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Posts Tagged ‘fashion news’

One day something magical happened. Something forbidden happened.

Polka Dot met Stripes and after that, fashionable life was never the same.

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Magenta comes from the red family and it is described by Pantone as a shade with “vim and vigor” and is “expressive of a new signal of strength.” Inspired by nature, more specifically the cochineal beetle, Viva Magenta is meant to reflect strength, power, and compassion in our ever more stressful and challenging world. (Click here for the full Pantone blurb.)

Well, it’s also very bright and hard to wear for a lot of us. Still, I see it as an interesting accent color in patterns for dresses, shirts, and accessory pieces such as scarves, gloves, and socks.

To help us incorporate the new color into our fashion, the British luxury fashion retailer N.Peal offers a list of suggestions. Here are a few:

Magenta trousers paired with a fitted t-shirt for a casual look.

A magenta sweater allows us to play with the new color and can be dressed up or down.

For those feeling a little shy about the new color (or you know it’s not right for you), try it in an accessory such as a pair of shoes or a handbag.

Great ideas, thank you!

What to you think, ODFL readers? Will you be adding a little “vim and vigor” into your fashion looks for 2023?

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Winners of the California MIWW Left to Right: In the adults category – Jennifer Serr; Juniors – Olivia Frenette; Pre-Teen – Kevin Vlach; Seniors – Rebekah Kasperson.

Make It With Wool is a state and national fashion design and sewing or knitting competition sponsored by The American Sheep Industry. Founded in 1947, the competition website says it seeks to “promote the beauty and versatility of wool fabrics, fibers, and yarns.” MIWW is open to pre-teens through adults and all fabric and yarn used must be at least 60 percent wool. Three judges look for excellence in presentation and appearance, construction, and marketability.

The California Make It With Wool (MIWW) competition and fashion show was held on November 12th in Orinda. The four winners are now eligible for the national MIWW contest to be held in Texas in January, 2023.

I attended the fashion show in Orinda and was pleased to see such talent and interest in sewing and knitting. Many of the young contestants learned to sew in 4H. I noticed a vintage feel to some of the entries. Jennifer Serr, winner in the adult category, used a 1930s suit pattern (see photo above).

Calling all those who sew and/or knit! Why not show off your talent and skills next year? Check out the MIWW website for more information and contacts.

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2022 California Make It With Wool Contest.

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Catherine Blair. Photo: Judy Rogac for Harper’s Bazaar.

Maybe the (Catholic-school) uniform that I complained about was a good idea in that it showed that it’s not awful to wear the same thing. And I often think when I see somebody who’s not terribly well-dressed but has tons of clothes, if she had just restricted her shopping a bit.

Catherine “Deeda” Blair – NY society doyenne, medical philanthropist, and mental-health and brain research advocate.

This quote is from an interview with Ms. Blair in Harper’s Bazaar, September 2022. Her first book, Deeda Blair: Food, Flowers, and Fantasy (Rizzoli International Publications) is just out.

It’s funny to think that people who are “not terribly well-dressed” have a lot of clothes, but it’s true. Instead of piles of fast fashion, just a few quality classics would be so much better for the environment as well as one’s bank account.

Uniforms can help with that. What I mean is a personal uniform – a go-to look that is comfortable and makes the wearer feel confident. For example, I wear skirts and various tops. The tops depend on the weather and what I’m doing. I might wear a blouse if I’m working or a t-shirt if I’m running errands. It was my mom who inspired my look. When I was growing up, she wore skirts and button down shirts for her daily uniform. She had maybe four skirts (wool tweeds and cotton pleats) and half a dozen shirts in white. She layered with sweaters as do I. For me skirts are easy and always looks stylish, particularly with an added hat, scarf, and some eye-catching jewelry.

I must confess that I have quite a few skirts in cotton for spring/summer and in wool for autumn/winter. But I do wear them!

How about you? Do you have a personal uniform? Please share.

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Photo by EVG Kowalievska on Pexels.com

There was a time when the iron was woven into the rumpled fabric of family life. This humble appliance would be brought out regularly – along with the ceremoniously popping into position of the ironing board – to smooth a church dress, crease a pair of work trousers or unwrinkle fancy cloth napkins. Now my iron is hidden on a high shelf in my laundry room. I no longer own an ironing board. While sales of irons are on the decline, garment steamers have picked up steam.

Christine Fellingham – a former editor at Glamour magazine.

Hold on a minute! The “humble” iron is a very important tool for anyone who sews, and FYI, I use cloth napkins, which means I’m ironing those too. I have several irons, one ironing board and I use them, depending how much sewing I’m doing, at least twice a month. Seamstresses use irons to press out wrinkles in fabric before cutting and sewing; crease seams; apply fusible interfacing, and a host of other things.

My textiles instructor in the Fashion Department at San Francisco City College once mentioned that most of her young students have no idea how to use an iron. Well, they quickly learn! Do you watch Project Runway? Ever noticed the designers are constantly running to the ironing board?

Irons can do what garment steamers cannot, although, steamers are great for quickly getting out wrinkles right before you run out the door. But the iron, just like the sewing machine, is a seamstress’ buddy.

Let’s have some respect for the humble iron.

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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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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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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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