Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Marry Me Issey!

So it would be bigamy, so what! This is the wild west, after all ;) But wait, you say - i don't see a shred of Miyake in that there look......fine, my skeptical friend. Prepare to feast yer eyeballs on:

No padding under the blouse. That's all real, baby. I got those killer curves from mom, not dad, as you would expect in the 'big square shoulders' department. It's 'all 1980's, all the time' here. 

Back view - pleats gathered into the collar and into various types of topstiching. Darts in the shoulder area give a raglan feel and shaping. This is Issey Miyake for Vogue Patterns 2761. I made this blouse going on 8 years ago (!).  But i never wore it, except for periodic 'test runs', which always felt a little off. What was up with that?!?!?

Serendipitously, Angie posted on this very topic recently, in her article, "It’s “Not You”, it’s the Future You". As Angie puts it:  "You know exactly what I mean. You see a wardrobe item that pulls at your heart strings because, for several reasons, it’s “so you”. Conversely, you see an item that leaves you cold because it’s “not you”. Obviously the former has a better chance of making it into your wardrobe. 

It’s good to have strong style preferences because that will give you a focused shopping process and a strong signature style. But I’m going to stick up for the other side too. There is something to be said for purchasing items that don’t initially look like they would suit your current style. Why? Because every so often you hit a gem that opens up a new unexplored style direction. It might even be the impetus for the next leg of your style journey."

I commented: "...for me it’s usually something i love but that’s ‘not my current lifestyle’, or ‘i don’t know how to wear it’. one of these resolved just recently – i love Issey Miyake and have made a few of his pieces from the Vogue Patterns Designer line. One blouse came out beautifully, but the crisp, white material just put me off and i rarely wore it (i made it over ten years ago) ***. The pleating and design of the blouse was so amazing i couldn’t bring myself to toss it.

the last few months i’ve become a lot more interested in blouses with some structure – i wear jackets all the time, but in 100+ F heat they are often too hot. A blouse with polish gives the same feel with less ‘heat’. long story short (or is it already too late for that?), i’ve worn this blouse three times the last couple of weeks and love it! completely fits my current style.

this isn’t the first time i’ve had this experience, so nowadays i do my best to try a few pieces outside of my ‘comfort zone’."

*** i exaggerated!  looking inside the pattern envelope, i found my purchase receipt (very rare - i've never found a pattern receipt that i've kept before). I bought this pattern (already discontinued) in December 2003, so this blouse is more around 7.5 years old.

Angie's post came at the perfect moment for me, as i'd already taken these photos and scheduled this post. I ended up writing most of it as a comment at You Look Fab! This also fits in with my ongoing scheme to find/design a core of patterns which i know from experience will be wardrobe workhorses, and make them up in various fabrics (some of them more expensive and luxurious). I'd love to make this item up in a cotton/silk blend, or handkerchief linen. Yum!

I stumbled into the 'double scarf' theme this winter because i was cold and it's warmer than one scarf alone. But by now it's just for fun, adding a bit more interest to a look. Try it, you'll like it!

What do you all think of Angie's thesis? It's obvious where i stand, but what are your experiences in 'straying outside your comfort zone"?


  1. I'm glad you didn't toss that shirt because it looks awesome on you!

    There was a tee shirt that I bought once. It was black (most shirts I buy tend to be black). Had an 80's graphic on it. Was a dollar. And I wore it maybe once before it got put in a drawer. One day I decided since I didn't care about it I would wear it swimming, not realizing the pool water would bleach it. It turned this shirt a really chocolate brown color- me being the punkling that I am said "OH NO! I WILL NEVER WEAR BROWN! EW EW EW!!!"

    Honestly, I wore holes in that shirt I wore it so much after that. To this day, it is (may it rest in pieces) one of my favorite shirts of all time. And that (6 years ago) also taught me that I can and do look pretty nice in brown.

  2. I'm soooo impressed that you made this blouse. All those tucks and pleating, and top-stitching must have been soooooo much work. I'm glad you kept it and love how you've styled it here!

  3. That blouse is incredible. I'm so glad you found a place for it in your life.

  4. In the past seven years I have literally reinvented myself! Which I am working on how to help others do the order to go through a literal transformation, I had to stray WAY out of my comfort zone. Out in that land was where I found n new, stylish, more confident me. I think there is a better way to go about style decisions and I am currently pondering how to communicate all that I have learned. But it is a must to occasionally take risks!!
    The detailing on your blouse is amazing and a style I think which never goes out of style.

  5. What a great (re) find! It looks wonderful on you. I totally agree with the blouse as a polished-piece. When a tee won't cut it, a blouse almost always will, with or without a jacket.

  6. Reminding me of some pretty spectacular blouses you made for me a while ago (talking decades here) - giving me lots of confidence and making me feel very special. Also, remembering looking at the garments in Issey Miyake's showroom in Paris, and being thrilled that you would make such stunning garments from his pattern line (my god, the intricacy of the patterns!).

  7. I do like the idea of trying something completely out of your fashion zone. I've recently been doing these inspiration monday challenges at two birds and it's usually something I wouldn't think of pairing myself and I am learning a few things. You mentioned the 30 for 30, THAT really taught me remixing. I love your look here; that shirt is beautiful.

  8. I've just started following...I didn't want to lose your blog!

  9. oh Meg, that's just a great story! it's wonderful how a total disaster accident ended up opening your eyes to something new that you love. may your tee 'rest in pieces' indeed!

    Thank you A-Dubs! i'm glad i kept it too ;)

    Welcome STAsworth!! i just love Mr. Miyake, what can i say.

    hi Pam! your style journey has been very interesting and instructive to watch - thank you for taking the time to document it for all of us! and you hit the nail on the head about the need to balance orderliness with kismet and risks.

    Hi Patti! thank you! i'd heard of the 'blouse as jacket' idea well before now, but i never 'got it' until recently. you're right!

    Hi Ma! thank you :) we need to find that pic of you in the green silk one with all the pleats - the blouse is nice and you look so pretty in that picture! i'd love to put it on the blog ........ ?

    Welcome Ms. Baker Burns! i haven't heard of the two birds challenge, i'll check it out. like you, i've learned A LOT from challenges - nothing beats 'performing the experiment'!! thank you for following!

    take care everybody! steph

  10. Oooh, I LOVE this. It has the romantic touches that are very you, but it's also tailored and chic. Fabulous! And color me impressed that you made the top.

  11. Thank you Audi! it's nice, i feel like i'm getting a much better handle on my style - that i'm able to take it in more directions than i could in the past. How very sweet that stylish personages such as yourself agree! ;) steph

  12. rss feed, please? I've not sewn a Miyake yet, but I am totally inspired now!

  13. just snagged that pattern on ebay!

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