Happy 2nd Blogiversary to The Style Engineer

Happy Birthday to The Style Engineer! It has been a great second year blogging, and it wouldn’t have been the same without all you wonderful readers! Thank you so much for continuing to read and  love The Style Engineer.

This past blogging year was full of new things. For one, a few new segments were introduced: Currently Craving, and I Love My…, and What Jack Wore.

I also started to feature myself a bit more on the blog than I have in the past, to a mostly positive response-Thank you!
I went to the Footwear News Summit in June which was such a great learning experience, and I was so honored to be chosen as one of the live blogger for the event!
This year I also had the opportunity to travel more, and I couldn’t have been happier. I love traveling and experiencing new places- and I love seeing what people where in different parts of the world! This year in the U.S. I went to Wyoming (one of my most favorite places in the world), Arizona with one of my very oldest and very best friends, L.A., and of course San Francisco, where I am originally from. 
I also went abroad this past year to London, Italy, and Paris- twice! It was my first time in Paris, which I was lucky enough to visit twice, and I have truly fallen in love with it. The city is so beautiful, so vibrant, and has the certain je ne sais quoi. (or maybe it’s the Laduree…) I went once in the summer, and once for Fashion Week- my first Paris Fashion Week! Everyone always tells stories of how insane it is, how the street style photographers practically form a wall in the Tuileries, etc., and it’s all true.
 I never thought it would be that much crazier than New York or London Fashion Week (which I also went to for the first time this fall) but it is New York x 1000. And I loved it! Having been at Fashion Weeks in New York, London, and Paris this year, I can tell you that each and every week is different and fabulous in its own way. The way people dress in New York is different than how people dress in London is different that how people dress in Paris. But it’s all great!

Lessage, Paris– definitely one of the highlights of my year was getting to see this amazing embroidery house, and it was unbelievable to see Chanel and Mary Karantzou in the making so up close!
And of course, NYFW!
Hanneli, New York– which was featured in the NY Times Style Section!
Of course, The Style Engineer also got a Facebook page this year, so make sure to like us!

Lesage, Paris

If the name Lesage doesn’t get your heart beating, please leave now. This legendary house, started in 1924, when the embroiderer Michonet sold his house to Marie-Louise and Albert Lesage, is one of six remaining embroidery houses in Paris. The Metiers d’art, or craftsmen, are the ones responsible for the couture you see every season. The costume jewelers, feather workers, milliners, bookmakers, glove makers, fabric pleaters, and embroiderers are the ones who make the exquisite pieces you see on the couture runways (under the designers direction, of course).

 Chanel Sketches

Lesage is perhaps the most famous because of it’s work with Chanel. Yes, it is the house that embroiders Chanel. But Lesage has worked with many other legendary designers, Yves Saint Laurent and Elsa Schiaparelli being two (they still have samples from Elsa-all the way back to the 1930’s!)

They also work with new and emerging designers, Mary Katrantzou being the most notable. As a side note, I am obsessed with her, and was almost more excited to see a garden-print dress being embellished than a tweed being made.

Lesage has over 60 tons of materials, and only 60 employees. Everything is stored beautifully, right down to the color-coded thread in antique shelves. They also have an incredible archive- every time they make a sample it is put into their archive, so they have amassed quite the collection after almost 90 years.

One of the best parts was learning about how the designers collaborate with the craftspeople- designers will come and give the theme, and then the craftsperson will create samples based on the theme and what they think the designer is looking for. The designer will then pick their favorite, and a series of drawings and patterns and samples are made. Once the embroidery is complete, the pieces go back to their respective fashion houses and are assembled there. Pretty cool, right?