I know many of you have been eagerly awaiting an announcement of our fall pattern release. As we mentioned in our last newsletter (you do subscribe to that, don’t you?), we’re doing things a bit differently this year. We figured why not give something new a try?
Over the next four weeks, we’ll be debuting four new Liesl + Co patterns. We’ll release one pattern on each of the next four Thursdays, beginning this week. And then we’ll release our new fall-winter Oliver + S patterns during the second half of October.
I can hardly wait to show the new Liesl + Co patterns to you! I’m very pleased with how they turned out. I’ve had the pleasure of wearing these new styles all summer, so I can guarantee that they’re comfortable and can be styled in a variety of ways. I think you’ll get a lot of wear and enjoyment out of them.
By way of introduction, I thought it would be nice to tell you a bit about the inspiration behind the collection. I know many of you like to get a behind-the-scenes peek, so I’ve been posting little hints on Instagram and taking lots of photos of the development process, which I usually forget to do.
This season I was inspired by movement and by how it’s affected by ability and disability. Right around the time I was really starting to design this collection, we shared a table at a benefit dinner with a well-known ballet dancer and with a dear and very talented friend who has spent her adult life living with a severe disability. As it turns out, the dancer, Wendy Whelan, was just returning to the stage after an injury and the resulting surgery that prevented her from dancing for almost a year.
All of this started me thinking about movement and how it relates to clothing. (Because, really, when am I not thinking about clothing?) I had recently read Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress which is about Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe and personal effects, and I was inspired by the book. Kahlo spent much of her life in unspeakable pain after a terrible accident. But she was also well-known for her personal style, and she’s inspired many people as a style icon. I was especially struck by a quote in which she said, effectively, that her colorful clothes and vibrant style drew attention away from her disability. (I wish I could locate the quote for you. If anyone has it, please let me know!)
So I was thinking about both movement and disability as I was developing these styles. You’ll see that we’re offering a variety of hem lengths this season, in part because I’m really in love with the longer (midi-) length right now but also because I was thinking about movement of the body and flow of the fabric as I was working on these styles. I was also thinking about Kahlo’s wardrobe, and you’ll probably be able to detect her influence in some of the styles. She wore longer skirts to hide her disability, while dancers sometimes wear longer skirts to emphasize their long legs and the beautiful lines they create as they move. It fascinates me that the same type of clothing can serve as either emphasis or as camouflage.
If you want to see more images from my mood board, I’ve pinned a lot of them here. I’ll tell you all about each of the new styles as we introduce them. Are you ready to sew for yourself? I hope so!