2 of my dear clients are holding a trunk show for me at a private home. I will have new samples that can be ordered in various sizes and also one-of-a kind pieces for sale. Please contact me for details if you are interested in attending. The hours are 4-7 pm or by appt at my studio beginning on May 24.
Other Laces for skirt
I hope you can come!
Since the solstice and a very busy November and December I have been ensconced in my atelier meditating and working on new designs. It is always so informative to interact with the array of women who come to my sales and see their reactions to the samples and what they end up going home with. Their needs and desires ultimately influence what I come up with in the coming months. I am happily surprised to see that many of my patterns work on different sizes and shapes of bodies. This is an ever-evolving pursuit- to come up with figure flattering and flexible shapes. I have replenished my stock of Wax-print fabrics and I find it very cheering to have a bit of color around me and to think ahead to warmer weather.
This "Raj" jacket is convertible into different configurations- a simple fitted style or the pull back beribboned version shown here.
a blue version of my "poppy" dress in wax-print cotton is an example of a figure-loving dress
This was a magical December night of the super moon (which I didn't manage to capture) but it seems to be reflected in this taffeta moirè fabric which I made into a Qipau. . .
New and old dresses will be on sale at my studio on Tues. Dec. 5 from 5-8 pm and until Dec. 22 by appt.
pleas contact me through the contact page in the menu
Sale extended thru Dec. 22 by appt.
make appt by contacting me on the contact page
The wonderful Linda Dyett originally wrote this article for the online magazine NY City Women from which I have excerpted here.
New York City’s couture-dressmakers, tailors and custom-fitters are on the rebound. Here’s a guide to 10 who make the cut.
by Linda Dyett
We consumers—especially midlife and older Americans—are paring down our wardrobes and shopping less and less these days—but we’re also spending more for higher-quality wearables that express our individuality and suit us to a T. And after a decade of online point-and-click purchases, a lot of us are also eager to return to hands-on service in brick-and-mortar surroundings.
Enter custom-made—the artisanal antidote to fast fashion. Long the province of moneyed elites, celebrities, and mothers of the bride, custom dressmaking and tailoring are today also attracting regular women, who aren’t necessarily in the market for a dress to wear to a black-tie event. These new customers are ladies with style intuition, who know the cuts, fabrics, and colors they want when they see them. And with dozens of hours of pattern-making, cutting, sewing (sometimes by hand), and intricate multiple fittings, custom-made confers an optimal fit that disguises a bulging waist, out-of-shape hips, thighs, and arms, droopy breasts, posture slump, spinal curve, and other figure flaws.
Of course couture dressmakers and tailors come at a price. While I’ve located one who’ll work up one of her off-the-rack $100 to $400 dresses in a different size for no extra fee, most charge $240 and up for custom-made blouses and shirts; $500 and up for made-to-measure (a widely used industry term referring to garments derived from a standard pattern); and $1,500 and up for made-to-order dresses and suits. These are hardly bargains, but they compare so favorably with higher-end, A-list designer ready-to-wear that plenty of women, once they’ve tried New York couture, won’t switch back.
Here’s a rundown of some of the city’s most celebrated as well as off-the-beaten-track dressmakers and tailors who excel in couture and made-to-measure. Just keep in mind: what they offer isn’t seasonal fashion; it’s all about personal, individual style that you can hand down to your daughter or granddaughter, who’ll cherish it as much as you do. Appointments are essential almost everywhere, and finished garments take at least a month—sometimes several—to produce.
Ensconced in a ground floor London Terrace studio, Elizabeth Cannon is that impossible-to-find accessible couturière whom stylish, independent-minded New York women dream about. Having honed her trade making costumes for the Paris Opera Ballet, her inspirations ranging from the Commedia dell’arte to Cocteau, she’s been designing made-to-order one-offs with a lyrical urban edge since 1980. Her clients? “Very decisive” artists, musicians, gallery owners, and entertainment executives, as well as members of the Trisha Brown Dance Company. “Nothing has ever fit me so perfectly,” says one delighted customer. “It’s as if Elizabeth were channeling Schiaparelli,” says another.
Cannon does couture by the book, using custom-padded dressmaker forms, muslins (initial mock-ups in an inexpensive fabric), and sometimes interior boned corsets. She also offers a signature collection of off-the-rack casual day- and eveningwear ($500 and up, though prices can plummet to $100 at frequent sales) that can be altered to fit. Outstanding items: A New Look-style silk shantung dress and jacket for a mother of the bride ($3,500); a silk-cotton blouse and heavy silk floral-print skirt with reinforced corseted yoke for a mother of the groom ($2,800); an African wax-print summer dress ($750); a belted, striped men’s shirting chemise, ($575, readymade; $750, made-to-order) that riffs on the frock Francoise Gilot wore in an iconic 1948 photo strolling along a French beach with an umbrella-wielding Pablo Picasso. Elizabeth Cannon Couture, 460 West 24th St., 212.929.8552.
the full article appears here
I had a wonderful project to work on this winter - dresses for a travel-themed bat mitzvah for a mother and daughter. They had very developed ideas about what they wanted and had thought through every detail. I helped them execute their ideas and guide them through the process. We were delighted with the results and had a great time working together on this important milestone.
The "world" fabric was printed at Spoonflower who does both custom and stock printing on fabric and paper.
Her Mother also wanted her own dress to represent all the places they had traveled together. She collected travel patches from as many of these cities as she could find and gave them to me to sew on her dress.
We also showed the two continents representing Sadie's birthplace and her adoptive home cut out in wool felt and connected with a red stitched line.
The day of the bat mitzvah was one of the rare sunny days in a week of cold and rainy weather
Otherwise happening in the studio this month
Swatching for clients- choosing silk linings
Placement of print is always crucial- here it is gracefully figure-enhancing
I love texture and design- this piece is reminiscent of decorative stonework
A corner of the studio with blue and orange
I haven't posted for the last few months, but am excited to share some of what I've been working on. My studio and work have been a refuge. As always, art has been a part of my life and directly inspiring to my couture. Clients have brought me exciting fabrics to work with and some older pieces have returned for a brief visit. Color is always an important factor.
Rothko Paintings at Pace Gallery, Chelsea
Amber velvet Dress with a lace Bolero (unfinished) modeled as a tunic by Mary Jones
The colors in these Ron Gorchov Paintings at Cheim and Read Gallery in Chelsea are so lucious
work in progress
More to come soon. . .
On Dec 12, 1986- January 4 1987 - Almost exactly 30 years ago- I did a show at the E. M. Donahue Gallery called "Artists Choose Designer" . It was a cheeky title, because I actually chose 13 artists to design fabric for me rather than the other way around.
Garments were displayed on plaster cast dress forms and tension suspended from top and bottom with technical help from Diane Lewis and lighting design by Taro Suzuki
The last few weeks have been a mix of work in the studio, work on dance projects and lots of art. Here are some randomly ordered fragments of the paths I have been on-
I am very influenced by the seasons and generally try and keep pace with the season we are in , unlike designers who design a "line". Couture work has it's own tempo. I will, however, continue to work with the colorful African fabrics throughout the winter in advance of a summer trunk show.
Ive been developing a dress directly from the fabric this time- using the motifs to suggest the lines of the dress- for example - the neck piece is a circle on the print- I have been draping the dress and then transcribing the lines back onto a flat pattern so that I can remake it.
I am currently so inspired by transforming the pattern in a way that enhances the silhouette and leads to new discoveries. I like that it forms the illusion of a vest or jacket with the orange pattern flowing from the top to the bottom. . .
The dress is filled with pins at this point that I am trying it on to see how it works on the body. I usually have scratches on my arms and back from this process, but it is essential and I am my own fit model!
I went to Gowanus in Brooklyn to an open studio in a charming carriage house to view the work of one of my clients. This blue and orange pot reminded her of a dress she got at my sample sale last summer. We plan to do a photo shoot documenting her in the dress next to the pot and drawing.
I am working on a project for the Trisha Brown Dance Company. They have been re-staging some of their works to be performed in unconventional non-stage environments. I was engaged to redesign these sails for "Geometry of Quiet" which will be performed at the Getty Museum in March. We are working out downsized proportions as the sails have been transformed from stationary to hand-held. They are also making changes in the choreography to accommodate this.