Style Crush: Kerry Washington

Last month I decided to start watching Scandal, which is all on Amazon Prime, to see what all the fuss was about, and because I love Joshua Malina on The West Wing Weekly podcast. I can’t decide if Scandal is good or not – it feels like a soap with a bigger budget, which is fine but not what I thought it was. Anyway I’ve decided I’m a bit in love with Kerry Washington. She is so so beautiful! And I love her style, so I thought I would share some of my favourite looks with you, in no particular order.

I really love the simplicity of the silhouette of this dress, coupled with the graduating colour of the sequins. If I had an exciting party to go to, I might make a copy of this!


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This dress looks like a pretty good idea for this hot Summer weather we’re having. It’s a bit Halston to me, and coupled with her more natural hair, it looks really effortless.

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This is another of my absolute favourite looks – I know she was styled for Elle magazine here, so they’re not necessarily her clothes, but I really want to copy this outfit. I love the proportions and the colour, and the tunic/dress could be worn on its own, which would give you a 60s vibe. I also really want to get a pair of those shoes!


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I like the silhouette of this outfit and the use of the reverse of the fabric on the top compared to the dress underneath.


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You know how much I like yellow. Nuff said!


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She seems to be so good at choosing simple but chic outfits for the red carpet, and this Lanvin (I think) dress is no different. The fit is so impeccable and I love the bow detail on the shoulder.


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I really love the bedazzled lips, matchsticks and jewels on this blush pink colour.


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This pink is perfect on her and I really love the panelling on the skirt. More inspiration to copy for next year’s Dressmaker’s Ball?


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This might be my absolute favourite look I’ve found.  It definitely has a 70s vibe, especially with the clogs and I love her hair here. Definitely inspiration for a cute denim Summer dress, and I love how the topstitching adds an extra layer of detail.


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More sequined dress inspiration! I love the neckline and shoulders on this. I reckon I could recreate it using the Tilly and the Buttons Martha Dress, which I have but haven’t made yet.


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Not sure about the 60s beehive but I love the dress – the fabric having the squares pattern on makes it more interesting.

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I love how she wears maybe more grown up looks and then younger looks like this dress, which is definitely made cooler with the booties and the loose up-do.


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And I couldn’t resist sharing this look – I love the sculptural style of the dress and how the white patches look almost like a lapel. And I love the blunt hair with the straight lines of the dress.


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Have you watched Scandal? Do you love Kerry Washington as much as I do?

 

 

Wardrobe Architect Week 3: Exploring Shapes

This week’s Wardrobe Architect exercise is about finding out which shapes of garments you like wearing – and possibly more crucially, which shapes you don’t like wearing. Some of the things that contribute to the shape of a garment include ease (tight or loose), length, neckline, waistline position, sleeve length, and fullness. There’s a really helpful worksheet you can download from Colette to help you rate the different aspects of each different garment, to help you see which shapes you like. I think we’ve probably all sewn things that we didn’t feel great in, or weren’t the most flattering, and I feel like this week will be the beginning of me working out what’s good and what’s bad!

The worksheet has you grade different elements of different garment types, where 0 is hate wearing it and 10 is love wearing it.

Here’s my overview:exploring-shapes-worksheet
Then there’s another section with more specific necklines and sleeves to mercilessly judge:

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Skirts

According to my scores, I mostly like skirts which are mid-thigh or knee length – I’m too short to pull off midi! And I like them to be fairly straight in style, including pencil-type skirts, though I don’t like them to be too tight. I found some photos to sum up my taste – some of the photos are things people have sewn from patterns (including one I made myself!) because it seemed like a not-terrible idea to find things I might actually be able to recreate!

exploring-shapes-skirts-1 exploring-shapes-skirts-2 exploring-shapes-skirts-5 exploring-shapes-skirts-4exploring-shapes-skirts-3  exploring-shapes-skirts-6-2(All image sources can be found on my Wardrobe Architect pinterest board)

Dresses

I definitely wasn’t surprised that what I like are shift dresses, without waist seams. Also that they are quite loose and hit me mid-thigh. I feel exposed and uncomfortable in mini-length things, especially if I have to sit down!

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I also quite like the 60s-style high waisted look. I think this will be a silhouette I’ll experiment more with. I’ve been meaning to make a Tilly and the Buttons Megan Dress (from Love At First Stitch) for ages, so maybe now is the time!

