Category Archives: Fashion

Creating A Sustainable Future For The World Through Fashion

ORGANIC – FAIR TRADE – SUSTAINABILITY – LOVE – PEACE – TAKING CARE OF OUR WORLD – AND LOOKING BEAUTIFUL!

Although we’ve created clothes from leftover fabrics so far, we are designers that want to merge with the new sustainable fashion movement and the way we see it is that there is no other way.

What do we consider the new fashion movement?

A movement, which uses the highest quality fabrics, produced with organic methods and dyed with natural materials. The talented workers making the fabric must have fair hours and wages. Them and their families must be supported so that they can grow stronger, live happier lives, and therefore produce better and more creative work. All of this will help both designers and producers of fabric and clothing to envision a better future for themselves and the world as a whole.

There are so many talented people all over the world. We believe that now is the time for real global collaboration! We must connect and support each other for a beautiful future and we must use the resources that this rich earth holds for us. Almost every country and culture on this planet has something unique to share with this world.

We can change the world by making a statement with the clothes we wear and as designers, we can make this change with the clothes we design. The best part is that you can look great and have fun while changing the world with what you wear.

An inspiring company is making change as I type this. It’s called People Tree and it supports everything I mentioned above. One of their biggest supporters is Emma Watson. Check out the video below of Emma Watson visiting Bangladesh where People Tree has one of its’ many producers of clothing. The workers have fair hours and wages, their children are supported with schools, and living space.

It’s an exciting direction for fashion and frankly, we believe that it’s the only choice we must make right now! Let’s support the beautiful and talented people of countries, such as, Indonesia, Thailand, Peru, India, Africa, Mexico, and many more!

PEACE & LOVE,

Molly and Natalia

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Corinne Bailey Rae: A classy woman with a voice from heaven!

What a pleasure it is to see a woman who dresses so feminine and with such class, and on top of it, she’s a beautiful talent! I can say right away, that hopefully we’ll get the chance to one day meet Corinne Bailey Rae and hear her sing in some intimate setting. That’s the way I imagine hearing her music. Only with the right group of people, in a small, but classy setting! It’s fantastic to see someone as her during our time when women are so mixed up and although Hollywood will always have lots of beautiful people, there’s that specific class, that not every woman has!

Enjoy her music video, ‘Closer,’ which came out in 2010:

The interesting thing about Corinne Bailey Rae is how she got her debut! For someone so young, she accomplished to do everything on her own. She recorded her first album on her own with her friends and it became a hit instantly and soon enough it was on America’s Top 20 Billboard. When it came to recording her new album, although many companies wanted her to sign with them, she kindly refused and recorded her new album with her friends again. We love this about her! It’s also so great to see how passionate she is about what she does and the fact that she just went right ahead and did it.

Check out some of Corinne Bailey Rae’s outfits!

So, CORINNE BAILEY RAE, IF YOU SEE THIS POST, WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU AS ONE OF OUR CUSTOMERS!!!! 🙂

Peace & Love

Molly and Natalia

Bill Cunningham: An icon to New York street clothes and FASHION!

BILL CUNNINGHAM is like a little angel in the form of a man on Earth, who’s become an icon for the New York fashion scene. He’s the “fashion fairy” that rides a bicycle around with a blue jacket all the time and shoots you with his magic wand, the camera.

If you know who Bill Cunningham is, then you can surely take it as a compliment to be photographed by him and most people who do get photographed by him, know this and always smile! Bill has a keen eye for fashion and has started photographing people on the streets since the colorful flower child time in America! Although the ironic thing is that he didn’t have a color film camera!

Bill Cunningham's Early Photographs

Recently, we were able to watch the documentary on Bill Cunningham through Netflix: Bill Cunningham New York. What an amazing person! We loved hearing his insight on fashion today. He explained that New York is beginning to look like Disney World – everyone looks the same and it’s becoming more difficult for Bill to photograph interesting people.Luckily, with Bill’s keen eye he still manages to find the unique and daring people amongst the huddle of people. We can’t help, but agree with Bill that fashion AND people have become bland and less original. Perhaps it is a fear that people have. You have to admit it takes courage to go out and look different, but shouldn’t that be fairly easy in New York City?!

We also really enjoyed watching video footage of Bill Cunningham at fashion shows. Although, Bill won’t criticize anyone negatively, you can tell whether he likes the clothing or not. If he’s holding up his camera; you’re a success! BUT, if his camera is in his lap, unfortunately, this is too bad.

It’s really an honor for someone like Bill Cunningham to be around. We believe that as our time continues to change and fashion and art are constantly evolving, fashion designers should use the extremely valuable insights of Bill Cunningham. He knows what he’s doing and not only because he lived in a somewhat different past, but because it is something that comes intuitively with Bill.

A beautifully tailored black suit that will never be out of style.

Since we’re designers and actually designing our collection at this point in our lives. We’ve looked into the fashion industry a lot. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of the same names out there – Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Dior, etc. And it’s not that any of these designers aren’t good in anyway, rather they are fantastic. Yet, we wonder where are the new designers? Is there no one creative?

We want to change this.

Anyways, not to steer off topic!!! If you get the chance, whether you’re in fashion or not, it’s very interesting to look into the man behind the camera lens and get to know more about him in his documentary! We definitely suggest it! And just as an extra bit, here’s an incredible spread by Bill Cunningham of Anna Piaggi!

Hope you enjoyed!

Peace & Love,

Molly & Natalia

Natalia is a single mother with a big mission in life for herself and her kids!

In 1991 at 21 years old, I boarded a plane from Kharkov, Ukraine to the USA – New York City! I was completely unaware of what was to come, I had no fears, and only pure excitement of a new beginning! And boy, did that kind of thinking bring in incredible joys and successes!

So here’s a blog post more about me, Natalia. I’m a single mother with two wonderful kids and the three of us (me, Molly, and Nicholas) are a team with big dreams that we are working towards! But I’ll share more about my past in this post.

Back in Ukraine, I had a formal college education in finances, but I come from a family of tailors! So even though I finished college in finance, I was destined to continue my path as a tailor since I began practicing my skills as a tailor from the age of thirteen! So when I arrived in New York City, barely speaking English, before you knew it I was getting married and soon enough I landed a job on Madison Ave. in New York City. That was when I entered the Luca Luca family. That was my school of fashion. There I was, the leading tailor in charge of everything that was a part of the tailoring department, although I had no specific title, the customers called me by a special name; magicfitter! The customers at Luca Luca ranged from the rich and famous to the neighborhood Upper East Side residents. Although the Upper East Side holds many misconceptions of snooty rich women, I would have to disagree because every single customer was wonderful to say the least.

Luca Luca (Luca Orlandi, the designer) and Yildiz Blackstone (President of the company).

As I had the incredible opportunity to work side by side with these two extraordinary people, I am left speechless at what to say. I guess all I have to say is, I love you guys! You are the best!

(Photo of myself, Luca Orlandi, and the team celebrating after the 2003 Spring Fashion show)

(Celebrating my birthday with the team at Luca Luca)

(Me in a stunning Luca Luca dress!)

All-nighters at Luca Luca!

In the above photo, this was one of several nights that I pulled an all-nighter at Luca while the company was preparing for fashion shows! Speaking of all-nighters, at one point Luca found out last minute that he was going to London for an auction, in which all proceeds were to go to children’s donations. He needed a dress to be completely done from scratch overnight! So the next morning, he was on the plane with the dress, which sold at the auction for $30,000!

The Pink Dress

The dress above was also done overnight and I guess you could say it became an ‘overnight success!’ It was the best seller and on top of it, it was featured in several soap operas and movies like, ‘Something’s Gotta Give.’

Working at Luca Luca, I had the opportunity to work with all of the best fabrics that were produced by Italy, France, and Switzerland, unlike the mostly, mass-produced fabrics from China right now. The fabric is the real magic of design. Without good fabric, a dress or a skirt is nothing.

Molly

On Saturdays, I’d take my daughter, Molly to work with me at Luca Luca and from the age of four, she grew a deep fascination by all of the fashion sketches hung around Luca Luca. At four years old, she would sit and try to draw out fashion sketches as well. The rest of the team used to give Molly presents of pencils, paints, and markers. That was when I knew that she’d be an artist.

Eventually though, due to personal circumstances, I had to leave the company and it was a heartbreak.

Right now in my life though, there is a new start. With all of the knowledge I’ve gained from the past and more time spent with my kids, they’ve taught me some of the most valuable lessons. I’m a firm believer that kids can be our greatest teachers. Simply put, my kids are my inspiration in everything, especially for what’s to come in the future. As my daughter said in her previous post, we can’t share our plans just yet, being that most of our family members don’t know as well, but soon, we’ll share in another post.

Till then, my daughter and I are working on Athena’s Gown on Etsy. We will be producing an entire collection. It will take some time, but we will keep you updated!

Peace & Love,

Natalia

What’s on our Christmas list this year? Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty.

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN. A GENIUS AND AN INSPIRATION.

Although, we don’t actually celebrate Christmas, we do celebrate New Years in the Russian-style. Our roots are from Russia and so in true Soviet style, we have a full-blown New Years celebration with a decorated tree, presents, and a feast! And so this year for New Years, we would love to have Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty.

Alexander McQueen is a major inspiration for artists and designers around the world. Unfortunately, in 2010, this genius passed away. We say passed away, because even though it was reported that McQueen committed suicide, this is difficult for us to believe. McQueen, knew from a young age that he’d be a fashion designer, he dropped out of school at age 16, and later his clients would become Mikhail Gorbachev and Prince Charles. McQueen was more than a designer, he as a real artist, and a real mastermind living in our time. Sort of like the Da Vinci of the 21st century and so that’s why it difficult to believe that he committed suicide.

Watch this video below of an extraordinarily creative art performance and fashion piece by McQueen:

The photo above is Alexander McQueen being interviewed by his mother, Joyce McQueen. Here’s the interview:

Joyce McQueen: I would have liked to have invited the late Peter Ustinov for dinner, for his wit and conversation. Who would you like as a dinner guest and why?
Alexander McQueen: What, if I could choose anyone?
JM: Anyone in the world.
AM: Elizabeth I …
JM: Why would you want Elizabeth I? The history maybe?
AM: ‘Cause she’s an anarchist.
JM: She’s an anarchist?
AM: She was an anarchist, yeah. Do you want to have a bit of debate on this?
JM: Well, not at the moment, no.
AM: Because, y’know, she kind of founded the Church of England under her father, with all the upheaval from the French and the Scottish …
JM: Who are your other ones?
AM: Jesus of Nazareth, to check if he really exists, and it’s not just we’ve been reading some Peter Pan book for the past 2,000 years. Or Mel Gibson, to be there if Jesus wasn’t true.

JM: If you could live and work as a designer in any era, which one would it be?
AM: Any time? Future as well?
JM: Future as well. But particularly the past.
AM: Let’s stick to the past then. I’m thinking cavemen and loincloths.
JM: What about Tudors and Stuarts?
AM: Er … I’m answering the questions! Most probably …
JM: What about –
AM: I’m thinking ! Fifteenth-century Flemish, Netherlands. My favourite part of art. Because of the colours, because of the sympathetic way they approached life.
JM: Simplicity, you mean.
AM: I’m not going to get into a big art debate with you.
JM: No, I’m trying to get to the bottom of why you like that.
AM: ‘Cause I think they were very modern for their times, in that period and in that part of the world.
JM: You spend as much time as possible in your beautiful cottage in the country. Do you find that the inspiration you get down there features in your work?
AM: I don’t find inspiration there – it gives me a peace of mind, Mum. Solitude, and a blank canvas to work from, instead of the distractions of the concrete jungle.
JM: Right. So it does inspire you in some ways then.
AM: Not technically. Not country life or bobbing rabbits. It’s the peace and quiet.

JM: As you know, I’m a Simply Red and Elton John fan. Who are your favourite artists?
AM: As in singers?
JM: Yeah, well, y’know, groups, whatever. Because at one time, you were very much into classical music.
AM: Beyoncé. No, I’m only joking.
JM: He was about, what, 15. I know because I’ve still got them at home.
AM: I think composers. People like Michael Nyman, who compose an original piece of music – believe it or not, the artists today are inspired by people like Michael Nyman and Philip Glass, who come up with unusual sounds.
JM: I know, I know, that’s where pop music comes from …
AM: Nah, it’s like the architect who designed the Gherkin [Norman Foster and his Swiss Re tower in London] inspires people, or Alexander McQueen does a collection that inspires other people to do different things and move things forward. Rap music’s been around for too long now to be inspirational. The words are, but the music isn’t.
JM: You haven’t given me an answer there. You haven’t come out with a group.
AM: I have – Philip Glass and Michael Nyman.

JM: All right, then. I’ll ask another question. You have travelled extensively around the world but still have not been to the Isle of Skye, which is the root of your McQueen history. Will you ever visit that area?
AM: Mmm … yes.
JM: In the near future?
AM: Yes.
JM: Right. And that follows on to my next question: what do your Scottish roots mean to you?
AM: Everything.
JM: Well, where do I come in?
AM: [laughs] Oh you’re from the Forest of Dean, yeah. What do you mean, where do you come in?
JM: Well, your Scottish roots mean a lot to you. So where does your mother’s side come in?
AM: What does my mother’s side, the Welsh side, mean to me?
JM: I’m not Welsh! I’m Norman!
AM: All right, Norman! Where does this Norman come from?
JM: Well they come from Viking stock.
AM: That answers a lot for an awful lot of people, I think. I feel more Scottish than Norman.

JM: You recently got your deep-sea diving certificate, didn’t you?
AM: Yeah, underwater diving.
JM: Well, two of my family discovered the wreck of the Marie Rose, deep-sea divers. Just explains that you’ve taken up deep-sea diving as well. It’s a follow-on really, isn’t it?
AM: So from the McQueen side I’ve got anarchy, and my mum’s side, underwater diving.
JM: The calm part. You are often described as an architect of clothing, and I know that you have a keen interest in architecture. What is the most breathtaking building you’ve ever seen?
AM: Ronchamps, by Corbusier.
JM: What do you think of the modern buildings in London?
AM: I love the Gherkin.
JM: You do?
AM: I think it’s fantastic.
JM: But you don’t like any of the old architecture in London?
AM: Well, yeah, but it’s not as nice as it is in Italy or Paris.

JM: If you hadn’t trained on Savile Row, how would you have entered the fashion industry?
AM: I’d have slept my way there.
JM: Or, I don’t know …
AM: Other ways. I’d have found other ways of getting into it.
JM: Do you look at something else and say, “I could have done that as well”?
AM: Photo-journalism. It’s art for the modern times. I think it captures a moment in time that is spontaneous and that reflects where we are. The one I couldn’t have done is be an architect, because I don’t have the brain capacity or the patience.
JM: No, you haven’t got the patience, have you? You mix with VIPs, celebrities, aristocracy … How does coming home and being the baby of the family make you feel?
AM: I’m never fazed by it, because whenever I get home, Dad will always ask me to make him a cup of tea. So it’s just normal.

JM: If you were prime minister or in government, what policies would you implement to make the UK a better place to live?
AM: More politically correct police officers on the streets. And more focus on the north of England instead of just the south, on not so developed parts of the country.
JM: What do you mean, “politically correct police”?
AM: Well, not homophobic police, not racist police, you know? The police need to come down to street level.
JM: Success has brought you financial security. But if you lost it all tomorrow, what would be the first thing you would do?
AM: Sleep. I’d be pleased.
JM: I said you’d go on holiday.
AM: What with? I’d lost it all!

JM: When you received your CBE last October, you told me and Dad that you locked eyes with the Queen and it was like falling in love. What was it about her presence that captivated you?
AM: I made a pact with myself that I wasn’t going to look into her eyes.
JM: But you did.
AM: I did. There was a simultaneous lock, and she started laughing, and I started laughing …
JM: It was a nice moment, wasn’t it?
AM: It was. We caught it on camera where we’re both laughing at each other. She asked a question, “How long have you been a fashion designer?” and I said, “A few years, m’lady.” I wasn’t thinking straight – because I’d hardly had any sleep.
JM: You were nervous.
AM: I was really tired. And I looked into her eyes, it was like when you see someone across the room on a dancefloor and you think, “Whoa!” It was like when I looked into her eyes, it was obvious that she had her fair share of shit going on. I felt sorry for her. I’ve said a lot of stuff about the Queen in the past – she sits on her arse and she gets paid an awful lot of money for it – but for that instant I had a bit of compassion for her. So I came away feeling humbled by the situation, when I wouldn’t have even been in the situation if it wasn’t for you.
JM: I thought it was a great honour.
AM: I didn’t want to do it.
JM: It was an honour for you …
AM: Yeah, but I had my views on what it stands for.

JM: What is your most terrifying fear?
AM: Dying before you.
JM: Thank you, son. What makes you proud?
AM: You.
JM: Why?
AM: No, no, ask the next one: “What makes you furious?” You! [laughs]
JM: No, go on, what makes you proud?
AM: When things go right, when the collection goes right, when everyone else in the company’s proud.
JM: What makes you furious?
AM: Bigotry.
JM: What makes your heart miss a beat?
AM: Love.
JM: Love for children? Love for adults? Love for animals?
AM: Falling in love.

“My friend George and I were walking on the beach in Norfolk, and there were thousands of [razor-clam] shells. They were so beautiful, I thought I had to do something with them. So, we decided to make [a dress] out of them. . . . The shells had outlived their usefulness on the beach, so we put them to another use on a dress. Then Erin [O’Conner] came out and trashed the dress, so their usefulness was over once again. Kind of like fashion, really.”

-McQueen

“It is important to look at death because it is a part of life. It is a sad thing, melancholy but romantic at the same time. It is the end of a cycle—everything has to end. The cycle of life is positive because it gives room for new things.”

-McQueen

“I want to be honest about the world that we live in, and sometimes my political persuasions come through in my work. Fashion can be really racist, looking at the clothes of other cultures as costumes. . . . That’s mundane and it’s old hat. Let’s break down some barriers.”

