How I got into Vogue Italia

What time is it? It's time I looked in to say Hi! and share another of my shaggy dog stories! Also, I want you all to share in a tiny moment of glory but I have no idea how much longer the links will work.

As you might recall, I didn’t get very far with my own business, but in the process of trying I did get quite a lot better at pattern cutting. So, after a season of health issues and career uncertainty, and needing to get into a more positive routine, I persuaded my friend over at ByBrown to take me on part time. I started there at the beginning of the year and so far it’s all been good.

Surprisingly for a small brand, (but less so for the quality of the product - I am a long time fan) ByBrown was scouted by Vogue Italia to feature as one of their Next Green Talents. I always appreciated Melanie's approach to quality and sustainability, which you can read about in her own words if you can scroll past the eye candy. 

Anyway. This last month I’ve been helping out with the featured collection, which was built around a series of hand-printed fabrics developed by Marnix Postma (that’s him with the tattoos). I’ve been working mainly on pattern development and other technical details, but I also had some input on the final styling, which went something like this.

Among the collection were some digital prints derived from an original artwork, in stretch knit and cotton velvet. The lightweight knit was made up into some gorgeous body wear and it came out beautifully. On the other hand, the velvet proved harder to tame. With time was running out and no wearable garments it looked like it was heading for the reject pile. I saw its potential and was pretty sure it could be rescued.

And so, on Friday afternoon, less than 48 hours before the shoot, I draped a pair of culottes. If you make clothes yourself and you’ve worked with large scale prints, you can probably see what I was up against. Everything depends on placement and proportion - a wrong tuck and the whole design collapses. Too long and you’re wearing curtain material. But with a bit of luck you might find a sweet spot where it all falls into place.

See, this is the kind of “fast fashion” I can get behind. It’s nothing like the brand’s technical sportswear, where products can be months in development, it’s just a very simple design to showcase a striking fabric. But I wasn’t expecting these culottes, made more or less for the fun of it, to make it past the house stylist, let alone onto the Vogue Italia website.

And yes, those are my YLF-endorsed Ann D’s. I loaned them for the shoot.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Tanya replied 4 years ago

    What a great story, thanks for sharing. I am sooo impressed. The culottes are stunning

  • Jenn replied 4 years ago

    WOW. Congratulations!

  • Sheila replied 4 years ago

    Amazing! I am in awe. Congratulations!!!

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    HAH. I LOVE THIS STORY, Liz. CONGRATS, and a well deserved feather in your cap.

    I enjoyed that Vogue Italia borrowed your shoes for the shoot best of all. How very special and satisfying. And fast fashion comes in all sorts, doesn't it. Good job. 

    Glad to hear that things are working out. 2018 is a better year for most it seems. Good luck, and much love to you. xo

  • Cardiff girl replied 4 years ago

    What fabulous and funky culottes,well done you .

  • kkards replied 4 years ago

    FAB!!!! this is sooooo exciting!

    and love love love that your boots were featured!

  • Emily K replied 4 years ago

    Thank you for sharing--what an amazing accomplishment.  I am in awe of people who get their work out of their head and DO something with the ideas!  Also, of people who grab an opportunity and make good on it.  You win so hard in both categories!

  • Jane replied 4 years ago

    Brilliant - super cool to be in Vogue Italia.

    They are beautiful culottes.

  • rachylou replied 4 years ago

    !!!!!Squeee!!!!! You’re famous and I know you!!! :D

    The culottes are AMAZING. Pattern draping is frightening.

  • Janet replied 4 years ago

    Oh, that textile and your design are just amazing! Congrats, and well done! Sometimes I think we come up with really great work when we don't have time to overthink or overwork it, and when we really have no expectations around it. 

    Fun that they used your shoes too. :-) 

  • Elizabeth P replied 4 years ago

    What a GREAT story.  Congrats!
    The culottes are amazing.

  • Jenni NZ replied 4 years ago

    Wow Liz! Bow down! Exciting and amazing with your talent and your shoes x

  • Sara L. replied 4 years ago

    Great story!  Those culottes are fantastic.  I especially love that they used your shoes too.

  • rebekahphoto replied 4 years ago

    excellent! thanks for sharing, I love the pattern & color on those culottes!

  • Sal replied 4 years ago

    That is a very exciting story. The culottes look sensational and it is very apt that your boots were also included.

    What a fun and exciting start to the year!

  • tulle replied 4 years ago

    How absolutely thrilling!  What a great photo--that fabric design, printed on both broadcloth and jersey? Love it!  The outfit is fresh and exciting (and those shoes don't hurt.)  Good for you, landing on your feet in such an interesting place. I guess you can think of the time you put into your own line as a kind of sabbatical, and well spent.  Congratulations!

  • approprio replied 4 years ago

    Oh wow! Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all your support. Sorry for such a quick reply, but I have to dash off shortly and I'm trying to get through the rest of the forum...

    Angie, that's very kind, thank you. So many things to say about fast fashion, but it definitely has its place - there always needs to be room for change and development. I'm still mulling over your post...
    Janet, that is so interesting! It's certainly very liberating to take the pressure off the process and just go with the flow. 
    rachylou: haha that's hilarious! I am never going to be famous. And if anything I do is ever famous, I will make sure it doesn't have my name on it ;)

  • LaPed replied 4 years ago

    How cool is that! Congrats, and thanks for sharing. Gorgeous, funky culottes, and I love that your very own shoes get to have a little moment in the spotlight.

  • unfrumped replied 4 years ago

    No words. Ah- mazing. You go. So much fun ( and work!) in one photo.

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 4 years ago

    Wow, I'm so impressed. Draping the culottes with a time crunch is like your own episode of Project Runway, and you came through with a beautiful result. Great job, and congratulations on your position!

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Wow!!!!!! This is incredible and what a gorgeous pair of culottes! Coming back when off my phone!

  • Bonnie replied 4 years ago

    Wonderful story. The culottes are amazing and it sounds like you are in a great place.

  • Greyscale replied 4 years ago


  • Dianna replied 4 years ago

    Great story, congratulations!  Those culottes are fantastic, and look at that print.  How great that they used your shoes too. 

  • Cee replied 4 years ago

    YAY !!!

  • replied 4 years ago

    Wow - I'm so excited to see this !  Very cool and such a vote of confidence in your talents.  Way to go!

  • Kathie replied 4 years ago

    Wow!! Wonderful story, and your design is perfect for the print! Congratulations!

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Oh, those are some statement culottes. And so much fun they used your shoes, too! I just can't get over how beautiful the fabric is...truly stunning work. Brava!!! 

  • Mary Beth (formerly LBD) replied 4 years ago

    Wow!   That is so impressive and exciting!   Congratulations!

  • Mainelady replied 4 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your great story and congratulations!

  • Barbara Diane replied 4 years ago

    Congratulations! And even without your story or connection I would be wowed by the culottes.

  • Marilyn replied 4 years ago

    Fantastic!  I love that they used your boots for the photo shoot.  Very cool! :)

  • JAileen replied 4 years ago

    Wow! I’m really impressed. Congratulations!

  • Windchime replied 4 years ago

    Congratulations! Somehow it seems perfectly appropriate that this happened to you. You have so much talent and passion for fashion. And what fab culottes!

  • Toban replied 4 years ago

    Stunning culottes! Love their vibrancy. Thanks for sharing.

  • Style Fan replied 4 years ago

    Amazing culottes.  The fabric is stunning.  And they used your boots!!!  I am in awe of your talents.

  • annagybe replied 4 years ago

    Dang!!! Seriously absolutely amazing!
    Oh crikes, just beyond awesome

  • Jaime replied 4 years ago

    Wow! I am awed. And I am going to look for this issue - collector's edition! Thank you for the wonderful story.

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    Congratulations!  You created a beautiful garment and many women would love to own.

  • Runcarla replied 4 years ago

    Wow, Liz! gorgeous colours. The coulottes design really showcases the pattern. Congratulations!

  • Nadya replied 4 years ago

    That’s awesome! And amazing fast creative work on your part. Brava!

  • Sisi replied 4 years ago

    WHAT?! Your creation is beautiful and the interview with Melanie is fascinating. Oh, I am so proud of you!

  • cindysmith replied 4 years ago

    What a story you have to tell <3 Congrats on a fab pair of culottes that made it into a fashion magazine!

  • replied 4 years ago

    Congratulations.  This is really exciting.  

  • Staysfit replied 4 years ago

    Congratulations! We have enjoyed seeing your creative talent on YLF and now you have some official industry endorsement of something we have known all are a special, talented, creative person who deserves all the best! Awesome culottes!

  • Gail replied 4 years ago

    Congratulations , what a talent you have !!

  • lyn67 replied 4 years ago

    Ahmazing story and achievement! Now I can proud myself knowing somebody at Vogue:-))))).

  • olga replied 4 years ago

    Great experience I believe
    Such moments and what you feel at that time are good to "save" in your memory to use when life is not st it's best

  • RobinF replied 4 years ago

    That is so exciting - congrats! And the culottes are fabulous!

  • Vix replied 4 years ago

    Late but...what a story / coup / testament to your creativity!

    And on a career note -- I love when what seems like a side- or even back- step end up taking us forward.

    Here's to continuing your momentum!

  • Lynn replied 4 years ago

    Congratulations. Gorgeous. I have done a little draping so get the challenge especially with such a big print. Kudos to you. 

  • approprio replied 4 years ago

    Everyone, thank you all so much for your generous feedback. I wish I could claim more than good luck and opportunism, because that fabric was just too good to waste. I don't know what else to say just now because it's all very surreal. No idea if it will have any lasting significance but it's certainly a nice start to the year.

    Firecracker: haha and surely you know I watch Project Runway instead of horror films?! Honestly, that show scares the life out of me!

    : Nobody round here seems to know whether the feature is going into the print edition. If we find out I will certainly let you know!

  • Gaylene replied 4 years ago

    Wow! And that is VERY spectacular use of a challenging fabric!

  • viva replied 4 years ago

    So exciting! This is definitely the closest I have come to fashion stardom. :)

  • Bijou replied 4 years ago

    Endorsed by Vogue Italia, it does not get better than that! Congratulations. A stunning design. 

  • Inge replied 4 years ago

    How brilliant is this, Liz! Congratulations! (And fab that you are enjoying your new job!)

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