Posts Tagged ‘fashion designers’

Women’s hats, if they are good hats, always must stir controversy, arouse conversation, occupy the spotlight.

Lilly Daché (c 1898-1989), French born American milliner.

I was a hat gal from the start. I wonder if this furry number would have met with Daché’s approval.

My grandmother used to say to me, “Are you a hat gal?” Well, yes I am! I love hats and I have many. In fact I think at this point the hat is my signature accessory. But not all fit Lilly Daché’s criteria. Some I don purely for practical reasons – shade from the sun or warmth in the cold. Still, even with those hats I go for style and coordinate with my outfits.

Daché immigrated from France to New York City in 1924. She had studied millinery, but she started as a salesperson at Macy’s. Eventually she left Macy’s to work in a hat shop. Later she bought the business with another employee and it grew into a nine story building called The House of Hats. By this time it was the 1930s and every well-dressed woman donned a hat. Daché became known for her glamourous creations, counting among her customers Hollywood stars such as Heady Lamar and Gloria Swanson. She is credited for making the turban a popular choice in the 1940s.

By the 1950s Daché was a household name designing accessories, jewelry, and perfume. She was even on the popular TV show What’s My Line in 1955. Click here to see.

She wrote an autobiography called Talking Through My Hats and she retired in 1968.

How about you ODFL readers – are you hat gals? Or hat guys? Please share in the reply box below.

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Ariana Rebello is fashion journalist based in New York City. As a first-generation American of Indian descent, she has been motivated to encourage South Asian representation in fashion. She currently produces her own fashion talk show, I Don’t Have Style Either, on NY2C, a video guide on what’s new and exciting in NYC. Originally from Northern Virginia, Ariana studied music business at Hofstra University with a concentration in PR and accelerated law.

Ariana was kind enough to fill us in on her journey with a Q&A.

What attracted you to fashion journalism? 

My interest for journalism started because my dad was a journalist in DC. Aside from that, I would watch shows like Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, and the Drew Barrymore show and be completely mesmerized with the hosts’ charming personality and the deep, and moving conversations they could bring out of their guests. Because of this, I started my own women’s talk show at my college radio station. This show focused specifically on talking about trailblazing women in entertainment and their stories of success. I was connected to NY2C through that show and decided to change paths into fashion. Fashion was an outlet for me to be creative in a way that I loved. 

I have enjoyed watching I Don’t Have Style Either. Would you please tell us the premise behind the series? 

I Don’t Have Style Either is a show about using fashion and style to personalize yourself and creating an open space for difficult dialogues in the fashion industry. We usually shoot a sit down interview with our guest and then ask the guest to show us the method behind their skills. If it’s a model, we are learning to pose for pictures. If it’s a stylist, we are learning how colors and certain patterns work for different people.

What do you look for in a potential interviewee? 

I always look for someone I personally admire. I am lucky to say that every one of my guests are people that I consider friends and role models of mine. In the future I will be looking for guests with unconventional origin stories and guests that teach the viewers a skill they can use forever. 

A lack of diversity in fashion has always been an issue, but do you think we’ve made any progress in recent years? What changes would you like to see? 

I do believe the fashion industry has changed for the better in the last decade, however, there is always more that can be done. Designers such as Claudia Li and Collina Strada have started that conversation through using models of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds to showcase their collections.

When you’re not working and want some fashion fun, what’s your go-to fashion media platform? 

I am a tiktok girl until I die. I have so many favorite tiktok creators that influenced me to not only work in fashion journalism, but also to move to the city three years ago. I would say some that inspired me are Davis Burleson, Kit Price, Lacey Tanner and, Arabella Bartelloni. 

How would you describe your personal style? 

My personal style changes all of the time! I love goth and emo influences from the early 2000’s and I had to force myself not to get a bunch of tattoos and paint my room black. But I also love the classic styles of Jackie Kennedy and Grace of Monaco. And on a Saturday night I just want to wear a super business pantsuit with a sheet mesh top underneath

A role model of mine told me that you don’t need to pick a niche for personal style, you can wear whatever you want and make your own “core style.” Ariana Core is large t shirts, boy shorts and blazers with high heel boots and ribbons in your hair. 

