Archive for January, 2016


Here’s an example of some bad taste fashion. Jeremy Scott designs for Moschino.

When fashion’s been loud, it’s been loud because there are creators pushing the envelope. Now it’s not so much about creators pushing the envelope with their work, it’s marketing people doing very big shows , pushing brands. It’s a very different kind of garish.

– Narciso Rodriguez, American fashion designer.

This quote comes from an article WWD. Titled, A Question of Taste (a phrase used quite often on Project Runway) the article by Jessica Iredale discusses the issue of bad taste in fashion on the part of designers in their recent creations and runway shows.

The argument was made, by more that one person Ms. Iredale interviewed, that there is no such thing as taste anymore. The whole concept is an old fashioned notion, dead since the 1970s.

I agree that bad taste became less of a concern and perhaps desired by some in the 70s and it has ebbed and flowed ever since. But I disagree that the concept no longer exists.  It’s just that the line is further and further out and what is considered bad taste has changed over the years.

For example in the 1950s, a middle-aged woman sporting a short skirt would be in bad taste and few women did it. Today we see it all the time and don’t really notice. I recall Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s commenting that wearing diamonds before the age of 40, was “tacky.” A modern woman of any age doesn’t think twice about donning her diamond bling.

But there is still a line of good taste that someone is happy to cross. How about the trendy low waisted pants that show off too much of the derriere? T-shirts that say Porn Star? Sheer blouses and no bra? I’ve heard more than one complaint about all three of those examples. I take comfort in that.




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grace coddington

Grace Coddington is stepping down from her position as creative director at American Vogue magazine.

The former British model has been Anna Wintour’s right-hand gal since 1988 when the two Brits took over the magazine. At 74, Ms. Coddington has no plans to retire but says she intends to stay active in fashion and other interests, including the creation of a fragrance for Comme des Garçons.

Good for her. I look forward to seeing what the talented Ms. Coddington does next.

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Fashion! Turn to the left. Fashion! Turn to the right. Ooh fashion! We are the goon squad and we’re coming to town. Beep-beep, beep-beep.

– David Bowie (1947-2016).

These are the lyrics from Bowie’s song Fashion on his 1980 album Scary Monsters.

Any follower of fashion admired Bowie for his adventurous sense of style. Personally I like his New Wave 80s look the best. He could really rock that loose tailored look.



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There is no such thing as an unaffected fashion choice. Anti-fashion is fashion, because it’s a reaction to the current visual culture, a negation of it.

– Deirdre Clemente, 20th century American culture historian, University of Nevada.

This quote is taken from a Q&A with Ms. Clemente in the Washington Post.

I’m not sure I agree with this, at least not entirely. Yes there is such a thing as “unaffected fashion choice.”  What we we wear is always a choice and there are those who choose to sport whatever, paying no attention at all to what’s in or out of fashion, but instead making choices based on other factors such as comfort. That’s not fashion nor is it anti-fashion.


McLaren and Westwood back in the days of Punk Rock are good examples of anti-fashion.

People who are anti-fashion intentionally buck trends and often are making a statement with their clothing choices.  I do agree with Ms. Clemente that their stand is a reaction to fashion.

It’s all about intention.

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No one wants to kiss a girl in black.

– Dowager Violet, Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey.)

What the countess is saying is that a woman in mourning is less than appealing to a potential admirer. There once was a time when widows, widowers, and family members sported black after the loss of a loved one to show respect. Such a tradition goes back to Roman times and the rules got quite complicated in Victorian England, thanks in part to Queen Victoria’s endless mourning period for her husband Prince Albert.

There were different phases of mourning during which one could wear different shades of black and slowly move into other dark colors. Even jewelry had to be black, which led to the booming jet industry in Whitby, England. Strict mourning wrapped up after one year.

Over time these traditions loosened, even by the Downton Abbey’s era of the early 1920s when the dowager made this comment to Mary, who had recently lost her husband. Today one doesn’t even wear black to a funeral.

Speaking of Downton Abbey, it’s the final season. Are you watching?

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