Design Inspo

Inspiration can come from anywhere for a designer and an artist. Yesterday I was adding to my paper supply at the Paper Place in Toronto when a sheet caught my eye in the clearance bin. I knew I had to have it.


When I got home and unrolled it I immediately had designs in my head and a blog post for today. The vertical panels in this paper screamed tunic and shift dress in my head, so I got to work.



Here are final designs. A shift dress with a feature panel in the front and a tunic & pants outfit. I have no SS2016 runway reference for these designs. It was my own inspiration for these looks. Although the tunic and pants are my favourite look.

Favourite Look

Do you have a favourite or a go-to look? An outfit you keep going back to?

My favourite look is dresses over pants. I have a passion for the 70s so of course I love this look. Every few seasons this look resurfaces with different cuts and lengths but the feeling is always the same for me.

I have several combinations of this look and I’m drawn to it for a couple of reasons. Comfort – the pants underneath the dress make this outfit very comfortable without all the trappings of hosiery. Unexpected – the pants worn with the dress make it very unique and I like being an original.

This look popped up in a couple of collections for SS2016. Chanel layered wide leg trousers over wide skirts and flowing dresses. Marni showed matching tunics and pants.


I bought this red, print tunic at Ross Dress for Less for $8 and I love wearing it over jeans with boots or wedges. For me it has a laid-back 70s vibe. For going out I have this black and white Banana Republic dress that I pair with narrow black trousers.



Here she is in a print-on-print combo of jeans and an off the shoulder dress. I love the neutral colours of this paper with the jeans. It reminds me of my red tunic and jeans. The paper is from Italy and wrapped a hand-made sketch book from Venice that I use when I’m writing or sketching for modacarta.

What’s your favourite or go-to look? As always I love to hear from you.



Accessories Rule

One of the key rules to great style or unique style is adding one more accessory to your outfit. Today I doubled up on bracelets and rings.

I wear a Fitbit (almost) everyday because it reminds to move more during the day. I have several Fitbit bracelets in different colours so I can change it up to match my OOTD. Today I chose lime green to go with my dress. I also added 3 Cloisonée bracelets from a set of 7 that I purchased at Art Institute gift shop in Chicago. Museums and art galleries are always great places to find unique jewellery. The ring (not clearly shown) is multi coloured crystals.

On my other hand I kept is simple – all Swarovski tones of blue.

Keep this tip in mind before heading out and add one more accessory to your outfit.



The traditional Japanese kimono is designed to show-off the fabric or the intricate embroidery. It’s an artistic canvas that wraps the body so you should keep this mind when purchasing one. Because it is a loose cut with more volume make sure the pattern stands out and it not a small design or a plain colour.

The kimono is the perfect summer topper because it is lightweight and feels luxurious against your skin. It can be dressed up or dressed down or wrapped and belted like a dress. the possibilities are endless. In my blog on Japanese influence I presented many more options for the kimono.

Ermanno Scervino and Jonathan Saunders both presented beautiful kimono designs for SS2016.

I love the long over short of this Ermanno Scervino red and white design. The outfit is so summery and perfect for day or night. The patterns in this Jonathan Saunders go so well together and make the outfit unique. The kimono wrap jacket is definitely something I’ll be looking for.

rose_kimonoI picked up my kimono at Saks Off 5th. The brand is Romeo + Juliet Couture and it’s available at most high end US retailers. At first glance I didn’t like the rose pattern but then it reminded me of the Dolce & Gabbana esthetic so I tired it on and knew it was perfect. I have some summer parties coming up so I will wear the kimono with a bright orange tank, black leggings and my Prada peep toes. Very chic.


Finally the doll is back! Since she has been away for a bit, I decided to create 2 kimono looks. One is wrap jacket inspired by the Jonathan Saunders one I featured. The other is long coat worn over a skirt and top. Japanese paper is so suited to creating kimonos because of the intricate patterns.

Are you planning on wearing a kimono this summer? How will you wear it? Share your ideas with me!



Colour & Texture


Love, love, love what Fendi and Alexander McQueen did with denim this season. I am so on the lookout for a denim bomber jacket. This look from Fendi is very wearable and the pants can be worn with heels or flat sandals. I’m not a fan of distressed jeans but this outfit is making me a fan. The delicate laser cut flower top over the distressed jeans is another very wearable look for spring. I like the asymmetrical cut which shows a bit of skin.


I designed this asymmetrical top taking inspiration from McQueen. This wave paper created the perfect textured hem. I kept the cut straight so the focus would be on the hem.


