Introducing the Creative Diaries, a new feature on the blog where Selkie’s Co- founders Alexandra and Caroline share with you what they have been seeing, reading and are currently inspired by.
“Fashion you can buy, but style you possess. The key to style is learning who you are, which takes years. There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self expression and, above all, attitude.” —Iris Apfel
I don’t know about you but I have a thing for couture… Alexandra here read on to discover my love story for couture. I will be sharing my favourite exhibits, memories as well as sharing our new class where you can learn to stitch like Dior!
The first time I ever looked upon a couture gown was at the Victoria and Albert Museum back in 2007 at the Golden Age of Couture exhibit. I was 16 and it was my first visit to the museum which later in life would become second home… I studying for my GCSE textiles in Yorkshire and somehow my textiles teacher Miss Jefferson had convinced my very academic focused school to let my textile class go all the way to London for the exhibit.
The exhibit was incredible I remember every detail, the beaded gowns, jewellery, long white gloves and black swede block high heals. All of it.. something awoke in my soul standing in front of an evening dress by Cristóbal Balenciaga from 1955 made out of a cheery red/pink silk. This was fashion!
In the V & A gift shop I bought 5 postcards featuring iconic couture gowns which I hung on my wall for years in a mantra like style hoping that one day I could sew, draw or even wear a dress like the ones in the exhibit.
Fast forward to 2020 and I’m just in love with couture as I was at 16 and now as a Londoner Miss Jefferson doesn’t need to hustle my headmaster to book a trip to London! I can just use my oyster card…
I took it one step further for my love of couture and in 2017 Caroline I went Paris on a girls to to visit the “Christian Dior, dream designer” exhibition at Arts Décoratifs in Paris! We had a wonderful time at the Dior exhibit swooning over the pink and red dresses, paper flower installations and iconic tule gowns. I even filmed a vlog of our time in Paris and the exhibit which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX1BqUn1bJ4
Let’s take a peek at 2020’s couture! I found this wonderful video on Alexa Chung’s Youtube channel where the house of Dior let Alexa go behind-the-scenes ahead of their Spring 20 Haute Couture show in Paris! Alexa chats away with Dior’s atelier the day before the Dior show, and she meets some of the people that make the magical dresses for the incredible shows. You can watch Alexa’s Dior tour here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD-J2MECdR0
As a sewer some of you will get that itchy feeling in your hands when you see a couture gown… however not all of us have the time or resources to make an Oscar worthy gown! So we have created a class to bring the art of couture to your hand made wardrobe! Join Selkie for our couture hand sewing technique class with our friends at Off Set Wearhouse. We will take you through advanced couture hand sewing techniques, such as a hand rolled hem, invisible herringbone stitch and handworked loops, that will progress your skills in finishing projects and garments. As well as elevating your sewing to the next level, it will also offer up skills handy for the alteration and mending of your clothing. The workshop is aimed at sewers who are already confident with certain hand techniques such as sewing on tailored buttons, and would like to advance their skill set.
We’ll provide everything required for this workshop: fabric scissors, needles, pins and scrap material (as well as ethical sustainable textiles from Offset Warehouse), but feel free to bring your own scraps that you feel comfortable with and perhaps can utilise in a project you’re already working on.
Have a fabulous and creative weekend and we look forward to seeing you in class!