2016 West Coast Craft Fair

West Coast Craft

 

Here are just a few I enjoyed, out of hundreds of vendors. Click through to see more from the designers.

Star Struck

With the Perseid meteor shower in full effect, everyone is seeing stars. Whether fashion takes it's cue from the skies or Hedy Lamar's 1941 Zeigfield Girl, stars appear on the runways and streets galore. The galaxy is not so far away. See July 18th post below for more stars.

  From top left: Jenny Packham, Saint Laurent, Richard Nylon, Street style bomber, Valentino, Saint Laurent, Sydney Fashion Week, Street style, Realisation dress, Gucci, Hedy Lamar in Zeigfield Girl, McQueen

From top left: Jenny Packham, Saint Laurent, Richard Nylon, Street style bomber, Valentino, Saint Laurent, Sydney Fashion Week, Street style, Realisation dress, Gucci, Hedy Lamar in Zeigfield Girl, McQueen

Oh Vienna...

I so wish I was heading there now. My friend invited me to join her on a trip to Berlin, Vienna and Budapest (happening next week)—but unfortunately I had to bail. I had hip surgery recently and wouldn't be able to handle that flight, let alone be mobile enough for sightseeing! What a bummer. Boo hoo for me.

Anyway, since my grand hopes of viewing any Weiner Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop) art or textiles I could find there have now been dashed, I resorted to an internet search instead. There are many works of art from that company of artists, and the range and scope is incredible—from art, to postcards, to textile and furniture. My eyes are happy.

Vienna Workshop

 

 

 

Katja of Sweden

Katja of Sweden

I love that I am following in the steps of another Katja in textile design and I also love that her designs resonate so much with me—their bold patterns and bright colors really speak to my own design aesthetic.

Katja was born Karin Hallberg in Sweden, and later lived in NYC, where she went to Parsons School of Design. She created wonderful patterned fashions and later designed home textiles as well. 

I didn't realize the connection before, but I have a picture of myself standing in front of a Katja Bedding display in the window of NYC Macy's. The picture was taken in the early 80s and I'm pointing to the large sign of her (and my) name in the window display. It was the first time I'd come across my name anywhere in the United States. I was very excited about it and now I know whose designs they were advertising!  I later bought some of her towels and sheets for my dorm room in college. Funny to think of that now. I wish I could find that photo to share  with you. 

You can read some more about her here.

Katja of Sweden
Katja of Sweden
Katja of Sweden
Katja of Sweden
Katja of Sweden
Katja of Sweden
Katja of Sweden
Katja of Sweden

Stella Jean Fall 2016

It's no secret that I have a real love for folk-inspired design. I have always been a big fan of Stella Jean and her past collections of vibrant African wax fabrics and mixed prints. The new Fall/Winter season is just as inspired. I love that you can't tell exactly where the inspiration comes from. Is it Scandinavian? African? Slavic? Aztec? It's all in there—geometric shapes, wraps, bright yet earthy colors, tassels and emblems. It's global. Even the choice of models makes for an exciting united design nation.

 Credit: Regis Colin Berthelier/Now Fashion

Credit: Regis Colin Berthelier/Now Fashion

Putting Inspiration To Work

I often visit libraries and used bookstores in search of new inspiration. I found a few great books recently and wanted to share how I get inspired by imagery and designs, and then capture various motifs to make my own. I found this book on Erté by Charles Spencer at the Russian Hill Bookstore and found that it contained a huge amount of inspiration.

Erte - Charles Spencer
Erte5.jpg
Erte - Charles Spencer

While flipping through it, I sat with my sketchbook and noted little details that spoke to me and my aesthetic. Once I have a selection of motifs I like to take a page from my sketchbook like the one here, into Photoshop and start playing with various items to see what I can come up with. I sometimes use individual motifs or combine a few—the possibilities are endless.

Can you tell which ones I used to make the patterns below? With color and scale changes, rotating, reflecting and putting my own spin on things, the designs now feel like mine but I know Erté was my inspiration and that's I nice thought. Because I did these designs in the same hand and used a complimentary color palette, they also feel like they could work as part of a collection. 

I hope you have fun finding your own inspiration and putting it to work.

 © 2016 Katja Ollendorff

© 2016 Katja Ollendorff

 © 2016 Katja Ollendorff

© 2016 Katja Ollendorff

 © 2016 Katja Ollendorff

© 2016 Katja Ollendorff

 © 2016 Katja Ollendorff

© 2016 Katja Ollendorff

 

 

 

 

An Icon Lost

Bowie
Bowie
Bowie

The death of David Bowie is still with me a week later. His passing has probably affected me more than any other celebrity in recent years because of his influence on me in my life. I grew up with his music through all the various stages of my youth—from my pre-teen years onward.

My older brothers introduced me to him in the early 80s by giving me a copied cassette tape of Scary Monsters with a handwritten DAVID BOWIE scrawled across it. As a twelve year old his music scared me a little. It was moving and different, and I was pressed to listen to it and almost had to learn to love it. And I did. 

