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Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category

IMG_20180721_171347There are days when I feel like I can’t come up with a single good idea, but I find ways to get inspired – I have to get past my fear of failure! I go to a costume house and start touching the fabrics, the feathers, the beads. Sometimes, none of it makes any sense to me. TV pace is just so fast, I just keep moving through it and then all of a sudden it’s done, and I say “Wait. We did that?” 

Lou Eyrich – American costume designer in Hollywood. This quote is from a Q&A with The Costume Designer, the official magazine of the Costume Designers Guild, Local 892.

Ms. Eyrich is known for her costumes in television. She’s worked on American Horror Story, Glee, and Asylum.

I admire Eyrich’s ability to keep the creativity going under such time constraints and pressure. What do you do when you need inspiration?

Long walks work for me when I hit a writing block. If I want to start a sewing project, I often begin with fabric. I find a fabric that I like and look for the silhouette that best suits the fabric (and me of course).

For longer term general inspiration – museums, books, old movies, travel!

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One of my favorite summer events is the American Craft Council Show, which is happening this year on August 3-5 at the Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason in San Francisco. The ACC is a juried show with more than 250 fine artists from around the country gathered to show and sell their wares: one-of-a-kind jewelry, clothing, gifts, fine art, and home décor.

Over the three days there are also various interesting activities including something called Style Slam. Here’s how it works: four local stylists shop the show and put together two looks, demonstrating how unique handmade pieces can work into any wardrobe.

One of the chosen stylists, Kristen Ikeda-Jones is a fashion designer with 25 years experience in San Francisco and around the Bay Area.

Kristen was nice enough to take a little time with ODFL for a Q&A.

Have you attended an ACC show? What are you expectations? 

This will be my very first ACC show.  I am so excited to be one of the four stylists invited to participate in this awesome event!  I’m looking forward to networking with artisans and designers in such a positive environment that promotes beautifully handcrafted wearable goods.  I can’t wait to meet other creative minds to collaborate with and I am eager to find local designers that I can promote and carry in my studio/salon slated to open next spring/summer in the East Bay.  I await the inspiration that I know will influence my capsule collection coming this Fall ’18.

With your impressive background in design and styling, what will you look for in putting your Style Slams ensembles together?

I plan on utilizing my extensive career in design and styling to help with the fast-paced time restraints we will have when pulling our looks together. I will be searching for top level craftsmanship along with the perfect subtle detail to set a piece apart.  The exact thing that sets ikedajones apart – an interesting hem line, a unique, one of a kind textile or color, a subtle twist where you least expect it ….  I love to find a creative but cohesive mix of masculine and feminine and will strive to showcase my point of view.

How do you see the unique wearable arts pieces available at the ACC show blending with more mainstream fashions?

I believe that less is more, but that doesn’t mean you won’t make an impression. When I design a collection or style a client I love to mix perfect go-to “staples” with a piece that stands out and makes a statement.  Make people’s heads turn.  The amazing designs created by the artisans at the ACC show are the perfect blend with everyday, wearable pieces because they can elevate and make your look special and unique in a way nothing found in a department store can. One unique piece can transform your everyday skinny jean, for example. You are wearing not only a one-of-a-kind piece, but you are showcasing a work of art that sets you apart from everyone else, who are settling for yoga pants!

 

I like how you think, Kristen: less is more, detail, make a statement. I’m excited to see your looks at Style Slam.

The American Craft Council Show happens here only once a year. Don’t miss the opportunity to shop for the best in all things unique.

Click here for more information about the ACC show.

 Be there or be SQUARE!

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Here’s my outfit for The World of Frida Kahlo opening reception. I decided it would have been kind of silly for me to try to copy Kahlo’s unique style. But I wanted to give her a nod so I did my own thing keeping her in mind.

