According to The Beacon Hellion….

Everyone always asks why I don’t move to New York.  NYC is the fashion capitol of the world, why the heck am I in Boston?  Well, I’ll tell you.  Boston is a unique place with lots to love.  Not that I don’t see a move in my future, but I see real potential for myself here in Boston.  Dubbed the worst dressed city in the US, Boston gets a bad wrap for its  alleged lack of style.  As a native Bostonian, I feel a duty to disprove our horrible reputation.   Contrary to popular belief, there are actually a lot of very stylish people here in this little city. Unfortunately, there are also a lot on the other end of the spectrum.  Those damn cargo short and sports jersey wearing goons are really bringing us down!

 With stores like Riccardi and Alan Balzerian in our midst we have a front row seat to edgy contemporary fashions from all around the world. Even with stores like these available, we do not take full advantage. Bostonians are conservative in their fashion choices, but that’s not to say that they aren’t stylish.  Bostonians express their style differently than fashionistas in most major cities. My favorite stylish Bostonians play with their traditional roots and even poke fun at them. The Ladies might pair leather pants and sneakers with a Chanel Jacket while the gentlemen will wear neon soled spectator shoes with fitted jeans, and a deconstructed tweed sport coat, the look of course topped off with a bowtie. This is a look that says, ‘I’m blowing off lunch at the Somerset Club today to check out this cool new art exhibit with my friends.”

My best advice: You cant be afraid of anything in this life, especially not of wearing cool clothes.

This is My Boston

chynna_designer from Beacon Hill

Like any good Beacon Hellion girl, you are going to have to learn how to traverse those uneven sidewalks and cobblestones in all kinds of shoes….yes, even sky high heels and platforms.


I find that Boston has a little bit of “the best of everything” the world has to offer. Rich in art and culture and filled with beautiful and diverse architecture Boston is a picturesque city with European flair. We have a strong sense of convention and community here. Though it looks back to colonial tradition, we have an admiration for our history and include it in our future. As a hub for education, scientific and medical development, our modest little city is filled with proactive thinkers. Living in such an intelligent population is wonderfully challenging and inspiring. With so much young blood and innovative thought, it seems anything is possible in Boston….even fashion!

Two movers and shakers of The Hill


Recent Berklee College of Music graduate Miguel DeBraganca stops to say hello before heading down to The Paramount for some breakfast.

Its a pretty darn good looking neighborhood if you ask me!

Oh ya, And the pups need to be walked too!

chynna_and the Pups


Try that in heels on cobbles!

Again Thank you to Pierce Harman of Pierce Harman Photography for capturing the magic moments!

Wedding bells are ringing….


 The Sketch


The Muslin


The Underpinnings

This is just one of the many under layers. This layer is probably the mot important of the bunch.  This layer is made up of a light layer of interfacing and plastic boning.  I placed strips of boning on each of my seams, and a diagonal bone acting like a suspension bridge from side seam to princess seam.  This: adding more support where it is needed.  This boning helps the dress and its wearer hold her shape.  With bones strategically placed, any wearer can look like a million bucks!  Ever heard of a corset?  Ya, that’s basically what this is….just custom made.


The Petticoat- And Something Blue

There are many more layers to the skirt.  working from the outside in we have:

The Main body skirt.  This is made up of the fashion fabric in this case, satin.

Train lining. A thin layer of Hang loose lining that will line and clean finish the fashion fabric above.

The next three layers are cut from a different pattern piece.  These layers exclude the train, stopping at the floor.

First: A thin layer of organza that will act as a buffer between the outer skirt and the next layer.

Next: a petticoat made of  three layers of gathered diamond net.

This layer gives the dress a bit more body and fills out the trumpeted bottom of the skirt.


The final layer: Petticoat lining.  This layer attached to the bodice lining.  This layer drops in at the very end to clean finish the top edge of the dress, and is used to cleanly finish the center back opening.


The Skirt comes together with a simple bodice

Front view



Back View




Then the lace comes on!

Appliqued by an old 1950’s singer machine (that just does it better than anything else) and by hand.

