Archive for December, 2011

Fashion Highlights in 2011

Fashion press, that is.

This year I started subscribing to Women’s Wear Daily, which is a fashion industry newspaper. Wow! The amount of fashion news coming out on a daily basis is both overwhelming and fascinating. Here’s a small list of highlights from 2011 that caught my eye:

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art honored the late Alexander McQueen with a retrospective exhibit. The exhibit attracted over 600,000 visitors and was the museum’s eighth most popular show.
  • Vera Wang adds to her long list of licensing contracts with a line of diamond jewelry for Zale Corp.
  • Juicy Couture founders Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor decide it’s time for something fresh and announce a new brand called Skaist-Nash.
  • Fashion Institute of Technology in New York exhibits the personal clothing collection of style-icon Daphne Guinness.
  • Dolce & Gabbana shut the D&G line.
  • Gucci opens a museum in Florence.
  • Liz Claiborne Inc. sells its brand to J.C. Penney. 
  • Costume designer Trish Summerville designs a clothing line for Target inspired by The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo.
  • Tory Burch and Stella McCartney join dozens of designers and brands and announce a new fragrance.
  • Miuccia Prada, Ferruccio Ferragamo, and Michael Kors take their companies public.  
  • Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton is honored by the British Fashion Awards with the title Designer of the Year 2011.
  • Luxury brands target the growing middle-class in China.
  • The industry lost designer Joan Vass, beauty business-woman Evelyn Lauder, and leader of couture embroidery Francois Lesage, among many others.

I have learned a lot about the business of fashion and I look forward to what’s ahead in 2012.

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Christmas caps in Mom’s Closet.  Click here for the story.

Wishing all my readers a very Merry Christmas.


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Holiday Skates

What does a girl do with her skates off the ice? Decorate with them of course.  

I got this idea from Victoria magazine. Actually, it looks much better with an old scuffed pair of skates. Mine look brand-new but I have used them, really.

It was fun to pull together holiday odds and ends: red-clad mice, pipe cleaner candy canes, and a touch of greenery. Too bad all will be evicted when I take to the ice later this week.

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Image courtesy of Condé Nast, Glamour.

Until recently, Condé Nast could always count on Glamour magazine as a best seller. But like many mags, sales and advertising are down. Newsstand sales are down as much as 17 percent through the end of October. So, Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive has a plan for spring 2012.

It’s a complete overhaul and will include a new look, new columns, and new contributors.  According to Women’s Wear Daily, Glamour is working with the former art director of Nylon on the redesign and the content will have an increased focus on pop culture. Apparently they’re going for a “hipper attitude” keeping in mind that readers are consuming content in different ways.

I was once a stringer for Glamour, which means I looked for potential stories for the news editor. I searched for women who were doing extraordinary things like starting foundations, overcoming illnesses, volunteering time and talents. These were not sensationalized tidbits, but rather stories about real women working to add something positive to their communities. I respected Glamour for offering stories other than the latest celebrity calamity and fashion must-have. Let’s hope this kind of coverage won’t get lost in the magazine’s desire to be hip.

Watch for the new Glamour in March 2012.

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Image courtesy of Vogue, Condé Nast.

Vogue magazine, a Condé Nast publication, announced that it will now make its entire archive available to anyone who wishes to subscribe. Every page of every issue from 1892 to today.

  • covers
  • illustrations
  • photos
  • articles
  • advertising

What a handy research tool for designers, fashion historians and journalists, even artists. Individuals can subscribe for $1575 a year. Corporations can access the archives through trend forecasters, WGSN. Fashion school libraries might fork out the bucks but I’m wondering if this is something public libraries would purchase. I’ll keep an eye out and report back.

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The Mallory Lace Dress by Corey Lynn Calter available at FlairWalk.

When I was growing up, each Christmas my father treated me to a new velvet dress to wear to The Nutcracker. He and I would have a festive dinner out, just the two of us, and then enjoy the wondrous world of dancing soldiers, fairies, and my favorite – the Mouse King.

The holidays remind me of the excitement of a new dress. I like what I see at FlairWalk – lots of  lace, bold prints, easy-to-wear silhouettes by designers such as Lesley Evers, Francis, and more. 

Who couldn’t use a new dress for Christmas Eve? New Year’s? Or hey, just because. FlairWalk has many holiday styles on sale for up to 50% off. What a gift!

Speaking of gifts, here’s the perfect little stocking stuffer by Envirosax. These reusable bags keep us toting in style and not adding to the landfill. That’s a double gift.

Want one more? Free shipping.

It’s gifts galore at FlairWalk.

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Felix in his spiffy new sweater.

Every December I meet with a group of like-minded friends at Lovejoy’s Tea Room in San Francisco. Part of our tradition is to dress vintage (at least in a vintage hat) and exchange small gifts.

We just had our outing and one little gift is so sweet I  have to write about it. Kathleen hand-knit tiny tree ornament sweaters. As soon as I opened mine, I knew it wasn’t going to hang on my tree. Nope … it went on my little bear, Felix.

Felix is part of my miniature stuffed animal collection. He was a gift from my dad and the start of my collection way back when I was ten years old. He’s a Steiff and named after my dad whose middle name was Felix.

Thank you Kathleen for makin’ Felix look so darn dapper this holiday season.

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I tip my hat to West Hollywood City Council members who recently passed the nation’s first ban on the sale of new fur apparel.

West Hollywood is a small community of 35,000 people living between Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Lots of upscale stores line the famous Sunset Boulevard and Melrose Place. Many sell fur, but not for much longer. They will have to shed their pelts by September 21, 2013. (By the way, the ban does not apply to the sale of vintage furs.)

Of course there are some unhappy campers who are planning to fight the Council’s decision with a lawsuit. Here’s wishing them nothing but failure. 

Thank you members of the West Hollywood City Council for taking a stand in favor of animal welfare.

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The Scandi Jumper is all the rage this holiday season in England.

The fashion trend this holiday season in England is something called The Scandi Jumper. Translation – a thick knit pullover sweater with depictions of  snowflakes, stars, or reindeer.

It’s all thanks to a popular BBC crime drama called The Killing, which takes place in cold, cold Copenhagen.  The lead character, Detective Sarah Lund, wears these sweaters (paired with jeans) rather than the usual detective suit and viewers love her for it. 

This particular sweater is traditionally called a Faroese, after the Faroese Islands, and it was made by knitwear company Gudrun Gudrun. The story goes that the actress playing Sarah Lund (Sofie Grabol) chose this sweater for her character and she felt so comfortable wearing it she didn’t take it off. Consequently in season one it’s in just about every scene, which is huge exposure and voila …  major trend.

Many British women are embracing the sweater because of the Lund persona. Lisa Armstrong, Fashion Editor of The Daily Telegraph in London, recently told BBC radio’s Woman’s Hour that she’s a fan of  the Scandi Jumper because she loves Sarah Lund and all her foibles. “The jumper is a kind of by-product of her dysfunctions … I think she seems to have commitment issues with everybody except her jumpers.”

Broadcaster and Antiques Roadside expert Lars Tharp, also a guest on Woman’s Hour, pointed out that by sporting the Scandi Jumper Sarah Lund might be seen as rejecting the idea of power dressing and that strikes a chord with women. 

Personally I think Sarah Lund is just a sloppy dresser, which in itself says a lot but I haven’t seen the show so I’ll refrain from further comment. Now this is not to say I don’t like these sweaters. I do, for ice skating or a winter walk on a day off but on the job? Well, it’s not a professional look.

An American version of The Killing aired on AMC earlier this year, complete with another version of the Scandi Jumper. But it hasn’t reached trend status here. At least not yet.

PS – Readers, if you’d like to sport a Scandi Jumper yourself (not at work, of course) I’ve seen them at thrift shops and vintage stores. The real deal, often handknit from Scandinavia and at good prices.

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