Hey Everyone

For fear of breaking up consistency of my weekly advice, I had a family emergency this weekend and I let today’s entry completely pass me by. Please forgive me! In the meantime, here’s a pretty sweet documentary on Tom Ford. I used to let my students watch this for extra credit. I know it’s super lame, compared to my usual advice, but it will have to do.

 

Enjoy!

❤ Evelynlouise

Pattern: Fashion Where I live.

I live in Indianapolis. Many people see Indiana as a po-dunk nowhere state where corn is grown and meth labs are housed in Wal-mart Bathrooms. In fact,  it was that exact Wal-mart, where the  bathroom meth lab was found, that I purchased most of my groceries while in college. Which, to say the least, is embarrassing. We aren’t known for a lot of super awesome things to the general public especially in the elite world of clothing. Indiana is mostly known for the Indy 500 and the Colts, neither of which are things I am interested in.

I, like many, had a preconceived notion that Indiana had nothing to offer in the way of fun and innovative ideas, let alone a place where fashion thrived.  However, it only took about a month living in the city to find that there were freelancers and successful small business owners all over the city. This and in the last 5 years a small group of individuals from Carmel decided it was time to change the way we looked at our midwestern city. They decided there needed to be more spaces in which fashion could thrive and a place where those small fashion business owners could network. This laid the groundwork for a group in Indy called Pattern.

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My main reason for highlighting them this week is the fact that they just released their 7th issue of the Pattern Magazine. The great thing about this magazine, was that it was never intended to be as widely distributed as it has become, but the most awesome part was, not only did this awesome idea start here in Indiana, it features mostly if not all Indiana designers and artists and it is now being distributed internationally!

When the magazine first came out, I have to be honest I had my doubts about the longevity of the project, but not only have they continued to find new and innovative ways of using the creative minds to create fun and new publications they have also stepped out in to the world of commerce to support these local talents. In August of 2014 they launched a store that sold garments from local designers and since then have been given a state grant to create what they are referring to as a makers space. An intended small scale manufacturing operation that will give local designers and artists to utilize the tools and equipment they need to continue to work. The support of the local economy and the visibility of the magazine are continuing to put Indy on the map as one of the best places to have a small business and at that a fashion business!

So, check them out at Pattern Indy. You can also subscribe to the magazine if you are interested!

I hope you enjoy!

❤ Evelynlouise

Curvy History

Hello Readers,

This week is a very busy week for me, but rather than completely phone it in I thought I would share someone else’s awesome and interesting blog. 🙂

It is unfortunate they are not on wordpress, or I would have just re-blogged it. Anyway, I digress. As many of you know I teach history of costume at the college level, and so I am always looking for awesome and interesting facts and tidbits about history.

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This article in particular caught my eye, because it is all about our plus size sisters from different misters all the way back in to the 1800’s. Curvy & Dressing Historical is mostly how to successfully dress in historical fashions, but it has some awesome tidbits about how curvier ladies dressed in the past!

Hope you enjoy!

❤ Evelynlouise

It’s time to pay attention

My dearest readers,

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This is a water supply. I love clothing, I love expressing myself visually, but when I think of the long term implications my consumption has, I know we have to change the way we think about it. Bored Panda released a visual photo essay about the pollution in china and it’s horrifying! Quite frankly this isn’t just about the physical toll our consumption takes on the environment, it’s also about the impact it has on the people who work and live in these conditions.

My good friend send me this article Bloggers sent to work in Cambodian Sweatshops, that links to the videos so you can watch the online reality show that is attached to the break down of this 17 year old blogger. There is a concept that my students and I discuss when we talk about the ethics of outsourcing that I think many of us overlook. The notion that because we are advanced as a culture that we have tied up all the loose ends of the highlighted issues of children in sweatshops, or the deaths of hundreds of women in the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. The reality is these atrocities are happening today, they happen everywhere. Even with the green movement there is not enough  being done to make our clothes more ethical or sustainable. I feel the only way we change this is by knowledge and discussion.

I,  just like you, love new clothing, I love to buy new stuff to put in my closet, I love to look my best and I have an unnatural obsession for looking my best. However, there is no handbag in the world that is worth the loss of human life or the degradation of others or the places they live. I think of it this way. I love clothing and I love new designs and the innovation and creativity that is associated with the fashion industry, but if we don’t make severe cuts and changes in the selections and mass productions associated with this industry we may not get to look forward to many more Mercedes Benz Fashion weeks. Why? Because we are going to eventually run out or ruin farmable land for all of that cotton for all of those t-shirts and jeans we love so much. It already depletes soil nutrients that could be used for growing food. And not to be too dramatic, but when we’re all dying of cancer from the amount of caustic chemicals we have put in to our water supply from pesticide run off for those crops and the chemical dyes we use to give them colors, I wonder if we’ll regret the damage we have done.

