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Posts Tagged ‘fashion news’

One of two waterfalls at the National 9/11 Memorial.

I was living in Greenwich Village, in an apartment with a terrace that faced directly onto the Twin Towers. As I was on the phone, I saw the first plane go into the first tower. I immediately thought I’d witnessed an unimaginable accident. I was still on the phone, trying to comprehend what had happened, when the second plane went into the second tower. In that moment, I knew this was no accident but an act of terrorism. My phone went dead, and I dropped to my knees watching the aftermath.

Michael Kors, American fashion designer.

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2001was the fifth day of New York Fashion Week.

The National 9/11 Memorial Waterfall. In the distance behind the trees, is the Memorial Museum.

When I was in NYC in 2019 I visited the National 9/11 Memorial. Located at the rebuilt World Trade Center the memorial is in the center of a seven building complex, which includes the 9/11 Museum. Walking around we heard only the splashing sound of the two waterfalls built exactly where the Twin Towers once stood.

A somber place, meant for respect and reflection, it feels a world away from the hectic streets of the city.

Engraved in bronze along the edge of the waterfalls are the names of all the 9/11 victims and the six victims killed in the 1993 bombing; a total of 2983.

Among the seven buildings is the tallest building in America, One World Trade Center, AKA “Freedom Tower.” In 2014 Conde Nast, the publishers of Vogue magazine, relocated here from Times Square. I pulled out my phone to take a photo and was quickly admonished by a security guard.

No photos allowed.

Anxiety still abounds.

We then wandered into the Oculus, where, in complete contrast, we found the hustle-bustle of a food court and shops galore.

It took me a moment to adjust.

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Image curtesy of Shadelands Ranch Museum.

ODFL locals, are you looking for a summer excursion? Want to stay close to home? The Shadelands Ranch Museum in Walnut Creek has just the thing – Summer Market & Barn Sale on Sunday, August 15, 9-4. It’s an outside market selling handcrafted items, and vintage and antique treasures. There will also be food and informational vendors. As a fundraiser, the museum will sell donated vintage/antique items. The house will be open for tours – one of the last opportunities to view the Fashions Through the Years exhibit.

Grab your best summer hat and stop by the Shadelands Ranch Museum, 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek.

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Like Esther in the novel The Bell Jar and perhaps author Sylvia Plath too, I’m also impressed with the idea of matching handbag dress/skirt/anything. Although, I know it’s a little too “put together” these days, that does not stop me.

I have two skirts with matching handbags that I made myself. One I made last year with a matching mask as well. I like the “matchy-matchy” look because it’s unexpected and the repetition of pattern and color appeals to me.

The first matchy-matchy that caught my eye was way back when I was maybe four-years-old; my mother had a summer outfit – a red and white gingham dress and a light blue coat with the same gingham fabric lining. I remember that outfit so well and the matching part has inspired me ever since.

How about other matches? My sis-in-law made for me a matching cap and cross-body bag (thanks, Lori). I have a beautiful bespoke outfit – 1920s style coat with a matching skirt and a blouse that matches the lining of the coat.

There are many ways to match: hat with handbag, handbag with shoes, dress with lining of coat, hat with jacket. How about socks with scarf? OK, now I’m getting silly.

Matchy-matchy gets a bad rap as does any look that’s too put together because being fashionable is supposed to also be effortless. Hmm, how does that work?

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Last week I dressed in some of my vintage favorites and headed over to Shadelands Ranch Museum in Walnut Creek to see their current exhibit: Fashion Through the Years.

Graduation dress.

Shadelands Ranch Museum is the Colonial Revival house built by Hiram Penniman in 1903 and now it’s home to the Walnut Creek Historical Society. The “ranch” was actually a fruit and nut farm owned and run by Mr. Penniman who had previously lived in Oakland with his wife and children. The story goes that to entice his wife, Carrie, to move to the boonies known as Walnut Creek, he built this grand two-story house. This is just the beginning of the Penniman/Shadelands story, but visitors can take the house tour and hear the whole tale from knowledgeable docents.

Edwardian day dress.

During the pandemic, the museum was closed but staff took advantage of the quiet time by going through all the stuff the museum had accumulated over the years, including donations of clothing. It soon became obvious that an exhibit of these frocks was in order.

On now through August 31, 2021 Fashion Through the Years displays in every room of the house fashions from the Victorian era to the 1980s as well as accessories such as handbags, gloves, and jewelry; all of it donated to the museum by generous local residents. The displays are such that we can get up close to study the fabrics and construction, although of course no touching!

Cotton ensemble with lace detail.

Among my favorites is an Edwardian day dress, a white cotton ensemble with lace detailing, and a lovely graduation dress from the early 1900s. There is much to see in the exhibit and more to learn about Shadelands Ranch Museum. I highly recommend this to ODFL locals looking for a summer excursion close to home. (Masks are required.)

Shadelands Ranch Museum is located at 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek and is open Wednesdays and Sundays, 1-4; sometimes they’re closed for special events. Check the website.

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Everyone wants to wear a dress right now. They want to be pretty.

Camille Wright, owner of Style Consortium – an apparel showroom.

Simple, comfortable, and cute. Change into a kitten heel shoe or a sandal and go from running errands to Sunday brunch. Photo by Nugroho Wahyu on Pexels.com

Ms. Wright is speaking about what we’re wearing as we ease out of our houses and back into the world. I think what we want is to be comfortable while still looking good. Dresses are one answer to that. They’re an instant upgrade and they can be easy to wear. Plus they are the cool choice for hot temps.

Perfect for an afternoon stroll in the park, a museum visit, birthday party. Photo by Hu1ea3i Nguyu1ec5n on Pexels.com

Also, dresses offer a lot a variety in silhouette and fabric. Just slip it on and the dress does all the style work. Add accessories or not, it’s that simple.

A nice choice for the job. Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Dresses for weekends = easy. Dresses for work? Tricky. Tailored separates seem to be more appropriate for professional situations. But here is where fabric, color, and pattern choice make the difference. Light fabrics and floral prints are better for weekends, while solid colors and jersey fabrics are good choices for work. Top with a tailored jacket and become instantly office ready.

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It’s not about rejecting fashion, but rather about valuing the fashion you have.

Vanessa Friedman, Fashion Director and Chief Fashion Critic at the New York Times.

Official White House portrait of First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. Photo: Cheriss May.

This quote is from an article Ms. Friedman wrote for the NYT about the fashions our First Lady Dr. Jill Biden chose to wear during President Biden’s recent visit to the UK for the G7 summit.

Dr. Biden shopped her closet and sported several outfits she’d worn before, perhaps sending a message of fashion sustainability, “reduce, recycle, reuse.” And love, which was actually spelled out on the back of her jacket. Ms. Friedman goes on to comment that Dr. Biden’s style is informal and “friendly.”

I think Dr. Biden’s style is in keeping with other First Ladies such as Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton: nondescript and appropriate. It’s not showy nor is it dowdy. There’s is some thought and care put into it but it doesn’t overshadow anything. I don’t think Dr. Biden is all that interested in fashion, but she always looks presentable.

Back to the sustainability message – since the fashion industry is among the biggest polluters, sustainability is going to be key as we move deeper into climate change hell. What’s stylish is what we already own and isn’t further hurting the planet.

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Recycled plastic folded and formed into a wearable garment. Issey Miyake, 2010.

What I have been trying to do, and what I have probably done, is to make clothes that seem to have existed for a long, long time. In reality they never existed. I am not a designer who creates fashionable aesthetics. I make style out of life, not style out of style.

Issey Miyake – Japanese fashion designer.

May we all find inspiration for style from everyday life.

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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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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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