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A lot of the resources that we use to make our clothing are not accounted for in the cost of producing those clothes. So, it has water that’s used to produce clothing, land that is used to grow the fiber, chemicals that are used to dye … those things all are inputs. As inputs they cost something and they also give outputs. In some cases good outputs – the clothing themselves, jobs. But in other cases bad outputs – harmful chemicals, greenhouse gas. And those things have costs as well. 

Mike Schragger, director Sustainable Fashion Academy

Have you ever considered what goes into your clothes? The natural resources? The labor? The skills?

There’s a trend among some in the fashion industry to take a closer look at our clothing and ask questions. Just like a few years ago when we asked about our food and where it comes from, we want to know:

  • Where are our clothes made?
  • Who made them?
  • What’s in the fabric?
  • What is the TRUE cost of our cheap clothes?

The UK based non-profit organization Fashion Revolution is sponsoring Fashion Revolution Week, April 24-30 to honor the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, in which 1138 workers died and many were injured. Also during this time people around the world are planning events to highlight the true cost of fashion and inspire us to think and question.

One of the many campaigns is #whomademyclothes? Sport a piece of clothing inside out so the label shows. Take a selfie holding a sign that says – Who Made My Clothes? Post on Instagram and Twitter with #whomademyclothes? Make sure to share with the brand you’re wearing.

Join Fashion Revolution! Click here for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

amelia-earhartWhen I’m flying in my little plane, I usually wear a sports costume with a rather full skirt and a close-fitting hat. Sometimes I slip a leather windbreaker on under my coat, for the temperature drops as one ascends.  … Usually on a solo flight, I wear low-heeled shoes, because with low heels it is easier to keep my feet braced on the rubber bar … On the Friendship flight … the trip was pioneering one, and comforts were not thought of. For instance, there was no step from the pontoons to the door, and I couldn’t have jumped into the plane in a skirt. Further … we had dumped everything to sit on, to save weight. Squatting on a rolled flying suit, or kneeling on one knee, or sliding between the large gas tanks wouldn’t have left much of ladylike ensemble.

Amelia Earhart (1897-disappeared 1937), pilot and first women to fly solo across the Atlantic. This quote is from an essay Ms. Earhart wrote for Harper’s Bazaar in 1929.

Ha! And we think we have it hard flying these days.

Ms. Earhart created her own style for flying, which often included trousers, button down shirt topped with a leather jacket and a scarf. Looking at photos it seemed she felt more comfortable in sporty attire than the more traditional feminine frocks of her era.

Speaking of flying and attire, as I get ready for traveling this week I’m pondering what to wear in flight. It is tough in these days of overcrowded airplanes balancing comfort with looking presentable. Anything tailored is too restricting, skirts are impractical for sitting, and who wants to risk our really nice pieces of clothing to the grit and grim of airline seats?

I usually go simple in corduroy pants and a long-sleeved cotton t-shirt. I add a scarf and my trusty beret for a little chic factor – accessories can upgrade any outfit. Outerwear might be my tweed coat or this time of year I think I’ll go with a puffer vest. Oxfords rather than sneakers also keep the look sharp. (Although, sneakers are looking pretty darn fashionable lately.)

How about you, my fashionable readers? How you do manage to look nice and stay comfortable while flying? Vintage-loving readers, how do you keep vintage while traveling?

Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

 

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This quintessential hippie look is not usually my style but I was immediately drawn to it, particularly the denim skirt. I think perhaps because of my recent adventure into sewing, I see clothing a little differently.

IMG_20170406_184212208I’m inspired by the idea of reuse and patching denim pieces to create something new. But even more exciting to me is the exposed hand stitching in various bright colors. There is something very charming about that.

In our modern era of massed produced fast fashion it’s exciting to see handcrafted clothing that people took time with and cared about.

Find some Summer of Love favorites for yourself at The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll on now through August 20, 2017 at the de Young Museum, San Francisco.

Be there or be square!

 

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Recognize this hat? It dates back to circa 1857 and was made by hatters Dunlap & Co. The patriotic paint job is thought to have been added in the 1930s. (Perhaps for an Uncle Sam costume?)

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Grateful Dead’s first album, 1967.

But it was Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead that made this chapeau famous. The story goes that he donned the hat one day for some photos taken at the old Spreckles Mansion. Those photos ended up on the band’s first album cover and after that the hat, for some unremembered reason, became known as The Captain Trips Hat.

Later, Garcia gave it to some friends who owned a boutique on Haight Street. In 2014 it was put up for auction with Christie’s.

What I like about The Captain Trips is the playful patriotism. Creative, fun, and anything but square.

Check back tomorrow for the next pic from The Summer of Love Experience.

 

 

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This is a suede coat in maroon from 1970. Suede was really popular back then, used for coats, vests, and handbags.

I love the color and the trim fit makes it super chic. The details are sharp – note the tucked shoulders and wide lapels in a contracting neutral color.

The coat is paired with what was called at the time, decorated denim. It was the done thing to piece together various denim swatches creating a new look. Beads, patches, and embroidery were also used. The pant leg hems are left raw, which is a trend happening today, as is decorated denim but we’re calling it embellished.

