TIMELESS ART: DOGS IN ART

Ancient Roman Mosiac

While thinking about today’s topic, I wanted to concentrate on English Dog Art, primarily the Victorian Era, but found so many historical pieces I felt I needed to delve into the subject further than I had planned. We can see that man’s, woman’s and child’s best friend has been immortalized since the beginning of time.

Ancient Egypt

With this in mind, I wanted to ask an art expert so I immediately called upon my dear friend, Gloria Groom, Chair and David and Mary Winton Green Curator, Painting and Sculpture of Europe at The Art Institute of Chicago, to share some of her favorite pieces in The Art Institute’s vast collections.

Here are her choices along with the reasons for choosing them, as always she enlightens us by giving us a look into art that we might not have seen for ourselves, making each work more intimate and more interesting. I send her my heartfelt thanks for contributing to this post. Be sure to get to The Art Institute of Chicsgo for Gloria’s current brilliant exhibition MONET AND CHICAGO now through January 18, 2021. Check The Art Institute’s website for details on hours, social distancing and other important information. https://www.artic.edu

The following illustrations courtesy of Gloria Groom.

https://www.artic.edu/artworks/4081/gian-lodovico-madruzzo

“I love this dog who looks as elegant as the distinguished subject by one of Italy’s great portrait painters and because the scale is lifesize the dog seems to be there with us.

Perhaps because he’s an Italian hound which I think my Dog Duke is (despite the fact that according to the ancestry for dogs site, Embark, he’s said to be mostly “Mountain cur” whatever that is!) Here’s Duke and the portrait of him by School of the Art Institute Adjunct professor Mark Krisco! If you ever want an oil painting of your beloved canine he’s the best!”

https://www.artic.edu/artworks/97681/the-movings

“Boilly, the quintessential genre painter never disappoints Not only does he draw from the exquisitely detailed realism of Dutch 17h century genre painting but his subjects, often times of the down and out, as in this picture of people moving before the landlord finds them for unpaid rent, he borrows the down to earth subject matter here the perfectly anodyne street dog at the far right almost out of the picture snarls at the smaller dog who is taking cover under the cart while at the left larger, more robust canines (perhaps of the Pit bull family?) pull a cart.”

https://www.artic.edu/artworks/17962/the-arcades-at-the-palais-royal

“And when Boilly takes on the upper crust, as in this amazingly large and painterly pen and ink wash work on paper showing the swells propositioning (or being propositioned by?) the women of the night at the Palais Royale (a well known trysting venue) the dogs, a vignette that could be a picture within a picture, emulate their owners sexual escapades.”

https://www.artic.edu/artworks/191566/the-man-with-the-dog

“This is a fantastic pastel made by Manet during his later years — we’ve not been able to identify the sitter but perhaps the dog is a Newfoundland? But in Manet’s hands he’s simply gestured in chalk onto the page — as in motion with the most economical means of medium and yet he’s all there and we know that he is big and looking at something to the left of the picture frame.”

https://www.artic.edu/artworks/44775/eleanor-margaret-gibson-carmichael

“And finally a work by a British artist that is probably the least known in the collection (with the exception of the Manet and Boilly watercolor which are not on view for conservation reasons), Miss Eleanor Margaret Gibson-Carmichael has a name and a dog bigger than she is. Open mouthed, drooling with joy, he is definitely the family dog (what kind I don’t know) ready for the rough and tumble activities of his pint-size owners.”

I’ll save my Victorian dog paintings for another post. Stay tuned!!!

FASHION FOREVER: The Trench Coat … Always Classic, Always New

FASHION TREND REPORT EXCLUSIVELY FOR RANDOLPH STREET MARKET BY NENA IVON, REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION.

Burberry used gaberdine, a waterproof fabric, to make the military trench coats first worn in World War l. This iconic coat has seen many incarnations through the years going from being a military uniform to today’s Influencer’s uniforms. From it’s beginnings with Burberry and Aquascutum to John Galliano for Margiela. From film stars, often playing a character itself, to the Royals. From traditional fabrics to vinyl to exotic skins. The trench coat most certainly defines our monthly fashion theme of ALWAYS CLASSIC ALWAYS NEW!

The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market

Women, pictured in their trench coats, became extremely important to the war efforts serving in many necessary jobs and contributing to the advancement of the women’s suffragette movement, first in the UK then the States.

The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market

Popularized in print via photographs and illustrations, the trench coat became THE coat to own by men and women a trend that continues to this day a hundred years later.

The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market

“Both Aquascutum and Burberry take credit for having “invented” the WWI trench coat, but the truth is that the two firms helped popularize a type of coat already in existence, adapting it for military use. The image of the dashing upper-class officer, valiantly aiding in the war effort, while wearing his trench coat helped cement the panache of the style. Burberry and Aquascutum trench coats were expensive, affordable only for the well-to-do, but cheaper versions were marketed by scores of other retailers – much like today. Foreign soldiers and civilians began wearing the coat during the war, buying into its patriotic associations.” From British Vogue

The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market

I always like to suggest a book or two for you to learn more… here is one from Assouline THE TRENCH BOOK.

The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market

1940’s gentlemen in their trench coats and fedoras, most likely inspired by Humphrey Bogart in one of his many roles wearing trench coats, most notably, at least to me, Casablanca!!

The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market

More vintage inspiring now, worn then, Bogart, Dietrich and Hepburn

The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market

More icons… Cara and Kate… more Audrey and Meryl…

The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market

One more Audrey with Hubert de Givenchy walking on the Seine.

The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market

Peter Sellers as Jacques Clouseau in The Pink Panther always in his white trench.

The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market

Peter Falk as the lovable Colombo, the trench coat, for both these detectives, were as much characters as the actors that wore them!

Christopher Bailey, in his reign as Burberry’s Creative Director… made Burberry, in my opinion, the fashion iconic brand it is today. Maintaining its tradition by adding modernity to make it fresh and newly desirable.

The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market

Looking at some “Street Fashion”

The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market

Rita Ora…

John Galliano for Margiela… deconstructed trench collection… fascinating interpretations of a tradition, made futuristic…

The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market

Or perhaps back to the traditional with the Royals and a First Lady…

The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market
The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market

Perhaps the longest lasting item of clothing starting at the beginning of the 20th Century as military garments becoming the iconic fashion we know today a hundred years later… the trench coat… always classic and definitely always new!!!

The Trench Coat Randolph Street Market

—–
by Nena Ivon
www.nenasnotes.com
www.facebook.com/Nena Ivon
www.instagram.com/nenasnotes

All photos from Pinterest photo credits unknown.

FOREVER FASHION: THE WHITE SHIRT ALWAYS CLASSIC ALWAYS NEW

Women in the workforce 1910’s appropriately dressed in their white shirtwaists.

FASHION TREND REPORT EXCLUSIVELY FOR RANDOLPH STREET MARKET BY NENA IVON, nenasnotes REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION

Probably the most Always Classic Always New post I did during the first year of nenasnotes blog posts exclusive to Randolph Street Market was this one…White Shirts! Why you ask, because it is worn by everyone, women, men, children… no economic barriers, totally diverse and at all price points. Once considered elitist, and the term remains today, “white collar workers” and “blue collar workers” which, back in the day, really distinguished the classes. I would debate not as much today…but still there but perhaps a bit blured. Always flattering, if you think you can’t wear black or for that matter any color, white around the face works perfectly.

From Wikipedia… “White-collar work may be performed in an office or other administrative setting. Other types of work are those of a blue-collar worker, whose job requires manual labor and a pink-collar worker, whose labor is related to customer interaction, entertainment, sales, or other service-oriented work”.

I’m not going into the tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York in 1911, however, if you are not familiar with it I suggest you do your due diligence and research this horrific event in our history.

”It made its first public appearance at the Salon in Paris, worn by a queen in a portrait: Marie Antoinette in a muslin dress. A style and a portrait – by Madame Vigée-Lebrun – far from the royal etiquette: in 1793 it caused a scandal.” Quote attributed to Vogue

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

“The diversity of the white shirts influence can be traced through many examples, including: Beau Brummell’s dandy status with his legendary white shirting; the Gibson Girl with her decorated white shirt style blouse defining ideals of female beauty; business employees in the 1920s marketing trustworthiness through the uniformity of white shirts; the fictional advertising creation of the Arrow Collar Man, with his rigid white shirt, promoting American masculine ideals….” Quote from Beyond Retro site.

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

Beau Brummel

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

Gibson Girl late 1890’s

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

More Gibson Girls late 1890’s

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

Could be worn today and from late 1890’s, perhaps your search will yield something similar….I’d personally love it in my wardrobe!!!!

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

1920’s look.

The Arrow shirt man, a huge marketing success for collars, shirts for every time of the day…these by illustrator Joseph Christian Leyendecker. If you find one let me know I want one too!!!!

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market
The White Shirt Randolph Street Market
The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

Marlene Dietrich in white tie and tails years before Yves Saint Laurent’ “Le Smoking”. Nothing sexier that a woman in black or white tie attire….long before the androgyny of what we accept today.

1948 photo of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall both in white shirts

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market
The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

1944 Sears Roebuck Catalog, Katherine Hepburn inspired

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

And the inspiration herself!!!!!!

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

1940’s “Bobby-soxers” in white shirts, a-line skirts and Oxford shoes.

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

1940’s ad….if I recall correctly, I thought these were really “cool” Mom would have worn them….these are looks I suggest you seek out they look good with khakis, jeans as well as with suits.

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

One of the first super models, Bettina wearing the Givenchy “Bettina Blouse” a worldwide sensation in 1952.

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

Another 1952 Hubert de Givenchy creation.

Audrey Hepburn 1953 screen test for Roman Holiday, casual chic then, casual chic now…

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

The 1980 film, American Giglio, not only made Richard Gere a star but also his wardrobe made Giorgio Armani the designer every man wanted to dress him and the man every woman wanted to undress….such a scandal and so tame by today’s standards, or lack there of…

Let’s jump ahead to a couple of designers on opposite sides of the ocean, first Gianfranco Ferrė, known as “the architect of fashion”. A independent designer, perhaps best known as the third designer to succeed Christian Dior (following Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Bohan). He was so obsessed with the white shirt he devoted a book and an exhibition to this iconic wardrobe item. Let’s look at some…

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market
The White Shirt Randolph Street Market
The White Shirt Randolph Street Market
The White Shirt Randolph Street Market
The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

And Carolina Herrera, no one does the white shirt better… As for white shirts, Carolina Herrera says… “They make me feel secure,” she once said. “When I don’t know what to wear, I choose a white shirt.”

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market
The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

In my opinion… total perfection!!!

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

Wouldn’t you agree…stunning for any gala occasion, or work, or…

Vogue Cover with The Super Models all wearing Gap white shirts…what a modern statement.

The White Shirt Randolph Street Market
The White Shirt Randolph Street Market

I will end with Elle Fanning at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, wearing a modern version of the 1956 Christian Dior collection in 2019 Dior.

I must admit this post could be MUCH longer but I do have enough material to do a part two in another post…stay tuned!!

nenasnotes IS STARTING YEAR FIVE…

Can that be possible!

October 13, 2020

Each year I repost my original story of how I envisioned my blog to be, and have added an up date on each year and here we begin Year FIVE! I must admit my original thoughts have pretty much remained the same but also admit I’ve been remiss in posting regularly…sorry about that. This year has been beyond comprehension to say the least and hopefully when we establish our “new normal” we will get back to enjoying the pleasures we have had to put aside. We shall get through this pandemic and I truly believe be the better, different, for all our traumas. (PS I now understand an updated post doesn’t get sent to you so to reread my last October 13th posts go to the archives, sorry about that!)

Much has changed and much has involved. I led my last year’s update with the story of the huge success of nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club event with the personal appearance of Victor Skrebneski and the launch of his book….this year I brought you the news of Victor’s passing. What a difference a few months make.

I continue with nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club and added nenasnotes The Fashion Film Club both now done virtually via Zoom. This has allowed me to include non-local attendees. I will be launching nenasnotes The Fashion Master Class in December, I’ve been asked for years if people could take classes I taught at Columbia College Chicago…this will be an extension of some of those classes.

Fall has always been the start of the year for me so it is appropriate that I revisit my “virtual diary” each year at this time. I hope you will continue reading my musings, please comment, let me know if there is anything special you would like me to research and share with you and share nenasnotes with your friends.

Until next time, my friends, stay safe and well….

N

BEGINNING YEAR FIVE…

Where have the years gone….

OCTOBER 11, 2020

Each year I repost my original story of how I envisioned my blog to be, and have added an up date on each year and here we begin Year FIVE! I must admit my original thoughts have pretty much remained the same but also admit I’ve been remiss in posting regularly…sorry about that. This year has been beyond comprehension to say the least and hopefully when we establish our “new normal” we will get back to enjoying the pleasures we have had to put aside. We shall get through this pandemic and I truly believe be the better, different, for all our traumas.

Much has changed and much has involved. I led my last year’s update with the story of the huge success of nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club event with the personal appearance of Victor Skrebneski and the launch of his book….this year I brought you the news of Victor’s passing. What a difference a few months make.

I continue with nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club and added nenasnotes The Fashion Film Club both now done virtually via Zoom. This has allowed me to include non-local attendees. I will be launching nenasnotes The Fashion Master Class in December, I’ve been asked for years if people could take classes I taught at Columbia College Chicago…this will be an extension of some of those classes.

Fall has always been the start of the year for me so it is appropriate that I revisit my “virtual diary” each year at this time. I hope you will continue reading my musings, please comment, let me know if there is anything special you would like me to research and share with you and share nenasnotes with your friends.

Until next time, my friends, stay safe and well….

