Archive for January, 2012

Image courtesy of PBS.

Fashion isn’t about what WE like, it’s about what others like. Ours is not to reason why, ours is to obey and buy.

Carolina from the PBS show Martha Speaks.

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Wine label by Karl Lagerfeld.

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld lent his artist’s brush recently to the French winery Château Rauzan-Ségla. Well, it could be considered a favor for a relative since CHANEL purchased the winery back in 1994.

Lagerfeld designed the bottle’s label in honor of the Château Rauzan-Ségla 350 year anniversary and to celebrate a particularly fine 2009 vintage.  A rendering of the Chateau, the label is sure to be a unique collectible and at a mere $129 a bottle it’s one semi-affordable designer label.

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Last year I was honored to have modeled in the very first Isn’t It Romantic Vintage Show and Sale at the San Francisco Elks Lodge. It was a treat to strut in a 1930s daytime ensemble put together by Jula Isola from City Vintage. I also visited with like-minded people and of course shopped. In fact, I bought the fabulous vintage sterling silver belt I wore in the fashion show.

Isn’t it Romantic is back again at the San Francisco Elks Lodge coming up on Saturday February 11, 2012, 11-6. Produced by business partners Kimberly Manning Aker and Jula and Roberto Isola, this show is sure to be another big hit.

Me sporting a 1930s day ensemble at the 2011 Isn't it Romantic Vintage Show & Sale.

This year the popular event will include 20 roaming models sporting romantic vintage outfits guaranteed to inspire amore. Twenty vendors are set to display (and sell) the best in vintage men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry, and accessories. This is a good time to pick up gifts for your favorite vintage-loving Valentine. Like flowers? There will be lovely floral arrangements for sale.

The Elks Lodge has a full (no host) bar and food will be available for purchase. And speaking of the Elks this is a rare opportunity to hang out in the stately lodge, built  in 1926 and overlooking Union Square.

I think of Isn’t it Romantic Vintage Show and Sale as a happening. It’s a time and space where we vintage enthusiasts can spend the day visiting vendors, chatting with the models, enjoying a cocktail, even networking if we’re in the biz. Kimberly says what she and her partners intend is that shoppers and vendors get to know one another and develop a rapport that extends beyond the day. Vendors are happy to talk with shoppers, advise and inform them as well as keep an eye out for whatever they need to complete an outfit or add to a collection. “It’s like having a personal shopper,” says Kimberly.

Admission is a bargain at $5 for Elk Members and $8 for non-Elks. Even better – all proceeds go to the Bruno Pardini Scholarship Fund, which raises money for local youth programs.

Isn’t it Romantic Vintage Show and Sale, Saturday February 11, 2012, 11-6 at the San Francisco Elks Lodge, 450 Post Street, 3rd floor.

Hey, I’ll be there … if you spot me please say hello.

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What you do is decide the clothes in which you are comfortable. You must be comfortable … never flashy, just appropriate, well-tailored, and it’s not unfeminine to be well-tailored.

– Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Her politics may have been unfathomable, but her fashion sense was always the winning combination of smart and ladylike. Can’t argue with that.

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A model can make a sack look good. If it doesn’t look good on a real body, there’s going to be a problem.”

– Zandra Rhodes

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Fashion designers are using their talent and high-profile names to support Obama-Biden in 2012. Tory Burch, Marc Jocobs, and Rachel Roy among others have designed merchandise to raise funds for the reelection campaign. Available  for purchase on runwaytowin.com are t-shirts, totes, scarves, and wristlets all USA made. 

Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour was one of the powerful forces in assembling the needed designers. A major Democratic Party supporter, Wintour has helped raise over $500,000 for Obama’s reelection campaign.

In 2008 I sported a tote with a rendering of Obama done by Oakland artist Barbara Sandidge. I also proudly wore my Redheads for Obama badge. It was empowering to show off my support for Obama and I plan to do so again this year. I am particularly excited that the runwaytowin merchandise is made in America. Besides that, I believe campaign materials are highly collectible.

Right now the merchandise is available to view and preorder. Are you ready to pair your vote with your fashion?

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IMG_1742Regular readers may recall that last year I had a  20s style coat custom-made by Oakland designer Theresa LaQuey. Since there was plenty of fabric left over, I decided to also have a skirt made from the tweed and a blouse made from the coat’s silk lining. Now I have a complete outfit that, I have to say, gets many a second glance.

I knew I wanted a 40s style skirt (yes, I like to mix my eras) with a high waist. Theresa added the side slits and she was able to include the faux broad-tail fur trim, also left over from the coat. But I wasn’t clear on what I wanted for the blouse. Theresa suggested a wrap. She used an original 40s pattern, which needed some tricky altering because I have such narrow shoulders.

I’m thrilled with the results, particularly the blouse. The wrap is surprisingly comfortable and easy to wear. There are three inside snaps on one side and five outside buttons on the other side. Although bit stiff at first, now they’re a cinch. The small tucks at the shoulders and short waist length gives an overall sharp, polished look. I do love the tailored style of the 1940s and there is nothing better than a no-fuss ensemble.

This was my 2011 holiday go-to outfit. I wore it to parties and dancing at Le Colonial. I’m looking forward to sporting it at the upcoming Art Deco Society of California Membership Party, but I’m going to add a little something. Stay tuned.

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Fashion now is much more than a product. It’s about entertainment and people feeling a part of something.

 – Christopher Bailey, CCO Burberry


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Ten years ago Burberry transformed itself from a British country staple to a high-profile youthful brand. Pringle of Scotland followed suit and now the legendary Fabergé is shedding its mature haute couture image in favor of young and hip.

Starting this spring the jewelry company will run a new advertising campaign. Shot by fashion photographer Mario Testino, the print ads feature Fabergé descendant Josh Fabergé and some of his friends interacting with the jewelry, pairing it, layering it and wearing it all in playful new ways.

Back in the day, Jeweler Carl Fabergé created luxury items for the Tsar of Russia and other aristocrats of the late 19th century. All that sort of thing was put to an end during the 1917 Russian Revolution. Fabergé pieces, particularly the Easter Eggs have been highly collectible ever since. The brand name has been sold and resold many times over the decades including to a cosmetics company in the 1960s.  (Anyone remember Fabergé BRUT?)

The Fabergé name was purchased again in 2007 by private equity company, Pallinghurst Resources LLP. In July 2011 the company launched its first collection of Fabergé eggs (the first since 1917). Future plans include Fabergé shops and more jewelry lines.  They say they want to reestablish Fabergé as an exclusive luxury brand. (Do we really need another one of those?) 

As for the ad campagne I like it. I like the casual feel to the models and the  layered combination of big and small egg pendants. The egg choker on the guy is snappy and unexpected. The group together dressed in black look like a 70s rock band. The ad is young and hip, so good for them. But, it will be interesting to see if the old iconic egg associated with celebrity collectors and ancient aristocrats can be successfully reinvented and appeal to a younger market. In these days of austerity, the Occupy Movement, and chants of  I am the 99 percent, will luxury brands become uncool?

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Welcome to 2012. With the new year, Over Dressed for Life is introducing a little something different – Fashionable Quotes.

Every Monday readers will find posted a pithy quote about fashion from stylish people, the known and unknown alike.

Diana Vreeland

The very first quote of 2012 is from Diana Vreeland, editor of Harper’s Bazaar from 1936 to 1962.

Fashion must be the most intoxicating release from the banality of the world.

You said it, Diana, and how true it is.

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