A New Wave of Fabrics

Well, my trip was amazing.
Three days into my shopping trip in Paris, the weather warmed up to a tropical paradise. I finally was able to wear my summer dresses and off I went looking for inspiration. I admire the French woman in their dress up casual look. Simple silhouettes, lux fabrics, great fit. I love this ease of dress and so, I spent every day walking around this beautiful city  looking for the best it had to offer. I brought back wonderful examples of Parisian bliss: jersey knits, silk cottons, silk linens, brushed chiffons, wool and cashmere, and a few surprises.
Wave of Fabrics 002 600x300As always, my visits to the fabric stores are an opportunity to see old faces and continue past conversations. Just as in Toronto, the vendors of such beauty are like old friends and there is always news to share. This year, I introduced my Tristan: my son, world traveller extraordinaire, who wears a great smile and has an even better disposition.
It is my joy to constantly bring my passions together and so this is just the beginning. I am currently working on a collection of spring light jackets that would entice the smartest of French beauties.
I look forward to growing my shopping list for my clients.Please contact the studio
for a consultation to shop for beautiful fabrics and styles in house.

416 504 1504

My Heart Skips a Beat (or two) in Rue Clery

Paris Fabrics 400x300My search has taken me far and wide, but I found my answer in Paris.   In a small Fabric shop, in the wholesale textile district of Paris, I found a very selection of vibrant coloured silk chiffons and organza, but I felt as though I had been there before. Images of beautiful dresses came to me and then all at once I realized that I recognized these fabrics from run way shows and magazine layouts from Lanvin, Chloe, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel.

My hunger for these treasures had me peruse the store’s stock for over an hour, until I made an incredible discovery: the true gems were kept up above, at their 3rd story warehouse room.

Dear friends, I walked those steep steps with fervor and walked into a land of cashmere and silk, where great designers had gone before me.

When in Paris, I make this sacred journey. I start early in the morning and take my time. I really enjoy seeing the family that runs this store and catching up. While I typically have looked for fabrics by myself, I will have the pleasure this year to bring along my son and show him the 8th wonder of my world.

This year my trip to Paris is scheduled for early June, and I have no doubt that I will bring back all kinds of wonderful, either samples of fabric or full pieces. If amazing is what you are looking for, 

Labl studio will have something for you.

To Peplum or not to Peplum?

4-_MG_0458Not since the 80’s has the peplum been so popular. Gone are the days of the typical silk ensemble, with the padded shoulders and the supper gathered peplums. The new peplum is sleek and fitted, but it is it for everyone. I have to say if properly tailored, of course, but off the rack beware!

I have to say that almost 80% of ready to wear garments feature a very long torso and so, when any additional accents are added below, it is a mess. A very typical alteration at the studio is to make the waist fit the client correctly. This alteration, not only accentuates the smallest part of the body, but by creating the proper waist, we can then achieve the “hour glass figure” that most woman love. Further more, when the waist is located well below the client’s natural waist, the garment will wrinkle very badly and the only solution it to professionally alter it.

Now with the additional peplum, a further adjustment may be required towards the height of the peplum, if the client is a petit figure. Just as widths can be tightened and widened, so must the length of the bodices. Typically, the focus is on the hem to create the correct length of a garment, but this is incorrect.

Too technical? Let’s simplify; if you look wonderful is some dresses and awful in others, it is the proportion of the design and cut. Typically a professional tailor can adjust this, by pinning out the excess material. If you feel too dumpy, then the garment is not well balanced for you and a professional can access the work to balance it for your particular figure.

If a garment looks good, but features far too many wrinkles than you can bear, or the back zipper is not flat, a professional can alter your garment to make it look seamless.

The next time you go shopping, be fearless because you too can peplum.

Rush Jetset Restoration for the Cannes Red Carpet


Rush Stephanie Von Pfetten Vintage Dress Restoration for the red carpet @ Cannes

Rush Stephanie Von Pfetten Vintage Dress Restoration for the red carpet @ Cannes

I first met Stephanie Von Pfetten on a dark Friday afternoon. She had just bought a blue beautiful sequenced dress at Toronto’s well known vintage store, I Miss YOU Vintage and she was panicked.

