Shoe Artist

I recently visited the Bata Shoe Museum to see the Manalo Blahnik Exhibit and I was not disappointed. I saw the work of a true artist and I understand why these shoes are sought after with such fervor. The craftsmanship that goes into every design is why the price tag is so high.

Fun Fact – Manolo Blahnik designed the footwear for the movie Marie Antionette by Sofia Coppola.

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He was influenced by his Spanish and Czech roots. Check out the Pom Poms on these shoes which are a reminder of National Czech folk costumes.

 

My favourite piece was this boot. Totally my style!

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Definitely worth checking out! The show is on until early January 2019.

San Francisco Feeling

Such a colourful, vibrant city!

I recently spent a week exploring San Francisco and Napa Valley/Sonoma.  One popular colour was rose gold – specifically this Rose Gold Light Down jacket from Uniqlo. Everyone was wearing it – including myself. Here I’m riding a vintage tram along Market Street.

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Art is huge in San Fran with outdoor murals, galleries and the world renowned San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).

Shopping is also a big deal with Union Square being the hub. Here’s my haul.

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I spotted this great accessories shop in the Castro and picked up this cashmere poncho for $50. I layered here over a jean jacket for chilly spring mornings and I know it will work over dresses and blazers as well. I also visited the UGG store in Union Square and the moment I slid my feet into these slides I was sold. The soft leather lining and cushion sole will keep my tired feet comfortable and stylish all day!

POP OF COLOUR

Being surrounded by art, stunning landscapes and coastlines made me want to liven up my Spring wardrobe with colour. I scored this Anthropologie embroidered jacket for $41 from $198. I visited the store while they were having a Friday night Happy Hour. While sampling some great California Rosé I scooped up some great sale stuff for an extra 30% off. Best shopping night ever!

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It’s the Little Things

Sometimes cheap little ordinary treats can really take you back to your holiday and remind you of the good times you had. I picked up some buttons from galleries, and tourist shops. I really like them on jean jackets or hats. They are an affordable and stylish holiday memory. Picked up this mermaid pouch at a gallery in Sonoma. The image reminded me of the California coastline with it’s rocks and sea lions. Accessories were on BOGO 50% at Victoria Secret. I love this rose gold wallet – it will work great with my Gucci belt bag because I can attach my keys as well.

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ONE DRESS 2 SEASONS

This cream sweater dress was another score from Anthropoligie. I can wear it now, as winter is ending, with OTK boots + leggings and in Spring with my new laser cut Vince Camuto boots (future blog post). I can top this dress with so many of my jackets!

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THE BEST

The very best thing about my holiday was spending time with my BFFs from Italy! CIAO!

 

 

Day 22

Intersection Fashion and Art

I love exploring synergies between fashion and art. It’s a reoccurring theme on my blog. One of my fave artist is Jean Michel Basquiat. His dynamic and strong graffiti type paintings captured the turbulence of the 70s.

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Style Breakdown

This t shirt is from Uniqlo’s SPRZ NY series from 2015. They produce a new collection every season with themes from art, popular culture, brands and logos. The skirt with orange batek print goes great with the tee and lastly chunky wedge sandals make my legs look lean and long.

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Painting for the Soul

I’ve talked about diet and exercise, staying busy and keeping your mind occupied but you also need to nourish your soul or your core being. I am not an artist but I do enjoy painting when I’m inspired. This painting is a visual representation of my surgical scar. I’ve run the word “somontare” down the length of it because it is my mantra during this journey. It’s Italian for overcome or get over. Somontare would probably make a great tattoo as well in a scripty font…just thinking about it… I also included a work in progress which is for my parents. Flower Power!

 

Intersection 3 Fashion + Art

I love looking at links between Fashion + Art. For this installment of Intersection I am the artist and a classic Chambray shirt is the canvas. Oh what fun!

While reviewing Spring Fashion for 2017, I came across a JCrew Special Edition Chambray shirt (left) with paint splatter and thought it would make a great DIY fashion project. I found a shirt at Costco for $24 (right) and took it to my studio.

I decided on tone-on-tone blues with an accent colour for the design. Here’s what my paint palette looked like.

