Tag Archive | Clothing

Eye On Design: Brocade Evening Coat By Jeanne-Marie Lanvin

Brocade Evening Coat By Jeanne Lanvin
Installation View (Photos By Gail)

The Nazi occupation of Paris lasted from June 14, 1940 to August 25, 1944. The Nazi authorities initially planned to move the entire Paris fashion industry to the German Reich. Lucian Lelong, then head of the Chambre Syndicale, convinced them that the haute couture could only exist, “in Paris or . . . not at all.” Among those who could legally purchase Paris couture during the Occupation were some 20,000 French women (who had special couture ration cards) about 200 Germans, and citizens of neutral countries, such as Spain and Switzerland.

Jeanne-Marie Lanvin was a French haute couture fashion designer, who founded the Lanvin fashion house and the beauty and perfume company Lanvin Parfums. She designed this gray, black and gold Brocade Evening Coat in 1943.

Brocade Evening Coat By Jeanne Lanvin

Photographed as Part of The Exhibit, Paris, Capital of Fashion, On View at The Museum at FIT in Manhattan Through January 4th, 2020.

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Eye On Design: Multidimensional Graffiti Ensemble by Rei Kawakubo for Comme de Garçons

Multidimensional Graffit
All Photos By Gail

Exaggerated proportions and visual intricacy define this maximalist ensemble by Comme des Garçons. The elaborate coat and bodysuit, in various fabrics  including cotton, wool, nylon, polyester and linen — and in assorted shades of pink, red and white, are part of the Spring 2018 Multidimensional Graffiti collection, which appropriated the works 10 artists ranging from the 16th century to today.

Multidimensional Graffit
Shown Here in Contrast to a Minimalist Design By Narciso Rodriguez (Left)

According to Women’s Wear Daily, the result was a mash-up of prints and textures that allied to “the possibilities inherent when wildly unlike visual perspective coexist.”

Multidimensional Graffiti

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Minimalism / Maximalism at the Museum at FIT in Manhattan Through November 16, 2019.

Multidimensional Graffit

Eye On Design: Mila Schön, Blue Double-Faced Wool Coat

Blue Wool Coat
All Photos By Gail

By the 20th century, wool suits and coats were indispensable, practical elements of fashionable daywear for women. Double-faced wool, used here by designer Mila Schön for her Blue Coat (1968) is woven almost as two separate textiles, joined by a set of interwoven yarns, creating a thick, structural, spongy fabric.

Blue Wool Coat

The textile’s density supports this A-line silhouette, while the wool’s pliability eases the inset of Pop Art circles. The hems were self-finished by opening the layers and stitching the edges to the inside.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Fabric in Fashion, on View Through May 4th, 2019 at The Museum at FIT in Manhattan.

Blue Wool Coat

Eye On Design: Beaded Vest By Marcus Amerman

Beaded Vest
All Photos By Gail

This elaborately Beaded Vest (2013) was inspired by the catalogs for the Burpee Seed Company, an online purveyor of gardening supplies. Whereas much Native American beadwork features flat, abstract designs, Marcus Amerman (Choctaw, Born 1959) stitches each bead individually, alternating colors to create three-dimensional effects. The result is vivid imagery that leaps off the surface and defies our expectations of the medium.

Beaded Vest

Although the realism and commercial source of Amerman’s imagery are nontraditional, floral imagery has a long history within Native North American beadwork as an art form and a symbol of cultural resilience. Floral imagery emerged as a mainstay of beadwork during the fur trade, when beaded horse gear, bags, and clothing found a ready market among non-Native traders and settlers. As Native groups were disrupted and displaced by expansion, disease and war, floral imagery retained symbolic meaning known only to tribes, forming a visual language capable of surviving the destructive forces of empire.

Beaded Vest

Photographed in the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, CA.

Pink Thing of The Day: Gatsby-Inspired Pink Stripe Linen Suit By Brooks Brothers

Gatsby Pink Linen Suit
All Photos By Gail

Geoffrey and I happened to be at Grand Central Station recently, waiting to board a train out of the city for the afternoon, when we happily discovered that we had an interesting opportunity to pass the time other than exploring the terminal’s impressive food court: we went to see a Brooks Brothers fashion exhibit.

Gatsby Pink Linen Suit Detail

Established in New York City in 1818, Brooks Brothers — America’s oldest clothing brand, and the place where my late father bought virtually all of his suits  — celebrated its 200th anniversary with an immersive special exhibition staged right in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall. The exhibit traced the accomplishments, cultural significance, and global influence of the brand. It was fun to discover the company’s rich history, notable innovations and iconic fashion items that are still relevant, and seen everywhere, today.

