Sunday, October 19, 2014

Round Robin Snail Mail.

No, not the annoying kind. Thirty or so years ago, this kind of add-a-bit and pass it on letter was revealed to me by a woman born in the 20s (I'm guessing).  She and a circle of college acquaintances began their round robin mailing during summers home from college and maintained the practice throughout their lifetime!  The letters were something she looked forward to, greatly enjoyed, and to which she enthusiastically contributed.  

Quite the opposite of robotic form letters (photocopied and with no real personality) they were mailed packages full of well-thought-out handwritten or typed friendly conversation, photos, paper ephemera, and relevant newspaper clippings.  Being a fan of snail mail and mail art, I think the idea of the genuine, heartfelt round robin letter is wonderful.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Francisco de Mendieta y Retes 15th Century Millinery.

Hats like pastas, pastries, ship sails, snail shells, horns, and cathedrals. At least 40 different 15th century headdresses - a smorgasbord of millinery... I found in a book -  The Life and Times of Columbus. There too, in 1476, are Ferdinand and the Royal Guard of the Castile - painted in detail by Francisco de Mendieta y Retes, but the white draped and bundled millinery is what I keep studying... because of the variety. Perhaps each hat represents a particular location - or order. I can't find a thorough explanation for these millinery marvels, but feel the image is worthy of a look at least.

Too, see the baby - his wee face framed by a ruff.  
Francisco de Mendieta y Retes, the constitution of Biscay, 15th c. hennin/headdress.
Francisco de Mendieta y Retes, the constitution of Biscay, 15th c. hennin/headdress.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

See Art Fashion Creation blog.

The Art Fashion Creation blog houses a large majority of Toile La La posts, but there is more to be found via mail art, a fat little Coptic-stitched art/fashion/diary book, and a more condensed zine of the same theme.

For now, Toile La La is exploring creativity and other interests - while stepping away from blog-sharing, but please enjoy the Art Fashion Creation posts. (Just click the link at left and you'll be there:) All, written with the intention of inspiring other scholars and explorers of history, humanity, and creation.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Leon Bakst (stststst's) Cat in the Form of a Woman.

Leon Bakst - The Supper.
I like everything about this painting, mostly though - that the woman reminds me so much of a cat.  From her coy, sly, feline smile - to the way her sleek arms are resting sphynx-like in front of her - to the train of her dress, trailing tail-like and curved.  Plus - if you're familiar with cat behavior... it seems the moment you dress a table - perfect and pristine... that's the exact time a cat wants to rest upon it!

The contrast here too - of Bakst's supping sitter - is lovely, the distribution of dark and light patches, interspersed with intermediate grey.  It isn't just the clever placement of dark and light, but the way in which they nestle against each other - boundaries, yet companions.

Those oranges, I love that touch - the roundness, the brightness, the way there's just a bit of orange-ness near the face of this feline woman... and some orange shadow in the cloth.

This is a painting I would like to study in close detail, wanting to know if these really are orange oranges - or are they just apples which look like oranges through my monitor.  And, with closer examination I would know if there were faint hints of color within the neutral areas of grey or brown.  Are they dull greys and browns - or are there smidgeons of blue or maroon within those neutrals.  The brushstrokes too, are something I like to study.  However, for now, I will just have to enjoy observing this cat-like lady, her kitten-mitten paws, and her rather Schiap Shoe-ish hat from a distance.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Spectral h2o: A Color.

Appearing as a result of random brush-cleanings, this cloudy lavender-blue looks... to me, spectral and mysterious.  When I look at this color, I almost sense a fragrance... like the ghost of a fragrance lingering in an old, ornate perfume bottle.
Spectral h2o... lavender-blue, almost scented.  Toile La La.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sensory Thoughts.

Whether one's olfactory memory is limited - or conversely, encyclopedic - reading about fragrance experiences leans toward receiving a video-link to your relative's superlative vacation.  Perhaps this is both good and bad... while one might long to sniff the good, there's a saving grace in dodging the bad - or, the equivalent... one enjoys the scenery - without the bedbugs and mosquitoes.

Today, drinking my cocoa tea in preparation for an extended session of sketching - "fondness" comes to mind - fondness and memories... how does an experience become special or become etched into one's memory.

Beginning to write "you can mull those thoughts for yourself" - etymologically sidetracked me for a moment.  Think about the similarity of mulling thoughts and mulling cider... there's a process of slow simmering - and hopefully, improvement.  

Reading about mulling thoughts and cider serendipitously led to an interesting preface to discussion of Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez.

How about an Autumnal perfume based on mulling spices... good whiff of apple, bit of cinnamon, cloves, star anise, lemony-cardamom, orange zest... but, how to avoid smelling like a room deodorizer... the smell, perhaps of crushed leaves... peppercorn... something leather-y... maybe some chimney smoke.