 -McQueen
“For me, what I do is an artistic expression which is channeled through me. Fashion is just the medium.”
-McQueen
——————————————————————————————
This past summer, my mom and I, along with my brother went to the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum. After waiting 2 hours in line just to enter the exhibition we were delightfully stunned! He was truly a mastermind. He had the incredible skill and he also had the creativity. There was so much soul in the work that McQueen made! For us he is an incredible inspiration in both fashion and art. This exhibition was especially striking by the amount of work McQueen accomplished to do in his lifetime! What a passionate person! He was also so inspired by history and nature. One dress is covered with feathers, another in shells, and another has a Flemish painting printed on it. Incredible!
We would love to hear other thoughts and comments on McQueen! What do you think?
Peace & Love,
Molly and Natalia

Fashion in unusual places…Peru!

An under-appreciated fashion is the art of making textiles, by hand, without the use of harsh chemicals, and made with completely organic materials. What we try so hard to make organic in the Western World is already so engraved in the culture of Peru that they have no clue what the term “organic” means! In Peru, people have maintained an incredible culture and art even though the country has been rocked by many terrible things from the moment that the Spanish conquistadors settled in 1528. That is why we’re so grateful that in our world such an art still exists and that is the art of textile making.

In Peru, ancestors of the Ancient Incans, sit in the beautiful mountains and they herd one of the most popular animals there; the llama. The llama in Peru is the equivalent of the cow in America. Indeed, Ancient Incans use the alpaca meat as food and they also use alpaca for their precious wool. The process of making textiles are incredible. This natural wool is used from the llama and it is dyed with completely natural materials, which produce incredibly beautiful and bright colors. For example, there is a deep red-colored bug that they squash for its’ color. As gross as that may sound at first read it is a beautifully simple process, which is environmentally-friendly!

Watch this video to see in more detail how these textiles are made!

These rich textiles produced by incredible people is truly a gift in the 21st century when everybody is trying to be “green.” This is truly green and we need to support people like this with their skills, which are so valuable.

As my mom and I continue to design we are very inspired by these people. After all, in such a changing world we must think not only what is beautiful, but what is good for our world.

Lots of love,

Molly & Natalia

Auntie Mame, a fashion inspiration and an inspiration for life!

 

“Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!”

Auntie Mame: “Well, now, uh, read me all the words you don’t understand.”

Patrick: “Libido, inferiority complex, stinko, blotto, free love, bathtub gin, monkey glands, Karl Marx… is he one of the Marx Brothers?  …Neurotic, heterosexual…”

Auntie Mame: “Oh, my my my my, what an eager little mind. You won’t need some of these words for months and months.” 

Auntie Mame is one of our favorite movies and one of the most inspirational. This all time classic is filled with many laughs as it is filled with so much knowledge. Auntie Mame is the story about a boy who’s father passes away and must therefore live with ‘eccentric,’ Auntie Mame. Mame lives in New York City, she’s very fabulous, her apartment is filled with ‘Oriental’ art and artifacts, she has cocktail parties every evening, and her friends are artists, actors, teachers, communists, and all the other strange people of the world! (Or perhaps they are the normal ones!). The boy, who’s name is Patrick, adores Auntie Mame and she adores him back. The film shows their story in the best of times, but also in the worst with little money, but nothing can bring down Auntie Mame! She lives her extraordinary life, she falls in love, she travels the world, and so much more!

True, this is a movie, but there is so much truth to it. It is true indeed, as Auntie Mame says, “Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” These words ring incredibly true with us. Although we aren’t financially wealthy, we are incredibly wealthy in terms of love and happiness, and our family is extremely grateful for that.

Auntie Mame being eccentric and all, is also a tremendous inspiration in terms of fashion!

At one point, Mame, comes back from a trip to India wearing a sari! Her taste and style is so elegant and can never get old. It’s that style that we strive for in our own designs. Something that can be timeless and unique! That is probably why our interest in corsets appeared. Corsets have a good and bad history as many might know. For example, corsets were a terrible restraining device for women. Many women died just from wearing them, but corsets have also served to make a women’s figure look incredible. Often a corset was worn by regular housewives because this was something comfortable and it made women feel confident. It gave them the ability to walk with an extra bounce. And so that is why we’ve combined corsets and embroidery as well. To achieve a different look and style, but something that anyone could wear!

You can click the photo above to see our listing for it on Etsy. It was inspired by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.

That sums up our post on the wonderful, timeless, Auntie Mame! Watch the movie when ya’ get the chance!

Peace & Love,

Molly and Natalia

P.S. – Today’s Nicholas’s Birthday! We’re going to see the Broadway Musical, Priscilla! Come check back to hear more about it!!! 😉