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The skirt reminded me of Kahlo’s billowy dresses. It belonged to my grandmother and was made in Mexico, circa 1950s. I paired that with a simple cotton peasant style blouse. The purse is from the 1920s and my signature shoes are 1940s (look at the OverDresssedforLife logo). Flowers in the hair is classic Kahlo and I went with a single white one, which suits my face better than the flower headband. (Looks great on her though.) That belt has added just the right touch to so many outfits – it’s beaded and a gift from my sis-in-law (thanks Lori!), probably vintage. To add a little color around my neck I’m sporting a shell and turquoise necklace that I remember seeing on my mother back in the 1970s. I wore silver and turquoise rings and bracelets (also my mother’s) and those cat eye shades are new.

I really enjoyed shopping my own closet and creating this ensemble. I particularly got a kick out of using so many family pieces. For sure there is more of this outfit in my future. It’s comfortable and festive … perfect for a summer evening drinking sangria out on the deck.

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Congratulations to the Bedford Gallery, who must have broken opening day attendance records on July 8th with their latest exhibit The World of Frida.

The Bedford Gallery is housed in the Lesher Center for the Arts located in downtown Walnut Creek. The World of Frida has two elements: 1. A traveling exhibit, Frida Kahlo Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray, which is a collection of photographs of Kahlo taken in the 1930s & 40s by Nickolas Muray, her Hungarian lover and 2. Juried exhibit of 150 artists from around the globe who have created works of art inspired by Kahlo.

We arrive for our 1pm early entrance, surprised to see a long line of attendees waiting outside to get in for their 2pm entrance time. Many seem to be enjoying the anticipation, braving the heat by waving fans and keeping themselves occupied chatting with one another. The line pops with bright colors, as Frida Kahlo enthusiasts are decked-out in her honor dressed in long skirts topped with shawls and flower headbands. Among the crowd are quite a few little girls with their mothers, looking oh-so-cute also sporting the Frida Kahlo look.

Once inside, the lobby is buzzing with energy and confusion about where to check in. We stand in a long line, watch as people cut in front (bad form!) and after 20 or so minutes we squeeze into the gallery.

It’s shoulder to shoulder with the artists and their families, Bedford Gallery members, and a few press. What a challenge to actually see the art but we persevere, weaving through the crowd seeking available pockets of air and heading for any piece of art not too mobbed. There are the usual iconic references – lots of butterflies, animals, and flowers – in paintings, sculptures, a video, and even fabric.

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Photo: Richard Aiello

I’m drawn to the more subtle pieces, for example Vicki Gunter’s clay sculpture of ribs and spine painted blue, which Gunter tells me references Kahlo’s Blue House. Some of the rib bones are paint brushes and some fingers with red nails. The vintage glass buttons as embellishment are a nod to Kahlo’s sense of fashion. “I used to be a dancer, ” Gunter explains. “And I did healing … I connected with what was going on with her physically as well as emotionally.” (As a young woman Kahlo was seriously injured in a bus crash, which resulted in broken bones and a lifetime of pain and surgeries.) Gunter started with the well known Kahlo quote that came after her foot was amputated – “Feet, what do I need you for, when I have wings to fly?”

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Three generations of Frida enthusiasts: Melissa Nerling with her mother Denise and daughter Ramona.

 

Part of the day’s festivities is a Frida Kahlo look-a-like contest. Over 40 people enter, both young and not-so-young. Each struts their stuff on the outside platform while the audience claps in support. Some contestants take the “More is More” approach with added accessories such as stuffed toy monkeys, paintbrushes, a bird cage, layers of chunky beaded necklaces, and the Kahlo classic – flowers in the hair, but supersized.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo: Richard Aiello

There is also a fashion show with models walking the runway in lovely lace dresses and balancing colossal size head pieces made of flowers and twigs.

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Portrait of Frida Kahlo by Nickolas Muray, 1941.

What a fun, if chaotic day, full of spirit and certainly love for all things Frida. I particularly enjoy the vividness of Muray’s photographs and I’d like to go back to take more time with them. I also appreciate seeing how modern artists reinterpret the Kahlo images that speak to them.

Throughout the afternoon I find myself wondering what Kahlo would have thought of the event – the look a-likes, the art, her status as an icon. I suspect she would be quite taken aback.

