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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

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Kit Cullinane at Salon 1757

It was a hot hot hot day on recent visit to my hair stylist Kit Cullinane at Salon 1757. But she was looking oh- so-cool in her bespoke dress.

When I asked Kit about her dress she told me it was one of the garments she had made while traveling in Vietnam last year. Knowing there would be ample opportunities to have clothing made, she brought with her a vintage shirtwaist dress which she had copied in rayon fabric at a shop called Su in Hoi An, Vietnam.

This is a thing in Vietnam – you can have clothing made to order. Suits, blouses, dresses, jackets, and in quick order too. Custom fit and good quality at reasonable prices.

Kit paired her dress with a brass chain belt that she found at a thrift store. She accessorized with a chunky bracelet and dangle earrings.

 

IMG_20190822_121029176I love the fabric design, which will transition nicely into fall. She can easily wear this in September and October, and as the weather starts to cool she can add a short jacket or sweater.

Thanks Kit, for the fashion story and for keeping my hair looking its best!

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IMG_20190714_151617Anyone sporting a stylish hat will catch my eye but to see a cloche is an extra treat.

What a nice ensemble for a hot summer afternoon in Sacramento. The shift dress looks comfortable and yet, it’s still an upgrade in a crowd of jeans and shorts. The patterned scarf adds a little pop to the dress. I like the black and white shoes, which coordinate with the scarf. I’d like them even more if they had a heel. As for the purse, to keep with the vintage vibe and color theme, a clutch in black or white (or black and white) would have been a better choice.

Of course it’s the stylish chapeau that tops the outfit just right and in spite of my observations, I think this woman looks delightful.

Hooray for ladies who wear hats!

 

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While at the Costume Society of America symposium in Seattle last month, as part of the symposium we had the opportunity to view the exhibit, Seattle Style: Fashion/Function before it opened.

Exhibiting at the Museum of History and Industry, Seattle Style is a collection of what best reflects sartorial choices, past and present, in this Pacific Northwest city. One might expect to see a lot of outdoor gear and we did, but also included are evening gowns, ball gowns, summer dresses, hats, coats, beaded handbags and more.

I’d say, just like in San Francisco, Chicago, and New Orleans fashion is not a priority for current Seattle residents. But that was perhaps not the case in the past and the intent of this exhibit is to feature the crossover of style and practicality. Given the climate, there’s a lot of layering, wool, and protection from rain. The exhibit draws manly from the museum’s own clothing collection, which has increased with donations from some of the city’s socialites. Also included in the exhibit are pieces on loan from local designers.

Pictured below are some of my favorites of the exhibit:

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Tired of having to cover up a interesting outfit with a drab raincoat, Clear Coated founder Miriam Rigby designed a coat that would keep her dry and show off her creative outfits.

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Blue Morpho gown. Luly Yang is a Seattle couture designer known for her elegant and nature inspired motifs for evening wear. 

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I’m a sucker for a shirtwaist! This one was designed and manufactured by Foster-Hochberg for the 1962 Seattle Worlds Fair. Sold at the fair and in stores around the city, the fabric depicts the Space Needle and other highlights of the fair. LOVE. IT.

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Salish Pattern wool blanket by Eighth Generation. Seattle based Eighth Generation makes Native American inspired blankets, which can be worn as a cape. 

Seattle Style: Fashion/Function is on now through October 14, 2019 at Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, WA. If you’re there, check it out.

 

 

 

 

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Every year Costume Society of America hosts a symposium, where professionals gather to discuss historical and cultural dress.

Costume Society of America was founded in 1973. As a non-profit organization they seek to offer educational opportunities in historical dress. Their mission statement:

The Costume Society of America fosters an understanding of appearance and dress practices of people across the globe through research, education, preservation, and design. Our network of members studies the past, examines the present, and anticipates the future of clothing and fashion.

This year I attended the CSA symposium for the first time. Held in Seattle, Washington it was four packed days of paper presentations, professional development workshops, meetings, exhibitions, and lots of chances to meet new friends among over 250 like-minded people. Attendees included professors,  historians, costumers, and museum curators. I’m not sure, but I might have been the only fashion writer. Although there were plenty of academic writers.

This year’s theme was The Pacific Rim and Beyond: Diffusion and Diversity in Dress. The keynote speaker Akiko Fukai from the Kyoto Costume Institute opened the symposium with an enthusiastic speech on the influence of Kimono and Japanese dress on western fashion.

Presentations varied and covered topics from costuming Shakespeare to pattern creation, from prison attire to clothing terminology, from modern Muslim dress to 1790s menswear.

My favorite presentations happened to be grouped together on the final day of the symposium.

Union-Made: Fashioning America in the 20th Century. Denise Nicole Green, Ph.D. discussed a multi-media exhibition at Cornell University that chronicled the rise and fall of union-made clothing in America.  The exhibit included union-made clothing, photos, sewing machines, ephemera, and artifacts from the the university’s costume collection and union archives. What a rich and fascinating topic.

Sustainable Clothing – Nothing New: Women’s Magazines Encouraged Clothing Recycling During World War II presented by Nan Turner, professor at University of California, Davis. We could learn a thing or two from fashionable women of the war generation. With all resources going to the “war effort” clothing was rationed both in England and Europe. Recycle, up-cycle and “Make-do and Mend” were a way of life. Researching fashion magazines of the period and interviewing women in Britain who lived through the war, Ms. Turner considered how women went about refashioning their clothing.  This paper is part of a book Ms. Turner is currently working on. I look forward to reading that book!

Corporate Fashion Archives and the Growing Role of the Historian: Using PVH Archives as a Case Study presented by Becca Love, PVH Archives. Ms. Love has a very interesting job – she manages part of the archives for PVH, a fashion conglomerate which owns brands Calvin Klein, IZOD, Arrow, and Geoffrey Beene, among others. PVH Archives launched in 2014.  In this paper presentation Ms. Love discussed this new avenue in corporate fashion houses for fashion historians. As legacy brands begin to tout their history, archives have become important for inspiration, research, and PR cachet. Growing archives create a need for professionals to manage these archives. With limited and competitive options elsewhere for museum curators and fashion historians, corporate fashion houses are an exciting option. I really enjoyed learning about this new and growing career path.

All in all it was a week of full immersion in fashion academics.

There is more to report so I’ll be posting again on the CSA Annual Symposium in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

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Franklina Gray in Milanese lace veil, 1875.

English girls dress in the worst possible taste … German ladies dress without any regard to taste, the prevailing colors being purple and yellow … The Milanese ladies have a pretty fashion of wearing long black lace veils instead of hats. 

Franklina Gray (1853-1934).

At age 22, Ms. Gray embarked on the Grand Tour of Europe with her mother, aunt, and stepfather. From 1875 to 1877, the four traveled together visiting such countries as England, Germany, Greece, and Italy. As she traveled she kept a detailed journal and wrote letters regularly to her fiance left behind in Oakland, CA.

When the family returned they settled into what is now called the Camron-Stanford House on Lakeside Drive in Oakland. In 1878, Ms. Gray married her fiance, William Springer Bartlett at the Lakeside Drive home where they also lived for the next few years.

On now at the Camron-Stanford house is the unique exhibit, Franklina C. Gray: The Grand Tour, which features photos and excerpts from Ms. Gray’s writings about her travel experiences as well as personal mementos and articles of clothing, including gloves and shoes from her wedding ensemble.

I’m a big fan of local history and interesting characters, of which Ms. Gray certainly was. I’ve toured the house several times, but something new is always added (this time details about Ms. Gray’s family) and the old information sometimes doesn’t stick. For example, I should have remembered that the Camron-Stanford House (the last standing Victorian mansion on Lake Merritt) was once the Oakland Museum and we nearly lost this historical treasure back when the new museum was built.

But we didn’t lose it and tours of the house and the current exhibit are available on Sundays only. I highly recommend a visit to the Camron-Stanford House to my local readers for a leisurely Sunday afternoon out.

Franklina C. Gray: The Grand Tour runs through November 17, 2019.

Click here for more information.

 

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Hangul print fabric with Chinese characters interspersed.

Regular readers might recall that when I travel I look for fabric to bring home and have something made (or make something myself ) as a memento of my adventures. Last October, while on a textiles tour in Seoul, South Korea I went looking for fabric at the famous Dongdaemum Market, known for many a stall selling wholesale fabrics, notions, and anything one might need for DIY accessories.