 This beautiful Ivory Alencon lace gets figure molded over the ready made and fitted bodice.

 This particular lace is special because it is cordonnerie Alencon.

Basically what that means is that there is a thin cord that runs over the lace outlining each motif of the lace.

This, giving the lace extra dimension and subtle flair; aspects I always try to include in my designs.




20140430-095237.jpgit’s all coming together!

Front View


Back View


Back detail


Now, getting to this stage is exciting because you really start to see you vision come to life…..

but you are only half way there!

Like any couture garment, the most important part of the construction process is the finishing.  While this dress may look almost complete there is still about 5-10 hours of work left!

here’s a quick check list:

More lace applique around the dropped waist and back hemline

seam finishes in the armscye and center back

Button loops must go in and then 72 custom cover buttons must be applied.

Plenty of hand stitching in seam finishes and applique

Horsehair braid in lining, and main body skirt

Clipping and snipping away unwanted pieces of tulle, net and lace

Then its off to hair and make-up!



The hem lace detail


And don’t forget….

You’ll have to find someone to button you in to the dress! 🙂







That’s a lot of buttons!

But a beautiful well made dress makes for a very happy bride!20140517-092048.jpg

…or at least a happy model at the end of a fashion show!



And now….The Professional photographs by the one and only Pierce Harman of Pierce Harman Photography


Classic wedding photos in The Public Garden


Many Thanks to Pierce Harman and Daniel Faucher Couture for helping make this dream a reality!


Marimekko Rain Coat

This is the Raincoat I created out of Marimekko fabric


Crafted using a combination of heavy weight black cotton twill,  sweater sleeves, and a multi-colored  print by Finnish textile and apparel company Marimekko, I made a raincoat.  I got the black twill from a local fabric store, Winmill Fabrics.  The sweater sleeves were sourced from from a sweater I bought from Wet Seal.  Not normally a store I shop at, I do not turn my nose up at any store where I may procure cheap materials.  In this case I was able cut off the sleeves, reshaping the sleeve cap to match the existing armhole in the coat I had already constructed.  The sleeve set in beautifully.  The printed fabric was generously donated by the Marimekko store on Newbury Street.

Winmill Fabrics
111 Chauncy St,
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 542-1815

140 Newbury St
Boston, MA
(617) 778-0666

Front and back view of coat. Middle section “siirtolapuutarha” detail

With a number colorful prints and patterns to choose from at Marimekko, it was hard to choose the perfect textile for my coat.  The options were a plenty, but the siirtolapuutarha print really spoke to me.

This particular textile was designed by artist Maija Louekar.  On the Merimekko website, her design is aptly described as:

Dream- A flower blooms from the grey concrete. A morsel of nature in the urban jungle.
Inspire- Strolling the streets of the city, Maija Louekari marvels at the tiny gardens tucked into the nooks of urban life. Siirtolapuutarha is Finnish for allotment, which refers to the community gardens allotted to city dwellers.
Design- Vibrant colors burst from bold, black outlines. It’s a traditional flower pattern renewed into a modern wonder. A splash of life budding into a monochrome landscape.
Story-A flower steals the hardened heart of the city.”

20140110-163226.jpgI decided on a cape-like design for the coat.  I thought the bold pattern might be too over powering if I used it for the entire thing, so I used it only for the mini caplet. I lined the caplet using an accent color from the print: a vibrant teal. for kicks I also made a kind of make-shift label from the selvage of the fabric. creative and industrious if I do say so myself.  Cute and official looking right?


In an effort to keep with coat simple, I decided not to fuss with a lining.  To do this I sewed the body of the jacket together with the seams to the outside, then covering the raw edges in 1″ bias strips of the Marimekko fabric, then top stitched it down for  a nice finish. So I killed two birds with one stone: creating a clean finished garment without a lining and adding some coordinated design details to tie the whole look together.  The inside facings are also finished in narrower bias strips in the same lively print covering all raw edges.  The hemline is also finished in the fun print with a bias binding.

20140110-163747.jpgFor the finishing touch, I made 5 covered buttons out of the same fabric and attached them to the jacket to pull the whole thing together!

