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  • Lynn Wyatt Swoons at Chanel Couture

    Posted by Meghan Permalink

    Hearing Texan socialite Lynn Wyatt’s southern drawl ring through Karl Lagerfeld’s studio sounds like two remote worlds converging, very Twilight Zone. Her gushing over couture made clothing in that velvety accent of hers must have charmed nearly everyone in Paris in the same way that fellow Texas native Jerry Hall did. Lynn Wyatt herself was a prominent socialite, philanthropist and lover of fashion in the 80s as well as now and was legendary for hosting celebrities and royalty at her family mansion in Houston, cheekily named the “Wyatt Hyatt.” She even has some sagely advice for those of us who get caught up in the pretense of the fashion industry and forget what we loved it for––“I think clothes are fun, I think life is fun, and one should dress appropriately for an occasion, as the most important thing. You’re showing an image of yourself to the world and why not make light of it, why not enjoy it.”

  • Megumi Satsu

    Posted by Meghan Permalink

    Who is Megumi Satsu? She’s a relatively obscure figure in music history––the Japan- born French singer became rather successful in the 80s for her avant garde cabaret- sounding style. There’s little to find of her on the internet, save for her website which is entirely in French. Her music is rather interesting, to say the least, but probably not for everyone and her look is equally as eccentric as her music. The Wikipedia entry on Megumi describes her as “the new Marlene Dietrich with an Asian touch,” which is fairly accurate in describing her style. It’s masculine tailoring meets 1930s Hollywood meets Comme des Garçons. That her and the Japanese avant-garde designers in Paris were contemporaries makes a lot of sense. I can imagine her as a muse to many designers even today, even though it has the definite 80s edge to it, her style seems ahead of its time even today.

     

  • Supermodel Instagram Roundup

    Posted by Meghan Permalink

    The celebrity/supermodel craze was a distinctly 90s phenomenon but that doesn’t mean we’re not still as obsessed now. Thanks to the wonderful creators of Instagram we can fuel our ongoing addiction to the lives of fashion’s greatest beauties––where else can you see pictures backstage at Prada side by side with dog photos? Their lives feel worlds away from our own (or at least mine) but strangely relatable at the same time, it’s strangely compelling. Since Linda Evangelista joined Instagram a week ago, I thought there was no time more appropriate to do a round up of some of my favorite supermodels on social media than now.

    Linda Evangelista (@lindaevangelista)
    Newcomer Linda Evangelista only has a few post so far but we can only hope the #SunSafety selfies of her in a nylon hood continue.
    Highlights: Sunrise selfie in front of the Sydney Opera House, Linda with the late Oscar de la Renta, and her inaugural post with her dog Mini Moon.

     

    Karen Elson (@misskarenelson)
    Folk singer and scarlet-haired beauty has a pretty well rounded Instagram including, but not limited to, pictures of her cats, backstage photos, magazine covers and random photos likely found on the internet with ambiguous captions.
    Highlights: Karen eating spaghetti in LA, Karen at the dentist, Karen in the tub with a glass of red wine.

     

    Daria Werbowy (@dotwillow)
    Daria’s Instagram is rather artistic in it’s approach and short on words (she likes to caption with a simple hashtag). While it’s somewhat short on selfies (which is what we’re really here for, if we’re being totally honest) it’s aesthetic consideration is admirable.
    Highlights:
    On set selfie with Raquel Zimmerman and Lara Stone, Daria in a scorpion baseball hat, Daria and a friend pampering themselves with mint green face masks.

     

    Mariacarla Boscono (@iosonomariacarlaboscono)
    Mariacarla’s profile is ripe with the kind of stuff we love in a model Instagram––lots of selfies, both solo and with editors, designers and other models (especially Ricardo Tisci). Her approach can be a little frantic––ots of exclamation points, capital letters, emojis––but she looks like she’s always having the most fun out of anyone.
    Highlights: Mariacarla with her new Versace bag, Mariacarla, Frankie Rayder and Jamie Bochert on a yacht in Ibiza, Stella Tennant, Donatella Versace and Mariacarla at a party with matching black eyeliner.

     

    Christy Turlington (@cturlington)
    Christy Turlington’s Instagram is very health nut, gym junkie mom, like the Gwyneth Paltrow of fashion. Peppered throughout are food photos, pictures of her kids, running photos and fun fashion #TBT’s.
    Highlights: Christy and her husband on a moonlit beach, a throwback photo of Cindy Crawford, Christy, and Stephanie Seymour shot by Meisel for Versace Versus in 1994, Christy and Marc Jacobs together and glowing.

     

    Gisele Bundchen (@giseleofficial)
    The ultimate Brazilian babe’s Instagram is full of lots of light, love and well lit selfies. She loves yoga, her children and the occasional inspiring post about tranquility and inner peace. She’s the jet set mom who fits in just as well at her husband’s football games in New England as she does on a beach meditating.
    Highlights: Gisele on a meditation retreat, Gisele in the backseat of a car with the Louis Vuitton World Cup Trunk, Gisele soaking wet on set in a warming blanket.

     

    Lara Stone (@lara_stone)
    Probably the most frequent face on Lara’s Instagram aside from her own is her dog Bert’s. Aside from Bert, Lara’s profile is ripe with selfies and shots of projects she’s worked on, both current and past, as well as lots of behind the scenes action of her at the various parties and functions she attends.
    Highlights: Lara and Kate Moss at Mario Testino’s birthday party, Lara with a fishing pole in a safety orange raincoat, Lara, Carine Roitfeld and Karlie Kloss at Cannes.

     

    Naomi Campbell (@iamnaomicampbell)
    The undisputed supermodel queen of Instagram. Naomi has met practically everyone who’s anyone and it’s all documented for us on her profile. Her account also serves as an excellent reference for her ever changing hairstyles.
    Highlights: Naomi in bed, Naomi boarding a private plane, Naomi smoking in a pool with Kate Moss.

  • The Many Faces of André Leon Talley

    Posted by Meghan Permalink

    Andre Leon Talley and Naomi Campbell at the CFDA Fashion Awards, 2008.

    I can’t think of an editor with more personality than André Leon Talley. From the early days of working with Ms. Vreeland at the Met to Editor-at-Large for Vogue, there has always been a presence to André Leon Talley. Maybe it has something to do with his skyscraper height, only to be accentuated by the endless swaths of fabric that make up his signature caftans, but he’s also smart as a whip and devilishly funny. Designers love him, celebrities love him, the First Lady loves him, we all love him. André has a presence that can’t be ignored, even when he’s not vying for the attention it’s somehow always on him. When he was featured on the wedding episode of Keeping up With the Kardashians as a guest at Valentino’s house, it appeared that Mr. Leon Talley did not sign a release form so his face is totally obscured (he later mentioned he was upset with Kim because he did indeed sign the release). Even when he’s a faceless nebula we all know who it is, and he completely steals the show. From silly to unamused, André’s repertoire of facial expressions are as expressive as his larger than life personality, and he’s always got us entertained.

    (L) Andre Leon Talley and Bill Cunninham, NYC, 1984. (R) Andre Leon Talley and Diana Ross at Studio 54, New Years Eve, 1979.

     

    (L) Andre Leon Talley and Anna Wintour, 1996. (R) Andre Leon Talley working with Diana Vreeland on a Marlene Dietrich costume for the Met, by Bill Cunningham, 1974.

     

    (L) Andre Leon Talley by Andy Warhol. (R) Tina Chow and Andre Leon Talley by Andy Warhol.

     

    Andre Leon Talley, Steve Rubell and Andy Warhol, 1981.

     

    (L) Andre Leon Talley and Naomi Campbell backstage at Gianni Versace, January 1991. (R) Andre Leon Talley and Naomi Campbell, 1989.

     

    (L) Andre Leon Talley and Lord Snowden. (R) Grace Jones and Andre Leon Talley.

