Monday, March 22, 2010

Matrushka dresses, Nordstrom, and Liberty of London at Target or, A Busy Busy Weekend

Hi everyone!  Hope you had a wonderful weekend.  My weekend was full of friends, family, and lots and lots of pretty things.  I find myself exhausted, but wanted to post something about all the seeings and doings before the workweek (which is already looking to be rather hectic) overwhelms me.

On Saturday morning, Kathryn and I made a trek out to Silverlake, in Los Angeles, to visit Matrushka Construction.  Kathryn blogged about going there a week ago, and I was so intrigued that I begged her to go again with me.  We met our friend Lisa there as well, and had a great time trying on all the dresses.

This store epitomizes the charming, vibrant, independent boutique shop.  Its walls are hung with the orignial artwork by local artists and friends of the owner, Laura Howe.  The artwork changes, as pieces sell or new work is exhibited.

I asked Laura to let me take some pictures and post them, and she graciously gave me permission.  Here are some of the dresses we tried on:

Left: Veronica Lake dress, size small
Right: Veritian dress, navy blue w/red floral print, small

Left: Veritian dress, green eyelet, size small
Right: Belted Blouse dress with Guatemalan fabric detail, size small

Left: Vintage Halter dress, green and blue print
Right: Vintage Halter dress, brown spiraled plaid 

So, as Kathryn mentioned previously, the owner, designer, and dressmaker of Matrushka, Laura, works in the shop, sitting at her sewing machine, standing behind her cutting table, or pinning customers into their dresses, to create the perfect fit.  I loved the dresses I tried on, but could only buy one, so chose the Veritian dress in the green eyelet.  This empire-waisted dress has a lovely sweetheart neckline which was great - except that with my short waist and small bust, the top of the dress was too big.  Fortunately, all dresses can be tailored to fit your body perfectly for no extra charge! When I asked Laura how long it would take to have the dress altered for me, she replied, "I can do it right now."  She put down what she was currently working on, and came over to take a look at the fit and pin the dress 

Note the pins in the shoulder-area, in the photo above.  After pinning the dress, she took it back to her work bench (in photo at right), and made adjustments, while Kathryn, Lisa, and I continued to browse.  Five minutes later, she asked me to retry the dress, to make sure it was adjusted correctly.  I put it back on, we all took a look, and it fit great!  She took the dress back, reinforced the stitches, and then, that was it!  The dress was folded and placed in one of her cute, handmade bags (made from fabric remnants - so environmentally sound!) and rang me up.  Yay!  Pretty new dress that fits me like a dream!

Matrushka Construction also sells necklaces, earrings, and cufflinks made of handmade glass.  Kathryn picked up a pair of earrings, which you can see a detail of here.  I loved Laura's collection of Russian Nesting dolls that are the "Matrushka" for which the store is named.

This weekend, I also dropped into visit Kelly and pick up a few things I needed during the Triple Points event for Nordstromcard holders.  While there, she pulled a few things that had caught her eye, and that she thought I'd like:

This dress may be familiar to Anthropologie-lovers, as the Leifsdottir Shibori Silk dress.  Now, I confess, I never gave this dress a second look on the Anthropologie website, and even when I saw it hanging in the fitting room, I was dubious.  But I'm so glad Kelly pulled it!  It's gorgeous!  I loved the bold red print, and it fit beautifully, cinching in to give me a waist, and somehow even making me look like I have a bust! The sleeves have a really interesting detail that makes the dress feel very designed - sort of like I was wearing art.  Hahaha...what else can a girl ask for?  Well, maybe a slightly lower sticker price...$300 is a little much for me right now, so Kelly and I decided that we both love this one and that it's on our "snap it up on sale" list, and I have a hunch it may still be available in a range of sizes on sale, as it's definitely a statement piece.

