Tag Archive | Fashion

Eye On Design: Parabolic Evening Gown by Pierre Cardin

pierre cardin parabolic evening gown photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Technically, a parabola is a symmetrically mirrored U-shape. Pierre Cardin began working with the parabola in the 1950s, particularly in the 1957 Lasso collection. With the introduction of stretch fabrics and hoops in the 1960s, those sweeping, graceful parabolic drapes became amplified, evolving into ellipses and cones.

pierre cardin parabolic evening gown photo by gail worley

Some of Cardin’s “Parabolic” fashions collapse flat, are easily packed, and emerge as before — like his earlier Cardine dresses, which could be twisted, rolled and stowed effortlessly into luggage. Developed alongside Cardin’s investigations into furniture sculpture, the big, sculptural shapes of the Parabolic dresses were likewise designed to be seen in 360 degrees. And since they were made of stretch fabric, they had a bounce reminiscent of his “Kinetic” dresses from 1972.

pierre cardin parabolic evening gown photo by gail worley

Referencing his earlier “Lasso” or “Eye of the Needle” designs done in wool and mohair, in 1990s’ Parabolic Evening GownCardin creates the shape as a pink and green silk parabola.

Photographed in The Brooklyn Museum.

Eye On Design: Floral Appliquéd Evening Dress By House of Chanel

floral appliquéd evening dress by chanel photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

At the end of the 1920s, the prior emphasis on lavish surface embellishment transferred to printed textiles, which were fashioned into a variety of romantic permutations. The elegant ombre-dyed silk chiffon of this evening dress was likely created for Gabrielle Chanel at her own Tissus Chanel factory in Asnières-sur-Seine, France. The delicate manipulation of the textile in this Floral Appliquéd Evening Dress (spring/summer 1935) is evidence of the superior capabilities of the Chanel  couture workrooms

floral appliquéd evening dress by chanel photo by gail worley

The gown’s bias-cut fabric drapes and clings to the figure, gathering into delicately ruched straps at the shoulders and swelling into soft folds around the hem. Individual picot-edged florets are backed with net to create volume and strategically appliquéd throughout the garment to further enhance the printed motifs, resulting in tactile bouquets that gently flutter when the wearer moves.

floral appliquéd evening dress by chanel photo by gail worley

Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Upholstered Chair Hat By Karl Lagerfeld

upholstered chair hat by karl lagerfeld photo by gail worley
Photos by Gail

Karl Lagerfeld (19382019), an avid collector of rare books, art and antiques, conceived of a series of accessories inspired by eighteenth-century French decorative arts for his autumn/winter 1985-86 collection. The fashion designer worked closely with milliner Kirsten Woodward to arrive at this Upholstered Chair Hat, and other witty translations of miniaturized furniture based on Lagerfeld’s sketched interpretations of original objects from reference photos.

upholstered chair hat by karl lagerfeld photo by gail worley

The resulting hats were a playful pastiche of historical references, infused with elements of Surrealism and executed with vivid opulence that was often characteristic of 1980s fashion.

Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Zebra Punk Party Dress By Anna Sui

Zebra Punk Party Dress By Ann Sui Photo Bt Gail Worley
Photos By Gail

To create the look of the Zebra Punk Party Dress (which was part of her Spring 2007 Punk collection), Anna Sui combined ripped mesh leggings and armlets, references to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm Mclaren’s punk fashions of the mid-to-late 1970s. The monochrome zebra print recalls the strict dress color code of the New York clubs that Sui frequented in her youth, such as Max’s Kansas City and CBGB.

Zebra Punk Party Dress By Ann Sui Photo By Gail Worley

Zebra Punk Party Dress is made from Silk chiffon with a nylon petticoat, leggings and sleeves; worn with brass/glass/plastic bracelet by Erickson Beamon for Anna Sui; cowhide boots by Ballin for Anna Sui.

Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan.

Eye On Design: Christian Dior, Columbine Dress

Christian Dior Columbine Dress Photo By Gail Worley
Photos By Gail

Christian Dior’s “New Look” was central to the postwar revival of the Paris couture system. In addition to selling individual couture  dresses to private clients, Dior also sold licensed copies, like this one of his Columbine dress, which was produced in the US for American department stores. The number of such high-end reproductions was limited, but there were also mass-produced garments that catered to the desire for at least “a copy of a copy of a Dior.”

Christian Dior Columbine Dress Photo By Gail Worley

The Dress Pictured Here is a Licensed Copy of Dior’s Columbine Dress by I. Magnin and Lord & Taylor circa 1947. Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Paris, Capital of Fashion at the Museum at FIT in Manhattan.

 

Eye On Design: Anna Sui, Cheerleader Ensemble

Cheerleader Ensemble By Anna Sui Photo by Gail Worley
All Photos By Gail

“When I think about pinafores and jumpers and compromised purity, it’s actually quite punk. Go further back and it’s all about mod and Twiggy and dolly birds and thousands of school girls like me pouring over magazines, reading articles from the front lines of pop culture.”

Throughout her career, Anna Sui has summoned the youthful spirit of the school girl but was an edge, embracing the complexity of teen-hood. For the fall 1994 Schoolgirl collection, Sui focused on Yves Saint Laurent‘s most iconic designs, which she reinterpreted in high-tech sportswear materials.fall 1994 Schoolgirl collection, Sui focused on Yves Saint Laurent‘s most iconic designs, which she reinterpreted in high-tech sportswear materials.

