Sunday 1 January 2012

February Burda and New Year's Resolution

 Happy New Year and wishing you a peaceful, healthy and prosperous 2012 with lots of love thrown in.
My New Year's resolutions include continuing my path back to health after 2009's Brush with D. by exercising more, and to see my friends more. Writers tend to hibernate in their own little bubble of frustration and doubt, then inspiration/concentration.
 So, Work More but also Play Well With Others, as you teachers say. Continue the Empty Nest Transition which is going well enough to annoy the offspring. And Sew More.
Well, that about covers everything, doesn't it, except Vaccuum More?

My play "Dear Mr. Rogge" about the extraordinary and brave Chinese dissident He Depu will be given a workshop reading in Feb. in Geneva, so I'm still working on the "what do writers wear?" conundrum, which is silly because it hardly bothered any writer I admire, dead or alive, except fabled "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" screenwriter Anita Loos. She was not only a pioneer among women in the film industry, but also a great clothes horse, according to her fabulous memoir, A Girl Like I, (out of print, but discovered in a giveaway bin at the American Library in Geneva.)

 Burda's Feb issue is coming out with some themes for 2012, which completely contradict the Guardian's Fashion Guru that the 20's Flapper Silhouette will dominate 2012. Instead, Burda is going with stripes (which require striped fabric, not always easy) and continue their love of the kimono. I appreciate the clarity and classic lines of this sheath below (although I doubt anybody on the planet needs another sheath pattern,) and as I'm basically a workaholic who would like to be a louche lounge lizard in Mitsouko perfume dripping silks and ennui in her trail, I probably will try to figure out another excuse to make another kimono. I still think Burda's best kimono pattern was the one I gave detailed three-posting instructions to a while back.

But here I'm going to lose some of you. I just hate colour blocking and I'm firmly convinced that it only works on women with the kind of strong colouring that can carry neon brights. I love the cut of the orange blouse below, but I think older women, blonde women, non-svelte women, short or medium height women, pale women, cannot handle that much blast of contrast. It may be fun, but if you want to wear bright colour, I think you've got to stick with one. Unless you're Erica Bunker.

Finally, I love the cheongsam cut of this and I suspect it's a knit which would make things easier. As I spent twenty years in Hong Kong, I'm tempted, but every western woman should think twice about a style that might scream "Chinese costume."

What are your resolutions???


  1. Happy New Year - great resolutions! I don't have any formal resolutions for the new year - but I would really like to be more patient in my sewing, at work and with my kids. Of course I am hoping for decent health and some happiness too :-) but I remain uninterested in the vacuuming which I prefer to think of as making visitors to my house feel good about their own homes. Yes, I agree the colour blocking is difficult for most people when it's neon bright, but I quite like the idea with less garish colours - which is probably not in fashion.

  2. I thought of your gorgeous kimono, when I saw this preview, straight away! I found it very inspiring. The last dress looks like a cheongsam to me as well. I've always been told that a short cheongsam is kind of tacky. It's a literally a way to cut things a little short to save money on expensive silk!

    Perhaps lady writers wear beautiful blue kimonos?

    Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy 2012!

  3. Happy new year! I really enjoy your reviews of Burda. Like that last dress but is it really a knit? I'm hoping not because I think it'll hang better in a woven.

  4. Happy 2012 and good luck with your resolutions!

    I was thinking of making a kimono - inspired by you - but now I've got to hold off until I see this pattern.

    Is there such a thing as too many sheath dresses? I don't think so. There's a reason some styles are timeless!

  5. Oh I must go and check out the whole Burda preview now, they seem t come out as I have just laid my hands on the previous month's magazine. i love the look of that cheongsam dress too, but totally agree with you about whether I can wear it in HK. Not that such concerns usually stop me trying!

  6. Totally agree with you on colour blocking being the devil's work (wait that's not what you said?) but paler women can colour block as long as they stick to pastels and/ or make sure the colour closest to their face is A) a pastel and B) not contrasting too crazily with their hair. Wrt the cheongsam style I think as long as you don't make it up in a chinese print satin brocade you should be safe. I'd get use something geometric like the tessaltion/ fractal prints on Spoonflower..

    PS your commenting section doesn't work for non-Google accounts so might want to get disqus or something similar so people from Wordpress, typepad, livejournal etc can comment as themselves.