Left: Photography by Peter Stigter. Right: Photography by Farzin Ghayour
New York designer Joseph Altuzarra reportedly said that he wanted his Fall 2012 collection—certainly one of our favourites—to include pieces that “look rich, but feel easy”. With a range of multi-ethnic influences that ran from Morocco to India, and an array of luxurious details (see: thigh-high embossed and fringed boots, layered coin embellishment, and slick, military-inspired outerwear), it’s safe to say he hit his mark.
We chose a heavily embellished blouse with layers of coin fringe as a starting point for our Fall 2012 DIY series and following Altuzarra’s maxim has never been easier: trust us, this blouse is a cinch to make and the results are satisfyingly indulgent.
<b>INSPIRATION</b> <br />
We chose a heavily embellished blouse with layers of coin fringe as a starting point for our Fall 2012 DIY series and following <b>Altuzarra</b>’s maxim has never been easier: trust us, this blouse is a cinch to make and the results are satisfyingly indulgent.
-One black blouse with a high, rounded neck. Our is from H&M (<em>$35, <a href="http://www.hm.com/ca/product/03606?article=03606-A" target="_blank">hm.com/ca</a></em>) <br />
-At least 1 metre of silver or gold coin trim<br />
-15 to 20 small brass, gold or silver bells<br />
-5 to 10 large antique brass bells<br />
-Thread and a needle<br />
-Pliers or tweezers
<b>STEP 1</b><br />
First, divide the coin fringe into two sections: the neck and the waist. Measure the neck by placing the trim around the collar of the blouse, up to the opening on either side. To cut the trim, twist the links against each other until they break apart. <br />
Measure your waist by holding the trim at the smallest part of your torso. Mark with a clip and detach any extra links, making sure to leave enough so that you can hook it together.
<b>STEP 2</b><br />
Next, attach the small bells to the collar section of the trim. Open the rings of the bell or the coin trim, which ever is easier, and allows room for manipulation. You can use tweezers or pliers to pull the two ends apart and insert the bell. You will use approximately half the bells for the collar and half for the waist. You can vary the placement of the bells on the trim—we placed one bell between every other coin. <br />
For the waist, add both small and large bells to the coin trim. Lay out the trim on a tabletop and place the bells in your desired formation. The idea here is to achieve a mix—two small bells on either side of a large one, or vice versa. Attach in the same manner as above.
<b>STEP 3</b><br />
To attach the trim to the collar of the blouse, first thread a medium-sized needle with black thread. Beginning at the left center front of the blouse, loop your needle through the first link of the coin trim and all the way through the underside of the fabric of the collar. Repeat four or five times until you have a strong bond; knot your thread after each link and start again about five loops (links) away. Repeat this process until you have reached the other side, making sure to sew the last link onto the centre front of the collar on the right side.
<b>STEP 4</b><br />
The last step is the easiest. All you need to do is make sure that your waist trim can form a detachable belt. To do this, either sew on a small hook-and-eye closure or use the hook that was attached to the trim to begin with (if you buy a belly-dancing chain like we did, this is what you will observe).
Pop on your blouse and belt and you have a cut-price Altuzarra alternative that is as charmingly musical as it is versatile- wear with black cropped jeans or a pencil skirt and you will have captured the essence of Altuzarra’s ethnic-nomad fall show perfectly.