Feeds:
Posts
Comments

 

IMG_20171218_160621

#overdressed4life

Photo courtesy of Rocky Nook.

I received my first Friendship Bracelet many years ago from a college friend. It was a chevron design of navy blue and green thread and I wore it every day. Even though I don’t have the bracelet anymore, I remember it fondly.

Recently, with the rise in the maker’s movement, the craft of making Friendship Bracelets has become a focus and London-based crafter Maria Makarova (AKA Masha Knots) is on it! After more than ten years of making the colorful bracelets herself and offering YouTube tutorials, she has written a book – The Beginner’s Guide to Friendship Bracelets: Essential Lessons for Creating Designs to Wear and Give (Rocky Nook).

The popularity of Friendship Bracelets has ebbed and flowed over the years, but as an endearing sign of friendship they never really go away. New generations of teenagers, young adults, and now even older folks can’t resist the charm of a handmade symbol of connection.

In her book, Makarova explains in detail how to make simple and more complex bracelet designs. She covers tools of the trade, basic loops, embellishments, fixing common mistakes, and she even offers “tricks and tips.” The instructions are user friendly with lots of diagrams and step-by-step photos. In Chapter 12 Makarova provides photos of her original designs.

Makarova’s original designs.

I’m thinking Valentine’s Day (or Galentine’s Day, the celebration of female friendships, on February 13th). Get the book for the crafter in your life or for yourself and start a new hobby. What better a gift for the people you love than a handmade bracelet? And when it comes to making gifts, it’s never too early to think about the holidays, as well as birthdays and graduations coming up this year.

(ODFL would like to thank Rocky Nook for providing a review copy of this book.)

I met Debbie Ferman last July at the Shadelands Vintage Market, where I was among the vendors selling vintage jewelry and other goodies. Debbie came up to my booth and made a beeline for the basket of buttons I had sitting on the table. We got talking and she mentioned that she makes hats for newborn babies, and she uses buttons as decoration. I was taken with her enthusiasm for what she does and asked if she’d be willing to do a Q&A with ODFL. “That sounds like fun,” she said.

Debbie retired as an RN just before the pandemic. She was a nurse for 43 years, the last 30 of those years at John Muir Medical Center. When she joined the Alamo Women’s Club in 2021, she started making hats and never looked back. She now averages about 40 hats a month.

And here we go with the Q&A:

Did you knit/sew before you started making hats for the Alamo Women’s Club?

I have been knitting for more than 15 years mostly doing simple sweaters and scarfs. Now that I’m retired, I’m happy to knit/loom and donate the items. 

What inspired you to get involved with making the hats? 

I wanted to do something to give back to the community and was so pleased to find I could do so with making hats!

Tell us about the hats themselves, what are they like?

The hats I make are done on a round loom which comes in multiple sizes, and I think it’s easier than knitting. I also do know how to crochet and my curls and flowers on the hats are done with crochet. 

When we met and you mentioned your volunteer work, I could see how excited you are about it – what is it about the work that brings you such joy? 

It’s very relaxing to loom and gives me a chance to be creative which I love to do. I’ve always collected antique items including buttons, which I use to decorate the hats.  

What are the rewards of volunteer work?

Recently I made over 30 hats that were sent to Ukraine. In this case I made mostly adults and a few child size hats. I used warm wool yarns as they are so cold there and in such need of these items. I also collected warm clothing for the Ukraine people. The person that sends the hats to Ukraine attaches a note to each shipment which says “Sending love from your friends in California.” How wonderful I felt knowing I could do something to help these people. 

The Alamo Women’s Club has lots of interesting events and I hear there’s a jewelry show coming up. Can you tell us more about that?

We have a huge jewelry sale multiple times each year. There are thousands of items so you can always find something.  All of it is donated and proceeds go to needy Bay Area College students and support the other Alamo Women’s club philanthropies. We have vintage, collectible, new, fine and costume items. Many antique dealers frequent the sales. Our next sale is February 1st, 10-5 and February 2nd, 10-4, at our clubhouse 1401 Danville Blvd., Alamo.

I can’t wait for that sale!

Thank you, Debbie for taking time with ODFL and for all the knitting and volunteering you do. What an inspiration you are!

Iris Apfel. Photo: Roger Davies.

I remember Sandy saying to me ‘Oh, you don’t wear your collection’ – like it was a no-no. Maybe we just have different perspectives on collecting. I thought it was rather ridiculous to just buy clothes and put them in a box. I used to wear everything.

Iris Apfel – American fashion icon.

This quote is from an article in Harper’s Bazaar titled The Collector’s Eye, Dec 2022/Jan 2023, by Allison S. Cohn. In the quote Apfel referrers to couture collector Sandy Schreier.

Here here! I agree that clothing is for wearing, not for hiding away in a closet. Although, there are pieces that just can’t be worn – for example I have a 1920s chiffon dress that is too fragile. I also have quite a few articles of clothing that belonged to my mother (vintage pieces that I remember her wearing when I was a child) and I wear many of them, but some are too big, too small, or just not my style. They have a different purpose – they are providing inspiration for my mother/daughter memoir (currently a work in progress).

Growing up in San Fransico I remember my father and I going to the movies together. On Saturday afternoons we’d head over to one of the city’s grand movie theaters – The Alhambra on Polk Street or the Metro on Union Street, just to name a couple. Later when I was in high school, my friends and I hit those theaters and others.

I have fond memories of that unique movie theater experience – the buttery popcorn smell swirling around the vast theater space, the rough texture on the wide cushy seats, the pinch of excitement I felt as the lights dimmed and the curtains raised. Those grand (single screen) theaters in SF and across the country have since either been sliced up into multiple shoebox size mini-theaters or (worse) turned into fitness centers. The movie theater experience is not the same.

Now the last grand movie theater in SF – the beloved Castro Theater – has a new partner and the plans are to replace the plush seating with tiers without seats to add standing room for concerts.

Here’s a more detailed explanation from the Art Deco Society of California:

New management (Another Planet Entertainment) has plans to remove the seats on the main floor and replace them with staggered tiers without seats or temporary seats which will not be conducive to movie going or for film festivals in the future. This would be a terrible loss as the Castro is the last remaining historic “Movie Palace” in San Francisco in which to have the magical experience of watching a film with a sloped floor and plush theater seating. Designed by Timothy Pflueger in 1922, it is an Architectural Treasure, inside and out.

The Castro Theatre, famous around the world, is the sole surviving single-screen movie palace in the city of San Francisco. The seats on the main ground floor are from the second period of significance in the landmark amendment, which covers the important LGBTQ history and programming period, from the 1976 to 2004 time frame. The balcony still has some original seats from 1922 and many others from the 1937 remodel. All the seats together in the theatre, the aisles and the sloped auditorium floor are among key character-defining features of this historic theatre.

The Castro Theater is known and loved for its many film festivals, including the annual Film Noir Festival.

Currently The Castro has landmark status for the just the outside of the building. Please consider signing the petition to “Save Our Seats” and expand the landmark status of The Castro to include the inside of the building.

Enough of the destruction of all that is stylish and good in the Bay Area! Please spread the word. Thank you.

There is more we can do – click here for information about other ways to help.

Photo by Ulysses Ortega.

I didn’t just want to be someone who bought clothes. I wanted to learn about them. So, I collected them, wrote about them, and have had a life of helping to get exhibitions off the ground.

Christine Suppes – fashion collector and the author of the book Electric Fashion (Skira), which is a photo documentary of her couture collection. Photos by fashion photographer Frederic Aranda.

This quote is from the article, The Collector’s Eye, by Alison S. Cohn, in Harper’s Bazaar, Dec. 2022/Jan. 2023.

Suppes, a resident of Palo Alto, CA recently donated more than 500 pieces of her couture fashion collection to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Her donation includes pieces by Christian Lacroix, Yves Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga. (And you heard it here first, in January 2024 the de Young Museum, inspired by Suppes donation, will open a fashion exhibition featuring the legacy of some of the Bay Area’s most fashionable women both past and present.)

As a member of Costume Society of America, I have heard and read discussions about museums accepting fashion donations. Should they? What should they accept? How and where will they preserve the clothing? It goes hand in hand with the general discussion over whether or not fashion belongs in museums at all. The biggest and much debated question – is fashion art?

The truth is fashion exhibits bring in money – especially those that include popular designer names. I would venture so say that a collection of couture clothing would be welcomed at any museum.