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The set-up took the longest. It was important to keep parts of the shirt covered while splattering other sections. I wanted a subtle, artsy feel for the splatter so there would be sections with little or no paint visible. I used acrylic paint and let it dry completely. It should survive a gentle hand wash when the time comes.

Here are some details to show the splatter and me wearing the finished shirt. I love how this DIY project turned out. It was easy, affordable and did not take long to complete.

Inspired by Friends

I find inspiration everywhere. But I get really excited when I’m inspired by my friends. Recently my friend Lucia Bellina posted a link on my wall. It was for show in Milan at Villa Necchi Campiglio entitled MODA DI CARTA.

It showcases the work of Isabelle Borchgrave with 30 full size garments made entirely of paper. The designs illustrate fashion from the Novecento (early 1900s).

I would have loved to see this exhibit. The clothes look spectacular and the fact that they are made of paper really got me inspired to create some new looks for the dolls.

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This show reminded that another friend of mine, Tracy Kim, was kind enough to think of me on a trip to Paris this summer and brought me back this charming Marie Antionette paper doll set. Obviously the mood was perfect for design.

I choose blue and white as a theme for the first dress. The navy and white paper dress from the exhibit, as well as the feeling of MariAnt were the inspiration. I also created a long flapper/mod dress in pink. I’m feeling the resort pull as temperatures drop and snow blankets the 6ix.

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PRE-ITALIA

Trip preparation can always be daunting. Going overseas for an extended stay is really challenging. How much should I bring? Will it be hot, cold? How many pairs of shoes will I need.

SCHEDULING

I planned my trip to Italy when peak tourist season is winding down but it’s still summer weather. I did not want to worry about bring clothes for 2 seasons but then again shopping for clothes in Milan is not a hardship;) I also had to plan around my host’s availability.

WARDROBE

Neutral and versatile are my key words when packing for a trip.To beat the heat I have dresses and culottes. Jeans and a hoodie are good ideas for the plane because it gets cold on a long haul flight. Comfortable sandals and sneakers for exploring. Thin layers that can come off and on as needed.

PACKING

I have fallen in love with packing cubes. They hold a ton and keep everything organized within the suitcase. They also make unpacking really easy. I did upgrade my ticket to allow for a second checked bag. More for way back…

CARRYING

Must haves for me are a lightweight cross-body bag and a backpack. This Coach bag is great for everyday and has lots of pockets to keep me organized. The Herschel backpack will hold my camera, water, guide book and any other essentials while touring around.

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RESEARCH

I have had to prep for 2 different portions of this trip.

  1. Milan Shopping
  2. Extended stay in Sicily

I wanted to experience outlet shopping – Italian Style and my cousins and I are deciding whether to go to Arese which is just outside Milan or Foxtown in Switzerland. We will also be going to Milan to visit Fondazione Prada which is a modern art museum funded by Prada. We will ofcourse also go shopping in Milan.

My cousin Elena and I will be flying to Sicily for a week. I’ve been reading up on the history of the island and I’m really looking forward to seeing Siracusa and Agrigento with its’ Valli dei Templi. For all this site seeing I have had to do a thorough cleaning and prep of my camera. Although my SLR is a few years old it takes amazing photos. Be sure to follow me on instagram @latonizzo and @modacarta. I’ll be using both accounts.

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modacarta DOLL

I could not possibly leave without the star of this blog. I have created a fun, versatile wardrobe for her and I’m looking forward to shooting her in la bella Italia!

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Arrivederci! a Presto!

 

Intersection 2 Fashion + Art

I love looking at the influence of art on fashion. An art form I enjoy is collage. Collage is art made from an assemblage of different forms to create a new whole. Many artists have experimented with this form such Matisse and Picasso.

What I like about collage is the layering of mixed media such as photography and paper to create the overall image.

An artist I follow on Instagram is Rebecca Coltorti (@rebeccacoltorti_art). She uses paint and photography to create her fashion images. Her work has been featured in Eclectic Magazine.

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Prada’s FW2016 invite used collage as a sort of mood board and it was very representative of the collection with it’s mixed fabrics and use of large and mini bags as accessories.

I created the feature image of this post using a page from my botanical colouring book, and photographs of flowers and the doll. The doll’s maxi skirt is made from the same colouring book page. Her top is pleated tissue paper from a recent Zara online purchase. For more on Fashion and Art click here.

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Florals Revisited

My very first blog post was about the dark floral trend from SS2015. I was inspired to write about this topic after reading about the acquisition of this painting entitled Wisdom of the Universe by Christi Belcourt at the AGO in Toronto. I took this photo of it when I was visiting during the holidays.

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It’s now been a few months and many blog posts later but florals are still on my mind as we approach Spring 2016.

IMG_0078The shoes in the feature image I purchased at DSW over the holidays and thought they would be great for Spring and will add visual interest and colour to almost any outfit from jeans to skirts. These shoes reminded me of the Dolce & Gabana esthetic. Bright colours and flowers like this photo.

Here are 3 floral looks from Spring 2016 that really caught my attention. Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen and Erdem both showed romantic floral maxi dresses. I love how free and flowing these dresses are.

This pantsuit from Escada is bright and unexpected. The great thing is you could wear the pieces separately and create a mini floral wardrobe for spring.

 

I also wanted to design something unexpected in paper so I created a white shift dress and added light and dark floral panels to each side. I love the black, white and pink combination and might have to plan a visit to the fabric store!

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Fashion ARTographer

Recently I watched the documentary “The Man who Shot Beautiful Women” about Erwin Blumenfeld. He was a fashion photographer for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar starting in the 1940s and 50s in New York. His approach to fashion photography was artistic, graphic and original. His influence can be seen in contemporary fashion photographs.

This cover for Vogue 1950 tells the viewer straight away that this issue is about beauty. The use of white space and over exposure of the face create a mystery about the model and pace the emphasis on the lipstick and eye make-up. Another great Vogue cover is visorBlumenfeld4also a beauty issue, from May 1945. This time Blumenfeld used a visor shadow to create visual interest and make the model’s lips pop. Again we see the use of white space. This graphic approach can be also be seen in Blumenfeld’s self portraits like this one.

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My favourite Blumenfeld image was one he shot in Paris when he lived there before World War 2 and before immigrating to the U.S. The model dangerously swings off the Eiffel tower in her full skirt. towerThere is so much energy and life in this photograph. It has been copied many times.

Schiap!

Elsa Schiaparelli had a name no one could pronounce but it was a name everyone knew. They simply referred to her as SCHIAP! and her modern, avant garde designs continue to influence and inspire designers today.

When Elsa designed dresses she felt she was creating art not just clothes. She along with Coco Chanel offered women modern, less constricting clothing in the 1920s and 30s. She drew inspiration from sports uniforms and took them into everyday apparel.

eveningskeleWhen Elsa began designing evening wear her creativity knew no bounds.  Gowns and dress jackets were heavily embellished with palettes, mirrors, pearls and gold embroidery. Opposite to this was the minimalist skeleton dress that used trapunto quilting to create bones on a stark black plain. The skeleton motif has been reincarnated many times on the runway.

In 2012, the Costume Institute at the MET in New York held an exhibit where Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli had a conversation about fashion and design. It was favourite show to date! The show juxaposed Prada and Schiaparelli designs so visitors could see the parallels and influence. There was also a film by Baz Luhrmann that played in the background showing the 2 designers having dinner and conversing. Elsa Schiaparelli was played by English actress Julie Christie. One topic the designers explored was Waist Up/Waist Down. Elsa designed for a cafe society where women were seated and on display so waist up was important. Prada focuses her attention waist down to the organic, earth bound female. Evidence for this is Schiaparelli embellished jackets, Prada embellishes skirts.

Here are two images from the show catalogue that represent this idea:

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I chose to do an embellished jacket for the doll. I used different papers to create a parrot which is a nod to a costume Elsa wore to a party in 1952.

inspodollREFERENCES

The Little Book of Schiaparelli by Emma Baker Wright

Schiaparelli & Prada Impossible Conversations

PHOTO CREDITS

Lead Image, Parrot costume, dresses – from The Little Book of Schiaparelli by Emma Baker Wright

Schiaparelli Suit, Prada Skirt – Schiaparelli & Prada Impossible Conversations

Doll – Lori Tonizzo