Right now I’m feeling…

Ruffles. Clouds of ruffles. It started while I was watching a Nicki Minaj video with some of my students. I’m always interested in what my students are reading, watching and wearing – and I’m always amazed by how connected and informed they are by current culture and fashion. She had on a piece from Valentino’s spring 2011 collection, a little lavender jacket with a single, very stiff ruffle for a collar. Surprisingly (for a music video) it was a totally wearable piece. Cute and simple, with just enough of a statement detail to be worth a second glance. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, the new creative directors at Valentino (now that the Big V himself has retired and is sipping mimosas somewhere on the mediterranean), have managed to remain faithful to the original spirit of the label – fresh, feminine and soft -without becoming imitators. The entire collection was a play on dreamy, hide-behind-my-collar ruffles and flounces used as shoulder accents and surface decoration.
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There is also, of course, the prerequisite Valentino high/low diffusion line – this time vis a vie The Gap. Notice that they’ve used a utilitarian fabric in army green to give the ‘unexpected’ element of the Valentino/Gap marriage. I think it works – the stiffness of the fabric is perfect for keeping the shape of the strong ruffles at the collar and I think I’d really wear them in that colour. I can’t wait to whip up a ‘Make Den’ version of one of these for classes – it’s still hard to believe that people pay thousands (or camp out overnight) for this stuff when they could just make it themselves! Sewing rules. Beginner classes are starting on Feb 16th and Feb 20th. Email themakeden@hotmail.com to register.

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