This second dress by Hanii Y, was an unexpected stunner as well (another reason I love Kelly, my Nordstrom Personal Stylist - she always pulls things that I never would, and that surpise me pleasantly).  The dress is deceptively simple, in a long-tank style.  I think on Kelly, who's 5'9" (I think?), this dress would be more of a tunic or a mini.  On my 5'2" frame, however, it worked really well as a dress, hitting right above my knee.  There's some really wonderful raw-edged silk ruffle detailing on the shoulders in the front, and across the shoulder-blades in the back, which makes me reluctant to cover it up with a cardigan.  I think I could manage a cap-sleeved or half-sleeve tee underneath it, to make it work-appropriate if I don't want to wear a cardigan or jacket over it.  Some small pleats falling from the front-center of the neckline gives the dress a very graceful drape, which makes it easy to wear as-is, or just as easy, belted.  It was a little pricey, even on sale, but I think it's a good investment piece that will afford me years and years of good wear.

Switching away from Nordstrom now, I want to briefly mention the Liberty of London collaboration with Target.  I don't know if this has been on your radar at all, but if it hasn't, I think it's worth checking out.  There are all kinds of wonderful things Liberty of London has put together for this collection - dresses, swimsuits, scarves, umbrellas, picture frames, bedding - I was only able to do a super quick perusal, but I picked up a few things I want to share:

On the left is the Liberty of London Double Strap dress in the Mauverina Print ($29.99).  I got it in a size 4, which is about right for Target's GO Int'l stuff.  It's darling, and will look so cute with a cardigan thrown over it!  On the right is a Tiered Ruffle Keyhole tank, in the Multi Color Sixty print ($19.99).  Also super cute - and with all those colors in it, I'll be able to style it with several different cardigans, jackets, jeans, and skirts.  Yay!

I also nabbed this swimsuit, in the Turquoise Isis print.  It's really pretty on, and has detachable straps and a padded bust, which I really appreciate.  The best part?  $34.99!  For a super cute swimsuit!  Love, love, love!  And my last purchase was this scarf, in the Jeffs Leaf Blue.  I want to head back to some of the local Targets here, and see if I can score some of the home goods - the bedding and the lampshades are amazing and pretty much sold out online.

Thanks for sticking through this super long post.  Oh, and don't forget to enter our giveaway for a $20 Anthropologie gift card, if you already haven't.  


  1. Hello ! First time i come across your blog, love your photos inspirations, and your header :) come and visit my inspirations collages blog boubouteatime if you have some time !
    a bientot !
    Boubou xx

  2. Hey! I came across your guest post on EA and thought I would check out your blog..very nice. I also bought the tiered ruffle tank it fits so perfectly and the colours are 60's ish without being obnoxious and grannyfied! I can't wait to break it out this summer.


  3. Me too! I visited because of EA, and really like your blog. *Love* the Leifsdottir Shibori Silk dress on you. It looks stunning - amazing that the online reviews of it haven't been kind.

  4. OOhhh, I have a question: I bought the Isis swimsuit but the detachable straps have me flummoxed...have you tried them? Are there places to attach them on the back which are invisible to me?? If you have any enlightenment, would love to hear it as it is an adorable suit and was so reasonably priced.. I came here from EA too and am so glad I did: you have a lot of variety and a great eye for fun prints and styles!

  5. Thanks, everyone! I'm so glad you all took time out of your busy days to check us out. =)

    Margaret - I was also confused by the straps, because I started off thinking they were supposed to be spaghetti straps, but there's no place to attach them in the back. So, here's my thinking - I think you're supposed to use the straps as a halter that ties behind your neck. Hahaha, at least, that's what I'm going to do unless I figure out something else. It really is an adorable suit, isn't it? Incredibly, I saw one on ebay, that was priced at $79.99! So glad we were able to get them at the regular msrp...

  6. If I could sew, I would tailor your clothing for you. Hugs, Kelly

  7. Oh, Kelly, I know you would - you're just that great. =) Fortunately, you have a whole team of very talented people able to help me out, when I need it.

    Looking forward to seeing you Thursday!

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