Back to School...Old School

In honor of the first week of school, the LEO DUO ladies are giving you a glimpse of their school style in the eighties.  You're welcome.

Jeannie's senior portrait

Jeannie's senior portrait

Jennifer's senior portrait

Jennifer's senior portrait

Jeannie put that sweet purple fringed suede leather jacket on layaway at Wilson’s while she worked at the Sears in Brookfield Square Mall to pay it off.  Worth.  Every.  Penny.  Even though her manager in the Domestics Department at Sears did reprimand her, and tell her to tone down her Cyndi Lauper look (her hair was actually inspired by Robert Smith of The Cure).  Jeannie also haunted vintage stores (they knew her by name) for wearable antiques.  And did we mention the car she drove throughout high school had zebra stripes?  That gal was stone cold stylin’, even way back when.

How did Jeannie get that gnarly custom paint job?  She "knew a guy" - of course!

How did Jeannie get that gnarly custom paint job?  She "knew a guy" - of course!

Meanwhile, Jennifer went back-to-school shopping with her older sister.  They each had a clothing allowance to budget, and Jennifer slyly got her sister to pool their money together, claiming they could share all the clothes.  Even though her older sister typically wore camp shirts and oxfords, Jennifer tried to convince her they would both get SO much wear out of that Technicolor paisley trench coat on the sale rack at Macy’s.  Belt it and wear it as a dress!  C'mon!  Two looks in one!  (Needless to say, Jennifer got a rad paisley coat that her sister paid half of and hardly wore.)

Jennifer in 1986...with her most hated haircut ever, the one that made her look like a boy.

Jennifer in 1986...with her most hated haircut ever, the one that made her look like a boy.

And those colorful collection of Converse you see Jennifer wear almost every day?  A habit she picked up in 1986 from her twin brother, who would wear a different color on each foot.  (Trust us, he made it look cool.  Especially when he wore them with plaid pants, suspenders, and a Bullwinkle t-shirt.  Okay, maybe cool isn't quite the word.)  Back then, the Converse were hi-tops, never low, sometimes hand painted, and usually worn with pegged jeans.

And just as a reminder, here is what Jeannie looked like in 1986.  Ah, never underestimate what a difference hair spray and a driver's license can make in the life of a teen!

Jeannie in 1986...wearing a vintage beaded 1950's numbter.  Ready for the red carpet, and at such a tender age!

Jeannie in 1986...wearing a vintage beaded 1950's numbter.  Ready for the red carpet, and at such a tender age!

Jennifer in 1989...wearing her very own Wilson's Leather jacket.

Jennifer in 1989...wearing her very own Wilson's Leather jacket.

But before we call this a landslide victory for Jeannie's 1980's fashion sense, let us check out Jennifer a couple years later, in 1989.  

Gone is the boyish haircut.  And now she's got a batwing sleeved leather jacket (she used to go into Wilson's just to breathe the leather scented air), and a kick butt attitude to match!  

But look at the size of those glasses...and the turtleneck...and the black pantyhose beneath the skin-tight, high-water, faded, ripped jeans?  And dear Lord, are those jazz shoes??

Nevermind.  Jeannie for the win!

Rocking the Rocky Mountain Runway

One of our LEO DUO designers was recently featured at a fashion show in Colorado!  The event, Fashion in Focus, was held at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design on Saturday.  Below is one of our favorite looks from the show.  Take a gander at this beautiful silk wrap dress, draped and hand dyed by Jeannie using the Shibori technique. 

The ancient Shibori dye process ensures that no two garments will ever be exactly alike.  Photo by Jayde Alexis.

The ancient Shibori dye process ensures that no two garments will ever be exactly alike.  Photo by Jayde Alexis.

Congratulations on a terrific showing, Jeannie!

A Sea of Silk: How to choose the correct color

How does one go about choosing the perfect shade when designing a garment?

The subtle differences between shades can amount to an overwhelming array of fabric choices.

The subtle differences between shades can amount to an overwhelming array of fabric choices.

The first thing to consider is the mood you are trying to convey.  Every color on the spectrum elicits an emotional response from the viewer.  Colors can be calming or invigorating, sophisticated or edgy.  Think of the color you might wear on a business interview: would you choose a bold persimmon, or a classical Wedgewood blue?

The line of the garment will do some of the speaking for you, of course.  Say you choose to wear a red dress.  Along with the shade of red, line and silhouette will be the difference between conjuring romantic images of Chris De Burgh's "Lady in Red" or sultry visions of "Whatever Lola Wants".

When discussing colors with our clients, LEO DUO always listens to their ideas and then offers guidance of our own.  We may go on an excursion to Los Angeles to swatch fabric choices, or order samples from our vendors in New York.  We love to see the differences between twelve shades of turquoise silk, or the myriad subtleties between violet, aubergine, and eggplant.  Showing these options to the client is always a highlight of the early design process; you find out what speaks, what sings, and what absolutely shouts!

Let us know if you want us to keep an eye out for something for you.  We are always exploring our fabric options, and would be happy to order some samples for you to peruse.  Trust us, it is LOTS of fun to see what is out there!

LEO DUO at the San Diego Arts Red Carpet VIP Arts & Summer Fashion

Jeannie setting up the LEO DUO booth at the beautiful Mission Bay Golf Course.

Jeannie setting up the LEO DUO booth at the beautiful Mission Bay Golf Course.

Last weekend LEO DUO participated in our first combination arts and fashion event.  This charity event, with benefits going to the San Diego Arts Foundation, brought together fashion designers, visual artists, and even musicians, for an afternoon of art all around.

And how did it go?  Poor Jeannie never got the chance to sit down!  In fact, guests who arrived early for the charity golf game were swarming the LEO DUO booth before we even finished setting up.  (Many thanks to our lovely friend Jenny for helping us out at the event - we could not have survived without you!)

The dress forms displaying our custom costume work lured guests from afar, but the main attraction was our new jewelry collection.  Each piece is one-of-a-kind, created with vintage elements, combined with a modern sensibility.  We received such enthusiastic feedback - everyone seemed to love the looks, and could not wait to try them on.  You may get your chance, too, as we will soon be putting some pieces up for sale on our website.  Stay tuned!