Notebook on Cities and Clothes

by tatiana on November 30, 2009


I watched this documentary last night called Notebook on Cities and Clothes. It’s a film about Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto directed and filmed by Wim Wenders.

Notebook on Cities and Clothes is a slow paced, relaxed look at an industry that often moves at a mile a minute. Filmed in 35mm, Wenders helps audiences see through the window of this man’s world. We get a lot of one on one time with Yamamoto. We see what inspires him, and are privy to his idea of what he does. He is not a fashion designer. That is not his goal. His inspiration comes from photos from the 19th century working class and the garments they had to wear to live their lives. He is the opposite of what his native Tokyo seems to promote: excessive consumption. He explains that Tokyo encourages over-consumption. Buy everything, be more fulfilled. He shares that his worst nightmare would be to design clothing that people cannot wear and function in on a day to day basis. Yamamoto is a quiet, yet mesmerizing man.


A few pieces from his A/W 09/10 collection. (Photo Credit)

The film as a whole was not as exciting as some of the other fashion documentaries I have seen. At times it was quite boring. But I think that is what makes it stand out from other depictions of the “fashion” world. In a way, Wenders was able to tell the story of an artist and philosopher than that of a fashion designer.

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Thrifting in SF

by tatiana on October 4, 2009

Today my roommate and I are off to Goodwill in the Mission to scope out the furniture scene. Hopefully we’ll find something cute and comfy for our living room… but secretly I have another, more exciting quest. Faux. Fur. Coat.

1930s Fur

[click to continue…]


Indie Designer Spotlight: UK Edition

by tatiana on August 11, 2009


Indie Designer Spotlight: Wholly Cow Clothing

In the vast world of fashion, The United Kingdom has always been viewed as being a front runner by constantly bringing a plethora of goodies to the table (or, the runways) by way of designers such as Vivienne Westwood and her no-rules legacy, to the amazing Irregular Choice shoes (which I was addicted to for a while). From Victorian elegance to the arrival of the miniskirt on Carnaby Street, the UK has always served as a capital for the new and timeless and an inspiration for those of us looking to bring elegance back in new and interesting ways.


left: 1777 English Satire on tight lacing (found here) right: Irregular Choice

Now that we’ve had a look into the past, let’s venture into the future! Today’s spotlight is Wholly Cow Clothing.

Their first collection launched 3 seasons ago.  All of their pieces are designed and hand crafted in the North East of England. They most recently launched the Green label, which is an ethical line that was just introduced last season and uses completely recycled fabrics (e.g. curtains, blankets, clothes, etc).

The Pink label is Wholly Cow’s main ready to wear line. Although the Pink label isn’t made from recycled material, Wholly Cow still sources their fabrics from as close to home as possible and the items are made nearby by women who work flexibly from their own homes. They strive to make the process as ethical as possible.

Wholly Cow Gingham DressGingham Dress with underskirt in gingham and tulle.
This is my favorite piece. I think gingham will always be in style. I love how effortless this garment looks paired with the red ribbon. It can easily be worn to a birthday party or for a day at the park.

I asked Lisa Germaney of Wholly Cow where she finds inspiration for her designs, and how she came up with the name for her label.  “I’d been struggling to find [a name] that smacks you, is unforgettable and reflects the feel of the label then it just came to me. I asked for feedback from girlie friends over a few glasses of fine vino one night and it was all good so that reaffirmed it.  I’m very passionate about music, especially live music, the louder the better, it stirs something inside and inspires me as does art so I hope this is reflected in the design of my clothes.”


I feel like Wholly Cow Clothing provides a unique perspective when it comes to the party dress (although they don’t solely make dresses). I appreciate their use of recycled materials and hope that more designers embrace similarly available resources and continue trying to make the process of design more sustainable and eco-friendly. I’m excited to see what Wholly Cow has in store for us in the future!

If you like what you see, you’re in luck, kiddies! Wholly Cow is currently holding a 40% off sale on their website. Their upcoming Autumn/Winter Collection, which they are currently hard at work on, will be available in September. The Spring/Summer 2009 Collection, including the Green label, is currently available on their website and in select boutiques.


Lifetime: You’re In!

by tatiana on July 19, 2009

You might remember a while back how I was bitching and complaining about my discontent with the Lifetime Network and the way they were handling my favorite reality television show. These days, I am not so angry. They have really come around and proven to the Project Runway fans that they will deliver our show with as much (or perhaps more) gumption as Bravo had.

First of all, I watched this yesterday, and am such a sucker for these types of “how I got here” stories, this totally made me shed a tear or five:

Definitely worth a watch. Oh man. I can’t wait for Season Six to start (on Wednesday, August 20, at 10pm)! In addition to these previews, and the designer bios on their website, they have some free downloads for fans that include wallpapers and buddy icons. Check it out.

The designers’ portfolios are up as well. Let’s start making predictions!

It’s funny. As I am writing this, I just discovered that my dad is watching Lifetime. I believe it is a Lifetime Original Movie. Haha. Oh dad.


fabricPintucksew Vintage Fabric

I stumbled upon that Lucy Liu quote online today and couldn’t stop laughing. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating. It was more of a snicker, and it was quite short.

Anyway! Happy Friday guys and dolls. As I sit here sipping my Ice Blended White Mocha beverage, I can’t help but be thankful to be indoors today. It has been around 100 degrees everyday this week. Too hot to handle, fo sho.

My lovely Aunt who lives in the beautiful city of Pasadena emailed me with this neat blog to check out today:


They have two etsy shops: one that sells vintage fabric (pintucksew), and one that sells apparel (pintuckstyle). I was already planning a thrifting adventure tomorrow, so looking through their shop is definitely inspiring my wish list.


Pintuckstyle 1940s-Inspired 1980s Vintage Dress

I absolutely love the fabric that you see at the beginning of this entry. I wish they had more than half a yard. Wouldn’t that be adorable as a short, elastic banded skirt? I wonder if you’re getting the same visual as I am, and if you are, isn’t it cute!? Haha. Also, this dress is great, but would look ridiculous on me, as I have broader shoulders. But I love it anyway.  I would probably remove the sleeves.

That’s all for now. Keep cool out there, kittens!


Summer = Spicy, or: Thursday Inspiration

by tatiana on July 9, 2009

Links a la Mode

Happy Thursday my dearies! It seems the weeks keep zooming by faster and faster. Before we know it, I’ll be writing about sweater upcycling projects to keep my skinny-self warm (and stylish)! But, fortunately, we are still in the beginning of July and have a good 2 months of spicy summer weather to embrace. So here, thanks to the Independent Fashion Bloggers Network, are the Links à la Mode for this week. Enjoy!

Summer Staples

Edited by Jennine

In the midst of Summer many of us take refuge by the fan and some of us miraculously make do with the heat in all but the best ways. In this roundup we’ve got Summer Festival tips on Unfunded, Hong Kong Fashion Geeks Resort Redux, Krislyn’s chic summer essentials, Fashion Cent’s essential white jackets. And on the indie front Dramatis Personae finds eco friendly clothing for people of all sizes, and Oh Canada…Tatiana’s showcases Canadian Indie Designers. And last but not least… Twins… mode.ulation wonders if are they the modelings industries next new thing?

