Tips for creating Runway styles in 2018

Essays, Rants, and other Prose by Stephanie, the Life of anieKsteph
smiling woman standing on rooftop

Photo by Fabricio Abdon on Pexels.com

Do you want to create personal fashion that is cutting edge? Do you fancy the idea of people stopping to compliment your unique style so much that it gets mistaken for something from a runway fashion show? Here are some helpful tips to have your personal fashion designs noticed and featured on trend blogs.

 

photo of woman wearing yellow floral top

Photo by Godisable Jacob on Pexels.com

Be as daring as possible.

Many times what sets the fashion of Alexander Wang vs another label like Joe Fresh is the willingness to be daring and approach a conventional garment with fresh eyes.

Admirers will say “Wow, I had never thought about that before!”, and you may have trend watchers considering your design as a novel concept all together.

Tip: Be creative with garment closures and embellishments. Approach them in an unconventional way.

 

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Photo by Alexandra Maria on Pexels.com

Colour is your friend

Even if the folkways dictate that your colour scheme clashes- continue on. Softer hues can often take the edge off, and don’t forget to consult the almighty colour wheel to see if a “bluer” tinge to your steely grey could give the effect you are looking for.

One trend we are watching this year in 2018 in home decor is eclecticism. Eclectic trends allow you to mix a contemporary lamp with a mid-century modern side table- or floral pink and yellow peonies against a dark navy backdrop.

Tip: Have fun with colour, and when in doubt, go back to the first tip!

 

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Photo by Fancycrave.com on Pexels.com

Emulate scarcity and promote luxury in your runway style fashion design

Ever notice how much Crocodile and snake skin bags can go for? Somehow, the manufacturers use small amount of this material and price their items very high. The underlying idea here is that as a luxury material, there is not enough crocodile and snake skin to go around. But really, the numbers of these animals in the wild is astonishing. Not an unending resource by any means, but more than enough for the cost of my wallet to be 75% cheaper.

When making your runway style fashion design, another strategy is to use a material that is super to begin with, and that exudes the feel of luxury. Then use a small amount of it to emphasize the delicate nature of the material, and to covertly express the exclusive nature of having access to it. Think about most of the clothing you have ever seen made with raw silk. Mostly lingerie, scarves or other small items are made from raw silk- and you will rarely ever see a large garment. The idea here is to think exclusive, original, and not cheap.

Tip: Skimp on the quantity of materials, but use high end quality and make it finely.

woman wearing blue scoop neck quartered sleeve shirt posing

Photo by Nicolas Postiglioni on Pexels.com

There you have it!

Create your own runway-style personal fashion that will have trend watchers thinking “Was that resort Balmain 2019?”, or better.

 

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Beautiful Sky

Essays, Rants, and other Prose by Stephanie, the Life of anieKsteph

I love the sun, sunrises, and sunsets.

My waking hours have me up by 6 am most days, and I can usually take my time to rise slowly and appreciate the beautiful landscapes as they are kissed by sunlight cascading from the rising sun.

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Hamilton Ontario at York Blvd

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Mississauga Ontario sunrise between condos

Sunsets are great too, don’t get me wrong, but they are busier and the worries of the day often cloud any appreciation of their beauty.

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Sunset sky over 401 near Kitchener Ontario

During this holiday season, take time to appreciate things that you may have been overlooking.

It may not be a sunrise or sunset, but I think that those are perfect analogies for phenomenon that are always present in life, yet are not always noticed. Be present in your holiday moments.
Thanks for reading and have yourself a merry little Christmas.

Xoxo

S

How to model your own fashion line for online e-commerce

the Life of anieKsteph

I recently took some photos to model new apron designs for my Etsy shop. New designs mean new potential customers, and so fresh photos are integral to making sales and showing off product. Since I don’t have many people nearby who appeal to my target customer base to model for me, I must be my own model.

I don’t mind however, as I have recently learned that knowing how to operate your business from start to finish, and having experience with the day to day operation is often referred to as “full stack”. What that means for me is that I design the apron, draft the pattern, construct and finish each apron, model photos, complete photography and editing and also sell and ship to buyers.  I suppose one day I will need to delegate some of these duties to other people that I will need to hire; but, a huge asset will be for me to know how the task is done myself.

I have a basic mannequin to showcase my designs, but I think that a human model is a better at showcasing the “fit” of garments for many reasons. One particular reason is, unlike a mannequin the human body has more curves and is less perfect than a factory made representation. I think that it is important to capture this imperfection when it comes to sexy designs such as the ones in the LillyBoChic line. We have all seen Victoria Secret ads, so I think I can be different from that fake and unattainable ideal. 

Also, the head and arms are missing from my mannequin, so the ability for a potential buyer to imagine themselves in the item is diminished. I love the pose where a woman puts her hands on her hips and accentuates the hourglass shape we all know and love. My mannequin can’t do that. 

Taking photos of myself in my designs pose significant challenges. One of which is that I do not have a tripod capable of holding my only functioning camera (which is my smartphone currently). After hair and makeup, I undergo a tricky exercise of balancing my camera at an angle that captures a particular area (usually in front of a nice background in my house), and using the self-capture setting I take burst photos of myself that often turn out quite well. For the photos that do not turn out well, I use Photoshop to enhance and crop as needed- but never to augment particulars like size or shapes a la Kardashian fame.

It is not ideal, but so far I believe it has improved my online presence to have candid photos of a model (me) wearing my apron designs. I have posted these photos on Tumblr with links to my Etsy listings, and save the best shots for the Etsy listings themselves. Some of the best responses to my photos have also been from pinning on Pinterest (a program that I absolutely adore).

Stephanie models sexy apron

Modeling my designs

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Stephanie modeling designs in cream and white

Thank you for visiting!

-S

1A Heart Floats: a poem

Poems, the Life of anieKsteph

A Heart Floats

Sometimes there is no attraction.

Sometimes the eyes do not lock.

Sometimes there is no mutual smile.

No blush, extra heart beat or shock.

A heart floats around life, like in a party,

With a glass, empty, wanting to be filled.

Seeking another heart that holds a bottle of nectar

To be shared between beautiful friends.

In between those times we live.

Often thinking of opportunities missed.

Hoping fate will smile upon us,

allowing the two hearts to be joined again.

Crisp Fall Skies 

the Life of anieKsteph
Deep blue sky, Heritage building in downtown Hamilton, former federal building

Old Federal building downtown Hamilton Ontario

I’ve mentioned before how much I adore autumn.

Not only for the cooler temperatures, but I personally believe that the skies are more gorgeous in the fall. I live in Southern Ontario, and I find that the autumn months often have the clearest, most crisp, and deepest blue skies. On top of their clarity, they are often cloudless, so one can see much more of it.

Above is a nice shot of the old Federal building in Hamilton against a very pretty blue sky, shot at midday in the downtown core.

Thanks for stopping by,

S

Architectural Style in Hamilton Ontario

the Life of anieKsteph

 

I have blogged about this topic before, and I will likely reference it again, as I find myself captivated. Hamilton Ontario has a downtown that is very rich in historical context, and this is evident in the edifices and landmarks.

 

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Hamilton, Ontario Downtown

 

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Hamilton, Ontario Downtown

One of the most consistent architectural features seen in Hamilton is the decorative corbel (seen above). They are used to transition an overhanging roof to the side of the building.

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Hamilton, Ontario Downtown

This converted residential/ commercial space also features the same style of decorative corbel.

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Hamilton, Ontario Downtown

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Hamilton, Ontario Downtown

The newly renovated Empire times building on King William at Hughson is another great example of the use of decorative corbels to transition an overhanging roof to the side of the building. This is easily one of my favourite downtown Hamilton designs (until the Templar flats are completed later this year on the west side of this very intersection).

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Hamilton, Ontario Downtown

 

This is a (mid construction) photo of the east side of the Templar Flats construction in downtown Hamilton. I have watched this construction closely over the past few months, and I am definitely looking forward to seeing the finished product. I love the mixture of modern innovation and historically themed design (if that makes any sense). Click here to see an earlier blog post where I discuss this topic.

 

Thanks for stopping by,

S.

Tips for creating a home photo studio

the Life of anieKsteph

When I started my Etsy shop two years ago, there were a lot of things I had to do that were totally outside of my comfort zone. One of those things (a huge and important thing) was to learn how to take good and clear photographs. When selling handmade items, one piece of advice that is repeated as gospel is to take clear images in great lighting; that tell a story about the product; and that show off as many details about texture and colour as can be in a high resolution format.

That is a geeky way of saying that you really gotta learn how to make someone buy your product all through sight! Of course there are other factors that help people decide to buy your handmade item, but that’s a topic in a blog post for another day 😉

First thing: employ the ownership of a 3 light lamp on a sturdy stand. 3 lights are best not because of aesthetic, but because they can be moved and aimed to point at your handmade object in a way that enough light hits it. Think: laser beams!

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A three light lamp on a vertical stand- you can pick one of these up at Home Depot, Lowes, Home Hardware, or whatevs.

Below we see a photo stage set with a mannequin. In order to get a smooth and uniform backdrop, I hanged a white poly material from the wall. This backdrop is really best when either totally white (or as close as you can get) because the light shined from your lamp needs to be “bounced back” at the camera to ensure a well illuminated photo.

Easy trick to help remember: Optics= studying how light is captured and refracted to enhance/change images. I’m sure there is a more scholarly explanation that that of course; but that’s a basic grade 8 review 🙂

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Notice the two lamps above and below – my camera is set up between the two: peeking through stand’s branches

Once the stage is set and the light hits all of the areas that you want to highlight, take a few test pictures to see whether you should use flash (or not); set a widescreen image; or fiddle around with any camera settings that you like to use.

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Green Hemp apron with green frills- a feminine design by LillyBoChic

Final product: a cropped image with the brightness and contrast increased slightly.

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Green Hemp apron with green frills- a feminine design by LillyBoChic

For a non-professional photograph, I think it captures all of the elements that I had hoped for. I really like how crisp and clear the photo is- you can see the blue chalk lines on the garment (a temporary marking of course) that I used to line up each pocket.

That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by.

-S

Reflections on Doors, Passageways, and Entrances

the Life of anieKsteph

I had a desire to capture photos of a topic that has intrigued me…Entryways.

And really: why not? For the most part, we all use them at least twice a day.  I wondered if much thought is given to them- despite being the entrance to our homes and secret places.

Toronto Doors view from the sidewalk. A purple door with mauve wainscotting aside a brown bi-fold door with dark wood stain.

Toronto Doors view from the sidewalk. A purple door with mauve wainscoting aside a brown bi-fold door with dark wood stain.

This semi-detached home caught my eye because of the contrast between the front doors of the homes. Violet and mauve on one side, is contrasted with dark brown wood stain on the other. If you look at the detailing of the entryway, you can see that the design of the opening is pretty much the same on either door; however, the bi-fold door on the left is likely original to the construction.

A black and gold door with a large glass lite insert on a street in downtown Toronto Canada. The homes have only street parking, but large front yard and large tree-foliage patches.

A black and gold door with a large glass lite insert on a street in downtown Toronto Canada. The homes have only street parking, but large front yard and large tree-foliage patches.

I really enjoy the above door. To me, it is regal yet betrays a softness by allowing a large lite in the middle. A small gold door knocker adorns the door also further highlighting the gold on black scheme.

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Not exactly sequitur, but the label on this door just screamed out “Vice magazine!”; like something you would see in the background of a photo shoot for some Toronto clothing boutique. I also love the presumption of the door on the left. I bet they thought “Screw it, let 8b have the number on the door. If they’re looking for 8a and they can’t figure it out, then we don’t want to have that visitor!”

I have a fleeting imagination..

 

Toronto (3)

 

Another tear down on its way to being built up. This one of the average-looking modern entrances one sees commonly these days in Toronto.  The doorway definitely gains points by being painted a dark color (and having not too many and not too few hardware pieces like a letter slot and door knocker); however the style of the home just so totally minimizes my ability to “love” this entrance as it is narrow and would leave me feeling claustrophobic.

That’s all for now- thanks for stopping by!

-S.

The creative process.

Design and Textile Creation, Essays, Rants, and other Prose by Stephanie

The creative process is one where sometimes you have to walk away from your work, do something else, and return later with fresh eyes. A friend recently told me this, and I agree with it- it’s just basic science. If you stare at the picture for too long your eyes will go crossed. Just like those 3D photos Scholastic used to sell at book fairs in elementary school. I never had one myself, but our teacher would usually buy one for our class.

I have been taking an opportunity to do that these last two days. I completed 3 aprons in one day during the weekend, and since then I have worked on painting my mural, taken photos of my products, and just found other things to do apart from sitting at my sewing machine. I know that I have a lot of things to work on, but I am trying not to immerse myself so deeply in my tasks that I resent them ad quit altogether- or take a long long break from it where time is wasted-which is sometimes just as bad. I can’t say enough how important it is to stay focused on what you want (if you are fortunate enough to know what that is). Knowing what you want takes a tonne of soul searching. But it feels like the same things that make us wake up the morning, like free-will and individuality, are the things that keep us constricted in fear and inevitable indecision.

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A photo of what I have been working on.

Worn by creator S.

Worn by creator S.

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