His influence in music, fashion and his courage to be different, permeated the universe. The day he died, I imagined his music being played all around the world and rising up in to the air. I think we are drawn to talented people especially when they are as courageous and forward-thinking with their creativity as he was. 

Bowie
Bowie

Les Ballet Russes

Have you ever heard of Leon Bakst? No? Well perhaps you have heard of the Ballets Russes, a dance company that was concieved by Sergei Diaghilev, that performed throughout Europe and North and South America between 1909 and 1929.

I did ballet for about 10 of my (much younger) years and I have always loved the world of dance and still go to the ballet regularly. The Ballet Russes has always inspired me because the costumes are so incredibly beautiful, and designed by artists who were very avant garde for the time—from Picasso, Matisse, Chanel and yes, Leon Bakst.

His costumes are bold and bright and I can really imagine that the simple shapes and vibrant colors would be perfect for viewing from a distance while moving across the stage. Here is just a selection of a few I loved in particular. How beautiful that must have been!


He also did set design, and created patterns for textile that were never put into production (as far as anyone knows). Here are a few incredible examples in rich palettes that I found here.

On My Inspiration Board

Do you love Pinterest? Do you collect a gazillion images but then never look back through them? Women are gatherers after all. We love to scoop up pretty things and then store them away. It's in our nature.

I make a point to go back through my boards and gather up images that are speaking to me at that moment. Obviously I love them all because I chose to hoard them in the first place. But it's fun to think of a theme or trend you are feeling at the time and revisit them. 

So what have I been feeling this week? What's on my inspiration board and speaking to me right now? Well it's definitely bold and bright—did you expect anything less from me? 

 Click through to my  Fabric Textile Print and Pattern  board for sources 

Click through to my Fabric Textile Print and Pattern board for sources 

Stripe Stripe Baby

I love patterns of all kinds, and the stripes that are popping up everywhere are making me very happy.  From Ralph Lauren to Dior and Dolce and Gabbana—everyone is showcasing that classic of all classics, in fresh and vibrant colors. My favorite!

Clockwise from top left: Dior, Salvatore Ferragamo, Max Mara, Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce and Gabbana, Ralph Lauren

Images from Vogue.com, photo credit: IndigitalImages

Valentino Spring 2015 Couture

Ok I'm a little late. The season may have passed but the beauty of this collection will never die. My eyes just eat this right up! There is something so satisfying to me about the rich colors and folk patterns—they just speak to my inner European. The patterns are of another time and place yet so familiar; and now incorporated into our modern lives. I love how appreciated these textiles are. I believe folk style is so loved because people want to cherish past traditions and celebrate where they came from. 

Photo credit: Gianni Pucci  / Indigitalimages.com

Designer Spotlight: Missoni 2016

I was really taken with the new line from Missoni for 2016. They have always been at the forefront of bold and colorful knitwear and this collection just took my breath away. I then come to read on Style.com, that this collection was inspired by the great Sonia Delauney. No wonder I love it! There is currently an exhibit at the Tate Modern in London celebrating Delauney's vibrant artwork. You can really see the influence of her work in these Missoni pieces. I find it very exciting to see how great artists and designers can influence each other.

Who influences and inspires you?

Sonia Delauney - The EY Tate Exhibition, London

Sonia Delauney - The EY Tate Exhibition, London

Source: Missoni images are from Style.com

Hair Tapestry

Huh? What?! Yes, you read right. As you may have noticed in the past few years, weaving and macrame have both made a resurgence in the crafting and art worlds. Whether you are hanging a colorful beauty on your wall, or a potted plant from the ceiling I love the texture and color these pieces add to a room. But would you try this latest trend for your head?

Thanks to Tiffany Decaux and Lou Teasdale, the stylists who created these looks.

 Tiffany Decaux hair weaving

Tiffany Decaux hair weaving

 Lou Teasdale hair weaving 

Lou Teasdale hair weaving 

 Tiffany Decaux

Tiffany Decaux

 Lou Teasdale hair weaving on Instagram

Lou Teasdale hair weaving on Instagram

If you choose to stick with wall hangings, here are a  few cool Etsy sellers who bring a modern twist to the craft. And take a look at my Stitch Knit Weave Pinterest board for more inspiring finds! 

 Slow Down Productions

Slow Down Productions

 Rowan Studios

Rowan Studios

 Rowan Studios

Rowan Studios

 Jujujust

Jujujust

 Fox and Quail

Fox and Quail


Iris

If your life is feeling a bit ho-hum and you need a little kick in the pants, the movie Iris will give you that little burst of inspiration you might need. Watching 92-year old Iris Apfel in her home with her husband Carl and seeing how free and youthful they are is just so sweet. She is witty, honest and fearless with her style, and it is just so invigorating to watch her in action! 

Seeing how active and full of art, travel and fashion her life is, makes me never want to complain about an ache or pain, or waste another lazy day lounging on the couch. After seeing what she takes on, reminds one of how much living there is to do! 

If you aren't familiar with the fashion icon, here's a great article in April Vanity Fair to give you a taste of who she is. And check out the movie trailer here.