Tuesday, 26 February 2013

All Eyes On William Travilla [Part 2]

As well as working extensively with Marilyn Monroe, William Travilla worked on a huge number of TV shows and Hollywood films. One of my favourite of these was the 1967 blockbuster Valley Of The Dolls. Not only does it contain several of his most wonderful creations, it also features 5 of my favourite actresses!

Below are several of the costumes worn by the wonderful Sharon Tate and Barbara Parkins as Jennifer North and Anne Welles respectively. I would have shown costumes designed for all the lead actresses [Sharon, Barbara, Lee Grant, Susan Hayward and Patty Duke] but this unfortunately was not possible. I wanted to show his original illustrations alongside photographs of the completed creations but was unable to gain access to any illustrations of the designs for my favourite costumes created for Lee, Susan and Patty.

Anyway I hope you enjoy the designs I have chosen to illustrate below. I also hope it inspires you to find out more about William Travilla.

Until next time.

And last but by no means least, below is a photograph of the man himself posing with Sharon and Barbara on the set of Valley Of The Dolls in 1967.

Friday, 22 February 2013

All Eyes on Alberto Fabiani

I've always had a real passion for the 1960s. Along with the wonderful music and films of the era I have always been inspired by the fashion, primarily the male and female mid sixties mod look. I have also been greatly influenced by the vibrant prints that were prevalent during the mid to late 1960s, as well as the innovative developments in pattern cutting techniques.

Two of my favourite designers in relation to print and pattern cutting were obviously Ossie Clark and Emilio Pucci. Recently however I have been introduced to the wonderful work of the Italian designer Alberto Fabiani.

He inspires me in a completely different way to Ossie Clark and Emilio Pucci. I love how he managed to make such wonderful garments that where both classically tailored but still had a very contemporary and modern look. He was often called 'the surgeon of suits and coats' and his work was described by Gloria Emreson of the New York Times as "a quiet marvel of architecture."

It was actually through my sister that I was introduced to this astounding designer. While visiting a local vintage fair she came upon a seemingly forgotten box of vintage dress patterns, and knowing of my passion for 1960s and 1970s dresses, she bought several for just 20p each. One was the Yellow Fabiani dress shown below [pattern number 2065]. I have since seen the very same pattern on sale via bestyvintage.com for £36. Boy did I get a bargain!

Below are a sample of some of his classic designs. I've also seen the pattern for the floor length white evening gown [pattern number 2537] on sale online for £27. It's so lovely, I'm oh so tempted to buy it! You never know, it may be the start of a Fabiani dress pattern collection!

Anyway I hope you're inspired by the beautiful designs of the great Alberto Fabiani, who was rightly referred to as "Italy's master tailor who creates wonderfully flattering suits, distinguished coats and exquisite evening gowns."

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

All Eyes On William Travilla [Part 1]

For those of you who won't be familiar with the name of William Travilla, he was one of Hollywood's best and most sought after designers. Although he worked in Hollywood for decades and dressed such legendary stars as Sharon Tate and Diahann Carroll,  he is most fondly remembered for the astounding gowns he created for the ultimate film legend .... Ms. Marilyn Monroe. While his gowns were beautiful I have always found his illustrations as equally astounding. That is why I was overjoyed when a new book, entitled 'Dressing Marilyn - How a Hollywood icon was styled by William Travilla,' was recently published.

Below are just a selection of the illustrations he made for some of the most famous gowns he created for Marilyn Monroe.

Anyone who wants to find out more about William Travilla should purchase the book [ISBN number 978-1-84796-020-7] published by Goodman Books or visit travillastyle.blogspot.co.uk.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Handmade Christmas Creations

For my Christmas presents this year I decided to make all of my gifts. I wanted to make them more unique and personal than they would have been had I bought them. I was very keen to use primarily reclaimed fabrics obtained from charity shops and from scraps and off cuts I already had.

Below are the presents I made for one of my sisters. I was particularly happy with the apron, the main fabric of which was donated to me by a close friend. The trim and tie was cotton I hand dyed especially for this project. The toys were made from a 1970s dress I found in a local charity shop as were the mittens. The bracelet and the patchwork stocking were also made from scraps of off cut fabrics as well as some specially hand dyed silk. The only bought element were the Christmas ribbons I used as embellishments on the stocking. The only present that was not created using any recycled fabrics was the pot holder.