Tag: Labl

Reviving Past Treasures – The Warmth of Fur

Something vintage, Something borrowedOh, the love of all things vintage: the bias cut gowns, the beading, the
Pucci, but what about the vintage fur?

For years I have enjoyed sourcing and collecting vintage clothing.  For the most part, my collection has always offered me a great variety of dress and endless inspiration, but what about vintage furs. More and more,my clients have posed the question: can I wear the fur?

Being a darling of the eighties, I was highly influenced by the constant protest of the decade, but as I have grown into adulthood, I have become conscious of the constant disposal of clothing. Reviving, recycling, and repurposing my wardrobe into the treasure trove it should be brings all sorts of satisfaction.

In the last decade,  I have amassed a small collection of furs, some  sourced and some inherited from family.  They are elegant pieces that add glamour, style and warmth to evening looks.

 

Very recently, I worked with a bride that required fine beading work on her bridal gown.  While it was a gorgeous, delicate,
gown, her fairy tale wedding was set in Iceland, in the heart of winter. My mind went to one place: vintage fur.
In exploring this possibility, I brought out my collection, and offered her a rental option.

For the affordable price of a rental, this client can enjoy the look and warmth of a fur stole, without having the task of shopping or caring for a fur; including yearly storage and cleaning.

Icelandic Fur

Labl makes Blog TO’s – “Best Seamstresses in Toronto”

Today is the way one likes to wake up. A great weekend behind you and the promise of a full and rewarding week ahead. The icing on my cake today is that Blog TO has decided to name me as one of Toronto’s best seamstresses.

Labl Thread BoardIn a blog posted by Bianca Venerayan / JULY 26, 2013
Toronto’s Best Seamstress (excerpt)

The best seamstress in Toronto is hard to find without a little help, and there’s no way in hell you’d willingly approach a dressmaker, hoping to change the neckline of your grandmother’s bridal number, without a little research. Thanks to some readers suggestions, we’ve zeroed in on eight women with the magic touch, none of whom are found in the back room of your local dry cleaner.

So, whether you’re in a panicked frenzy over an ill-fitting dress a week before your big day or you’re looking to bring your dream prom garb to life (multi-coloured sequins and all), these home studios and storefronts are tried, tested, and true.

Here is where you can find the best seamstress in Toronto.

Labl by Elizabeth Oliveira
52 Seaforth Avenue, 416.504.1504 info@labl.ca
Though her Queen West Style Lab closed over a year ago, Elizabeth Oliveira still offers her custom made, repair, and alteration services by appointment only in Parkdale. Eager to fill the void left by off-the-rack average sizing, Elizabeth studied design in Portugal before diving headfirst into her passion for well-fitting garments. With past clients like Shania Twain and Ron Sexsmith, it’s clear she’s good at what she does.

In addition to this news, the blog review  added further pleasure to my day as the articles photo was taken of the Labl StyleLab – Thread board.

Clothes by the Click – Internet shopping? Love it or hate it?

tips-online-shoppingWe all know people who rave about their amazing buys, and others who claim it is a path for failure. I have recently worked with clients that have come to me embarrassed to have shopped by “impulse”, and stated that if I could not alter their piece, they would finally trash it.
My first reaction is one of positivity. I always notice a garment that visually is stunning, so impulsive, I think not. These clients are hopeful and possibly a little mistaken by sizing charts they find on Internet shopping sites. I am happy to say, that I have always altered a garment to the clients surprise and these garments went into a very workable wardrobe.
My tips for Internet shopping, firstly, have a budget, or these “deals” will be overbearing and break you financially. Next “know thy self” and your measurements; a size 10 means one thing to one company and something else to another, so always go to a sizing chart and have your measurements close by to double check, or contact the company directly. If you are not sure of the right size and know a professional to alter it, get a size bigger, but never a size smaller.
Finally, if you are buying a few things, take a moment to look at the return policy. When the items arrive, look at the time line for a return or exchange and make sure to try it on before this time, thereby giving you a moment to revisit the purchase, but providing you a chance to return it, if it does to meet your expectations.

A happy purchase is a wearable purchase.

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.

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