Anna Wintour is the legendary editor of Vogue magazine and the woman on whom the boss in “The Devil Wears Prada” is loosely based.  As one might expect, her style choices are impeccable and enviable.  Lacking her leg length and her pocketbook, I was still able to approximate the look in my own wardrobe.  Here’s the original, plus my own interpretations:

First, Anna at Paris Fashion Week wearing three of her signature, stunning tweed skirt suits:

Being considerably shorter and curvier, I wouldn’t even consider wearing both tweed pieces at once.  I started my copy-cat efforts with a skirt in the same kind of tweed look.  I wanted to echo the fringe detail, but fringing just the hem would create a horizontal focal point low on my body – making me look shorter and wider.  Not exactly my style objective.

So I added a center front seam to my basic pencil skirt pattern and extended the seam allowance from a standard 5/8″ to about 1-1/4″.  I sewed the seam to the outside of the garment, pressed it to one side, zigzagged through all the layers (right next to the seam)  for stability and then raveled away the lengthwise threads to form a vertical fringe detail that balances the hem edge.  Here it is with a coordinating green serplice top.  Can also layer on a short, shaped black jacket (not shown).

Next, on to a multi-color tweed jacket, fringed along the off-grain center edge.  I added a top-stitched band of Ultrasuede to both stabilize the edge and emphasize the diagonal line.  Unlike Anna, I’m just as happy wearing my jacket over dark wash jeans as with the coordinating teal wool crepe skirt.

When the COVID-10 quarantine set me on a quest to sew up my “stash” of fabrics, a cream and black tweed – a gift from a client – was near the top of my list.  Again, it was perfect for a fringed jacket so I chose the Itch to Stitch Hvar cardigan.  Designed to be a casual throw-on piece with a front facing, I eliminated that double layer front in favor of a soft cascade effect. I used skinny black satin ribbon to define the inner edge of the fringe, slipping the ribbon through an opening in the loose weave to bring it to the opposite side of the fabric at the bottom of the cascade.

It is now warm weather and I haven’t gotten to wear this out of the house, but next Fall I know it will be a go-to piece in my wardrobe, whether with a classic pencil skirt or just black jeans.  Maybe I’ll do a winter white skirt+shell or sheath dress – how elegant would that be?  Especially with that Wintour-worthy  stiletto,right?

I expected that to be the end of my fringe-fest.  Then Butterick came out with this gem – 6738 – that included directions for creating a fuller, more color-balanced effect by fringing on the true bias:

And I already had a black/gray/pink jacket in a bag in the closet – half-finished because of that very issue.  The jewel neckline needed that bias technique and the front and hem edges needed a fuller look. 

Problem solved, and here is the result – my FINAL (at least for a while) Wintour knock-off.  Now all I need is a pair of  monster sunglasses…

What designer or style icon inspires some of your wardrobe choices?

About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.

7 Comments

  1. Marlene Milligan on May 10, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    Love your tweed pieces. Hopefully I will be brave enough to try sewing up a tweed jacket one day. Love he look of the jacket with the solid dress. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Cindy Byrne on May 14, 2020 at 10:44 am

    I love your ideas! The cream and black is my favorite!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on May 14, 2020 at 10:49 am

      Thanks Cindy. That jacket is going to be featured in an upcoming issue of the American Sewing Guild e-newsletter as part of an ongoing series of garments made by members using Indy patterns.

  3. Nancy Schaub on May 26, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    I love her style too but also do not have her money or her leg length. I am loving both of your tweeds. They are so hard to find for a Soft Summer. I have yardage of two silk tweeds from Four Seasons Fabric Club 25 years ago. I just need the nerve to cut into them.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on May 26, 2020 at 8:35 pm

      Mine are vintage pieces from my stash. Used to gt them from Thai silks but their selection of silks in total isn’t as good as it used to be. I also got some from the factory outlet store of the Doncaster clothing line, but of course now all that production is off-shore. That’s the price we pay for the collective mentality that demands the cheapest possible pricing o everything … So sad.

  4. Elaine on June 2, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    I also love the cream and black tweed jacket. The cascading collar and how you did the fringing with the black ribbon really made for a very chic image. Would like one just like it! I sew too and it’s great to be able to sew up what inspires you from others. Thank you for sharing this post with us.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 2, 2020 at 7:16 pm

      I’m working now on a post about inspiration sources. So many seem to view that as ideas to copy and – not that I haven’t done that very thing – but now I find it more fun to take an idea and spin it in a somewhat different but related direction

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