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#overdressed4life

Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in Spencer.

The idea was that we were never slavishly replicating all of Diana’s looks, but we were definitely riffing on the idea of them. So we were quite consciously not trying to do the closest version we could in every instance. But in some places we used things that were exactly her style and then other places we drifted off. We bought a retro pair of jeans, and the sweaters weren’t made by us, obviously. But a lot of the pieces were made.

Jacqueline Durran, British costume designer.

This quote is from a Q&A Ms. Durran did with Entertainment Weekly about her latest project – the film, Spencer.

We have some treats coming up in Holiday Season 2021 and one is this film staring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana. Spencer covers three days, over Christmas, of Princess Diana’s life when she is at one of her lowest points.

Ms. Durran has won two Academy Awards for her work – on Anna Karenina in 2012 and Little Women in 2019. She also created the oh-so-lovely green dress that Keira Knightley wore in Atonement.

I’m looking forward to Spencer. From what I hear Ms. Stewart does an impressive job and then of course, the costumes!!

Also, calling all the other House of Eliott fans out there, the actress who played one of the Eliott sisters is playing an important role in Spencer. Can anyone spot her? If so, tell me the actress’s name, which Eliott sister she played, and what role does she have in Spencer. Leave all that in a comment. Don’t cheat!

Happy Hanukkah

Let the candle lighting begin. Happy Hanukkah!

Buy Nothing

Make Something, Cook Something, Bake Something, Sew Something, Repair Something, Write Something, Draw Something.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today is Buy Nothing Day, an international day of protest against consumerism. On Buy Nothing Day participants pledge to refrain from the whole Black Friday madness and keep their wallets in their pockets (or handbags).

I think this is a great idea. We all know the horrors of overbuying – it’s hard on our finances and it’s hard on the environment to manufacture all the stuff, which ends up in the landfill or in the case of clothing, headed on a big container ship to another country.

What to do with the free time? How about making something? Or read a book. Watch a movie. Write a letter. Call a friend. Volunteer. Take a nap!

Today is also the 35th annual Fur-Free Friday, when animal rights activists gather at large retail stores and protest the selling and wearing of fur. (Of course the only stylish fur is faux fur.)

I’m thankful for our autumn harvest: pomegranates, butternut squash, spaghetti squash.

On Thanksgiving Day, instead of it being about pilgrims and eating and football, I prefer to spend the day pondering what I am thankful for (gratitude is always in style). There is so much – good health, good health care, family, friends, time to pursue what’s important to me; and one of those things is this blog. ODFL allows me to combine two of my favorite things in life – fashion and writing.

I am also thankful to YOU, my faithful readers. Thank you for coming by, reading, commenting, and supporting ODFL.

Wishing all of you a Happy (and safe) Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for? Please feel free to share in a comment.

Students at Mills Seminary and that’s Mills Hall in the background. C. 1870s.

No uniform is required, but it is especially desired that the outfit be plain, and so complete as to avoid necessity for frequent purchase during term time. All are expected to look carefully and properly after their own wardrobes, and to keep an accurate account of their expenditures. Every article of clothing should be distinctly marked with the whole name. All should come provided with thick boots, and with flannels for use in Winter.

Mills Seminary, Circa 1872.

I was doing some research in the Mills College archives for an article and I came across this little fashion tidbit.

I am reminded of the private school I went to in 7th and 8th grades, Bentley. We didn’t have a uniform but we did have a strict dress code. No jeans, no shorts, no t-shirts, and no pants on girls. We didn’t have to dress in “plain” clothing and I didn’t. I loved patterns and color and I really enjoyed putting my outfits together, of course! It was then that I started wearing pantyhose (they didn’t seem as uncomfortable as they are now) and I bought my first pair of heels – a mere two inches and they were chunky. (I graduated to stilettos in high school.)

Back to the quote – one might wonder, why thick boots? Well, doing my research I learned that Susan and Cyrus Mills, the couple that ran the seminary at the time, were very keen on physical exercise. The young women were encouraged to take advantage of the vast open landscape of the campus and go on daily walks. Boots were a necessity. Flannels were soft wool undergarments worn for warmth.

On the set of And Just Like That this past summer. I don’t know about the boho look for Miranda.

I’m inspired as a costume designer by what I see young people doing. Either on the internet or standing right in front of me – street fashion.

Molly Rogers – American costume designer.

Ms. Rogers is currently working on the costumes for And Just Like That – the Sex and the City reboot due to air on HBO Max in December of this year.

Her past gigs include the television show Ugly Betty and the hit movie The Devil Wears Prada and she also worked closely with Patricia Field on the SATC series as well as both movies. Rogers had been working with Field since 1984 when she popped into the stylists’ shop and asked for a job.

