Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The Genius of Issey Miyake
A while back Sal of Already Pretty posted an article on favorite clothing pieces - items you just love, that you'd be very very sad if you lost them. (I forgot to bookmark it, and can't find it - if you have the link, let me know so i can put it in!) The comments were full of wonderful stories, and i left my own flowery comment about all of my clothes that have a place in my heart. For years, my favorite of favorites has been this jacket, which i made from an Issey Miyake for Vogue Patterns publication over ten years ago.
I bought this warm, rich navy coat-weight wool about fifteen years ago, cut out the pieces, and started the project. Then life got especially crazy and i didn't have a lot of room to sew and the fabric and pattern sat in a bag until i got married and moved into Mr. E's place. I got the bag out and finished the jacket, and it's been true love ever since.
The reason i haven't shown you this jacket until now is that it's very hard to photograph (i've tried several times). On January 13th i wore it to a book reading, and coincidentally the next afternoon perfect lighting conditions appeared. So i took a whole bunch of pictures, and now you can see this Issey Miyake jacket!
The construction of this jacket is unique. Miyake creates fullness in the silhouette by slashing the main pattern pieces and inserting curved pieces of fabric using topstitching to emphasize this construction technique. He also divides up the bodice and peplum in an unusual way - i'll try to photograph this part in the future for you. Of course i love the bustle at the back, the star on the sleeves, the peplum and pockets. My dream is to make up the coat which is the alternate view on the same pattern.
Miyake designed this jacket to be single-breasted, but i didn't make a muslin and it's a little big around the middle. The construction is so complex that the easiest 'fix' was to move the buttons over to the side......which looks fine to me.
What i wore underneath is basically the same outfit i wore to tour The Museum of Colonial Bedposts in Carmel. a couple of days after the book signing. This outfit is so simple and comfy and appropriate for anywhere that i said 'screw it' when i had very little time to pack for our trip to Monterey. I just packed around these two pieces and it worked out fine.
The skirt is a linen blend, part of my 'resolution' plan. I love it! The fabric was on a great sale at Joann's, which ends Wednesday. I'm going to do my best to stop by Joann's tonight or tomorrow to see if i can get any more (after all the fabric has been picked over).
look put together by Bev of Style Underdog. I loved the look of this blouse from Old Navy - it's lines are nice and clean, the fabric texture adds interest, but the overall shape reminded me of the old-timey Gibson Girl blouses. I e-mailed Bev to ask if she had any 'out takes' she could send me, as i was working on a pattern inspired by the blouse and it would be helpful.
Bev sent me a note with pictures of the blouse spread out flat on a sheet with a tape measure strategically positioned. Somehow i don't think THAT was an outtake from her outfit photo session!! How i wish i could attend the meet-up in Las Vegas and thank this considerate and generous woman in person - and how lucky is the Style Nation that she's working so hard to coordinate that shindig? Very Lucky, that's how lucky!!
Interestingly, Sal said in her post on favorite things that she doesn't have any items that she's all that crazy about - she likes all her clothes, but she could lose any of them without worrying about it or losing any sleep (as it were). There's a lot to be said for non-attachment to materials things, but Sal's position is contrary to my own philosophy. I believe everyone who loves clothes should have at least one piece that they're just gaga over, the kind of thing that just feels decadent and wonderful - something you never thought you'd have the good fortune to own. I actually have a handful of these type of items, and i still can't really believe my good luck!
So where do you stand on this burning philosophical conundrum? Is it enough to have a bunch of clothes (and accessories) that are 'good enough', or do you believe in striving for your dream pieces? No need for Cynthia to comment - these blueberry boots are exhibit A outing you as a dreamer!!!
Jacket: made by me from an Issey Miyake for Vogue Pattern (upper right)
Blouse: own design, inspired by Style Underdog
Skirt: own design
Boots: Bass Lamont
Bracelet: gift from mom, from Justina Leigh etsy shop