Do you have a favorite South Asian designer?  Do you see cultural references in their designs? 

I have too many to count. My dream is to one day work with Prabal Gurung. But this year I loved seeing Rahul Mishra’s spring couture collection. He has made it a point to employ over a thousand artisans from Indian craft communities. His collection was based off of the Ghandian philosophies such as cultural sustainability. I can’t wait to see more South Asian designers during the second season of South Asian New York Fashion Week.

What’s up for you style-wise this summer? 

Though the summer is a time to relax, there is a lot to do.  I have been in Europe all spring and I have adored it, but there is nothing better than NYC in the summer. This summer will be the time for one piece swimsuits, new balances in the office, and vests of every color, texture and size.

I’m with you on vests! I think they have been an underappreciated accessory, but to add color, interest, and sometimes a little needed warmth in air-conditioning, vests are an excellent choice for summer.

Thank you, Ariana! Enjoy your summer style and I look forward to seeing you on I Don’t Have Style Either.

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Patricia Field. NYC Fashion Week 2019. Photo: Tina Paul.

I’m disappointed with the trend of sweatpants and sneakers. I mean, come on! I feel it’s not that interesting. Now everyone’s walking around looking like that. It shows no sense of originality. Yes, it’s comfortable. I like sweatpants when I’m in my apartment. But I wouldn’t go out in Paris in a pair of sweatpants. And that happened to me in Paris! When I first went there to do “Emily,” I sent (creator) Darren Star, “I’m in here in Paris. I’m going to check out the French chic.” I do my little routine, go outside. They’re all in sneakers, jeans and sweatpants! I’m like, This is depressing. I want the French chic, damn it!

Patricia Field – American costume designer/stylist.

How sad is that? Paris, historically the city of elegant style, is now awash in sweats and jeans.

This quote is from Pat in the City: My Life of Fashion, Style, and Breaking All the Rules (Dey Street Books).

Check back tomorrow for my review of this fascinating fashion memoir.

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Karl Lagerfeld and his creations for Chanel. Photo: Getty images.

Speaking of her good friend Karl Lagerfeld’s fashions Anna Wintour says:

… uniform, a kind of armor and a way of holding certain moods and memories close. His fashion does for me what fashion should. It makes me feel more confident in being myself.

Anna Wintour – British born editor-in-chief of American Vogue.

This quote is from the New York Times article Anna and Karl, a Love Story in Clothes by Vanessa Friedman, April 27, 2023.

Tonight, May 1st, is the fashion event of the year – The Met Gala, where over 400 invited guests will gather at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and strut their couture fashions up the red carpet. In control of the gala since 1995 is Anna Wintour, who chooses the theme, the food, the décor, and most importantly who gets invited. (Project Runway’s Tim Gunn has been banned for insulting Anna and the entire Kardashian clan wasn’t invited this year perhaps because of sister Kim’s controversial dress stunt in 2022.)

A fundraiser for the Costume Institute housed at the museum, tickets cost $35,000 each and tables start at $300,000, but don’t think that that kind of cash says you can invite who you want to your table. Ah, no! Anna decides who dines with whom.

The Costume Institute fundraiser dates back to 1948 when fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert organized a midnight supper, which soon became the party of the year but strictly for socialites. When in 1973 former fashion editor Diana Vreeland took over, the event began to expand. But it’s really Anna who has created the celebrity circus that it is today; and with the circus come the big bucks. Last year’s gala raised over 17 million dollars.

Each gala theme reflects the current fashion exhibition. This year’s theme is a tribute to late German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld (1933-2019) and the exhibition, Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty runs from May 5 – July 16, 2023.

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I like originality. I combine fashion and philosophy. Fashion, to me, is an art form. For it to make sense, it has to have a philosophy behind what you’re doing. Otherwise, it’s just trendy.

Patricia Field – American stylist/costume designer known for her work on Sex and The City, The Devil Wears Prada, and Emily in Paris.

This quote is from a Q&A Field did with Today.com.

Field is just out with her memoir, Pat in the City: My Life in Fashion, Style, and Breaking All the Rules (Harper Collins).

I completely agree that fashion (or style) has to have some thought behind it to be interesting. When someone buys and wears a head-to-toe designer outfit, there’s nothing of the individual reflected. But when we put together our own ensembles – mixing a vintage piece with a trendy piece, choosing color and pattern – that’s where the creativity and our own approach, or as Field calls it “philosophy,” comes in. Anything other than that is following someone else’s vision.

I look forward to reading Pat in the City.

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MZ Wallace caught my attention before I knew who they were. One day on BART I a spotted well-dressed woman carrying the cutest quilted fabric tote in black. I hadn’t seen anything like it. Not long after that, MZ Wallace showed up in my IG feed (hmm, coincidence or … ?) and I immediately recognized their distinctive look. I followed them knowing that one day I was going to indulge.

Behind MZ Wallace are Monica Zwirner and Lucy Wallace, two NYC women who were not finding what they needed in a handbag – “a bag that would allow for every aspect of our busy lives, that we could use all day every day all year round.” In 2000 they launched their brand determined to provide a “functional luxury” product.

Made of recycled nylon, MZ Wallace bags are lightweight and waterproof. The quilting gives subtle texture and extra interest. Initially they started off in black but recently have added patterns and lots of bright colors like kelly green. They are known for their urban-friendly crossbody bags and backpacks. Also on offer is an array of other styles such as hobo, tote, and the oh-so-popular sling.

I’m a fan of crossbody bags. I like the way they look and of course they are convenient. After a couple of years of watching MZ Wallace I decided last fall that for my birthday I was finally going to treat myself. I had settled on the Metro Flat Crossbody. It’s sleek and simple with two pockets on the outside and four on the inside. There are little details that make this a “luxury” bag such as a leather zipper pull trimmed in red and inside fabric that is soothing to the touch.

This is the bag I reach for when I’m going out for the day. I usually also carry a tote for all the extras – umbrella, hat, water, and so on. I couldn’t be happier with my MZ Wallace and it won’t be long before I just have to have another one.

(This is not a paid endorsement.)

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I could see any one of these vintage Patrick Kelly gowns on the Red Carpet. Photo courtesy of The San Francisco Fine Arts Museums.

More and more people are aware that what we see on the red carpet is paid for – a branding opportunity. So, when someone chooses to wear vintage, they’re kind of saying: ‘I’m an individual here. I really love how it looks on me. I don’t care that it’s not sponsored by some brand!’ That feels more authentic to a lot of people in a very branded world.

Cherie Balch – Canadian founder of the well-known online vintage store, Shrimpton Couture.

This quote is from an article in the Style Section of the New York Times, January 6th, 2022.

Demi Moore was the first to wear a vintage gown to the Oscars in 1992 (Versace) and since then there has been a parade of celebrities following suit – Julia Roberts, Margot Robbie, and Emma Watson to name a few.

The Academy Awards is coming up next Sunday. Who will wear what on the red carpet?

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Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

I used to watch my grandmother Helen get ready to go out shopping when I was living with her. I remember her ritual of choosing her clothes and putting on her makeup and putting hair spray in her hair that had been set. And the last thing she did was put on the pearls. So, I just always associated pearls with being a very ladylike, womanly thing. A pearl necklace on a boy or someone who identifies as male becomes this (bleeping) with gender. And I like wearing pearls, and I like getting my nails done. And I don’t think those things belong to gender.

Marc Jacobs – American fashion designer.

The quote is from Harper’s Bazaar, Dec. 2020/Jan. 2021 issue.

Jacobs goes on to say that he finally bought himself a pearl necklace one recent Christmas and he calls the single strand of Mikimoto pearls “part of my ritual self-care.”

I can relate to the love of pearls and ritual self-care. There’s something comforting about a strand of pearls resting against my neck and I find the luster and texture of the creamy beads soothing. Self-care is important – in the form of a piece of jewelry, a cup of tea, a walk in nature, a manicure, a nap – whatever works and it’s interesting just how simple it can be. My ritual of self-care is a daily walk, an afternoon cup of green tea, and reading a good book in the evening. Also, I wear jewelry every day. I enjoy the morning ritual of sitting at my vanity and choosing a ring to slip on my finger, a necklace to hang around my neck, a bracelet to grace my wrist.

How about you, ODFL readers? Do you have a piece of jewelry that makes you feel good? Do you have a self-care ritual? Please share!

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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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