FASHION NOW: DENIM ALWAYS CLASSIC ALWAYS NEW

59575246-1121-4155-99F3-D7CA608650DF

Early last year I was asked by Sally Schwartz, Founder/Owner of Randolph Street Market  which is celebrating its sixteenth year in 2019, to do two monthly exclusive posts for the RSM newsletter she has given me permission to share some of them with you in 2019, starting with DENIM.  I have added a few more photos to my original piece.  Enjoy!

nenasnotes Fashion Trends Exclusively for The Randolph Street Market reprinted with Sally Schwartz permission.  All photos from Pinterest photo credits unknown.

981E3973-4720-4F9D-ABA9-50C1E4AF0600

A quote from FIT’s  DENIM: Fashion’s Frontier, the cover is seen in the photo above.

“Denim is one of the world’s favorite fabrics, and today it accounts for the largest segment of the clothing industry. The market for jeans alone is worth over 55 billion dollars. Accompanying a recent exhibition at the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, this handsome book explores the history of denim and examines the continually evolving relationship between it and high fashion.

Prized for its durability and strength, denim began as an ideal fabric for workwear, most famously in the clothing produced by Levi Strauss & Co. for fortune hunters during the 19th-century California gold rush. Over the past 160 years, however, film, television, and advertising have helped transform denim into a symbol of youth, rebellion and sex. The fashion industry has also played a large role in the expansion of denim into casual and couture clothing.”

8F7C9EC7-C957-4075-AF73-C890CF4EF9B9

22B91AD2-1AE8-4C43-BF3E-7B9040014B72

B749B9A1-11A2-49BD-961A-E063F3BB0CB4

FD6F4D67-1CD1-4A37-9403-A9B751F4BD78

Quite a transition from it’s lowly beginnings as overalls worn by the men and woman seeking their fortunes in the Gold Rush of the latter part of the 19th Century. Levi Strauss saw the need for a sturdy fabric…denim…and sturdy closers to hold the fabric in place…thus “jeans” were born, first in the form of overalls.

269591C7-C084-40FE-B830-4D76F52748D5

Seeking their fortunes….then…

3B73684E-5EC0-4D49-A410-A124CE32370D

And now….

D1A31037-DC54-4AAD-8576-EF56A342B71A

In my opinion, in my youth, denim was only worn to garden, maybe go grocery shopping but never seen as a fashion item until the “Hippie Movement” of the 1960’s. Everyone, at the time, thought that it was the beginning of everyone wearing “uniforms” that uniform being traditional jeans. This was not the case, think embellishments, think the “flower child” and individuality came to the forefront and quite frankly has never looked back. It might be “uniform” but only the fabric, not the fashion. People want acceptance but with their own twist. For years I would think….denim is dead instead of long live denim!

1A6433D5-D1AD-4F60-9D1F-FF3F3236E8B9

9F8983F6-4D2C-40BA-9679-82E98153D88F

Obviously the latter is the case and it just gets stronger and more trend worthy. Take for example the entire denim collection Karl Lagerfeld did for Chanel in 1996.
He is quoted as saying Mlle Chanel thought Mini skirts were dreadful as was denim….there you have it…the rest as they say is fashion history (or fashion myth!)

D164975A-07C1-4BBC-90C4-46DB267600E4

0E0CB63B-CCD3-45C8-AE78-AF532FC1F98B

When I worked with Victoria Beckham, in 2008, she was only doing sunglasses and we introduced her jeans which became status symbols so much so that I “paid” our models in the jeans they wore for the personal appearance, I must admit a rather clever marketing ploy on my part…gorgeous young models wearing the product out and about didn’t hurt sales!!!! The jeans all had embroidered stars on the back hip pocket….the item of the season. Her talent has blossomed and I might add, she was a dream to work with, loved her.

A45F282D-1D15-4351-BD1F-2C923C1684A7

8015A753-A7E5-444C-BC06-9EB2615EE1D1Claire McCardell’s popover dress of 1942 featured in the FIT Denim exhibition and book

6B9FF1DB-2B2A-4C5A-A565-63787C589C55“Rosie the Riveter” interpretation 1942-1945 also featured in the FIT Denim exhibition and book.

9E1214EE-8976-46A6-A6A8-5F5563D0B133

Junya Wataniabe dress 2002 (detail is on cover of the FIT exhibition book)

4BDDCF2D-931D-4A72-8A81-7E6002EA7E7A

From the creativity of the Antwerp designers 2005

Vivianne Westwood’s denim interpretations…

9213F0A5-6011-4ACB-A0F2-CD37474F9E1A

John Galliano for Dior 2002…

5EB5AE49-88A1-4CFD-896B-37347FC51728

And wearing denim 2009…

0FB84D00-8392-46CB-B67C-0A9A15D4FAA4Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen 2016.

Celebrities have always wore denim….

Randolph Street Market
Then….Marilyn Monroe in the film The Misfits

Randolph Street Market
Randolph Street Market
Now…Rihanna out and about.

The 2018 Collections featured denim in its many guises…..

26294C8C-E0D6-487F-965C-503D40633ED1

Randolph Street Market
9A2EF953-FD85-4D2D-A185-0733C9A38B9F

 

Randolph Street Market
Randolph Street Market
Randolph Street Market
Randolph Street Market
Randolph Street MarketBBBA72AF-3542-4B79-A639-4E9D59C2E535The King of American sportswear, Ralph Lauren, at his beginnings and at the finale of his extraordinary 50th anniversary extravaganza 2018….I’m obsessed with the tuxedo jacket and jeans…what could be more modern….

