Lily Absinthe Returns To Clockwork Alchemy!

We are happy to announce that once again, we will be showing some our designs in the fashion show at the Clockwork Alchemy Convention on Sunday, May 28, 2017. At that time, we’ll be unveiling some new designs and while we would love to preview them, we’re keeping them under wraps for now- you’ll just have to wait. 🙂

This is an exciting opportunity for us in that we will get to display some of our newest designs before the public and it brings up to a whole new level. Clockwork Alchemy is oriented towards steampunk but don’t let that throw you- it’s rooted in the Victorian Era and that’s exactly where we are.

We look forward to seeing you so stay tuned for more information! Now, back to work…

The Anastasia Gown – Perfect For A Ball Or Wedding!.

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So no new gown tonight for me…but at least I can wear one of our company’s latest designs. The SDI Victorian Ball is tonight, we’ve been looking forward to this since December! 🙂

Featured is our “Anastasia” gown- an unforgettable confection of pleated poetry, perfect for your wedding or a ball. ♡

Paul Poiret – The “New Look”

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In a previous post, it was noted that Paul Poiret was one of the leading figures in re-defining female fashion in the first decades of the 20th Century. In contrast to the previous styles of the 1880s and 90s (and even early 1900s, for that matter), Poiret pushed for a loose, flowing silhouette and this became especially evident after 1910. Moreover, Poiret’s designs increasingly began to look towards non-Western sources such as those found in North Africa, the Middle East, Southwest Asia, China, and Japan for inspiration, a trend that was to become part of the broader cultural trend of Orientalism. Below is just one example of Poiret’s work that’s influenced by non-Western themes:

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Paul Poiret, Fancy Dress Costume, 1911; Metropolitan Museum of Art (1983.8a, b)

Poiret 1911

Poiret 1911

Poiret 1911

Close-Up View

Poiret 1911

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This outfit was originally created by Poiret for his 1002 Nights party in 1911, a public relations event that was used to promote his oriental-inspired fashions, and as such was based on Middle Eastern designs as filtered through Western perceptions and was an attempt to invoke the fantastical elements found in the Arabian Nights (One Thousand and One Nights). The jeweling and fabrics of this outfit was exquisite but probably the most notable feature is the basic design: the use of harem pants. While pants on females is commonplace today, it was not so in the early 20th Century and in fact was considered radical, if not downright subversive.

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Orientalism was to exert an increasingly powerful influence in Poiret’s designs throughout the Teens and and while much of it was a passing fad, the basic ideas remained behind to be taken further by other designers. This has just been a brief look at some of the basic design ideas that formed the basis for Poiret’s work and in future posts we’ll be exploring these further. Enjoy! 🙂

The King Of Fashion – Paul Poiret

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Paul Poiret was one of the most influential designers of the early 20th Century and one whose influence lives on to this day. Self-styled “the King of Fashion,” Poiret’s designs marked a sharp break with the conventions that had developed during the late 19th Century and while some of his claims were somewhat exaggerated, it’s safe to say that many of his ideas marked the profound re-defining of the female fashion with an emphasis on more loose, flowing styles that did not directly involve rigid body sculpting based on the corset. Of course it could be argued that while outward appearances changed, underneath foundation garments were still extensively used- basically, the body sculpting went underground, so to say. But nevertheless, with Poiret we see an emphasis on free movement and all that implied.

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Poiret is also somewhat enigmatic with the seemingly contradictory nature of some of his innovations. While on the one hand he proclaimed that he had freed women from the rigid confines of the corset, he also introduced the hobble skirt which brought rigidity and confinement in another form. In looking at his life, we see that Poiret developed many of the marketing techniques that have become standard in the fashion industry. At the same time, we also see Poiret’s belief in his own infallibility clouding his judgement to the point where he stopped developing as a designer and ultimately leading to his downfall.

Poiret’s life is a fascinating mix of the fantastical and the commonplace and rife with seeming contradictions and as such, are worthy of further investigation and in the months to come, I’ll be sharing my findings here. Stay tuned for more! 🙂