12/06/2018

Winter 2018 Capsule Wardrobe


My winter 2018-2019 capsule wardrobe is here! It has taken me the whole year to make and thrift garments to build it but it's worth it. There are only two brand new ready-to-wear pieces which include a shirt dress and a pair of shoes. I often end up buying my shoes new as it's hard to find the right style and size (and condition) in second hand shops. I'm fine with buying new as long as it's something I haven't been able to find second hand or I don't want/it doesn't make sense to make it myself. My new items are often from Monoprix as it's the only somewhat ethical brand I can afford at the moment.

So, this capsule has 33 pieces but I'm not really so strict about the number. As long as all of my stuff fits on one Ikea clothes rack, it's a capsule for me. I live in the South of France so my garment choices are adapted to the local climate. For example, it's already December but we still have days when the sun shines and you don't even need a coat!

Anyway, without further ado, here's my winter 2018-2019 capsule wardrobe:













There's still gonna be a few me made add-ins but I got to say I'm pretty happy with this year's winter capsule! It's funny how I feel the most confident about my style during the winter months and a bit lost during summer time. 

Do you find it easier to dress according to your personal style during certain seasons?

11/27/2018

Newest Make // SOI Ultimate Shift Dress // Fabric Crush


Guys, I have been planning to make a dress like this since about two months ago but there's been a few obstacles in the way. First, it took me forever to choose between the SOI Ultimate Shift Dress and Tilly and The Buttons' Françoise dress. Then, having finally made up my mind it was time to find the right fabric for the project. I wanted something natural and thick enough so I could wear it when the weather cools down. Now, buying fabric in France can be surprisingly tricky as there seems to be a fair amount of crooks in the business. After visiting a bunch of fabric shops and carefully going through all the options, I found a beautiful viscose with a botanical print in gorgeous fall colours. It was the rest of the roll so I got it for a good price. At home I washed it in 30 degrees and as I pulled it out...all the colours had faded and the black had bled everywhere. I couldn't believe it! I got it for cheap but the original price was 12 euros per meter which is just shocking. I was so mad as I had to trash it which is both waste of money and earth's resources. Someone produced that fabric as cheaply as possible to make a maximum of profit and in the end the quality isn't even enough to use the product once. I wish I had the money to invest in high quality, ethically made fabrics but for now I just have to try the best I can with the resources I have. If I can't buy ethical, I at least want my make to last a long time in use.

France's leading fabric retailer is called Mondial Tissus and I haven't had any problems with the few fabrics I have purchased from them. The thing is though that you need to reeeaally want your fabric to actually get it. Going in person to their shop is like going to the doctor's and the doctor is always running behind schedule. Well, I decided to go check them out anyway as I really needed fabric and I even had the SOI Shift Dress pattern ready to go. I ended up waiting around for  30 minutes next to the roll of fabric of my choice for a member of the staff to cut it for me. It was late and I ended up giving up. Then I went to their website to at least profit from their sales. The universe obviously had something against my little shift dress project as all the fabrics I wanted were out of stock.

Okay, it was time for plan C. I was desperate so I ended up in Ikea to check out their fabrics. And finally, there it was: Filodendron. 100 percent cotton, 5 euros per meter, thick but not too thick, dark botanical flower print. Three meters of that please! And yes, people make curtains, pillows and other decorative stuff out of it but I don't mind! I'm absolutely crazy about the print: it has flowers, branches, butterflies and even birds. And yeah, the colours are obviously just gorgeous.


Voilà, I had my fabric and it was time to make the SOI Ultimate Shift Dress happen. I ended up choosing it over the Françoise because you could make so many versions of it. There's several sleeve options and you can even make it as a top. It also seemed like a super speedy make so that made it  just that much more attractive. However, the project ended up taking quite much more time than I had planned. First I accidentally followed the instuctions for the wrong version and had to pick out a bunch of seams. After that it came together fairly effortlessly as the structure is extremely simple. When I tried it on I realised I had perhaps made a mistake by choosing this pattern. You see, the SOI Shift Dress has only a slight A-shape and me, I'm pear shaped. I should have taken my body type into consideration and chosen rather the generously A-shaped Françoise which also has a bunch of darts to help with the fit. I made the size 12 which ended up being huge on the top and a bit snug around my hips. Luckily the pattern has a generous seam allowance of 1,5 centimeters so I was able to let out 2 cm in total to make it more comfortable. To fix the fit for the top I took both side seams in about 3 centimeters which really is a lot. I'm happy though that after these little adjustments it fits fine and I really like it. I purchased this pattern for it to be a staple in my wardrobe so next time I'll make the top half a size 8 or 10 and then grade the bottom half out to a size 14 to have a clearly A-lined skirt.


The fabric being fairly sturdy, I decided there was no need to add a hook-and-eye closure to the back opening. It stays in place just fine and I quite like the look of it. If I wanted to make it more festive, I could have added a nice ribbon, but I wanted to keep it simple and wearable.


The last thing that bugs me a bit is that I made it just a little bit too short. In the photos it looks quite fine but in real life the truth is I can't sit or bend in it without the risk of flashing innocent people. Thus I think it might be a good idea to add a bit of black lace to the hem. What do you think?


11/19/2018

About Fantastic Beasts


I am actually a great fan of the Harry Potter series and the wizarding world created by J. K. Rowling. At the age of 11 I was ill with fever and my mother bought me the second book of the series to help me pass time. From there on I was completely obsessed and I could spend entire days just reading in my room, drinking lemon tea and snacking on strawberry soy yogurt. When too tired to go on, I would fall asleep with the book. In my dreams the story would continue, face a dead end and start again from where I had left off. 

What I loved about the Harry Potter books was how they were so well written you could easily get immersed in the story to the point of having an impression of being right there. Each character and place is described in such detail that you are not only capable to visualize but also to smell and hear them. Also, with each book she made sure to reveal something new about her characters and the wizarding world. So, when the first movie adaptation (Harry Potter and Sorcerer's Stone, 2001) was released I was relieved as I found in the movie the atmosphere of the books. Sadly, it was only downhill from there and the next movies of the series were of unwatchable quality to me. It was as if someone had in five minutes drawn on paper the main events to go through and then mechanically executed them. The movies from 2 to 5 lacked in depth, precision, rhythm and casting. They didn't translate the feel of Rowling's books and therefore failed to fulfill my dreams of bringing to life the world I loved.


However, when I heard of a new film series both produced and written by Rowling herself, I was ready to give it a chance. The Fantastic Beasts film series is a spin-off and a prequel to the Harry Potter stories and the first one (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) was released in 2016. What can I say...the movie was everything the Harry Potter films should have been! Watching it, you could clearly feel the author's presence and imagine how she would have described each scene in writing. Even Q was so impressed he even ended up reading all of the books which he had never done. For two years we waited patiently for the second film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and a few night's ago we finally saw it!

I was consciously trying not to expect too much to not be so disappointed if "they screwed it up". Anyhow, after the first ten minutes I was tembling with excitement as I was sure I was in for a stomach clenchingly amazing treat of 2 hours and 13 minutes. Rowling didn't let the true fans of the wizarding world down: the film enriches the universe and is in all aspects a worthy prequel to the H.P. series. The story is rich in detail and filled with juicy plot twists which are nevertheless carefully thought out. The press criticized this by claiming the plot overly complicated and unnecessarily detailed. Well, I call that not underestimating your audience. These movies are not fast food but a ten course gourmet menu.

Also, the screenplay is just...flawless. I could hardly breathe through the whole film as I was sort of expecting it to lose its magic at any moment but no, it was pure perfection until the very end. The casting, costume design, special effects and music all form a beautiful, powerful harmony. Eddie Redmayne is perfect as the peculiar and passionate magizoologist, Newt Scamander. In this new film we have the pleasure to learn more about him to better understand his personality and motivations. The great thing is that nothing is black and white as even the villains are not purely evil and any "good guy" can change sides in order to pursue their own values.


I had had my doubts about the casting of Jude Law as Dumbledore and Johnny Depp as Grindelwald but honestly they both nailed it. Casting two quite controversial megastars is definitely risky as the question is: Will I be able to look past Jude Law and see Dumbledore as I have imagined him? The answer is yes. Both Law and Depp did great job impersonating such key characters. Depp was a perfect young Dumbledore with twinkly eyes and dark, secret burdens. Speaking of which,  I was also really impressed with how the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald was portrayed. It affirms what Rowling stated after the H.P. series and makes you curious for more as these two will eventually have to face each other in a final battle.

Leaving the movie theater, I was bursting with excitement and inspiration. How refreshing to see a movie made with such vision and passion instead of just taking the audience for fools and feeding them an action-packed, soulless compilation of the same old solutions which seem to bring in the most cash. The best part is that there's still three more movies to come. If they all end up being the same quality as the two first ones...Ladies and Getlemen, we have in our hands a pentalogy of pure epicness.

I'll obviously go see The Crimes of Grindelwald again. It's too good to not enjoy as much as possible on the big screen. How about you? What are your thoughts on these prequels?