  • 39th and Broadway – AMAZINGLY Stupid Fashionistas?
  • A Few Goody GumDrops – Look Tres Chic with Tres Sleek!
  • Broke & Beautiful – ECIG: Abigail Glaum-Lathbury
  • Confessions of a Fashion Editor – Beauty kills… beauty, Rant, bebo
  • dramatis personae – Eco-Friendly Clothing Options For All Sizes
  • Fashion Cents – Summer Staple — The White Jacket
  • Fashion is My Crush – DIY Embellished Heels
  • Fashion Pulse Daily – Givenchy Beauty Set Giveaway
  • Felicia Sullivan – first look: leanne marshall’s bluefly collaboration
  • Hong Kong Fashion Geek – Buying Time: Resort Redux
  • Hot Beauty Health – Become An Elle Video Star!
  • Independent Fashion Bloggers – So You Want a Review Sample
  • Krislyn Diaries – DIY: how to dress summertime chic pt. 2
  • mode.ulation – Model Moment: Fashion takes double
  • Retro Chick – Spectacular!! Spectacular!! Burlesque Event in Cambridge
  • Style Symmetry – Mix and Match Polka Dots for a Fun Retro Vibe
  • Tatiana Supports the Arts – Indie Designer Spotlight: Canadian Edition
  • THE COVETED – Interview with Astronomically talented Julie Eilenberger at Berlin Fashion Week
  • Think Thru Fashion – A Search for the Longest Lasting Lip Color
  • Unfunded – Der Festival
  • Work Chic – Win a Scarf from The Vintage Scarf!

    Indie Designer Spotlight: Canadian Edition

    by tatiana on July 6, 2009

    The other day I had the pleasure of hearing about a neat online company called FashionCan that helps independent designers set up and manage an online boutique. I checked it out and was pleasantly surprised by what I found there.


    FashionCan currently hosts boutiques for 10 independent designers, my favorites being: House of Spy, Valerie Dumaine, and Elroy Apparel. Their garments are a bit on the pricey side, but that comes with purchasing and supporting independent designers. Aside from the pricey aspect, the pieces from these three previously mentioned designers are incredibly inspiring. These three have very unique points of view when it comes to silhouettes and the girl they are aiming to dress. Here are my favorite pieces:

    The Zoe Dress by House of Spy

    I usually am not a big fan of white.I am super clumsy, and am ambivalent about wearing white for I fear the inevitable ketchup or coffee stain. But this dress looks so comfortable, and effortless, that I just might put my fears aside. Livin on the edge! That’s right. I love the unfinished look on the sleeves and bottom of this dress. It’s the perfect summer dress for frolicking in a field of poppies, and then falling asleep, sleep. Poppies will make you sleeeep.

    The Agnes Dress by Valerie Dumaine

    First of all, this model is gorgeous. Perfect styling, so kudos to Miss Dumaine! This dress is a great, great example of a modern take on vintage style. The 1940’s top, with the modern just-above-the-knee length of the bottom. Great color, great shapes, which hint at the always classic and chic, nautical look.

    The Nepeta Dress by Elroy Apparel

    I want this dress. I am OBSESSED with pockets right now, as I think many gals are. This is the perfect “little black dress” for us non-conventional types. The sleeves are great for those of us who have broad shoulders, and the length is perfect with a pair of opaque colored tights (or netted, or patterned tights). The possibilities are endless with this dress. It can be styled so many different ways. Definitely classic. This piece will be able to be worn throughout the coming decades. You can take my word for it.


    I had written an entry this morning, but for some reason it didn’t save. Blast! Oh well. It was kind of lame anyway. I was blogging while I was eating my eggs. My mind was all over the place. Not saying that my mind is still not all over the place, but we’ll see what a difference 8 hours later in the day makes.

    This weekend was filled with lots of BBQ chicken and carne asada, visiting with family and friends, and working on my tan (even though I am quite content with my pastiness). Alas, it was a great weekend. My brain is healthy with social vitamin goodness – which is nice, since I usually spend the bulk of my time in front of the computer, or sewing machine, in my own little world.

