SS15 La Strada per CABIRIA and Cabiria Collections

April 28, 2011

First master block ready to go!

Hi everyone!

First of all, I want to give HUGE thanks to those who've already contributed to the Cabiria donation pool. You inspire me and help me stay encouraged, and I'm overwhelmed with that generosity. If you haven't done so yet, please follow me here on the blog, and I'll keep updating as I go.

Ignore the look on my face. I'm really happy, I promise!

So I'm back from the patternmaker with the first master block pattern finessed and ready to be used as the building block of the whole line. So exciting! What this means is it's a size 20, which will be a Medium, more or less. We'll build all our samples in this size 20, using the master block as a base to extrapolate from, then tweak as needed.

Once all the styles are developed in a size 20 and we do our photo shoot and line sheets, then send those on to retailers across the country, we'll grade up to a size 24 and down to a size 14 (considering special 12's, maybe, maybe, all with the initial fit and sizing in mind.

Which is why I was looking for fit models a while ago. Jumped the gun, really, but I love being prepared.

In any case, moving forward, in no small part because you're helping me. Thank you, and please tell your friends so they can be involved too!


April 27, 2011

Help Cabiria Grow!

Hey all!

It's an expensive adventure, starting a new company from scratch, and I need your help. I've added a DONATE button through Paypal to the side bar on the right so you can actively get in on the action at the ground floor. Please donate - every dollar is a huge help!

According to a study published by Harvard Business School in November, 2010 , “human beings around the world
derive emotional benefits from using their financial resources to help others (prosocial spending). How great is it that giving away some of your money can actually,literally, bring you happiness AND lower your stress levels?

Donating to a small business that otherwise wouldn’t have the capital to start builds communities and jobs as well. For every service Cabiria provides, we hire or contract another individual or business to carry out the supply chain needs. The samplemaker with her team sewing the samples employs a small group of women, the local artist collective run screenprinting shop developing textile prints, the web developer brought on to facilitate the e-commerce site; each person hires more of their pool of employees, creating a community network and an influx of business building cash. Since Cabiria is a certified Women’s Business
Enterprise (WBE), we try very hard to work with other WBE’s to create a stronger, more empowered women’s business base.

By promoting a business that is working to foster confident, empowered women of every size to gain new heights of self-esteem, you enrich the world. Even if you are not a sizeable woman yourself, by supporting a social change for the better, you’re making the world a healthier, happier place for people of all shapes, sizes and genders to thrive.

For Cabiria specifically, you are helping to introduce plus size women to the simple luxuries that mainstream size women take for granted when they shop in boutiques and high end stores: sumptuous fabrics, interesting, body aware cuts, and gorgeous, detail oriented finishes. It’s so important to create a new sensibility of “normal expectations” of quality for plus size consumers, and by helping start up Cabiria, you take part in raising those expectations.

And finally, if all the happiness, lowered stress, community building, job creation, marketing opportunities, women’s empowerment, and demand fulfillment weren’t enough, there’s SWAG! Cabiria’s creating special incentive products related to the first collection, but only available to donors. There will only be a limited quantity of these items made, using up the fabric, and uniquely labeled so everyone will know how wonderful and generous you are.

No matter what reason you have for donating and helping Cabiria grow and thrive, Thank You!!!


April 26, 2011

Another glimpse of the future line

Hi guys!

Some of you know I was recently on a trip to beautiful new Orleans. While I was there, I found some new (to me) pieces of vintage fabric, which thrills me to no end. I love vintage fabrics - they don't make them quite like this anymore!

Today's featured glimpse is a 100% silk habotai panel print of a broken fishing net against a sea greenish-blue field. Habotai is gossamer light silk that's perfect for a hot summer day. The scale on these is 36" x 36", which means that entire skirt panels, etc. would be one entire scene! I'd hazard that this fabric was printed in the mid-1960's, if that. Just amazing.

Here's a much closer-up version:

Makes you think of some 1960's pop art poster, right?


April 23, 2011

More fabric followed me home, mom...

Hi guys!

I've been having an amazing time here in New Orleans! First, I met with the spendiferous Jaclyn and her wonderful shopgirl Heather at Voluptuous Vixen on Chartres St. in the French Quarter. Then today, I found some more GAW-geous couture fabrics on St. Chartres St. at Promenade Fabrics. Such beautiful silks and cottons and oh my!


The Voluptuous Vixen

April 21, 2011

Laissez les rondes femmes roulez!

Hey folks!

I write to you now from a beautiful apartment near the Garden District in New Orleans; it's my first visit here, and to be sure not my last.

I came in part to visit The Voluptuous Vixen, a great plus size boutique here in the Crescent City, but am simply charmed by the lush, nearly tropical, definitely tangible beauty of the place. Not to mention, while walking on Magazine St looking for dinner, I stumbled across another plus size boutique, Ms. Spratt's, named after the Jack Spratt children's tale "...his wife could eat no lean...". Accidental score!

This town will host me for the next few days, but I'm already planning return trips. Laissez les rondes femmes roulez! (Let the big girls roll!)


p.s.: this is from Ms. Spratt's window...

April 14, 2011

I know, I'm on about the feathers, but I'm a bit obsessed

There's going to be an insanely exciting show at the Met's Costume Institute shortly, showcasing Alexander McQueen's work. In reading about the upcoming show ("Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty"), I found out that those feathers I've posted about earlier are gold painted duck feathers. Real duck feathers, hand stitched down to the base jacket. Ahhhh-mazing.

Even the way everything was photographed is visionary. An excuse to go to the museum? Okay!


April 13, 2011

Speaking of feathers...

Hi guys!

My fabrics have started coming in!! It's an incredibly complex formula because I'm buying job lots from wholesalers, which means I can only buy however many yards exist. Sometimes it's a few 100 yards, and sometimes, like in the case of this amazing Italian cotton feather print, it's only about 5 yards - enough for 1, maybe 2 dresses.

Isn't it gorgeous? I love how organic the pattern is; how it looks like both anemone and a George Grosz pen and ink drawing at the same time. Swoon!

What that means for Cabiria and my customers is unique and special - some of the pieces we'll create will be only a few of a kind, or maybe one of a kind. The style and size will be standardized for the line, but the fabrics - oh, the gorgeous fabrics - will be very rare indeed. How cool is that?


April 12, 2011

Why I love fashion and throwbacks

Hi all!

Sometimes I get all wrapped up in the business side of making Cabiria happen, and I forget to show why I fell in love with beautiful garments and fabrics in the first place.

A little background: I worked in costumes for opera and Broadway before getting into fashion, but I'm very very old school in my academic approach to fine craftsmanship. I value that as highly as any other art. For instance, LACMA is having a "Fashioning Fashion" exhibition now, featuring some of the finest gold boullion embroidery I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot). Here's a piece from 1891:

...and here is a piece from Alexander McQueen's final, posthumous collection:

Both pieces are so stunning, and such a wonderful example of both the ART of craftsmanship as well as the reinterpretation of very old techniques and aesthetics.

Cabiria as a line won't be quite so ornate, but hopefully I'll be able to show you all really beautiful details and reasons why we deserve far more than we demand in this age of fast fashion and throwaway garments. Vive la supériorité!



April 10, 2011

Where to find interns?

Hey all!

I've been working diligently on putting together the business plan, the financials, the block fitters, finding the marketing venues, and and and... I think I need help.

I'm looking for some creative, outside the box thinking interns for a few hours per week to help with anything from tagging and labeling fabric as it comes in to receipt inputting, to brainstorming about marketing options, to draping and rough patterning, to sourcing, to just about anything and everything about starting a fashion business.

1. this intern MUST BE FAT FRIENDLY. Seriously. Whole point of the line, really.
2. this intern MUST BE TRUSTWORTHY AND DEPENDABLE. Everyone who's ever worked for me in the past has worked hard, and learned tons, which they then transported into their fabulously successful lives. I do NOT work well with lazy people, entitled people, or flakes.
3. if we work well together, THIS MAY BECOME A PAID POSITION. May. No guarantees, but I'm keeping my eyes out for the magical team member.
4. this is an UNPAID INTERNSHIP for now. I have taught college courses (at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY), I've managed departments, and I've won prizes. I can impart a lot of information to you, but for now, this is ONLY FOR COLLEGE CREDITS OR EXPERIENCE.

Cabiria is located in the East Lake section of Atlanta, GA. All applicants must provide their own transportation to and from the office.

Hope to hear from you soon at eden {at} NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE!

Thanks everyone!


April 7, 2011

First patterns and fittings!

Hey all!

I came back a few days ago from a VERY exciting fabric buying trip in NYC, and today I had the first fitting of a block with the patternmaker. Very exciting to see it moving forward, inch by inch, and know what beautiful fabrics I have in store for you all!

Now I know it looks a hot mess right now, but it's kind of like jazz; a little science, a little invention, and a little arbitrary detail zhuzhing. Please don't ask me how to spell that one right. But it's the basic shape of a big girl with many, many curves, and it's the building block for everything else to come. More to come!!