Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some thoughts on trends and inspiration

Me-Made March, Day 24
This is another day where I'm just wearing something only just recently photographed last month... and feeling a little uninspired about taking another photo.  But here it is.

Dress; Burdastyle magazine 05-2010-114, printed cotton brought home from Japan, see my review (and a better picture) here
Shorts (underneath, not seen); Burdastyle magazine 10-2010-111A, same printed cotton, seen here, with a review of this pattern

Lauriana commented yesterday about the seasonal influences and differences in the fashion scene between Australia and Europe, well I thought I would address that since it's one that provides food for discussion amongst those of us interested in fashion here too.  We follow the fashions in Europe here to a degree, more so than we follow US fashions.  That is to say, when distressed khaki was big news in Europe, a few of our local designers here followed suit.  European fashion turns to tailored minimalism, and boutiques here get back to simple neutral-toned classics too...  European designers such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and Chanel have set up shop here, whereas we have no American designer boutiques here that I can think of (I could be wrong there...)  
But because of the enormous difference in climate, and I'm not just talking about the roundabout seasons but the fact that our summers are so very hot compared to Europe and our winters are much milder with no snow, the fashion here does march to the beat of its own drum and Australians do have their own "looks" that are distinctly ours and mark out our niche in the fashion world.  The surfie look, for example, is HUGE here amongst young people and I've never seen this look in any other country we've visited.   And yes, I'm including the US, who have their own, more polished, surfer look.  Aussie surfers wouldn't touch Hawaiian print, for example except in an ironic way, like say if it was a bit ripped or graffiti'd over somehow to deconstruct it and grunge it up.
My colourblock top from yesterday I made partly because those scraps were sitting next to each other in my fabric cupboard, and I grew to like the look of those colours next to each other.  Then I pulled them out and wondered what I could do with them, and came up with that Tshirt, based on my previous long corduroy Tshirt that itself was copied from this look at right from Marni Spring/Summer 2007 (that year I made myself a whole outfit that looked pretty much identical to this one, loved it to death! but I don't have it any more).  So in a roundabout way, my look from yesterday has sprung from a European fashion from 2007, and the colourblocking was thanks to having to use up scraps of different coloured fabric!  Yes, I was also quite happy to see that Bally dress in my latest Vogue magazine as being a look "current" in Europe, but that similarity was serendipitous and not planned by me.  Whether or not we are going to see any colourblocking happening here in the local fashion scene over the winter season and into spring and next summer, as influenced by those European trends, remains to be seen.  I might end up being the only colourblocked Aussie around, all alone and locally unfashionable!
(photo at right from Marni Autumn/Winter 2007, found here)

Where do you find inspiration for your "look"?


  1. I just love this dress, such a cute print.

    I love French fashions, and Japanese-inspired designs. For example, I have been drooling over Deca designs lately, though they would never fit me. But such interesting details. These are boutique looks, so not really from the runway.

    I think you've thought this through more than I have. :D

  2. It's interesting to hear about fashion in Australia. I live in London now, but I grew up in South Florida. It's very hot and humid there. Winter is a respite from the heat, but not actually cold. In Florida fashions don't change much. There is only so much you can do with shorts, tshirts and sandals!

  3. Don't really know where my "inspiration" comes from. I have (finally) grown up enough to know that certain things just won't look right on me, no matter how much I might like something. I have an image in my head of how I want to look, then choose garments that will (hopefully) portray that. At the moment I'm struggling with what is age appropriate. Don't want to look frumpy, but I shy away from many styles that I think will look like I borrowed my daughter's clothes.

  4. Great topic, Carolyn!

    I look to for a lot of inspiration. There, I can see most of the mainstream collections and sort out trends that I think could really work for me.

    This year, I really enjoyed the simpler, classic shapes of Reed Krackoff, Halston Heritage, Marc Jacobs and Milly. I'm really drawn to the colour combinations that came from Jil Sander and Loewe, too.

    I find it funny when my aesthetic lines up with what the major fashion houses are doing, but I don't let being "trendy" define what I sew.

  5. Just do not follow any trend or fashion for many years .... many women (when we arrived at a certain age) we follow the fashion to dress for ourselves and with the addition of not depending on the clothing stores. Sewing gives us freedom!

  6. Carolyn
    I just finished reading your blog all the way back to post 1. I take inspiration from bloggers like you and Shams. I'd prefer to sew what people really wear. I'm finding that my patterns for years ago are once again being popular with few changes. BTW I love what you've done with skirts especially your 7880. It OOP. I'm sure it will pop up now and again on eBay, but I love to see the just the pattern shapes from the instructions. I'd love to copy it and that would help me.

  7. Inspiration ... mostly what I see other "regular people" wearing, either in person or online ... sometimes the store windows... I d on't really peruse fashion mags unless I am waiting to get my haircut or something (and we know how often that happens!) But I do feel like I am still at the very beginning stages of figuring out my style. I liked your essay on geographical influences on current fashion expression, very interesting ...

    I guess I don't really follow current fashion much, but the interpretation of current fashion by those around me.

  8. Oh, I must say I love coming across a little shop that sells really small label clothing, or local designers - that always seems so much more interesting to me. But I would say that type of inspiration drives more what I could make for myself and not so much how I could dress myself.

  9. I get a lot of inspiration from the fabric i buy and also from blogs :)

  10. This was an interesting glimpse for me...and I found myself wondering if I could spot an Aussie surfer by the way the surfer was dressed.