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Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis in Feud: Bette and Joan.

I don’t know what we would have done without fabric painting. Since it was too time-consuming to locate the good vintage fabrics and prints, we relied on CADFab digital printing to replicate the fabrics we needed, From Baby Jane’s floral dress to Bette Davis’ 1978 Oscar caftan. 

Katie Saunders – Costume Supervisor on the television limited series, Feud: Bette and Joan.

Ms. Saunders was nominated for an Emmy for her work on Feud.

Congratulations to the winners in the costume categories last night.

Period Series: Michele Clapton – The Crown 

Contemporary Drama: Alix Friedberg, Big Little Lies

Variety/Non-Fiction/Reality: Zaldy Goco, RuPaul’s Drag Race

 

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Who are all of these people? I’m not against social media, but I don’t think the doors should be flung open wide so the whole world is at every presentation. It’s become a public convention. At times it feels like Comicon.

Ken Downing, fashion director and senior vice president, Neiman Marcus talking about fashion week.

Yeah, from what I hear New York Fashion Week has become an unpleasant madhouse.

Too many shows, too spread out (now that there’s no central location), and most of all – too many people, apparently, according to Mr. Downing, dressed like clowns. Also the shows never start on time. All this makes it very challenging for those who are  there just trying to do their job.

Oh, and did you know that some of the celebs sitting in the front row are paid to be there? Yep! According to the New York Times Beyonce gets $100,000. Julianne Moore only gets $60,000. (Don’t tell her … we don’t want any cat fights next to the catwalk.)

Meanwhile, the fashion powers that be are pondering the idea of opening up the shows even more and selling tickets to those willing to pay the big bucks. Traditionally one had to be invited and connected to the business – a fashion reporter, editor, buyer, retailer, etc. Or a friend or family member of the designer. Even today you must be invited. But, perhaps eventually the shows will become a real spectator sport and all you’ll need is a few hundred bucks to buy your way in.

 

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IMG_20170821_171928Your new hat is small … and round … and deep … made of melusine … the silky soft felt that is this year’s fashion sensation … in the subtle shades of a degas painting … flattering and romantic … from a collection … millinery, second floor. 

Agnes Farrell, fashion director & advertising director at Bullocks Wilshire, 1930s-1960s.

Speaking of a Degas painting, there’s a little more time left to catch Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. On now through September 24, 2017.

Click here to read my review.

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Photo: Getty Images

Melania Trump’s poor choice of shoes last week caught a lot of attention. Less attention was paid to the cap she sported after landing in Houston to tour the flooded disaster zone caused by Hurricane Harvey. (Actually, they didn’t tour anything.)

Stepping down from Air Force One, Lady Trump had switched out of the heels and into a pair of snow white sneakers and donned a black cap with white stitching spelling out FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States). Another poor choice given she was going to a city completely underwater! The first thing that came to my mind when I saw her on television was – FLOAT! As in Houston residents floating in flooded cars, on flooded streets … floating inside flooded houses.

It read to me like a bad joke but I suppose that she didn’t get the pun. No one else on that plane got it either? In any case, it reflects the carelessness and insensitivity of the Trumps.

For the record I don’t like to criticize other women, but I expect more from FLOTUS and Melania just isn’t the role model she should be. Indeed, where has she been the last eight months?

l_bf97ff30-b30d-11e3-9bbd-795888e00023On a side note, I wonder if Melania has been influenced by the late Princess Diana in her choice of a white Oxford shirt. Diana has been in the press a lot these past weeks as we approached the 20th anniversary of her death. The princess sported Oxford shirts in 1997 as she toured active land mine fields and visited land mine victims in Angola.

But she left her tiara at home.

 

 

 

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Photo: Alexi Lubomirski for Harper’s Bazaar, August 2017. 

I like it when I see people dressed on the street and it looks like Gucci but it’s not. It means you are doing something right. If you want to go to the store, that’s fine. If you want to go to the market that’s much better. Or if you want to buy just a pair of shoes and then you want to go to the market, it’s better than better. 

