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Ayesha Curry

Ayesha has the best energy and is truly one of the kindest women on the planet … If she’s in LA, we might shift gears and do a short Isabel Marant dress or a Stella McCartney jumpsuit with a sexy heel or a cute bootie and layer a bunch of jewelry. In the Bay, depending on weather, she might throw on some high-waisted jeans, a bodysuit and a faux-fur jacket with a cross-body bag. Her look is chic, transitional, and real – just like her life.

Mary Gonsalves Kinney – San Francisco based stylist.

Ms. Kinney is speaking to the Nob Hill Gazette about her Bay Area celebrity client, Ayesha Curry (cookbook author and wife of Warriors basketball star, Stephen Curry).

I tip my hat to Ayesha for choosing faux-fur.

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yujawang1_erichcampingphotocreditIt’s hard to find clothes because I’m so petite. In my twenties, I’d put on my tight Herve Leger dress and heels, and it looked like I was going to the bar. Concert goers think, Classical music – it’s really serious. There are lots of rules, and the dress code, which I broke, was one of them. It’s irrelevant to what we’re doing. It’s just a piece of cloth, but once it’s on my body, it boosts my confidence, and that translates to the music. 

Yuja Wang, concert pianist.

There is a dress code for classical music performers – black. I have seen all versions of  black on performers from very elegant dresses in lace to bland slacks and sweaters.

Fashionista Ms. Wang is tossing all that aside and donning what she pleases, often very short, very tight, and in color. I hate to see the black tradition disappear, however, it seems from what I read about Wang, that a little fashion spice suits her personality and passion for playing.

Having said that, I do think Wang pushes the envelope a little too far when she chooses dresses like the one on the photo above. Come on! It’s no longer about the music with those slits. The shoes are what I call Stripper Shoes, which are fine for clubbing but not for weddings, christenings, elegant affairs of any kind including classical music concerts.

I suspect that the all black policy is intended to place the music first even above the performer. It’s true that colorful clothing really does stand out and may be distracting. There’s nothing wrong with a little sex appeal on stage but actually, I think passion for the music takes care of that.

 

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lbb-main_2245033aI am deeply saddened by the administration’s choice to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. I recently had the pleasure of attending the Copenhagen Fashion Summit and was energized by the conversations and commitments made by many brands — big and small — to truly incorporate sustainability practices into their business models. Now is the time for our industry to use its creativity toward solving the global environmental crisis. This isn’t just the fashion industry’s issue — it is everyone’s issue.

Eileen Fisher, American fashion designer.

hear! hear!

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Asia-Kate-Dillon -Billions-Premiere-Season-2--01Gender neutral clothing is often, for lack of a better term, bags on bags. A baggy shirt with baggy pants, that sort of erases any individuality, as opposed to enhancing it. I think that fashion is moving in that direction already anyways. I enjoy mixing hard and soft, masculine and feminine, finding those gray areas. But for me, if it’s comfortable I’ll wear it. And I’ve been comfortable in 6-inch heels before if you can believe it or not. 

Asia Kate Dillon, non-binary actor. This quote of from a Q&A with WWD.

Dillion plays television’s first non-binary character, Taylor, in the Showtime series Billions.

Non-binary? From what I understand, that means a person who does not identify with either female or male gender. (Click here for a better explanation by Dillion on the Ellen Degeneres Show.)

As far as fashion goes non-binary is definitely having an influence on the runways. This fall we’ll see gender neutral suits by Jil Sander and Raf Simons. Brands such as Brownie and Blondie are making strides in the unisex fashion market. There’s a certain appeal to the chic neutral look that Dillion sports – with the option to lean one way or another by adding jewelry, soft fabrics, etc. as we see in the above photo.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing more shaved heads on women (remember Annie Lennox in the 80s? Sinead O’Connor in the 90s?) as well as some mixing of masculine and feminine fashion elements.

Sounds good to me. I look forward to seeing it all!

 

 

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Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garcons spring/summer 1997

What’s so inspiring about Rei is that for her the body has no bounds, and fashion itself has no limits. That to me is what her legacy is — the body and the dress body in fashion is limitless … When you think about what’s been achieved in the last 40 years and the types of things we take for granted now — the unfinished, asymmetry, black as a fashionable color were pioneered by Rei. But beyond the formal aspects of that, she has always rebuffed the status quo … I feel if Rei didn’t exist we would have to invent her to explain the last 40 years because her impact in fashion is that big.

– Andrew Bolton, curator of the current Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC exhibit, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. 
This quote is from an interview with Mr. Bolton for Women’s Wear Daily.
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Paired with ballerina flats. Look at the tight shoulders. Kind of like she’s wrapped up.

