Friday, September 21, 2012

Inspired by Chanel Paper Flower Headpieces

I've been crazy about Chanel's paper flower headpieces since I saw them in 2009, and, last summer, I finally sat down and tried to make one.

The headpiece wasn't for me, though, but for my embroidered Chanel model, with a face based on this photo of Sasha.

My first attempt was too "true"; I'd embroidered cheekbones and Sasha's smile lines, which looked too harsh when I'd done.  So I put the whole project away till a year later, when I decided to avoid the "real life" look and embroider a snowflake-y apple cheek for a less trying-too-hard look (I hope).

I'd planned to hang the piece in my new office, but didn't want to purchase a fancy professional frame--the piece isn't good enough for that and is fairly large at 16x20 pre-frame--so today I found a shadowbox at a crafts store that would support the depth of the flowers.

I realized that I should have some matting, but again, formal matting seemed too proper.  Then I remembered my yardage of vintage French ribbon, a lovely gift, and thought that it might work around the edges (I cut the wide ribbon in half so it would fit the frame).

And it's done, not perfectly, but texture-y enough for me.

I hae a companion piece, a print by the talented Thomas Meyer, in my living room. 

Its humble cousin will go to my office, though, where, when buried under sheets of printer paper, I can look up and imagine all that paper repurposed as a floral headpiece.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Can't Keep This Under My Hat: A New Selvedge Story

 I was delighted this summer to write a story for Selvedge about Shilpa Chavan, designer of Little Shilpa extraordinary headpieces (just look at her glorious work below!). Lady Gaga has worn some Little Shilpa designs . . .

It was a pleasure to chat with the smart, cool and hip Ms. Chavan, and I was very fortunate to receive contextualizing comments from the uber milliner Philip Treacy (Shilpa interned with him some years ago) and the always articulate and savvy Sasha Wilkins of Liberty London Girl.

The digital issue is ready for North American digital subscribers and the paper copy is available in England.  I'm really looking forward to paper, as the art is particularly beautiful throughout this publication--the Etiquette Issue.

So I should mind my manners, and not crow, but just for today I'll throw caution to the wind.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I Did Not Win The Sartorialist's Writing Contest

But I gave it a whirl.

On Saturday Mr. C told me that The Sartorialist was having a writing contest.  Readers were invited to write a story, in 200 words or less, that responded to one of three photos.

I selected the one with the Louboutin heels:

I decided (blush, blush) to write a billet doux of sorts directly to Sart: I invoked his home state (Indiana) and an earnest young journalism student who wanted real red-soled shoes (Indiana University has a well-respected school of journalism; Sart studied in the fashion merchandising department there.)

I didn't win, but thought I'd share my entry here. (Here's a link to the winning entry.) On The Sartorialist blog my story's posted under Miss Nicholson, my middle name that pinpoints my Scottish herrrritage.

Wish my brogue sounded as good as that.  But I can wear a pair of them like nobody's bizness. 

Miss C's Entry:

Nobody wore red-soled shoes in Valparaiso, thought Kassie. She’d seen them on TV, the Cinderella slippers that could transform her from a Midwestern journalism student into a New York vixen. So she’d slicked the soles of her $39 pumps with scarlet lacquer—a Chanel polish that’d cost almost as much as the shoes.
Kassie smiled at this memory of her teenage ambitions as she stepped onto the street—not 5th Avenue; she'd learned about alternative strolls, like Orchard or Spring. She’d walked far away from her DIY soles: these were the real thing, and she’d paired them with a fringed dress she’d made herself and a voluminous jacket from Century 21. But the shoes were brand new: she’d bought them that morning after accepting a copy-writing job with an online boutique.

She was heading out to celebrate with her parents, who were in town to help her set up her apartment. Kassie tripped lightly down the sidewalk, her authentic red soles in harmony with her own soul as it soared with possibility. When the snow began to fall, she shrugged her generous jacket over her head, saying to herself, “I’m ready.” And again, smiling at her pun, “I’m RED-y.”