…. And made in less than 24 hours

This coat was featured in Boston Magazine!

Backstage at Donna Karan

Lights, Camera, Fashion!

Last week Saks Fifth Avenue Boston hosted a fabulous fashion show for Donna Karan New York. Transforming an empty 9th floor warehouse in South Boston into an ultra chic catwalk, Saks put on a show that would rival a high end production in any of our favorite fashion capitols. The event attracted Boston’s best and brightest fashionistas, socialites, and mavens. The glitterati included fashion fixture Marilyn Riseman, Boston boutique boy Riccardo Dallai Jr., power couples Bill Emery and Chase Pennington, Josh Janson and Benjamin McGuire, Nina and William Schroeder, and the preppy pineapple prince himself David Sebastian Wedemeyer.  Although the show displayed Donna Karan‘s ready to wear F/W 2013 line the production and ambiance left fashionable Bostonians and New Yorkers impressed beyond belief.

As the sun set, the room filled, the music was turned up and the wine began to flow. I myself was backstage, exactly where I wanted to be: with the clothes.


This collections was rich with texture, flow and attitude. Her use of curly haired shearlings, leather, suede, velvet, fur and jersey was effortless and dynamic. Creating a very smart
Look, the collection in its entirety was very appropriate for the Boston buyer. Offering beautifully tailored skirts and jackets, select pieces could be worn in the office (a very chic office that is), but paired with a sexy top and the right accessories could be worn after work for drinks or a night on the town with the girls. Typical behavior for the business minded Bostonian I must say.


suited and booted models and designer Donna Karan

Yes! That is Donna Karan herself back stage. Right before the show went on she gave all the models a “once over” and gave her blessing for them to walk the runway.  Apparently she flew in from Israel especially for this event; and It was well worth it! The show a terrific and really displayed the brand’s range and celebrated her talents as a designer.


Models al lined up with matching bondage ponytails…seriously, these things were kept up by bondage tape. Kinda sexy!

While some of the garments catered towards the urban professional type, others were more casual. Leather trimmed jersey wrap skirts paired with the designer’s signature turtle neck body suit updated an iconic look. Geometric asymmetrical capes, capelets and shawls were added to a number of looks adding drama and dimension. In some cases they were draped over sheer tops making the catwalk look a little bit more street worthy. (I know Boston has come a long way with fashion, but sheer tops and exposed nipples are still a bit too fashion forward for this old Puritan town) these fashionable cover ups could also be used to camouflage unsightly lumps and bumps. Yet another way DKNY demonstrates this collection can be worn by a range of women with various body types.

This was my favorite look of the show:


Over the knee boots
Skinny jeans
Curly haired shearling coat

But the show stoppers of the whole event were these slashed leather and crystal pieces!


Check out the whole collection here:

….look who I spotted!


Local designer Luke Aaron. perhaps picking up a few tips from the the fashion icon before his own show this week? Luke Aaron is a couture bridal designer based in the North End. His gowns are absolutely gorgeous, definitely worth trying to snag a ticket to his show this Friday October 4th at The Union Club of Boston:


Luke Aaron Spring/Summer 2014 Collection

Runway Presentation

The Union Club of Boston
8 Park Street
Boston MA

By invitation



Chynna Pope Couture detail jacket project

I’m taking this couture detail class at The School of Fashion Design on Newbury st. Every week we learn new couture techniques. So far we have learned how to create and work with fringe, create scallop finished hems, primitive pleat various materials, how to make flowers, trapunto, passamentry, and appliqué techniques. Our weekly assignments vary, but always require that we employ the skills we were taught that week. Previous projects include, accessories of our choosing, wedding fascinators or corsages, Hawaiian flower quilt squares, and hand bags. This week we learned all about bias treatments and cording. Our assignment was to design a jacket and and make samples of a jacket front, pockets, and a sleeve. This is what I came up with!

Very “Chanel-esque” if I do say so myself!


Work in progress.


Raw materials, fringing the bias trim, and pocket construction.


Neckline, sleeve and pocket detail




Ciao for now!