April 20, 2014 Warrior Stance: tribal fashion influenced by folklore

by guest blogger, Julie

Whether we’re aware or not, we all belong to a warrior tribe. We might not be throwing spears or using cattle as currency, but within every concrete jungle dwells thousands of tribal subcultures that distinguish themselves. Whether it’s the music they tune in to, the ritual-like hobbies they partake in, or possibly the most tell-tale sign of tribunal allegiance–the duds they choose to don, their traditional dress if you will.

Hipsters have tightly cuffed ultra skinny jeans and top their heads with feathered fedoras. Brooding artists are easily spotted by their unwavering lack of color only to be contradicted by the exception of a brightly and precisely painted red lip.  Free-spirited bohemians often douse themselves in cleverly mismatched patterns, prints and textures – it should be noted as well, that they’re notorious for this same haberdashery approach when wearing eclectic jewelry. Oh, and we mustn’t forget the Sharks of Chic! This highly tailored clan is overly brand-oriented, often stepping through the streets in stilettos and perfectly posh purses.

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Cropped Flamé Cardigan $118Mazán Tote $349, Mariachi Bracelets $39

No matter which type of warrior tribesman you are, or even if you march to the beat of your own drummer, this season there will be one tie that binds us as hunters and gatherers of what we consider glam, and that trend is TRIBAL. We’ve gone back to before civilization as we know it! Pieces are heavily inspired by nomadic folklore in both silhouette and pattern.  Indigenous decorations of tassels and trims drip from jackets, dresses, and chandelier earrings alike. The art of nature and the spirit of Eskimos, Pygmies, and Zulu Warriors have savagely taken over fashion. This spring you aren’t being required to look like a page torn from National Geographic, but embracing the embellishments of beads, leather, layered jewelry and geometric patterns will ensure that your battle cry will be heard no matter what your message.

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So, slap on your war paint, warrior princess, and begin your forage for the perfect spring fashion.

 

 

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April 9, 2014 A World Tour of Color and Inspiration with Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett against a fiery wall in New Zealand (photo by Brandon Mably, Kaffe Fassett Studio)

Kaffe Fassett, renowned designer and textile artist, has been a source of inspiration for handknitters, quilters, and needlework artists around the world for more than two decades.  PC has been honored to collaborate with Kaffe on limited edition knitwear designs, as seen in this Spring’s colorful Ucayali PonchoArroyo Cardigan, and Chaparral Vest.  Kaffe Fassett’s extraordinary vision is in his sense of color, blended into magical combinations and fanciful patterns.  So where does this visionary master of color go when in need of inspiration?  All over the world, in search of beauty, artistry, and riotous color…

Painting colorful tiles in Fez, Morocco (photo by Brandon Mably, Kaffe Fassett Studio)

A wall of ceramic plates in Marrakesh, Morocco (photo by Brandon Mably, Kaffe Fassett Studio)

A wall of ceramic plates in Marrakesh, Morocco (photo by Brandon Mably, Kaffe Fassett Studio)

Pigments in Fez, Morocco (photo by Brandon Mably, Kaffe Fassett Studio)

Dyeing vats in Fez, Morocco (photo by Brandon Mably, Kaffe Fassett Studio)

Antique shoes in Fez, Morocco (photo by Brandon Mably, Kaffe Fassett Studio)

Cobbler’s bench in Fez, Morocco (photo by Brandon Mably, Kaffe Fassett Studio)

Clusters of hens and chicks in New Zealand (photo by Brandon Mably, Kaffe Fassett Studio)

Clusters of hens and chicks in New Zealand (photo by Brandon Mably, Kaffe Fassett Studio)

Explore more of Kaffe Fassett’s fascinating world of color and pattern on Pinterest, or read about his latest travels at kaffefassett.com.

Shop the latest Kaffe Fassett designs for Peruvian Connection

If your travels take you to Bath, England, be sure to visit the American Museum for a special Kaffe exhibit running March 22 – November 2

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March 31, 2014 Wanderlust: the nomadic spirit behind Peruvian Connection

by guest blogger, Julie

It’s an inherent fire that burns deep inside every human, the need to discover, to explore, to crack open our world and experience. We’re globetrotters by design – the lucky ones act on this sixth sense getting their hands dirty and backpacking the world, finding hidden civilizations, undiscovered paradise and untapped wonders. Others of us don’t have the free-spirited luxury of throwing caution to the wispy winds and setting sail on life-changing adventures, no matter how white-hot the passion. Fortunately for all, this nomadic spirit to seek out and drink in the world is what Peruvian Connection does best.Fotor0327103553
Design sketch of the Yuma Cardigan inspirational sketches and yarn colors

This Spring, more than ever, the inspiration drawn from far apart places, distant cultures, tribal art and artifacts has been undeniably strong. The world is busting at our seams and the Spring 2014 designs are beaming with global charisma. With this unshakeable urge to explore the world that swallows us, ethnographic patterns are splashed against simple silhouettes, eye-grabbing colors are tamed by timid threads, striking a harmonious balance. The play between texture and geometrics forces the garment to grab you and take you far away from where you are.Fotor0327105321
The design process as it evolves; Painted Desert Cardigan

From Mughal Empire carvings that have been beautifully translated into the stunningly statuesque Agra Dress, to Persian Scrollwork-inspired tunics, and the Ucayali Poncho that lives on the “Fringe”, our Wanderlust collection is a well-worn tapestry of travels. When you slip on that skirt and cinch it slightly around your waist, you’ll without a doubt hear the beat of the land from which it hailed. No longer will you be standing in your closet staring at garments swaying to-and-fro on mismatched hangers, you’ll be engulfed in a United Nations of exotic embellishments, colors, textures, and patterns ready to escort you to whatever far-off happy place your heart desires. No passport required!Fotor0327115558

 

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March 26, 2014 The Cost-per-Wear Closet Guide

by guest blogger, Julie

No matter if you’re a luxury-exclusive lady, a hoarder of high-low, or fascinated with fast fashion, the way you choose to curate your closet says a lot about what you value and how you view your pocketbook. The Fast Fashioner can’t comprehend spending hard earned dollars on a single purchase of posh heels while the Luxy Lady doesn’t see value in opening her wallet for terribly trendy $20 blouses she deems unwearable by season’s end.

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Toscana Jacket $498 & Mandala Trousers $159, Maidstone Jacket $299 & Mojave Pants $169

So, how do we stay true to our style whilst remaining a fiscally responsible fashion seeker? It all comes down to a little equation called Cost Per Wear or CPW.

Cost Per Wear = Item Cost/How Many Times The Piece is Worn.

For example, a seemingly budget-blowing, well-made designer handbag that’s non-seasonal can be used 8 seasons on average, but a more money-friendly high street purchased purse, while on trend, is built to last only one season. Which investment is actually more frugal: the Fab or the Grab?

Designer Handbag:
$1500/730 (average wears) = $2.05 cost per wear

High Street Handbag:
$350/90 (average wears) = $3.88 cost per wear

OR…you find yourself fancying trendy punches of pink floral this season. You’re well aware that this hunger for flower power will pass at season’s end, maybe squeezing 7 wears out of the piece. Should you shoot for the stars and invest in the couture or pinch your pennies and opt for an online deal??

Fancy Floral:
$600/7 (average wears) = $85.71 cost per wear

Conservative Carnation:
$70/7 (average wears) = $10.00 cost per wear

Now that you’re thinking about the value of clothes you covet, not just the price, how do you find “Can’t-Live-Without” pieces that are ROI high?

1. Look for figure flattering items that accent your assets. These pieces will become your grab and go most loved items because you look amazing in them.

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Kampala Jacket $299, Callista Sheath $279

2. Seek classic, well-tailored and constructed pieces. No one ever fell into an expertly-made money pit.

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Regatta Stripe Dress $239

3. Get your hands on timeless, versatile pieces…think Little, think Black, think Dress.

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Leticia Dress $498

4. Covet comfortable basics in premium fabrics…because the only thing better than basics, are basics that last.

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Branock Cardigan $159, Magnolia Tunic $159, Prescott Striped Pants $169

5. Sack yourself a seasonless bag that takes you from fall to summer in neutral colors and materials. This takes the “think” out of accessorizing.

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Wythe Leather Bag $398, Dakota Clutch $149, Monterrey Bag $199

6. Develop a fetish for hand finishing. Whether it’s a hand knit piece or hand finished detail, these garments are often made out of sublime fabrics and higher quality threads. No need to mention the great care and attention to detail. The price tag might be slightly higher, but expert experienced hands can execute much more than a well-oiled machine, producing pieces that will outlast any production line-made good.

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And remember, smart shopping doesn’t mean price chopping! If you keep CPW in mind you’ll be able to wear your clothes more wisely because you’ve looked beyond the price tag and found the true value.

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March 23, 2014 How the T-shirt got its stripes, and all things variegated

by PC designer, Karen

The easiest way to update your wardrobe this season is with stripes. At Peruvian Connection, we love them all, from classic bi-color stripes to rich multicolored tones, and we even have textured stripes: the more the better. So it seemed a good moment for a little history lesson on the origin of how stripes became such a perennial favorite in our wardrobes.

On the 27th of March 1858, an Act of France was passed, when the navy and white striped knitted matelot became the uniform for navy seamen in Brittany, France. The striped shirts made it easier to see men in the waves if they fell overboard. Originally, there were always 21 stripes, one for each of Napoleon’s victories. Eventually its functionality lead it to become the accepted garment for all seafarers in Northern France.

French sailors in Breton Stripes

French sailors in Breton Stripes

The transformation from sailor’s uniform to fashion statement came in 1917 when Coco Chanel was inspired by the ease of these humble garments to create her Nautical collection. She often wore her casual striped tops with soft, wide legged pants, and this became a statement of relaxed chic that still resonates today.

Fotor0319124723Our version takes one of our beautiful ethnographically-inspired dress prints, and by intersecting it with white, we’ve created a striped tee that is uniquely PC, the Iztapa Tee.

puno collageBut at Peruvian Connection we love stripes so much we cannot limit ourselves to only making striped tops. Colors and patterns from faded textiles and nature were our inspiration when we created the Puno Dress, shown above.

bark mantaWhen looking for stripe ideas, we build inspiration boards of pictures by color and texture, and then play with paint and yarn until we have just the right balance of scale and contrast. Sometimes it’s easy to see the direct inspiration, at other times we like to play down the color and go for a more neutral color palette, but with bolder scales of stripes.

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Rue du Bac Trench, Marinero Dress and Berry Striped Scarf

The one thing you can always be sure of though, at Peruvian Connection, we’ve never met a stripe we didn’t like!

Shop all Stripes

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