This summer brought back the continuing evolution of the crop top. No, I don't mean tight, spandexy tops a la Clueless...
(Although, Cher and Di were, of course, fabulous in their own time. Oh yes, I had the Amber Barbie doll.)
...but I mean these more flowy, asymmetrical tops. You can wear them with your high waisted shorts to lessen the amount of midriff that you show. What made it ok to wear these again? Do we not giggle and shake our heads at 90s Spice Girl fashion?
The important thing is that the very word “crop” has changed. It no longer means “stops an inch after your bra ends.” Now crop can mean long enough to still cover the top of your pants. The other important change is that these tops aren't skin tight anymore. On the contrary, they have become more loose than a normal t-shirt. They even occasionally using the term “swing tee” because of the way that the loose fabric can swing around your body.
All in all, the crop top has actually become more conservative. The silhouette is completely different from its 90s proceeder.
I was curious to see how this summer trend would carry over to sweater season, or if it would at all. I checked out the sweater section at Nasty Gal and found the crop still going strong. Although they were all styled with shorts. If you leave in a location where it gets cold and snowy, that's not feasible at all. But I agree with them, I like how the tops look with shorts over long pants. The point of having something short and swingy is so it can blow in the breeze. That doesn't mean the 10 degree wind chill that's plastering you with sleet and snowflakes.
But when has interesting fashion ever been about practicality? It depends on what pains you're willing to go through to look chic. Personally, I liked the summer crop. It felt awesome on a hot, breezy day. Cropped sweaters for winter? I'm not sure I'm a fan yet.
Why lighthouses you ask? Well, let me tell you. I think I get it from my mom. Her photo albums are full of pictures of them. Our refrigerator is full of lighthouse magnets. Growing up near Lake Michigan, we went to the states surrounding the Great Lakes a lot. Most quaint little port towns had a lighthouse. There's just something about them...
Anyway, I have a couple of photo sets buried on my laptop involving them, which I'm going to drag out once in a while. This set was taken last summer by my friend Jessica at Gross Point Lighthouse in Evanston, IL. We actually got to take a tour and climb to the top of the tower. Best day ever! (you might recognize this place from my banner)
Today we shall be deconstructing aka unraveling a knit fabric! Have some inspo:
The process is really fun once you get the hang of it and it'll teach how a lot about how knit fibers interact with each other. Throw on some music and try your hardest not to go cross eyed or blind.
I just used a plain Hane's beater (my brother's), which is a ribbed knit. I'm not sure if I was just not unraveling all that I could, but I ended up with a bunch of vertical lines. And I like it that way.
So. The way to start this mess off. First cut off the bottom hem so you can start pulling down fibers at the bottom. You can use a seam ripper to start off grabbing loops, I just used a pin. Explaining what you want to pull is actually difficult. Just play around. Start pulling fibers down with the pin until the vertical loops start coming apart. Can you see that? No? Sorry, I tried...
Once you get about a centimeter unraveled, you can ditch the pin and start pulling with your fingers. Try pulling from the top and bottom at the same time, it's quicker and you get a lot more done at once.
You'll probably rip a few holes along the way. No big deal, who wants perfect meshy panels anyway?
Do whatever you want with this. You could made the back (and front, if you want) entirely sheer. Once I started, I really liked making these stripey kind of patterns. Here's what I ended up with. Looks like I was mauled by a bear, yeah? Perfect.
Anyone check out Gucci's runway yet? Oh man! That black and gold was an eye pop of fabulosity, was it not? I always love 20s style drop waists. And is that some kind of Egyptian flair in the dresses near the end? Love it!
I can't help being sucked back into the bridal world now and then. I've worked in the field for around six years. Gowns, tuxes, even wedding catering (my college gig)... I've seen the whole show from different angles.
At home in Lake Zurich, I worked at Volle's, a family owned dress boutique and its parter, Mr. Tux (Can I shamefully plug here? No joke, all our guys leave with tuxes that fit perfectly. Why? Because I will make you try it on and if we don't like it, we sew it immediately. Anyway...). I'd have to say my loyalty lies with tuxedos though, I only worked bridal dresses for a few months before moving next door to tuxedo-land. I can pin, sew, and re-press sleeves in about 4 minutes flat. I know that brides don't even think about getting ivory tux shirts to match their ivory dress, and would have put an ivory tie with a white shirt. I'm not afraid to yank up the adjustable trousers of a 16year old prom kid fresh out of lacross practice when he wears them about 5 inches lower than where they should be.
Though tuxes might be my tailoring forte, that wouldn't stop me from sneaking next door to stare at all the gowns. We carried the big lines: Maggie Sottero, Enzoani, Casablanca... Matthew Christopher in particular loved us and visited for every trunk show of his that we hosted. Though the tux shop dealt with a lot less bridezilla and hysteria, there was something special about watching a bride find her gown, dimming the lights in front of the main mirrors, and watching as she teared up.
I was gandering at one of my favorite bridal blogs, Once Wed, and I came across a link for vintage wedding gowns. Omgwhut!?! And these are legit, too. They seem so much more simple than many current wedding gown styles. Honestly, you don't need tons of pickups on a taffeta skirt with beading and a sash, along with a huge bustle! Remember when a bit of lace and a clean silhouette used to be enough?
I spent over an hour just looking through these gorgeous dresses and it was really hard to pick which ones I wanted to show here, I kept adding more! The earlies dresses are from the 1920s and go up until the 1990s, which still doesn't seem that long ago to me. But these aren't simple rack dresses, check them out at Mill Crest Vintage ... just don't forget your bib for when you drool all over your keyboard:
I have a new singer that I am obsessed with. This is Oh Land, aka Nanna Øland Fabricius.
The first thing I thought after watching this was, “damn, look at that body movement, she must have some kind of classical dance training.” And indeed she does, as the wiki page informed me. She belonged to the Royal Danish and Swedish Ballet Schools until an injury forced her to quit.
And she's got some beautiful modelish style too, as so many Scandinavians seem to have. So many lovely bloggers are from Sweden and Finland! What is it about the Nordic countries!?
I loved this collection! I'm not sure about the shiny crinkly look of the fabric of the first 2 dresses but DAMN that gives the look some scale and movement. Loved it paired with super tight lace. And all of the lace in general.
Love the clear oxford shoe, versatile much? Just change your sock color and you've got an entirely different shoe.
This color is mad. Absolutely bonkers. This pile of fabric pre-dress has the potential to be a complete mess, but put together, it's PERFECT. And look at the combo of fur and light flowey material. Gorgeous.
Since I'm still in the TIFF mood and it's Fashion Week, let's take a look at what Keira Knightley wore to the A Dangerous Method premier at the Venice Film Festival. Just oogle this delicious Valentino couture masterpiece for a moment. Seems like Keira's going for nude colored lace this season when compared to what she wore at TIFF (see previous post). And her short hair and smokey eyes look fabulous.