Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tears in Your Jacket? Tears in Your Eyes.

Jean is away on business.  In her absence, Valerie waxes philosophical on the transitory nature of clothing.

Valerie says: Sharp-eyed readers will say "Hey!  They're recycling an old photo!", and complain that we're getting like TV, coasting on reruns.  But no, this is just to say 'remember this old jacket of Valerie's?'

I must have bought this jacket ten years ago, and even then it was second hand.  It's one of my all time faves, and after all this time it owes me nothing.  The last time I wore it, I made a sudden movement, and heard that telltale tearing sound.  I didn't see anything, though, and assumed I had unmoored a seam, as sometimes happens, with similar sound effects.

Well, sometimes, yes.  But not that time.

I recently went to wear it again, and found that, after many years of loving it to death, I had finally worn it to death.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Exhibit A.

And here is Exhibit B.  (The entire outfit from the first photo is reprised for easier reference.)

No, this is not some ham-handed (like, really ham-handed) imitation of David Bowie's album cover for Heroes.

Or an equally ham-handed imitation of Iggy Pop's  album cover for The Idiot.  (How could it be, when neither of them is wearing a hat?)

No, I struck those odd poses so you could see that I managed to tear holes in both armpits.  I could have put Photoshop red circles around each hole, but how much attention does any woman want to draw to her armpits?  I could have done selfie close-ups, but …  naaaahhh.  A distance shot is definitely better here, right?

Some of you might be thinking that white spot you see in each photo is my Marilyn Monroe / Andy Warhol pocket hankie.

Nope.  Nope, they're holes.  Two of them, and they don't run cleanly along the seams, which could be fixed easily enough.  They are great big tears in the fabric.  See? Sigh….

I should have thrown the jacket away, but I can't.  It's an old (oh, sorry, I mean vintage) Gianni Versace, and no one has ever figured out how this fabric was made.  Is it shibori?  Is it devore?  Is it heat treated and stenciled with pigment?  Everyone loves guessing.  But it's also hard to throw away because it goes so well with a pair of Krizia pants I bought (see above photos), also second hand, also years ago. I think the pants are made of polyester, with drips of polyurethane all over them.  In the photo, the two together look like a suit.  So when the jacket died, I despaired of finding a replacement for it.

But the Universe of Clothing is very odd indeed.  Two weeks ago, when I took a bag of recyclable clothes to a thrift shop, of course I had to have a look around at what others before me had brought to recycle, and I came across a lovely Giorgio Armani jacket.  Being in deaccessioning mode, I asked how I could justify buying it (for $48), when I realized it might be a good replacement for the Versace with the twin tears in it.  Isn't it great how we rationalize our purchases?

So here's the new Armani jacket, with the same old Krizia pants. Hard to tell, right?  Not impossible (hint: more buttons on the new one, and a turn-down notched collar), but how closely is anyone going to look?

Just for fun, here are two fiber close-ups.

On the left, the pants; on the right, the Versace jacket.

Below, pants on the left, Armani jacket on the right.  (The Armani is a very interesting knit.  The dots are all different sizes on the face of the fabric; on the back, it's rows and rows of completely even narrow horizontal black and white lines.  Trust the Italians to have the most intriguing fabrics.  How do they do that???!!!)

So I managed to solve the problem of replacing the jacket and keeping the illusion of having a suit.   In a perfect world, we would all say if one item enters the house, another has to leave.  I know which one is supposed to leave.  But I'm sure all readers know the feeling you get when you're supposed to do the deed.  I still love that jacket, and everything in me is trying to justify keeping it.  (I'll make a sleeveless shirt out of it!  I'll make place mats out of it!  I can make a hat!  Don't make me do this!  Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

In the Spotlight: We Visit the Georgine Runway Show at Lincoln Center

What we saw this time had a completely different accent from what we saw last time. Everything is still very feminine, but instead of a kind of fairy tale look, this time we saw very strong echoes of Halston throughout the show - lots of clean lines, flowing materials, minimalist designs, and nonstop glitz and glamour. And wonderful turbans.

The gold silk shirtdress, above, and the silver suit with matching turban, below, are perfect examples of that.

For a summer day out on the town… (wish you could see the purses better - they are shaped like little surf boards)

And a summer night out on the town:

A spectacular day look (don't try this at the office, unless you're the boss - or the boss's wife)

An equally spectacular summer evening in the Hamptons look.

This was perhaps the most serious of all the evening looks.  Perfect for a gala fundraiser after a hard day's work.

There was a selection of resort wear, too.

Two knockout looks, above and below.

We remember this ruffled look from the '70s.

And there were some terrific femme fatale bathing suits, like this one with the side lacing.  It's not a bikini, but it commands as much attention.  The model's towel, dragged like a mink coat would have been forty years ago, reads "NO DIVING".

This gold lame bathing suit brings the movie Goldfinger to mind.

This was Georgine's most daring look.  It's billed as a tunic over a dress.  It's a little hard to see, but the dress is designed to expose one breast.  We're showing it last, but it was shown near the middle of the program, so it wasn't designed as a wedding dress.  Although… hmmm…..


We arrived a little early, and here are some of the looks and people we saw:

This woman was wearing a dress that is almost certainly a huge blow-up of microbes under an electron microscope.  Remember we showed you another one a few weeks ago?

We very much admire the bare midriff look, although we ourselves will probably give it a miss.  (We gave it a go in the '70s, though.)

This woman is doing a great job of rocking the Ann-Margret look.

These three women had three completely different looks.

And let's not forget the men! Andrew Werner was one of several natty dressers we ran into. Check out his Instagram: #andrewwerner.

It was such a nice change to see men escape the usual acceptable suit colors.

This gent embraced a multitude of colors, and looked great in all of them.

Indoors, we ran into Patrick McDonald, Lauren Ezersky, and Mauricio Padilha.  Patrick is growing his hair out, and has given it a lavender color.  Do check out Mauricio's Instagram: #MAOPR.

Gazelle Paolo, Paul Alexander, and Marco Santaniello sat next to us. (Instagram: #gazellepaulo; #paulalexander.)

Jillian Mercado recently appeared in print advertising for Diesel and in a StylelikeU video, (Instagram: #jillianmercado.)

It's always a treat to run into Faustina Rose, who never seems to look the same way twice.  (Instagram: #sofausti.)

We first met Roberto Johnson and Stephan Mendoza last year.  Stephan is wearing a white shirt whose sleeves he cut off himself. (Instagram: #itsrobertojohnson and #mindofmendoza.)

Jason Brickhill and Allan Kent introduced themselves. (Instagram: #jasonbrickhill and #allankentc.)

Dominique Hanke designed her own suit, including the hat with the serpentine squiggle and the cat-shaped purse.

And sharp-eyed readers will remember Gregg Asher and Taylor Carson Sandvick from previous New York Fashion Week posts and their stint as stylists on Lifetime TV's Million Dollar Shoppers.  (Instagram: #fashionbaggage.)

Also seen on the Plaza: Paris Hilton and her sister, with so many paparazzi glued to them that had it been indoors, they would all have been deemed an illegal fire hazard.

And so another Fashion Week comes to a close, and life returns to normal. (Instagram: #mercedesbenzfashionweek, #mbfw, #nyfw.)

Check out the IFs on Instagram:  #idiosyncraticfashionistas.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Visit to the Mischka Velasco Runway Show During Fashion Week

Just blocks away from the Empire State Building (since Lincoln Center is not the only whirlwind of activity during Fashion Week), we went to see Mischka Velasco's runway show, which was a bit fashion-as-campy-theater.  Vladimir, our master of ceremonies, opened the show with one of Mischka's natty tailored shorts suits (a sure sign of global warming).  He spun a mesmerizing introduction, but we were more fascinated by his rubber mask and striking garland of orange plumes.

The models came dramatically down a spiral staircase and stopped for effect in the semi-darkness.

There were a number of feathery confections.  This one is in sea foam green, with a matching hat.

A feathered vest.  What it lacked in length it more than made up for in high impact color.

We met Vladimir the night before (sans rubber mask), and Jean swears he was wearing this white double breasted shorts suit at the time (sans feathers, so if you were asking, no, they do not seem to be attached to the collar).  More yummy natty tailoring.

Hard to tell from our blurry photo (sorry!!), but this suit is cut from snakeskin printed cloth.  (Question: if shorts suits become popular in business or other formal settings, will men feel obliged to shave their legs?)

Here, a less formal shorts suit look.

Mischka also went in for wild prints.  This maxidress had cartoony patterns in vibrant colors.

This man wore a hooded jumpsuit with a cosmic print.

A favorite print of Mischka's, hinting at our burgeoning state of plutocracy, was of greenbacks.  There were several swim trunks, with a variety of hunky models to do them justice.

For the finale, Mischka herself walked down her runway, wearing a greenback print gown.

But you want to see some of the people who attended the show, right?  Josh, in the middle, is a budding designer.  (Yes, he designed his shirt.)  That's Rydell next to Jean (wearing another of Josh's designs) and Eddy next to Valerie.

Lora is a make-up artist and stylist.

Remember Marco and Shek from our previous post?  Marco is doing a cycle of fast food themed shirts; Shek made her fabulous dress.  Don't forget to take a peek at her Astro-turf-like bag.

We loved this glam duo.

Personal shopper Valerie ("") wore this way cool two piece dress (that's a bit of toned midriff at the center).  Perfect for the summer heat.

And for our own finale, everybody looks better when they stand next to Toni Michelle!