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lady rose

Lady Rose MacClare

Love, love, love Rose’s dress.  Of course I want to know what kind of cord has such delicacy and swings with such a soft drape?  How is it attached to the dress? Whose hands crafted such a beautiful dress?  Oh, if only I were a fly on the Downton Abbey costume department wall.

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How did the party go in Portman Square?
I cannot tell you: Juliet was not there.
And how did Lady Gaster’s party go?
Juliet was next to me and I do not know.

– Hilaire Belloc

For the few days I worked on these art tags, I was taken back to the long summer days I spent at my grandmother’s house on the corner of Fifth and Plum street in Detroit.  It was perfectly fine to wile away the day with a shoe box full of my beloved paper dolls.  Whenever I tired of their wardrobe, I took to cutting out pages from my grandmother’s Time magazines.  Certainly not destined for a shoebox, I may need to fashion a tiny armoire to hang them in.

The macramé bodice was worked within a drawn outline, using vintage Mastex nylon cord in rose.  Starting at the top of the shoulders on both left and right sides simultaneously, I worked my way down to the bottom row of horizontal half hitches.  By the way, I use a whole lot of Euro-Notions Iris Swiss Super Fine pins to hold my tiny work in place.

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cass and andy

I couldn’t help reminiscing about Andy Williams death today.  He was one of my mother’s favorite singers while I was growing up, along with Johnny Mathis, Perry Como and a few others crooners.  My mother worked full time in a book bindery.  On the weekends she loved to play all her favorite LP’s on a portable suitcase record player while attending to the house, the kids and my dad.

Reading through one of his tribute articles I happened upon a YouTube video of Andy, Cass Elliot, Elton John (in his early 20’s), and Ray Charles.  Don’t you dig Cass Elliot’s elaborate macrame collar that sways so gracefully as she walks!

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moira douglas

Moira Douglas Velvet Macrame

Tumbling, tumbling, tumbling down the internet rabbit hole, I happened upon this scrumptious velvet piece by Moira Douglas. Be sure to check out her flickr photostream here. Oh my, I long to touch each and every velvet, linen and chiffon delicacy shown there.

P.S. If you feel like tumbling, tumbling, tumbling, there’s more at flickriver.


Gucci Macrame Beachwear

As I type, there is snow mist falling here in Dearborn and we’re expecting about 1 to 2 inches of light snow tonight. I realize that’s not anywhere near as bad as the snow walloping that has hit the east coast this winter. Still I very much long for the warmth of summer. About this time every year I begin to have short sweet fantasies of life as a snowbird vacationer. I’m blithely strolling along some exotic beach, sinking my toes into the warm sand and of course I’m wearing something pretty like this macrame beach coverup from Gucci. That is to say over a bathing suit that offers substantially more coverage!

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Catherine Malandrino Spring Summer 2011

Catherine Malandrino – a girl after my own heart! Her 2011 Spring/Summer apparel collection is soft and feminine and floaty. Pieces I actually want to wear. Many appear to be artisan crafted in all manner of crochet, knotwork, and embroidery. Here are a few photos of her lacy crochet and seriously sturdy macrame leather sandals and tote bag.

Now here I go again wondering aloud about the talented group of craftspeople creating these fabulous goods on a suitable scale for consumer consumption. While I can easily picture in my minds eye a roomful of seamstresses (in just about any country in the world) hunched over their sewing machines turning gorgeous swaths of fabric into designer duds, where in the world are the artists that produce this type of slow handwork? Just wondering.

Images from runway details

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Cream Macrame Dress by Matthew Williamson 2

Orange Macrame Dress by Matthew Williamson 2001

Blue Macrame Dress by Matthew Williamson 2001

Ok, yes we are only just into Autumn, but those ever forward-thinking designers are already planning for the arrival of Spring. And of course I like it that macrame is once again showing up on the runways in beautiful, elegant ways. Here’s a sampling of gorgeous dresses by Matthew Williamson. As Plum Sykes of partially put it “Take a London girl and send her on a trip—through Bali, Goa, and Ibiza—and you have Matthew Williamson’s glamorous vision of a well-dressed gypsy.”