Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oh My - Sydney's Closet Starry Nights Ball Gown in O, The Oprah Magazine!

Oh! What a huge fashion scoop.  Sydney’s Closet “Starry Nights” ball gown,  Style SC3018,  seen on page 142 of the February 2012 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine!

A team of dream experts from the esteemed mag gave Samantha, a highway construction worker from New York, a chance to gaze into the mirror and have her true fashion-and-beauty soul gaze back.  Her reflection showed Samantha’s inner Princess staring back wearing Starry Nights in a jewel-toned violet with black.

“In 12 hours I’ll be back in a hard hat and boots tearing up concrete.  Right now, though, I feel like royalty,”she told the magazine’s dream team when photographed after the dramatic hair, beauty and fashion makeover.

Now it’s your turn to be a Princess!  Click out Starry Nights at Sydney's Closet to see more pictures of this bestselling evening gown available in three glamorous colors sure to win over any Prince:  Black Cherry, Black Sapphire and Black Violet.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Fresh Perspective on Plus Size Dresses by Fashion Students

 When Beth Glascock of the Fairy Godmother Project (helping needy High School teens get dresses for Prom) needed plus size prom gowns,  she asked the students at the O'Moore College of Design in Nashville, TN for help.  They quickly took on the project to create new dresses using material from old ones.

The Fashion Team at Sydney's Closet thinks it is such a great idea to have design students make plus size Prom dresses that we just had to share it in hopes other communities could do the same to help curvy teens in their local high school get a Prom dress of their dreams.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sydneys Closet Fashion Team Home From Designing Trip to China

Sydney’s Closet Fashion Team back on the ground in the USA after a super successful two weeks in China designing the Fall 2012 and Prom 2013 Collections.  Jet lag keeps us feeling foggy and on the brink of coming down with the flu.  Nothing unusual after two-days traveling 8,500 miles from Guangdong Province to our world headquarters in St. Louis.  We hope by the end of the week we can begin to feel normal again! Meanwhile, we’re organizing notebooks bulging with fabric swatches from Asia’s giant textile markets. 

We’ll match up the silky satins, smooth chiffons and crisp taffetas with sketches of dramatic new party dresses for Homecoming 2012, cocktail dresses for Holiday 2012 (we haven’t even celebrated Holiday 2011) and Prom 2013 dresses to suit every personality.  Now we can’t wait to see the first samples when they start arriving in January.   We haven’t finished unpacking, and we’re already planning our next trip to China. We’ll go in the Spring to finalize the samples for our photo shoot. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

China Trip Fall 2011 - Fashion, Seafood and Budweiser

A  highlight of the Fashion Team’s visits to China is always feasting on authentic Cantonese cuisine.  Chaozhou, the city in Guangdong Province where we spend most of our time, is known worldwide for seafood caught fresh from the nearby China Sea and vegetables just hours from the garden.  
Entrance Chaozhou Restaurant

No need for a menu at a seafood restaurant in Chaozhou where customers select from the day's fresh catch.
At the hotel breakfast, we pass on the cauldron bubbling with “porridge with 1,000-year-old eggs”. We join the locals as they peel a whole baked sweet potato, wrap it in their hands and bite into it like a candy bar.    

After a morning and afternoon designing in the factory showroom, it is customary for the owners to invite us to a local restaurant.  Many American customers ask to eat more familiar fast food like KFC and McDonald’s now available in Chaozhou - although very expensive.  But the Fashion Team bites (bad pun!) at culinary adventures that give us the chance to sample dishes  foreign to menus back home:  

-          Blood red clams steamed in fish stock
-          Oysters fried with eggs and bamboo
-          Papaya baked with honey
-          Lotus root stuffed with rice
-          Egg yolks baked into sliced pork
-      Rice rolled into a log with peanuts and vegetables then sliced
-          Whole fried fish in the original sweet and sour sauce

We order ice cold Tsing Tao beer to wash down the spicy foods and have to laugh when it is always served in small juice-size glasses with the “Budweiser” logo in red.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

China Trip Fall 2011 - Jet Lag, Sequins, Fabric, and Tea

Fashion Team in China inspects SC8062, our sexy one-shoulder metallic ribbon dress arriving for Holiday 2011.    

After several frantic days on the ground in China,  Sydney’s Closet Fashion Team is still reeling from jet lag! But every day is better.  

At one factory, we check production on our sexy sequin one-shoulder mini dress. We’re thrilled to find everything  perfect from the fit to the stitching.  The shipment is set to leave China right on time! That lands this hot silver and gold metallic ribbon dress in the USA just in time for you to celebrate the holidays in style!

At another factory we struggle with a tough decision.  Which color chiffon we found at the fabric market to use on the new Fall 2012 cocktail dress.
It’s not easy. But finally we settle on an emerald green for a body-hugging strapless sheath.  We save a rich taffeta in brilliant gold for a high-low hem design we created for Prom 2013.  Once we drape the fabric on a mannequin
we realize the proportions of the skirt are off.  So it’s back to the drawing board where we add another layer to the hem and move the zipper from the side to the back of the dress for an easier fit. 

During the long day designing, our Chinese friends keep us going with endless cups of hot tea freshly brewed in tiny cups!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sonsi Launches Fashion Genius - Designing You From Head to Toe

Sonsi has launched an interactive design program ~ Fashion Genius.
Fashion Genius helps you put complete outfits together, not just tops and bottoms.  They go up to the earrings, down to the feet, in to the undergarments and out to the handbags.

  The easy to use tab system lets you start with outfit sets or you can pick a specific item from their site.  And no worries in trying to remember what items you've picked, or what outfits you like or have worked have the option to save things.

The Fashion Team at Sydney's Closet thinks this is a fun way to mix and match, and group things together on one easy page.  And it's great to be able to save it and recall later, to either purchase or change it.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Miles of Fabric - Sydney's Closet in Chinese City of Shaoxing visiting Textile City.

The Fashion Team spends the day in the ancient Chinese City of Shaoxing, home to Asia’s legendary Textile City.  We’re on the hunt for new fabrics that will inspire the designs for our Fall 2012 Signature Cocktail Collection and our 2013 Signature Prom Collection.   But where to start?  Our senses are overwhelmed by the miles of open stalls, each about the size of a small bedroom, that sprawl over multi-story buildings on both sides of the river. We calculate that if we put the 15,000 fabric suppliers here under one roof it would be big enough to fill 15 Wal-Marts!

Our translator guides us through the maze to our first stop where we discover a new chiffon that is super soft and comes in yummy colors.  It’s perfect for draping a formal evening gown. We make a note to create a dramatic beading pattern for a one-shoulder strap. We climb an ancient stone stairway where shoe shine vendors cluster at the top next to the street vendors roasting chestnuts in a commercial size wok.
     There we take the foot bridge across the river where waves of lotus plants float past us. Over the next five hours we wander through the market stopping when an eye catches an interesting fabric.  We struggle to find a lace worthy of an informal wedding dress.  We carry a shopping bag that soon fills with fabric swatches:  
  • tulle flocked with tiny dots sure to make a Cinderella-style ball gown for a Prom Princess 
  • dramatic black and white floral prints in chiffon great for making a splash on a maxi dress
  • sequins sewn in silver, black and blue chevron print ideal for a red-carpet formal
 All that shopping builds up a appetite.  We stop for a traditional Chinese meal of fried bean curd, cauliflower with cloves of garlic, strips of marinated beef stir fried with onions and a small white fish steamed with soy sauce and ginger. There is no translation available for the wild green vegetable that comes mixed with tiny pieces of tofu.  We decide it’s a mix between parsley and spinach and only wish we could eat it when we return home!

Pics credit to Bronson Pics via flickr...we forgot the cameras in our hotel rooms.  Too many things on our minds ;-)