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Posts Tagged ‘fashion designers’

Suit by Vivienne Westwood from the Anglomania Collection, 1993.

It’s the appreciation of the past for me, how she translates that to the now. I’ve always been into history and historical garments – the construction and cut of those clothes is so interesting to dissect and play with. Westwood triumphs at that. Playing with British heritage as she and Andres do is a real turn-on for me. And their appreciation of quality – I’m a sucker for luscious fabric.

Flint J McDonald – British fashion designer.

McDonald is speaking of British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and her husband Andres (creative director of the Westwood brand) about how the couple influenced his work. I found this quote in the magazine AnOther, Autumn/Winter, 2021.

I was shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Vivienne Westwood on December 29, 2022.

Although she had no formal fashion design training, she had learned to sew at a young age and made all her own clothes. I was greatly impressed with her talent for construction and the ability to turn classic silhouettes and patterns into the unexpected.

Her skill and unique voice in the world will be missed.

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T-shirt and jeans from the Jane Birkin collection for A.P.C.

It’s a whole art to be invisible. To be noticed for what you actually do or say or write and not for your appearance.

Jean Touitou – Creative director and founder of the French fashion brand, A.P.C.

This season Mr. Touitou has collaborated with actress and fashion icon, Jane Birkin on a new line of fashion unisex basics. Inspired by what has become Ms. Birkin’s daily uniform – jeans, t-shirts, men’s shirts, sweaters, sneakers, and a straw bag (not the Hermes Birkin Bag?). The new line isn’t all that interesting until you get to the details. Such as the t-shirt necklines have a little lower scoop so it drapes just off the shoulder and the sneakers are lined with faux sheepskin. The jeans are 100% Japanese cotton (no spandex!!).

Ms. Birkin herself has said that what she wears is “nice but boring.” I think her style speaks to the Touitou quote above – it’s simple and doesn’t stand out and yet there’s thought behind it. Ms. Birkin is perhaps “invisible,” but she’s still put together and she’s developed her own style. There’s nothing haphazard about her look and in that, I would say, she’s actually quite visible.

I would take these quality basics and accessorize them with a cashmere pullover sweater, a string of pearls, a hat, and a vintage handbag.

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Autumn is my favorite season – for the colors in nature, the shift in the sun, cool mornings, shorter days, and of course the fashions! I like sweaters, wool skirts, scarves, hats, and boots. I like to layer. I like to wear autumn colors: green, golden yellow, brown, black, burgundy.

Leafing though the September 2019 issue of Victoria magazine (the British issue) I came upon a classic look perfect for autumn in any year.

A suede skirt by Ralph Lauren is paired with a cotton broadcloth blouse and a Faire Isle sweater. I really like the small crossbody bag and the grey hat by Anthropologie adds pizazz.

A lovely ensemble just right for a stroll along a wooded path on an chilly autumn afternoon.

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The classic suit. Moschino, fall 2022.

I really like the suit. I like that it takes time to make, that you don’t need to buy many, and that when you find a good one, it becomes your safe space.

Peter Do – Vietnamese American fashion designer.

Suits are a trend this season for women. I agree with Mr. Do. A suit is a staple in anyone’s wardrobe. It does all the heavy lifting and not only does it look polished and professional, it gives the wearer an extra boost of confidence.

I particularly like his last line – “it becomes your safe space.” What a nice way of putting it. Indeed, a suit can be our sartorial comfort zone.

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Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco is celebrating its 17th anniversary with their latest exhibition, The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, on now through March 5, 2023.

Photo: Raquel Adrienne. Courtesy of Aperture.

The New Black Vanguard features 15 Black fashion photographers who create images that step outside traditional fashion expectations and provide a space for the Black aesthetic. MoAD Executive Director Monetta White says: The works in this exhibit signal a dramatic and long overdue transformation taking place in fashion and art today, one driven by the bold vision of a breakout group of Black creatives who are stewarding the representation of the Black figure in the marketplace.

Photo: Daniel Obasi. Courtesy of Aperture.

The fifteen esteemed photographers are: Campbell Addy, Arielle Bobb-Willis, Micaiah Carter, Awol Erizku, Nadine Ijewere, Quil Lemons, Namsa Leuba, Renell Medrano, Tyler Mitchell, Jamal Nxedlana, Daniel Obasi, Ruth Ossai, Adrienne Raquel, Dana Scruggs, and Stephen Tayo. These young artists are from places such as New York, Atlanta, London, and Johannesburg. Their work includes photoshoots for Vogue and Allure magazines as well as ad campaigns for the likes of Dior, Stella McCartney, and Marc Jacobs.

The exhibition of 100 photographs and several publications is arranged in two galleries. In a third gallery visitors can view videos of various ad campaigns created by the artists.

Photo: Jamal Nxedlara. Courtesy of Aperture.

I found the images to be striking for the composition, the styling, and the use of bright colors. They definitely occupy a unique space between art and fashion. I was particularly taken with the photograph above by Jamal Nxedlara, South African image maker and founder of the fashion label Missshape. The more I look at it the more I fall into it. I’m drawn to the color combinations and the sculptured hair echoed in the large earrings. I love details such as the texture in the jacket and the shadow of one earring on the model’s neck. It’s beautiful!

Photo: Ruth Ossai. Courtesy of Aperture.

San Francisco is the only West Coast stop for this traveling exhibit created by New York critic/curator Antwaun Sargent and Aperture magazine. Photographers, photo enthusiasts, and fashion followers will find much to learn and admire at The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion.

MoAD is located at 685 Mission Street @ 3rd in SF. Hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 11-6, Sunday, 12-5.

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Tie-dye dress from Tory Burch Spring/Summer 2013.

I have loved tie-dye since high school. It reminds me of my first concert and endless summers. Many cultures, like those in India, Japan, and Africa, have a tradition of dyeing that is unique to their region. The tie-dye pieces from our Spring 2013 runway were handmade by women artisans in the Republic of Guinea, through a partnership with the non-profit organization – There is No Limit Foundation. These artists are keeping traditions alive, while supporting their families and communities.

Tory Burch – American fashion designer.

This quote is from the book Tory Burch: In Color (Abrams).

I would wear this dress by Tory Burch. I like the simple shirtwaist silhouette, which allows the tie-dye fabric to be the focus. I also like the classic indigo blue and white combo. So crisp and chic! There’s something about dark blue with a touch of white that feels just right for September – back to school, back to work, in my case back to the writing desk – on late summer afternoons, just before we switch to autumnal colors.

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I Am Coco by Isabel Pin

Award winning illustrator Isabel Pin has just published her latest children’s book, I Am Coco: The Life of Coco Chanel (Prestel Publishing).

Much has been written about the designer/fashion icon Coco Chanel (even for children), however, there’s something quite unique and compelling about Ms. Pin’s addition to the stack. As the author and illustrator, she gives readers an overview of Chanel’s life from young orphan at the turn of the last century to innovative designer to icon, highlighting the big events in her life – short-lived singing career, first shop, love affairs, world wars, daring designs, and her comeback in the late 1950s.

Illustrations From the book I am Coco: The Life of Coco Chanel.

Each chapter of the story is concisely written and embellished with colorful illustrations. Although Pin’s depictions bear little resemblance to Chanel, her simple drawings with a swipe of added color grew on me. (Her style actually reminds me of mid-century fashion illustrations, in particular Andy Warhol, who was a fashion illustrator in his early career.) Pin’s images of Chanel, her life, and designs are as delightful to look at as a plate of pink and green French Macarons.

Chanel’s story takes place in the world of fashion, but the message within her story is perseverance. In addition to learning about Chanel’s life and achievements, young readers will find in I Am Coco fashion history, inspiration, and encouragement to follow their ambitions.

I Am Coco: The Life of Coco Chanel by Isabel Pin is targeted for readers aged six to nine, but this its a fun read at any age.

(Thank you Prestel Publishing and Media Masters Publicity for providing a review copy to ODFL.)

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Illustration of Coco Chanel by Isabel Pin from I Am Coco: The Life of Coco Chanel (Prestel Publishing).

In order to be irreplaceable, one has to be different.

So true! This reminds me of something a local clothing manufacturer once told me. He said that people don’t want to stand out in their fashion. They want to blend in.

I can understand that. It’s easier to blend in. To not be different. Particularly in our modern world, where life is so hectic. BUT, it’s a lot less fun.

Come back to ODFL tomorrow for my review of I Am Coco: The Life of Coco Chanel by award winning children’s book illustrator, Isabel Pin.

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Inspiration can be found anywhere at any time. I often stumble upon something that sets my imagination whirling into fashion mode, even though I’m not a designer.

Recently I was visiting Filoli Historic House and Garden in Woodside. While roaming the gardens I was taken with these bright and happy flowers. I commented to my partner that I could see these flowers on fabric. Then I started thinking – If I were a designer I would paint these flowers onto a medium weight cotton fabric in a repeated small print, perfect for a summer shirtwaist dress. An alternative would be to paint large, also on cotton fabric and make a caftan with a matching turban. Painted on silk, what fabulous lining for a lightweight coat. How about a silk quilted coat? Then I thought that if I were a fashion designer I would create a spring/summer line all based on the Filoli garden flowers.

I play this game – If I Were a Fashion Designer – whenever something sparks my fashionable imagination.

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Designing is like a living organism in that it pursues what matters for its well-being and continuity.

Issey Miyake (1938-2022), Renowned Japanese fashion designer.

Miyake was part of the avant-garde fashion movement of the 1980s and 90s, along with Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. Although based in Japan and rooted in Japanese aesthetics, the designs and designers of the movement became global hits. GQ said in 1984, “These are clothes that conform to no fashion standards. They seek to abolish form. They hang loosely on the body in oversized unusual silhouettes.” Additionally the fabric was often in black and had raw unfinished edges.

In 1970 Miyake established the Miyake Design Studio in Tokyo where he experimented with textiles and design, following his own philosophy of creating clothing reflective of its time while always staying socially conscious.

RIP Issey Miyake.

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