LA Style Stories: Tailor Made and Bubble Made and Bubble Hems

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LA Story: Tailor Made

I’ve written before about the importance of having a trusted tailor in your contacts. Today, I’m showing you just one of the reasons why…I had an idea for a skirt. I found the fabric, (shirt weight denim with silver lurex thread running through it), and brought it over to my trusted Tailor, Susanna. Unfortunately, I don’t really sketch, (I know as a designer it’s pretty strange), but I’ve always been able to convey my ideas. I wanted a basic column skirt with an oversized bow and frayed edge detailing. When Susanna asked how large I wanted the bow I grabbed for one of her long plastic dry cleaning bags and shaped it. Lucky for me,

I speak the “language” of garment construction from decades of working in the garment industry. My talented sewers, patternmakers and cutters taught me how to communicate with great detail through language, draping and, even folding paper so together we could put out 5-6 collections a year even though I sketched like a 2-year-old. Susanna took my measurements and said she’d call me to come in for a first fitting. A few days later, I went back, and she gave me the skirt to try. I was a little nervous because she cut into my fabric. I expected the “first” sample to be out of muslin in case there were corrections, but the body of the skirt was near perfect. Susanna anticipated the minor adjustments in the way she sized and sewed the skirt. Moreover, she knows her own skill level…that of a Master Tailor. A week later, voila! I love it and hope you do too. This was the first time I collaborated with Susanna and I’m so grateful to her and her team for giving me exactly what I wanted. I’ve styled my skirt with a white frayed edge linen jacket, vintage Claude Barthelemy, a white crop lycra tank and white block heel sling-backs, Zara.

style-tip: once you’ve found a great tailor, cultivate that relationship because their mad skills will elevate your garments to look like they were made for you. Fit is Everything!

Bubble Hems

You either love or hate the bubble hem. I’m in the group of lovers and here’s why…this particular style of hem or bottom creates an almost structured dimension reminiscent to the crinoline lined cocktail dresses from the 40s and 50s. My vintage bubble hem shift, Moschino, has a retro/modern feel due to the beautiful portrait neckline and the style and colours of the print.

The modernity comes from cotton and silk fabric with its thin textured striping from the silk that actually feels like a ripstop fabrication. It’s what gives the dress a more casual daytime vibe as do the pockets. I’ve styled it with my black opera coat, vintage, because it’s a similar shape and the fabric has the same highs and lows within its texture. I’ve gone with my leather strappy sandals, Schutz, handbag, vintage, and leather/pearl necklace that tie into the range of brown tones from the dress and the “browns” reinforce my modern daytime vs evening look.

style-tip: complimenting shapes are key when putting a look together while colour and texture send the message of day vs evening,

*please treat your wardrobe well. many people worked very hard to get it to you.


  • Felicia Arlin

    Felicia Arlin’s work as a stylist and costume designer has been featured in print, tv, film and on the red carpet. As a 20+ year veteran designer/merchandiser in the LA/NY garment industry her work has graced the racks of every major department store and specialty chain in the country. She is passionate about helping women look and feel confident no matter their age, shape or socioeconomic status. Her hope is to empower other women by sharing some of the things she’s learned along the way to better cultivate and express their own individual and ageless style.

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