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(All image sources can be found on my Wardrobe Architect pinterest board)

Trousers (Pants)

From my scores of trousers, it seems that I like most styles and shapes – really fitted, somewhat fitted and somewhat loose. Also I’m quite flexible when it comes to where they sit on my waist.

You can’t beat some classic black skinny jeans!

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I do also like wide-legged trousers, though there is a limit! I think being short I can’t pull off giant trousers.

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I also like these more boyfriend-y shapes. The Morgan Jeans are on my #2017MakeNine list, so I’ll be making myself some this year.

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(All image sources can be found on my Wardrobe Architect pinterest board)

Tops and Blouses

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I like loose, boxy tops. I hadn’t really thought explicitly about what length of top I like, so that was interesting to think about – I like tops just above hip level. I don’t mind the odd cropped top, but with high-waisted bottoms. I think the tunic length on me would just throw off my proportions because I’m short. Weird how basically all the photos I picked are monochrome!

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(All image sources can be found on my Wardrobe Architect pinterest board)

 

Jackets and Blazers

I wasn’t really surprised by how I scored the different styles of jacket/blazer – I kind of knew I like quite loose, slightly boyish shaped jackets, in a length that hits on or just below my hip bones. Jackets are definitely an area I want to move more into, given the office I work in is fairly smart, and I feel a bit more put together and grown up if I’m wearing a jacket. This first photo is the hacking jacket from the first Great British Sewing Bee book, so that’s definitely on my list to make.

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(All image sources can be found on my Wardrobe Architect pinterest board)

Cardigans

I found it really hard to find pictures of the kinds of cardigans I like wearing! I like round necked, plain, fairly fitted cardigans – it’s one of the few things I prefer to be more fitted and not as loose. Maybe I’ll explore with other styles in the future? Since I now live in a very cold place, I like the idea of some over-sized, snuggly knitwear!

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(All image sources can be found on my Wardrobe Architect pinterest board)

Outerwear

Apparently I like grey and yellow coats! I also like them to be loose, and I love cocoon shapes (which weren’t really covered on the worksheet). I have a duffle coat which is more hip length and I like that, but I also love my Freemantle coat, which is a bit longer – you need to have some long coats, for warmth if nothing else! I may have to make another Freemantle because I really do love it. I might try making it more round necked, though, as the v is very deep so not super warm when it’s really cold unless you’re wearing a giant scarf!

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(All image sources can be found on my Wardrobe Architect pinterest board)

Well there we go. I don’t think there were a huge amount of surprises for me, but it was interesting to look at the specific design elements I like and like to wear – sometimes I look at things and think ‘I really like that’ but I don’t analyse why, so sometimes I sew things I think I’ll like but then don’t, because it doesn’t fit with these scores. I’m definitely going to try to remember to come back to this post when I’m planning my makes!

p.s. Sorry this is going up a day late – I was writing it yesterday evening and was still going at past 11, so I figured there was no point forcing myself to stay up and get tired just to finish it a couple of minutes before midnight, just to have it be published on the Sunday.

 

 

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Style Crush: Emma Stone

la-la-landAt the weekend I went to see La La Land, as I’m sure did a lot of people! The screen I was in was pretty full and it’s been out a couple of weeks. I did like it but for some reason I left feeling a little underwhelmed – maybe it’s because of the hype? Also I love musicals and, although I liked the nods to the classic musicals, like Singin’ In The Rain and An American In Paris, the songs seemed a little weak. I do now want some 2-tone brogues now though! And Emma Stone wore some nice dresses, especially the yellow one above. I’m sure I read somewhere (though now I can’t remember where!) that the dress was a sample they made to screen test but then they ended up using that one in the film!

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But enough about La La Land and onto my style crush for today: Emma Stone. I’ve liked her for quite a while and I think she’s always really likeable and watchable on screen. And I love her style! She looks particularly good in bright colours, like pink. I love the dramatic bow on the gown above, and the 2 different shades of pink below look really cool. I also like the separate top and skirt, it’s a bit more different on the red carpet than a dress.

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This pink dress, with a white collar and cuffs, might be one of my favourites of all the dresses I’ve seen her wear. I love the sheer sleeves, the bright shade of pink, the monochrome houndstooth shoes, everything! This could be my inspiration for my Billie bodice from Boundless Style……

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She looks pretty great in white and red, as well as pink! I like the embroidery/ appliqued fabric here. And the exaggerated hip shape. I’m guessing it’s Vivienne Westwood?

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I like this simple shift dress, too, and the more coral-y shade of pink.

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Although I don’t think I’d wear this outfit, I do really like it! I like the ruffled skirt, the casual t-shirt, the turquoise necklace and the red shoes! I really don’t think I’d combine these colours, but they really work!

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You can’t beat spots and stripes!

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Now I’ve got a few of my favourite gowns Emma Stone has worn. I like how simple this dress is, with the perfect nude shade. But it’s still interesting, with the sparkly trim and the cut out sides,

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This is another of my favourites of her dresses. I love, love, love the fabric. And there’s something really lovely about the proportions and fit of this dress. I can’t really explain why I like it so much, but I do!

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I love the beading on this gown she wore to the Oscars. I can’t begin to imagine how many hours went into it! Not totally in love with the colour of this one, though.

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She even looks great in black – which not everyone does. I like the Grecian style of this gown and the fact that it’s made of floaty fabric. I bet it was lovely to walk in!

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I read somewhere that this gown was the inspiration for the yellow dress in La La Land. She really does look great in yellow. And I like how it seems to have shoulder pads, or something. And it looks like the fabric on the skirt has a sort of vertical rib. You don’t often see interestingly textured fabric on red carpet gowns – possibly just because it doesn’t come out in photos!

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Of course you can always spot lace. I like this dress, and how they’ve used a nude colour underneath the black lace. If they had used black underneath, the pattern of the lace would have been lost. I like the ribbon around her waist, too.

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I’ve posted this photo mostly because the dress has wings! I love the black collar and the embroidery, too!

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I like how she wears trousers on the red carpet as well as dresses and skirts. I love this one! You can’t beat black sparkles!

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I like this more casual look, too. I think I may need some trousers made of patterned fabric in my life. I always err on the side of caution with trousers and mostly just wear black or navy or jeans.

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This is an amazing look at the Golden Globes. This is up there with the red dress thing with black trousers that Emma Watson wore to the Globes one year. I kind of want to copy this one day, though I’d probably never wear it!

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She even looks cool in a suit! I’m not totally in love with these trousers, but I love the shoes, it makes the outfit more interesting.

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When I do these posts I always try not to use obviously paparazzi photos because I feel actresses are entitled to some privacy – when they’re on the red carpet, they’re ‘at work’ so it feels a bit different. Having said that, however, I’m sharing this one street photo of Emma Stone because I love it! I basically want to rip off this whole outfit. The Morgan Jeans are one of my #2017MakeNine so I’ll at least have the jeans at some point this year! And I want her shoes soooo badly!

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Have you seen La La Land? Did you love it?

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Style Crush: Mia Farrow

My style crush for today is Mia Farrow – and specifically Mia Farrow from the 60s. She was definitely one person who had a classic 60s crop (alongside Jean Seberg) and she looks cool smoking a black cigarette!

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Mia Farrow first came to prominence as an actress in the American soap Peyton Place. She then became really famous by marrying Frank Sinatra (though the marriage only lasted a couple of years. They married in 1966 and she wore a really cute suit! Her hair is a little too short for my taste, though! Also creepy fact: she was 21, he was 51!

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I included this photo mostly for the cute dog, though the coat is nice too. Even though I’ve no idea what colour it is.

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Speaking of cute coats…..I think I might have to make a coat in this style. Does anyone know of any patterns for double-breasted 60s coats? Maybe I need to look through my vintage pattern collection? I think I’m rediscovering my love of 60s collars. I think this photo looks really modern too, with the boots.

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Following her fame from her marriage to Frank Sinatra, Farrow then starred in Rosemary’s Baby which was her first leading role and garnered critical success. IT was while she was filming Rosemary’s Baby that Sinatra filed for divorce because the filing had overrun and so she didn’t turn up to film a role in one of Sinatra’s films.

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I like the flowery shift dress above. And the white tights – white tights definitely seem to be a 60s staple, I think I need to get some. And the turtleneck, below, is also quite 60s. Maybe I need to get the Papercut Rise and Fall turtleneck pattern? Unless you know of any other patterns?

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I slightly love this crazy furred dress! Not sure I could pull it off….though I like the matching tights/shoes combo.

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I love these 2 coats! Stripes and amazing roll collars, 3/4 length sleeves and big buttons! Amazing! I think I prefer the pink one, but that might be because it’s a better photo.

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Farrow may be best known these days for her relationship with Woody Allen, starring in 13 of his 14 movies between 1979 and 1992. And then, of course, the controversy of Allen leaving her for her adopted daughter (who she adopted with her previous husband, Andre Previn).

