Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

The ever stylish and gracious, RBG.

Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020), associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, heroine, national treasure.

Thank you, Ruth Bader Ginsburg for your your calm and thoughtful efforts to better our world. You are an inspiration that continues on.

RIP

Read Full Post »

Like many other happenings this pandemic year, Gatsby Summer Afternoon has been cancelled. This annual event, always held the second Sunday in September at the picturesque Dunsmuir Mansion in Oakland, is produced by the Art Deco Society of California and is one of the most popular period costume gatherings of the year. It attracts close to one thousand attendees all dressed in attire appropriate to the Art Deco era, 1920s-1940s.

To forgo this favorite event is disappointing, but safety is a priority! So, while we stay safe at home how about a visual revisit to Gatsby Summer Afternoons of the past?

We all look forward to gathering again in person hopefully next year. Save the date: Sunday, September 12, 2021.

This just in: The ADSC has announced a virtual version of Gatsby Summer Afternoon, complete with the usual contests and photo ops. Click here for the full scoop.

UPDATE: Due to unhealthy air quality, the virtual Gatsby Summer Afternoon has been rescheduled for next weekend, September 19-20, 2020.

Read Full Post »

court… Henrietta handed over the queen’s garments, one by one, to the more important Lady of the Bedchamber, who then gave them to the queen. Mary Cowper explained how the dance of dressing commenced: ‘the Duchess of St. Albans put on the Princess’s shift, according to court rules.’ Another ex- member of the bedchamber staff likewise recalled that ‘the Bedchamber Woman gave the fan to the Lady,’ who then handed it to the queen. These nuances of role between the ‘Lady’ and the ‘Woman’ were considered to be of cut-throat importance. 

Lucy Worsley, British historian and chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces.

This quote is from Ms. Worsley’s book, The Courtiers: Splendor and Intrigue in the Georgian Court at Kensington Palace (Walker & Co.). Henrietta was A Woman of the Bedchamber for Princess Caroline (later queen) in the court of George I, 1714-1727.

The Courtiers is a look at court life during the Georgian period (1714-1760), which was by no means easy or even glamorous. The center of court was at that time Kensington Palace (eventually the home of Diana, Princess of Wales) and there was much strife between King George I and his son, George II as well as among the dozens of courtiers, who lived at the beck and call of the royal family. If you’re an Anglophile like me and enjoy good stories, this book is a fun read. I also appreciate the closer look at the first two King Georges (from Germany). A great way to learn British history.

Read Full Post »

ACC

One of the many disappointments this year due to the pandemic was the cancellation of the American Craft Council show usually held at San Francisco’s Fort Mason in August. But as they say, The Show Must Go On and on it will …

The ACC show gathers top craftspeople from around the country (many are from the Bay Area) to exhibit and sell their wares, which includes one-of a kind jewelry, clothing, gifts, and home décor. Instead of showing in person, the ACC has worked hard to shift to a virtual show called San Francisco Bay Area Craft Week, running September 7-13, 2020; there will be an online marketplace where shoppers can see available crafts as well as “visit” artists’ studios, their hometowns, hear their stories, hear their playlists, see artists at work and more.

Participants include:

Kiss of the Wolf (women’s hand-painted clothing –   my sis-in-law!)

Modern Shibori (clothing, local)

Audrey Modern (handbags)

Scott Wynn (furniture)

Sam Woehrman (jewelry, local)

There will be 130 artists in all. I don’t know about you, but I’m already thinking about the holidays and wondering what the heck I’m going to do about gifts. ACC and these participating artists are here to help. And perhaps part of gift-giving this year will be supporting artists who really need our help as much as we need them!

“It’s an opportunity for everyone to ‘travel’ and discover in a time of physical distancing. We believe the creative diversity of object making, craft, and design in the San Francisco Bay Area is a wonderful way to launch this new program,” says Sarah Schultz, American Craft Council, executive director.
Mark your calendars, make your lists, and tune in September 7-13. Click here for more information. 

Read Full Post »

grand.ma

That’s me and my grandmother, she looking lovely in her caftan.

I recently attended a Webinar discussion on the future of fashion during the pandemic with a panel of women who work in the business; one panelist mentioned that she thought entertaining at home was going to be a trend.  She predicted that by next year designers will have a dedicated line of at home wear.

I think she’s on to something and I’m reminded of my stylish grandmother. When she was elderly and could no longer go out, at home every day she donned colorful caftans and leather mules. (She also still dyed her short pixie-cut hair and had regular manicures – up until she died at age 84.)

caf

Caftans by Stella McCartney, Fall 2020 as seen in Harper’s Bazaar. 

My wardrobe includes items that are what I call, At Home Attire. In pre-pandemic days, I would change out of street clothes when I got home and slip into “something more comfortable,” which might be a pair of silky pajamas or a long cotton dress. Now that I’m spending more time at home, I’m inspired by my grandmother and I try to make an effort to look presentable every day.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share some of my newly created outfits. Stay tuned.

 

Read Full Post »

ghgh

Spotted in a local neighborhood window. It’s not a great photo, but it is a great message.

Everyone looks great in a mask because wearing a mask says: I respect myself and my community. I’m doing what I need to do to stay safe and keep those around me safe, too. 

It’s as simple as that.

Read Full Post »

Here’s a little story recounted by French fashion designer Paul Poiret (1879-1944) in his autobiography, King of Fashion.

paulpoiretI passed many times in front of the shop of this English master without daring to cross the threshold. One day, when I was feeling in cavalier mood, and since I needed a suit, I went in and ordered one, not, however, without asking the price, through fear of some unpleasant surprise. I was told one hundred and eighty francs – and I gave my order. 

“When shall I come try it on?” I added. 

“Our clothes are made in London,” I was told. “… and yours will not be ready for seventeen days.” 

… and in seventeen days I returned. Filled with emotion in the fitting room, I saw my coat arrive in the hands of the classic tailor, wearing a measure round his neck. I was astonished that they did not try on the trousers. He called the man who received me: “The trousers, Monsieur? What trousers? You did not order any trousers, nor a waistcoat either.” 

In the 1910s Paul Poiret was known for liberating women from the corset, only to confine their movement with the hobble skirt. Influenced by Asian aesthetics and theater, he was called “King of Fashion” and traveled extensively, including to America where he showed his designs and lectured.

I just finished Poiret’s autobiography, King of Fashion (V&A Publishing) first published in 1931. He led an interesting life and he was a good writer, but I was disappointed that he didn’t discuss his design process, his influences, and perhaps share some of his insights into the fashion industry of the era. I know that he fell out of favor after WWI and I was hoping that he might shed some light on that time of his life. I’m also aware that he met and encouraged designer Elsa Schiaparelli and I would have loved to know what he had to say about that, but no mention.

What he does discuss is his childhood and young adult life working for houses of Douchet and Worth. He goes into detail about opening his first fashion house and the many parties he hosted and attended. There’s lots of name dropping, which meant nothing to me as they were all French and a very long time ago.

Overall The King of Fashion is a good read, if you’re not expecting much about fashion.

Read Full Post »

d95dfd39f507f689a93177ed85cbd1cd

Lady Sybil Crawley (Jessica Brown Findlay) shockingly sports Harem Pants, in season one of  Downton Abbey, 1913.  I think of  Paul Poiret, who was cutting edge in fashion design at the time. Costumes by Susannah Buxton.

Many people won’t realise that it can take six or seven specialist skills to create a costume, often including millinery, corsetry and tailoring. We might have five or six fittings if it’s a complicated costume and each piece can take at least a week to complete, depending on the intricacy of the design.  

Susannah Buxton – British costume designer. This quote is from an interview with Selvegde magazine. (The Brits spell realize with an s.)

Ms. Buxton has been working in costume design for 30 years having won many awards including a BAFTA and an Emmy. She’s known for her work in television PBS shows such as Downton Abbey and Poldark.

She is also one of the co-founders of Costume Symposium –  three days of lecturers and workshops for costumers and students. Masters in their craft teach workshops on making corsets, embroidery, millinery, gloves and more.  Ms. Buxton says as her generation retires these necessary tools of the trade are dying out and resources for teaching such are limited. She wants to help pass along these skills and techniques to the next generation.

The annual event is new since 2018 and has so far been held during the fall in different locations around the UK. Because of the pandemic, this year has been cancelled but there are plans for spring 2021. Click here for more information. 

Read Full Post »

housedress

Imagine – a standard house dress c.1950. Today this is a dress someone might wear to a special occasion.  Ha! Image from Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume & Style, DK, 2012. 

We’re not going out and showing off what we’re wearing the same way. Things like stiletto shoes, skinny jeans, corset dresses feel unimaginable for a long time in terms of not having reasons to wear them. Soft, drapey things were already a place we were heading toward, but now they’re a psychological comfort for people. There’s been a comeback of things like house dresses and flats for home. We’re looking for security blankets in what we’re wearing.

Sarah Liller, San Francisco based fashion designer.

This quote is from an article in the Datebook section of the SF Chronicle, The Coronavirus and Social Movements Gives Fashion a Reality Check, July 3, 2020 by Tony Bravo. Click here for full article. 

Yes! Let’s bring back the house dress.

What is the pandemic’s effect on fashion? We were already pretty casual and if there’s any shift it will be toward even more casual. Picking up takeout food a few weeks back I noticed a guy getting out of his car in shabby shorts and slippers. Clearly he rolled out of his house and into his car in what he’d probably been wearing for days. As we spend more and more time at home, we’re getting out of the habit of dressing and the additional stress of moving about in public is taking a toll on what little desire some of us had in making any effort at all.

I agree with Ms. Liller that people now more than ever want comfort and a feeling of security, which can be found in loose-fitting draped clothing in soft fabrics. So long anything tailored. I see cotton knit unstructured jackets, large scarves, slouchy hats, baggy pants, oversized t-shirts, chunky sweaters … silhouettes that we can snuggle into and feel protected. What I will look for is different takes on these standard items of clothing. Perhaps textured fabrics, creative layering, interesting use of accessories.

What I hope to see is masks everywhere on everybody. Fashionable people will get creative with their masks, but any mask is a positive statement in my book.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

One of the assignments in the fashion history class I recently completed was to find historical fashion references in current fashion. In magazines I looked for examples covering ancient clothing to the 20th century and matched with historical images from books, plus I had to write a comment.

This week it’s the Trunk Hose from the 16th Century.

 

trunkhose

 

I was excited when I found this modern short skirt. It immediately reminded me of the ever popular men’s Trunk Hose. The precursor to Breeches, Trunk Hose initially were short and puffy, but over time they became longer and more narrow. On top a gentleman wore a Dublet, which was attached to the Trunk Hose with laces (called points) threaded through the waistband.  He sported stockings and soft shoes, later boots. In the early part of the 16th Century, ruffs were all the rage to wear at the neck; by the middle of the century Falling Collars were the thing. Check back next week for more on that.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »