Behind the scenes.. all of the little things that go into the development of

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Peau de soie Fishtail Dress by Vanessa Empire evolution of this dress happened
 very quickly.  
The original design included a shirred section on the sides of the princess seams.  I then was going to make it strapless, and add the fishtail in the back.  After creating my rough version I realized that I did not want all of the bulky fabric on my thighs!   This is the why I always start with making a muslin.  It provides you with the opportunity to try a fit or sillhouette on your own body.
I have never been afraid of trying something a little bolder or different than what is found in "ready-to-wear".  If I don't like the style on my body, I can go back to the drawing table.


 This dress is made of espresso brown  
Peau de soie (po-da-swa) with  
 Turquoise and Paris Pink Silk Taffeta from 
Studio BERNINA.  I love working with Peau de soie.  It has a nice hand and is much more manageable than charmeuse.            Taffeta was more difficult to work with in this particular dress. 

Peau de soie

is also called the “skin of silk”.


After completion of the muslin, I simplified the design. 

"The more cultivated a people becomes, the more decoration disappears" - Le Corbusier

 I added the two-toned fishtail and the
Yves Saint Laurent  inspired Big Pink Bow.
I added boning to the top so that it will stand with structure and a slit in the back of the dress.

I used the following BERNINA Presser feet:
 Ruffler Foot, Invisible Zipper Foot (#35), Jeans Foot (#8)
This dress was so fun to wear!     

Friday, September 7, 2012

Custom Tailor's & Designers - New York Boat Party

Custom Tailors Designers Vanessa Empire in New York City

New York was a blast! It was so fun to catch up with some of my longest friends from the Custom Tailors & Designers Association (CTDA), which is the longest running trade association to this date.  While I was sad that some people didn’t make it to the boat party, it was great to catch up with some of the world’s finest tailors (including my mother), designers, clothiers and stylists in the world.

We were told to dress casual, so finally I have a reason to bring to life this little number that has been in my head twirling around.
This upgraded pencil skirt is made of cotton, with a Swiss batiste foundation.  Once the skirt was made, (darts, fit, darts, etc...)I created a yoke pattern, and then did a little math to determine how many stripes I needed to reach the desired skirt length. 
Vanessa Empire Fashion Design boat skirt
Once I was able to get the right fit, including the side seams and the yoke side seams, 
I began adding the stripes.
Fashion Designer Vanessa Empire Colorado Bernina The Tailor's Daughter Custom Pencil Skirt  Fashion Designer Vanessa Empire Colorado Bernina The Tailor's Daughter Custom Pencil Skirt
And... keep adding stripes....
   Fashion Designer Vanessa Empire BERNINA The Tailor's Daughter Pencil Skirt Nautical
and... finally with one stripe to go... I used the Rolled Hem foot to hem my foundation garment,
and added the final stripe.
Fashion Designer Vanessa Empire BERNINA The Tailor's Daughter Pencil Skirt Nautical
The toughest part about this skirt ended up being getting the stripes to match up in the back.
There are no side seams on this number, so it took a little forcing of the fabric so that the
stripes would align around the invisible zipper.
Fashion Designer Vanessa Empire Studio BERNINA The Tailor's Daughter Pencil Skirt Nautical   
This is a quick pic I took in the hotel while I was getting ready.
(Good thing I got this pic, since I would not have any skirt photos taken while on the boat!)
Then off for dinner and cocktails with our amazing and talented family, the CTDA.
Fashion Designer Vanessa Empire Gian DiCaro The Tailor's Daughter Pencil Skirt Nautical
This is
"Il Maestro" Master Tailor, Gian DiCaro.  He is based out of Seattle, WA
and his shop, Gian DiCaro Sartoria, was named "the best bespoke tailoring west of the Rockies"
by GQ.
He has done many events detailing and breaking down the 'art of dressing well'.
Alan Levine Vanessa Empire Fashion Style leader and creator
This is the wonderful and talented, Alan Levine.  His style sense continues to bring him to the top with a resume
including Fashion Director at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Gladson, and Astor & Black. 
We thought this would be a wonderful 'blue eye' photo...
but atleast we are coordinated and nautical!
Vanessa Empire The Tailor's Daughter Fashion Designer Stylist
This is Frank Cicco, of Frank Cicco Custom Tailors based in Bulter, PA. 
He is a 4th generation tailor, and has style that will make you do a double-take!
(He always has the best ties, and socks... as if the custom tailored suits weren't enough!)
Master Tailor Susan Igou and Gladson Vanessa Empire The Tailors Daughter
And finally, a happy pose from Susan Igou (my mom in the middle) with Blanch and Urich of Gladson. 

We had such a nice time seeing everyone! I am missing pictures of so many... but was grateful for the opportunity to be together, and to stay involved in keeping the 'Art of Dressing Well' alive...
Bon voyage!