B7BE79C1-322F-4732-AE8F-988060F8A4CB

876744B1-7EBD-464B-89D7-BA023C9300E1

Or perhaps a patchwork quilt…..the possibilities of working with “blue jeans” is obviously endless…I can hardly wait to see what our designing geniuses will create in future collections with what was considered “workman’s” cloth…..stay tuned….

 

Advertisements

FASHION FOREVER: THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF PEARLS

 

4779C194-0402-4E80-8DBA-B881FB282C99

I have always been enamored with pearls and their association with fashion but there is so much more to them…the history is fascinating…from natural pearls to cultured, from Haute Couture, to Opera, to Royalty, to Art, to Romance, and on and on….whether a single strand or a extravagant bib the pearl has so many interpretations….let’s look at some.

The natural pearl is harvested by mostly female ame pearl divers in Japan

4FEA7B4D-D95A-4164-9E63-48693B96603B

228FA7E8-2E3F-4123-8D63-837F7D5CB030

AB0590B0-9895-4F8F-9440-BDB5466E65FF

903B61CF-6784-4E52-9AA5-D9F5500B23D9

EF261945-7C19-418C-8CEB-6743CC1906F6

Natural pearls…

”Cultured pearls are real, genuine pearls that are formed inside a living oyster with human intervention. When a nucleus is surgically implanted in the oyster’s flesh, the oyster recognises it as an irritant and begins to coat it with smooth layers of nacre. Over time, the growing pearl gets completely covered with the beautiful iridescent substance we call nacre, or mother-of-pearl. All pearls sold today are cultured pearls, with the exception of vintage estate jewellery and heirloom pieces that are more than 80 years old.“

“Natural pearls, on the other hand, are formed naturally by free-range “wild” oysters living at sea without any encouragement from humans. When a natural irritant such as a fragment of shell, a scale or a parasite becomes lodged inside an oyster or mollusk, it gets coated with layer upon layer of nacre. Contrary to popular belief, grains of sand do not form pearls. If sand were enough of an irritant, our ocean floors would be littered with millions of natural pearls! Natural pearls are actually very rare, mostly because pearl-producing species of mollusks were nearly hunted to extinction with most natural beds of pearl-bearing oysters depleted by over-harvesting in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, natural pearls are extremely rare. Only 1 in about 10,000 wild oysters will yield a pearl and of those, only a small percentage achieve the size, shape and colour desirable to the jewellery industry.” Source: Raw Pearls

ECDFA94F-2549-4E47-8736-9688FF7D4A2C

Kokichi Mikimoto

“Mikimoto learned that Akoya oysters produced the best pearls. He explored methods of introducing a particle into the flesh of the oyster to stimulate secretions of “nacre” that build up in hundreds of thousands of layers, creating a lustrous pearl. He overcame many failed experiments and challenges of nature, from oyster-eating octopi to a disastrous “red tide” of bacteria that threatened the survival of his oyster beds.” Be sure to go the Mikimoto website, linked here, for the extraordinary story of the originator of the cultured pearl. Source: Mikimoto Pearls

Pearls in history….

A mosaic….

9085FDB0-4FB6-427F-8179-89C9E23CEDA0

Queen Elizabeth I

0754C9AF-F74D-4D4B-9157-6E9C1AF5AA32

Whoopi Goldberg hosting the Oscars several years ago…gowned as Queen Elizabeth I

Vermeer’s The Girl With The Pearl Earring

34771BD5-17C6-4E5E-A355-939BE39F4950

A bejeweled  Maharajah

3A7ED7CA-3528-47B1-9B70-1009F1BC005F

36C54FBA-CB6F-4E87-9909-3E91FF8CBCC2

Georges Bizet’s Les Pecheurs de Perles, The Pearl Fishers….one of my favorite opera’s, of course the highlight, the duet, it is definitely my favorite operatic piece!! https://operaq.com.au/news/the-pearlfishers-duet/

Queen Victoria…

B517BA1C-CA3C-429D-BAE4-46D200911474

Mata Hari probably wearing Paul Poiret….

0E46FB1F-50E8-4AB9-B498-DA17D2D34E19

A couple of showgirls in costume…..

Of course, Gabrielle Chanel…..always mixing real and faux

6E615057-537F-4815-B283-A4C62C482375

 

Lagerfeld for Chanel….love these!!!

 

I’m obsessed with this look from the 1930’s

83C01B02-086D-4A0A-8A58-E9E97608EF9F

As well as this one…

E0E4BF8D-AA28-4F74-9D2F-185664860837

The iconic Audrey Hepburn in the iconic black dress and pearls in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

First Ladies and their “pearls”….cultured and faux….

Diana….

E4CCD067-6156-4739-A622-044D7D517748

Liz with Queen Mary’s beyond exquisite La Peregrina pearl sold at auction for $11.8 million

B38C4167-FA72-4B60-BE3C-0030D02A6C64

Liz with more pearls…..

