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 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)
Photographed as part of the Exhibit, Norell: Dean of American Fashion, on View Through April 14th, 2018 at the Musuem at FIT in Manhattan.
Talk about an “Oh Wow” factor that is just off the charts! This breathtaking, Pink Fantasy Window Display at the Buffalo Exchange vintage clothing store stopped me dead in my tracks.
As if the above Pink Apron Dress wasn’t eye-catching enough, the window dressers accessorized the mannequin’s outside with vintage toys, and more toys were strewn as the base of the display. It was like Christmas, Easter and Halloween all in one display!
Buffalo Exchange is Located at 114 West 26th Street, Between 6th and 7th Avenues, in Chelsea NYC.
Every year , the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosts a fashion exhibit full of mind-blowing, ‘wearable’ works of art. We enjoy making multiple visits during each exhibit’s tenure, which generally lasts into late summer, and taking way too many photos than we will never do anything with. Because too may photos is a thing. and it is how we roll.
For spring/summer 2017, the Costume Institute’s exhibition examines the work of Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, founder of Comme des Garçons (French for “Like Boys”), who is known for her avant-garde designs and ability to challenge conventional notions of beauty, good taste, and fashionability. The thematic show features approximately 140 examples of Kawakubo’s womenswear for Comme des Garçons dating from the early 1980s to her most recent collection, many with heads and wigs created and styled by Julien d’Ys. 90% of the designs are just out of control, crazy couture that no one would ever wear anywhere but the runway, or one time only to a gala where you need to be remembered for wearing a dress that comes with its own cage, or something.
The galleries illustrate the designer’s revolutionary experiments in “in-betweenness”—the space between boundaries. Objects are organized into nine aesthetic expressions of interstitiality in Kawakubo’s work: Absence/Presence, Design/Not Design, Fashion/Anti-Fashion, Model/Multiple, Then/Now, High/Low, Self/Other, Object/Subject, and Clothes/Not Clothes. Kawakubo breaks down the imaginary walls between these dualisms, exposing their artificiality and arbitrariness.
If you are intrigued by the Pink Presses in this post, which is how I was able to distill the exhibit for this blog, then you need to check this shit out in person, because it is just insane.
18th Century Punk, Autumn/Winter 2016 – 2017
Look: Proof that this ‘dress’ fits on a human body!
Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons Art of The In-Between Runs Through September 4th, 2017 at The Met, NYC.
For reasons that take too long to talk about, I’m late to the game with my post on the exhibit Paris Refashioned: 1957-1968, which closed on April 15th, 2017. But why waste a collection of lovely photos when I could still post them here, in hope that they will entice you to attend the museum’s next exhibit, while you learn more about the history of French fashion!
I was fortunate to visit the exhibit one frigid Saturday afternoon in February, when there were very few other attendees and the feelings of nostalgia were great, as it reminded me of shopping with my mother when I was a little girl back in the 1960s.
Installation View with Pantsuits
Paris Refashioned, 1957-1968 highlighted one of the most groundbreaking time periods in fashion history. While many books and exhibitions about this era position London as the center of innovative, youth-oriented design, this limited perspective overlooks the significant role that Paris continued to play in the fashion industry. Paris Refashioned, 1957-1968 examined the combined influence of French haute couture, ready-to-wear, and popular culture during this era, with particular emphasis on how fashion was perceived and promoted by the American fashion press. All objects on view were selected from The Museum at FIT’s permanent collection of more than 50,000 objects.
Please enjoy some of our favorite designs from the show!
Evening Suit By Coco Chanel in Gold Silk Satin Brocade, 1960
Christian Dior Ready-to-Wear Hostess Gown, Printed Ivory Silk Satin, 1957
Emanuel Ungaro Couture Dress, Red Double-knit Wool, Polyurethane and PVC, 1967
Left Foreground: Emanuel Ungaro Couture Coat. Blue and Grey Printed Wool Fabric By Sonia Knapp, 1968
Far Left: Jeanne Lanvin (aka Jules-Francois Crahay) Couture Evening Ensemble Dress and Hood in Fuschia Silk Chifon and Rhinestones, 1964-65
Left: Pierre Cardin Ready-to-Wear Coat and Pinafore Dress and Belt in Burgundy Leather, 1967
Arlette Nastat Ready-to-Wear Dress in Black and Pink Linen, 1966
Look for more individual pieces from the exhibit to be featured in Wednesday’s weekly Eye On Design column in upcoming weeks!
André Courrèges Couture Dress in Black Chiffon, Tan Silk and Black Vinyl, 1968
Full of Secrets Zip Bag By Jac Vanek (All Photos By Gail)
Just as we’re breaking out the fall outerwear here in NYC, Fashion Designers are showcasing their designs for Spring, so we have something to look forward to! Red Light PR, one of Manhattan’s key players in Fashion PR, hosted a lively event in their showroom last week to give press a sneak preview of exciting new designs we’ll soon be seeing in stores. Please enjoy a selection of our favorite pieces!
We are just crazy about this simple Red and White Floral Print Top By casual wear designer Jac Vanek, a brand whose slogan is “Because Everything Else is Really Boring” — love it!
Do you remember Layana Aguilar from Season 11 of Project Runway? Layana was at the party meeting fans and introducing her Spring line. Check out one of her jackets below.
Layana’s collection features lots of separates in pastel colors with lace details and cut outs. Very youthful and on trend.
Alice’s Pig seems to favor a fun retro look that we were very attracted to. This bold Red and White Color Block Top goes great with the Red and White Striped Short Skirt pictured below.
Just add a pair of boots and a vibrant hand bag and you’re good to go-go!
This Summer print Long Dress by designer Sofia Arana would be ideal for a warm weather Garden Party!
Here is Sofia posing proudly with her designs. This dress, which debuted on the runways at New York Fashion Week, was a favorite among party goers! See more of her collection at Sofia Arana Dot Com.
Pink Print Silk Dress By Darling
The Darling fashion brand is the vision of Nadia Moraes, a London based designer and entrepreneur who created the label in 2008. Darling’s very wearable dresses and separates are all about offering affordable luxury product with an emphasis on quality and attention to detail. Look at all of these cute dresses!
Navy, Peach and Creme Color Block, Pleated-Skirt Short Dress.
Apricot Short Dress.
Red Lace Short Dress.
Cropped Floral Motorcycle Jacket. This jacket would go with everything.
This gorgeous Rose Bustier is from Durdoux (dur-“do”), a NY based Womens RTW brand that’s based on wearability with an avant-garde sensibility. Designer Najla Burt is the creative force behind these “fashions for everyday Rock Stars” (our words). Check out her fabulous clothes!
Magenta Silk Brocade Skirt.
Matching Magenta Silk Brocade Handbag.
Silk Brocade Long Jacket. The collection features other separates in this same luxury fabric as well!
Bright Yellow Lace Bandeau and Full Skirt.
Bright Yellow Leather Bustier and Slim Skirt.
White and Black Leather Skinny Jeans. Rockin’!
Silver Leather Short Jacket – so great! Special thanks to Cynthia (Najla’s mom) who assisted in this fashion shoot by holding the clothes!
Black and Gold Beaded Short Dress By Forever Unique
Forever Unique is a London-based luxury fashion brand, specializing in ladies occasion wear.
Blue Beaded Short Dress
With a unique take on the trends of the moment, Forever Unique’s stand out silhouettes, body perfecting construction and premium embellishment offer everything needed to maximize your look for when it matters most.
Beaded and Sequined Skirt
Check out this showcase piece below!
This exquisite Beaded and Feather Strapless Evening Dress is really all-season appropriate for any formal occasion where you want to be the most glamorous woman in the room!
Thanks To Red Light PR for keeping us in the loop!
Discover the glamour, luxury and artistry of cinematic couture in this exhibition from the renowned British costumer, Cosprop Ltd and organized by Exhibits Development Group. Forty-three costumes worn by 30 actors in 25 different films attest to the sumptuous fabrics, lavish lace and embroidery, unparalleled craftsmanship and creativity, and the essential ingredient costumes play in the authenticity of a period film. Many of the costumes have won major awards including Oscars from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and BAFTAs from the British Association of Film and Television Arts.
Robe Worn By Kate Winslet in Finding Neverland
Visitors to the exhibition will be transported from fairy tale England (Angelica Huston, Ever After) to colonial Virginia (Colin Farrell, The New World) to 18th-century England (Keira Knightley, The Duchess) and to 19th-century Paris – fantastic and opulent – (Emmy Rossum, The Phantom of the Opera). They will enjoy the fashions of the early 20th century – of World War I Italy (Sandra Bullock, In Love and War), of seedy Shanghai in the 1930s (Natasha Richardson and Ralph Fiennes, The White Countess) and of World War II Belarus (Daniel Craig, Defiance).
With the exception of The Duchess and Finding Neverland, I hadn’t seen, or in many cases even heard of, some of the films in which these costumes were worn. The costumes are all beautiful though and the exhibit includes extensive information and back stories on each piece, how it was made and how the garment relates to the historical period of the film. Very interesting!
Dress Worn by Radha Mitchell in Finding Neverland
If you enjoy fashion or cinema I would say this is a must-see exhibit!
Cut! Costume and The Cinema, will be on Exhibit through March 10th, 2013 at Bowers Museum, Located at 2002 N. Main Street in Santa Ana, California.