Pink Linen Suit

Alongside examples of formalwear ensembles created by Brooks Brothers for the 2013 film, The Great Gatsby (which won two Academy Awards for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design for Catherine Martin) we admired this classic Pink Stripe Linen Suit.  Inspired by the film’s costumes, and in collaboration with Martin, the limited-edition suit was sold at Brooks Brothers stores in 2013 as part of its Gatsby Collection. The line has since been discontinued.

 

Eye On Design: Suit Made From Feed Sacks By Lawrence Scott

Suit Made From Feed Sacks
Photos By Gail

The making of dresses from feed sacks or flour bags began in the 19th century, but the idea is most closely associated with the1930s, when the Great Depression necessitated resourcefulness. Knowing that homemakers used the cotton sacks to make clothes and other household items, manufacturers began printing them with cheerful patterns.

Suit Made From Feed Sacks

In 1994, American Designer Lawrence Scott constructed this stylish suit from large pieces of old feed sacks. He chose to utilize traditional feed sacks rather than the fashionably printed, mid-century bags in order to call attention to their origin. Scott’s design exemplifies the increasing importance of recycling during the 1990s —  a notice that extended to fashion production.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Fashion Unraveled: Fashion & Textile, on View at the Museum at FIT Through November 17th, 2018

Eye On Design: Red Satin Slashed Baseball Jacket By Vivienne Westwood

Slashed Jacket
All Photos By Gail

This Red Satin Slashed Baseball Jacket from Vivienne Westwood’s spring 1991 collection references the Renaissance fashion trend of “slashing,” in which a series of small cuts made to the outer fabric of a garment (here, red rayon satin) reveals the contrasting lining (white burlap) beneath . This style demonstrates Vivienne Westwood’s studies of historic fashion, while also offering a more refined version of the designer’s ripped and ragged punk aesthetic of the 1970s.

Slashed Jacket

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Fashion Unraveled: Fashion & Textile, on View at the Museum at FIT Through November 17th, 2018

Eye On Design: Obi Kimono Style Wrap Dress By Norman Norell

Kimono Style Wrap Dress
Photos By Gail

Unlike many 20th-century fashion designers, Norman Norell rarely sought inspiration from non-western or exotic cultures. Norell’s Obi dresses (circa 1965) were a rare exception. Named after the wide belt used to secure and ornament a Japanese Kimono, the wrap-wtyle Obi Dresses were constructed with a built-in panel of fabric that encased the upper torso using a hook and eye closure.This interior garment allowed the outer wrap layer to glide smoothly over the body.

Kimono Style Wrap Dress

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Norell: Dean of American Fashion, at the Museum at FIT.

Warranty Void If Seal Is Broken T Shirt!

Warranty Void Seal

Oh man, I am in love with this thing. Wouldn’t this fun shirt design by Louisros be a great gift for the animal-lover-with-a-sense-of-humor in your life? I think so. Why not pick one up, for yourself or a friend, for just $21.95 at This Link? Just do it.

Warranty Void Seal T Shirt

Eye On Design: Norman Norell’s Mermaid Dresses

Mermaid Dresses
All Photos By Gail

Aptly called the Mermaid, Norman Norell’s shimmering, sequin-covered evening gown is arguably his most recognizable creation. Like many designers, he was influenced by Hollywood costumes, especially those created during the Golden Age. In fact, Norell began his career working for both Brooks Costume Company and Paramount Pictures during the 1920s. It is not surprising that he was one of the most successful at incorporating silver screen glamour in his luxurious, ready-to-wear evening garments, especially his Mermaid gowns.

Silver Blue 1972 Dark Purple 1965
Silver Blue Evening Gown (1972); Dark Purple Long Sleeve Evening Dress (1965)

What made Norell’s Mermaids so successful was his ability to strike the perfect balance of physical comfort and visual impact. Most often, he made the gowns using a base of knitted silk jersey. The base was then covered with a dazzling pavé of hand-applied sequins that were dyed repeatedly to match the jersey. Each of the tiny, reflective discs was sewn on with its on unique stitch pattern, allowing the sequins to shift and move independently. The result was a garment that reflected the maximum amount of light

Forest Green Evening Dress 1972
Forest Green Evening Dress (1972)

Photographed as part of the Exhibit, Norell: Dean of American Fashion, on View Through April 14th, 2018 at the Musuem at FIT in Manhattan.