The World of Frida is on now through September 16, 2018 at the Bedford Gallery, Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, CA. $5 adult entrance fee is a true bargain.

 

 

 

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Tracey Thorn in her vintage dress and uber-mod Paul Weller. Circa 1983s. Photo from Tracey Thorn: Besit Disco Queen.

‘What are you gonna be wearing? ‘He asked. 

‘Um well, this,’ we said, pointing at the second-hand clothes we had on. I had chosen another slightly shabby 1950s print dress, and Ben was doing a kind of Jacques Brel look in a white shirt, jeans, and a corduroy cap. 

‘Oh,’ he said. “But, you know, it’s a gig. Maybe you should, like, dress up a bit.’

He himself was wearing a blue cotton short with a razor-sharp crease down the front, white socks, and bowling shoes. His hair was immaculate – spiky on top but sculpted around the ears. Every inch the uber-mod. In the photos I have of the night, I can see he was right, of course. We look a bit rubbish, and he looks fantastic. 

Tracey Thron, British leader singer/songwriter, Everything But the Girl.

Who remembers Everything But the Girl? Pop with a touch of jazz is how I’d (simply) describe the 80s/90s duo, Tracey Thorn and Ben Watts. This little anecdote is from the memoir, Tracey Thorn: Bedsit Disco Queen (Virago Press, 2013.) Ms. Thorn is talking about one of the first gigs she and Ben Watts had in the mid-1980s. The uber-mod is Paul Weller, former member of The Jam.

Clothing and modern music is a fascinating and diverse topic. There is well-clad Motown, showy disco, shabby rock & roll, even shabbier punk, anti-fashion grunge, and all kinds of subcategories in-between. All of which has influenced fashion over the years.

Ms. Thorn musical roots are deep in 70s punk and so her choice of a vintage dress fits. To her at the time that was “dressing up” while still avoiding a mainstream/commercial style.

Actually, I think the three look good together. Click here for a peek. 

And for some EBTG tunes click here.

 

 

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I spotted these unique women on a recent breezy Sunday afternoon, strolling down Sutter Street in downtown San Francisco.

What stands out most about these creative outfits is who is wearing them. Women of a certain age and I suspect, women who have been dressing this way since the 1980s.

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All white on a bright spring day is perfection. I like that there’s subtle interest in the billowy shirt, with extra long sleeves and cuffs. The black work boots add an edge and remind me of the pseudo-punk look of the 80s.

And then we have black on the right. A high-low skirt in lace is flirty and fun but kept ladylike with a knee length black skirt underneath. The platform sneakers are in patent leather and embellished with baubles on the toe – girly meets edgy! Our street style maven is sporting very long dangle earrings and she’s added a pop of color with a pink tote, not to mention her classic bob in a sort of plum color. What I’m not crazy about is the pedestrian blazer. It just does not go with the rest of the ensemble and it’s throwing off the proportions. She needs something shorter with a tighter fit. A motorcycle jacket comes to mind to lean into the edge and away from the girly she’s got going. If leather is too much, she could get a similar vibe with a short black hoodie.

Oh what a treat to find anything stylish on the streets of San Francisco.

Thanks, ladies. I hope you enjoyed your day out.

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Felicity Jones in a vintage 1950s dress at the BAFTA in 2011. 

I’ve always loved wearing black on the red carpet. It’s the color I wore to my first-ever awards show, and it’s the one I always come back to. Black is like Audrey Hepburn: absolutely classic. 

Felicity Jones – British actress.

You might recognize Ms. Jones from the 2014 movie The Theory of Everything, co-starring Eddie Redmayne, and for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. But I know her from earlier years as the voice of character Emma Grundy on the BBC Radio 4 drama series, The Archers.

It’s slightly unusual in the UK for an actor from a radio series to go on to Hollywood. The London stage, yes. British television, yes. But Ms. Jones has gone way beyond that and hit the big time with films such as True Story and Like Crazy. Now she gets to walk many a red carpet donning classic black.

I agree with Emma, ah … I mean Ms. Jones, about the versatility of black. It’s always an elegant choice.

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