But back to fashion…..it seems a little weird to be looking at pretty dresses while also talking about someone’s personal life. But, to be flippant, I do love this blue sequined dress. I love all the colours on it, and the pink coat really sets it off. Those pastel blues and pinks seem to be popular colours of the 60s.

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I put this photo in mostly because sequined garters matching a sequined top!

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This is another photo which is making me want to sew everything with a contrasting collar. I love the yoke detail and the buttons down the front of this dress….

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And also this playsuit. I thought these were the same garment for a while, but the playsuit has turnups which don’t seem to be there above, and the collar looks a bit more pointy in the dress above.

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I really like Mia Farrow in the Woody Allen films I’ve seen and I love her 60s pixie crop – which she cut herself! There was a photoshoot stunt set up for Vidal Sassoon to cut her hair, but she had already cut it short herself! But it was surprisingly difficult to find many photos – particularly in colour – of her outfits from the 60s (my favourite era!). I guess fame was different then and there probably weren’t as many red carpets and parties and awards shows – and the photos there were may not have made it online yet. I don’t know, but I do love her style.

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Style Crush: Lupita Nyong’o

Today I want to talk about how much I love Lupita Nyong’o. I’m sure like everyone else she came to my attention during the awards season 2 years ago when she was nominated for her role in 12 Years A Slave for pretty much every award going. I actually watched the Oscars that year (staying up until about 4am!) and I was thrilled – and a little moved – when she won the Oscar. I also loved the dress she wore. When asked about it she said the colour reminded her of Nairobi – she was brought up in Kenya.

The Prada gown seemed to fulfill any princess fantasies one might have but also be a bit different in terms of the cut and the fit – I love how it plunges so low at the front!

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From the same awards season is this Ralph Lauren red dress with a cape. I love it!! It’s so chic and edgy at the same time.

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This is another Prada gown which she wore to the 12 Years A Slave premier at the Toronto Film Festival. I know actresses all have stylists these days but this was her first movie – I doubt many actresses looked like this at their first few premiers!

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This is another gown from her first awards season – this time by Gucci. i love the colour – I love turquoise in general – and I love how it’s mostly simple but has the pretty flower neckline. I like her makeup here too.

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Nothing quite like a perfectly fitting yellow gown!

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This is definitely what I would be doing in this green Gucci gown too! Another great deep v on the front.

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This white Calvin Klein dress Lupita wore to the 2014 Critics Choice awards is stunning. I love the cut outs and the slightly sporty feel of the top and the simple column skirt.

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Who doesn’t love a red sparkly dress?! And it looks great with and without the white coat.

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Earlier this year Lupita was promoting her new film, Queen of Katwe, about an African (Ugandan) chess prodigy and her outfits for the various events were definite nods to the film’s setting and to her Kenyan roots.

I love, love, love this dress! Blue and yellow are two of my favourite colours (as I’m sure you’d know if you looked at all my me mades!) and the headscarf looks amazing. And the outfit looks somehow really effortless – even though I’m sure a lot of work went into putting it together.

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This is another amazing outfit from the press tour. I love everything about it – the super high-waisted trousers with the giant turn-ups, the matching top and headscarf, the earrings, her eyeshadow. The outfit is by Rosie Assoulin, a designer I’d not come across before. She worked for Oscar de la Renta and at Lanvin before launching her own line. You should google her stuff, it’s quite structural and cool.

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Another event, another great headscarf and dress. I like the simplicity of the dress, with the (I assume embroidery) detailing around the neck and hem.

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This Chanel dress, which I think she wore to the premier of Start Wars is so cool. I love the cut out at the back and the sequined shoulders. I like how the back stripes are missing for the waist and hem, it emphasises her great figure. I love her hair here too.

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Now I’ve got a few slightly less dressed up outfits – I pretty much could only find photos of her on red carpets, so I don’t know much about her ‘street’ style.

I love this purple jacket – I assume the collar is from the dress underneath. The proportions of this jacket are spot on. I don’t normally like purple, but it definitely looks good on her! Also her make-up looks beautiful and I love the earrings.

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I love this shift dress – the fit is spot on. And I like the patterns on the front.

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I like the use of the stripe on this green, white and black dress. Also I love her hair super short but it looks really cool here.

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I want this outfit (though probably in a different colour!). The trousers!

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And finally I will leave you with this stunning photo from her Vogue photoshoot from 2015. The gown is by Givenchy and I think everything about this photo is perfection.

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Who is your red carpet style icon?

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