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Ensemble by Itang Yunasz displayed as part of the Contemporary Muslin exhibit, de Young Museum, fall 2018.

Last fall when I attended the exhibit Contemporary Muslim Fashions at the de Young Museum, I began to wonder if elements of what we were seeing on display would crossover into mainstream fashion. In particular, the hijab.

Sure enough, headscarves are all over the pages of recent fashion magazines. Perhaps not exact copies of the hijab but there is an echo.

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Headscarf by JW Anderson as seen in Vogue, February 2019.

The headscarf is a natural progression since scarves in general have been in fashion for quite some time as a year-round accessory worn around the neck. Also, it’s an easy baby step into modest dressing, if designers have any thoughts of going in that direction.

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Beautiful designs by Khanaan Luqman Shamlan at Contemporary Muslim Fashions,

 

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Ensemble by Givenchy in Vogue, February 2019. Note that the model is pretty well covered up, too.

Although headscarves are nothing new, they were a mid-century staple for Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Queen Elizabeth among others. But its been awhile since they were in vogue and this time around the look is a bit different, perhaps influenced by the chic yet still modest hijab.

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Chanel spring ad in Vogue magazine, March 2019.

When I heard about the death of designer Karl Lagerfeld earlier this week, I was surprisingly sad. I say surprisingly because, well, frankly, I wasn’t a fan of him as a person. I have read and listened to many an interview with Mr. Lagerfeld and he always struck me as a bit harsh. Still, I admired his talent and the loss of such to the fashion industry is palpable.

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Joan Collins dons a Chanel wool jacket, 1994. Marie Claire magazine, UK edition. Instantly recognizable as Chanel and yet quite different. 

Mr. Lagerfeld, born in 1933, shifted into celebrity status when in the early 1980s he took over the house of Chanel and turned what had become a stodgy label known mostly for its perfume, Chanel No. 5, which had declined in quality and was available at the corner drug store, into a global designer must-have.

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How appropriate that that final season of Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel includes  finger-less gloves, which was an essential part of his personal uniform.

What impressed me was his ability to take vintage Chanel – the suit, the fabrics, the handbags, the jewelry – and reinvent them time and time again. I always enjoyed the full page ads in fashion magazines each season showing yet another new Chanel look that STILL referenced classic Chanel. Perhaps it was a more edgy silhouette for the suit, a shorter hemline, or new bright colors used for the iconic tweed fabric. I particularly loved his use of frayed tweed. He often showed hats and gloves somehow making them hip instead of dowdy. His creativity was endless.

So, I tip my hat to Karl Lagerfeld for his amazing talent and I thank him for his unique contributions to fashion and style. Like Chanel, the Lagerfeld influence will live on.

 

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Costumes for the film Black Panther by Ruth E. Carter.

What I discovered between the research, artistry, and messages in all the costumes I designed for the many historical and imagined figures is my contribution to Afro-futurism. I am honored to receive this recognition from the Costumes Designers Guild and look forward to telling more stories which can change the world. 

Ruth E. Carter, American costume designer.

This quote is from an article about Ms. Carter by Meera Manek in The Costume Designer (The Official Magazine of the Costume Designers Guild), winter 2019.

Ms. Carter recently received the Career Achievement Award from the Costume Designers Guild and she’s been nominated for an Oscar (her third nomination) for her work on Black Panther. In the business since the 1980s, Ms. Carter has worked on Amistad, Malcolm X, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, to name just a few.  For Black Panther, Ms. Carter says that she found inspiration in her research on ancient African cultures. I like her use of accessories such as the bold jewelry and the marvelous hats worn by Angela Basset. who played Ramonda.

Best of luck to Ms. Carter and all the Oscar nominees this Sunday, February 24th.

 

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Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story. 

Mason Cooley (1927-2002), American aphorist and professor of world literature.

I think that perhaps costume designers would agree with Mr. Mason.

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Mary Queen of Scots. Costumes by Alexandra Byrne. 

 

Congratulations to the 2019 Oscar nominees for Best Costumes:

Alexandra Byrne – Mary Queen of Scots

Ruth E. Carter – Black Panther

Mary Zophres – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Sandy Powell – Mary Poppins Returns

 

Each one of these films is a little different and I’m sure not without various challenges.

Find out the winner on February 24, 2019.

 

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Got the post-holiday blahs? I’ve got a remedy for that! Coming up in 2019 there are  fashionable events to enjoy so let’s look at the year ahead and start planning.

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Dr. Kim with models donning traditional hanbok dress.

Saturday, January 19, 2019, 10AM at the de Young Museun in San Francisco dress historian and lecturer Dr. Minjee Kim, will give a presentation called Is Traditional Dress Modern? Hanbok in a Broader Cultural Context. Sponsored by the Textile Arts Council, Dr. Kim’s presentation will focus on traditional Korean dress and its importance in fashion historically and today. I attended this lecture at another venue in December and I highly recommend it! Click here for more information. 

If you’re down in LA on Saturday January 19th the Getty is hosting an interesting event called Artist-At-Work: French Fashion. Costume historian Maxwell Barr will dress a live model in the garb worn by the likes of Marie Antoinette and other 18th century elites. Click here for more information, 

Learn about bojagi, traditional Korean wrapping cloth.  On February 2 the Textile Arts Council is hosting a workshop with Korean textile artist Youngmin Lee. Here’s what they say:

Using the traditional Korean techniques Gamchimjil, Settam Sangchim and Ssamsol, Youngmin will teach basic jogakbo construction in this workshop. Jogakbo, patchwork bojagi, is made with many different colors of remnants of fabric left over from other projects. She will show how to use many small pieces of ramie fabrics, silk organza and Korean silk gauze to create a colorful, free style, geometric patterned bojagi. The finished project will have a unique composition of different shapes, lines and texture.

Open to TAC members only. Click here for more information. 

Coming up on Saturday February 9th is the Twelfth Annual McCoy Lecture: Knots, Art and History: Shifting Perspectives and Perceptions Within the Berlin Carpet Collection.  Anna Beselin, Head of Textile Conservation and Curator for Carpets at the Museum für Islamische Kunst Berlin  will discuss the importance of the Berlin Carpet Collection. (Not a fashion lecture but for those with a general interest in textiles.) Click here for more information. 

Are you thinking about summer travel? Consider an educational vacation to the UK. June 17-28, Costume Connection: A Study Tour Abroad is offering a behind-the-scenes peek at British costumes for films. Here’s what they say:

This two week program led by Mandy Barrington will provide participants with a unique insight into British Costume for Screen. 2019 celebrates the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth; using Queen Victoria as the main theme for this specialist program, participants will be given an insight into the screening of the successful British television series ‘Victoria’. This will include talks from industry professionals, specialist workshops in millinery, where participants will have the opportunity to design and make an individual Victorian Bonnet. Plus, a series of visits to see costume collections across the country.

Sounds great to me! Click here for more information. 

Blow those blahs away while looking forward to a fashionable times ahead. I’ll keep you up to date on events throughout the year, so check back. Better yet, subscribe to OverDressedforLife (upper right hand box).

 

 

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On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me … Epiphany!

My epiphany is that you cannot force an epiphany.

Today is the last post of The Twelve Days of Fashionable Holiday Cards. Thank you to all readers who followed along. I hope you enjoyed the images and keeping the holiday alive a bit longer.

Now on to more fashionable stories in 2019. Stay tuned.

 

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On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me … sugar plum fairies. 

 

I have had this card for so many years. It’s a print of an old photo of sugar plum fairies, circa 1915. So sweet are their crowns and pretty white dresses. This card was from my sis-in-law (thanks Lori!) and I enjoy seeing and displaying it again every holiday season.

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