Cheerleader Ensemble By Anna Sui Photo By Gail Worley

Saint Laurent was also a superb colorist, as reflected in the collection’s use of bold colors. The sportswear sensibility extended to a series of outfits inspired by cheerleader uniforms, many of which Sui accessorized with pom-pom hats by James Coviello.

Anna Sui Cheerleader Jacket Photo By Gail Worley

Jacket Front and Back Detail

Cheerleader Jacket Back Detail By Gail Worley

Schoolgorl Collection By Anna Sui Photo by Gail Worley

Schoolgirl Collection Installation View: Cheerleader Ensemble (far right)  worn with plastic/wool pom-pom hat by James Coviello for Anna Sui; Plastic belt, two necklaces, and bracelets by Erickson Beamon for Anna Sui; fishnet nylon hose and acetate/satin-covered domestic cowhide short boots by Emma Hope for Anna Sui.

Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan.

Eye on Design: Lilac Headband by Adolfo

Lilac Headband by Adolfo Photo By Gail Worley
Photos By Gail

This Lilac Headband (1960s) by Adolfo (Adolfo Sardina) recalls historical styles of the mid-nineteenth century, conjuring Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s portrait The Empress Eugenie Surrounded by her Ladies-in-Waiting (1855). At the same time, the clouds of lilac blooms and traditionally feminine bow at the center of this headband also speak to contemporaneous ideas and aesthetics, channeling the flower power movement of the late 1960s, and early 1970s, and skillfully striking a balance between moments of meticulous coordination and carefree, romantic hippie styles of dress.

Lilac Headband Installation View By Gail Worley

Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Lipstick Bracelet and Brooch By Karl Lagerfeld

Lipstick Pin and Bracelet By Karl Lagerfeld Photo By Gail Worley
All Photos By Gail

This matching Bracelet and Brooch are composed of a vibrant rainbow of resin Lipsticks that humorously assert the decorative nature of cosmetic products.  While both by Karl Lagerfeld and the jewelry designer Ugo Correani were known for their postmodern sampling of objects and ideas, the tendency to inflate scale in order to invest drama was a particular strength of Correani.

Lipstick Bracelet By Karl Lagerfeld Phot By Gail Worley

In the words of Lagerfeld, “He has a magic touch. No one can compare to him . . . He’s modern, not afraid to be oversized, but with the right eye for proportion.”

Lipstick Pin By Karl Lagerfeld By Gail Worley

Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Anna Sui Grunge Kilt Ensemble

Anna Sui Grunge Kilt Photo By Gail Worley
All Photos By Gail

“I think that, with hindsight, this may have been a moment in my career where my own past and present truly came together, more so that with other collections, which, however much I cherished them, were a carefully stitched-together tapestry of obsessively researched elements. My Grunge collection was more ‘felt’ than it was thought.”

The 1993 Grunge collection secured Anna Sui’s place in the history of fashion. She saw Seattle’s grunge music scene as the major force in the youth culture of that period, and used the layering and mixing typical of its style to great effect, riffing on the youthful sincerity of the movement to produce some of the most influential looks of the nineties.

Anna Sui Grunge Kilt Detail by Gail Worley
Anna Sui Grunge Kilt Ensemble, Detail: Polyester and Cotton Tank and Leggings with Totton Kilt and Shorts

Grunge style sprang out of a Seattle subculture in which a new wave of musicians, including Nirvana fronted by Kurt Cobain, sported a “thrift store” style of dressing that seemed to mirror their novel sound. This “un-fashion” style chimed with the decade’s rejection of the excesses of the 1980s and quickly went from subculture to mass culture. Marc Jacobs, working for Perry Ellis at the time, glamorized this style to create a grunge collect for Sping 1993. Sui’s references to grunge in her own collection, in contrast, are colored with optimism and a “hippie” sensibility. The outfit seen here features a kilt, widely associated with grunge, as well as a flower belt more reminiscent of the sixties or seventies

Anna Sui Grunge Kilt Detail 2 By Gail Worley
Lunchbox by Designs from the Deep, Cowhide/Rubber Boots by John Fluevog for Anna Sui

Anna Sui Grunge Kilt Photo By Gail Worley
Anna Sui Grunge Kilt Ensemble (Spring 1993) Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design

Eye On Design: Anna Sui, Dorothy Draper Pirate Ensemble

Anna Sui Dorothy Draper Pirate Ensemble By Gail Worley
All Photos By Gail

The importance of storytelling is clear in Anna Sui’s collections, which conjure an imaginary world of Icelandic princesses, pirates, fairies, Vikings and enchanted animals. Complementing these historical and fantastical figures, her runway shows have featured whimsical, surreal accessories from animal hats to gingerbread handbags.

This dress was inspired by Napoleon Bonaparte and the introduction of the Empire style to France in the early nineteenth century.

Anna Sui Dorothy Draper Pirate Ensemble by Gail Worley

Sui gave the gown a punk makeover by cutting it off mid-thigh. She created a series of these dresses in silk chiffon and crepe de Chine printed with hearts, roses, stripes and polka dots. Worn with petticoats and produced in a combination of red, white, and black, they recalled the designs of interior decorator Dorothy Draper, who was known for her dramatic deployment of black and white, as well as the punk clothes worn by members of the New York Dolls. Sui recalls, “Back in the 1970s, if you were part of the rock scene or if you went to clubs like Max’s or CBGB, you only wore red, white or black. Everything was heavily codified.” The French Empire, too, was governed by rigid codes, and this provided the link for Sui’s collection. The Dorothy Draper Pirate ensemble is from Sui’s spring 2007 collection.

Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC.