The Deconstructed T-Shirt

+ + +

I made this shirt at 3 am a few weeks ago when I couldn’t sleep. I’ve been steadily working on my bridesmaid dress, but I don’t like working on more than one sewing project at a time. I was still in the fitting stages of my dress, so I decided to work on this non-sewing project.

I was also going to the punk exhibit at the Met the next day, so I wanted something homemade.

This shirt started it’s life a few months ago. I got it at a listening party over the winter. I liked the design but the last size left was a large. Since then it’s been relegated to a gym shirt. I cut the top open, but it was a still a poor gym shirt — it didn’t breathe easily, and since it was so baggy it got in the way of everything.

I’ve worn it out only once, but since then it’s survived going to the garment district, going to the Met, walking around, going on the subway, going to Central Park, getting dinner, staying up late — all without wardrobe dysfunction. No knots became untied, nothing rides up, and it’s surprisingly breezy in 90 degree weather, since the sides are mostly open.

Construction notes: I cut the top off and cut the side seams open, forming a large rectangle. I cut ties on the side, and fitted it on my dress form, knotting it in three places on the side, and knotting it in two places to form shoulder straps. Since t-shirt jersey doesn’t fray, I didn’t treat the ends. This is something you should only do with heavy, good quality t-shirts: anything lighter and I don’t think the knots would hold up well.

SS2013, NYFW: Emerson

Emerson had a very fun, flirty, casual feel compared to the other shows I’ve seen. They had balloon arches over the doorways and confetti that got thrown on the stage at the end of the show. The clothes were also some of the most wearable that I’ve seen, and I see a lot of girls on my way to work (obviously not going to work like this, but out and about) dressed like this.

+ + +

(Btw, I’ve seen a lot of people sitting in the front row taking pictures with their iPads (not sitting in press section). What is up with that?)

My favorite piece is a black shiny fabric that had a solid white peter pan collar with a white belt. It was paired with knee-high fishnets and white wedge shoes.

Highlights:
- high low hems
- pattern mixing, polka-dots and stripes, in the same weight
- stripes mixed with texture, same color family
- florals and black leather, mixed
- peter pan collars mixed with modern fabrics
- fishnet knee highs mixed with wedge heels
- messy fancy braids pinned to the head

SS2013, NYFW: Chado Ralph Rucci

I don’t have a lot of good photos of the Rucci show since they had a ton of lights shining down upon the mirrored back stage and floor that reflected all the way to the back in the press section, which is where I was sitting. I changed my spot 3-4 times during the 10 minute show, and finally landed a good spot right before the show ended.

I can however tell you about it.

Highlights:
- neon pink, black patent leather
- coral, white, yellow
- fit and flare silhouettes

SS2013, NYFW: Zang Toi, Backstage

I also had a chance to see Zang Toi backstage. I watched them fill the goody bags with leggings, nail polish, and programs, and every other row of the seats got something different in their bag. I stayed in the studio (where the show happens) most of the time since I had to assist with something, but I watched them test the music, the smoke machine and the lights.

I also had a chance to watch a runway rehearsal where all the models practiced the order of when they were walking.

Models, rehearsing. (These are their own clothes, not the clothes they’ll be wearing for the show.)

+ + +

Model #1, rehearsal. This model actually pantomimed putting his jacket on over his shoulder during rehearsal.

The shorter guy on the right to him who is pointing is Zang Toi, the designer. He was wearing a white plaid miniskirt and a jersey top.

+ + +

Model #1, actual show.

SS2013, NYFW: Zang Toi

Fashion Week is almost done but I still have a few more shows left to talk about. Zang Toi became a new favorite very fast.

There are a lot of pictures in this one since I really really liked Zang Toi. Everything was elegant, sleek, and different from all the other designers I’ve been seeing so far. I saw a lot of early 60s and late 50s influences as well. I tried to pick only my favorites from this batch, and somehow ended picking almost 3/4 of the set.

My most favorite piece from Zang Toi happens to be blurry, a pink gown with a jewel neckline and a low back, and a long dirdnl skirt. It had some contrasting light pink flowers by the lower back, and I couldn’t come near it (unfortunately!) but it looked to be a mixture of silk, tulle (underskirt?) and chiffon.

My second favorite is a lavender dress that has a bustier top with gold sequin embroidery by the top bodice, a straight skirt with gold sequin embroidery by the bottom, and a gathered skirt that was open along the front. I’ve seen a lot of late 50s early 60s sewing patterns that have this motif as well.

Highlights:
- white, ivory, grey tweed, lavender, light pink, light yellow
- bouffant chignons
- gathered skirts
- sheath dresses
- straight skirts

SS2013, NYFW: Mara Hoffman

This show was without a doubt my most favorite one of the week. It opened with three ukelele players by the far left, a blanket of soft green light, and then the models came out, their hair decorated with green palm fronds and soft, wavy textures.

+ + +

Highlights:
+ African and ethnic print fabrics
+ Mixing prints and patterns
+ Tribal-inspired colorblocking
+ 1950s, Hawaiian retro feel
+ Classic 50s color palettes: aqua and peach, mustard and black, magenta and peach
+ Super cute palm frond hair accessories

SS2013, NYFW: Gemma K, backstage

Fashion Week is known for the clothes, but there’s also inspirational hair and makeup to be seen everywhere.

This is the first time I’ve been backstage. It’s really impressive to see all the work that goes into making a show. There’s a lot of people running around, photographers, hair everywhere, models going from one station to another. There’s a lot of very frenetic activity and in small spaces, it can be overwhelming.

I also had a chance to go backstage at Gemma K for hair and makeup. According to the stylist, the hair was inspired by the Amish. The models’ hair was pinned to a low ponytail or chignon, and long braided hair extensions were secured to the back. The braids formed an oval, organic shape and are secured by hairpins.

This would be a great way to do vintage hair over the Spring or Summer as well, or during days when you’d didn’t have time to set your hair.

SS2013, NYFW: Son Jung Wan

“This season I was inspired by Spanish artist Juan Miro’s ‘Everything Under the Sun’. My muse for this collection is a wistful but mysterious lady basking in the dazzling rays of the sun, surrounded by beautiful, thick trees in the forest. This woman is lyrical and natural and admires everything coming from nature under the sun.”

- Son Jung Wan

For Son Jung Wan, we were handed out beautiful watercolor invites. Everything had a flowing, bright, airy feel to it. The colors were not all muted but deeper, richer. A lot of long, flowy tunic tops, tent dresses and long chiffon dresses.

+ + +

Highlights:
- beautiful, intricately braided hair, with chignons or low ponytails
- tulle and chiffon
- beautiful pastel ombres
- medium yellow, ivory, fuchsia, teal, ombres
- textured ivory feathered fabric

SS2013, NYFW: Jill Stuart

Jill Stuart was my second favorite from the shows I’ve seen here. She didn’t do all pastels just like everyone else. Her palette is rust, apricot, nude, ivory and black, and everything has a glamorous luxe film noir feel to it. It definitely inspires me to kick up a notch all my 40s patterns.

+ + +

Highlights:
- textured black brocade pencil skirts and sheath dresses
- cutout white plaid sheath dress
- textured lace: white with nude background, and black with nude background
- apricot, white, black, rust
- 1920s inspired head-dresses and silk charmeuse playsuits
- silk charmeuse bias gowns
- very interesting 7/8 length sleeves
- 20s inspired hair
- 40s inspired silk charmeuse playsuits (oooh!)
- 40s inspired flutter sleeves
- 50s inspired full skirts, caged skirts

SS2013, NYFW: Ruffian

Ruffian.

+ + +

NY Fashion Week started last week. Though I didn’t go to Fashion Night Out on Thurs (I went to jiu jitsu and stick and knife instead), I did get to see some shows during the following few days.

Here are some highlights from Ruffian.

Things I liked:
- huge, messy almost-pompadour style ponytails
- pastels and white
- mixing tailored seersucker and floral cotton voile
- mixing prints in the same color family

More fashion week posts to come later this week.