When I was in Seattle a few years ago for a fashion history conference, I attended a fashion exhibit at The Museum of History and Industry. This regional-focused exhibit, called Seattle Style: Fashion/Function, highlighted vintage and modern clothing owned by local people mostly purchased from local department stores and boutiques. It was by no means a spectacle exhibit and that’s why I enjoyed it so much. The fashions on display gave us a peek into what the people of Seattle wore in sunny weather and in rain; to the theater; to the 1962 World’s Fair; or just to work and the grocery store. Regional style, dictated by weather, culture, and tradition, is a fascinating subject and as much as I enjoy “big fashion” and the impeccable crafting of couture, I’m also interested in everyday fashion, particularly from past eras.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming de Young fashion exhibit and learning how Bay Area style is perceived.

One day something magical happened. Something forbidden happened.

Polka Dot met Stripes and after that, fashionable life was never the same.

(Love the socks!)

ODFL pauses to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Magenta comes from the red family and it is described by Pantone as a shade with “vim and vigor” and is “expressive of a new signal of strength.” Inspired by nature, more specifically the cochineal beetle, Viva Magenta is meant to reflect strength, power, and compassion in our ever more stressful and challenging world. (Click here for the full Pantone blurb.)

Well, it’s also very bright and hard to wear for a lot of us. Still, I see it as an interesting accent color in patterns for dresses, shirts, and accessory pieces such as scarves, gloves, and socks.

To help us incorporate the new color into our fashion, the British luxury fashion retailer N.Peal offers a list of suggestions. Here are a few:

Magenta trousers paired with a fitted t-shirt for a casual look.

A magenta sweater allows us to play with the new color and can be dressed up or down.

For those feeling a little shy about the new color (or you know it’s not right for you), try it in an accessory such as a pair of shoes or a handbag.

Great ideas, thank you!

What to you think, ODFL readers? Will you be adding a little “vim and vigor” into your fashion looks for 2023?

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

There’s also an emotional component to clothing that is important to take into account. We hold on to garments because we are convinced that one day they may be the answer to a problem, or because they represent moments in time we cherish, or because they cheer us up or make us feel powerful or happy. Clothes feed our imagination, and that can help us get through the day as much as clothes that function.

Vanessa Friedman – Fashion Director & Chief Fashion Critic for the New York Times.

This is a partial response to a question submitted to Ms. Friedman’s column. The question was: How many items of clothing do we need?

I agree that we hang on to certain items of clothing for a variety or reasons. I have much of my mother’s clothing that she wore when I was a little girl. I keep these pieces (and some I wear myself) because they are classic, good quality, and they hold memories. I also have a beautiful cashmere pullover sweater that belonged to my dad. It’s way too big for me, but styled with a wide belt and boots, it’s an unexpected winter look.

Sadly, over the years I have been less inclined to keep my own clothing. I let slip away a nice wool blazer, but I do still have a black wool suit that I bought in Canada. Funny what we keep and what we don’t. I wish I still had the snakeskin pumps I sported when I was a teenager (with fuchsia corduroy pants). They were vintage 1960s and got I rid of them in a fit of “I’ll never wear these again!”.

What do you still have in your closet from years ago? What did you get rid of that you now regret?

Well, we are at the final day of our brooch adventure. I have so many brooches we could continue for another twelve days. But we’ll wrap it up with this lovely embroidered bird brooch.

This unique piece belonged to my mother, but she gave it to me some time ago. I have always loved it and I know that she bought it at a shop called White Duck Workshop on College and Ashby in Berkeley. WDWS was a boutique that sold handmade clothing for women. Known for a certain California aesthetic of the 1970s, WDSH created dresses and skirts in patchwork and appliqué corduroy. As times changed, so did their style. I remember by the 1980s they’d dropped the folk patchwork look for the oversized power look of the day, but still keeping the handmade Berkeley aesthetic.

The bird and flowers are embroidered on silk and I think perhaps the fabric was part of a larger piece – a kimono? – and was made into a brooch. Or it could have been a button. Either way, I suspect the fabric is antique. I think my mother bought the brooch in the 1970s or 1980s. She didn’t wear it often and I don’t either, as it looks delicate. But when I do, I pin it to a rust colored sweater that was also my mother’s and one of my favorite sweaters to wear on cold days.

This brings us to the end of The Twelve Days of Brooches. I hope ODFL readers enjoyed the series. Next year we will do it again with another vintage collection.