Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Celebration of OLD WORLD ELEGANCE vs TODAY's CASUAL CHIC

What defines Old World Elegance? Well think about old time Europe and the reign of flamboyant kings and queens and their court; from the the opulence and grandeur to the simple and elegant. It was old world class and not just elegance even though some of the modes of the day could be rather risque and not what we'd deem classy by today's standards.

Think about the clothing and how women were laced up so tightly in corsets that their organs were deformed and their lives were a lot shorter than women live now. They wore layers upon layers of clothing that was not only heavy but awkward for movement. Some jewelry was big, gaudy and bulky with layers and layers of gold chains and jewels and pearls while others were dainty and feminine in the extreme.



Through the centuries, women have tossed off the layers and toned down the jewelry and accessories only to have those styles come back to haunt and thrill us again. Of course, the styles have been scaled down to be a lot more functional and comfortable than before. Today's clothing is elegant and refined plus casual and chic. With our ever increasing awareness of the hazards to our environment, people all over are recycling materials, garments, jewelry, etc for the betterment of everyone. Fashion has seen new "green" environmentally conscious fabrics emerge and deconstruction of unused and used garments and textiles.

Today we are bringing you an eclectic mix of Old World Elegance and Casual Chic in our regular categories. We hope you enjoy this edition and help us celebrate and recognize the wonderful artisans and storefronts that we have brought to you.


Our Featured Artisan for this month's issue is BStudio who captured our hearts and admiration with her whimsical fabulous silk embroidered pillows with nature motifs. She also does wall art and used the same high quality silk fabric and ribbon in those as well. Contact her if you are interested in having a custom piece done especially for you. Here is our interview with this fascinating designer.
  1. Age - 56 (but only by the calendar)
  2. Location - outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. Are you self taught or if schooled, where did you attend? I am self taught
  4. Your experience and number of years in business? I have just over thirty years of commercial interior design experience (boy that makes me sound old!). I opened my Etsy shop last November.
  5. What made you decide to design pillows? Because I'm involved in interior design, it was a natural progression to create home decor items. I was fascinated by the look of silk ribbon embroidery the very first time I saw it and wanted to incorporate the medium into those items.
  6. Where do you get your inspiration? My inspiration comes from many sources, some are easy to identify, like the flowers in my garden or the nature that surrounds us but others are more ephemeral and just seem to pop into my head. I love to look through design and craft magazines and books and even fashion mags just to get the essence of a style or an idea.
  7. What is your approach to designing i.e. Functionality, fun, comfort? What colors and fabrics do you favor and why? I design what I like, not to follow a trend. My work has a split personality, some of it will be decorative and some of it will be more stylized and contemporary, it will depend on what I'm inspired by and what the ribbon or fabric says to me. At the moment I'm working with pastels because I'm going to be opening a shop at www.Lollishops.com and they're all about very pretty items which suits my silks and ribbons. I also like to work in more neutral colors like taupes and greys. My fabric of choice for my pillows and other pieces is silk dupioni because it complements the silk ribbon and I've started to combine it with some Amy Butler and other coordinated prints. I'm also going to explore working with hemps and linens to add some contrast in textures and to start experimenting with dyeing my own ribbons.
  8. What is your biggest accomplishment? I was approached by a publishing company this summer and I'm working on my very first soon to be published book that will feature ten of my silk ribbon embroidery projects.
  9. What can we expect to see from you in the future? Major goals? In the future I hope to be able to offer some very unique pillows and fashion accessories made with a combination of the silk ribbons and some interesting fabrics. I have a bunch of ideas but they've been put on hold until the book project is finished.
  10. How did you become involved with the Indie movement and why? I became involved in the Indie movement through my urge to create and the need for an outlet to sell my pieces. I have a private, quiet type of personality and when I discovered that I could sell on-line it was the perfect venue for me. I don't have to put myself out there just my stuff. People only judge the work, not the person.
  11. What designers if any do you wear? . I like to wear clean lined, simple designs. I like the work of Georgio Armani, Liz Claiborne and Calvin Klein.
  12. What designers do you admire? Some other designers and artists that I admire are furniture designers Charles and Rae Eames, architect Santiago Calatrava & glass artist Dale Chihuly. I gravitate towards designers that ‘think outside the box’, to use a very overused cliche, when it comes to the medium they work in. That's what I'm hoping to do more of too, take the medium and see what I can do with it, not what the instructions tell me to do with it.
  13. What do you do for relaxation? I don't feel that it's a chore or stressful to design and create my pieces but to relax I tend to my perennial garden, do crosswords, play Scrabble and watch TV.
  14. Do you ever take a day off? On long holiday weekends we have our friends from Toronto come up and hang out so I relax then. And my husband and I usually travel in the spring for three or four weeks. This year we visited Amsterdam, Paris and London and last year we spent four weeks in Italy traveling around the country







CLOTHING

Two of our old favorites are ParaNoire and AutumnRussell and their elegant, luxurious clothing. Here we see an elegant Victorian ball gown from ParaNoire that dropped all our jaws to the ground. Sexy, alluring, elegant and impeccable! Autumn Russell is no slouch when it comes to designing clothing. Not only does she do the former but she also sells the originals of her sketches. She has talent for days and shows off here with her Plaid Pant Suit


Pretty pink punk vintage couture dress from carolinableu is a showstopper that spells ELEGANCE with all caps! You'll adore the casually chic vintage Scooter Dress from bellemichou with it's retro classic shape and styling.



You gotta love the Little Red Riding Hood Cape by ilikeyouworld and French Lace Capelet from missindie.