     

    Jerry Hall, Billie Blair, Oscar de la Renta, Andre Leon Talley, Dalma and Pat Cleveland, 1970s.

     

    "Keeping up with the Kardashians" at Valentino's Home.

  • Halloween the Marc Jacobs Way

    Posted by Meghan Permalink

    Ashley Olsen as Marie Antoinette and Marc Jacobs as a cheerleader at Kate Hudson's Halloween Party, Los Angeles, 2007.

    With Halloween mere days away, some people might be scrambling around for last minute costumes. If you’re feeling uninspired and are willing to spend a princely sum on an elaborate costume this Halloween, look no further than to Marc Jacobs for some costume inspiration. Marc Jacobs loves to throw together a good costume for whatever the occasion or holiday. His annual company Christmas party isn’t your typical holiday fare of eggnog, mistletoe and secret Santa––every year boasts a new theme and it almost never has anything to do with Christmas. Marc’s parties stop nowhere short of excess, and he’s always wearing some unbearably clever costume and an impish grin. Highlights include his 2005 “Wild West” themed party where he went as Wilbur from “Charlotte’s Web” and his 2006 “Carnival in Venice” themed party which he showed up as a Venetian pigeon. If you’re looking for something a little less elaborate, his 2011 Halloween costume as a Kit Kat dancer from “Cabaret” is especially memorable. Or, you could throw on a speedo and a Louis Vuitton towel and go as Marc himself for Halloween. The options are endless.

    (L) Marc Jacobs as a Polar Bear at his White and Silver themed Christmas costume party, 2003. (M) Marc Jacobs and Dita von Teese at his Red and Gold themed Christmas costume party, 2004. (R) Marc Jacobs as Wilbur from Charlotte's Web and Naomi Campbell as a cowgirl at his Wild West themed Christmas costume party, 2005.

     

    (L) Marc Jacobs as a Venetian Pigeon with Robert Duffy at Marc Jacobs' Venetian Carnival themed Christmas costume party, 2006. (M-R) Marc Jacobs at his Arabian Nights Christmas costume party, 2007.

     

    (L) Marc Jacobs and Lorenzo Martone at Allison Sarofim's 80s themed Halloween party, 2009. (M) Marc Jacobs as a She Devil at Jane's Hotel, New York, 2010. (R) Marc Jacobs as a Kit Kat dancer from Cabaret, The Boom Boom Room, New York, 2011.

  • #BackstageWithPatMcGrath

    Posted by Meghan Permalink

    If you’ve been reading Curate for a while, you will know that we here love Pat McGrath’s work and if you’re not yet following the inimitable makeup artist on Instagram, her recent announcement to her followers may be a good reason to start. The hand behind some of the most iconic faces we’ve seen in fashion for the past 15 years has announced a call for talent via her Instagram account just last week. The rules are as follows––follow her personal account, recreate one of her makeup looks, post it to Instagram and hashtag it #BackstageWithPatMcGrath before December 1st. Pat will select a handful of finalists who will get to work with her and her team backstage in either New York, Milan or Paris. It’s an almost impossibly rare opportunity to work with the undisputed doyenne of makeup in fashion today. "I've been looking for new team members, and the thing is, I kept seeing such great talent on Instagram that I thought it would be great to meet some of these people," says Ms. McGrath on the contest. As it stands now, there are 5,007 submissions and counting––time to whip out the MAC paint pots and Diorshow Blackout and get to work.

    (L) Karen Elson, Pat McGrath, Lily Cole and Jessica Stam backstage at Christian Dior A/W 2005 RTW. (M) Pat McGrath and Agyness Deyn backstage at Anne Sui A/W 2007. (R) Pat McGrath and Natalia Vodianova backstage at Stella McCartney S/S 2010.

  • Book Club: The Biba Years, 1963-1975

    Posted by Meghan Permalink

    For someone like me who was born into a world post-Biba, it’s almost impossible to imagine the world as it was during those few years in when the London highstreet brand Biba rose meteorically to becoming the ultimate tastemaker for everything in the 70s. For those of us uninitiated, the recently published book, “The Biba Years: 193-1975” by Biba founder Barbara Hulanicki and Martin Pel paints a very detailed and sumptuous image. The book starts at the very beginning with Barbara’s childhood and introduces the seeds in her upbringing which would later germinate into the founding principles of the Biba empire, charts the progression from its beginnings as a small boutique and mail-order clothing business to its ultimate arrival as the Big Biba deluxe department store experience on Kensington High Street and beyond.

    Barbara Hulanicki, through the intensity of her vision, completely altered the aesthetics of the time. She shunned the dainty and delicate pastels and frumpy casuals in favor of richly muted colors like rust, olive, and her signature bruised purple which she swathed the Biba brand in. She wanted glamor and decadence, a revival of dressing up for almost any occasion, and was forever inspired by the heyday of 1930s Hollywood. The Biba brand may have been just clothes in the start, but soon became an empire of womenswear, shoes, children’s clothes, menswear, housewares, furniture, bric-a-brac, and of course cosmetics––Biba put it’s mark on nearly everything. In the vein of old department stores, Big Biba had a restaurant lounge called The Rainbow Room which became a nightclub with musical performances at night. Biba was the place to be in London in the 70s and the affordable prices made it available to anyone who was willing to clamor their way through the throng of people trying to get the latest style of suede knee high boot on a Saturday morning. Everyone, even the most famous celebrities of the day, loved to spend time at Biba. Biba brought like minded people of the most fashionable ilk together under one lavish and resplendent roof.

    The book itself is like a contained version of the Biba ethos. It’s weighty and luxurious feeling (and reasonably priced), with lots of beautiful and rare images of the Biba years, including copies of catalogues shot by the likes of Helmut Newton in 1969. The text is filled with many anecdotes from Barbara herself about the experience of Biba behind the scenes––allegedly, Anjelica Huston lifted a couple of items from the store in her younger years without paying, and Elvis Presley was rumored to have wanted to play The Rainbow Room. The book also tells the story of the fall of Biba at the hands of investors who saw a new vision for Biba and Barbara’s many endeavors after Biba as a fashion designer in Brazil, an interior designer in Miami, and the opening of her boutiques in London and New York in the 80s and 90s. It’s the complete telling of the life of Barbara Hulanicki, who, though not in name, is the life and soul of the Biba brand.

    (L) The Biba Years Book Cover. (R) Twiggy in the Rainbow Room, Big Biba, London, Vogue, December 1973, photo by Justin de Villeneuve.

     

    Biba catalogue, February 1969. Staphanie Farrow photographed by Hans Feurer.

     

    Biba catalogue, October 1968. Vicki Wise photographed by Hans Feurer.

     

    Biba catalogue, April 1968. Madeleine Smith photographed by Donald Silverstein.

     

    (L) Big Biba cosmetics displays, London, 1973, photo by Tim White. (R) Men's shoe display at Big Biba, London, 1974, photo by Tim Street-Porter.

     

    (L) Pauline Stone modelling Hulanicki's pink gingham dress, back view, Daily Mirror, May 1964, by John French. (R) Shop assistants (from left, Michelle and Nicole Hellier, and Susy and Rosy Young) at Biba, 19-21 Kensington Church Street, London, 1967 by Caroline Gillies.

     

    Barbara Hulanicki wearing a fun-fur coat, 1974, photo by Mick Rock.

     

    (L) Barbara Hulanicki, working drawing of the first Biba's Postal Boutique Skirt, 1963. (R) Biba's "Op art" dress modelled outside Biba, 87 Abingdon Road, London, 1965.

     

    (L) Contact sheet of Jo Dingemans modelling for a Biba Cosmetics photoshoot, 1971, photo by Barbara Hulanicki. (R) Couture department at Biba, 120 Kensington High Street, London. 'The Boutique Business,' Daily Telegraph Magazine (17 July 1970), photo by Brian Duffy.

     

    (L) Biba, two-piece satin polyester wedding ensenble, Britain, 1970. (M) Biba, 'banana'-print corduroy cotton dress, Britain, 1969. (R) Biba, daisy-print cotton jumpsuit and hat, Britain, 1965.

     

    (L) Biba, satin-weave cotton trouser suit, Britain, 1974. (R) Biba, striped lamé 'Regency' dress, Britain, 1974. (R) Biba, child's printed cotton dungarees, Britain, 1973.

  • Andre Walker (and nope, we don't mean Oprah's hairdresser)

    Posted by Meghan Permalink

    Andre Walker in Paper Magazine, May 1991.

    If you google “Andre Walker” you’ll come up with more results for Oprah’s hair stylist than you would for fashion designer Andre Walker. If you’ve never heard of or only vaguely recall fashion designer Andre Walker, that’s not a lack of awareness on your part, but an active choice of Mr. Walker’s to remain somewhat elusive online. The name Andre Walker officially emerged in fashion in the 90s when the collections he was designing at the time started to receive coverage from major fashion media. The reality is his career started much longer before, at just 15 he began showing his earliest collections at clubs in downtown Manhattan. It’s almost difficult to even pin him as just a fashion designer since that implies in some way an adherence to or at least an awareness of the underlying business principles of the industry––this aspect of fashion evaded Andre. So he began in Brooklyn and made a name for himself in the underground fashion scene, was eventually hired by the American sportswear label Williwear to design, then continued to make his own collections throughout the 90s (his last collection was shown in 2001). He was a consultant for Kim Jones and for Marc Jacobs during his beginnings at Louis Vuitton and again during the 2000s, he created a highly collectible (and expensive) magazine entitled TIWIMUTA a few years back, and he’s now in collaboration with Rei Kawakubo and Adrian Joffe with a launch of his newest eponymous label, An Dre Walker, at the Dover Street Market New York. For all his accolades as a fashion insider, Andre Walker remains only a cult figure.

    Finding images of Walker’s collections online is certainly a task (consider again how many images related to Oprah’s hairstylist there are to filter out). It’s mostly limited to magazine scans and newspaper clippings, but from what is available, it’s really hard to believe that he didn’t receive more attention during his time. From his youngest days reading W magazine and admiring his mother’s shoes for her cabaret performances, Andre saw fashion as one big glamorous party, not real business venture. Somehow he clung to this naiveté well into his early 20s, but that’s for the better. He had created for himself a sort of signature look in the 80s at the age of 16, the “whale-sleeved” coat with bulbous, balloon-like proportions, inspired by a cartoonish shape of a whale because it was apparently Andre’s favorite animal at the time. This is one of his famed pieced but pinning down a look for Andre Walker designs is sort of impossible since he designed on his whims, he designed for the party. In a recent interview with Garmento Magazine, he had said, “The stuff that I was making in 1982, or in 1992, had nothing to do with what was going on at the time. The only thing it had anything to do with, really, was that it was excessive, alternative, and underground.There was something in it, you could feel it had the desire and intention to be an ultimate fashion creation.” From what is documented online, his creations in the 80s and 90s had the most absurd cuts and tailoring, it’s hard to believe where someone could come up with something like that. It’s full of humor and wit, but it’s also the kind of stuff you’d want to wear.

    From early on in his explosive young career he was likened to designers Geoffrey Beene and Charles James, and his clothes certainly carry that cadence of genius. When he speaks you recognize he is of someone who is not only so purely creative but who is intellectual, aware, and engaged with the world around him (he says that reading René Descartes at 18 is what spurred him to pursue fashion). As a designer and an individual, he engages fashion at a level that is lacking in the fashion world today, with too many designers creating collections with too many looks, and for what? Most of these designs aren’t worth the fabric their made of in terms of quality or innovation. He condemns this slavish attitude to consumerism that drives modern fashion. For Andre Walker, the cycles of fashion never applied. He produces on a time frame of his dictate, creates only what he feels compelled to create, and he evolves constantly, which is what makes him so difficult to pin down. Stasis is a state unknown to Andre Walker––he is fashion gone rogue, the perennially emerging designer.

    (L) Andre Walker and Pierre Francillon by Amy Arbus, 1983. (R) Andre Walker design from the late 80s.

     

    Andre Walker A/W 1995.

     

    Andre Walker A/W 1988 by Jesse Frohman for Paper Magazine.

     

    (L) Andre Walker A/W 1992 collection "Yayy!! Da Sweetease". (R) Andre Walker A/W 1993 by Bill Cunningham.

     

    (L) Cecilia Dean wearing Andre Walker for Paper Magazine May 1988. (R) Leslie Macayza wearing Andre Walker's whale design by J. Henry Fair for STOP Magazine, 1984.

     

    Claude Montana and Andre Walker in Paper Magazine October 1988.

     

    Andre Walker A/W 2014 for Dover Street Market.

     

    Andre Walker A/W 2014 for Dover Street Market.

     

    Newspaper clipping of Andre Walker A/W 1988 by Walt Cessn.

  • Tomboy Style

    Posted by Meghan Permalink

    Bianca and Jade Jagger, 1970s.

    While we all appreciate the glamour of sequins, feathers, resplendent colors and rich fabrics that we usually associate with vintage clothing, most of us spend our days in fatigues that are much more casual. On the flip side to the glam girl is the tomboy, the girl who takes a nod from the relaxed ease of menswear when dressing. The word “tomboy” first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1592 and originally had a bit of a derogatory connotation. Codes of feminine dress were much more rigid centuries ago and of course a woman dressing in a remotely masculine way was almost obscene. In our modern world, dress codes are of course far less rigid and a woman in a pair of slacks doesn’t hold the same disdain it once did. In reality, all of us have a little bit of tomboy in us (you can’t deny the ease of a pair of jeans and a casual blazer). Luckily for us, there are plenty of icons from decades past who sported a more tomboyish, relaxed style to be inspired by.

    (L) Anjelica amd John Huston, Ireland, 1967. (R) Anjelica Huston In Vogue Italia by Herb Ritts, March 1991.

     

    (L) Betty Catroux and Yves Saint Laurent, 1970s. (R) Jodie Foster in Paris Photo by Christian Simonpietri, 1977.

     

    (L) Charlotte and Serge Gainsbourg, 1984. (R) Chloe Sevigny, 2003.

     

    (L) Lauren Bacall, 1940s. (R) Debbie Harry, 1978.

     

    Rita Hayworth, 1941.

     

    (L) Marlene Dietrich, 1930s. (R) Sigourney Weaver, 1980s.

     

    (L) Lauren Hutton, 1970s. (R) Patti Smith, 1980s.

     

    (L) Madonna, Papa Don't Preach, 1986. (R) Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell in "Style Gangsters" by Peter Lindbergh, Vogue Italia, February 1991.

     

    (L) Milla Jovovich in "La Modella Mafia" by Bob Richardson, Vogue Italia, November 1997. (R) Yves Saint Laurent, 1987.

  • Vintage Couture Available In the Shop Now!

    • 1960s Gina Fratini Lace Trimmed Sleeves w Floral Print Maxi Dress
    • Rare 1960s Sybil Connolly Silk Ruffle Dress
    • 1810-1820 Antique Silk Guaze Shawl
    • Early 1970s Louis Feraud Velvet Suit
    • 1970s Rare Early Norma Kamali Jumpsuit
    • 1970s Rudi Gernreich Plunge Knit Dress
    • 1950s Sophie of Saks Silk Bow Dress
    • 1950s Daisy Sweetheart Bust Black Dress
    • 1980s Sequined Vicky Tiel Couture Dress
    • 1950s Floral Print Hawaiian Wiggle Dress
    • Late 1960s Miss Dior Velvet Midi Dress w Large Bead and Cord Detailing
    • Beautiful 1970s Ted Lapidus Pink Silk Demi-Couture Dress
    • 1950s Silk Strapless Beaded Bow Dress
    • 1970s Silk Velvet Couture Halston Sheath
    • 1990s Richard Tyler Couture Silk Sheath
    • F/W 1989 Yves Saint Laurent Pink Silk Brocade Suit
    • 1950s Full Skirted Silk "New Look" Dress
    • Recent Giambattista Valli Black Strapless Front Bow Cocktail Dress
    • Recent Missoni Gold Chevron Pattern Knit Halter Summer Dress
    • 1960s Sculptural Black Silk Teal Traina "Tuxedo" Dress
    • 1980s Strapless Bubble Skirt Lanvin Dress
    • 1980s Claude Montana Fitted Peplum Dress
    • 1990s Gianni Versace Couture Net Dress
    • 1950s Beaded Fitted Scoop Back Dress
    • Give the Gift of Vintage with a Gift Card!
    • 1930s Puffed Sleeve Floral Silk Chiffon Gown
    • A/W 1980 Haute Couture Christian Dior Gown
    • 1978 Collection Rare Backless Red Halston Dress
    • 1950s Pink Herbet Sondheim Silk Dress & Jacket
    • A/W 1994 Documented Vivienne Westwood Riding Suit
    • 1950s Silk and Net Lace Beaded Cocktail Dress
    • 1960s Numbered Courreges Pink Skirt & Sweater Set
    • 1970s Leonard Pink & Coral Mini & Crop Jacket
    • 1967 Striking Silk Print Strapless Adolfo Gown
    • Spring 2008 Giambattista Valli Strapless Ivory Fitted Dress
    • 1980s Valentino Pleated Back Silk Gown
    • 1950s Green Sculptural Lilli Diamond Dress & Jacket
    • Pretty 1970s Ted Lapidus Floral Skirt & Top Set
    • Rare 1970s Embroidered Exceptional Kenzo Suit
    • 1980s Nini Ricci Lame Black Cocktail Dress
    • 1950s Black Sequin & Cording Pin Up Dress
    • 1960s Silk Chiffon Floral Oscar De La Renta Jumpsuit
    • 1996A Runway Chanel Coat Dress w Cabochon Buttons
    • Late 1950s Rare Hermes Coated Cotton Trench Coat
    • 1960s Chic Larger Christian Dior Numbered Suit
    • 1980s Bill Blass Sequin Dusty Rose & Gold Dress
    • 1960s Rich Hued Pucci Velvet Shift Dress
    • 1960s Silk Twill Emilio Pucci Pink Print Top
    • 1960s Beautiful Pink Velvet Emilio Pucci Skirt
    • 1970s Glossy Black Sequin Donald Brooks Dress
  • La Piscine, 1969

    Posted by Meghan Permalink

    La Piscine is one of those wonderful French films that often gets kind of swept under the rug when we think of 60s French cinema. The cast alone is includes Alain Delon, Romy Schneider and Jane Birkin, all at the prime of their cinematic fame. Released in 1969, it was the fourth most popular movie at the French box offices that year. The story is set in the south of France during a particularly steamy summer––Marianne (Schneider) and Jean-Paul (Delon) are vacationing at their friend’s summer home when Harry (Maurice Ronet), friend of Jean-Paul and former fling of Marianne, stops by unexpectedly with his daughter Penelope (Birkin). The luxuriously relaxed Côte d’Azur villa setting sits in sharp contrast to the slow simmering drama of sexual tension and jealousy that subtly builds over several days.

    The setting is stunning, very old school Mediterranean villa with mid-century modern furnishings, and the cast boast’s some of French cinema’s most beautiful people dressed in the designs of the movie’s costume designer and tastemaker of French fashion, André Courrèges. The look is relaxed French cool––bathing suits abound as well as crisp white dresses, t-shirts and blouses. Marianne, the older of the two girls, favors dresses and bathing suits of the haltered variety. When going grocery shopping, she sports a pale blue blouse with crisp navy slacks that’s smart and feels very Courrèges. She exudes the kind of confidence that you would expect from an intelligent woman as beautiful as Romy Schneider. Penelope, the doe eyed teenager, dresses in a very girlish mod fashion. Mini skirts, high waister trousers, and crocheted coverups flaunt Jane Birkin’s infamous legs. The wicker basket she was notoriously always carrying is seen throughout the film too (this is the very bag whose malfunction would go on to inspire Hermes CEO Jean-Louis Dumas to create the Birkin bag). Between the two of them, they have the kind of classic casual French wardrobe that’s equal parts preppy and flirtatious that we all wish we could have.

  • Dries van Noten S/S 2015

    Posted by Meghan Permalink

    Fashion week (or month, as it really should be called) has become quite the overwhelming spectacle. More designers are showing than ever, street style outside the shows has become a frenzied spectacle to rival the shows themselves, and those not at fashion week are demanding immediate access to show photos online. At the end of it all you’re left with a lot of content to sift through and determining what’s even worth looking at can be exhausting.

    If there’s ever a beacon of clarity amongst the tangled darkness that can become of fashion month, it’s Dries van Noten. For spring/summer 2015, Dries sent woodland nymph beauties down the runway in airy, crepe-like silks and Arts and Crafts-style metallic jacquard prints. While the craftsmanship was painstakingly exquisite (the multi- patterned jacquard pieces were woven in one piece of fabric, rather than the simpler method of using two panels) the mood was one of serenity and calm, like a Dries interpretation of Waterhouse’s painting “The Lady of Shallot.” An immediate sense of tranquility washes over you as you watch the girls hazily float across the runway. The artisanal craftsmanship does not end with the hands of Dries. For his runway, Dries commissioned a mossy patchwork rug handwoven by artist Alexandra Kehayoglou of Buenos Aires. At the end of the show the girls gently seated themselves laguidly on the runway amongst the moss and succulents Picnic at Hanging Rock style. It was perhaps the most tranquil and relaxing finale fashion has yet seen. After a month long fashion frenzy, there seems no better place to decamp and recuperate than in the calm splendor of Dries van Noten’s moss-covered fairytale Shangri-La.

    John WIlliam Waterhouse, "The Lady of Shalott," 1888, oil on canvas.

     

    (R) Picnic at Hanging Rock, 1975.

     

  • Carol Christian Poell "Mainstream Downstream"

    Posted by Meghan Permalink

    Seeing a fleet of lifeless men floating downstream is generally cause for concern, and that’s probably the reaction that designer Carol Christian Poell intended when he sent models dressed in his S/S 2004 menswear collection floating down Milan’s Naviglio Canal. In his collection titled “Mainstream Downstream,” Poell was trying to send a message to the fashion community. The title says it all, really--Poell's presentation served as a metaphor for the state of fashion as he saw it, where the mainstream fashion collective uniformly flows in one direction without thought. If this sounds pretty bleak, you wouldn’t be wrong, but consider the fact that Poell’s presentation, in all it’s depressing splendor, also eliminates some aspects of the typical fashion show that arouse anxiety. There’s no front row seating, no backstage politics, no influx and outflow of stressed out fashion people throughout the venue. It’s just people along the banks of the canal, a public space. Fashion enthusiasts and pedestrians alike have access to the same view and in this sense Poell has democratized the elitism of the fashion show.

    It’s a wonder that Poell hasn’t received more of a cult following because of this collection, considering the popularity of Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan’s shows from the early 2000s which were also quite radical. Despite the presentation’s macabre tone, there is something serenely beautiful about the eeriness of it all. As the models drift along the canal, their clothes elegantly floating over the surface of the water, they are reminiscent of the tragic Ophelia of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The peaceful beauty of their quiet stillness is simultaneously depressing and delighting.

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