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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

wethepeople

The fashion industry has always been a reflection of what America is all about … inclusion and diversity. It will continue to stand by these standards. I am personally horrified to see what is going on.

– Diane von Furstenberg, Belgium-American fashion designer.

This quote is from an article in The Business of Fashion by Imran Amed.

For Mr. Amed’s article many fashion industry professionals were asked to comment on Trump’s recent executive order to halt the current refugee program and (temporarily) ban travelers from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States. Ms. von Furstenberg and Steven Kolb, chief executive of CFDA were the only ones willing to make a comment. Others declined to say one word.

Isn’t that rather odd considering the outrage expressed around the country and around the world? CEOs from Apple, Facebook, Starbucks, and Nike just to name a few, are all unafraid to take a public stand against Trump’s actions.

Why so quiet on the fashion front? I surmise that (assuming most designers actually disagree with Trump) they might be afraid to alienate Trump supporters, many of whom could be their customers. Let’s not forget that Kellyanne Conway was sporting Gucci at the inauguration. Brands such as Isaac Mizrahi and Lori Goldstein sell on QVC, a magnet for middle-of-the country shoppers. Also, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka is an influential member of the fashion biz.

It could be that designers and corporate brands are nervous about offending all the wrong people (customers and Trumps). If they say nothing, they’re safe.

But SAFE is not fashionable right now. SPEAKING UP is what’s trending.

 

 

 

 

 

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Stylist Tyese Cooper from Project Intermission.

When my fashion friend Tyese Cooper announced last summer that she was moving to Paris I was super excited for her. Then I found out what she was going to do and I was super impressed.

In December 2016 Tyese launched Project Intermission. Hey, what’s that?

Project Intermission is a Fashion Experience.

Read on:

Using her skills and talent as a stylist, Tyese consults with visitors to Paris who want to step-up their look or want to incorporate something different to their current style. It starts with a coaching session at a neighborhood cafe where discussions are about clothing and style, art, and the influence of French culture. Then it’s off to a gallery or a long walk – some space and a little time to open the mind and get inspired by the art, architecture, streets, and people of Paris.

Next, Tyese introduces her client to exclusive independent Parisian designers. In these ateliers (not boutiques but working studios) you get to meet the designers, see first hand how fashions are put together, and order a bespoke piece of clothing. Tyese says, “It’s special because once you have an insiders view of the ‘how’ of fashion, feel natural textiles, and customize what you want from each designer, you wont ever want to let it go to the landfill.”

(A key aspect to these designers handpicked by Tyese is that each one is committed to ethical and sustainable fashion, something that is important to her and a current movement in France.)

I think this is such a unique idea. Anyone can pick up a whatever from a corporate- branded boutique but Project Intermission offers a deeper fashion experience. It’s a chance to make a connection with French designers and French culture. In the end you have a story to tell and something special to add to your wardrobe.

Click here to find out more about Tyese and Project Intermission.

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The London shop Christopher St. James offers an array of Lea Stein pieces.

Each visit to London I look forward to finding a Lea Stein brooch to add to my collection. I first discovered the whimsical works of Ms. Stein back in 2003 in a stall at the weekly Antique Market in Covent Garden. I’m drawn to her pieces for their multi-dimensional quality, unusual textures and … her images make me smile.

It used to be that these brooches were impossible to find in the US, however, Etsy has changed that. But for me part of the fun is searching out just the right one at markets and it’s become part of my UK travel tradition.

Although there’s a bit of mystery surrounding Ms. Stein, we know that she is a French artist who in the 1960s, with her husband, came up with a way to layer and laminate thin sheets of plastic. This layering technique allows Ms. Stein to create texture by adding pieces of material, such as lace or metal, in between the layers. After cooling, the plastic is cut into all kinds of shapes from Art Deco women in hats (an early design) to owls, cats, and dogs. Animals seemed to be favored and today they are among the most collectible.

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My small but growing collection. The cat on the left is the latest find. The pink bar in the middle is vintage and may be the most valuable. It came from a thrift store in Walnut Creek years ago.

My latest addition is a cat, which came from (ironically) an expat American dealer and his wife at the Bermondsey Antique Market. The couple told me they think this one is vintage 1980s but since Ms. Stein continues to produce older images (as well as new ones) it’s really hard to date her work. Many people say you just know from experience. I do think the cat isn’t brand new as the clasp isn’t stiff and it doesn’t have that shinny never-been-touched look.

No matter to me if it’s vintage or not. Any Lea Stein critter is a pleasure to have and to wear.

 

 

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img_20161105_142904On our way to a music concert at St. James Church in Piccadilly, my eye caught the most lovely of old buildings and whaddaya know it was a clothing store – Cordings. I took a quick peek in the window and liked what I saw …  tweeds galore.

After the concert we went back and I perused happily taking in all the wonderful and very British jackets, trousers, shirts, and sweaters. It’s a country look for sure, but with a large chic factor thanks to quality fabric and construction.

What is a British country look you might ask? It’s all about appropriate clothing for country outdoor activity such as walking, horseback riding, bicycling, and I have to mention shooting but I don’t approve of that so … enough said. Construction for ease of movement is key as is heavy fabrics for warmth. The look is tweeds in trousers, jackets and waistcoats (vests). Other fabrics include corduroy and velvet. Knits too! Macintosh raincoats and of course boots, including Wellingtons. What attracts me is the simplicity and timelessness of the style.

Cordings has been around since 1839 providing country clothing for gentlemen and in recent years for the ladies. One of the store’s best customers and biggest supporters musician Eric Clapton says Cordings, “… is a place of tradition … the heritage of England.”

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Velvet Cuff Jacket. Image courtesy of Cordings.

Being the anglophile that I am, no wonder I love the place. I also like the idea of mixing a bit of country with city. Such as sporting a tweed jacket over a sharp t-shirt or a cape belted and paired with a mini-skirt (a current trend in London) and thigh high boots.

Thank you Cordings, for making the country chic and for inspiring my inner country.

 

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Chesterfield is around 150 miles north of London. A scenic two hour train ride. We spent a day and night there on our way back south to London from Bakewell.

The town center has a large flea market every Thursday. There you can find all kinds of objects to buy: hardware, silver, books, clothing, jewelry. I was partial to the silver as I have a thing for spoons!

While perusing the market in the rain, I spotted a little shop across the square with a big sign – Ooo La La Vintage Clothing. You bet I hopped right on over.

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Sara Bennett from Ooo La La in Chesterfield, England.

Proprietor Sara Bennett has collected and nicely displayed quality vintage clothing and accessories, mostly 30s to 60s. I was impressed with the array of  Italian mohair and Danish “Sarah Lund” sweaters. Hers is the only vintage shop in town but she says vintage is a growing local interest. (Once a year the market hosts a 1940s festival where everyone turns out in vintage of the era and enjoys live music, dancing, and classic cars.)

Sara’s customers lean toward the 50s, which makes me think of Vintage Life magazine a UK based publication. Sara tells me she follows VL on Facebook. I think VL needs to follow Ooo La La.

Thank you, Sara. Nice to have met you!

 

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I have recently returned from three weeks traveling in the UK. We started in London for nine days, then hopped on a train north to Sheffield to visit friends. After that we took a bus to Bakewell (lovely countryside). Chesterfield next, back to London for last minute theater-going and home.

Along the way, I kept an eye out for fashion and style. The next few weeks I’ll be posting some of what I discovered. First up: my new friend Yvonne van der Heul.

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Yvonne told me a friend made her skirt 25 years ago. Still looks smashing. I love her color combinations and her hat! And how fabulous is it that she’s getting around London on a bike.

My partner and I were lunching near Sloan Square just before attending a play. It was a cool but sunny day so we sat outside. Along came a very interesting looking woman on a bike. She pulled up next to us and asked if she could park her bike next to our table while she ran into the cafe/shop for a few things. Of course!

I pulled out my camera and a card as this woman was destined for ODFL.

The delightful Yvonne is originally from South Africa, she’s an artist and quite the fashion maven from way back. Turns out she was a Carnaby Street girl who won several awards for her window displays. She also owned her own shop and designed clothing. For the past 30 years she has taken up the paint brush, illustrating ballet and symphony performances. Her work is exhibited in galleries around London.

London fashion is a mixed bag but all within a certain conservative realm – tweed, trench coats, skirts/blouses, boots. Very British Boden and that’s fine. But what Yvonne has is individual style.

Thank you, Yvonne! What a pleasure to meet you.

 

 

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Mom wearing outfit designed by Grandma Louise.

Mom, her stepfather, and her mother. Harrow, England, 1964.

I was sorting through family photos and found this one of my mother, her stepfather and her mother. My grandmother designed the outfit Mom is wearing. Read the story behind the outfit in Mom’s Closet – Family Affair.

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