Marie Antoinette’s pear and diamond pendant sold at auction for $32 million

33C5C7F8-EB93-4775-AD9F-4D4560F4118B

 

Something in a tiara perhaps from the English Crown Jewels….0371ED77-015F-4DBF-A285-08AA77FBA8DB

Gloria Vanderbilt at home…

5CE263BD-6DF6-49DE-8BFE-44E68F9EB344

The modernity of this classic on Rihanna…

E43335BD-0DAE-4E7C-8457-53D1A89279BD

Masses of pearls

124EAE11-C80B-444F-A8E2-F5BEA2FE53C3

The elegant embroidery of Lasage for a Haute Couture piece…

379A8DF9-C1F2-4900-86E7-9924563A9216

Nena in a treasured Adolfo jacket with wide pearl beading around neck, down the front of the jacket and on the cuffs…the beading,  Photo courtesy of the Nena Ivon Archives at Columbia College Chicago

7B1BBB60-17E0-4F16-9E40-1423FD9863E9

A few more books, one non-fiction the others fiction.

 

All photos, unless otherwise noted, from Pinterest photo credits unknown.

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS: PINK: THE HISTORY OF A PUNK, PRETTY, POWERFUL COLOR

 

22B49155-B5B5-4790-9198-0F4848E9F178.jpegThis will be a combination post….a book review, an overview of my conversation with the erudite, Valerie Steele for my monthly nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club, and additional thoughts on PINK. The book edited by Steele is the companion to the current exhibition, ending January 5th, at The Museum at FITwhere she is the Director and major guiding influencer.

A1CFEBC0-2087-49FB-8090-CF861BBD691A

The FIT exhibitions are always brilliantly mounted and worthy of your visit. There will be two exhibitions in 2019 that will be accompanied by books, more opportunities for us to hear from this unique fashion scholar (she is so much more…as you will learn in an upcoming nenasnotes Profile!)

6B8E6057-FAEE-4C8A-AF9F-FA423EDE7CE6

B3E39878-FA89-4B7B-B66A-A48A74BB3E05

Book Review and other thoughts on pink in fashion and our lives: The book is brilliantly written, edited and illustrated. Giving us insights into a color that has been in fashion for centuries.  I particularly like the layout of the book (not all the pictures accompanying this post are in the book or exhibition but are being used to illustrate my take on pink!) taking us from the courts of Europe when pink was worn by as many men (see above illustration) as women through Haute Couture Collections to Punk to Red Carpets to Pussy Hats to Real Men Wear Pink to pink ribbons fighting  breast cancer.  We learn about the introduction of Shocking Pink by Elsa Schiaparelli to the iconic Yves Saint Laurent black gown with wide shocking pink bow, a garment, that Steele shared with us in conversation, that was a major exhibition coup and one she was especially excited to include.  It is a MUST for your fashion library, but then all of Valerie Steele’s books are meant to be included there.

I have had the fabulous good fortune to have many brilliant authors join me in conversation for the monthly nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club and I must admit Valerie wasn’t an exception, we all learned so much!  I hope she enjoyed the hour as much as I did and the attendees were in rapt attention, I might even say in awe with her at ease conversation in sharing her expertise which, in my opinion, knows no bounds.  Bravo Valerie and thank you….here’s to the next book!

The reinvention of Schiaparelli, Christian Lacroix with the first collection (which I thought was brilliant, but then I am a huge fan of Lacroix!) and a more recent interpretation, love the color combination!

DFA77406-B3DD-44EC-BAEC-C03DFB59200F

1B575304-AB2C-4893-A5CD-B2EDF31C8DE3

Two photos from the exhibition……notice the Comme des Garçons (pale pink on the far right) is inspired by court gowns of the 18th century.  The book and exhibition pushes our knowledge of color, silhouette, influence and on and on…I suggest when you either read an accompany exhibition book or are fortunate enough to visit one that you look beyond the obvious, leave behind what you think you know and absorb the detail of the garments and text…clothing is history which oftens recreates itself but always defines a place in time.

F37F430D-0552-416F-8E7D-D51F2D9FEBBF

A masterwork by a master craftsman Charles James from the Costume Collections of the Chicago History Museum

Pink in major works of art as well as the fabulous scene in Funny Face with the extraordinary Kay Thompson et al singing “Think Pink” an ode to the classic Diana Vreeland proclamation “Pink is the navy blue of India!”

1754938F-4234-400F-A0D7-8D18B01B783A3AA2B026-7F64-4A04-974D-17F19230978DBarbie Pink is Red Carpet ready….and from the Valentino Haute Couture catwalk to Tracee Ellis Ross on the real runway, the Emmy’s Red Carpet, gorgeous!!!!

9768E5DE-929A-4B35-AB47-9E4EA80E5BB6Exquisite pink entryway

7C9D38C5-35C1-40BE-9D02-B07BF0641E69                                       Pink Cadillacs and Grease’s Pink Ladies

F34E3383-B16F-42A5-80AC-A4C71F74A982

 

E2FF171D-BA38-4984-868E-DD407BE2B28CReal Men Wear Pink supporting  Chicago fundraising for Breast Cancer

Carolyne Roehm in one of her designs from her new book Carolyne Roehm: Design & Style: A Common Thread

9B136684-9AF5-438C-AB63-E0044A4D67A1

Catherine Grace O’Connell Founder of Forever Fierce Revolution and a nenasnotes Profile, please check Archives.  839D3BE2-7469-4238-9312-8528641C568C

642C0A27-B51B-48BC-BEF1-C5C79F0D27E2

Shades of pink for an interior space

Some pieces courtesy of the Costume Collection of the Chicago History Museum  gathered for me by Jessica Pushor, Costume Collections Manager. You can research on their digital platform.

0D3E8FE7-2295-4D7F-987A-D193EF3C7AF2

A glorious ethereal fantasy.

3558ED37-9A94-4AEA-95FE-84153CEDC710

Of course, an exquisite rose to inspire us….

F6AC5810-168B-40B4-93CD-1CE9CF92AA94

And from the uber talented artist, Rosemary Fanti, her interpretation of me in her pink creation….a surprise gift at The Fashion Book Club.  Thrilled to include it in my Rt collection.

 

28BF6A89-7FBB-458D-8EB6-1DF52F1DD300

All photos unless otherwise noted from Pinterest photo credits unknown.

MY BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS POSTS ARE UNDRRWRIITEN BY AN ANONYMOUS SPONSOR.  PLEASE CONTACT ME AT NENASNOTES1@gmail.com FOR SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNIES OR nenasnotes THE FASHION BOOK CLUB INFORMATION. 

 

FASHION FORWARD: NEW YORK SPRING 2019 PART 3

Here we are in week two of NYFW when most of the “big” guns presenting, lots of new designers on board with established houses. Do they continue in the tradition of the brand, bring a freshness or go in a totally different direction and how about those with their originators and those who have come back to New York….let’s see.  Several showed in outside venues and carried on in the rain….

What am I seeing thus far….chrome yellow, black and white alone or together, polka dots, color blocking, splashes of boho, ethnic prints, pattern mixing, feathers, a bit of red, a smattering of all shades of pink and now a splash of ink green.  Pretty much classic silhouettes, seasonless garments and lots of interesting shoes and boots (for Spring!) Shall these trends continue through NYFW, London, Milan and Paris…the next few weeks will give us the answers.

RODARTE

FCF17D29-1606-49DD-A32C-FD0E0067C6EA

13CEE858-50A9-4927-85C7-ED9045C1CE22

25B7547C-DD5B-41FE-BEB6-220046CAFDFD

CAROLINA HERRERA

2ACC302D-0483-4B01-B155-BACCAA3E9BFF

Carolina Herrera RTW Spring 2019

784575F0-AF17-4D0C-8D7D-519EF89E8DAA

OSCAR DE LA RENTA

33E9EDEB-AA22-4E52-8519-AB4AD4C1CB7C

391CD514-C21D-4521-9E93-4893ACFE1ADE

 

219FC886-DC5B-44D3-91A2-50A36EFB340A

D52530DF-0E0E-4967-8744-06BD5B32EAC2

ADA8C3F0-400B-4203-A47E-C36652CC1A3A

PROENZA SCHOULER

PRABAL GURUNG

All photos from Pinterest credits unknown.

FASHION FORWARD: NEW YORK SPRING 2019 PART 2

I’m still recovering from the overload of a perfect event….the Ralph Lauren 50th Anniversary extraganza.  But let’s move on, there are so many collections to cover and I’m sharing my take on trends as I see them…..(quite frankly RL is in a league all their own).

Lots of pretty wearable clothes (you know I’m a merchant at heart, need to share what can work) but also very forward avant-garde pieces as well. Perhaps if we look beyond the extremes we will find the common ground of trends.  So far I’m seeing a sea of black (my kind of “color”) white, neutrals with red, pink and bold neons, particularly citron.  Let’s see how these early colors translate through the four markets.

CHRISTIAN SIRANO

0ABB0501-73F7-43D8-8EE7-40F276AAF2BCFashion as political statement….Cynthia Nixon for Governor of New York…she was in the front row

Leopard continues to be one of the prints of choice no matter the season, I particularly like the middle piece mixing leopard with tropical very modern.  Animal prints are the focus of my monthly trend report in the Randolph Street Market September newsletter, I am doing two articles per month that are totally different from my nenasnotes posts! One on classic fashion trends and the other on collectibles. If you want more of me check it out, just saying!!!

35908080-7F68-427C-8CFD-35A7177DD208Citron, staring to see this as a trend in several collections..full leg pant, love it…draped strapless bodice, good combination of color, fresh.

D3AC781B-8CB2-43F7-9E01-CB536A496196Smoky black with a pop of citron.

Of course, evening, a Siriano signature…fabulous jet black two with dashes of citron.

18D9658B-45C2-4A79-9810-52CD16C9011B

And, the Siriano ballgown. I think he dresses more red carpet appearances than all other designers combined….this is why!!!!

BRANDON MAXWELL 

Using a palette of mostly pink and red with a dash of citron and white, he fashions understandable, wearable clothes in the tradition of the classic American designers. The plastic handbags carry either a bottle of wine or a hat…why not!

TORY BURCH

Always wearable garments with a twist, here in neutrals, a trend, with accents of neon color, another trend. Easy tops in bold Royal or sand with colorful shoes and bags along with a bold pattern.  She always shows all the components of her brand, smart marketer. Tory knows her market and always nails it. No drama here.

For drama let’s look at two of the cutting edge designers who always push the boundaries. First…

JEREMY SCOTT

Fun, youthful, statements….always!

THE BLONDS

This collection is based on the Disney villains, I’ll leave the reasoning to the designers….my take on the trends are still evident, lots of black, bold neon color and feathers.  Who will be the client…rock stars and their fans, of course.

To be continued……

All photos from Pinterest photo credits unknown.

 

FASHION EXTRA: RALPH LAUREN THE FIRST 50 YEARS!!!!!

1DD690DB-ACD7-45DD-B0F1-AF07759C35BDI have worn, shown, lived with, admired, Ralph Lauren’s creativity for all those 50 years. The excitement of this extraordinary exuberant extraganza was a once in a lifetime “happening”. From the venue, the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, to the pre-show reception (and the people watching), to the staging (perfection), to the presentation (featuring a diverse mix of 150 models and more people watching), to the finale (all models on the staircase with Ralph taking his finale bow-wave), to the formal sit down dinner (further people watching and a toast lead by Oprah!), WOW! For those of us not there in person, we have the modern experience of technology and can watch the evening streaming, via video feeds, still photos, the joyous postings, on all social media platforms, and can absorb this perfect event from beginning to end whenever we choose.  All I can say….I can’t wait to see what is in store for us in the ensuing years. Fashion is not dead, long live fashion…Bravo Ralph Lauren Bravo!!!

97F46603-D580-4A62-92C1-025AE1015B10

The staging.

9031FFF2-933B-460D-AECA-A46AB9DCDA4F

Lets take a look at some of my favorites, I can’t show you every run, would love to, you can find many on line sources to show you the entire collection.  Here, then, in no particular order my likes….

0D166EF6-603B-4BEF-9E12-40628D6C2929

179C6EC5-D096-4117-9B13-88BBD6C4160C

07FB5695-3135-46D8-AA6D-C20E96DED8C64348C724-9B37-4E18-91A5-8D4EFD86CBFB

71F04AD1-6716-4EC7-876F-7AA29DC422331E8B957B-9D94-4674-9F86-ACECF1330CEDNotice Chicago’s own, Chance The Rapper (in baseball cap) in the front row.

96402912-F65E-4245-80E0-B19752A8E74D

9F17458B-C27D-46F3-8135-BC36C04A5468431E9CE3-DD0F-4B12-8210-A05F7DCBDA8CLove Ralph in a typical outfit, tuxedo jacket with distressed jeans, modernity at its best!!! I think this is one of Jeffrey Banks’ fabulous photos of the evening.  See his Facebook postings for a incredible capture of the evening. An aside, Jeffrey was a sketch artist for Ralph back in the day. Two true American creators, long may they wave!!!!

Photos from Pinterest photo credits unknown

 

BOOKNOTES: SEPTEMBER TO BE READ LIST

16342407-F683-4D48-9B49-0F5DD55F4751I thought I’d give you a preview of some of the books I will be reviewing this month.I have SO many on my TBR list that it was difficult to choose just a few…but here goes…

I am currently reading The Masterpiece by one of my favorite authors, Fiona Davis. So far it doesn’t disappoint.  It is the story, told in two time periods (seems to a trend in many of the novels I have been reading, wasn’t a fan, but am adjusting to them…this one definitely works!), of the art school housed in the Grand Central Terminal in New York, one of my favorite NYC structures.  You know how much I love historical fiction…this is a fascinating little known story…..I’ll post the review next week.

Next up, I’ll probably review a long over due non-fiction work by another of my favorites, Julia Reed, South Toward Home. I always love her books and her other writings….informative, funny, and very, very well written I never want to finish her books and that is a compliment….I think we are in for a good read. 1CBA0F19-D464-40C9-A7EC-151F444932BF

Torn by which of these titles to read next….maybe The Dinner List, intriguing to me and hopefully to you since that is one of the questions I ask each of my nenasnotes Profile guests to answer…”who would you have, living or dead, to your dinner party?”  Should be a fun read

1C5578B5-3FB6-4DF2-80C2-940865B3E06B

Or maybe I’ll switch gears and go with another author whose works I enjoy, Natasha Solomon’s and her House of Gold.  Another historical piece set in Austria and England during the World War I era.  You know I love any story set in England and that time period….we shall see!  61A9BA18-7F9F-4A8B-B80E-227AD207A6AA

Of course I need to re-read Bonnie Cashin Chic Is Where You Find It by the Uber talented, Stephanie Lake, who is joining this month’s nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club and then read what looks like a stunning addition to the Christian Dior oeuvre Dior and His Decorators by Maureen Footer, this is the October selection for nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club.

 

8D070EDE-3DCC-4E4B-8258-A843554C22E9

CA0A6585-95DD-4157-85EA-A1F0D216267F

Stay tuned for my reviews on each (go to the nenasnotes Archives for my review on the Bonnie Cadhin book).  As the song says….the beat goes on, or should I say the books go on and on and on…..

This post is underwritten by an anonymous sponsor.  Contact me for sponsorship opportunities. 

PROFILE: JEFFREY BANKS–GENTLEMAN CREATOR

IMG_4166

 

The exciting world of Social Media brought me to Jeffrey Banks.  I have, of course, admired his work forever, first and still as a designer and then and now as an author. I got to Jeffrey through Facebook accounts from our mutual friend, the multi-talented, Michael Vollbracht who I did have the pleasure of knowing and working with…I did a blog post recently just following his untimely death.  I am posting this Profile of Jeffrey, who graciously agree to do my nenasnotes questionnaire, on the day of Michael’s Memorial Service in New York.

Michael_Volbracht's_Norell_Student_Sketch

Michael Vollbracht’s delightful work as a student at Parson’s where he won the Norman Norell Award, Mr. Norell was not able to present the award instead it was presented by Bill Blass who became a lifelong friend of Michael’s and who designed the Blass Collection after Mr. Blass’ death.  I bet they are now very busy designing the robes for the angels!

Last week Jeffrey delighted my nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club group, via conference call, with reminiscences of the unsurpassed designer Norman Norell as recounted in Jeffrey’s exquisite book NORELL: Master of American Design. Jeffrey’s books are as well done as his design work, all perfection.

Thank you, Jeffrey Banks, for joining my blogging adventure and for sharing your insight into the world of fashion via your exceptional books…you can be sure I will call upon you to chat again in the very near future to discuss another of your books….let’s see which one shall be next….stay tuned!!

Want to hear more about this unique creator…read on in Jeffrey’s own words……

IMG_3024
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB
My first job was at age 15 selling Men’s clothing at Britches of Georgetown . I loved it and on my very first day sold more than any of the seasoned professional salesman did combined.
BRIEFLY DESCRIBE YOUR MOST RECENT OCCUPATION
Unfortunately, it seems to be planning memorial services for friends.
WHEN DID YOU DISCOVER YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF YOUR TALENT
I always loved to draw, and at a very young age thought that I might become an artist. That was until I found out that most of the artists that I admired did not achieve success or fame during their lifetimes, so at the tender age of 10 I decided to become a designer. The reasoning being that I would know rather instantly whether the things that I designed had struck a cord with the public….or not!
Baby JB
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD “MADE IT” 
I think it was the day after the night I won my first Coty Award and I was with my Mother at Bergdorf’s on the up escalator and two guys were going down on the down escalator and I heard them say as we sailed passed …” Oh look, there’s designer, Jeffrey Banks!”
Coty Awards 1982
                                                         Coty Award winner 1982
Mom and I at the Coty Awards September 23rd, 1982
Coty Awards 1982 Cover Invite
Jeffrey Banks Ladies 3 1
HOW YOUR ORIGINAL PASSION BROUGHT YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW
I feel so lucky that my original passion for fashion has allowed me to make a living, branch out to books, go on television, teach, and meet so many of the people I most admired in the world. I feel very fortunate.
3CB8316B-AB93-483E-9E14-21E110C74467
Lyn_Revson_big
IMG_3041
marilyn-monroe-x-xlarge_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqdA_NBi6rCRnB37f-2HCqshh4Osy19_fl0xneADsLrLg
michelle-obama-in-vintage-norman-norell-gown-at-the-tnt-christmas-in-washington-special__oPt-2
All in Norman Norell…..Lynn Revson one of the biggest collectors of Norell.
IMG_3029
IMG_3026
IMG_3027
WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN YOUR ALTERNATE CHOICE AS A CAREER….WAS THERE ONE
There really wasn’t an alternate choice at the time. But, as I love photography so much, I would have to say, Art Director.
YOUR FAVORITE BOOK, MOVIE, THEATER (LEGIT, MUSICALS), BALLET, OPERA, SYMPHONY, TYPE OF MUSIC YOU LIKE TO LISTEN TO, LOCAL RESTAURANT
Favorite Book : A Private View by Irene Mayer Selznick  ( a great read on early Hollywood by Louis B. Mayer’s daughter )
Favorite Movie: Funny Face ( it’s got it all : Fashion, Paris, Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn, Givenchy, Gershwin, Avedon)…who could ask for anything more ? 
Theater: Anything Sondheim !
Ballet: Anything Balanchine !
Opera: Anything Directed by Bartlett Sher
I love show tunes , Streisand, and Adele
My favorite restaurant is Union Square Cafe 
HOME….MODERN, TRADITIONAL, ANTIQUES (WHAT ERA) ECLECTIC
Mostly modern, clean white with some antiques in bleached pine. I work with color all day long so I need an absence of color at home,
WHO WOULD YOU HAVE AT YOUR FANTASY DINNER AND WHAT WOULD YOU SERVE 
Fred Astaire, George Gershwin, Michelle and Barack Obama, Audrey Hepburn and Rob Wolders, Hubert de Givenchy, Bruce Weber, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Jeffrey Banks, Diahann Carroll would be the guests. 
I would serve my Risotto with Carmelized Onions and Figs with a side salad of Heirloom Tomatoes with a Shallot, Dijon Mustard, and Honey Vinaigrette (see recipe below). For Starters: Baked Brie with Honey, Brandy and Walnuts. For dessert, Assorted Gelatos

FAVORITE VACATION SPOT VISITED AND/OR ON YOUR GO TO LIST 
London, is my favorite city after NY and I love Italy, especially Florence, Tuscany and Venice. Love to discover (and re-discover) great museums and try new restaurants.In London, Theater and Shopping is everything for me! 
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING MOST IN YOUR FREE TIME? FAVORITE WORK  OF PUBLIC ART
I LOVE to read (books and magazines ) especially biographies. I love going through The Metropolitan Museum and The Frick Collection here in NY. 

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED
As a kind person, loyal to his friends.
                               THANK YOU AND BRAVO JEFFREY BANKS, BRAVO!
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF JEFFREY BANKS WITH EXCEPTION OF THE BOOK COVERS, TAKEN FROM GOOGLE PHOTOS.
                                              ELEANOR BANKS’ MEATLOAF

Ingredients:

 

1 lb Ground Chuck

1/2 lb Pork Sausage

1 Medium Small Onion (chopped finely)

1/2 Green Pepper  (chopped finely)

2-3 Spines of Celery (chopped finely)

3/4 cup Bread Crumbs

Salt & Pepper to Taste

Celery Salt

2 Cans Hunts Tomato Sauce

Combine all ingredients mix very well with 1 can of tomato sauce.  Shape loaf in lightly greased Pyrex pan.  Take other can of tomato sauce and mix with 1/2 can water and set aside.  Place loaf in pre-heated oven set at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.  After 1/2 hour reduce heat to 325 and bake loaf for additional 40 minutes.  Pour off excess fat and baste with tomato sauce that was set aside.

              JEFFREY BANKS’ HONEY, SHALLOT, DIJON MUSTARD  VINAIGRETTE

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/8 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons honey

1 large shallot, finely chopped

3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

 



 

FASHION NOW: PARIS HAUTE COUTURE 3 GUO PEI

 

71CEFBE2-F208-45F7-A67F-DABD6F6A3471I wanted to talk about a designer I’m sure isn’t familiar to many of you, unless, of course you obsessed over the exquisite gown Rihanna wore to the 2015 Met Gala, China: Through The Looking Glass…that designer is GUO PEI.  Based in China, her Haute Couture collections in Paris are always beyond spectacular.  Often compared to Alexander McQueen and John Galliano she shows pieces that are, in my opinion, works of art.

B7343817-BFC5-437C-9124-84DB0D70B260In the Met exhibition, China: Through The Looking Glass.

Pieces from the recent Fall 2018 Haute Couture Collection inspired by the current Met Fashion exhibition Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.

 

Pieces from past collections….beyond description..

22E2D08E-C04C-4F6B-B3D5-2EC56E7C18A1

If you love blue and white porcelain…how about this…

Guo Pei : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Spring Summer 2017
PARIS, FRANCE – JANUARY 25: Carmen Dell’Orefice walks the runway during the Guo Pei Spring Summer 2017 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 25, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)
2010 China Fashion Week - 'Rosestudio' Guo Pei High Class Fashion Show
BEIJING, CHINA – NOVEMBER 6: (CHINA OUT) Model Carmen Dell’ Orefice walks the runway in the ‘Rosestudio’ Guo Pei High Class Fashion Show 2010 during China Fashion Week on November 6, 2009 in Beijing, China. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)

Known for dressing China’s elite, her first collection “One Thousand and Two Nights”  in November 2009 featured Carmel Dell’ Orefice, seen in the photo above, wearing the show stopping Costume with its train carrying attendants, a design star was born  In addition, she has designed for the Chinese cinema to award winning reviews.

A book, you bet….

F92278CB-558B-4B63-9866-BFFF32C1891E

A movie, sure….the documentary coming soon….

72466B09-D35E-4649-BC0B-9CDB57851A8F9BA7C405-21BF-4658-ADDE-518134759605The designer in her Salon.  I suggest we all keep our eyes out for what is next for GUO PEI!  I personally can’t wait!!!!

All photos from Pinterest photo credits unknown unless indicated.

PROFILE: STUART DYER MESIRES

E0E5384D-11DA-4FD7-B6D8-E82D6E5E9FFAPhoto by Rachel McGinn taken in Philadelphia

Bringing back my Profile series and I am beyond excited to restart with a friend through the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum, Stuart Dyer Mesires.  Her talent for and love of all things vintage has given us a mutual interest as well as great conversations about the history of fashion, a passion we both share.  I know you will enjoy a glimpse into Stuart’s beginnings in the industry as well as a peek into her business Ladybug Vintage

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB
My first job in the fashion industry was working in New York City for a vintage textile swatch library. It was a library filled with swatches of vintage fabrics – prints, jacquards, yarn dyes, knits, etc. Designers would make an appointment to come to the design library at the beginning of each season to buy vintage swatches of fabric which they would then use to help them come up with color palates, design inspiration and actual fabrics that they would develop for their lines that season.
BRIEFLY DESCRIBE YOUR MOST RECENT OCCUPATION
In 2009, I decided to turn my passion for collecting vintage into a business and created, Ladybug Vintage – a collection of vintage costume jewelry, clothing and accessories focused primarily on the international glamour and country club chic eras of the 1960’s and 1970’s. I love the whimsy, insouciance, bold prints and statement jewelry from this time period – all of which can be found in the Ladybug Vintage Collection. Inspiration comes from fashion icons such as Lee Radziwell, Jane Birkin, Bianca Jagger and Ali McGraw – women with an innate sense of glamour and daring who could take one special piece – a scarf, a lariat, a gorgeous set of cuff bracelets – and create a completely effortless and individual look. I personally select each piece in the collection with this focus in mind. This is what sets Ladybug Vintage apart as it is not just a collection of random vintage pieces but a collection with a focused point of view.

631675D7-3192-4892-9FAF-791402311E68

Stuart at the Chicago Botanic Garden when she did their Antique and Garden Show

 

Some of Stuart’s extensive collections.

614D63B7-1BEA-40BA-B4CE-0954F5F52CE8

WHEN DID YOU DISCOVER YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF YOUR TALENT
I started collecting vintage when I was in grade school. My mother is an avid collector of antiques and I would often accompany her to flea markets, thrift shops and antique shows when she was hunting for treasures. I wanted to collect something too so I would look for things that I could afford. Vintage clothing and costume jewelry were items that no one really wanted at the time and the pieces were inexpensive – thus my collection began. I loved the fact that what I collected could be worn not just put on a shelf to be admired. By the time I was in high school I had a closet full of amazing vintage clothing and accessories.

0464EA25-8B9A-4530-BB7F-76AC6A52BE65Looking for vintage pieces at the Madison Bouckville Antique Show in Bouckville, New York.

WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD “MADE IT” EXPLAIN
When I was working as a swimsuit designer for Tommy Hilfiger, I felt that I had made it when one of the suits that I had designed was featured in the the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue being worn by Heidi Klum, 2001.

9E0F93E7-B125-4E08-97F4-895BF9E4A0B9

 

B67E7657-9313-4131-8F06-8E21C917B8C1

Another of Stuart’s designers for Hilfiger in Sports Illustrated, 2002.

A piece in the 1998 Japan Marie Claire on Stuart’s favorite beauty products.

HOW DID YOUR ORIGINAL PASSION BRING YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW As I mentioned above, I have had a passion for collecting vintage from a young age. After graduating from a liberal arts college in upstate, New York, I moved to New York City to work for PolyGram Records. My passion, however, was for fashion so I started working for a vintage textile design company and taking night classes at Parson’s School of Design. I then embarked on an over 15 year career in fashion design which included working as a clothing designer for such companies as Tommy Hilfiger and Lilly Pulitzer. While working as a designer, my love of vintage continued and I often used vintage pieces as design inspiration. Nine years ago, I decided to turn my love for collecting vintage into a business.

67AF29C4-59C2-4F64-83DD-37DE195F3E84
WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN YOUR ALTERNATE CHOICE AS A CAREER….WAS THERE ONE An Archeologist.
YOUR FAVORITES:
BOOK: The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
MOVIE:  The Wizard of Oz
THEATER:  Hamilton
TYPE OF MUSIC YOU LIKE TO LISTEN TO: Rolling Stones, Stevie Nicks, Led Zeppelin, Spoon, Cage the Elephant and the Foo Fighters
LOCAL RESTAURANT: I love to try new restaurants but a constant, reliable favorite is Mon Ami Gabi.
HOBBIES: Drawing, painting, antiquing
HOME: Mixture of mid-century modern and antiques
WHO WOULD YOU HAVE AT YOUR FANTASY DINNER AND WHAT WOULD YOU SERVE: Andy Cohen, Derek Blasberg, Mick Jagger, Virgil Abloh, Pablo Picasso, Kate Spade, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Altchul, Lilly Pulitzer, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda and Miuccia Prada
I’m not a great cook so I would invite, Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) to cater.
FAVORITE VACATION SPOT VISITED AND/OR ON YOUR GO TO LIST:  I love to discover new places. And wherever I find myself, I love to find places to shop for vintage. I just back from a trip to Grimaud, France – a small town outside of St. Tropez. I had never been to Grimaud before but I went there to stay with a friend.  It is a gorgeous Cote d’Azur hillside town overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and the port of St. Tropez. One of the most fun things for me was finding a flea market in Grimaud that was filled with vintage treasures.

00189690-F2C3-40BE-AA8E-E95C17E033E0

With her son, Xander in St. Tropez in June 2018

5BB3B50D-8F16-4D39-9BF2-491E92C7F5D0

In Saint Jean Cap Ferrat

C70DA5E4-BDDE-4039-BF50-D0608A5902F7

Visiting Heyward House, Bluffton, South Carolina.

FAVORITE WORK OF CHICAGO PUBLIC ART:  My favorite work of Chicago Public art is a statue called, The Alarm. I have always been drawn to it. It is the oldest sculpture on Chicago Park District property. It was commissioned in 1880 and dedicated on May 17, 1884. When I did a little research on it, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the artist, John J. Boyle while from New York, had actually studied in Philadelphia (my hometown) at the Franklin Institute and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and married a woman from there. Several of his statues are located throughout Fairmount Park in Philadelphia as well as throughout the city of Philadelphia.

6685361D-B11F-46CA-890D-AAAA7A10C123
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED:As having been kind.

A FAVORITE RECIPE:
I love to make desserts (the best part of a meal!). Below is a simple recipe for one of my favorites:
Fudge Brownies.
INGREDIENTS
5 oz of unsweetened baking chocolate 3/4 cup butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
HEAT oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13” x 9” pan.
MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in a large microwaveable bowl on HIGH for 2 minutes or until the butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and mix well. Spread into prepared pan.    BAKE approximately 22 minutes. Cool completely and cut into squares.

STUART’S FAVORITE LINKS/BLOGS/INSTAGRAM/WEBSITES

http://www.ladybugvintage.com/
https://www.1stdibs.com/dealers/ladybug-vintage/

La Double J, Tory Daily, @suzymenkesvogue, @tinaleung, @amandacbrooks, @ericapelosini, @martinamondadori, @kateschelter

A172B024-440C-4922-A8A0-0DFFC1D2028C

Above photo taken by Rachel McGinn. All photos from Stuart’s scrapbooks.