Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Vintage’ Category

IMG_20190307_180859

In the deep suburbs it’s difficult to find any inspired style. Everyone looks the same in their alt-leisure/yoga wear. So I was pleasantly surprised to spot this woman in the post office.

Screaming 70s style we have: the short jack with faux fur trim hood, the flared tight jeans, and even her hard leather shoulder bag, which she doesn’t wear cross body – not done back then.

The boots can’t be seen here but they’re a low chunky heel and her hair is straight, long, and dyed very blonde. The clue that we haven’t entered a time-travel machine (given the age of the post office itself we might think, hmm …)  is that she’s sporting the black shirt below the jacket hemline. That is a modern layering look and it wasn’t done back in the day.

I doubt any of these pieces are vintage but worn all together the total look certainly presents vintage.

Hooray for something different!

 

 

Read Full Post »

qKBCeTOLKJwCWe wear what everyone else wears, but that in turn is constantly undermined by changes which take place in society. In the 1950s, that “everyone” was in twinsets and pearls; a decade later, it was miniskirts. The radicalized 1960s was a decade whose true and enduring revolution was the sexual one. Clothes were part of the physical liberation of the body, the undoing of what Dior had made twenty years earlier. Chic, elegance, style, femininity were no longer the measure of how you dressed. You dressed to feel free inside, and feeling free, perhaps you could actually make yourself (and others) free. You cannot take part in a demonstration in stilettos. 

Linda Grant, British author.

This quote is taken from the non-fiction book, The Thoughtful Dresser: The Art of Adornment, the Pleasures of Shopping, and Why Clothes Matter (Scribner, 2009).

Reading The Thoughtful Dresser I have wondered what Ms Grant would have to say about athleisure and the trend for sloppy dressing. I’m about two thirds into the book and she hasn’t commented yet.

What she does discuss is shifts in fashion from the 1940s on as well as the importance of clothing in society and to her personally. She says, “how we choose to dress defines who we are … how we look and what we wear tells a story.”

With her own stories and stories of others (including Catherine Hill, a refugee in Canada after WWII who went on to become a successful buyer for women’s clothing in various department stores) Ms Grant takes on the topic of fashion in a serious but accessible manner.

I’m enjoying The Thoughtful Dresser and I recommend it to fashion enthusiasts, particularly those interested in fashion history.

Read Full Post »

rawImage

I recently had the pleasure of joining the Textile Arts Council on a private docent-led tour of Kimono Refashioned, on now through May 5, 2019 at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum.

The Kimono has been  a part of my world since I was a little girl. My dad owned an antique men’s Kimono in silk and my mother has a collection of colorful cotton Kimono that she dons at home. One of my first sewing projects was a Kimono style robe. The word Kimono means “a thing to wear.” That is a casual definition for such an important garment that has crossed cultural barriers from traditional Japan to modern America.

Kimono Refashioned highlights the influence Japanese Kimono – in textiles, aesthetics, and design – has had on western fashion since the late 19th century. The exhibit is two galleries with over 35 garments from the Kyoto Costume Institute.

5

 Kimono made into a Victorian dress, c.1875. 

Among the displayed garments is a Kimono deconstructed and remade into a Victorian dress (are we thinking appropriation?) and later examples of how Kimono influenced western silhouettes with designs by Paul Poiret, Coco Chanel, and Madeleine Vionnet, among others. Modern designers featured include Tom Ford, Rei Kawakubo, Sarah Burton, and Christian Louboutin.

Kimono Refashioned at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum. Don’t miss it!

PS – No photo-taking allowed in the exhibit.

 

Read Full Post »

IMG_20190314_132016772

Francesco Risso. Speaking of inspiration, the window in the background reminds me of bojagi.

I’m a passionate collector of images. I like to imagine characters in a story, but you need a reference – a flower, a piece of art, anything that can connect you with that story. Today I found this incredible Chinese  man holding lanterns. I hope one day, opening my drawers, to bring out a story that will be an inspiration for something. 

Francesco Risso, creative director of Marni since 2016.

This quote is taken from an interview that Risso did with Joshua Levine for W magazine, v.2 2019.

The Chinese man that he refers to is an English brooch from the 1940s. The man is made of gold and the hem and cuffs of his robe are encrusted with diamonds. I can picture that charming brooch and I hope one day to spot the inspiration it brings to the Marni line.

It is said that Risso has “put his own stamp on Marni,” which was initially an upset after 20 years of designer/ owner Consuelo Castiglioni in charge. (Castiglioni sold Marni to  OTB Group in 2012.) Risso admits that he didn’t follow the codes of the house. But he has since settled in and earned widespread respect for his sense of individuality and diversity in his references.

IMG_20190314_143239

The whimsical designs of Francesco Risso for Marni. How ironic that an outside the box kind of designer works for a large fashion conglomerate. But it’s the outsider types that the corporations are hiring  these days. Quirky sells.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

IMG_20190306_162554

Franklina Gray in Milanese lace veil, 1875.

English girls dress in the worst possible taste … German ladies dress without any regard to taste, the prevailing colors being purple and yellow … The Milanese ladies have a pretty fashion of wearing long black lace veils instead of hats. 

Franklina Gray (1853-1934).

At age 22, Ms. Gray embarked on the Grand Tour of Europe with her mother, aunt, and stepfather. From 1875 to 1877, the four traveled together visiting such countries as England, Germany, Greece, and Italy. As she traveled she kept a detailed journal and wrote letters regularly to her fiance left behind in Oakland, CA.

When the family returned they settled into what is now called the Camron-Stanford House on Lakeside Drive in Oakland. In 1878, Ms. Gray married her fiance, William Springer Bartlett at the Lakeside Drive home where they also lived for the next few years.

On now at the Camron-Stanford house is the unique exhibit, Franklina C. Gray: The Grand Tour, which features photos and excerpts from Ms. Gray’s writings about her travel experiences as well as personal mementos and articles of clothing, including gloves and shoes from her wedding ensemble.

I’m a big fan of local history and interesting characters, of which Ms. Gray certainly was. I’ve toured the house several times, but something new is always added (this time details about Ms. Gray’s family) and the old information sometimes doesn’t stick. For example, I should have remembered that the Camron-Stanford House (the last standing Victorian mansion on Lake Merritt) was once the Oakland Museum and we nearly lost this historical treasure back when the new museum was built.

But we didn’t lose it and tours of the house and the current exhibit are available on Sundays only. I highly recommend a visit to the Camron-Stanford House to my local readers for a leisurely Sunday afternoon out.

Franklina C. Gray: The Grand Tour runs through November 17, 2019.

Click here for more information.

 

Read Full Post »

IMG_20190220_110951

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.

IMG_20190221_190310

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.

IMG_20190220_110838

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.

 

Read Full Post »

TheCrown_S3_301_001_R20180713-9788-1kvo8hm-34c5841

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown. 

You know, don’t behave badly; they may not ask you back. 

Olivia Colman – British actress who has taken over the role of Queen Elizabeth II in the third season of the Netflix television series, The Crown.

The third season is in production now. Joining Olivia Colman will be Helena Bonham  Carter as Princess Margaret. Now that’s an interesting choice as the actress is a good twenty years older than her character was in the mid-1960s. But I saw a couple of photos of her in costume and she looks great. I’m a big fan and so I look forward to seeing what she does.

As for the costumes, they are by Michele Clapton, three-time Emmy winner and costumer also for Game of Thrones.

The next season is due out later this year. In the meantime click here for all The Crown scoop.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »