Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Every so often an article of clothing appeals to both of us. Case in point, Heydari's Sunset Dress, which looks terrific on women of any body type and any age. When Lisa Bayne, CEO of Artful Home, approached us last May to participate in a group photo spread of stylish women wearing the Sunset Dress, we jumped at the chance. One problem: which one of us would wear the dress?
Valerie won the tug of war (was there ever any doubt, people?), but Jean totally lucked out too. When Lisa offered Jean the option of wearing a grey and black top from Artful Home's website, she practically screamed: "Is it the Tokyo Dot jacket?" Heavens to Betsy: it was! Made by Comfy USA, the top -- like everything else on Artful Home's website -- is made in America.
As soon as our packages arrived in the mail, we set out for a street photo shoot. Since the women featured are all in different cities, we were asked to take our own photos, and style them as we pleased.
Check out Artful Home's blog Artful Life for coverage of the dress (click on the black box to view the video, or go to Artful Home's youtube video slideshow: Sunset Dress by Heydari. To learn more about the talented designer behind the dress, go to artist Mariam Heydari's websites: heydaridc and heydarishop.
Valerie brought props in case one of us needed motivation (as if that would ever happen!). In this case, to play with the stripe theme of her dress, she brought - of course! - a stuffed Steiff zebra. ("I had to do it officer. She pulled a zebra on me.") And to play off the polka dot theme of Jean's shirt, she brought the black stress release ball Jean wields. We took any number of perfectly serious pictures, but Artful Home chose one of the pictures with the wacky props.
Needless to say, most of the New Yorkers walking by the shoot utterly ignored us, so we were able to engage in our sartorial mayhem in relative peace. Those who did stop were incredibly nice and many offered to take photos of the two of us with our cameras, including freelance photographer Russell Hayden (who took the last photo in this post). Don't we look positively angelic in this photo?
But enough about us. What about the clothes? The fabric and cut of the Sunset dress allow for volume with flattering drape and an extremely comfortable feel. Alternating vertical and horizontal striping make it visually striking. The side gathering (faux pockets) below the hip flatters many body types. That you can fold it up in a suitcase and just pull it out, put it on and look great when you arrive at your destination is an added bonus. Needless to say, the Sunset Dress is a welcome addition to just about any woman's wardrobe and in Valerie's case, it is "a keeper". Although she paired it with flat suede boots, the dress looks great with flats or heels (not that either of us wear the latter).
Here is the dress as it appears on Artful Home's website, paired with leggings and flats:
Below is the print ad for the Sunset Dress showing women ranging in age, shape and size, with a wide variety of accessories. (Click on the photo to enlarge.) We were thrilled to be included with gorgeous babes who are also heavy hitters in arts and crafts and social media. Top right: Laurie Furber, Founder of house and home website Elsie Green: middle right: Danielle Gori-Montanelli, artist; center: JoAnn Edwards, Executive Director of San Francisco's Museum of Craft and Design; lower left: Kristin Philipkowski, Editor, Racked SF, and upper left, Yours Trulies! Regular readers know we're both fans of Danielle's fanciful felt jewelry and have featured her and her work in our coverage of the LOOT jewelry show at the Museum of Art and Design (on this week till Friday; see the link for details) and of the Philadelphia Museum's Craft Show (coming in November).
Jean's Comfy USA Tokyo Dot Jacket is 68% cotton, 28% nylon and 4% spandex, so it has a little "body" without stiffness. It too resists wrinkling and any wrinkles resulting from being jammed into the bottom of a suitcase respond beautifully to steaming in a hotel bathroom. (Just hang the jacket on the shower rod, run the hot shower for 5 to 8 minutes and shut the door.) The jacket's drawstring collar allows you to adjust the neckline to accommodate jewelry, under layering and temperature. It has two pockets (hooray!) over the right breast to accommodate cell phone and credit cards. (Jean's polka dot iphone cover is barely visible in the photo where she is brandishing her stress ball.) It also has the very flattering side gathered faux pockets below the hips to draw the eye away from the waist and hips and to add visual not textile volume. Although it looks great over skirts and slacks with flats or heels, Jean pairs hers with rusched leggings and platform clogs.
Although they are from the Fall Collection, the style and fabrics of both items are practically seasonless. When we shot the photos on the street in mid-May, we didn't look or feel out of place wearing them. The colors in both outfits coordinate beautifully -- as do their wearers! Photo by Russell Hayden. who was one of the friendly passersby who was so sweet to send and let us his photos. What a guy!
What we're wearing (above):
Jean is wearing Comfy USA's Tokyo Dot Jacket with: an Amy Downs taffeta and net origami turban; mid-century flea market aluminum earrings; brushed silver ball necklace; BCBG Max Azria leggings; DIY customized Dansko clogs; Alexander Wang handbag; vintage bakelite rings; and vintage frames (with prescription lenses added) from Fabulous Fanny's.
Valerie is wearing Heydari's Sunset Dress with: a polka dot ribbon from M&J Trimming (to echo Jean's top); ceramic earrings and silver and onyx pin from thrift shops; metal cuffs from Matsuya Ginza; boots by Diane von Furstenberg (resale!); zebra probably from Abraham & Strauss, many, many years ago. Squeeze ball was a free hand out from a very expensive gym.
What we're wearing in the opening shot is business for another day!