Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘fashionable quotes’

Photo by Ulysses Ortega.

I didn’t just want to be someone who bought clothes. I wanted to learn about them. So, I collected them, wrote about them, and have had a life of helping to get exhibitions off the ground.

Christine Suppes – fashion collector and the author of the book Electric Fashion (Skira), which is a photo documentary of her couture collection. Photos by fashion photographer Frederic Aranda.

This quote is from the article, The Collector’s Eye, by Alison S. Cohn, in Harper’s Bazaar, Dec. 2022/Jan. 2023.

Suppes, a resident of Palo Alto, CA recently donated more than 500 pieces of her couture fashion collection to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Her donation includes pieces by Christian Lacroix, Yves Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga. (And you heard it here first, in January 2024 the de Young Museum, inspired by Suppes donation, will open a fashion exhibition featuring the legacy of some of the Bay Area’s most fashionable women both past and present.)

As a member of Costume Society of America, I have heard and read discussions about museums accepting fashion donations. Should they? What should they accept? How and where will they preserve the clothing? It goes hand in hand with the general discussion over whether or not fashion belongs in museums at all. The biggest and much debated question – is fashion art?

The truth is fashion exhibits bring in money – especially those that include popular designer names. I would venture so say that a collection of couture clothing would be welcomed at any museum.

When I was in Seattle a few years ago for a fashion history conference, I attended a fashion exhibit at The Museum of History and Industry. This regional-focused exhibit, called Seattle Style: Fashion/Function, highlighted vintage and modern clothing owned by local people mostly purchased from local department stores and boutiques. It was by no means a spectacle exhibit and that’s why I enjoyed it so much. The fashions on display gave us a peek into what the people of Seattle wore in sunny weather and in rain; to the theater; to the 1962 World’s Fair; or just to work and the grocery store. Regional style, dictated by weather, culture, and tradition, is a fascinating subject and as much as I enjoy “big fashion” and the impeccable crafting of couture, I’m also interested in everyday fashion, particularly from past eras.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming de Young fashion exhibit and learning how Bay Area style is perceived.

Read Full Post »

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

There’s also an emotional component to clothing that is important to take into account. We hold on to garments because we are convinced that one day they may be the answer to a problem, or because they represent moments in time we cherish, or because they cheer us up or make us feel powerful or happy. Clothes feed our imagination, and that can help us get through the day as much as clothes that function.

Vanessa Friedman – Fashion Director & Chief Fashion Critic for the New York Times.

This is a partial response to a question submitted to Ms. Friedman’s column. The question was: How many items of clothing do we need?

I agree that we hang on to certain items of clothing for a variety or reasons. I have much of my mother’s clothing that she wore when I was a little girl. I keep these pieces (and some I wear myself) because they are classic, good quality, and they hold memories. I also have a beautiful cashmere pullover sweater that belonged to my dad. It’s way too big for me, but styled with a wide belt and boots, it’s an unexpected winter look.

Sadly, over the years I have been less inclined to keep my own clothing. I let slip away a nice wool blazer, but I do still have a black wool suit that I bought in Canada. Funny what we keep and what we don’t. I wish I still had the snakeskin pumps I sported when I was a teenager (with fuchsia corduroy pants). They were vintage 1960s and got I rid of them in a fit of “I’ll never wear these again!”.

What do you still have in your closet from years ago? What did you get rid of that you now regret?

Read Full Post »

There is undeniably an old-fashioned air around brooches, but there are ways of wearing them to look more up-to-date. Wearing with knitwear rather than formal day dress can jazz up a plain jumper, or go big and bold a la Lady Gaga in Schiaparelli at the US inauguration, for a modern take on this most regal of accessories.

Alicia Healey – Former employee of Queen Elizabeth, regular contributor to The Spectator and author of Wardrobe Wisdom From a Royal Lady’s Maid (National Trust).

This quote is from The Art of the Brooch published in The Spectator magazine, July 25, 2022.

A collection of vintage crown brooches from Collectible Costume Jewelry (Collector Books). Wear one of these on a headband or pin it to a fabric handbag.

