, but I think I found a new favorite.
Chanel -Love the accessories and fluid fabric
Before I announce my new favorite, I'd like to briefly go through other collections that I thought were quite nice. Once again, Reed Krakoff pulled off another great collection. There isn't anything overly edgy about his look, but there's a sensuality to his style that makes a working woman look sexy without showing any body part. That takes talent.
Thakoon showed a really cute collection consisting of cinched waists and big skirts, pastel palette on gray, fuzzy warm coats and cable knit sweaters. I'd definitely add that little black dress to my wardrobe.
Reed Krakoff's Pre-Fall 
Little Black Dress By Thakoon

Zac Posen definitely pulled his inspiration from classic couture and mixed it with Eastern fabrics. The textiles are rich and the silhouettes have substance, emphasizing women's curves and shape
Zac Posen's gorgeous gown 
As always, I love Burberry coats. I would wear every single one that I saw in the Pre-fall collection, even the men's! If I were a man I'd be very happy showing off my Burberry coat. I'd say what troubles me the most about the Burberry collection is that the models look like they are 12 years old. I know that in the fashion world, models are young, but it's hard for me to look at these models seriously. I felt like they were wearing their parent's clothing.

Tweed Coat and Trench By Burberry 
My favorite actually came to a surprise to me, but I've always liked that "I don't give a f***" look and "I know I still look good not giving a f***". That's how I felt with Theyskens' Theory collection. The models are all looking like they don't want to be there, yet they are wearing these outfits that are stylish and a little edgy but not so much to where you can't go to work in them. I think it looks great.

Hotness by Theyskens' Theory

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pre-Fall 2012

So far I've liked Jason Wu and Oscar De La Renta's collections. I am loving Chanel's ornate and decadent look. Here is a recap of Chanel's fashion show. It's hot!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Paris Fashion Week Overview

I thought I would never say this but I am fashion showed OUT! That said, Paris Fashion Week is my favorite of all Fashion Weeks so I am glad I stuck it out.

My favorites:
Balmain - Wow. Sexy, beautiful. It's the embellishment that stood out and the rock and roll mood it carried.
Lanvin - Another wow. It's truly a gorgeous collection. I am always impressed by Alber Elbaz.

The most interesting productions:
Jean Paul Gaultier - He had it to where the models were set up as if they were being auctioned off. The emcee was a little cooky though. You be the judge

Chanel - The grand stage, Florence Welsh (she comes out at 9:15 and Lagerfeld comes out around 14:23)

Louis Vuitton - The show is based around a huge carousel. It's pretty cool. I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of LV, but Marc Jacobs definitely knows this market.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Overview of MFW

Milan Fashion Week is almost over. For awhile, I was liking Gucci the most, with the 1920's Gatsby inspired ensembles. Very pretty...but then... Bottega Veneta came along and blew me away. The colors, textures, very sexy and feminine. I don't think another show in Milan can top this one for me.

Video below is an overview of the Bottega Veneta show.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fashion Week Overview

I'm definitely not the trend provoking opinionator, but I have been watching a lot of the shows. I saw Y-3 and a guy named Mike Vensel live, that's about it as far as shows go. However, I can tell you what I've seen and what I've liked.

Definitely there's a 1920's look, which was evident in Marc Jacobs, Gucci and Etro. There are also these little bandeaus everywhere, I remember in Prada and CNC Costume National. I don't think that's going to last long, Most of these ladies aren’t exactly into wearing little bandeaus. I love them, but I wear them underneath things. In London, Burberry has Raffia in their coats, and I heard Tom Ford had it running through his skirts.

Colors. I don’t know. They range from these deeper earthy colors to these horrible pastel-y sherbert looking colors. I just want to eat it, not wear it.