It’s so interesting how this look comes around every few seasons. Designers always manage to take it to a new level of creativity and this skirt from Altazurra proves it. This ocean green colour will definitely be dominate in my spring wardrobe. The Valentino designers took their inspiration from Africa. The colours and texture of their SS2016 collection transports us there.


I’m always on the lookout for trends from the collections when I’m shopping. I found this tie-dye cotton sweater on the clearance rack of AEO. It’s perfect with denim and white jeans. It will come in handy on chilly summer nights.

The third element of this theme is STRIPES. I’ve covered this in a previous post so check it out here to complete the exploration of Spring Themes.


Spring Movement

The movement theme for SS2016 encompasses shimmery silver dresses, flamenco ruffles and off the shoulder tops.


This trend is all about the movement of light. These 2 dresses from Lanvin and Tom Ford show how a simple form and sequins can turn heads. The Lanvin dress on the left sways and catches the light as the model moves. The colour blocking on the Tom Ford dress creates its’ own movement. Both are highly wearable styles.


Rhythmic, passionate and and exciting. Flamenco encompasses all of these. Many designers showed ruffles on long skirts or dresses. Here are two looks showing evening and daytime versions of this trend. On the right we have a Ferragamo design with multiple ruffles and colour blocking. Perfect for going shopping or out to brunch in the summer. This evening look from Oscar de la Renta reminds me of the Flamenco shows I saw in Seville. Bright red lace and flowing print skirt will definitely make the best dressed list of any summer soirée.


It’s time to learn of to shimmy in these great Spring styles. Perfect for hot days and dancing the night away. It’s so great to see the Sonia Rykiel back. Julie de Libran has brought new life and such great dresses to the brand. This ruffled dress has many variations – long, short, over pants. It’s the perfect summer dress! Proenza Schloer showed this wonderful eyelet off the shoulder dress. A very modern and sexy way to do eyelet.


No paper this time. I decided to crochet a dress for the doll in silver and black. Of course -I made an off-the-shoulder tube dress. IMG_2120

Spring Romance

Romance was a huge theme in the SS2016 collections. There were a lot of pale florals as opposed to the dark florals we saw in 2015. Erdem and Etro were the leaders in this category. Mixing lace, pale florals, transparency and victorian details in the cuts of their dresses.

The addition of the black tie on this Erdem dress makes the green stand out against the silvery white background. I love this look from Veronica Etro, especially the trim on the bottom of the skirt. It’s flirty and feminine and 100% wearable.

Lingerie is not something everyone can wear in the everyday lives of work, home, and family but it’s a trend worth exploring. Celine and YSL showed skimpy slip dresses that skimmed the body. Celine’s dresses were silk with lace trim. YSL’s super mini dresses were entirely lace with shimmery beads and embroidery. Take a cue from these two designers and pair these lace looks with boots, flats and oversized bags. It adds a bit of street to the boudoir.

Celine2To get this look, think of pieces that skim the body not those tight camis with lace trim you have sitting in your drawer. Look for vintage slips and then wear them over skinny jeans or layer them under skirts. Keep the accessories or other clothing pieces casual to complete the look.

The 3rd look in this romance theme I’ve named 50s sweetness. Full-skirts, bows and tons of colour. I am totally in love with everything Alessandro Michele is doing at Gucci. The clothes, the bags, the shoes! Everything!

The bows and bomber jacket from Gucci remind me of 1950s style. This no collar coat over a full skirt presented by Dries Van Noten also has a 1950s feel. Those midi skirts you bought last year can be worn again this season.

Next post I’ll explore the movement theme from SS2016.


dollI adapted a previous dress from Florals Revisited to illustrate the pale romance theme. I simply cut a plunging neckline into the dress and added more flowers to the trim. I’m always about adapting older pieces into new looks in my own wardrobe and now I have done it in paper as well!



The 3 Themes of Spring

This week on modacarta I’ll be posting about the 3 themes of spring, what the designers presented and top wardrobe additions you should consider. Also, how to get the look from existing pieces in your wardrobe and of course I’ll explore these trends in paper.


Florals, 50’s sweetness and lingerie designs make up the Romance theme for Spring.


Silver, flamenco frills and ruffles + off-the-shoulder looks make up the Movement theme for Spring. I included off-the-shoulder in this theme because it reminds me of shimmying and shaking your shoulders when you’re dancing.


No catchy title here with Denim, Tie-Dye and Stripes making up this theme.

Stay tuned for the next post where I’ll explore the beautiful world of ROMANCE.