Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Isabel Marant - Inspired Monochromatic Look

I have always admired the French designer Isabel Marant's casually chic aesthetics. So, it was no big surprise that for my latest sewing project my inspiration came from her Spring 09 runway, (image to the left image courtesey of

The look is easy to emulate: a simple pair of lightweight gray sweatpants and an equally basic lightweight gray sweatshirt.

Below are a three more images that channel a similar look. From left: Lover fall; style blogger wearing Everlast sweat shorts; Alex Wang resort '10 sweat pants; Isabel Marant sweat pants from the spring/summer '09 runway.

(photos courtesey of

The idea for the sweatshirt came from the two images (among others):

(Son of John sweater, (

For the top I used a preexisting American Apparel lightweight sweatshirt. The feather epaulets were purchased from MJ Trimming. I also bought (from elsewhere) a pack of single feathers, and attached them to the feather patches to make them richer and to give them the shape I wanted (the original patched were feather-skimpy, in my opinion). After hand-sewing the feather epaulets to the sweatshirt, I steam-shaped them to conform to the shape of the shoulders.

Next, I drew a pattern for the sweatpants - very basic one – elastic casings at the waist and ankles and inseam pockets in the outseams. One important note, unless you are going for a dhoti pant, keep the rise reasonable (not exaggerated), but do not do a low-rise. I am an XS in RTW and went with 9” front rise. The point is, you are not making yoga pants; instead, you are going after a soft, loose look. After making the pant, I rolled the ankles twice, because it tapers the overall silluette.
As far as styling: I think that when you are going after a monochromatic look (layered or not), it is important to keep the ensemble paired down color-wise, with only one contrasting accessory – shoes, handbag, belt. I chose a silver gray narrow belt and gray booties. That left the feather epaulets as my single accessory, which breaks the monochromatic picture, when the sweater is worn by itself. Otherwise, I plan on wearing it with a gray, knit wrap and a wine-brown handbag.

Actually, speaking about gray and brown, I love gray with this rich medium brown (saddle) color, such as the bags below (from left: Botega Veneta and Banana republic), but don't own any leather goods in this beautiful color:

PS: Will post photos of me wearing the sweatshirt and pants some time very soon.


Christine said...

My first reaction after reading the first two paragraphs was "no, not sweatpants...I don't care how 'designer' they are, they're just gonna look sloppy."

But after seeing how you'd style them, I stand corrected. :-) Very casual and VERY sleek. Can't wait to see photos of your outfit.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

The feather epaulettes are so fashion forward!

Cafe Couture said...

Nice outfit and I would never thought to put all this stuff together, but looks so trendy.

Sonya said...

Wow. Great outfit. Really true to Isabel Marant's aesthetic. Isabel Marant is featured on girlcrushoftheday.