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Posts Tagged ‘fashionable quotes’

IMG_20180829_152527This was the midsixties, no T-shirts for these middle-class moms, no sweatpants, canvas shorts, or jeans. To school, their daughters wore dresses, or skirts and blouses (always tucked in, thank you very much), skipping in white socks and two-tones shoes or penny loafers or Keds. So their mothers were not sloppy in their gardens, even as they planted. 

Marcia Gay Harden – American actress. This quote is from Ms. Harden’s memoir, The Seasons of my Mother: A Memoir of Love, Family, and Flowers (Atria Books).

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IMG_20180903_175500There are many, many regulations in North Korea on how a woman should look. You’re not meant to put your hair down, skinny pants are frowned upon, jeans aren’t allowed, and there are definitely no short pants. If you’re ever caught breaking these rules you’re forced to write a self-criticism report; or if you have long hair, risk having it cut short. Nevertheless, some girls turn a blind eye to these penalties, all in the name of beauty. 

This quote is by a North Korean defector and contributor to the book Ask a North Korean: Defectors Talk About Their Lives Inside the World’s Most Secretive Nation (Tuttle Publishing).

Why would I be reading this book? Well, I saw it in on the shelf at my local library and I took an interest because as you read this I’m in Seoul, South Korea on a ten day textiles tour.

I’ve been reading about both North and South Korea. I had no idea that Seoul has the fastest Internet in the world. Or that North Korea had a famine in the 1990s that pretty much stopped all governmental aid to the people. Seoul is a serious fashion city, with world renowned designers creating avant-garde looks. I was first introduced to fashion in South Korea last year at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum’s Couture Korea exhibit. At the time I was also taking a textiles class at SFCC.  Both opened up new worlds to me and when this opportunity to travel to South Korea fell in my lap, I decided to take it.

This is my first trip to Asia. What an adventure it will be and you bet I’ll be writing about it. Stayed tuned.

 

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Pandora’s Box, 1951. By Rene Magritte.

The presence of the rose next to the stroller signifies that wherever man’s destiny leads him, he is always protected by an element of beauty. 

Rene Magritte (1898-1967), Belgium artist.

I’m drawn to this painting for so many reasons: the hat, the cobblestone road, the hazy feel to the environment, the European scene. But most of all the rose as companion and I like Magritte’s thought that beauty is omnipresent. Something to remember in our current mixed-up, dark world.

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Desert Dream designed by Rasit Bagzibagli for Madanisa. Photo courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Muslim fashion and Muslim clothing is not a uniform … it’s more than that. What we see here are great women, open-minded, willful, strong women showing the world that they care about fashion and they have a great sense of style. 

Kerim Ture, CEO Modanisa.

Ture started Modanisa, a retail website dedicated to offering fashionable modest clothing, in 2011 after realizing that Muslim women wanted more choices in their clothing. By 2014 the website shipped to 50 countries, offered 300 brands, and represented 28 designers.  They processed approximately one million orders that year.

I think he was on to something.

Check back this week for my coverage of Contemporary Muslim Fashions, the current fashion exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

 

 

 

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Spectators were my go-to shoe for Gatsby Summer Afternoon.

I like spectators. They’re very … mmm … get out of my way, here I come!

Lucinda Marshall, fashion follower, retired antique jewelry dealer, my mother.

This was Mom’s response when I told her what shoes I planned to wear to Gatsby Summer Afternoon.

Well, I didn’t really want to send a “get out of my way” message. My choice was more about comfort since I would be doing a lot of walking and the color combo of blue and white was a good match with my dress. But I know what Mom meant. Spectators are a statement.

Spectator shoes were originally designed for men in 1868 by British shoe maker John Lobb. They were a two-tone Oxford style and intended for playing cricket. In the 1920s the style grew in popularity for casual daytime wear but thought of, by British gentlemen, as rather flashy and therefore a tasteless choice. Edward, Prince of Wales was a big fan in the 1930s and wore spectators often. His approval eased the way for other men and soon the “tasteless” label faded.

The style became an option for women in the 1930s in Oxfords or pumps and have been around ever since. Aside from the two-tone (in white and black, tan, or navy) what distinguishes a spectator is the brogue decoration around the edges of the shoe.

Today spectators are still a stylish choice. Not in or out of fashion, but a vintage classic appropriate for spring and summer.

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Son of Man by Rene Magritte, 1964.

The Bowler … poses no surprise. It is a headdress that is not original. The man with the bowler is just middle-class man in his anonymity. And I wear it. I am not eager to singularize myself. 

Rene Magritte (1898-1967) – Belgium Surrealist painter. Quote – 1966.

Bowler hats were a popular informal choice for European middle-class men starting in the mid-19th century. Magritte used the simple chapeau in his work at first in the 1920s. Then again in the latter part of his career. The bowler is the iconic image most associated with Magritte.

Oh how the world changes. Back in the day, a bowler represented the every man blending into obscurity. But today a fella sporting a bowler is very much a surprise, a standout, and anything but anonymous.

A man in a hat? How surreal!

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Eleanor Lambert, circa 1930s. Photo by Cecil Beaton.

In January 1943 … fifty-three editors from across the United States came to Fashion Week for the first time. The Collections were all to be shown in the glorious, million-square-foot neo-Rococo Plaza Hotel. which, standing at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Fifty-seventh Street in Manhattan, dominates Grand Army Plaza and overlooks the tangle of Central Park. Here, in the hotel’s majestic, gilded ballrooms, the writers and editors were given a privileged look at the newest styles six months in advance of the upcoming season. 

 

The woman behind the very first Fashion Week in 1943 was Eleanor Lambert (1903-2003), a fashion publicist. Ms. Lambert was all about marketing American fashion and fashion designers. Not only did she come up with the idea of Fashion Week she also founded the International Best Dressed List and the Coty’s Fashion Award.

Up until Fashion Week, regional fashion journalists were limited in their reporting to what fashions were available in the local department stores and boutiques. Ms. Lambert offered journalists from across the country an opportunity to meet designers and see in person their latest designs during an extensive fashion show. What she had in mind was additional and broadened fashion coverage and of course increased sales for her clients.  It certainly was a game changer for fashion journalism.

This is one of many fashion tid-bits I found in the book –  Charles James Portrait of an Unreasonable Man: Fame, Fashion, Art. By Michele Gerber Klein (Rizzoli). Ms. Lambert is one among many individuals (artists, socialites, designers) who circulated around and crossed paths with Charles James. Their stories make for an interesting and informative read.

Fashion Week is still with us. NYFW happens September 6-14, 2018.

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