Monday, July 20, 2009

Oh Etsy, I love you so.

I really do. Besides vintage shirts and affordable jewelry, Etsy is an amazing place to discover wonderful new designers. Which, of course, leads to coveting things, and since actual shopping is out of the question for the moment, I'll settle for the next best thing: posting about the things I'm currently drooling over and genius people who designed them. In no particular order:

A beautiful dress by Layla (LedThread), who makes such simple and beautiful pieces. Unique hems and fluid simple grace make her work so appealing, and make sure to check out the obi belts.

On the other hand, Prizy Sebastian's cotton tank is all about elaborate and very feminine ruffles. The rest of Prizy's pieces are also nicely detailed -- I'm such a sucker for pleats and pintucks, and there's plenty of that.

I first learned about Holly Stalder's designs from Painfully Hip, and was absolutely taken with flowy ruffly shapes and exaggerated sleeves and backless dresses. She also carries more affordable ready-made pieces, such as this little tank embellished with pretty lace. It's a brilliant example of a simple basic item made unique by a talented designer with a great eye for detail.

This shirt/jacket by Lindsay Weatherread is so beautiful I cannot wait to get my hands on it. Seriously, I promised myself this shirt when I sell another book. Just look at it:

It's a piece of art, and it doesn't look too overdone when you wear it. How cool is that? Also, check out the pleating on the sleeves, it is so precise and well done.

The last item of clothing is a jacket made by Idea2Life. I just love the cut of this jacket, the combination of something very flowy and unstructured with crisp, precise pleats. It's such a perfect fall piece; added bonus -- no fussing trying to guess your size.

Finally, a bag. I don't really have any statement bags, mine are all brown and functional (except a clutch or two), but this one I just adore. I love the cut and the texture of it, love the braided handle with the bow. Love that it comes in a bigger size and different color combinations. It's made my Andrea (of Amarie), who is apparently a genius in coming up with irresistible textures and shapes.

Most importantly, these six things exemplify the very idea of a designer items: they all show a singular sensibility, and there's something unexpected about every single one of them, be it the intricate detailing or a very simple silhouette done with amazing craftsmanship. You can't find things like these anywhere else, and this is really it: designer items are not about labels or price points but rather about artistic vision executed with quality. I'm excited about Alexander Wang's latest collection because I know it'll delight and surprise in a way that Forever21 simply can't. And Etsy is an amazing place to look for passion and workmanship of the up-and-coming artists and to sample their vision before they become too famous.

And these are my top six things from Etsy! Do you have a favorite Etsy designer? Link in comments, I love gaping at all the talent that can be found there.

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