Custom Cute, Custom Chic

Today on the blog I thought I’d share something a little bit different with you. This isn’t a review or a How To, but more so a glimpse into a particular day in my life, a particular day that was very stylish and fun and resulted in several lovely photos I wanted to share with you because I’m proud of them, for several reasons.

I come from a big family, child 4 of 5. My siblings and I are diversely talented, but my younger sister, Rachel, has the talent that it would perhaps have been more useful that I, the vintage style lover, would have had: she’s a nifty little clothes maker. She’s in her final year of her Costume Design degree and already doing lots of ridiculously impressive work freelance on international stage shows alongside her mentors, which she would be very embarrassed about my mentioning, but hey, a big sister’s gotta brag. Every term for her university degree she undertakes a new design-and-make project, and this unit she designed a Hungarian embroidered retro-inspired peplum waistcoat fitted to the exact measurements of her lucky big sister, Miss Amy May ūüėČ

I’m not quite lucky enough to get to keep it–and God do I wish I could keep it–but I did have a fabulous day shooting this gorgeous piece styled as 3 separate outfits for her portfolio. We took to the streets¬†(and a galleria, and the pier,) with her photographer friend in tow, and these are the shots I’ve been granted special sisterly permission to share with you.


rach1All photography by Camila Attwood

Look 1
Black Pencil skirt
Green Ruched Bust Top –¬†
Green Suede Heels РEverything5pounds
Black Hard Clutch РHugo Boss

Look 2
White Wiggle dress¬†–¬†Monica Dress by Pinup Girl Clothing
Plum Suede Heels –¬†Primark
Purple Hair Flower –¬†Pinup Girl Clothing

Look 3
Black Petal Bust Dress
¬†–¬†Going Steady dress by Unique Vintage
Black Mary Jane Heels РNew Look
Black Netted Fascinator РHandmade by me
Black Crochet Gloves –¬†eBay¬†(with lace cuff removed)

It kind of blows me away that my sister is able to not only make an item like this, but think up such intricate embroidery designs. I can’t fathom at all what kind of work goes into designing and making the structure of a piece like this, with a peplum that supports itself, all the layers and stitching and god know’s what else. My sewing knowledge is limited to knowing what a back-stitch is, and even then I am incapable/too lazy to actually do it. When I make ‘alterations’ it consists of me asking someone more able to pin a new dart into place for me while I’m wearing an item and then very quickly and shoddily stitching it in a haphazard manner that would hold but would also make my sister weep, or laugh, or sigh. I always mean to learn what the hell I’m doing with both a needle and a sewing machine, but it’s kind of intimidating to know where to start, especially when you keep the company of someone who is very talented in the area you hold zero skill in. I think I’ll leave it to my sister to continue on with the great work, especially if I get to do the much easier task of modelling the lovely¬†results.

I had a great time shooting the outfits with¬†Rachel¬†and Camila. It’s certainly interesting trying to get even a handful of shots in a public shopping Galleria on a busy Saturday. On the pier people had a lot of fun stopping to watch what we were doing or commenting on the height of my shoes…or else spying through the restaurant windows…or glancing back as they walked by…Looking at us a lot, basically. Mostly I learned people are curious and it’s got to be pretty unusual to see an impromptu photoshoot happening in public in a somewhat¬†sleepy British seaside town.

I did vaguely fear for my life when my sister and the photographer instructed me to ‘pretend to walk’ along a narrow strip of solid metal centered on the grid floor of the fishing pier when I was in 5 inch heels, a wiggle dress and several feet from¬†being able to¬†reach the railing on either side of me–especially when I had my umbrella open and aloft with the wind ready to whip me away. But considering I was the one who suggested that the fishing dock would make a cool shot it’s probably my own fault for encouraging that one. I survived anyway, so no harm, no foul. Those fishing dock pictures are my favourite of the entire shoot, so it was 100% worth it.

Hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures, as I had fun taking them. Feel free to flatter my fabulous little sister for her mad skills, because I think she made something incredibly beautiful. Proud of you Chul!

2 thoughts on “Custom Cute, Custom Chic

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