Alessandro Michele, Italian designer for Gucci.

A great message – mix it up. Expensive with inexpensive – vintage with modern – brand with no-name. Get creative!

Speaking of designers, fashion week is coming up in NYC September 7-13, 2017.

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IMG_20170818_171632286Just about this time of year I feel the pending shift of seasons from summer to fall and I start thinking ahead to Gatsby Summer Afternoon, always held on the second Sunday in September.

I enjoy conjuring past images of the Dunsmuir Hellman mansion surrounded by hundreds of ladies and gentlemen dressed in their Art Deco garden party finest from the 20s to the 30s. Blankets on the grass topped with baskets of food. Tables adorned with fresh flowers and champagne coupes. Classic cars shinning brightly in the sun while vintage dance tunes echo all around us. That’s the splendor of Gatsby Summer Afternoon.

This signature event of the Art Deco Society of California attracts over 1000 people every year. A time travel experience, attendees are expected to participate by dressing Art Deco and keeping to the spirit of the era with period style food and picnic site accessories. And there are prizes for those who do it well!

IMG_20170807_161957720Planning my outfit I’m channeling Daisy Buchanan with a floppy hat and flouncy dress in mauve. The hat belongs to Mom – she’ll be so happy I’m wearing it. I have a 1920s beaded handbag that was my grandmother’s and it pairs nicely with my cream colored Oxford shoes by Amalfi. A big thank you to Paula Aiello from Sew Becoming for the lovely dress.

On tap for the day is:

  • Don Neeley’s Royal Society Jazz Orchestra with vocalist Carla Normand
  • The Decobells Dance Review
  • Grand Motorcar Exhibit
  • Wine Tasting
  • Specialty Cocktails
  • Dunsmuir House Tour
  • Croquet Lessons
  • Prizes for Best Costume, Best Picnic Site, Best Charleston

Plus a whole lot of visiting with like-minded people!

Interested? New to the event? The ADSC makes it easy by providing helpful tips. Not sure what to wear? Forgot an accessory? Not to worry. Onsite will be Jay Gatsby Costume Closet where appropriate items are available to rent for the day.

Gatsby Summer Afternoon. Sunday, September 10, 2017, 1-6. Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland, CA. Tickets are still available but they do sell out, so don’t dawdle.

Come on old sport, join us!

 

 

 

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Vanguard America sport a new look. The guy in the middle is James Fields, who was recently charged with murder for running over a group of peaceful protesters in Charlottesville, VA. Photo:  Go Nakamura/New York Daily News

It seems white nationalists, Vanguard America in particular, have adopted for themselves a new uniform – khakis and polo shirts. According to several reports that was the prevailing outfit last weekend as these people descended upon the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

If someone says “white nationalists” I picture angry white men in well-worn jeans and heavy work boots, t-shirts with the Confederate flag or some offensive slogan, maybe a swastika. So it was startling to see in photos the once preppy look usurped by fringe hate groups.

It speaks volumes:

  • They’re not hiding their identity like previous generations of hate groups such as the KKK. They’re feeling comfortable with their racism.
  • They want to blend in and identify with the oh-so-many fellas out there who sport the same look – the golfer, the suburban dad, the middle manager, the Every Man.
  • These men want to appear mainstream, clean-cut, NORMAL.

 

If this continues the look will no doubt be tainted if it’s not already. I couldn’t help but think about the thugs in Charlottesville when the other day a man crossed my path sporting a white polo shirt and khakis. Probably on his way to work, the guy I’m sure was unaware of the association I made with his outfit. How funny is it that a week earlier I wouldn’t have even noticed him.

I say this must stop. Come on Levis, The Gap and any brand that makes khakis – like the makers of the Tiki torch you have to disavow yourselves from the alt-right. Same goes for polo shirt brands. Lacoste. Ralph Lauren. Do you want to be associated with hatred and violence?

Speak up!

 

 

 

 

 

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