BellaParadise shows off elegance to perfection with their Embroidery Flowers Lace Ruffles Beige Chiffon Dress which is also casually chic! This marvelous Vintage Military Influenced Taupe Gray Wool Trapeze Cape Coat was found at HighDesertRose on Etsy. It is elegant as well as very stylish!



JEWELRY


Vintage Rehab is another of our all time favorites that spells old world charm and class with all capitals! Check out this fabulous 1880's Circular Locket Necklace which features a rare antique locket. YYjewelry's Hanging on Chains topaz earrings would do royalty proud!




You owe it to yourself to check out wendygillissen and her jewelry. Her Serenity pendant is the epitomy of old world elegance and charm. Her use of filigree motifs and wire-wrapping techniques produces truly unique designs that are off the chart. Wendy Humphreys is one of our all time favorites but we constantly have to change our selections sometimes because her designs get snapped up fast. Her Turquoise Renaissance Style Bracelet , at left, shows a blend of old world class and elegance.





Today's Casual Chic is spelled out beautifully by cooljewelrydesign with these yummy Nightcap earrings in sterling silver. We also found these Peacock Earrings from Pipnstuff in the UK.



This rich and robust bronzy necklace with leaves and pearls by jjmckillip will dazzle you today as well as these princess worthy cascading pearl earrings by Sunrisebeadedjewelry would have in the past.







ACCESSORIES

Sunjunkee's gorgeous Plush Spice scarflette is gorgeous, gorgeous and gorgeous again! This fabulous crochet handbag by Carmenas was very unique and knocked our socks off. This is casual chic at its best!




Elegant, stylish and glamorous is our old time favorite, BoringSidney's Lanvin Hat. If you've never checked out her uniquely incredible hats and headwear, please do so now, you won't be disappointed! Casual chic never looked so good as in DesignsbyVelvet's Walk in the Woods Knitted Scarf.





Ruffled bag by littledoodles1 fits into both categories for us; so cute however, this vintage Beaded Handbag with amazing floral motif uncovered at zaama is to die for. Elegance never dies when you can still sniff out beauties like this one!!








VANITY ITEMS


Look how elegant and beautiful this vintage Porcelain Vanity Set is with its hand painted roses and soft muted colors! We found it at BellaDays on Etsy. These casual chic Hobnail Vanity Bedside Lamps were discovered at ModishVintage.






We also fell in love with this adorable Vintage Mini Brass Tissue Cover at penorus in addition to this 9 Pc Vintage Celluloid Ivory Vanity Set at SimplyAesthetic.







We discovered this elegant handmade limited edition jewelry box from Joya boxes.com





BATH & BODY

We found a wonderful site called naturallynurturingbeauty.com. One of our favorite picks is this Restore Care Package featuring Lavender and Vanilla 4 oz Souffle, 8 oz Sugar Scrub and 5 oz Lavender Soap all for only $40. Bamboo Tea Zensation by aromaticbodyoils is made with a vegan blend of natural ingredients.






We ran out of things to feature in this category so our leader/guru searched through her friends on Indiepublic and found this wonderful Pear Scented Soy Candle in handmade ceramic pot by Madhatterspottery. VintageBodySpaLLC has some wonderful bath & body products so make sure to stop by when next on Etsy. Try out their VALENCIA JULEP Suga Lips Sheer Lip Balm






STATIONERY


We discovered CanadianCreationz through our Indiepublic.com call for new artisans. Not only does she create fabulous stationery like this Hand Painted Guest Book but she also hand paints glassware and does gorgeous clocks as well. She is a must see on your next visit to Etsy.com! While there, be sure to stop in to Prettypeardesigns and look over her stationery. We discovered these Fabric business notecards set of 15, much to our delight.







Our featured artisan, bstudio's handmade Dogwood Greeting Card combines old world artistry and elegance with simplicity and beauty. The use of luxurious silk fabric only enhances her designs. For casusal chic greetings, take a look at Incgreetings and their Follow the Leader Thank You Card.






HOME DECOR





We love these casually chic Mini Mod Pillows by BeauteausDesign in bold black, red and white! Retro funky and elegantly chic, Retro Rectangle clock is a great find from Timothy Adam Designs on Etsy.






All four of us agreed that Local81's recycled handpainted glass plates with lace motif are 2 die for. These beauties exemplify old world elegance and would be perfect for a newly wed couple. This original artwork by BSArtStudio is amazing; it is titled "Building Blocks"; 3 HUGE 24x48 Original Abstract Encaustic on Canvas.




Want to add some old world elegance to your walls? Then take a walk through ewinlian's Etsy store for items like this Elegant Chandelier Decal for walls and glass. If you love photography, you'll love this Angel and Monster print by Diffraction, taken in the gardens of Versailles.



6 comments:

wendyhumphreys said...

Thank you for featuring my tourquise bracelet along with
all the wonderful and talented
artist!
~XO~
Wendy

goddess in the groove said...

Fabulous finds!

Mad Hatter's Pottery said...

What beautiful items you have highlighted! Thank you for including me<3 Candice

Dawn said...

Great blog!
Thank you for including my earrings with all the beautiful designers.
dawn

cat - jeweller designer said...

absolutely love the clothes selections

jabe said...

Hi jst wanted to say love ur blog, get loads of tips from here but I also buy a lot of stuff from vintage revolution - i’ve left the link & I’ve never heard you mention them even though I stop by there all the time! Off to junk food clothing now though :) http://www.thevintagerevolution.co.uk