My dear friend and I regularly find cultural events to attend; sometimes something artistic, sometimes something gastronomic. This past weekend we got a bit of both - a fashion show, with bubbly! and a whole new kind of people watching.
But that's not what this is about. This is about the fashions we saw: beautiful, forest nymph-like dresses fashioned from wool felt. It was the spring collection, but it got me to thinking about wool felt as a fiber choice.
Wool Felt IS Warm
Now you know I'm always looking for ways to stay warm. What I didn't know is that felted wool is much warmer than woven wool (nowhere for air to sneak in), and with a much greater warmth to weight ratio. It's incredibly time consuming to make (Elynn at Amano Studios has some great videos illustrating the process), and tends to be strictly hand crafted as a result. Which can be both good and bad.
Good because you end up with beautiful, one of a kind garments that can be truly show stopping. Bad because that could you mean you take your appreciation of the art form a little too far into the fringe. I think you know what I mean!
Wool Felt for the Office
So I set out to see what I could find that could be suitable to wear for statement making office dressing. I had to get past all the slippers, hats, and other extremely arty things that are typically made from wool felt, but I did indeed find some wonderful felted items.
The brown sleeveless top and the red 'sweater' could work in just about any office setting and are certainly more defining than something from Ann Taylor. Interestingly enough, many of these felted items are made by craftspeople in Russia - they just might know a thing or two about handling cold weather! The white sculptural top is a little more casual, but the detail alone is interesting enough to pass muster in most environments. I think they all have tremendous versatility as well as maximum seasonable wearability on their own or with some carefully chosen layers.
Some more office worthy jackets that are decidedly statement making. Felt is so interesting because it is often shaped into garments without any seams, or combined with other fibers to make beautiful embellishments. The blue oversize jacket in the middle I can see both as a dressed up or a dressed down piece, either layered or not.
If full-on felt is a little too 'artsy' for you, you could still add that statement making impact with a felt scarf like these:
All by Elynn at Amano Studios.
Special Occasion Felt
Now for something really show stopping and ultra feminine, you could do much worse than these beautiful felted dresses. I'm fairly certain you would turn heads for all the right reasons wearing one of these! Left, emerald green silk with felted flowers. Right, all wool felt.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, many of the wonderful pieces we saw at the fashion show were sylph-like and made me think of goddesses in the woods. Not necessarily what you want on a day to day basis. But for a special occasion, Irena Levkovich of Wool Wonders has some absolutely fantastic pieces, like this collar. I don't know where or how I would wear it, just that I desperately want to!
We enjoyed Irena's Wool Wonders fashion show and I even had a chance to talk with Irena herself. She features tutorials online and runs felt classes in Northern Virginia - maybe something my friend and I will find ourselves signing up for in 2018.
And here's what we saw last weekend: