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Posts Tagged ‘fashion designers’

I have many of my late mother’s dresses from the 70s. Some are unraveling, but I feel close to her when I wear them around my house. There’s a red floral one that reminds me of summers in Oklahoma.

Sherri McMullen – boutique owner.

Originally from Oklahoma, Ms. McMullen owns the fashion boutique McMullen, located in downtown Oakland. Offering luxury clothing by designers from around the world, McMullen has been named among the top American boutiques by Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily.

I also own much of my mother’s clothing from the 50s to the 70s and I can relate to what Ms. McMullen is saying. These vintage pieces of fashion are woven with memories and images that connect us to our past. I think that’s of great value.

Sunday, May 9th is Mother’s Day. ODFL wishes all the moms out there a very happy day!

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Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

We had this vast archive of fabrics from the past decade, and we really tapped into that – and in a strange way it forced us to be more creative.

Lazaro Hernandez, American fashion designer and co-founder of the womenswear brand Proenza Schouler.

Pandemic Year 2020 was challenging for fashion designers as they faced disruptions in the industry’s supply chain – mills were shut, materials were moving slowly or not at all, and manufacturing of just about everything across the globe was at a standstill. So for new collections, designers got creative and sorted through stacks of unused fabrics from past years.

According to a 2017 report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation less than one percent of the fabric produced by the fashion industry was recycled into new garments. But in 2020, out of necessity, there was a shift. Fingers crossed this shift will stick.

Milliner Behida Dolic once told me that she was grateful for having to be thrifty because it made her more creative and resourceful. Spoons became tools and every bit of fabric was put to use, including extra bits of leftover felt which she used as decoration on her fabulous one-of-a-kind hats.

What’s in your fabric collection? Make it your next project.

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I’ve never been a handbag person or spent a lot on bags, but I bought my first Comme bag in New York 10 years ago. It just spoke to me. I liked all the zippers and the handle on it, and that you could dress it up or down. I also liked the size of it: It wasn’t too big, but it had nice deep compartments. I don’t know how girls do it when they get all dressed up for the Emmys and they have these tiny, little bags.

Amy Sedaris – American actress.

This quote is from Harper’s Bazaar, February 2021.

Ms. Sedaris is speaking of the Comme des Garcons Aoyama handbag. She goes on to say that she carried that first handbag until it wore out and then she replaced it with the same style also in black. Later she bought one in white and another one in pink. Now that is brand loyalty.

It is a simple classic handbag and it reminds me of styles from the 1960s. (My mother would have liked it.) As Ms. Sedaris says it’s large enough but not overwhelming and it has a certain understated cool factor. She comments that it “makes me feel like a grown-up.”

I usually like a handle bag, but these days with the pandemic and masks and distancing I’m using crossbody bags. I like my hands free and everything I need at an easy reach. Handle bags can be awkward.

As for small handbags at dress-up events? Well, during the pandemic it’s a non-issue but what I do is … make use of my escort’s pockets.

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Jerry Lorenzo. Photo: Texas Isaiah for Harper’s Bazaar.

So many times, though, when someone dresses up for an occasion, they step into a silhouette that’s a lot different from how they look the rest of the week. They don’t feel comfortable, and it shows. So with Fear of God, we’re trying to blend all these life moments together in one wardrobe that offers comfort and functionality at the same time as elegance and sophistication.

Jerry Lorenzo, head designer at Fear of God.

This quote is from an interview in Harper’s Bazaar, Dec. 2020/Jan.2021.

Mr. Lorenzo started his menswear label, Fear of God, in 2012. Based in LA, his athletic inspired street-style brand had a cult following at first but with his recent winter 2020 line, something shifted.

For one thing, women are paying attention and for another he’s now crossing tailoring with soft more athletic fabrics and in our new pandemic world, that has struck a cord. Not that the idea is new but the timing is spot on. One year into Covid Hell and people are craving an alternative to sweats and joggers but they’re too stressed for challenging structured clothing. Enter tailored duds in forgiving fabrics.

The new line looks to be comfortable but still presentable. A step in the right direction.

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If you’re feeling down internally, make yourself look bomb externally. Whenever I’m like so bummed, I will make sure my outfit is extra on point that day so that I feel really good.

Bella McFadden (AKA Internet Girl), stylist and fashion retailer on Depop.

Depop is a shopping/resale app based out of London. Ms. McFadden is an internet sensation, having done quite well on Depop reselling and restyling thrift store finds (she buys a lot of quirky new stuff, too). She says she’s the number one seller in North America. She also offers what she calls “bundles” or basically a styling service. (Reminds me of Stitch Fix but for clients all about thrift clothes and specifically interested in 90s/Y2K style.) Click here to see on Youtube how Ms. McFadden puts together her bundles.

I agree with Ms. McFadden’s sentiment. We’re all feeling a little bleak after pandemic year 2020, but I can’t think of a better way to lift the spirits than to plan a stellar outfit and wear it!

Check back on Wednesday for a little surprise inspired by Ms. McFadden.

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quoteBecause for me – always, but now more than ever – the human has to be at the center of the process. In these past decades, we’ve talked a lot about numbers – the first, the best. And in a way, this has created a kind of competition that I don’t think you really need. You can forget about creativity and the humanity because it’s all about money and marketing. And that’s not what fashion is for. Fashion is about dreaming, inspiring.

Pierpaolo Piccioli, Creative Director at Valentino.

This quote is from a discussion in Harper’s Bazaar  with designers about what’s important to them right now during these challenging times. (Summer, 2020)

The reason fashion has become more about numbers than people is because many of the houses are now owned by big corporations. It’s not a designer running his own house anymore, it’s a celebrity designer paid a lot of money to produce and produced and produced … until he’s used up and another one is put in place and so on. (Think Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Alber Albaz).

Fashion cannot thrive without imagination and imagination needs time and space to develop.

 

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41k91A-4djLThe English have this knack of putting together the weirdest combinations of clothing and accessories that somehow – with their warped sense of good, bad, and just plain weird taste – inspire the rest of the world. English style at its best is totally natural, fiercely individual and girlishly contrary. It can be funny, tough, sexy, clever and perverse, all at the same time. 

Luella Bartley – English fashion designer and fashion journalist.

This quote is from Ms. Bartley’s book, Luella’s Guide to English Style (Haper Collins, 2010).

I haven’t read this book but I must!

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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.

The late 20th Century: Mini-Dress

late20thC

The simple silhouette, high waist and short hem of Michael Kors design revisits (yet again) the mini-skirt fad of the 1960s. (Additionally Kors use of brocade fabric and jeweled embellishment feels a bit 18th century Baroque.)

Of course I love the matching hat! Plus you can’t see very well, but the mules are made of the same dress fabric. Go matchy, matchy!

This is the final installment of Finding Historical Fashion Today. I hope ODFL readers enjoyed the series. If the stats are any indication, you did.

There will be more historical fashion posts in the future. Stay tuned.

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maryQ

Mary Quant. Illustration by Zoe Taylor. From Selvedge magazine.

Miss Mary Quant – how could I have imagined a career in fashion without Mary Quant? She created the miniskirt for heaven’s sake. Forgive me – where would Topshop be without her? She also created the idea of Saturday night dressing, making things ‘upstairs’ that literally came off the machine and into her King’s Road shop that day in order to serve her adoring fans’ weekend characters. 

Luella Bartley, English fashion designer and fashion journalist.

This quote is from the May/June 2011 issue of Selvedge magazine. The theme of this issue is all things Britannia and Ms. Bartley was asked to choose six women who reflect the British unique and quirky sense of style.

Mary Quant was on her list. Check back for some of the others in the weeks to come.

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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.

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