Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘fashionable quotes’

IMG_20160220_202237647

 

My necklace is Tiffany. My jacket is Juicy Couture. My purse is Louis Vuitton and my shoes are Ugg. 

Anonymous.

Picture an 8-year-old girl saying this to me, a reporter, at a store grand opening in Downtown San Francisco. The place is packed with slick well-clad people standing in clusters sipping champagne and saying “no” to the hors d’oeuvres offered on trays by silent waitstaff.

It was circa 2009 when I was covering such events for the Nob Hill Gazette and the now defunct 944 magazine  A media savvy mother introduced her daughter to me and the youngster immediately launched into her spiel in a sign-song little voice that still rings in my ears. I didn’t even have the chance to say hello. This fashionista knew what to say and do. After listing the brands she struck a pose. Hand on waist, head tilted and sporting a wide grin she stood as still as a stone sculpture waiting for me to take her photo.

My first thought was – a little girl is carrying a Louis Vuitton?! Wearing the wardrobe and speaking the speak of a grown woman, she was at once charming and surreal.

This is just one of many memorable experiences I had during a two year period that I call The Fling, when, as a member of the press I attended openings, parties, and other events hosted by SF socialites. It was a fun and a bewildering period of my writing life that left me with many an interesting story to tell. And a few not to tell.

Read Full Post »

00vanderbilt-adv-obit-slide-XVOU-jumbo

Gloria Vanderbilt and her jeans, mid-1970s. 

All art, from the paintings on the walls of cave dwellers to art created today, is autobiographical because it comes from the secret place in the soul where imagination resides. 

Gloria Vanderbilt (1924-2019), American heiress, designer, author, artist.

The great-great-granddaughter of a railroad magnate, Gloria was an only child and very wealthy. Her father died when she was just a baby and her mother left her with nannies while she traveled the world spending her daughter’s money. Gloria’s aunt sued for custody and the press thrived on that for weeks, calling the 10-year old, “a poor little rich girl.” That attention sealed her fate as a non-Hollywood celebrity. After her aunt won custody of Gloria, the two lived together in a New York City mansion.

Fast forward to three marriages and many creative endeavors including model, artist, author, poet, and what she might be best known for –  fashion designer, specifically women’s jeans. In the 1970s a clothing manufacturer signed Gloria to market their jeans, which were specifically cut for women’s figures. Hers was the first “designer jean” complete with the Vanderbilt signature on the back rear pocket. The deal was a big success and grew into Gloria Vanderbilt Apparel Corporation, which was eventually sold to the Jones Apparel Group in 2002.

Any American woman alive in the 1970s probably sported a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans.

RIP, Gloria.

Read Full Post »

qKBCeTOLKJwC… as luxury became available to the mass market, the more luxury became devalued. It was a sign of status not to have an expensive bag, but a new expensive bag every season. The notion that luxury items endure was abolished. Status came from being able to discard luxury goods as if they were high street. What was left of real worth was either the difficult to obtain (the Hermes waiting list) or the ostentatiously, obtrusively flashy, such as Cate Blanchett’s $100,000 stolen bag with the black pave diamonds.  

Linda Grant, British author. Quote from The Thoughtful Dresser: The Art of Adornment, the Pleasure of Shopping and Why Clothes Matter, (Scribner, 2010).

This quote reminds me of a recent trip to the Dollar Store. I was standing in the checkout line behind a woman who was dressed in unbranded shorts and sneakers. Dangling from her wrist was a thin Louis Vutton  pouch. As we stood together in this slow-moving line, I began to wonder if it was the real thing or a fake. Would this woman spend over $600 on a small piece of luxury? Would a woman who can afford such a splurge bother waiting in a long line at the Dollar Store?

louis-vuitton-daily-pouch-monogram-small-leather-goods--M62048_PM2_Front viewThese days who knows. Maybe it was a gift. Or she saved up. Or she bought it second hand. Or maybe she’s loaded and enjoys bargains like the rest of us, so she’s willing to shop at the Dollar Store.

Lucky for me, since I can’t afford it anyway, I’ve never been attracted to branded luxury. Although I appreciate the quality of a Chanel or a Hermes or a Louis Vutton, I prefer my own monogram. Plus, I’m not going to spend that kind of money on something that someone else might assume is a fake. Ms. Grant is right, luxury has been devalued. What used to be aspirational is now achievable.

I find luxury in quality and uniqueness. I don’t want what everybody else has – real or fake.

Read Full Post »

IMG_20190606_133436

Wearable Art by Kaisik Wong featuring metallic checkered fabric. Photo: Wong Family.

You need a certain confidence to carry off a major piece of clothing so that you are wearing it, instead of it wearing you. 

Melissa Leventon, curator, professor of fashion history, principal at Curatrix Group.

This quote is from an episode of the PBS show Craft in America, which features craft in California. Quite a bit of time is spent on wearable art and wearable artists based in California. Ms. Leventon spoke to this subject.

When any garment is its own thing, whether that be wearable art or a vintage piece, even something off the rack, it can be challenging to wear. What makes it its own thing might be a particular color, an unusual silhouette, or a funky fabric. I say, tailored clothing is hard work. A pencil skirt shortens your stride. A fitted jacket limits your arm mobility. How about stilettos? To pull those off you better step gracefully. Hats? I love them but often you can’t just plop on a hat and not expect to rise to the occasion. (If nothing else you’re going to have to respond to nice people commenting/complimenting you, so there’s no hiding beneath a hat.)

 

IMG_20190606_134535

Ensemble designed by Louise Brown. My mother pulled it off.

My mother has a dress and coat outfit that was designed by my grandmother back in the 1960s. Oh my gosh, I can only imagine what a task it is to wear that piece. For starters the dress is made of plaid wool and has 62 buttons. Small ones up the back and along the sleeves. It’s fitted and therefore, requires foundation garments. Then there’s the burnt orange wool coat, which is large and boxy and has no shape. The combination is actually quite fantastic, but you have to be up for it, or as Ms. Leventon says, it’s going to wear you.

Even just everyday items of clothing that are comfortable, still might require some energy. I was recently reading a middle-grade novel (The First Rule of Punk, by Celia Perez) in which the 12-year-old protagonist is the new girl in school. She’s into punk music (no one her age knows anything about punk) and all things edgy so she decides to show up for her first day dressed in ripped jeans, a t-shirt with something punk on it and … heavy black eyeliner circling her eyes. OK, we know where this is going. She was immediately labeled a “weirdo.” But she made those sartorial choices and she stood up in them with confidence, like any good heroine would.

When I don my vintage clothing, I know that part of the look is going to be me and my attitude. I have to stand a little straighter, move a little more precisely, wear my ensemble with intent and confidence. Otherwise, it’s not going to have the right effect and for sure it won’t feel right.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

IMG_20190520_134739

Gucci magazine ad, 2019.

You can lose nothing to your beauty but you want to put more and more just to be crazy.

Alessandro Michele, Italian designer and creative director at Gucci.

Gucci-Spring-Summer-2016-Runway08

An early Michele design for Gucci.

Mr. Michele took over the iconic Gucci brand in 2015 and quickly turned it around with a 12 percent growth in the first year. Initially I liked the new Michele/Gucci look. It was elegance with a twist – mixed patterns, unexpected color combinations, chunky jewelry but not too much. The look was big – exaggerated but still this side of good taste.

Then it got to be too much, at least for me. Busy ensembles and mash-up of colors, textures, and patterns – plaids with floral prints in bright colors, stripes with checks, added lace and embroidery making everyone look like a clown.

He got carried away with “more is more” and this crazy idea to be Crazy. Still, I admire the designer’s talent and I’m hoping he gets bored and dials it back. We shall see.

Read Full Post »

GettyImages-534183244-a5b9c9e-e1547220315190

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert with five of their eventual nine children. 

… the one outward sign from which people can and often do judge the inward state of mind of a person, and it’s of particular importance in persons of high rank … we do expect that you will never wear anything extravagant or slang because that would prove a wont of self-respect and be an offence against decency. 

Queen Victoria (1819-1901)

This quote is part of a letter written by Queen Victoria in 1851 to her son, Prince Edward, who would later become King Edward VII.

She uses the word – slang – which meant casual.

May 24th marks the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth. What might she think of today’s royal family? (And the name Archie for the latest addition?)

Fans of Victoria, the PBS television show, might be interested to know that there will be a season 4 and perhaps a season 5 but no one is sure beyond that. Another tidbit – the actors playing Victoria (Jenna Coleman) and Prince Albert (Tom Hughes) are dating in real life.

Read Full Post »

 

IMG_20160507_110257338_HDR

Happy Mother’s Day from us to you.

Nothing has to be perfect for me to use it, wear it, enjoy it!

Cindy Marshall, retired antique jewelry dealer and my mother.

Although I didn’t always understand or agree with Mom’s philosophy there were times when it came in handy.

Once, when I was around five years old, early on a Saturday morning I was awake before everyone else and hanging around in the living room. I recall getting bored and looking around I spotted a bottle of liquid shoe polish sitting on the coffee table. Suddenly, artistic inspiration overcame me and I grabbed the bottle and swiped the brush of black goo back and forth on a small portion of a large Art Nouveau style poster hanging on the wall, thinking at first that no one would notice. Then I stood back to admire my abstract brush strokes … Oh no! It’s kind noticeable. I tried to wipe off the polish but it was already dry. Quickly, I put the bottle back on the table and ran out of the living room and down the hall to the kitchen, far away from the scene of the crime.

Lucky for me, Mom didn’t look at the poster that day. I don’t know when she might have noticed it, but she never said a word. No one did. Maybe I was right thinking no one would noticed or they thought it was always a part of the poster.

Many years later after I had grown up and the poster had survived a few moves, I was looking at it, again up on the wall, and asked Mom about the black stroke marks. “Did you know I did that?” I asked.

“Of course … well, I don’t think I realized right away but I figured it out.”

“Why didn’t you say anything? How come I didn’t get in trouble?”

Mom laughed. “It didn’t matter and I kind of liked your added artwork.”

I’ve come to appreciate imperfections – holes in a sweater, a crack in a tea cup, a crooked stitch on something hand-sewn, swipes of black shoe polish on a poster. The imperfections can make things more interesting. They certainly are a reflection of real life.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. Thanks for the gift of imperfections.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »