Trick or treat?

Photo courtesy of Dominique – Eveline Müller of De- Showoutfits

This is Halloween season! And everybody loves it! The magical atmosphere, the warm colors, the creepy aura… The show clothing industry is always in search of new inspirations and Halloween could be the perfect one! You are probably asking yourself how something so far away from horse showing could be a source of inspiration. Here there is the explanation.

First of all: the colors. Orange is the main color if we think to Halloween. It is not often seen on show clothes, so it is original and it will make you stand out! It can be easily paired with a black, dark blue or grey based jacket, vest or Horsemanship top.

Green and purple, maybe mixed together, make me think to witches. They are a wonderful combination that fits every rider, from Youth to Select, and permits you to avoid the more classical black based outfits.

Ruby red is a perfect, elegant, color that can be worn all year long for any level show.

Grey is going to be the must have of 2019 show season. Basically if fits with all the shades I talked about above.

Regarding the patterns, Halloween season is full of ideas! You can get inspired by bat wings, spiders, ghosts, witches cauldrons, pumpkins, skeletons, zombies, and so on.

 

Makeup is going to be fun too! But we should always remember that we are entering an arena for showing a horse, so we should leave a part the fantastic Halloween makeup tutorials we can see in internet. However, for a “wow effect”, we can create smokey eyes and we can play with lipsticks: orange, ruby red, purple, even black and green.

What do you think about Halloween inspired outfits? Would you wear one of them?

Showmanship look of the week

It was horse show bound last week and I would like to share with you my beloved Showmanship look 😉 Everyone knows black and purple are my favorite colors… And as Showmanship is my favorite class I wanted these colors for my outfit too. So my jacket is a heavy embellished black base piece with purple, lilac, silver and white decorations. The design is geometrical and, as I wanted a punk/rock look, I asked my stylist to decorate it with spikes and chains. The trousers, the boots and the hat were black.

I wanted to dare with my nails and makeup. I just went to my beautician with a photo of my jacket and I asked her to pair my nails with my outfit.

My make up was pretty eye catching too. I created a smoky eye in the pink brown tones and I applied a lot of mascara to obtain a “drama” look. My favorite part was the lipstick. As I forgot home the burgundy lipstick I normally wear, I applied a bright purple one… And I loved it!

The hearings were simple, lilac and, of course, sparkling.

What do you think about this look?

Grey vibes

Photo courtesy of La Collezione di Anna

 

Fall shows are coming and it is time to plan your new outfit for next year. If you don´t know what color to choose… choose grey. And when I say grey, I mean total grey: grey hat, grey chaps, grey boots and grey top. And a lovely grey lipstick too.

I was at the FEQHA European Championship and there was literally an invasion of grey outfits! Some where a darker shade, while others were a lighter one, but it was definitely the most worn color after black.

It is an easy color to match! I love it paired with red or burgundy… it gives an “haute couture” feeling. It is classy  paired with blue, while it gives a rock look paired with purple. If you like delicate tones, you can add some light blue and pink too. If I were a Youth rider, I would pair it with some brilliant colors!

 

It is also an easy color to best describe your personality: if you want a “princess-like” look, you can add some pearls (maybe colored ones), while if you want to look like a “bad girl” you can add spikes and chains.

It is often difficult for Amateur riders to find a dark color ( a part from black) that is elegant and appropriate to show. In my opinion dark grey is perfect: it´s different, but not too weird.

I love grey! What do you think about it? Would you choose it for your next outfit?

 

The coming back of zip up shirts

The question has never been “if” but “when”. It is a matter of fact that zip up shirts are coming back. Fashion is like a circle: you can go on and on but sooner or later you pass from the same point.

Zip up shirts were trendy around 10 years ago, than they were replaced by jackets, vests and more simple button-down shirts. Couple of years ago, when the bolero trend exploded, zip up shirts started to hit the scene again, worn under the micro vests. But a bolero can´t be used for Horsemanship… So if you had Pleasure (or any other class) followed by Hsm, the logical consequence was to take off the bolero and to remain with the zip up!

And, why not, during summer they can be worn for every class as well.

Most of the horse shows are organized during long, hot summer days. Showing under the sun can be exhausting, but your day can really improve if you stay cool. When you choose your zip up shirt be sure it is made with a light material that keeps you cool and comfortable.

Moreover, thanks to the zipper, they are fast to wear and to take off!

If you are not a fan of heavy Horsemanship tops, this kind of shirt is ideal for you; and it can be easily worn also for Reining and Working Cow Horse where you need a “lighter” look.

I really like to wear zip up shirts as they make me feel comfortable and not hot all the time.

What do you think about them?

 

Take the stress away

Photo courtesy of Mel Loebel of ekedie Show Clothing and Tina Eger

One of the biggest cause of stress at horse shows is changing outfit. If you are an All Around  rider, you know you have to hurry up for moving from an arena to the other, from the boxes to the pen, and from the tack room to the boxes. Most disciplines require a change of outfit: it is not possible to show Showmanship with a bolero, as it is not possible to show Horsemanship with a fringed jacket or vest.

It would be beautiful to have a piece that can be used for every discipline. But is it possible? Mel Loebel, owner of ekedie Show Clothing, found a solution to make the life of an All Around rider easier. She created a jacket with zip up sleeves, so you can have a jacket and a vest.

The project has a deep neckline: you can wear it with a “dickie” if you want to use it for Showmanship or as a riding jacket; otherwise, you can remove the sleeves, wear a plain fitted shirt under it, and you will have a vest set. For Horsemanship, you just have to remove your vest and you will be ready to show with your shirt.

This innovative project permits you to wear only one piece all day long. From Showmanship to Pleasure, you just have to remove or add the sleeves and you will avoid to run to the tack room after every discipline to change your clothes!

Nicola Eger is a competitor from Germany who just purchased one of this outfits from ekedie Show Clothing and she shared her feedback with us: “Mel is a friend of my mum and me and we know what sensational outfits she makes. So we asked her if she could make me a Showmanship Outfit. I wrote her my wishes, but most of the ideas came from Mel. She thought to create an outfit that included also a vest. It was of course a great idea! Mel has so many ideas, she is so creative and so patient… She obvioulsy loves what she is doing.  The outfit looked nicer with every email she sent me, but I never expected it would be that great. I really like that I can zip off the arms and wear it as a vest with a blouse. Moreover, for Showmanship, Mel made me three different ‘dickies’ to vary. I think the best is that the outfit is really changeable and I have lots of possibilities. I love it really much!”

(Here you can see Nicola together with her trainer after the Showmanship Golden Series qualifications in Kreuth, Germany)

I think this project could be really helpful to keep the “horse show nerves” under control! Moreover, it is really innovative!

I would like to thank Mel for letting me know about her innovative project and for sending me all the “work in progress” photos! Thank you!!

Angel´s feathers

Photo courtesy of Kate Szumanska of Show Funky Clothing

If show jackets had a soul, I would say it is made of their decorations. Without them, show clothing would be just pieces of fabric. Decorations don’t just make the garment beautiful, but they represent the rider’s personality. Spikes, chains, pearls, fringes… the possibilities are endless.

Today we are going to speak about feathers. Feathers are not as popular as fringes, but you can see them at every big show. They have an allure of freedom, maybe because they are connected with the idea of flying. Kate Szumanska, founder of Show Funky Clothing, is a big fan of feathers. I asked her why she likes them so much and how she came to the idea to use them.

 

Do you use a lot of feathers in your show clothing line?

Kate: I wouldn’t say I use them really a lot although I have had some and I plan to make a couple more soon. But probably compared to most designers I am quite fond of them.

Why did you come to the idea to use feathers?

 Kate: It is not only about the feathers. I would have to say it is more about the shoulder pieces in general. I got inspired with shoulder piece work and feathers work by the singer Adam Lambert. He has quite stunning outfits and a wild style that I personally love and find catchy for the eyes. I like my clothing line to stand out and have kind of a high fashion vibe to it. The name Show Funky Clothing says it all: the garments from me are supposed to be funky, fun and original.

In what part of the garment do you normally use them?

Kate: I use them on the shoulders. I think these accessories compliment the show shirt or jacket itself but also the rider’s silhouette. It brings out that extra sharp look and catches they eyes. I am not a fan of the big and bulky shoulder accessories but I think some beads, fringes, feathers and so on really make the show outfit stand out.

Thank you Kate!!!

As Kate said, feathers are mostly popular over the shoulders, no matter if it is a jacket, a vest or a zip up shirt. They can be a really fun accessory, especially if you want to mix different colors!

Do you like feathers? Would you use them on your show clothes?

The cutest clothes on earth

Photo courtesy of Brittanie Herrnstein of Brittz Glitz

Kids are the future of our industry. The small fry of today is the World Champion of tomorrow. Moreover, they add cuteness to every horse show! It is always really sweet to watch the lead line class and see so many kids enthusiast about their four legged friends.

But how important is fashion for children? Is it difficult to make them happy when it is about show clothes? To find out more about it, I interviewed Brittanie Herrnstein of Brittz Glitz. Brittanie is specialized in creating clothes for the little ones and she explained me how it is to work with them. Do you want to find out more? Than go on reading 😉

 

What is appropriate to wear for a kid?

Brittanie: In my opinion ANYTHING with lots of sparkle and color. I’m a big fan of a ton of color on the kids clothing. I also love the classic black, but you have to add a big pop of color, kids are only little once so I believe we need to embrace the youthful look as long as we can!

Normally mums choose clothes for their kids. How much want kids to choose their own outfit?

Brittanie: I have been blessed with amazing clients, where mom and child work together. Moms usually pick the main color and we let the kids choose the fun parts of the designs. I had a little girl last year that was obsessed with unicorns, so I made sure that she had sparkly unicorns on her vest.

Kids change their minds quite fast, how do you manage to create an outfit that is always “super” for them?

Brittanie: I like to get the kids really excited about their outfit. I add a ton of texture to the majority of my outfits and it’s always fun to watch them find all of the new pieces that they hadn’t seen the first few times they wore their garment. It’s almost like an I spy book that they wear!

What are the main differences in creating outfits for children instead than for adults?

Brittanie: The main difference in creating kids clothing is that I’m able to have a little more fun with color, and to be honest it makes me feel younger. Kids are so creative and so much fun to work with. I like to include them as much as possible through the process of design.

Do you want to add something?

Brittanie: I would like to add that I’m beyond blessed with how far my business has come in such a short amount of time, I have the most amazing clients anyone could ask for. I want to thank my family for everything they do to help Brittz Glitz. I’m excited to see what the future holds!

 

Thanks Brittanie! It was such a pleasure to make this fun and interesting interview to you!

Color is the key word when we talk about kids clothes. Fashion is a fundamental part of showing horses, no matter the age. Little girls dream to look like princesses, and wearing show clothes can make this dream come true. Covered of stones and enlighten with fun colors, they can be stars at every horse show. Because, at the end, we all dream to be princesses 😉

What about teal?

Photo courtesy of Darilyn Turnbull Prevedel of Piccola Rosa Show Clothing

What makes a rider stand out in an arena full of horses? What makes you look from far, when you see an exhibitor, and say: “Wow”? The answer is: colours. We already talked about black, red and there is no doubt about blue being THE colour of 2018. But what about teal? Teal is spreading around fast.

It is pretty difficult to find teal base jackets and vests. You will mostly see black, grey, blue and white bases with a lot of teal accents and airbrushing. But there are more riders showing in teal button down shirts.

Teal is not one of the “classic” colours you would expect to see in the show pen. It is a fresh, summer colour that recalls sea and tropical islands. It is “exotic”, but not too much. It can easily liven up a black outfit and can be worn by every rider, no matter the age or the level. Black pads with teal (and purple) patterns are also a must have!

  

Certainly teal will be part of my Ranch Riding colour palette this year, both for my pad and the shirts.

I love teal and I think we will see it a lot this show season! Do you also love it as much as I do?

Lace and sequins

Photo courtesy of Terry Lackore of Cowgirl Classics Custom Show Clothes

Who said you need stones to sparkle in the show pen? Bling bling can come also in other forms, that are not crystals. Sequins are perfect to sparkle! And they have also some advantages. First of all, they are way cheaper than crystals; so if you want to have a great amount of sparkle without breaking the bank, sequins (or laces embellished with sequins) are the ideal solution for you. If you want to add some extra sparkle more, you can ask your designer to add a limited amount of stones: you will for sure get a “wow effect”. What I like most about lace and sequins is their light weight. Normally richly embellished jackets, vests, or tops are pretty heavy. Many could say that if you want to look good you have to sacrifice comfort… Not always. Lace vests are an extraordinary example of how a light weight piece can make heads turn. As they are transparent, you just have to change the undershirt to get always a new, colourful, look. Moreover, in those really hot summer days, you can wear one of them if you think a button down shirt doesn’t have enough sparkle.

Terry Lackore, owner of Cowgirl Classics Custom Show Clothes, creates show apparel since ten years and she is sewing a lot of garments decorated with lace and sequins. She explained me why they are so popular and how to sew them.

 

We saw a lot of jackets and vests with lace overlays in the last years. Why do you think they are so popular?

Terry: I think the lace adds a delicate feminine touch, dimension and it’s so versatile.

 

What is the main advantage of sequins and lace applications compared to “normal” stones decorations?

Terry: I find some of my clients can get enough sparkle in the show pen with the lace and sequins to satisfy their taste without the huge price tag that crystals add to a budget.

 

Is it difficult to sew lace and sequins over fabric?

Terry: Lace can be tricky to work with as it is a very delicate fabric. You need to make sure it is attached securely as an overlay or appliqués and you need to finish the edges to prevent any fraying. Sequins can wreak havoc with a sewing machine and for whatever reason they tend to break needles. I recall breaking a minimum of 10 needles on a jacket with sequins, but it was beautiful when it was done.

 

Lace and sequins are enough or do you need to add some extra stones?

Terry: It’s all in a clients preference. I’ve done some with just the lace and then some I’ve used thousands of crystals in addition.

 

Lace vests are also very popular. Why?

Terry: I think the lace vests are so popular because you can put several different colored solid shirts under the same vest and get a whole new look. Versatility is great!

Thank you Terry, it has been a pleasure to talk to you!!

So what do you think? Do you like sequins and lace decorations?

Pad obsession

Photo courtesy of Avril Wilson of Collection 33

I have always been obsessed with saddle pads. Every outfit I wear must be coordinated with a pad. As a teenager, I was waiting for the free moments during a horse show to give a look at the stands and find my (next) dream pad. Getting older, and getting more involved in horse show fashion, I discovered that it was possible to create complete sets with a colour scheme. From that moment on, I was not only looking for nice colours, but for good quality pads. Good quality, oversize pads can change a rider´s presentation.

Avril Wilson, owner of Collection 33, was once an intern at April Salisbury´s lab. There, she had the opportunity to learn how to create world quality tops and to increase her passion for showclothes. Now she runs her business in England and she also creates a line of show pads. I asked her what she thinks about pads and the overall presentation of a rider in arena.

 

What are the characteristics of a good quality show pad?
Avril: The wool and the weave. The best pads have a high quality wool that is woven tightly. The tighter the weave the clearer the design. If the weave is loose then the design can sometimes look messy as the lines between colours blur. A tight weave also helps to keep the pad looking new for longer, as loose weaves can catch on things and the pad becomes damaged more quickly. The dye used also affects the clarity of the design, using vivid colours allows the pad to be seen clearly from across an arena. Dull colours merge into one when they are viewed from a distance and this can affect the look of the outfit as a whole.

Why is the show pad so important in the rider’s overall presentation?
Avril: A good saddle pad ties together the riders entire look, it can be used to bring out accenting colours in an outfit and like with changing the shirt you wear with a Vest a change of pad can really lift an outfit and highlight areas of a Jacket or Vest that you have never noticed before.

What are the most popular pad colours?
Avril: I don’t think there is a colour that I haven’t seen on a pad! Blue’s, Red’s and Purples always seem to be popular and of course Black and White is a classic combination that will never be off trend. I love the more unusual combinations such as Teal with Pink and Blue with Orange, but the classic combinations such as shades of Pink with White and Burgundy with Gold will always be popular as they suit many horse colours and offer the rider longevity of use.

And what are the most popular patterns?
Avril: Both in Europe and America we are seeing bold geometric outfit designs which frame the figure and create very dramatic looks. Saddle pads are also following this trend, there is a huge demand for geometric designs that use an assortment of shapes to create details mimicking that of the outfit they are designed to match.

Thank you Avril! It is always a pleasure to have so many wonderful designers collaborating with Fancy In The Sand!

Often riders don’t pay enough attention to their show pad; they focus only on the top and they neglect all the other elements of their outfit. But in the overall presentation every detail is important. A pad coordinated with the horse and the outfit we are wearing will certainly make a great first impression; and it will give you also confidence when you step in the arena.

Do you also think show pads are really important? What are your thoughts about it?