I was just reading about Rei Kawakubo in a book about avant-garde fashion (Fashion Game Changers: Reinventing the 20th Century Silhouette, Bloomsbury). She says there is no meaning to her designs and yet people seem compelled to find something behind (between?) the unexpected bumps, pads, layers and outrageous silhouettes.

I find her fascinatingly inaccessible. I don’t know what to make of her designs except that they are:

1. Completely noncommercial.

2. They look like they’re challenging to wear.

3. They remind me of Leigh Bowery, the British club kid of the 1980s who also came up with some wild unflattering silhouettes.
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Leigh Bowery original design, 1980s.

There is one very big difference between the two – Mr. Bowery played in a dark and freaky arena, by making everything larger than life. Not to mention his makeup and masks. Ms. Kawakubo stays within the non-freak zone by using (sometimes) feminine prints and colors and showing her clothing on lovely mainstream models. She certainly bumps up against freak (pun intended!) but with a light, quiet hand.

I would say that perhaps Ms. Kawakubo uses the body as a canvas, so to speak, for her sculptures. And in doing so she has, as Mr. Bolton points out, impacted fashion.
Fashion model Anna Cleveland, an attendee of the recent Met Gala calls Ms. Kawakubo’s designs, “Walking art.”
Click here for more information on Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between on now at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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An ad for Vogue in the 1960s, when people made an effort to dress well.

Over the course of the 20th century, social dress codes evolved from staunchly formal to informal and fluid and now, to virtually nonexistent, victims of a confluence of cultural factors including the ever-increasing casualization of everyday life. It’s unlikely that United’s zealot gate agent gives a hoot about the woeful state of the fashion industry. But his/her strict enforcement of the employee pass rule provided a reminder that in some rare occurrences, leggings just won’t do. In other words, there are reasons to go out and buy some clothes.

Bridget Foley – editor and columnist for Women’s Wear Daily.

This is a quote from Ms. Foley’s editorial on the recent leggings incident on United Airlines. Do you know the story? Well, briefly – two teenage girls were pulled aside before boarding a United Airlines flight and were told they would have to change out of their leggings. A nearby women witnessed this and went mad taking photos and posting on Instagram, yelling “outrage.”

Turns out the airline had a reason for their position as the girls were traveling on a company pass and there’s a dress code that applies. United considers that anyone traveling on a pass is a representative of the airline and therefore, they are required to present professionally. From what I’ve read, no one else on that flight was confronted about their leggings and I’m sure there were plenty of other travelers sporting the ultra casual look.

Of course I’m with Ms. Foley and United Airlines. Keeping to high standards is always a good thing. I tip my hat to the gate agent who enforced the (reasonable) policy and Ms. Foley who always eloquently says it like it is.

 

 

 

 

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Oscar de la Renta commemorative postage stamps. 

When I was in college I worked part time in a neighborhood dance wear and accessories shop. Ingeborg, the German-born owner of the shop, was a stern boss but she was a good businesswoman, had an discerning eye for quality, and could be very generous to her employees.

I learned about a lot of different things from Ingeborg, including the attraction of a postage stamp. Among my tasks each morning was a walk to the bank and sometimes the post office, where I was to buy commemorative stamps only. Commemorative stamps? I had no idea.

Commemorative stamps are limited edition postage stamps that honor a person, place, or event. There are perhaps a dozen or so to choose from at any one time. Like miniature pieces of art they are always more interesting than the usual stamp and brighten up any envelope. Ingeborg didn’t ever say she wanted a particular stamp, she left it up to me to choose. So this is something I have been doing (and enjoying) a long time; at first for her and now for myself. Like Ingeborg, I only buy commemorative.

02-oscar-de-la-renta-stampsEarlier this year I read in WWD that there was to be a stamp commemorating the late and beloved American fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. The stamp was two years in the making and finally released on February 16th 2017. To celebrate, the fashion house hosted a release ceremony with formidable speakers Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Hillary Clinton, who was a good friend of Mr. de la Renta and the man who designed her original pantsuits.

(In her speech that day, Mrs. Clinton reminded the audience that Mr. de la Renta was an immigrant from the Dominican Republic. “And let there be many, many, more immigrants with the love of America that Oscar de la Renta exemplified every single day,” she said to a reported thunderous applause. He became a US citizen in 1969.)

You bet I was excited to make my way to the post office and get the fashionable commemorative stamp. They’re so lovely.

Thanks Ingeborg, wherever you may be, for gifting me with a lifelong appreciation of a postage stamp.

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