It does seem that brooches have slipped into obscurity. But not with some of us. I’m a big fan and I like to place my brooches in unexpected places. For example I wear a bee brooch on the cuff of my denim jacket. I have a big black and white butterfly brooch that sits atop a black beret. Any brooch placed on the shoulder of a sweater adds more interest that if worn elsewhere. Also, a collection of small brooches worn together on a lapel will catch the eye. Brooches offer a lot of style and can perk up any outfit. I think the key for a more modern look is to not to take them too seriously and just have fun. Think outside the brooch box.

Collection of whimsical insect brooches pictured in Collectible Costume Jewelry (Collector Books).

Brooches make excellent holiday gifts and interesting vintage brooches can be found at thrift stores for a reasonable price. There’s still time to hit your local thrift store and find a unique gift for some lucky person in your life, or you!

Read Full Post »

Man’s suit circa 1950. Image from Survey of Historic Costume, 5th edition.

He knew that appearances made a difference in life – how one dressed, how one looked, how one displayed success. So he wore his perfectly tailored crisp white shirts and jacket from Grieves & Hawkes at No. 1 Savile Row and his perfectly polished and shined brogues from Barker Shoes in Jermyn Street, shops long frequented by his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather before him.

Alec McDonough – fictional character in the novel Bloomsbury Girls, by Natalie Jenner (St. Martin’s Press).

This quote reminds me of something a friend of mine told me. He said that when traveling he wears trousers with a blazer because he noticed that he receives better service and treatment in general when he’s dressed better. From the airport restaurant to the plane to the hotel – if he’s sporting a blazer rather than a sweatshirt, life is a little easier.

Tune in tomorrow for my review of Bloomsbury Girls.

Read Full Post »

The gold and green Hermès bag that Ms. Romanek inherited from her grandmother. Photo: Michael P.H. Clifford.

I inherited this Hermès bag from my grandmother when she passed away 19 years ago. Before COVID, I circled the bag in my closet for years. But then, during the pandemic, I was like ‘You know what? I want to feel good, and this is bringing me joy.’ Now I wear it every day, with an A-line skirt or a sweater set or a nice pair of jeans. When I do, it makes me think about my grandmother and smile. I know this sounds crazy, but it gives me a little bit of support.

Brigette Romanek – Interior designer.

This quote is from Harper’s Bazaar magazine, November 2022.

I really like this story! How lovely that Ms. Romanek uses her grandmother’s handbag every day and that she finds comfort in it.

During the pandemic, I also pulled out some of my tucked-away treasures. I started wearing pearls every day, even if I was just staying home. I have a custom-made tweed coat that I used to wear only for dressy occasions, but now I slip it on for our winter strolls in the neighborhood. Why not? Life is too short not to wear and use our nice things.

Read Full Post »

Laila Gohar looking stylish in the kitchen. Photo: Nacho Alegre.

When I work, I like to wear menswear shirts with a long bistro-style apron that ties around my body.

Laila Gohar – Egyptian born chef, artist, and designer.

Ms. Gohar has a masters degree in Media Studies from Parson’s School of Design in New York. While in school she worked at a French bistro where she learned to “curate” events. Now she prepares food for special pop-up events – clients include Tiffany & Co and Comme des Garsons. Her website says that she “uses food as an artistic medium and a tool for communication.” How interesting!

I’m a big fan of aprons. For one thing I like to keep my clothes free of kitchen spits and splatters. But I also like an added touch of style while cooking.

I have a few aprons and each one means something to me. One I’ve had since I was around 12-years-old. It was a gift from my stepmother – a souvenir she picked up in Europe. I kept it but didn’t wear it until recently. Another was a gift from my mother a few years ago. It’s made of fine cotton and she bought it from a local shop that specializes in French imports of linens, dishware, and soap among other goodies. (Sadly that shop recently closed.)

Helping Hands Apron from Gohar World.

How cool that Ms. Gohar has created a unique look for herself that is both stylish and practical. (I notice she’s sporting a brooch on her apron pictured above.) She and her sister, Nadia, also an artist, have applied their whimsy to a line of tableware and linens. One of their apron designs is called Helping Hands Apron and features a pair of lace hands dangling from the tie.

Do you have a cook on your holiday gift list? How about giving them a new apron?

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker color.

Wednesday Addams, fictional character from The Addams Family.

Happy Spooks Day!!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »