Friday, May 18, 2007

Indigo Flowers

All right, I confess that no modification has been made on the alpaca mitts yet, I have been very busy this week! However, I'm grateful for all the suggestions, and will try lacy/eyelet rib and twisted rib sometime this weekend and report back ;-).

Somehow I did find time to disassemble the Calmer bolero...pure pleasure. That's for my first project at the CAL, where you have to use one of the listed yarns... I won't say that I prefer to design with any limitation, it's just that I happen to have some Calmer (and KSH) in my stash, and people at the CAL are really cool.

Now the detailed design process begins. [This is what I like, you document the process and try to verbalize it for others, then ask and answer questions and see how it goes.]

Currently I am into the concept of Contrast. Simplicity versus Extravagance. Casual versus Formal. Night versus Day. And the seemingly opposite elements must be united in one wearable design.

My first inspiration came from the Hermès SS07 collection. Below are some pieces that I particularly liked.

[The photos do not belong to me, and here they are used only for commenting reasons. And why do they look soooo depressed in such beautiful dresses?]

The first two handkerchief dresses are reminiscent of their SS05 collection As the river flows, an out-worldly ethereal collection featuring porcelain white chiffon dresses with fine indigo print.

Porcelain white and indigo: that's the second inspiration.

Fine china, my true love. Such intricate and beautiful tonal effects are achieved with a single color. Another example can be seen here; they are basically the same.

The original name for the white porcelain with indigo paintings is Indigo Flowers. By the way, for some unknown reason the formal translation is Blue and White Porcelain, or White and Blue Porcelain. What unimaginative names...

Anyway, that's how I decided to make a long flowy vest with a simple cut. [Look at the third shot from Hermès, my cut should be as clean. And the length should be shorter than the one in the fourth shot...not too long.] The Indigo Flowers porcelain will be interpreted by using a dusty indigo colored DK yarn (Calmer, that is) as the bones, or the background of the vest, and a silver/pewter colored lace yarn (Zephyr, in this case) to fill in as the flowers. The reason why I did not pick true indigo/cobalt blue and pure white is that I want the vest to be casual yet ladylike.

The idea of combining yarns of different weight is doable if the two can be worked on a same needle size. And I guess you've already got the solution: work the light one in a lace pattern. In this case, this is a perfect solution, for lace is what I want: light and cool to wear, elegant, stretchy. And a good lace pattern can mimic the filigree flowers on a porcelain vase.

The fifth Hermès shot echoes my idea; wispy lace looks lovely with a solid colored if it gets protected?

[Click to see a larger picture. Hey that's not me, I do not look like her!]

You see, I love the color combination--one can still see the reference to porcelain, but it's quite subtle and misty now.

The back is not shown in the sketch above; I plan to use a large area of lace. The vest can then be worn with everything backless or strappy, thus making a day-to-night transition smooth easy. I'll see if I can get that shawl effect.

That's all I have for now. Feedback, please! You see, I am supposed to answer questions regarding this design ;-).


Ann said...

Hi there. Nice blog and great patterns! I'm sure your CAL project will turn out fabulous. Thanks for visiting me! (BTW, I think the RYC bamboo soft could potentially be pretty stretchy... haven't progressed much on shell yet)

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