Tag Archives: fashion

Fashion 2.0

I have just spent far, Far, FAR too much time footling around designing dresses at http://www.styleshake.com. It’s a site where you can design a dress, choose the fabric, and have it made up to your exact measurements give or take a centimeter. And all for ludicrously reasonable prices and delivery in 10 days1.

Style Shake

Style Shake

Let’s get the business-related observations done with before we lose the people who don’t like the eau de œstrogen wafting around this post.

First of all, what a bloody genius use of the internet; the perfect example of something that simply could not be done without the web. Even better: the site works well, which is more than can be said for most design-your-own-whatsit sites.  I do hope business model pays: I’m a bit of a seamstress myself and it’s hard to see how they could get the things cut and sewn for UK wages. I really want to see their production line. (I am such a process geek). I’m also intrigued by their design software which presumably drives their pattern-cutting software in a reverse of the wire-frame-to-rendering process used by the computer graphics and special effects industry.

I am fascinated by just how varied the end results can be given a limited range of design elements (fabric colour, shape of the neckline, length of the skirt, etc).

Style Shake: Bold Bodycon Style Shake: Darling Daywear Style Shake: Office Edge Style Shake: Star Sensation Style Shake: Style Noir Style Shake: 1940s Allure Style Shake: Three in One

I guess it’s like lego, the real limit is your skill and imagination.  And boy have people done some interesting things with their limited pallet, as you can see from scrolling through their photographs and favourite designs.  Be careful though, there’s  some eye-watering fugliness in there too.

I guess it only goes to prove that StyleShake’s rather awesome software doesn’t make you Christian Dior any more than MS Project makes you a Project Manager or PowerPoint makes you good at communicating.

Have a go – you know you want to.

1 – Mind you, I’ve not had the chance to use the site yet – my first instinct was to blog, but come next payday … Back to post


Lady Doctor by John WoodwarkI bought a pair of trousers yesterday which were very nearly comfortable.

This is streets ahead of any trouser-wearing experience I have had for two or three years. I have, as Luther so graphically explained, “a wide fundament to sit upon”, but that’s not the problem when I buy trousers.

The problem is that the clothing manufacturers are more than happy to cut six inches off the length of a pair of trousers at the waist while pretending it’s down to customer demand. This is ludicrous. It’s a collusion between cost-cutting manufacturers and a fashion industry run largely by gay men who are disgusted by any kind of feminine curve. As my grandmother would have said “I am the customer, and I demand waisted trousers”.

It’s hard to think what I have in common with gang-obsessed American teenage boys who like the jailhouse look, other than a shared need for oxygen. I certainly don’t like having to hitch my trousers up all the frigging time when I have a perfectly good waist that – with another 6″ of cloth – they could have been cut to sit upon.

I think the last time I bought a pair of comfortable trousers was in late 2000. Seven years.

Enough already.

I couldn’t resist re-offering you this painting by John Woodwark. Alas, my bottom is nowhere near as wonderful as hers. Is it just me, or doesn’t this painting just make you want to bite it?

Are noses being worn longer in New York this season?

Have you ever noticed how strong the generational influence is on portraiture?

If you look at photos from the 1920s all the girls seem to have tip-tilted noses, neat little chins and big round eyes.

It is hard to tell what any specific early 18th century woman looked like from her portrait, because they all painted to look the same: plump along the jawline, heavy-nosed and pop-eyed. Most of these portraits seem to be informed by the same ideal woman, though there is no way of knowing who the original beauty was. Likewise, 16th century portraits all feature people with long thin faces, long bony noses and sunken eyes. Since such a volta face is genetically impossible we are left with the only explanations being fashion or toadyism.

Now, more than ever before, women manage to achieve a consistent image of beauty. If you look at images of modern celebs and wannabes they are indistinguishable identi-girls; tall, skinny, broad-mouthed, with high round breasts and an expensive mane of hair-extensions. And they all have the same short little round-nostrilled nose, sometimes even a nez retroussez, though these days it is achieved with the knife rather than the brush.

But it seems that a tip-tilted nose is so last year, darling. Take a look at the noses on this lot and see what you think. (Poor Helen Shifter, she’s stuck with last season’s schnoz, and doesn’t it age her? She’s so brave about it, too).

I could draw conclusions, but you are an intelligent person and it’s late, so I’ll trust you to draw your own.