I’m not saying that first thing tomorrow you should throw out all of your unethically sourced clothes or that we all have deep pockets that allow us to buy 100% organic 100% sustainable 100% ethically sourced clothing. However, we all can start in acknowledging the problems and start facilitating discussions on how to make a difference. It’s time to start paying attention.

My partner and I have started this journey in baby steps by shopping the majority of our clothing through second hand clothing stores. While these present their own challenges and are dependent on a primary market to create the clothing that supply these stores, they do allow us to keep a large quantity of textiles out of landfills and keep those garments worn until the end of their intended life cycles. I think of it as starting in a place of waste not want not. I am also saying it is time to be more choosy in your wardrobe decisions and start finding your own answers about your consumables. Companies want you to buy their product, they don’t want you to know hundreds of 15 year old girls were killed in a factory fire that made those goods.

I also give this piece of advice, support your local economies, buy local and buy less. For those of you interested I’ve been reading this fantastic book Wear No EvilShe has some pretty hard hitting facts about our clothing and so far some pretty sound advice on how she changed her own consumption.

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I don’t think that any one person has all of the answers, or that any one person is 100% unbiased and accurate when it comes to discussing how we use, waste or manufacture. However, it starts with educating yourself and researching the things that important to you. For me, I would like to see us continue to have fashion weeks, and have new an innovative fashion ideas. In order to do this in the long term, we have to change. It’s lovely to look good, it’s awesome to accept yourself for who you are, but it’s amazing to be aware enough to take care of your surroundings.

Some food for thought my lovely fashionistas!

Yours,

❤ Evelynlouise

Great Plus Vintage Buys

You don’t think I would leave you with that intellectual entry with no redemption did you? At the heart of it all I still do love fashion, I just want to see more of us take care of our earth as much as we take care of ourselves.  To be honest it doesn’t matter how cute you look if you’re dead because there is no more oxygen. As you start adding must haves to your wardrobes I always love getting back to vintage fashions to keep up classic looks. However, sometimes finding vintage fashions that fit is a difficult task, so I’ve linked some of my top picks of vintage plus sized garments and the stores where you can purchase them.

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Hello, Joan Holloway just called and said anyone with a lots of curves should wear this dress. Can you imagine this with the array of colorful cardigans in your wardrobe? I can, especially since Pantone has been using this blue and it’s like shades as a neutral color for several years now. The dress needs a little TLC, possibly a new buckle but for $44, why not!Vintage Etsy dealer Size is Just a Number, has a large assortment of vintage fashions all sorted by bust size so you can find a better fit. From what I’ve seen on this dealer, her clothes go all the way up to a modern size 24.

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This totally gorgeous number comes in a size 18 for $28, the measurements the seller sites are across only one side of the garment. It is a knit and judging on the color, closure and skirt length this bad boy is from the 1970’s It is also a knit. Can’t beat that! This store called the Babery Underground, totes a cute tagline, and affordable prices! You could change this up with mismatched tights, belts, and some great jewelry.

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I couldn’t help but post this gorgeous 1960’s size 16 jacket from Etsy seller Roly Poly Vintage. Her garments may have a higher price tag, but from the images I’ve seen, you are getting garments that are still in amazing shape! I can’t help but think with the new trend of mixed patterns being forecasted for the spring, this jacket would go amazing paired with a fantastic stripe or subtle plaid.

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And I have to leave you on this gorgeous note, because Audri Hepburn called and said, beautiful curvaceous lady wear my dress! Please wear it with a large hat! This dress is so versatile I could go on for months, but instead I’ll leave you with the link to Thrift Store Mafia, so you can shop their plus sized vintage finds.

I hope some of you find a gorgeous piece to add to your wardrobe, a sense of confidence, the feel good feeling from supporting a small business, and the appreciation for how well these garments were made. Don’t expect to find anything from H&M or Forever 21 in a vintage store in 40 years, looking this good!

Have a wonderful week curvaceous fashionistas!

❤ Evelynlouise

 

An Alternative to Shopping

A weird caveat to the typical holiday shopping crusade, I’ve been turning my own attentions at this time of year to finding ways to purchase meaningful gifts for friends and family for the up and coming holiday seasons. While this shopping craze is in no way related to a fashion blog, and you are probably pondering what soap box I am about to stand on, I simply have an interesting look at the consumption and our views of it in the fashion world. As you know from my entry on the LBD: Uniform Project entry and my ode to more sustainable wardrobes I am a big proponent of lightening our ecological foot print when it comes to fashion. Instead of entering a tirade about the horrendous amounts of things we don’t need that we purchase anyway at this time of year I instead turned to the veritable cornucopia that is the internet to provide me some alternative thoughts. I ended up finding an artist named Sarah Lazarovic, who recently released a book called A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy about her year not shopping for anything.

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I am looking forward to picking up my own copy. I read this article about the artist and her endeavors and particularly for whom she wrote the book:

This is what happens when you don’t shop for a year.

The article particularly got me thinking about the things we buy, and more specifically why do put so much emphasis on always having new clothing? You can be a fantastically wells dressed person and never spend a cent at a new retail store. However, the point that the author seems to make that I am particularly fond of, is that you don’t need clothes to define who you are. My lovely curvaceous readers, remember that no pair of pants is going to make you love your butt, you have to love it before you put pants on it.

So to kick off this holiday season I impart to you a new thought, maybe a challenge for the up coming year to consider why you buy what you do, and what it means to shop with a more conscious effort.

I hope you at least find it interesting!
❤ Evelynlouise

The Uniform Project

Hello fashion lovers,

So, I know this project isn’t the latest or greatest in the breaking news on the fashion forefront, but as I think of new inspiration for fashion, the direction in which fashion is going and the need for change, this project always comes back to me as utterly inspiring.

What Project you ask? It was called the Uniform Project, and the premise was…. well why should I bore you with my synopsis? Watch the founders ted talk! The Story begins at marker :42 or if you just want to know about the dress  start at 6:15 minute 8:00 shows you what happened.

 

 

If you’re more for reading it click the story on the official site here.

 

I had just graduated from my fashion design undergraduate when this awesome lady started this endeavor and I had the fortunate experience of watching the project unfold when they launched their official site. I can never remember who introduced me to this project, but I can say that it most definitely changed my life. When they talked about releasing the patterns for this glorious dress I pre-ordered my pattern for $30 which felt like all the money in the world to me at the time, and I squealed with joy when it reached my door.

Before I get waaaaay ahead of myself in the reminiscing and dreaminess of this wonderful project. I remembered this project is awesome to me and relevant to this blog in two ways.

1. It was a means of using fashion to break traditional shopping cycles.

2. It educated people about a new and real issue and gave them the opportunity to make a difference. And since I’m a teacher I melted inside when it had to do with sending children to school.

Could you imagine how drastically the entire world would change if we were forced to creatively solve fashion with a uniform? Or how drastically we could cut consumption but still maintain our creativity?

This project inspires me endlessly. I think I myself would have jumped at the task if it had been a plus size dress.

Maybe one day right?

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Go peruse the site! The Uniform Project

Thoughts? Feelings? I’d love to hear what you think of this awesome project!

❤ Evelynlouise

Polyvore: Who on earth, and what does it do?

Today’s post is brought to you by my endless obsession for clothing. A word of warning before you too get lost into the swirling vortex of endless possibilities, this site is an amazing tool and a mean trick.

Bad news out of the way first, you literally have the internets fashion offerings at your fingertips to create fashion looks, plan out your wardrobe, and just generally cause mayhem on your theoretical budget for both fashion and housewares.  I will say that because it has an endless array of product offerings you can actually narrow your searches for plus size garments if you want. You may lose hours to this amazing site, but that’s okay, it does magical things!

Below is an example of a set I created for myself all centered around this gorgeous Modcloth dress that I now own! Thank the heavens for holiday presents! This said, I ended up building a look almost identical to this one in the real world through my love of knitting and second hand shops, it all started with the dress.

It all started with a dress!

It all started with a dress!

THE GOOD NEWS:

  1. You can search for garments, cosmetics,accessories and housewares based on color, price, size ranges and styles.
  2. You can paste them onto a board and edit the photos so that you can overlap them like a real world fashion magazine editor.
  3. You can add music, backgrounds, text and a general ambiance to your own personal tastes.
  4. After you have created your wonderful creation, it will show you your Set and an individualized list of each piece you used complete with the prices of those individual pieces.
  5. When you click on those pieces it will take you to the website where the piece is being sold and you can purchase it all in a one stop shop.
  6. If you are really creative and love to make collages it is infinitely less messy and it’s super easy to share as it has the ability to repost to twitter and Facebook.
  7. If you lack ideas, but get inspired by other people, you can peruse collections and sets from your favorite businesses and other individuals just like yourself.
  8. If you find pieces you like but aren’t ready to use them in your current collage, you can favorite it and it goes into your own personal stash which you can use later.
  9. Their items are changing as fast as fashion comes available which is daily!
  10. They rarely have pieces with models, so you don’t get down on yourself for not looking like an airbrushed fictional person.
  11. You can follow all of my crazy concoctions on this website, here is a link to my polyvore Evelynlouise!
  12. IT’S COMPLETELY FREE TO USE!

So give it a whorl! Polyvore. If it’s not your thing, then no big whoop! If you love fashion you can keep up to date on current trends and what your favorite shops are doing!