    Photo credit: Heart of Light

    So, for this Upcycle Sunday, I share with you a great tutorial I stumbled upon via Twitter. GOD I LOVE TWITTER. I tried explaining the purpose of Twitter to my uncle today and realized that it is quite difficult to express how powerful it is as a Social Media tool. He just didn’t get it. And that’s fine! I’m not a hater. Anyway! This Ruffly Headband tutorial was written by Rachel over at Heart of Light. This headband is on my to-make list for this week. I’m going to use fabric from old ratty t-shirts for this project. In addition, I really want to make a maxi dress this week, something like this:


    Photo credit: Urban Outfitters, Ecote Abstract Stripe Chiffon Maxi

    It looks soooo comfortable. Me likey. I’ll post what I come up with. I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!


    Links à la Mode, or: Thursday Inspiration

    by tatiana on June 25, 2009

    links a la mode

    Happy Thursday everyone! Once a week, the great Independent Fashion Bloggers compiles a list of the most inspiring, informative and fab blog posts from the past week about the goings on in the world of fashion (from haute couture to DIY to thrifting). So check em out! Support Independent Fashion Bloggers, expand your sartorial horizons and learn something new!

    Links à la Mode : June 25th

    • 39th and Broadway: Ever wonder who really determines how your clothes fit? An interview with a technical designer
    • alixrose: You have the perfect outfit, but whats the one thing that can keep it from becoming fabulous?
    • A Typical Atypical: A deep dive into the reasoning behind shoe obsessions
    • Awakened Aesthetic: Affordable ways to bring urban fashion into your decor without getting tacky
    • Bobbins and Bombshells: Fashionable History – A look into 1920’s swimwear and bathing suits.
    • Bonne Vie: When Bloggers Unite – The Hotel Max Edition
    • Decline Designs: Defining Your Personal Style – Having “Go-To” Outfits
    • Fasshonaburu: Digging through a high end sales to find purchase-worhty pieces, and tips on how to not go over budget
    • Fashion Consciou$: Fashion Flashback – Return of the culottes
    • Fashion Pulse Daily: The evolution of the gladiator to the “mandiator”
    • Freya: A little gown guide for your summer wedding
    • hkShoeGeek: Harnesses – A collection of favorites for every style and price range
    • Idiosyncratic Style: A guide for casual wedding attire
    • Independent Fashion Bloggers: You just don’t compare…
    • Retro Chick : Mary Queen of Charity Shops – Now it’s all over, some final thoughts
    • Shoe Daydreams: Are you on board with the latest trend – Over The Knee boots?
    • The Bare Skinny: Not everything has to be black and white – inspiration for adding color to your wardrobe
    • The Coveted: Shu Uemura’s inspired lashes
    • Unfunded: Respect your elders – Rock the vintage!
    • Work Chic: Chic hosiery options if you still have to wear them in the summer heat!

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    Indie Designer Spotlight

    by tatiana on June 23, 2009

    Happy Tuesday everyone! I recently learned about ALEX&RA and thought I’d start dedicating a few posts every month to indie designers that I think are doing great things in the wonderful world of apparel.


    ALEX&RA, designed by Alexandra Cipparone, is a very feminine line that reminds me of what I dream to find while thrifting. Her dresses and tops are lovely, but the pencil skirts are to die for (especially this one)! I absolutely love her color choices, cut and attention to detail that really make for a unique line. Her pieces have a refined retro flare that makes them timeless. Cipparone works and lives in San Francisco, CA (one of my favorite cities!) and has made her mark via her etsy shop. The fantastic thing about ALEX&RA is that each piece is hand made. Yay handmade revolution!


    Alexandra explains, “My designs are largely influenced by my beautiful city of San Francisco, California and are made using fabrics that have a low-impact on the environment. Due to the success I found at Etsy, I decided to launch my own online shop,, where customers can now purchase directly through me. This gives me a better opportunity to connect with my customers and provide them with a better, more customized shopping experience.”

    I think, as an Etsy seller myself, we all hope to become successful in our creative endeavors, as Alexandra has. How inspiring! So please check out ALEX&RA and help continue the handmade revolution. Stop buying mass produced items! Embrace individuality  and support independent designers. You’ll be happy you did.

    (If you are an independent designer and you’d like to be featured, please contact me at info {at}