Back to fondness and memory - and sensory thoughts...  here are things which bring - to me - a feeling of fondness and memory-etching potential:
  • A vision-sight of golden-yellow leaves, blown by a warm and invisible wind-current up and off a cold and slow-moving river - against the direction of other leaves falling down from a tree trailing its fingers in the water below.  Propelling themselves horizontally through the breeze, like the paddles of a riverboat... leaves oval in shape.  The river's brown-blue surface crosshatched with multi-directional current.  This memory, with its movement of leaves and water - feels like calm and stillness.
  • Imagining the smells - good and bad - of fragrances described by Turin and Sanchez in Perfumes: The Guide
  • Reading Nick Bantock's books about Griffin and Sabine:  like receiving permission to read a friend's correspondence - with all the good bits... stamps, doodles, enclosed photos, etc.  Some pages even invite you to remove the letter from the envelope - sharing the anticipation of unfolding the paper and perusing the artsy contents.
Eyes glued to the pages of Perfumes: The Guide every free moment of a weekend - while my nose awaited - and imagined - every description with anticipation... the only perhaps-critical observation is this - could someone find a way to include fragrance samples - if not for the actual fragrances, perhaps for the various notes mentioned... as did '80s National Geographic during a smell/odor survey.

I think an experience becomes special and established in the memory when several - or ideally, all - the senses are integrated and utilized at higher capacity. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pop Beads and other Fashionable Thoughts.

I awoke this morning remembering my Nana's Pop Beads, which I used to play with in church.  Her Pop Beads were olive, silver, and copper (this was the 70s) and very much resembled artificial grapes - in size and construction.  If you've ever pulled a faux grape from its vine, you noticed the grape was attached to the vine by a "plug".  Pop Beads plugged into each other and could be attached to form various bracelet or necklace lengths.  Connecting and disconnecting the pop beads made a pop nearly as satisfying as jumping on bubble wrap.

Fashionable Thought 2:  Barbie Doll Clothes - Some of my Barbie Doll clothes had real buttons, miniscule, and there was usually a thread loop opposite the button.  Some Barbie Doll clothes had snaps, which were a little easier to manage - but the buttons made the clothes seem much fancier and real.  I was very disappointed when doll clothing manufacturers began using hook and loop tape.  Hook and loop tape stuck to the flimsy fabric of Barbie's wardrobe, snagging her sheer ensembles - making garments fuzzy - and also creating an unsightly bulgy silhouette at the closures.

Fashionable Thought 3:  Purple Polyester - My mother created for me, when I was maybe 7, a purple and lavender polyester pantsuit... try to imagine it.  This purple polyester pantsuit, which was hot and itchy, was a short-sleeved trapeze tunic over bell-bottom trousers.  My left body and right leg were lavender and my right body and left leg were purple, like a court jester or harlequin - parti-colored.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pencils, Paper, Marker, Glue.

My eyes like cameras my whole life - I absorb visually.  I live and communicate visually.  Editing personal sketchbooks and scrapbooks - looking for style and imagery both seen and imagined within those pages, every jotted note, every image clipped, every sketch and thought recorded represents a moment in time.

I created sketchbooks and scrapbooks during the 80s - because, as an art student, I felt inspired daily by:
  • my own perception of style and fashion
  • color, line, shape... and the way images conveyed feeling
  • music, beat, rhythm, movement
In reviewing my paper archives, I see how artforms of a specific time:
  • accurately represent  a collective mindset
  • interweave - and creativity is cross-referenced
  • are - in a sense - prophetic of our lives in the future

Friday, May 3, 2013

Bookstacks of Art Fashion Creation.

Fashion Bookstacks.
My heart and eyes seem connected when rows of fashion, textile, or art bookshelves come into view:  pupils dilate, heart flutters like the wings of a bird in a hurry.

See more fashion books (and details) on the shelves footing the Art Fashion Creation blog.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

All the Early Toile La La Small Pattern Toiles.

Beginning mid-2010 - with a wish to revolutionize my summer wardrobe, I began sewing small-scale versions of sewing patterns - chosen from an older trove.  Trip to the beach - everywhere the eye could see - too much exposure... so I chose another path:  the look of the glamorous resort vacationer of the past.  Within the Art Fashion Creation blog archives - August 3, 2010 - you can see some vintage resort photo inspiration for that wardrobe.

Fabric, time, energy, and money were saved by sewing preliminary test-versions of the garments:  toiles.

Learning of Vintage Pattern Lending Library's 1912 Sew La Mode Illustree Project - in April 2012 - I became a participant - test-sewing vintage La Mode Illustree patterns, with over 750 fellow-participants.  My first La Mode Illustree practice-pattern - coincidentally - began not with fabric and thread, but wire:  it was a Ladies Spring Hat, built upon a wire armature.

