Fashion Travelogue: Vermilion Gathered Top

Jamie Lau Designs Vermilion Gathered Top 1

Dramatic sleeve with volume in cotton jacquard

Last weekend, I went to The Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden. As you may know, I love color and it was the perfect weekend inspiration to kick off spring. The exhibition was beautifully designed and featured both classic and modern orchids.

It was the perfect day to wear my new Vermilion Gathered Top, which I designed in a textured Swiss cotton jacquard fabric. One of my favorite color combinations is a red with a little bit of orange in it mixed with a nice pop of blue (think the look and feel of Jean-Luc Godard’s La Chinoise).

Jamie Lau Designs La Chinoise 1

Film still from Jean-Luc Godard’s La Chinoise, 1967

Jamie Lau Designs La Chinoise 2

Guillaume and Véronique, played by Jean-Pierre Léaud and Anne Wiazemsky

When I first saw this fabric, I immediately thought “dramatic sleeve” given its nice texture and body. I styled the top with a pair of blue linen polka dot pants this past weekend (I will definitely be packing this outfit for Japan as well.)

Jamie Lau Designs Vermilion Gathered Top 2

Color everywhere in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Here are some snapshots of my favorite finds at the botanical garden.

Jamie Lau Designs NYBG 1

Prayer plant – lush green and full of textural inspiration

Jamie Lau Designs NYBG 2

Aechmea ‘Del Mar’ – this bromeliad is even more beautiful in person

Jamie Lau Designs NYBG 3

Neoregelia “Jampa” – some intensely colored leaves

Jamie Lau Designs NYBG 4

Afternoon sunlight hitting the Wicked “Red Head” orchids

Jamie Lau Designs NYBG 5

I am in love with these orchid wall hangings

Hop over to the Britex blog for my latest article on how to sew set-in sleeves using this top as an example in my tutorial. Stay tuned for the next installment of Fashion Travelogue!

Fashion Travelogue: Black and White Dotted Ikat Midi Dress

Jamie Lau Designs Black and White Dotted Ikat Midi Dress 1

My favorite spot in the Noguchi Museum

Two weekends ago, I visited one of my favorite places in New York, the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, which has both indoor and outdoor components. Spring has been such a tease this season and I was finally able to catch a sunny day break (and also wear my new Black and White Dotted Ikat Midi Dress while exploring the museum).

Jamie Lau Designs Noguchi Museum 1

Light versus dark

I love Isamu Noguchi’s play on opposites, particularly the lighting in this former industrial space turned gallery. I also took part in an intimate, docent-led tour and learned more about the artist’s life and work. It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning/afternoon, full of inspiration.

Jamie Lau Designs Black and White Dotted Ikat Midi Dress 2

Under the birch trees

Jamie Lau Designs Noguchi Museum 2

The sculpture garden

In addition to the beautiful sculptures, the space also has amazing natural light.

Jamie Lau Designs Noguchi Museum 3

The afternoon light hitting the marble room

Jamie Lau Designs Noguchi Museum 4

View of Long Island City from the second floor gallery through the birches

Jamie Lau Designs Black and White Dotted Ikat Midi Dress 3

My new favorite outfit

As for the outfit, I will definitely be taking this with me to Japan. This dress is a bit of a permutation of my Ikat Demi-Gathered Waist Dress and a great palette for accessorizing. I styled it with a pair of opaque purple tights, my ceramic bead necklace by Object & Totem, and my go-to black tassel loafers by Dieppa Restrepo from Totokaelo.

Jamie Lau Designs Dieppa Restrepo Gastons

My go-to leather tassel loafers by Dieppa Restrepo

Stay tuned for the next installment of Fashion Travelogue!

Jamie Lau Designs x Madesmith Product Launch

Jamie Lau Designs Aubergine Floral Kimono Sleeve Top

Photo courtesy of Madesmith Photo by Garry Waller

We’re excited to announce the launch of our exclusive product collaboration with Madesmith, a site that highlights stories of makers and designers and also brings you limited edition products from its featured artisans. (Check out the Jamie Lau Designs interview here.)

Our Aubergine Floral Kimono Sleeve Top is sewn in a textured ivory cotton dobby fabric from Japan that I picked out in Tokyo. This printed top features a minimal aubergine floral print, relaxed short kimono sleeves, and a pleated neckline.

Jamie Lau Designs Aubergine Floral Kimono Sleeve Top

Photo courtesy of Madesmith Photo by Garry Waller

Jamie Lau Designs Aubergine Floral Kimono Sleeve Top

Photo courtesy of Madesmith Photo by Garry Waller

Photo by Jamie Lau

Behind the scenes with Madesmith

Get your hands on this effortless top while it lasts – so perfect for spring and summer! Check out my full interview feature here and get a sneak peek into my design studio. Happy Spring Equinox!

Check out my interview on Madesmith

Check out the full interview feature for a peek into my design studio Photo by Garry Waller

Fashion Travelogue: Spring Floral Linen-Cotton Gathered-Waist Dress

Jamie Lau Designs Spring Floral Linen-Cotton Gathered-Waist Dress 1

Ready for spring in a Japanese linen-cotton blend Photo by Liz Clayman

Things have been quite busy at the Jamie Lau Designs studio. We kicked off the new year with a photo shoot featuring our new textile designs inspired by the natural environment, travel, and art, with prints based on my photographs. We designed a few custom bridal dresses and also celebrated the opening of our month-long pop-up shop at Makeshift Society in San Francisco, open until the end of this month on March 31, 2014.

In keeping up with the momentum, I’ll be embarking on an exciting textile-filled journey to Japan later this spring and summer (more details coming soon!). In preparation for my two-month trip, I’m starting a new series entitled Fashion Travelogue, with the goal of designing and sewing the bulk of my wardrobe and accessories for my travel abroad (yes, even pajamas!). I’ll be sharing snapshots of my designs on the blog throughout the next few months, starting with this Spring Floral Linen-Cotton Gathered-Waist Dress. (For similar styles, check out my Yabane Gathered-Waist Dress, Electric Cranes Gathered-Waist Dressand other items in my web shop.)

Jamie Lau Designs Anatomy Of A Dress

Anatomy of a dress

As you may have gathered, I love dresses and design, sew, and wear, well, mostly dresses. For this classic Jamie Lau Designs fit and flare silhouette, I chose a Japanese linen-cotton blend featuring a gridded background with a pink, orange, and lush green floral print overlay. And of course, you definitely can’t forget the pockets!

Jamie Lau Designs Spring Floral Linen-Cotton Gathered-Waist Dress Styled

Styled with accessories from two of my favorite designers

This dress is perfect for impromptu picnics and I would totally style it with my Rachel Comey wood wedge sandals and A.P.C. tortoise shell chain shoulder strap purse. Stay tuned for more Fashion Travelogue and hop over to the Hart’s Fabric blog for my latest article on how to sew a blind hem stitch using this dress as an example in my tutorial.

Pop-Up Shop at Makeshift Society

Jamie Lau Designs Makeshift Society Pop-Up Shop

Join us at our opening night party on Friday, February 28, 2014 at Makeshift Society from 5-7 PM

Join us in San Francisco for the opening of the Jamie Lau Designs Pop-Up Shop at Makeshift Society in Hayes Valley. Shop our new collection of dresses featuring our latest textile designs and prints inspired by the natural environment, travel, and art. We’ll have a mix of fit and flare dresses featuring volume with color, minimal cuts (shifts, sheaths, and A-line silhouettes), pleated shorts, and some of our classic styles cut and sewn from Japanese fabrics!

Our month-long pop-up kicks off with an opening night party on Friday, February 28th from 5-7 PM. Meet the designer and enjoy some sweet treats and drinks while you get your shop on. For one night only, we are offering a special 20% discount to our loyal customers who come in wearing a Jamie Lau Designs dress.

Friday, February 28, 2014
Opening Night Party
Makeshift Society
235 Gough Street (b/w Fell + Oak)
San Francisco, CA 94102
5-7 PM
RSVP to jamielaudesigns@gmail.com

March 1-31, 2014
Pop-Up Shop
Store Hours: Monday-Friday, 9-6 PM

Jamie Lau Designs would like to thank our hosts at Makeshift Society and Britex Fabrics for providing the dress forms for opening night. Makeshift Society is a coworking space and clubhouse for creative entrepreneurs. Britex Fabrics is a San Francisco landmark and a must-visit for designers, sewers, DIYers and anyone seeking creative inspiration.

Windowpane Pleated Top and Wool Shorts Duo x Britex Fabrics Guest Blogging

Jamie Lau Designs Windowpane Pleated Duo 1

I selected a cream windowpane check black and carmine wool crepe for my checked ensemble

For my first Britex Fabrics guest blogger post of the new year, I decided to branch out from dresses and into the world of separates. I designed a pair of pleated shorts in one of my prints a few months ago (coming to the web shop soon!) and wanted to make the same cut, but in a nice, pebbly wool crepe.

For the overall look, I was partially inspired by the geometric designs of André Courrèges and the playful, mod aesthetic of Foale and Tuffin and decided to make a windowpane pleated top and wool shorts combo.

60s Inspiration

(Left) Dress by André Courrèges, 1968; (Right) Marion Foale at the sewing machine, 1963

For the top, I designed and sewed an easy-to-wear pleated neckline top with relaxed short kimono sleeves, similar to my Pleated Tunic Dress, styled here with my A.P.C. cat brooch that I picked up in Belgium back in 2007 at their Antwerp store.

Jamie Lau Designs Windowpane Pleated Top 1

Front neckline pleating detail

Jamie Lau Designs Windowpane Pleated Top 2

Fully lined and easy to slip on without the hassle of a zipper

And for the shorts, I added front pleating and hip yoke pockets.

Jamie Lau Designs Windowpane Pleated Duo Details

The devil’s in the details – checks meticulously aligned

We shot this look with photographer Liz Clayman the same weekend as the photo shoot for my new textile designs. Check out my Instagram for more behind the scenes glimpses of other looks from this shoot, including new Jamie Lau Designs prints which are coming to the web shop at the end of this week!

Jamie Lau Designs Windowpane Pleated Duo Behind the Scenes

Thanks to my model Ming for the behind the scenes snapshot!

Visit the Britex blog for my full article which includes a tutorial with tips on sewing shorts (and naturally, can be applied to sewing pants as well)!

Announcing…Jamie Lau Designs Prints!

Blue Gradient A-line Shift Dress - available in linen-cotton canvas and organic cotton sateen

Blue Gradient A-line Shift Dress – available in linen-cotton canvas and organic cotton sateen

I’m so excited to announce the debut collection of Jamie Lau Designs prints this season! I am both print and color obsessed and always wanted to design my own textiles. Here’s a glimpse of some of my new designs which will be available at this year’s holiday shows and beyond.

One of my favorite designs is the bias cut Blue Gradient A-line Shift Dress (above) – available in both linen-cotton canvas and organic cotton sateen. I was inspired by the painterly landscape surrounding the Arashiyama and Sagano area of Kyoto and a piece of Japanese stoneware reminiscent of rippling water. For a more behind-the-scenes look into the inspiration and design of this dress, check out my four-part Hand-Crafted Clothing guest blog series on Spoonflower - from color palette and design inspiration, to textile design and garment construction (Part I and Part II).

Blue Gradient Tote Bags in a textured linen-cotton canvas and organic cotton sateen

Blue Gradient Tote Bags in a textured linen-cotton canvas and organic cotton sateen

We also have unisex tote bags in the blue gradient print, available in both linen-cotton canvas and organic cotton sateen – perfect for gifting during the holiday season!

Jamie Lau Designs Color Palette Inspiration Blue-Green

Blue-green color palette inspiration

For my prints, I was heavily inspired by nature and gradients occurring in the natural environment. I also love an ombré color palette and collect paint chips for inspiration. In addition to dresses, we also have separates, starting with a fun pair of textured linen-cotton canvas Blue Gradient Resort Shorts in a rippling water print – great for wearing as-is or layering with opaque tights during colder winter months.

Jamie Lau Designs Blue Gradient Resort Shorts

Blue Gradient Resort Shorts in a ripple print

You may also recall my ombré red velvet and pink wedding color palette, which I wanted to explore again with clothing.

Jamie Lau Designs Color Palette Inspiration Pink Ombré

Pink ombé color palette inspiration

For the Niwa Draped Cocoon Dress, I was inspired by strolls in The Regent’s Park in London. I love this draped silhouette and the interplay between the flora and grass – another piece that is great for layering.

Jamie Lau Designs Niwa Draped Cocoon Dress

Niwa Draped Cocoon Dress in a luscious organic cotton sateen floral print

This floral printed dress is sewn in a luscious organic cotton sateen and features a front and back yoke.

Jamie Lau Designs Niwa Draped Cocoon Dress Back Detail

Back yoke detail

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of meeting two very talented Marimekko designers (illustrator Aino Maija-Metsola and clothing designer Mika Piirainen) during their visit from Finland for the Cooper-Hewitt Design by Hand series. Their work is so inspiring and I love the bold pops of color and use of prints in their designs. Of course, I had to wear something that was also designed by hand and print filled.

Jamie Lau Designs Marimekko Design by Hand

At the Cooper-Hewitt Design Center with Marimekko designers Aino-Maija Metsola and Mika Piirainen

This is just a snippet of what’s new. Stay tuned for more to come and I hope to see you all at this year’s holiday shows! If you’d like to place an order, email us at jamielaudesigns@gmail.com.

Jamie Lau Designs Fabric Swatches

Sneak peek of more Jamie Lau Designs fabric swatches

New York and San Francisco Jamie Lau Designs Holiday Show Schedule 2013

Jamie Lau Designs Holiday Shows 2013

Photo credit: Liz Clayman

Get your shop on with Jamie Lau Designs this holiday season, starting with the 2nd Annual Renegade Craft Fair Winter Market in Brooklyn this weekend on November 23+24, 2013. Join me and 200+ other vendors at the historic Skylight One Hanson, an Art Deco event space in a massive restored bank located at One Hanson Place, Brooklyn, NY 11243. We’ll be setting up shop on the main floor at Booth #51 from 11-6 PM each day.

Get first dibs on our debut collection of dresses, separates, and tote bags sewn in our new vibrant textile designs printed on organic cotton sateen, textured cotton-linen canvas, and more! We’ll also have our usual colorful assortment of classic Jamie Lau Designs fit and flare dresses in Japanese prints and our layerable A-line shift dresses in stock.

2nd Annual Renegade Craft Fair Winter Market

Jamie Lau Designs will be on the main floor at Booth 51

On Sunday, December 8, 2013, we’ll be vending at the First Annual Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar at 501 Union from 11-6 PM. This event is curated by our friends at Brooklyn Makers and features 30+ Brooklyn-based artisans. The venue is centrally located at the hub of Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Gowanus, and Park Slope at 501 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231. Warm up with a hand-crafted cocktail, check out the DIY workshop corner, and get your holiday shop on!

First Annual Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar

Join me and 30+ handpicked Brooklyn-based vendors at this holiday bazaar

Last but not least, we’ll be heading to the west coast for the holidays for the 5th Annual Renegade Craft Fair Winter Market in San Francisco on December 21+22, 2013. Get your last minute holiday shopping in at the Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 8th Street, San Francisco, 94103. Shop handmade for one of our tote bags or fabric-covered notebooks, or better yet treat yourself to a flirty dress for a holiday fête and ring in the new year!

5th Annual Renegade Craft Fair Winter Market

Join us for some last minute holiday shopping, or better yet, that special party dress!

 

Metallic A-line Tent Dress x Britex Fabrics Guest Blogging

Jamie Lau Designs Metallic A-line Tent Dress

Venturing into a new color palette of shimmering jewel tones

In my latest Britex Fabrics guest blogger post, I chose to work in a luxurious French metallic/wool novelty blend. I was mostly drawn to the metallic characteristics of this fabric (as you know, I particularly love working with metallic brocades for my dress designs).

Jamie Lau Designs Turquoise Floral Metallic Brocade Party Dress

Classic Jamie Lau Designs dress silhouette in a turquoise metallic brocade with floral specks of peach, rose, gold, violet, and lush greens

Jamie Lau Designs Copper Metallic Brocade Sweetheart Dress

Another fun party dress I made in a copper metallic brocade with an abstract floral motif and sweetheart neckline

For this dress design, I wanted to create something modern, wearable, and layerable. I didn’t want to go too “evening” or fitted, so I decided to make an A-line tent dress with a yoke and vertical seaming (I ended up not having to add a zipper). I added a subtle petal hem and used Bemberg rayon “Ambiance” made in Japan for lining.

Jamie Lau Designs Metallic A-line Tent Dress

Subtle brilliant blue, emerald green, and purple jewel tones set against dark midnight blue background

Jamie Lau Designs Metallic A-line Tent Dress

A fun silhouette that can be worn with colorful tights or metallic accessory accents

It was definitely a challenging fabric to work with, but well worth the effort! Check out my full article for sewing tips and a tutorial on how to sew a dress with attached lining.

Jamie Lau Designs Metallic A-line Tent Dress

Thanks for the beautiful shimmering fabric, Britex!

Weekend Intensive: Skirt Pattern Making Class at Hart’s Fabric in Santa Cruz

Swingin' Circle Skirt Dress with princess seam bodice in Nani Iro fabric

Swingin’ Circle Skirt Dress with princess seam bodice in muted pastels and polka dots

Join me next month in Santa Cruz, California for a special pattern making workshop at Hart’s Fabric on Saturday, October 12, 2013. This hands-on weekend intensive will focus on drafting your own skirt patterns based on your measurements, starting with a basic skirt sloper, or final pattern. Students will also learn how to design an A-line skirt pattern variation, in addition to drafting a retro-style circle skirt.

Jamie Lau Designs Circle Skirt

Circle skirt cut on the bias with Japanese fabric by Nani Iro

Basic Pattern Making: Skirt Sloper, A-line Skirt, and Circle Skirt
Saturday, October 12, 2013 from 12:00 pm-4:00 pm
Hart’s Fabric
1620 Seabright Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Buy Tickets
$85.00 class fee includes pattern paper
Supply list: French curve set, hip curve, 2″ x 18″ clear gridded ruler, soft tape measure, tracing wheel, tracing paper, mechanical pencil, eraser, red pencil, pins and/or pattern weights

Skirts are great foundation pieces for your wardrobe and can be sewn as separates, or incorporated into a dress by simply pairing with a complementary bodice pattern, such as in the examples below:

Jamie Lau Designs Striped Linen Sunset Dress

Striped Linen Sunset Dress featuring a basic bodice paired with a gathered-waist skirt with a coral, blue, black, and white gradient effect

Jamie Lau Designs Sweetheart Gingham Colorblock Dress

Gingham style colorblock dress in contrasting yarn dyed Japanese fabric featuring a sweetheart neckline and A-line skirt

Thanks for the awesome fabric, Hart’s! See you soon, Santa Cruz!

Jamie Lau Designs Hart's Fabric

Hart’s Fabric is an independently owned fabric store in California and has been open since 1969