One of the aspects of fashion that I’m attracted to in this era is the use of vintage. There was a mixing up of styles from past decades including the 1920s, as we see here with the cloche hat. I like the creativity and uniqueness of combining modern with vintage.

Come back tomorrow for another favorite look from The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll.

 

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Sporting pink flowers in an up-swept hairdo, Dede Wilsey, San Francisco Arts Museums Board Chair shared her memories of The Summer of Love in opening remarks to the press for the preview of The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll.

“I was an infant at the time but extremely sophisticated,” she said with a wink in her voice. Mrs. Wilsey arrived in San Francisco as a young adult in 1965, when, she says, Haight-Ashbuy was more pure in spirit with no homeless and no crime. Young people gathered “… sitting in the sun with flowers in their hair soaking it all up.” You could go to the famous corner and get your picture taken to send home, perhaps to rather worried parents.

San Francisco is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love and the de young Museum is offering an exhibition that gives us a peek back to that magical time unique to our city.

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Hand crochet and knit were popular looks of the era.

 

In the mid-1960s, artists, activists, writers, and musicians were heading to the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood attracted by cheap rents. In 1967 the area was home to over 100,000 young people from all around the country. They began to form their own community using nearby Golden Gate Park as their hangout spot. This was a time of developing changes in politics, art, fashion, and music with hippies, as they were called, working together on their shared beliefs and aesthetics.

The Summer of Love Experience exhibits more than 300 cultural artifacts of the time, including Rock & Roll posters, photographs of people in the neighborhood, and fashion, much of which is from the museum’s permanent collection but there are also key pieces on loan from private collectors.

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Hippies were interested in all things anti-establishment, particularly in how they dressed. The look was about natural and hand-made with influences from Native America, the Wild West, and vintage. Jill D’Alessandro, curator of textile and costume at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, pointed out that during that time the Western Addition neighborhood was getting redeveloped; long-time residents of aging Victorian buildings were forced to move and that resulted in piles and piles of vintage clothing showing up at thrift stores selling for next to nothing.

This dubious serendipity contributed to the unique fashions we see in this exhibit, many of which I can imagine wearing today. Local designers of the era included Jeanne Rose, Birgitta Bjerke, Mickey McGowan, and Burray Olson. Their approach was hand-made and re-purposed working with denim, leather, embroidery, beading, knit, crochet, and tie-dye. Designers and non-designers alike were influenced by, and reusing, the Victorian and Edwardian treasures they were collecting from establishments such as The Third Hand Shop, which was one of the first to embrace the vintage resale market.

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Morning Glory silk blouse and Snake knit pants by Jeanne Rose.

Jeanne Rose, who has lived in the Haight since 1964, put together costumes for local bands, designed her own clothing, and hung out with Janis Joplin. Several of her creations are part of this exhibit including a knit pair of pants and a silk blouse she calls Morning Glory. I ran into Jeanne while we walked the exhibit and she told me that she wore this one herself and it is among her favorites, pointing out the beauty and grace of the sleeves on the blouse. She exclaimed, “I love it.”

Most of the galleries include displays of both men’s and women’s clothing making this a wonderland for fashionables, particularly those interested in fashion history. Added bonus – in some cases the mannequins are close enough to get a good view of construction.

Groovy music from Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and other Bay Area bands play in the background to set the mood. If  you’re up for trippin’ head to the room with psychedelic lighting and beanbag chairs.

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A small slice of the Poster Room.

 

The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll is on now through August 20th, 2017 at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

Wait there’s more! Each day this week I’m posting a different photo from this exhibit to take a closer look at some of my favorite fashion pieces. So, check back … better yet, subscribe (button top right) and get an e-mail alert with every new post on OverDressedforLife.  Ooh man, that’s far out!

 

 

 

IMG_20170406_181138357Linda Gravenites turns them out slowly and turns them out well and only turns them out for those she likes.

Janis Joplin (1943-1970)

Janis is speaking to Vogue magazine in 1968 about her friend Linda Gravenites, who at one time was her roommate and her stage costume designer.

The pictured beaded bag was made for Janis by her friend, Linda – glass beads and silk embroidered on goat skin. Wow!

This bag is on display at The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll, an exhibition at the de Young Museum celebrating the 50th anniversary of the magical summer in 1967, that could happen only in San Francisco.

I was attracted to Janis’ bag because of course it’s beautiful but also it’s an excellent example of the hippie fashion aesthetic. Young people of the 1960s mixed it all up: handcrafting, re-purposing combined with influences such as the Wild West and vintage. Victorian and Edwardian clothing in particular were favorites as both men and women picked up for a song blouses, skirts, suits, and hats at local thrift stores and flea markets.

This hand-beaded bag is reminiscent of the Edwardian period when women sported a demure reticule, handy for only a handkerchief. Janis’ bag is larger and must have taken quite some time (and eye strain) to make. No wonder Linda had to really like someone to turn out one of these.

Stay tuned – there’s more to come about The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll on OverDressedforLife.