Sweetheart variations – 3

Burdastyle sweetheart neckline floral black & white dress by Carlotta StermariaBurdastyle sweetheart neckline floral black & white dress by Carlotta StermariaYes, after the pink dress and the red one, there was a third one… I’m not sure I have much to tell about this last one without repeating myself terribly. Let’s just add that I seldom wear any black and white clothes: because they’re so contrasting, I often find they have too much “charisma” to really show me to my advantage: is it the girl wearing the dress, or the dress wearing the girl (a surprising question, really, from a girl whose closet rather looks like a Pantone color chart)? But these lovely flowers were too tempting, in a dolce-vita-this-movie-is-in-black-and-white-anyhow kind of way…

Burdastyle sweetheart neckline floral black & white dress by Carlotta StermariaBurdastyle sweetheart neckline floral black & white dress by Carlotta StermariaAmongst all the dresses of this serie, this is the easiest to wear. Since it was a bit too roomy, I smocked it with elastic thread, and now the bodice is perfectyl fitted and I could easily make myself a dozen more of them, because I cannot see a more perfect summer dress. See you next summer!

Burdastyle sweetheart neckline floral black & white dress by Carlotta StermariaBurdastyle sweetheart neckline floral black & white dress by Carlotta StermariaPictures by Noctvrna. The model would like to tell you her tetanus vaccine is up to date _ she hopes yours is, too _ and that she therefore didn’t take too many risks by posing in rose bushes!

Pretty fifties

galliera-annes-50-affiche

I’ve been quite angry at Galliera Museum (sorry, Palace) lately. Its last exhibitions, Paris Haute Couture and Alaïa, albeit beautiful, were also rather badly explained. And the very last one, Papier glacé was just plain advertising for Condé Nast (nice to look at, but I’d rather not pay for that). I felt really disappointed by the museum and it director, Olivier Saillard, who had given me some of my very favorite fashion exhibitions. Luckily, I went back to the palace to have a look at the latest exhibition, Les années cinquante (the fifties), and I feel much better now.

Rene-gurau-manteau-dior-1955Well, that’s a fact: the French fashion renewal, with Dior as its leader, and Fath, Dessès, Paquin, Patou, Carven and (my personal favorite) Grès as his brilliant clique, really produced wonders of sophistication: dresses, suits and coats that, truly, are museum pieces. What’s also a fact : this era when cocktail dresses were not to be confused with evening dresses, nor morning suits with afternoon dresses, when complicated contruction garments were considered mandatory, when Elle magazine was selling the premices of mass consumption, was not exactly what I’d consider woman-friendly.

rene-gruau-tailleur-barBut like anybody, I enjoy beautiful things : intrigued by Suzy Menkes’ piece (and, frankly, a bit cooled by the architectural padding of Dior’s bar suit), I came mostly to see the more relaxed part of the exhibition : after the beautiful suits and coats came the beach dresses and junior ensembles, like a preview of the sportswear and ready-to-wear looks that would bloom in the next decade, and, most particularly, of this stylish period, at the junction between the fifties and the sixties that I have a soft spot for (more about this obsession here, here and there). I was not disappointed : I especially liked a lovely painted summer dress (Hermès) and a intricate but oh-so relaxed beach dress by Grès.

Rene-Gruau-manteau-rouge-1950But to me, the best of the exhibition was not pinned on a dress form but humbly hanging on the walls : sewing patterns from Le petit écho de la mode! Thank you, dear Galliera palace, for taking those humble sewing patterns, merely addressed to middle classes, within your walls. Your million-dollar dresses are beautiful indeed, but to truly mark its time, a style must live… and before ready-to-wear was adopted en masse, this meant home sewing (by the way, they’d make killer merchandising, wouldn’t they?).

Were you lucky enough to be in Paris, Les années cinquante runs till November 2nd. Otherwise, sneaky pics can be found on my Instagram and through the museums’s location.

Last days of summer

Black Burdastyle maxi dress by Carlotta Stermaria

Black Burdastyle maxi dress by Carlotta StermariaWoops! I’m late to share this summer dress _ yet summer is late too, so maybe that makes us even. But it’s still summer here till tomorrow! Then this dress will enjoy some vacation time in my cabinets, sadly, because it’s one of my favorites for summer. I pinned a lot of dresses of this kind in my summer-spring inspiration board, because they’re so fresh (it’s sometimes better to cover up than to show a lot of skin in the heat) and elongate the figure quite nicely. Most girls I know are into it, the boys… not so much (I think I heard the words “pregnancy style” a few times.

Black Burdastyle maxi dress by Carlotta Stermaria

Black Burdastyle maxi dress by Carlotta StermariaYet, I never had any dress of this style until I made this one : I certainly tried on a lot of them, but ready-to-wear designs tend to save on fabric, and usually long dresses look a bit more like columns than like hot air balloons, and I personnally wanted my long dresses to have plenty of volume.

Black Burdastyle maxi dress by Carlotta Stermaria

Black Burdastyle maxi dress by Carlotta StermariaI’m not used to this type of length, and nowadays, wearing a dress this long feels definitely princess-y! I have to watch my steps, and to hold the skirt with two hands when getting up and down the stairs : that’s funny at first, but beware if you’re visiting high, slippery towers in Florence. I always feel like I occupy a lot more space than usual when wearing this dress!

Black Burdastyle maxi dress by Carlotta Stermaria

Black Burdastyle maxi dress by Carlotta StermariaI made it last year and, sadly, it’s beginning to age a little : the black is getting grey-ish, and despite my care and occasional mending, some stitches are gone… No problem though : I’m more than ready to make a replacement : I now know long dresses are a summer staple indeed…

Pictures by Noctvrna!