Later, Bill Cunningham's "On the Street: Sun Spot" New York Times feature piqued my interest - with its attention to Jil Sander's veiled beanies by Stephen Jones, so it was time for another toile.  For the veiled beanie, I had no pattern and had to create one - with paper, fabric, patience, and the assistance of the patient small-scale millinery model Hattie - and my Number One Good Luck Employee Cat.  Link to the "Sewing a Slouchy Veiled Rib-Knit Cap" post here.

A first small-scale practice toile - McCall's 3232 halter, worn by Hattie.
Bralette and high-waisted shorts small-scale toile, vintage Simplicity 1632.
Hattie wearing small-scale toile for a sarong that was so right - Simplicity 9702.
Small-scale practice toile for romper - from a vintage costume sewing pattern.

Small-scale toile for bloomer-skirt - clever Willi Wear for McCall's 7947.
Fleur's Simplicity 7581 pantdress jumpsuit small-scale toile in progress.  See pantdress at Art Fashion Creation header photo.
Hattie wearing a crown-variation small-scale toile for Vogue 8213 sunhat.
Hattie wearing small-scale Vogue 8213 sunhat with large brim, contrast lining, and added ties.
Hattie assisting with VPLL Ladies Spring Hat test-armature.
Model Mimi wearing test-toile for La Mode Illustree Child's Apron, during participation in Vintage Pattern Lending Library 1912 Project.
Bebe Bouton wearing miniscule test-toile for La Mode Illustree blouse - E1000 - VPLL 1912 Project.
Vintage Pattern Lending Library 1912 Project - E1000 Blouse, La Mode Illustree practice toile in progress.
VPLL 1912 Project small-scale toile for intelligently-designed La Mode Illustree Blouse 0219.
Bebe Bouton in her futurist tuta-jumpsuit toile and Enormous Pompon Zinnia Bonnet.  Bebe was a doll in need of a new body and this starfish-shaped pattern is the prototype.
Slouch cloche-beanie small-scale toile - fit for Hattie at Art Fashion Creation.
At the Wordpress blog Dresses and Hats, there are reviews of the La Mode Illustree patterns - and also a post featuring my Great Grandmother's sewing sampler scrapbook - with vintage small-scale toiles.
Small-scale apron toile in very old sewing sampler scrapbook - created by the Great Grandmother of Toile La La.
If you've test-sewn garments using small-scale practice samples, or have comments about vintage sewing samplers - I would love to hear from you here at Toile La La, just click the comment form below. 

If you wish to read more about the summer wardrobe practice toiles above, see the Art Fashion Creation blog archives - select the July 2010 posts to begin.

If you wish to read more about the Vintage Pattern Lending Library 1913 Project or the La Mode Illustree small-scale toiles pictured above, see my dressesandhats blog.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Have You Met the Divine Ottoline?

Lady Ottoline Violet Anne Cavendish-Bentinck Morrell was friend, muse, and patron to a host of creative thinkers - philosophers, poets, sculptors, artists, authors - and left a trail of evidence of her existence recorded through the eyes of her creative friends - and through her own photography.

Many of Ottoline's friendships "resulted in published fiction", says Patricia Gaye Tapp - author/creator of the blog Ottoline Divine.
Ottoline Morrell, Photographed by Cavendish Morton. Photo - National Portrait Gallery, London.

Read the Art Fashion Creation interview with P. Gaye Tapp at this link, to learn of Tapp's inspiration for Ottoline Divine, and her other creative interests - her design and decorating firm, Parthenia Papier cards, and her first blog - Little Augury.

If you enjoy history, fashion, documented social commentary, journals, vintage photographs, or reading of lives lived with panache - to meet Ottoline and read Ottoline Divine will be a pleasure.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Miniature Fashion Photo Shoot.

Toile La La paperdolls wearing Mary Katrantzou dress design collage artwork and enjoying The Secret Garden from Venus and Martin Dodge's Making Miniatures in 1/12 Scale, pp. 78 and 79. Toile La La photo shoot.
Toile La La  collage paperdoll wearing Mary Katrantzou and standing in Jean Nisbett's Home Of An Artist in The Big Book of the Dolls' House, p. 60.

These collage paperdolls, clothed in Mary Katrantzou, appeared in a post earlier this year.  They temporarily inhabited a very chic Benefit Gina - My Place Or Yours eau de toilette box, but are exploring currently exploring the fantastic interiors and landscapes of miniaturists Jean Nisbett and Venus and Martin Dodge.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Toile La La Employee Photo Session.

Fleur, Bebe, Feuille, Number One GLEC, and Hattie. Coco, Camellia Pincushion, and Mimi appear at Art Fashion Creation.  Toile La La photo, November 2012.

Photo shoot styled and directed by Number One Good Luck Employee Cat.