a few good things no. 5: silk edition

13 April 2012

Lately, I have been obsessed with silk fabrics: raw silk, crepe de chine, silk charmeuse, and silk chiffon. There is something so sumptuous and sensuous, but also softly subtle and timeless, about silk. I recently read Avery Ellis' The Last Nude (a review of which is forthcoming), set in 1927 Paris, in which silk played a subtle but richly seductive role in the relationship between Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka and her model-muse, Rafaela. As she is searching for the perfect silk fabric in Le Sentier district of Paris to hand sew a slip for her lover, Rafaela describes the pleasure she experiences when she strokes a lustrous charmeuse in a cool pink: "When I palmed the silk my body jumped inside with longing." Owing to Ellis' lyrical and sensual prose and imagery, I could feel the sensuousness of the silk and the sense of longing Rafaela viscerally describes, not only in this scene, but every time silk is evoked throughout the book, touching on something I had already been feeling. However unrealistic and marked by my own wishful desires, I long to dress myself in nothing but silk this summer. At the same time that I feel this almost bodily desire, it seems that there are so many gorgeous designs in silk everywhere I look. I must not be alone in my longing.

1, 2, & 3. Toronto-based Fieldguided released their much-anticipated collection of gorgeous silk scarves this week, Light as a Feather, featuring enlarged black-and-white photographs taken in the late 1800s and lovingly hand-rolled hems, which Anabela blogged about here. Photographed by Anya Verdugo with styling by Megan Hart, the collection is so romantic and magical, I think everyone in the blogging and independent art & design community is swooning over them, and with good reason. I keep wavering between two favourites, mountain and venus, and cannot decide between them, even though I know I am only dreaming.... Andrew and I are on a tight budget as we are preparing for our August wedding, so I cannot bring myself to spend any of my graduate student funding on anything other than goods and wares for the wedding. Still, Anabela's work has a way of enlivening you and inspiring the best kind of reverence even if purchasing one of her creations is not currently in the stars. I think longing is a good thing.
4. I have always loved this detachable silk shirt collar by Angie of Montreal's Norwegian Wood produced in collaboration with artist Jen Storey. The wheat imagery was inspired by the prairies where Angie grew up, which, combined with the silk, evokes the magic of endless prairie skies.
5. Vintage-inspired Garden of the night dress from Kelly Love's SS2012 collection, Pocket Full O' Posies.The 100% sand washed silk dress with vintage lace hem is the perfect combination of playful and romantic. Swoon.
6. Speaking of weddings, in my continuous search for the perfect veil or headpiece (how is a girl to decide on only one?), nothing compares to Twigs & Honey. Nothing. While I think my heart has set itself upon this mini tulle veil with pearls, everything from the new collection is simply gorgeous, including this sweet and subtle floral petal comb with hand pressed silk organza petals and genuine swarovski crystals. Part of me is thinking veil for the ceremony, and a simple floral headpiece for the reception.

7. Galileo's Moon hand dyed silk scarf by Bre of Toronto's Scout & Catalogue, featuring Galileo's sketches together with images of the moon and victorian roses. The design is light and breezy like the rest of Bre's work, but I particularly love this combination of imagery and it's subtle astrological/scientific undertones. Bre manages to evoke the geek and the romantic at once, while maintaining her characteristic lightness.
8. Classic wide leg, high waisted pants in a lovely silk/cotton blend from Three Little Ducks.
9. I think these vintage-inspired First Date scalloped silk blouses from girlwithaseriousdream in her Etsy shop stylemadehere are so sweet! I love the scalloped neckline. It's also available for pre-order in a pale mint green here.
10. I think almost any contemporary cat lady would covet this large Picasso cats silk chiffon scarf by illustrator Leah Goren. All of Leah's designs are like a breath of fresh air and she makes the loveliest subtle floral patterns.
11. Absolutely love this petal-pink and creme silk charmeuse blouse by Jessica Kertis. She hits it right on with the simple description: Blossoms, ballet, blush. I am hoping to order one in mint and creme, which would better suit my olive skin tone. I think the loose, slightly cropped fit would be perfect for summer.

12. Phillip Lim's Draped Neck Shell airy silk crepe de chine tank.
13. I adore collaborations among friends and creatives with a similar sense of aesthetics. Anabela & Geoff of Fieldguided recently teamed up with Bre of Scout & Catalogue to shoot her spring 2012 collection, and the results are, of course, gorgeous. I know this is old news, but whenever I browse through Bre's wares, I am captivated again and again by the photos. While Scout & Catalogue designs are on their own already so unmistakable and lovely, Fieldguided, and especially Anabela's touch, brings to them that added bit of magic that makes your heart skip. The mood is one of soft & sultry springs and endless summers, to which this hand dyed Cinta silk headband speaks perfectly. Visit Scout & Catalogue for the lookbook and view Fieldguided's behind-the-scenes photos here.
14. Sweet, sultry, and romantic, this one-piece Ivory Tower Romper made from a reclaimed vintage silk blend by Under the Root might just be the perfect lingerie for hot summer days and nights.
15. The wonderful Ilana Kohn released her SS12 collection, available for pre-order, and there's so much crepe de chine! The designs, prints, and loosely flowing cuts are, yup, the kind you want to live in. Sigh. My favourite is the crepe de chine Elliot Shirt in the foxtail print. Photograph by Dustin Fenstermacher.

16. Love this simple and unadorned Silk Husband Tank by Lauren Jones of mydearthing from last year's SS collection. There is something about those raw edges.
17. Hand painted silk crepe de chine Indigo Ikat Dot blouse by Dani K of xsilk.
18. Dace, one of my favourite Canadian designers, seems to offer silk crepe de chine garments with every collection, and the Spring 2012 collection is no exception. The Thomas Dress, a 100% washed silk crepe kimono dress in a lovely teal colour, looks especially luxurious.

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