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Fashion, History

Happy Birthday, Ms. Vreeland ! – September 29

October 19, 2015

Happy Birthday to one of my style idols, the late, great Diana Vreeland. The photographer Richard Avedon once said that the genius of Vreeland is that she created an entire career – the fashion editor. And as the legendary editor at Vogue Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar and the first curator of the Met Costume Institute, the fashion industry owes a major debt to Mrs. Vreeland!

Fashion, History

Madame Mitzvah Bricard: Mysterious Muse of Christian Dior

October 17, 2015

Madame Mitzah Bricard, a muse of legendary couturier Christian Dior whom he described as “one of those rare people whose only reason for living is elegance.” Madame was not playing no games! The Dior fragrance “Mitzah” is named after her and a company make-up line is too. She is said to have inspired the phrase “Miss Dior,” which is the name of another Dior fragrance and phrase that remains with the company and is used even today. Madame Bricard’s background is supposedly shrouded in mystery, with some suggesting she was a courtesan and others a Russian Princess. I don’t think it matters, and am wondering, why not both? Either way she’s every bit as elegant as Monsieur Dior exclaimed.

“When a man wants to send you flowers, say ‘my florist is Cartier'” – Madame Mitzvah Bricard, muse of Christian Dior. DULY NOTED.

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Fashion, History

Tina Chow’s Effortless Elegance in the 1970s and 1980s

October 17, 2015

Fashion icon Tina Chow serving effortless elegance as she always did. I love this photo. She was the embodiment of the old adage that great taste and good style is just something people have. You can’t fake it.

Below, the tastemaker was photographed in 1975 by another style icon, Antonio Lopez (illustrator, photographer, socialite, designer). The two were dear friends and among the many creative geniuses of the 70s and 80s.

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I often wonder where would fashion be now if they and many of those in their cohort who are now deceased were still alive. Pure brilliance. I don’t mean to suggest that we do not have creative genius now; however, it is different to say we have genius now versus the genius they had which, if alive today, would hold decades of cultural memory and still be making things and teaching us, I’m sure. Side-bar: highly recommend the Mauricio and Roger Padilha book on Lopez if you’re unfamiliar with him or his work. It is a treasure.

Books, Fashion, History, News, Pop Culture

‘Gloss’: New Book about Chris von Wangenheim’s Fashion Photography

October 17, 2015

So excited to get my copy of the Roger Padilha and Mauricio Padilha book “Gloss” about the wok of fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim. Here is a 1971 photograph by Chris Von Wagenheim of faux fur (minus the dog’s fur which is of course real, haha!). I love how luxe this looks, how the tone of the dress she’s wearing is so close to her complexion and drapes onto her so closely it first like skin and that she’s wearing fur and a bikini. And those sunglasses!

Fashion, History

Helen Gurley Brown : The Original Carrie Bradshaw of SATC

October 17, 2015

Vintage photo of Helen Gurley Brown, legendary former editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine. I always think of her as the original Carrie Bradshaw of “Sex and The City” (SATC) because of her brazen independence, working woman chic, her writerly wit, and for all she did in and through Cosmo to talk about women’s sex and sexuality in a positive light that put women’s own needs and desires first. She was simultaneously a woman both of her time and ahead of her time.

Editor's Aesthetics, Fashion, History

Serving Bob Mackie Realness

October 17, 2015

I’m gonna wear this Bob Mackie gown to go get me a gallon of milk, some sunflower seeds and a loaf of bread. And ya’ll will deal. This photo is from the recent exhibit “Inspiring Beauty” about the Ebony Fashion Fair. I saw it in Milwaukee but it is traveling all around the country. If you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend the show. It’s phenomenal and a great fashion history lesson.

History, WERK!

Deeda Blair is glorious!

April 23, 2015

Deeda Blair, among the grandest of the socialites that fashion critic Robin Givhan writes about in “Battle of Versailles.” She is serving us legendary status in this photo! I need a Town and Country Magazine story on her like the one they did on Bunny Mellon immediately! She’s glorious!

History

1987: Bette Davis wearing Patrick Kelly

April 23, 2015

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Hollywood legend Bette Davis, slaying the lens in Patrick Kelly couture. The two met through a member of Kelly’s team who’d previously worked with and maintained a close relationship with Davis. Davis, who Kelly affectionately called “Ms. D” remained a devotee of Kelly’s fashion house until her death in 1989. She famously wore Kelly’s design while a guest on David Letterman in 1987.

History, News, WERK!

Article on “Visual Genius” Bunny Mellon in ‘Town & Country’

April 23, 2015

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Read fabulous Town & Country article about the late socialite, philanthropist and “visual genius” Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, pictured here with her dear friend Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The article was penned by Mellon’s biographer Meryl Gordon and is filled with delicious #fashion and style details, such as the fact that Mrs. Mellon ordered her entire wardrobe “from evening gowns to specially commissioned gardening clothes” (couture gardening attire?!?!) from Givenchy himself, to photos of her custom Dior handbags with a gold Jean Schlumberger designed clasp and other hardware including her initials in a floral design under the bag’s flap. I nearly salivated reading the article the way a foodie reads Bon Appetite.