She was on her way to Cannes, France for a film festival and had collected three other dresses for this event. So, why was this blond beauty panicked? Stephanie is a Canadian film and television actress perhaps best known for her roles as Captain Marcia “Showboat” Case in the Battlestar Galactica series or as Dr. Daniella Ridley in Cracked

She didn’t know what to wear. Stephanie wanted to look perfect for this very special event, but found herself overwhelmed with too many options and her search for the right look led her to the labl studio.  I met with Stephanie and looked at all her options: a couple of designer loaners and two vintage buys. In meeting with Stephanie, I accessed her preferred looks and doubts. We discounted the designer loans first because, while “in mode” one did not show off Stephanie well enough, and the other showed off a bit too much. Next, we looked at the two the vintage pieces and finally “The Dress” was chosen. It was the beautiful beaded gown that brought out the glorious blue of her eyes and the old world glamour, which she could strut so well. While the dress offered so much, it completely lacked in fit; not a small feat, as it would have to be altered and re beaded by hand along the complete length on the dress, from the underarms to the hem.

There was one glitch: she was leaving for France in less than 24 hours!!!

Now, at Labl, I have seen it all, so I was not too worried. Did I mention I was 37 weeks pregnant? I wanted Stephanie to wear the dress she loved and so, I began my labour of love that evening.

With any other beaded garment alteration, I would set up two distinct appointments, one to pin the alteration and the next alteration to fit the before it was complete. These steps are very important because the garment has to fit perfectly before the beading can be reapplied. With Stephanie’s dress there was no time and so I had to pin so precisely that no pin was sparred for this most difficult feat.

Later that night….

Seams were pre basted, beading was removed, French seams were undone and recreated, and finally the beading process was started and went on and on and…. Oh, by the way, did I mention I had to mimic a very distinct beaded design from the hip to the hem, while resizing this dress down a couple of sizes?!

Saturday morning came before I knew it and a few finishing touches were applied just before Stephanie arrived. Right on time, I greeted Stephanie at my door and led her to the studio to re introduce her to her new dress. She was silent at first and then expressed delight at the seamless perfection of her “new” dress. While, I would not be at Cannes to see her walk her walk, I did have her try on the dress for me and I can assure you now as I did my sleepy self then, the dress fit Stephanie like a glove! My “Tahdah!” moment of the week and all before lunch.

Stephanie Von Pfetten is a distinguished actress who was looking for the impossible, but at the Labl studio, we make the impossible, possible.

I Love Paris in the Springtime

La Tour Eiffel

There is something about Paris.  It is a brand for all things; chic, romantic, beautiful, mysterious, luxurious (and of course indulgent).  Two years ago, I was introduced to some of this wonderful city’s secrets.  Though my love of art and architecture would possibly have lead me to some secret gallery, garden or museum; this I found a treasure trove of fabrics, the likes of which I have never found in New York, Montreal or Toronto.

Some of my most successful pieces have stemmed from these discoveries.  So each year I return to carress, collect and carry home a selection of these wonderful silks, synthetics, wools and more.  This year is no different.  The first week of June will have the Studio closed for my annual pilgrammage to the City of Lights.  Where in addition to purchasing new fabics for the Fall season I will be; studying tennis fashion at Roland Garros (be sure to catch my blog from the clay courts of the French Open), looking for some further inspiration in the Left Bank’s best vintage stores, and catching the overall vide of what remains one of the best dressed cities in the world.


Princesse Tam Tam ~ Fall Winter Collection Preview


The time has once again come to gaze into the future and “Undress like a Princesse”

Labl Studio is proud to present the Princesse Tam Tam 2013-2014 Fall/Winter collection for your viewing and advance purchasing pleasure.  Be sure to catch this exclusive preview of the very best of modern iconic French lingerie, swimwear and nightwear.

Available by appointment only

April 30th – May 3rd ~ 9 am – 9pm

Contact the Labl Studio to arrange your private shopping experience while there are still sessions available.

416.504.1504 – info@labl.ca

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