What’s your favorite era for inspiration?

Judge Magazine 1926

Judge Magazine 1926

Probably my favorite era for fashion is 1920’s.  Check out this colorized video of 1920’s fashion and the music is really the bee’s knees.  There is an orange coat that is stunning and could quite easily be copied. The coats have amazing linings.  Love the hats, the music the fashion.  How about you?  Do you have a favorite era for inspiration?

Knitting and World 2 – American Red Cross

Knit your bit!

The government calls on women and children all across the country to get knitting for the boys and the war effort.  Socks wore out fast and men needed to change them frequently if possible. Cold, wet feet were not only uncomfortable but could cause a host of problems if not addressed quickly.

Born on this day – Edith Head

Edith Head – Costumer Designer Extraordinaire

The blogosphere will be popping with plenty of tributes to the Divine Miss H. She worked on almost 500 films and dressed the biggest stars in Hollywood.  For me it would be impossible to pick a favorite dress or movie.   Here is my small tribute with a few favorite sketches, quotes and a bibliography where you can slowly drink up all the talent, controversy and inspiration that is Edith Head.

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How sewing can change your life

With ads like this I’m surprised there wasn’t a mad rush to the local sewing machine shop.    I just read up on the madness/genius of Stan Freberg from the wonderful blog The Automat.    If you are interested in zany advertising campaigns check a few out  here.    Sure to elicit a giggle or two.  The announcer in the Singer ads is Walter O’ Keefe, and his fast talking and irreverent humor  reminded me of Freberg.   Is the 21st century ready for ads like this?  

And here is one more.

Items you won’t find in my closet.

Get a ‘Like” and get a big ass

Melissa Kit Chow has designed a coat that actually inflates or “hugs” you when you get a “Like” on Facebook.   If this ever moves beyond concept I may just unplug my laptop,  build a self composting toilet and go underground for a very long time. You? 

Fashion and Sport

Following sport fashion trends is nothing new.  Ladies and Gentlemen of the twenties loved to watch the ladies of the court not just for the athletic prowess but, and sometimes solely for what and who they were wearing.  Long before Serene Williams assaulted our eyeballs with this

Gladiator meets Can Can Dancer

There was Suzanne Lenglen’s  tittilating view of ankles and  thighs.  Lenglen was known for her dominating athletic style and no holds barred athleticism.  Her tennis outfit was designed by Jean Patou who was instrumental in elevating sportswear to new heights in the world of fashion.

Suzanne Lenglen

Suzanne Lenglen

Prior to Patou’s truly revolutionary designs for women athletes women had to lumber around in this

Victorian tennis costume

Now if Serena ever dons on something modest well that might be revolutionary.  We’ve certainly come a long way.  Maybe too far in some cases.

Scary Beautiful

Scary Beautiful Shoes

Artist Leanie van der Vyer has created a pair of shoes like no other.  Yes, these shoes are without a doubt ugly and quite scary. However her message is poignant and compelling.  The video below is haunting and just a little uncomfortable to watch.  Leanie says of the shoes they are an  ‘… illustration of what lies beyond this aspirational perfection”.  Which in my mind would be pain and discomfort.  

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“Humans are Playing God by physically and metaphorically perfecting themselves. Beauty is currently at an all time climax, allowing this project to explore what lies beyond perfection. Scary Beautiful challenges current beauty ideals by inflicting an unexpected new beauty standard.” 

What do you think of the video, of the shoes, of fashions quest for perfection.

For more on her thesis and photos click here. 

It’s only a paper dress sailing over a cardboard sea

The obvious comment would be – Don’t get caught in the rain wearing one of these.  Check out these lovely dresses made out of paper.

Dress by Scott Paper Company

The Scott Paper Company created a paper dress that was sold by mail for a 1.00  in 1966.  Done has a promotional stunt women all over the country sent in for the dress.  And really, think of how easy it would be to hem.

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Make Do and Mend campaign of World War 2

Here is a clip from  World War 2 showing English women how to refashion clothing and in turn support the war the effort.    In England this campaign was called Make Do and Mend.  In this clip the audience is treated to a fashion show of refashioned clothing.   This Make Do and Mend idea is popular once again as consumers want to save money, reduce their footprint and/or want to release creative energy by way of up-cycling and refashioning.  So, what do you Make Do and Mend?  

Knitting and World War 2

Knitting and World War 2

Poster from the WPA during the WW 2 years. The original is in the Library of Congress. Many women knit the boys on the front socks and other items.

Prabal Gurung and the concept of aging gracefully

Prabal Gurung

Originally from Nepal Gurung now resides in the United States and has made a big entrance into the fashion scene (He’s dressed the First Lady several times).  His designs are edgy yet feminine with amazing tailoring. The prints and graphics are breathtaking.  I not only love his styles but his outlook. He is heavily involved in charities that aid women and children forced into slavery and prostitution.   When asked about trends he would never like to see come back this is his response. Continue reading

Fashion trends that should end – Baggy Pants

I see London.  I see France!

Behold the baggy pants

For the video pick let’s take a look at the popularity and in my not so humble opinion the utter ridiculousness of the saggy, baggy pants worn usually by men.  Guys who wear this look like they have a load in their drawers.  Their gait is severely compromised and running is all but rendered impossible.  Why this trend has continued for this long boggles my mind.   Let’s all say it:  “Brother pull up your pants!”

Not your grandma’s sewing machine

Sewing machine of the future?

  This sewing machine is created by Sarah Dickins who won the James  Dyson Award for her design.   She finds her generation frequently tosses clothing in the trash rather than mending it.  Most sewing machines have a steep learning curve and can be complicated machinery.  Often times one needs a set of classes just to learn how to operate it.  

Dickins set out to design a machine that was user friendly and could do general mending and could be used straight away.  I have not tested the machine but would love to. It has a beautiful design and shape to it and I certainly would not want to hide this machine in some dark corner.    You can read more here on her award and design process.

Would a machine like this keep you sewing?

Is it couture if it’s made from Gummy Bears

Gummy Bear Gown

What exactly is the definition of couture and can it be applied to a gown that weighs 220 pounds and has over 50,000 gummy bears on it? Continue reading

A few things I’m really tired of

Hey shortie

Here’s a list of a few things I wish would retire to the more banal area of Purgatory.

Fashion

  • 4-6 inch heels.  Can we please retire the Fredrick’s of Hollywood hooker heels?  When one can find these in Wal-mart it’s time to recognize the trend is dead.  Unless you are Kim, Jessica or Zoe walking around in these is not for the amateur.  I’ve seen women dressed to the nines only to have the look destroyed by hulking around in these sky high contraptions.   Be proud, be short.
  • Low pant wearing.  Still cannot believe this is going on.
  • Females who use their butts to send messages as in “Juicy”.

Language

  • If I hear one more person say while in conversation “Seriously?”, “I know, right?”  (or simply “Right?”) and “Wait…what?” all done in that annoying up-speak I will…well, probably just cringe like I usually do.
  • The word stunning.  God, I use that like crazy.
  • Sick as in “really good”.  Should hold the award for dumbest use of a word.
  • And, of course the one that just won’t die – “Like, um  the giraffe was like really tall.”  I will judge you and harshly.

Culture

  • Most reality tv, and you know the ones I’m talking about.
  • Kim K and the like.
  • Facebook but I still can’t/won’t kick it.
  • Tumblr blogs. What is the point?  Oh, wait.  I have one. It’s really great check it out here!  Wait…what?
  • Baby bump watch!
  • And, the pressure put on women to lose the baby weight after the “baby bump” has left the building.

I could go on forever.  I’m sure you’ve got a few pet peeves, maybe people who make sanctimonious lists such as this one drive you nutty.  I didn’t even go into  annoying restaurant trends, the overuse of the word “green” and men who wear wool hats in 90 degree heat.  Whaaat?? And, of course the word Whaaat.