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Archive for October, 2017

christy-turlington-business-of-being-born_oywna4The best way to protect young models is to keep them in school and off sets until they are adults. But that’s only part of the problem. We need to teach our girls, and young boys, how to protect themselves and defend themselves against predators in every area of their lives. Sexual harassment can happen anywhere and at any time. In the playground, in school, on the bus, in crowded public spaces. Accepting this and preparing for it will help more of us know how to handle it when it does happen.

Christy Turlington Burns – 1980s super model, founder of the non-profit Every Mother Counts. 

This quote is from a Q&A with WWD.

Well stated. There’s a lot of talk these days about sexual harassment in fashion and elsewhere. I suspect that unfortunately, there are very few women who have not been sexually harassed. The severity varies but the impact is similar. Of course we mustn’t put up with it and we should fight it in every way we can, but I seriously doubt that we will ever be able to erase sexual harassment entirely. There will always be jerks in the world. So, Ms. Burns’ advice is good. Let’s teach our girls and boys how to safeguard themselves. While we also teach our children to see and respect one another as equals.

Everything begins with awareness and education.

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Edith HeadIn the days of the motion picture industry and even as late as the 1950s, stars had trademarks: Jean Harlow with her white satin dresses; Dietrich with her tailored slacks; Garbo with her slouch hats and trench coats; and Marilyn Monroe with her slightly tousled hair and tight clothes. But as we moved into the 1960s, the female stars didn’t really care what what they wore on the set or off. If two stars showed up at a party wearing the same dress, neither of them cared. Nobody cared. It was as if individualism had been thrown out the window in the name of realism. 

Edith Head (1887-1981), Hollywood costume designer.

Ms. Head certainly had a signature look or trade mark – she always sported a suit, she wore her hair up in a tight bun, and she loved those very round glasses.

My signature look is hats! I sport a hat of some kind every day. My mother likes to wear a silk scarf. What’s your signature look?

Happy Birthday to Ms. Head who would have celebrated on October 28th.

 

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Last week fashion brand Gucci announced that they will no longer use fur in future collections. The official comment from the company was – It’s not modern.

c13c28c6e72f13f53196076b39897233--lucy-lucy-i-love-lucyFor sure it’s not! No matter how old or young you are, nothing says “stodgy old lady” more than a dead fox or mink or rabbit dangling off a shoulder. Now, having said that I will add that lately some designers have been using dyed fur in bright colors and that definitely is modern. But faux fur works just as well. In fact, didn’t faux do it first?

With this decision Gucci joins Calvin Klein, Armani, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger.

I’m thrilled that Gucci is taking such a stand and I hope it’s the beginning of a permanent shift away from fur in fashion.

 

 

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Andy Warhol Illustration for Harper’s Bazaar, July 1958.

When I used to do shoe drawings for the magazines, I would get a certain amount for each shoe, so then I would count up my shoes to figure out how much I was going to get. I lived by the number of shoe drawings – when I counted them I knew how much money I had. 

Andy Warhol, American Artist.

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Shoe and purse c. 1956.

Before Andrew Warhola became Andy Warhol, Pop Artist he was a commercial artist and advertising illustrator. In the 1950s he illustrated for fashion publications Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar. He created ads in newspapers for Neiman Marcus and I. Miller, among others.

I have a thing for illustration as an art form and I really like Warhol’s style. It helps that his subject was fashion and done in an artistic era that appeals to me. Beyond all that, I like his sense of whimsy and fun. His illustrations make me smile.

In my collection of fashion books is – Andy Warhol Fashion (Chronicle Books, 2004), which is a little volume of Warhol’s illustrations from the 1950s when he was working in NYC. Every so often I slip this book off the shelf and flip through over 250 images, some in color and some black and white. I pause on various pages to feast my eyes on kitten heels, jaunty hats, and attractive handbags.

It’s a little candy box of visual mid-century treats.

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Note the card – I love the London subway reference. 

As with any other accessory, sunglasses are an important part of every outfit. Over the years,  I have gone through many a pair, many a style. Including back in high school when I sported a pair of ultra Cat Eye frames in purple. (I still have them! See pic below.)

IMG_20171009_164957891A few years ago I was on the hunt for a more moderate Cat Eye look and I happened to pop into Optical Underground in downtown San Francisco. You go down down down a long flight of stairs into a super cool subterranean space.

Oh my, what a selection! I found just what I was looking for and at a discount, plus one more snazzy pair with rhinestones – I call those my Hollywood Shades. (Both pictured above.)

And there’s more. A few times a year I go back to Optical Underground to have my everyday sunglasses tightened and cleaned. They are happy to provide this service and with a great big smile, too.

Optical Underground opened in San Francisco in 1911. A family run business, the shop offers an array of sunglasses as well as eyeglass frames, many at designer overstock and other discount prices. What I appreciate is the selection of both modern and vintage- inspired styles.

Here’s what they say:

Optical Underground is a speakeasy for extraordinary eyewear, a secret find to satisfy your optical addiction. We are a fourth generation family business that’s been helping people see better (and look better) for over 100 years. We are craftsmen and appreciate the talent and toil that goes into designing original hand-made eyewear, and celebrate the people who wear them. We are socially responsible, and take our obligations to our community and our planet seriously.

Need new shades? Need new frames? Check out Optical Underground 280 Sutter St. at Grant, downtown SF. http://www.opticalunderground.com/

 

 

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Giorgio Armani. Photo: Serge Leblon

I’ve been away from London for quite some time. The city has changed, I’ve changed, and fashion has changed. But what has stayed the same is my desire to express myself. Because in this rapidly changing world, you can be influenced, dragged in one direction or another, and lose your own identity. But I have eyes and ears; I look around and listen, and I’ve noticed that you wear jeans in a beautiful way, which maybe 10 years ago you wouldn’t have done. 

Giorgio Armani – Italian fashion designer.

This quote is from an interview with Mr. Armani in London conducted by fashion writer Justine Picardie for the October 2017 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

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Armani couture, Fall 2017. From Harper’s Bazaar. Photo: Serge Leblon.

I just about fell out of my chair when I read that Ms. Picardie wore jeans to interview a fashion legend such as Giorgio Armani.

In parenthesis she describes her outfit – flat ballet pumps, a floral chiffon blouse, and jeans.  I’m sure it was very nice looking, chic even, but still, too casual. How about that blouse with a skirt? Or a suit? Or even a pair of gaberdine trousers?

But as Mr. Armani says things have changed – fashion has changed. We have become more casual, everywhere all the time, especially at work. He points out that 10 years ago Ms. Picardie, a professional journalist working for a top fashion magazine, probably would not even have considered wearing jeans on the job.

Not allowing myself to be “influenced and dragged” into the casual direction, I feel more comfortable dressing professionally (usually in a dress with a blazer or a skirt and blouse) on an interview, at a press preview, or anytime I’m working. That’s me and I’m sticking to it.

 

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0The people I most admire for their style aren’t those that follow every trend and dress in designer clothes from head to toe, but people like Sofia Coppola, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Grace Coddington. These women are style icons not because they follow rules but because they make their own, and each have a strong sense of style and a clear signature look. 

Anuschka Rees, German fashion blogger and author.

A sense of style is something that takes time. Time first to figure out what you like and what likes you. And then time to put looks together, learning and developing as one goes along. But it’s all fun, right?

Ms. Rees has a blog that talks all about this and she has a book, which I took a peek at last year. It’s very complete. Detailed and perhaps a little overwhelming but if taken a bit at a time it certainly has something to offer and it’s a good place to start for anyone who needs a little guidance.

As far as “rules” go I don’t think they’re such a bad thing. Rules can help, actually. Like the following:

Don’t mix prints. Don’t! Unless you know how to do it.

Don’t show your bra-straps. Come on! Showing bra-straps doesn’t look cool or sexy it just looks sloppy.

Spend money on investment pieces. My personal fave. Invest in expensive staples like a quality 100% cashmere sweater (from England or Italy), a wool blazer, a good fitting pair of trousers and/or a skirt. Choose classic silhouettes that will never go out of style. Less is more and much better for the environment.

 

 

 

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