Playing Fashion Editrix: Inspirations from the Spring 2012 RTW collections

As a sewist, I love to go through the fashion magazines – primarily Vogue – for inspiration, and this year, I’ve turned my attention to really working through the Spring collections. Using pinterest, I’ve been pulling together the garments that I particularly like, and it’s incredibly interesting to see the themes that have emerged. It’s like being a fashion editor! But I make no claims that these are ‘the’ trends – they’re just trends I happen to be drawn to, that I think will work for me (for instance, all of the high jewel necklines plus my fairly busty figure = a world of No), and hope to integrate into my sewing – for now, for spring, for sometime 🙂 I’ve also only gone through a handful of the collections that interest me – some based on name, some based on’s review. A sewist only has so much time on her hands, and some designers just don’t really appeal (p.s. J Crew + Fashion week = !?).

New York Fashion Week is done,  London Fashion Week is starting to heat up, and today, Milan is underway. Already, I’m noticing how little I know about British fashion – beyond Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, and whomever the Middletons currently favour. It’s a bit sad, really. I’m sure I’ll have so many more pins by the time the presentation of these collections is done and dusted!

Contrast trim

Marc by Marc Jacobs; Stephen Burrows; Pringle of Scotland

I don’t think I ever before realized just how much I love a contrast trim! Stephen Burrows’ red hem facing is fantastic, and  Pringle of Scotland’s dress = nouveau mod perfection.


Clockwise from L: Marc Jacobs x 2, Burberry x 2, Sass and Bide

It’s funny – as a buyer of clothes, I try to get away with as few pieces of outerwear as possible (and wear the hell out of them…), and yet I’m finding myself so very much drawn to beautiful jackets and coats.

Love Jacobs’ jackets!

  • The gingham is pretty and  fun, and I would not have thought of it on my own.
  • I chose the 2nd one for it’s short length, and also for that beautiful contrast trim.
  • Burberry’s coatdress was, for me, one of the standout pieces of that collection – and I’ve paired the image with the Sass and Bide on the bottom because clearly I’m loving that black-or-midnight-blue plus butter colour play.
  • I chose the other burberry mainly for that gorgeous wine colour – though I do love its fluidity as well. The skirt though?  That skirt must have gone down the runway a dozen times, and I think that if you have any lower abdominal fat, it’ll go very matron, very fast.

Navy plus Poppy

From left: Milly; Stephen Burrows; Milly; Sass and Bide

I am *loving* this colour palette, seen at Milly, Stephen Burrows, Sass and Bide – and surely elsewhere. After all, that’s one eclectic group of designers!

From left to right…

  • Milly’s prints are some of my absolute favourites, and I wish I had access to such extraordinary fabrics!
  • Love the red sleeve and assymetrical neck – plus the neck red binding @ Stephen Burrows.
  • This silhouette at Milly is so beautiful, and I love that contrast trim on the sleeves (and, of course, the assymetrical skirt).
  • Sass and Bide I chose, once again, for the colours. I’m happy to leave the bright pants for those who didn’t live through the early 90s. (P.s. I admit feeling a slight vindication that the early 90s retro trends are all about things like the colour block and not about the grunge. I just hope that the sheer black sleeves don’t make a comeback…)


From left: Z Spoke by Zac Posen, Vivienne Westwood Red Label, Pringle of Scotland

I flat out love assymetry – well, except in haircuts. And the left and right pieces – by Zac Posen and Pringle of Scotland (the top) – have what I think of as architectural elements that, at least visually, if not sewingly, i quite enjoy. I’m noticing my penchant for sharp edges and corners. Again – love them visually, but sewingly? I need to practice turning points and corners…

Westwood’s piece – it’s the top i love – shows a different kind of assymetry – a draping one – that I love equally if not more.


Left to Right: Christopher Kane; Milly

Or inverted pleats, no matter. I’m always searching for the perfect pattern…

Black Shine

Left to Right: Marc by Marc Jacobs; Vivienne Westwood Red Label; Pringle of Scotland

It’s wonderful when you surprise yourself by what you select. As a wearer – and launderer –  I’ve shied away from shiny clothing, ever since a pair of black sateen pants that, well, completely lost their lustre after wash 1. As a sewist, I’m developing a major – and healthy – allergy to cheap satins. And yet here I am, returning again and again to the shine…

  • The Marc by Marc Jacobs I pulled out mainly for the silhouette and colour contrast (blocking that works?). However, I do like the skirt, I love the heavy fabric, and am thinking that a black sateen mini is *perfect* for fall/winter.
  • Shirtdresses! Again, Always seaching for the perfect pattern, which I’ve not yet found. I had been thinking black eyelet, but maybe a sateen?
  • Had not expected to love Pringle of Scotland, but their looks this season are trim, but never prim. I particularly love the subtle light accents on the coat, and keep wondering whether it’s a little bit of white accent put in there, or all done by light. Nevertheless, I’m now thinking of a strategic white piping on a black coat.


Clockwise from left: Erdem, Oscar de la Renta, Erdem, KMid in Erdem, Nanette Lepore

Speaking of surprising oneself… I’m generally quite averse to lace, florals, and other things that move too easily from feminine to girlish. But there’s no denying that lace is absolutely everywhere – and not going away anytime soon. Clockwise from left:

  • first two: I’m really enjoying these lace/eyelet straight and pencil skirts. I’m not super keen on the Oscar de la Renta (on the right), but include it for comparison. That being said, the idea of a trim lace jacket is appealing… in the right lace, of course.
  • next two: Both Erdem, and very nearly identical. Admittedly, I only know of Erdem through KMid, and I do adore this Erdem dress she wore on the Canadian tour. I even admit to wanting to knock it off – only hesitating because I don’t really want to be recognized as wearing a KMid knockoff. I’m disappointed that Erdem showed very nearly the same dress this season. The colour is obviously a change, and it seems the sleeves are a little looser. Maybe the KMid is a stretch lace, while on the newer dress, you can see how the lace doesn’t cling to the model’s sleeves in the same way.
  • It’s not that I love this Nanette Lepore look, but I find it compelling…


All images from


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