The show that really got me feeling all the emotions though? Oscar de La Renta. It’s gorgeous. It’s probably why he’s one of the best. Well, there’s still a few days left in Milan, then Paris! Can’t wait to see Lanvin, Gaultier, Viktor and Rolf, Yohji Yamamoto, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Givenchy, Dior, etc. etc. That’s the place to see it. I am sure I won’t be disappointed.

In the meantime, here is a little something to make you smile. Oscar De La Renta’s Spring 2012 Runway Show.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Inspiration : Rebirth

Lately I've been thinking about life, and about death. We are born into this world, and it is the most beautiful, amazing miracle and yet it can be scary, because I don't know what will happen afterwards. Everyone has their own theories, but does one really know?  Once gone from this earth, then no more wondering. I don't want to sound morbid, because that's not what I'm aiming for. I just know that life is something we were all given as a gift, and to honor it. There will be times when it's hard and the emotions kick in to let me know. Then there are times when it's easy, and that's when I really take it in. We are all small in this world and yet given this huge task to find ourselves until we go. Though I am gone, a new birth takes place. It's a little crazy if you think about it. So... that is what I was thinking about when I started to sketch this (yes, I'm not the best sketcher, but it gets the point across) , and just like life, these designs will grow and evolve into something else. The designs themselves are difficult to describe. However, they represent the different emotions and thoughts that I have throughout the aging process and life, until there is a new birth.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Inspiration : Water

So I was supposed to go to a fashion show today, but I was inspired to make a dress. I think I was feeling a little removed from the fashion world today since this week-end is 9/11. I remember that day. I was in class at Parsons when our teacher announced in tears that we were under a terrorist attack. I looked out the window to see that both towers were gone. I called my parents on a pay phone to let them know I was okay, and thanked God that my good friend Christine was on a cruise instead of being in the towers that day. Anyway... I distanced myself from fashion during that time b/c it felt so vain compared to what was going on. Well.. I am sorta feelin' that again, except now I understand that I don't design out of vanity. I do it b/c it gives me peace. So here I am. Feeling inspired by an old piece of fabric, scraps from a bridesmaid dress. It moves like water. Hence, this dress is my "water" dress. I really hope I can wear it soon to something. Maybe a fashion show :)

Concept behind the dress : Make it one seam, no zipper. All points are placed there for a purpose. I really have a difficult time explaining in words. The feel of silk charmeuse combined with the color and movement reminded me of water. So I stayed with that thought.

hem is intentionally uneven

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fittings of The Gold Herringbone Dress

We're getting closer to the final stages of this dress. In the previous post, I showed the process of how this dress came about. I'm not a couturier by any means, but I am a designer, and I express this part of me by making things in a very organic way. What I mean is,  though I need some technical background to understand the pattern and have some sewing ability, I don't make my dresses the standard way. Normally when I make a collection, yes. I start with inspiration, sketch tons of designs, then continue by working with a patternmaker. However, since the dresses shown here that are for myself... I drape and sew. I like the organic process by visually watching this dress change over time, and it is one of a kind.

The inner structure is in tact so now I just need to make more adjustments to the dress, sew in the zipper, add final touches, and finish the hem. The hardest thing to do is to do fittings on myself!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Phases of the Gold Herringbone Dress

 I stopped the Basquiat project b/c I decided to make a dress for a wedding I am going to. I was inspired by the fabric itself. It's a beautiful, brown fabric with gold in it. I love it. So... here are the phases of the dress.

By the way, a master pattern maker would have a heart attack if he/she saw the way I draped and did the pattern. However, that's why designers usually hire them. However, a master designer would... actually, I don't care what a master designer would think because I really like my design. Ha! 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Finding Inspiration : Basquiat Week 2

I dug into my pile of scraps and found leftover silk georgette from a customer's cocktail dress. She ordered the "Nadja" in this taupe color (click here if you're curious which dress this is). I ripped the scraps into strips and voila. Criss cross basketweave something or rather design, all done by hand. I can't tell you why I did it, since it was just based on how I felt. As for where the inspiration came from, you can read it here or just go to the previous post. More updates next week on this dress.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Finding Inspiration : Basquiat

"He died right here", RGS said, as he leaned on the door of Jean-Michel Basquiat's studio in Soho. He began to cry. I bowed my head in silence and allowed this moment to be between the two friends. After a few minutes, RGS began to tell me about the artist's story. He loved this man. My ears were perked because I wanted to know at least 0.00001% of Basquiat's 27 years. To know something about him during his window of life was fascinating to me. One point struck me and it stayed in my memory. This was in Spring 2009, so my memory may have convoluted our conversation. To keep to the truth but remain vague, Basquiat had a set schedule. Although he was a heroin addict, he had a definitive regime, and gave himself vacation time. 

RGS also said that he was at Basquiat's grave when an elderly woman said to him that she saw him as nothing but a drug addict. I don't remember RGS' response. Perhaps one day I could email him and ask.  In my opinion, yes. He was. So was Cobain, McQueen, YSL, some of the all time greatest artists in the world. I was perplexed and asked my friend Jonny why genius creators overdose on drugs. He said that every artist has to have some form of depression to create such beautiful things. He said that most artists have it. I related that to myself. Yes, I have it too although I never took it to that extreme. So maybe I'm not a true artist, although I have to say my mood fluctuates quite a bit. Instead of drugs I just beat the crap out of a heavy bag or run until I feel like throwing up. Then I feel better. 

Anyway, here's my point to this post. After watching the Haute Couture shows, I felt a cloud ride over my head. I set an expectation and was searching for a spark that didn't ignite. Well, what does inspire me? Basquiat for one. When I walked into the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2005, I was blown away. Ever since then, he stayed in a small compartment in my mind and my heart. I don't know if I can base it on his work ethic but I'll try. However, I will create a design on how I felt that day when I first saw his works of art up close. Emotion is like water. There is no pattern or rhyme or reason to when it moves. A Tsunami will just hit without any notice. Only the animals can sense it. I'll check back in a week with an update.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1985. Photograph © Lizzie Himmel

Friday, July 8, 2011

Haute Couture Shows for Fall 2011

I've been out of the loop lately, concentrating on other things, however, I couldn't miss all the Couture shows. I mean, come on. It's what I live for. So after I teared up at the Alexander McQueen show at The Met, I felt as if I wanted to make pieces that come from the heart. My head is filled with beadwork, silks, repurposed fabric, etc. Let's see what I come up with.

In the meantime, nymag.com has a few of the Haute Couture videos - Chanel, Elie Saab, Givenchy, Gaultier, Dior and Armani. Out of all the shows that I saw for Fall 2011, Armani is my favorite. It's only an opinion, but I feel inspiration is lacking for this season.
Armani Privé Fall 2011 (Photography : Go Runway) 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sustainable Fashion Meets Sustainable Communities

I've been working on this repurposed dress for a charity auction being held May 20th. The purpose of this auction is to give proceeds to CAAAV, Committee Against Anti Asian Violence. For more info, click here. All is welcome! 
I'm going to miss you dress. I feel like a proud mother who is watching her child go off to college...
This repurposed gown is made up of 1970's silk scarves found at Artists and Fleas in Williamsburg. The pink solid silk fabric are scraps of lining from an evening wear dress. The belt was found at Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene. The tie is faux suede, as I didn't want to use real suede. I also minimized the machine work and did as much as I could by hand. FINISHED! Now I can have my week ends back but this dress was made with LOVE

Friday, April 15, 2011

Alexander Mcqueen

Once the design director of Givenchy, The Met is holding an exhibition for Alexander McQueen,  May 4th through July 31st. Click here for more information. Pretty darn amazing.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wedding Gowns

Since the royal couple is about to get hitched, there's a lot of buzz on what wedding gown she will wear. I came across this site and the wedding gowns are gorgeous. The photo below is an Elie Saab Couture gown. Click here to see the other high end designer gowns.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Biphu Mohapatra

This webisode on Closettour is webby nominated, and I think it deserves a vote or two or three thousand...

I was mostly interested in how many pieces some of Bibhu Mohapatra's dresses were, but then got sucked into the rest of it. Watch it below, and if you like it, click here. This will tell you how to vote!

CLOSETTOUR Webisode 3: Making It from Jenni Avins on Vimeo.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bridal Week - Amsale

I always keep up with Amsale since I used to work there. I learned a lot at this company and from Amsale herself. See the collection here.

Bridal Week - Oscar De La Renta

Hey Y'all,
As I've mentioned before, Haute Couture doesn't exist in the U.S., but one reason why I got into bridal is because of the intricacy of the gowns. It's bridal week here in NY right now. See below Oscar De La Renta's Bridal Spring 2012 show :

Watch live streaming video from oscardelarenta at livestream.com

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan Tsunami Relief Fund Continued

Haute Couture topic is on hold: 
Continuing with the Japan Tsunami Relief Fund. I'm also building my website and below is some work in progress: 
How do I purchase jewelry that will go to the relief fund? 
Click here. 
I've gathered all photos of the jewelry onto this posting for your easy reference. Take a look below along with pricing. 

Why is one of your collections called After The Storm? 
This collection was inspired by a break up. It feels like a storm when I go through all the emotions that a person has in three days. After the third day, the sun came out and creative thoughts flowed through. By the way, it only took three days because it was only three months out of my entire life. 

What is the concept behind this? 
Not a new concept but nature. I picture a huge storm blowing the trees and the rain pouring onto the leaves. Once it ends, there's a stillness to it all... 
THEN, it hit me. After seeing all the news on Japan, I decided to hold a fund drive until April 14th, 2011. It really pushed me to make pieces, as the tsunami is Mother Nature calling, and bringing people together to help. 

I mean, this jewelry is RAW. It's right there, in front of you with no hidden meaning behind it. Nature is just like that. It can surprise you of its frailty and it becomes evident that the fragile aspect is the real strength. 

Why is the stainless steel collection called Wabi Sabi?
It is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. I just want it this way. 

What are the materials? 
Metal and Stainless Steel. Stones and Crystal Charms.  Depends on the collection 

What is your style? 
I aim to be effortless. Throw on jeans, button down, and accessorize it without thinking about it. It might look good with army boots or stilettos. Just a suggestion. 

How do you describe your pieces? 
I want my jewelry to represent strength, resilience, with a balance of femininity and softness. You've gotta have the yin with the yang to have balance. Just like in relationships. 

What are your life goals? 
To do a few fights in Muay Thai before I transition into yoga and meditation. 
To design like a b*tch. I can't help it though. Visuals keep popping into my head no matter where I go, what I do - it's who I am. 
To grow spiritually so that I may feel more settled with the world and the factors that effect your equilibrium. 
To empower. Help women, children in impoverished countries as this is the reality of the world. 
To love. I mean really love... someone.. with passion, loyalty.. it's that deep powerful connection with another person that drives me to keep going. 

Better Photos Coming soon (I know I'm repeating myself but I'm just sayin... )


Letta : $45.00

KRYSTA: $40.00 (Mixed Media bracelet - sterling silver/metal/stone. Part of the Wabi Sabi Collection)

ASANA : SOLD! (Retouched by www.digital-ding.com) 


ARAN : $65.00 (retouched by www.digital-ding.com)



DANIE : $45.00

SIRI : $66.00 (Mixed media - metal and sterling) 


JADA : $48.00 (retouched by www.digital-ding.com)

Bena : SOLD!

Danica : $38.00 (www.digital-ding.com )

MARLOW : $102.00 (retouched by www.digital-ding.com )

STACIA : $130.00
Sage : $110.00 (retouched by www.digital-ding.com)
MAYLOR : $50.00


DELLA : $22.00
RAINA : $52.00
Clarisse : SOLD