Jamie Lau Textile Exhibition at the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art

Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art

I am excited to announce that my hand dyed, handwoven, and handsewn textile art will be on display at the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art (京都市美術館 Kyōto-shi Bijutsukan) in Japan this month from January 14-18, 2015. Last spring and summer, I spent two months living in the mountains of Kyoto dyeing and weaving and learning the traditional Japanese art of kasuri (ikat) as one of four international students accepted into the Kawashima Textile School (川島テキスタイルスクール) weaving program.

For the graduate textile exhibition, I have created unique fashion wearables in the Jamie Lau Designs aesthetic, taking an even deeper, holistic approach to design with these handwoven garments. I am honored to have my work on display in one of the oldest art museums in Japan and look forward to seeing you all there and reconnecting with my Japanese colleagues. (For a sneak peek of what I’ve been working on, check out my Instagram feed.)

Kawashima Textile School Graduate Exhibition
January 14-18, 2015
Wednesday-Sunday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM (Admission until 4:30 PM)
Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art – Annex (Kyōto-shi Bijutsukan Bekkan)
Okazaki Kōen, Sakyō-ku, Kyoto, 606-8344
Free admission
Access information

Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art Map


Pleated Wool Dress x Britex Fabrics Guest Blogging

Jamie Lau Designs Pleated Wool Dress 1

The subtle blue and green coloration of teal is perfect for fall

With fall upon us, I thought that a dress in a midweight wool with some sleeve coverage would be a good transition piece. The teal color has a warm, vintage feel to it and the skirt features inverted box pleats for a little bit of fullness.

Jamie Lau Designs Pleated Wool Dress 2

This designer wool fabric has a nice drape to it and works great for a fuller skirt

Jamie Lau Designs Pleated Wool Dress 3

A great transition piece for fall

Jamie Lau Designs Pleated Tombo Dress Photo Shoot

A sneak peek from our latest photo shoot featuring our Pleated Tombo Dress with cap sleeves in a Japanese fabric – follow us on Instagram for more behind the scenes footage

Visit the Britex blog for my full article, featuring this pleated wool dress, which includes tips on working with wool!

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.

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

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!

Jamie Lau Designs Wedding Feature on Martha Stewart Weddings

Jamie Lau Designs Wedding Bride and Groom

Posing in front of our 1950s moss green ride on a gorgeous summer day in the Pacific Northwest

Last month, we celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary. It was literally the ultimate art project as I doubled as both bride and wedding designer/planner! Here are a few photo highlights from our Jamie Lau Designs handmade wedding, which was also featured in Martha Stewart Weddings this past spring with photos by my superstar photographer Kim Hayes.

The Dresses

Jamie Lau Designs Wedding Dress

I designed my own wedding gown, which was sewn in ivory silk shantung and dotted flocked tulle

For my wedding gown design, I wanted something soft, light, and airy, but also an element of texture and dimension. I found a beautiful Italian ivory silk shantung that served as the dress base and dotted flocked tulle made in France for the skirt and draping. I designed a strapless corseted bodice with a soft sweetheart bustline. The skirt silhouette was a modified A-line with a subtle train and layers of crinoline and ruffles for more fullness. The silk shantung base was followed by two layers of tulle (the top layer was a dotted flocked tulle and the second layer was a neutral tulle to balance out the color variation to match the silk shantung).

Jamie Lau Designs Wedding Dress Detail

A geometric waistband decorated with an asymmetrical bow detail

The flocked tulle looked like an illusion of pearls in the afternoon sunlight and the gown was cinched at the waist with a geometric waistband decorated with an asymmetrical bow.

Jamie Lau Designs Bridesmaids Dresses

Jamie Lau Designs bridesmaid dresses sewn in Japanese fabric. For Janet (left), I designed a dress with a round neckline, short set-in sleeves, and a two-tiered flounced skirt. For Christine (right), I made a halter dress with a sweetheart neckline and gathered-waist skirt.

I designed and sewed my bridesmaid dresses. Both ladies had very different body types and I wanted to give each of them something functional that they could wear again. I also love prints and wanted to stay true to my design aesthetic, so I chose a woven Japanese fabric that I wanted to make modern. The print consisted of arches of concentric circles forming a wave design (a seigaiha motif). In addition to the print, I was also drawn to the color, which resembled burgundy or red wine (but I like to think of it as red velvet), similar to the darkest gradient on my wedding cake.

Japanese fabric with a printed seigaiha motif.

Japanese fabric with a printed seigaiha motif

The Cake

Jamie Lau Designs Wedding Cake Exterior

Our three-tiered wedding cake was minimally decorated on the outside with trios of Swiss dots and consisted of white chocolate cream cheese and buttercream frosting

I didn’t initially set out with a specific “wedding color” in mind until I landed on the wedding cake design – an ombré red velvet and white cake. I approached a local bakery to see if they could accommodate my custom design and they delightfully agreed. I wanted a three-tiered cake that was clean and minimally decorated with trios of Swiss dots on the exterior.

Jamie Lau Designs Wedding Cake Interior

A surprise of four layered sheets ranging from soft cherry blossom pinks to red velvet gradients

Within each tier was a surprise of layered sheets ranging from soft cherry blossom pinks to red velvet gradients. Since my fashion designs are heavily influenced by Japanese aesthetics, and we were traveling to Japan for the cherry blossom viewing on our honeymoon, having some semblance of cherry blossoms – even if it were just in color – carried over into the overall mood and theme of the wedding.

The Invitations

Jamie Lau Designs Wedding Invites

Invitations reminiscent of going to the paint store as a child

The wedding invitations followed this theme as well. I designed my invitations and collaborated with a graphic designer friend, Hikaru Furuhashi, to execute my creative vision. When I envisioned my cake, I was inspired by going to the paint store as a child and recalled how I always collected paint chips in my favorite hues, so I automatically thought of a paint chip design for the front of the invite that resembled the warm colors of the ombré red velvet and white cake. These colors, in turn, became my wedding color (palette!). I sealed off the envelopes using coordinating washi tape with a traditional Japanese print.

The Flowers

Jamie Lau Designs Bridal Bouquet

A bridal bouquet of full blooms – dahlias, roses, zinnias, scabiosa pods, and anemones

I wanted fuller flowers that were in season and reflective of the region, such as dahlias and zinnias. I worked with lovely floral designer Elizabeth Hikida of Elizabeth Designs to achieve a natural and earthy feel. She was extremely easy to work with and totally nailed my aesthetic. Since it was an outdoor wedding, we didn’t want to compete with nature too much. For my bridal bouquet, I wanted a pop of color to contrast with the minimalism of my dress. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were done in lighter colors to contrast with the darker hues of their dresses. It was quite the color coordinated affair as the flower petals that lined the ceremony aisle also stuck to the ombré theme!

Jamie Lau Designs Centerpieces

Unique floral centerpieces for each table alongside handmade sailboat origami as a nod to the nautical setting

We used Mason jars for our floral decorations, some of which were suspended along the aisle chairs during the ceremony and doubled again as centerpieces for the reception. The aisle jars and centerpieces included Queen Anne’s lace and featured mixed floral assortments as well as more monochromatic bunches. Each table was decorated with two to three unique Mason jars as centerpieces alongside the sailboat origami I crafted using chiyogami paper.

Other Details

Jamie Lau Designs Welcome Bags

Custom Jamie Lau Designs reversible totes for out of town guests

In addition to creating our handmade garland and guestbook, I also made special gifts for my bridesmaids and close female friends, all of whom traveled in to Seattle for the wedding. I designed a custom reversible tote bag for each of them with fabric and colors that suited their individual personalities (even adding longer straps for my tallest friend!). I started off my sewing career making reversible tote bags, so this was also a homage to all their support in my creative endeavors and career change throughout the last few years.

Jamie Lau Designs Pie Pops

Cherry almond pie pop wedding favors

I coupled the place cards and wedding favors into one. For wedding favors, I thought it would be fun to give out cherry almond pie lollipops from High 5 Pie to truly bring it all full circle since we first met at Pies ’n’ Thighs. (Yes, our reception menu included fried chicken and beef brisket entrées. Plus, Kyle and I are both huge Twin Peaks fans). I tied coral-colored yarn bows around the pie pops and clipped the place cards onto the stems with individual clothespins. I decorated the clothespins with washi tape, similar to what I used to seal off the invitation envelopes. When guests opened up their place cards, they were greeted with a fortune, which we selected for each guest using a random fortune cookie generator.

Jamie Lau Designs Reception Tent

Large paper lanterns in alternating shades of pink were suspended from the reception tent

I now have the pleasure of working with other brides to design and create their custom wedding dresses (and offer wedding planning tips along the way). Check out my Real Weddings Follow-Up interview for some practical wedding planning advice and visit Martha Stewart Weddings to view more photos from our special day!

Textured Geometry Dress x Britex Fabrics Guest Blogging

Jamie Lau Designs Textured Geometry Dress

Textured Geometry Dress sewn in a striped cotton and linen blend styled with colorful oxfords

With New York Fashion Week just around the corner, I was inspired to create a high-fashion fall look using a heavier weight fabric for my latest Britex Fabrics guest blogger post. When I saw the thick, bold charcoal and oatmeal colored stripes on this textured cotton/linen/lycra blend, I immediately thought of playing with stripes and creating a strong, structured silhouette.

Jamie Lau Designs Textured Geometry Dress

Pattern play with stripes

I added asymmetrical style lines and cut the front bodice on the bias, keeping in mind the rule of thirds…

Jamie Lau Designs Textured Geometry Dress

The perfect prisoner’s (wardrobe) dilemma?

And paired it with an inverted box pleat skirt design for a fit and flare dress, with all the horizontal stripes lining up perfectly.

Dieppa Restrepo Cali Oxfords

Classic round toe oxfords by Dieppa Restrepo in red metallic leather

To complete the look, I’d add a pop of color with my red metallic Dieppa Restrepo leather oxfords for a more casual look. To dress it up, I could see this styled with some black and gold accents.

For a more “behind the seams” look at my pattern making process, check out my full article on Britex Fabrics. Love this dress? Email me at jamielaudesigns@gmail.com to place an order.

Jamie Lau Designs Textured Geometry Dress

Thanks again for the amazing fabric, Britex!

Draped Cocoon Silk Dress x Britex Fabrics Guest Blogging

Jamie Lau Designs Draped Cocoon Silk Dress

Draped Cocoon Dress sewn in abstract and floral silk prints styled with my Rachel Comey wedges

It’s been a busy last few months here at Jamie Lau Designs! Among the many exciting developments is that I have recently joined Britex Fabrics as a guest blogger starting this summer. Throughout the next few months, I will be sharing my design inspirations in addition to sewing tutorials, tips, and techniques using various fabrics, starting with silks.

Britex Fabrics Guest Bloggers Page

Excited to be a part of another Britex Fabrics collaboration

For my first post, I designed and sewed this draped cocoon dress using a combination of an Italian abstract taupe, black, and white silk crêpe de Chine and a contrasting yoke in French featherweight, silhouetted winter white floral silk. I usually opt for more color, but something about these two prints together screamed “winning combination” to me.

Jamie Lau Designs Draped Cocoon Silk Dress

A swingin’ silhouette

This dress is light as a feather, finished with French seams, and easy to slip on without the hassle of a zipper…

Jamie Lau Designs Draped Cocoon Silk Dress

Front draped cocoon effect

Featuring a draped cocoon effect that gives the dress movement, creating an “out of focus” visual effect…

Jamie Lau Designs Draped Cocoon Silk Dress

A simple, gathered back dress

Followed by a simple, gathered back that billows in the wind.

Rachel Comey Clogs

Wood wedge platforms by Rachel Comey

And just for kicks (no pun intended), I happen to own the perfect pair of shoes to complement this outfit – a pair of Rachel Comey wood wedge platforms I picked up this past February with trompe l’oeil printed leather upper.

Check out my full article on Britex Fabrics for tips on cutting silk and tutorials on how to sew a French seam, create your own bias tape, and more!

Jamie Lau Designs Draped Cocoon Silk Dress

Thanks for the beautiful fabric, Britex!

My Podcast Interview on Thread Cult

Thread CultCheck out my interview on Thread Cult, a podcast for the sewing, fashion, and textile obsessed created by Christine Cyr Clisset of the blog Daughter Fish.

I was honored to be Christine’s first guest on the show. Tune in to the latest episode to hear us chat about how Jamie Lau Designs got its start, current textile inspirations, my new book BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern, and more!