Now she’s going solo with And Just Like That, as Field is busy working on Emily in Paris.

There are several Instagram accounts following the series production around NYC and providing us with a sneak peek at the costumes, which are getting mixed reviews.

As for the quote – there’s nothing better than street fashion IF you happen to live in a place like NYC or London or Pairs. People watching in such places offers amazing inspiration. But elsewhere there is little to no inspiring fashion to be found. So we have magazines, Instagram, and television shows like – And Just Like That.

I’m looking forward to indulging on some serious fashion candy come December.

Veterans Day

This is a photo of my maternal grandfather, who was an officer in the Navy. I never got to meet him, but from what my mother has told me he liked nothing better than being on a ship way way out on the sea. That, and a good stiff drink.

A great BIG Thank You to all who have served to keep us safe.

Whitney Peak donning all Chanel for Elle magazine.

My style dictates how I want to feel throughout the day. So if I want to feel cool, and it’s swag, I’ll do the big pants, maybe a shirt, definitely a cool sneaker, jewelry galore. Probably big hair. And if I feel a little more elevated, I’ll do a leather boot, and a pair of trousers, maybe a black trenchcoat.

Whitney Peak, American actress.

Ms. Peak is starring in the HBO Max Gossip Girl Reboot.

I don’t know much about the original (2007-2012) or the reboot Gossip Girl except that the show focusses on a group of wealthy NYC kids who dress head to toe designer (better than ANY real high school kid) and they are remarkably nasty to one another – I wonder how real that part is? I watched some excerpts of the original and some of the reboot on YouTube and I’d say the costumes and the characters are even edgier in the reboot.

Entertaining? Perhaps. Healthy role modeling for youth? Perhaps not.

That’s my two cents for what it’s worth. xoxo

Happy Halloween!

Make sure to celebrate in style.

Image courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

On now at the de Young Museum in San Francisco is the West Coast premiere of Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love, a celebration of Mr. Kelly and his inspired fashions of the 1980s.

Black fashion designer Patrick Kelly (1954-1990) was known for combining whimsy with classic. His unique use of embellishment as well as a constant upbeat message in his designs attracted many. Originally from Mississippi, he moved to NYC to study fashion design and in 1979 he moved to Paris. There he had friends bop around the streets in his handmade jersey outfits adorned with buttons. These colorful ensembles caught the attention of French Elle magazine and voila, he was on his way to fashion stardom.

Image courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

I was not familiar with Mr. Kelly before hearing of this exhibit but I’m happy to have found him and now he is among my favorites. I appreciate his humor and references to fashion history; I see a touch of Schiparelli here and a pinch of Chanel there, but with a unique Kelly twist. There is something very charming about these designs – they are playful, fun, and yet still polished. He was a master at playing with sophisticated silhouettes by adding unexpected adornments like buttons, tassels, and dice. His use of buttons was inspired by his grandmother who, when he was a child, used to replace his lost buttons with whatever style and color she had on hand. That “outside the box” approach stuck with Mr. Kelly.

Runway of Love, curated by Laura L. Camerlengo, Associate Curator of Costume and Textile Arts at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, is divided into four sections covering Mr. Kelly’s career from hand making knit jersey dresses in his early Paris days to his successful runway shows. One of the sections includes some of his personal collection of racist memorabilia, which served as inspiration for him in his designs. Although controversial in America at that time, his use of racist symbols was his way of controlling the charged images and that puts another interesting twist on his work.

In 1988 Mr. Kelly was the first American and first Black designer to be voted into the Chambre Syndicale du Pret-a-Porter des Couturiers et des Createurs de Mode, the prestigious French association for ready-to-wear designers. This was quite an honor and well deserved!

Patrick Kelly’s archive of fashions was given to the Philadelphia Museum of Art by Mr. Kelly’s business and life partner, Bjorn Amelan, who said that he spent years after Mr. Kelly’s early death of complications from AIDS in 1990, looking for the right home for the archive.

As well as 80 fully accessorized ensembles, the exhibit includes several videos of runway shows, sketches and art by the designer, and other ephemera.

From the 80s music in the background to the upbeat videos, from the buttons to the bright colors to the cultural references – I walked out of Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love uplifted and inspired. I can’t recommend this exhibit enough.

Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love at the de Young Museum now through April 24, 2022.

A few things to know before you go:

  1. Pack a mask! Masks are required on everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
  2. The Coat Room is closed; travel light and remember that backpacks must be hand held inside the museum.
  3. To allow for plenty of safe space in the galleries the tickets are timed, so it’s a good idea to book ahead.

And there’s more! Continue to explore Patrick Kelly with a series of panel discussions Wednesdays at 5pm: October 27th, November 3rd, March 30, April 23. Click here for the full scoop.