I was searching for something unique that reflected Korean culture in some way. I wandered around and around, in circles it seemed, and just as I thought I might not have any luck, turning  a corner I came across a few of the other women on my tour chatting excitedly over a bolt of fabric that immediately caught my eye.

It was cotton with printed hangul, the Korean alphabet that we had learned about earlier in the week on a museum tour. I’m really drawn to the shapes of hangul and I agree with Karl Lagerfeld, who once said that hangul letters are like Cubism. The fabric came in blue with white print and brown with white. I went for the brown.

The fun part of this process is pondering how to use the fabric. I considered napkins and placemats but I wanted something unexpected. Perhaps a dress but the weight is a little stiff for that. What about a coat? I began to picture a longish, slim coat with a touch of Asian flair. That’s it!

Once home I found exactly the silhouette I wanted in a pattern by Connie Crawford for Butterick – slim, no collar, unlined.

The next step was to bring the fabric and pattern to seamstress extraordinaire, Kathy Wharton . We had one fitting and decided on the length and no pockets to avoid any bulk. Within ten days my coat was finished.

 

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I chose dark red thread for the top stitch.

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I couldn’t be more pleased and I look forward to sporting my Korean Coat this spring. In the meantime I’m making a hat out of the same fabric. More on that later.

 

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Got the post-holiday blahs? I’ve got a remedy for that! Coming up in 2019 there are  fashionable events to enjoy so let’s look at the year ahead and start planning.

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Dr. Kim with models donning traditional hanbok dress.

Saturday, January 19, 2019, 10AM at the de Young Museun in San Francisco dress historian and lecturer Dr. Minjee Kim, will give a presentation called Is Traditional Dress Modern? Hanbok in a Broader Cultural Context. Sponsored by the Textile Arts Council, Dr. Kim’s presentation will focus on traditional Korean dress and its importance in fashion historically and today. I attended this lecture at another venue in December and I highly recommend it! Click here for more information. 

If you’re down in LA on Saturday January 19th the Getty is hosting an interesting event called Artist-At-Work: French Fashion. Costume historian Maxwell Barr will dress a live model in the garb worn by the likes of Marie Antoinette and other 18th century elites. Click here for more information, 

Learn about bojagi, traditional Korean wrapping cloth.  On February 2 the Textile Arts Council is hosting a workshop with Korean textile artist Youngmin Lee. Here’s what they say:

Using the traditional Korean techniques Gamchimjil, Settam Sangchim and Ssamsol, Youngmin will teach basic jogakbo construction in this workshop. Jogakbo, patchwork bojagi, is made with many different colors of remnants of fabric left over from other projects. She will show how to use many small pieces of ramie fabrics, silk organza and Korean silk gauze to create a colorful, free style, geometric patterned bojagi. The finished project will have a unique composition of different shapes, lines and texture.

Open to TAC members only. Click here for more information. 

Coming up on Saturday February 9th is the Twelfth Annual McCoy Lecture: Knots, Art and History: Shifting Perspectives and Perceptions Within the Berlin Carpet Collection.  Anna Beselin, Head of Textile Conservation and Curator for Carpets at the Museum für Islamische Kunst Berlin  will discuss the importance of the Berlin Carpet Collection. (Not a fashion lecture but for those with a general interest in textiles.) Click here for more information. 

Are you thinking about summer travel? Consider an educational vacation to the UK. June 17-28, Costume Connection: A Study Tour Abroad is offering a behind-the-scenes peek at British costumes for films. Here’s what they say:

This two week program led by Mandy Barrington will provide participants with a unique insight into British Costume for Screen. 2019 celebrates the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth; using Queen Victoria as the main theme for this specialist program, participants will be given an insight into the screening of the successful British television series ‘Victoria’. This will include talks from industry professionals, specialist workshops in millinery, where participants will have the opportunity to design and make an individual Victorian Bonnet. Plus, a series of visits to see costume collections across the country.

Sounds great to me! Click here for more information. 

Blow those blahs away while looking forward to a fashionable times ahead. I’ll keep you up to date on events throughout the year, so check back. Better yet, subscribe to OverDressedforLife (upper right hand box).

 

 

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