A favorite part of our job is the photo shoots of a new Collection with models. Children are just fun to be around, especially when they start out a bit self-conscious and progress to an all out performance during the shoot of... Special Occasion dresses for girls, Christening Gowns, the seasonal collection of girls dresses for Spring/Summer, or the back to school dresses from our Fall/Winter collections. Every season brings its own inspiration, mood, and atmosphere. For example in the Fall/Winter and Holiday Collection of dresses we add soft and beautiful faux fur and wool coats for girls with matching Bonnets, Hats, and Muffs. All this dress up definitely informs the kids this is all special and they rise to the occasion. We keep it short and playful so everyone has a good time. They are happy to come back the next season; we like to think they have gained images of something they will want to remember when they grow up. Over the years we have seen that be the case as our models have grown up, gone forward with their lives, and even a few have brought their own babies to be models!
It starts with finding the location, for Spring/Summer dresses and bubbles, the beach is hard to beat and since we are based in Los Angeles, California, this is easy. For Fall/Winter dresses, rompers and coats a forest-like setting is an adventure little girls (and not so little girls) love. The big deal is the location for Holiday dresses and Special Occasion dresses. We aim at an environment that is less inspired by nature and more by the atmosphere that would surround an important event.
Once we have the location, we contact our never ending number of fantastic Moms, willing to bring their little ones to the location on the day and time agreed.
Back to School, Fall Winter dresses and Spring Summer dresses have our girls in and out of the many styles in a breeze, they climb the trees, play with the sand, and most of them are somehow disconnected from the camera and the pictures being taken as they play.
A Holiday dress or a Special Occasion dress photo shoot, brings out a completely different behavior from the little girls modeling. Once in the dresses, they acquire a princess like attitude. Without any prompting, they straighten up their back, they walk carefully, they pick up the sides of the dress going up or down steps…They know it…They feel it…They are beautiful. The moms and/or grandmas or dads on the spot are spellbound by the transformation of the same girls that were climbing trees or rocks in the prior photo shoot, the same girl whos mom said, "She doesn't wear dresses, she is a total tomboy."
In the many years we have been doing photo shoots with girls of all races, sizes, and ages; we are all mesmerized by the behavior that comes from wearing a dress that feel special in all girls, even those as young as 2 years old! We wonder about the place of elegance and the multiple social graces that come with it. It seems so intuitive in these girls who, like all of us, live in a world that casual dressing informs most or all of our days and we wonder...Are we missing something?
Discover the elegant possibilities in our Holiday and Special Occasion Dresses for Girls
A few years back in my constant search for artisans I met Javier and his wide variety of handmade dolls and toys, I was very impressed by the playfulness and variety of his designs. It took a while for us to find a way to incorporate his dolls to what we do. I really wanted to develop a way in which anyone could engage in the creative and playful process of designing their own doll. The final pieces came together last summer our website has a Dolls Tab and is invited to create their very own doll and name it. Two to three weeks later they will receive the doll with the characteristics they chose. It has been tremendous FUN to see how engaged people get and we have had dolls with names as simple as DORA to more involved ones such as ANN WAVERLY, with and without fringe/bangs, black and white, blonds and brunettes, straight and curly hair...you name it...each with an adorable outfit!
I was intrigued by Javier and his work and decided to interview him a week ago. We met at a coffee shop where he told me how he started making dolls.
His grand father had been a carpenter and made toys, his mother also made toys, many dolls. He grew up helping them along until he went on to study graphic design, a field in which he worked for 15 years. During a visit to his parents home, in the south, he run into old magazines, pictures and toy patterns and had a revelation, this was who he was, these were his roots; he wanted to go back to the playful and fantasy environment he grew up in of handmade toys. Initially he kept his job while developing his ideas, and eventually he felt confident enough to believe he could support himself doing what he loved and he's never regretted it.
It has been a pleasure to have Javier join the group of wonderful artisans behind everything we do at IG and I look forward to the fun possibilities we will be able to offer you in the future.
...dreaming... ...Javier... ....playing at the beach...
...fall leaves... ...rocking...
This Summer indulge in the pleasure of a creative activity!
Or send a Gift Certificate to a child you love to Design their own Handmade Doll!
Be Sure to follow and share pictures of your dolls on their new adventures!
At this time of the year I thought I would share something I designed for my family...A WISH TREE...
H a p p y H o l i d a y s
From Isabel Garreton
the idea is that everyone notes their wish or wishes in a strip of paper and attaches it to the tree. On Christmas Eve we will place all the wishes in the fireplace so they may travel to Heaven. For those who do not have a blackboard wall available, you may try the colored painters tape that doesn't damage the wall.
Isabel Garretón: Founder, Itsatwist – San Pedro, CA
For more than 20 years, Isabel Garretón has used her passion for fashion to help underprivileged women support their families. In doing so, she supplies them with “a dignified work opportunity.” After facing challenges balancing work and motherhood, she realized how hard it must be for women without all the advantages she had to do the same.
She started her own fashion company and hired women from her native Chile who were skilled at sewing and embroidery but had trouble finding jobs. Women in Chile have been underrepresented in the workforce, with most household responsibilities still considered as their duty. Garreton designs dresses, coats, dolls, scarves and more. All of the proceeds from her newest venture, Itsatwist, go back to the women who help create them. Over the past two decades, her team has grown from 21 women to more than 100. Her products have been featured in Vogue, Town & Country Weddings and Parenting magazines.
IG: There are always women in search of an opportunity. Our goal is to provide each person with a constant flow of work so they can rest assured that they will have a steady income. By allowing mothers to earn a living to care for their children, we give families a chance for happier, healthier lives.
LPB: Where did you acquire capital to start?
IG: Initially, funding was a challenge and I faced a lot of rejection. I finally got a local small bank to listen to my cause, and they provided a loan. The money allowed the company to grow, and we kept our business at that bank for more than 19 years until it was acquired by a larger, impersonal institution. I started searching again until I found Union Bank, which offered the support I needed.
LPB: What’s been your proudest moment?
IG: When Michelle Bachelet, the President of Chile, came to visit President Obama. She brought the Obama girls two of our dresses! Well aware of the social impact the company has made, President Bachelet also invited our workers to visit her at the Government Palace. Another one of my proudest moments was just a couple of weeks ago, on the day before Thanksgiving. I received an email from the company that said, "We know that in your country, this holiday is when people say thank you. So we wanted to join by saying ‘thank you’ to you.” No words can express where my heart was taken by this message.