Friday, August 21, 2009

I'm putting out a hit on top-down raglan sweaters

There.....I've said it!

I've been holding out, trying to be nice but I've had ENOUGH! This Zimmerman thing has gotten out of hand. I've haven't had the time to follow hand-knits as much over the past 2 years but now that I've started paying attention again I'm thoroughly disappointed. Top-down raglan knitting, like a virus, has taken over the hand-knits and it's ridiculous.

Don't get me wrong. Every style has it's place but I'll be damned (excuse my potty mouth) if every sweater you make is suited to be a raglan. There are set-in, dolman, drop sleeves, etc. As a knitter if every sweater you make has raglan sleeves because you don't like making sleeves or sewing seams that is your preference because maybe you like every sweater you own to look the same or just like the act of knitting. As a designer I take real issue. If all you are doing is taking an Elizabeth Zimmerman recipe and throwing in a different stitch pattern.....well let me say it like this... it's like the difference between chefs and cooks. And now we have whole publications chock full of top-down raglan-sleeved sweaters that in no way cater to people, like me, that don't want increase holes in my raglan line or better yet think raglans make me look like I have shoulders like a football player. If it's really raglan sleeves that you like then try designing a sweater where the raglan sleeves need to be sewn in.

So from this day forward, tell your mothers, friends, sisters, brothers, and cousins.....I'm issuing a challenge and I'm putting out a hit out on top-down raglan sweaters. I want to kill this trend before it gets any worse.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Isabel Toledo & the Inauguration Dress

Yesterday, Tammi and I got a chance to go to the Isabel Toledo exhibit at the FIT museum.

The biggest draw to this exhibit is the chance to see the dress that Michelle Obama wore the day of the Inauguration along with many dresses from her collection over the years. When I saw Mrs.O in the dress I was very impressed with it. The simplistic and elegant style appealed to me along with the non-traditional color choice and the way it seemed to shine.

Getting the chance to see it up close and in museum lighting I must say that I wouldn't have thought it was the same dress. The museum lighting is meant to preserve and not fade the fabric but it doesn't show off what is one of the best aspects of the dress. It is made of a yellow couture lace which is very matte in color. The genius of the dress is in the lining. The white wool lining not only provides warmth but it also what gave the dress it's sense of "shine" in the January sunlight.

The rest of the exhibit was very interesting to see. You can view the online exhibition here. Mrs. Toledo is the essence of a couture designer. She is driven by the art and the structure which translates to creative and expensive garment construction. Much of her work is based on the concepts of origami in fabric. If you get a chance to stop by the exhibit (which is free and on display until Sept. 26th) you should try and see it.