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#overdressed4life

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Toni Morrison chose to wear Kiss of the Wolf to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2012. 

You are your own stories … The theme you choose may change or simply elude you but being your own story means you can always choose the tone. It also means that you can invent the language to say who you are and what you mean.

Toni Morrison (1931-2019), American writer, Nobel prize winner for literature, Pulitzer prize winner for fiction.

This quote is from Ms. Morrison’s 2004 commencement speech at Wellesley College and can be applied to so many aspects of life, including personal style.

Toni Morrison, who died last week, carried herself with graceful intent. Her talent and wisdom will continue to uplift us for generations to come.

RIP.

 

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Manolo Blahnik, 1974

… everything that he did was to do with expressing himself. It was really only from his interest and passion that he dressed like that. He didn’t look like anyone else at that time because it was the time of hippies … and there he was like a creature from a completely different century. 

Penelope Tree, British former fashion model and friend of Manolo Blahnik.

This quote is from an interview with Ms. Tree in the documentary film, Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards.  She worked with Blahnik in London back in his early career. He initially wanted to be a fashion designer, but when he showed his illustrations to then US Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland, she encouraged him to design shoes.

Evidently. Blahnik liked his clothes and he was very particular. A man of taste, he insisted on well-tailored suits made of quality fabric in unique patterns. As Ms. Tree points out, he was wearing suits and more tailored clothing in an era when trends called for t-shirts and jeans. Today he’s still a dapper fella, sporting suits and bow ties.

I love a fashionable rebel!

 

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Manolo Blahnik and Rihanna, still from the film Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards. 

 

I love a shoe that can make another girl jealous. 

 

 

 

 

Rihanna – pop singer and admirer of Manolo Blahnik shoes.

This quote is from the documentary Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards.

Rihanna has worked with the luxury shoe designer creating three limited edition lines. The last one in 2017 was called So Stoned and featured bejeweled strappy sandals.

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August is almost here and that means not long off is back to school, back to work, and a new season of fashions. Oh, and did someone say Christmas in July? How about The Holidays in August?

To get a head start on it all, my favorite outing is the American Craft Council Show at Fort Mason Center, August 2-4, 2019. This is our chance to check out high-end handmade items such as furniture, home décor, fashions, and jewelry. Think new for fall, think gifts, think one-of-a-kind.

The American Craft Council Show is the largest juried show west of the Rockies and one of a handful of shows across the country that highlight the best of the best in handcrafted works of art. Over 250 American artists gather at Fort Mason to display and sell their unique wares.

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Laura Tanzer. Photo courtesy of ACC.

Among the array of new fashion designers this year is award winning Laura Tanzer from Tuscon, AZ. Laura designs simple silhouettes in natural fibers. She offers jackets, vests, tops and bottoms all USA made. With a commitment to sustainability, accessories such as scarves and handbags are made from remnant material. Check her out at booth #518.

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Bela Monde. Photo courtesy of ACC.

Bela Monde by Lisa Limer is a lounge-wear line from Providence, RI. As a contributing photographer for Conde Nast, Lisa has traveled the world. It’s while experiencing new cultures that she gets inspiration for her designs. Made in USA from silk, each piece screams luxury. See for yourself at booth #303.

 

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Nettle. Photo courtesy of ACC.

The local San Francisco line Nettle combines a little femininity with urban edge. Designers Alex Lunt and Lili Pham are committed to sustainable small batch collections, which means you won’t see yourself coming and going. I see some Asian influence in the unstructured silhouettes. Stop by  booth #614-2

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MakeShift. Photo courtesy of ACC.

MakeShift Accessories  is Devin Johnson from Northfield, MN. Devin takes found metal objects and recycles them into new pieces such as money clips and bracelets. Find Devin in booth #420.

 

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MoMurray. Photo courtesy of ACC.

Totes! Wallets! Pouches! Oakland resident Morgan Abbott from MoMurray makes them all from waxed canvas on a old industrial sewing machine. With added pockets and details like copper rivets and top-stitching, these bags are practical and stylish. Find MoMurray at booth #812.

 

 

These are just some of the impressive artisans featured at the ACC show. Additionally there will be events such as food and wine tasting, crafting with local artisans, and more.

The American Craft Council Show is at The Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, Marina Boulevard at Buchanan Street, San Francisco. $14 one-day pass. Children 12 and under are free. Become a member of the American Craft Council and receive entry to ALL THREE days of the American Craft Council Show in San Francisco and a one-year subscription to American Craft magazine.

This is a summer event not to be missed!

 

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Photo: Julia Johnson.

I’m always photographing people, I always observe people when I’m traveling. Just looking at what a person has on is like looking at a piece of art to me. My parents are from the South, so I come from texture. I come from velvet at Christmas, seersucker and patent shoes at Easter, suede shoes in the fall. 

Michelle Cole, Emmy-nominated costume designer. Currently she is the CD for the ABC television sitcom, Black-ish.

I want to hang out wherever Ms. Cole does! Where is she seeing these “piece of art” people?

This quote is from a Q&A with Ms. Cole from The Costume Designer: The Official Magazine of the Costume Designers Guild. The focus of the interview was contemporary costuming for television.

 

 

 

 

IMG_20190714_151617Anyone sporting a stylish hat will catch my eye but to see a cloche is an extra treat.

What a nice ensemble for a hot summer afternoon in Sacramento. The shift dress looks comfortable and yet, it’s still an upgrade in a crowd of jeans and shorts. The patterned scarf adds a little pop to the dress. I like the black and white shoes, which coordinate with the scarf. I’d like them even more if they had a heel. As for the purse, to keep with the vintage vibe and color theme, a clutch in black or white (or black and white) would have been a better choice.

Of course it’s the stylish chapeau that tops the outfit just right and in spite of my observations, I think this woman looks delightful.

Hooray for ladies who wear hats!

 

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Adult attire by Dior, Fall 2019.

For so long, we’ve idolized Facetuned Instagram teens and off-duty models. The course correction is dressing up, looking like an adult, and incorporating a little mystery while we’re at it. 

Veronique Hyland, fashion features director at Elle magazine.

Yes! But there’s a problem. No one knows anymore how to dress up or look like an adult.

I’m reminded of the book The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish (Basic Books, 2014). Written by Professor Linda Przybyszewski, The Lost Art of Dress tells the tale of The Dress Doctors, women who in the early 20th century taught Americans how to dress well through newspaper articles, radio broadcasts, and classes.  There were rules – suitable attire for every occasion, from work to weddings. Then in the 1960s the whole idea of even being an adult, much less dress like one, was thrown out the window, and out too went the Dress Doctors and their advice.

Here we are today in a perpetual state of athleisure.