October 13,2019

BEGINNING YEAR FOUR…


October 13, 2019

It’s the beginning of year four of nenasnotes amazing how quickly a year goes by…..I must admit I am basically in the same position I was when I wrote last year’s updated post. I have been remiss in doing regular posts and for that I apologize. The nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club has taken on a life of its own and the monthly meetings are continuing to grow. I was beyond thrilled that the Uber talented Victor Skrebneski joined me in conversation about his sensational new book SKREBNESKI DOCUMENTED: 1948-2018. I will be doing a post in the near future, I promise, on the friendship we have shared for many, many years….stay tuned.

I finally had my first guest post with Barbara Varro’s nostalgic trip with her fabulous reminisces of her celebrity interviews while fashion editor at the Chicago Sun-Times. More guest posts to come, again, I promise. I know you like my book reviews…you can count on more of them.

Okay, your turn what would you like me to concentrate on….by now you know when I post I do have a lot to say…I’d love to know what you want me to research for you….or do you prefer when I take a trip down memory lane with designers I have worked with, personality profiles, book reviews, or just my ramblings about things I find interesting….please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Year four…..here we go!

October 13, 2018

Another year has flown by and I am now starting year three of NENASNOTES.  I must admit I haven’t been consistent of late, computer issues, other obligations, etc.  I plan to continue my same schedule with more tweaks.  I am asking the people I have profiled over the last two years to do a guest post on whatever subject they like.  I think their thoughts will be of interest to all of us.  I do like my Tuesdays posts, BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS, and will continue them and probably expand to an additional day.  This has led to the formation of NENASNOTES The Fashion Book Club a monthly gathering to discuss all manner of fashion books, featuring fascinating authors and a throughly engaged audience, I will do monthly posts on these books as well.  More recipes, more decor, more fashion….yes, all of those along with interesting personality profiles.  If you have something you would like me to discuss please let me know.  By now, if you follow me, you know I have a wide range of interests that I like to share with my readers.  I now also do two monthly posts for the Randolph Street Market blog, one on collection trends and one on fashion trends these are totally different from my NENASNOTES posts.  Do follow me there, on Instagram, (I’m having a blast there!) and Pinterest.  I am in the process of launching a sponsorship program with unique incentives based on level of funding.  So lots to look forward to…I do hope you will continue to join me in my ventures and do recommend NENASNOTES to your friends and please make comments, they are invaluable.  Here we go….welcome Year Three!

82FC51B0-8E33-45B3-8F5C-85E57FD8CC55

October 13, 2017

Here is what I wrote one year ago today when I launched NENASNOTES, as I begin my second year, my goals remain the same.  I have tweaked the daily themes a bit but the concept hasn’t changed. I will be adding new features and ask that you watch for an upcoming announcement of how you can supoort me and what incentives you can expect.  I hope you are enjoying my thoughts on the variety of lifestyle things that interest me…so I say, Happy Birthday NENASNOTES and I hope you, my followers, will continue to join me on a regular basis and invite your friends to have their morning coffee with us as well.

October 13, 2016

Well, here we go….I have been waiting to start my blog NENASNOTES for what seems like ages, actually, it has been ages!

I, therefore, feel it is necessary to give you my thoughts on what you can expect on what will become daily postings.

It began with the current trend of focusing on people reinventing themselves, through career and/or lifestyle changes.  I realized that there are so many of my friends and acquaintances whose diverse lives now are totally different from how they started.  First up were my many former models who were superstars in the myriad shows I produced during my lengthy career as Fashion and Special Director at Saks Fifth Avenue, Chicago.  Most, if not all, have totally changed careers and become successful with their new life choices.  You will learn their stories, reminiscences and photos from then and now.

image

MY MODEL CREW IN THE 1960’S

I thought why not carry this further to my other friends and people I know who had fascinating stories to tell and was I correct in that assumption!  I began this process with a handful of people, which soon became many more, by doing an in person hour long taped conversational interview and Proust-like questionnaire.  Again, I asked for photos and this time a favorite recipe. I hope you will enjoy these posts as much as I am enjoying gathering them.  They are riveting.

These two groups of conversations will be my Monday posts, here is what I have planned for Tuesday through Friday:

29100F02-D395-45F5-8790-EB78839B8F4E

Tuesday….Books, books, books.  I’m afraid I have a book fetish, especially fashion books. It seems to be my goal in life to own every fashion book printed!!! So we will start there.  I do read a lot, particularly historical fiction, I love fiction about “real” people, we will go that route as well.  Nothing like a good English mystery but don’t mind a “Cozy” once in awhile and can never miss Louis Penny’s newest (who doesn’t love Armand!).  So much to read so little time.

A SAMPLING OF MY CHANEL LIBRARY

Wednesday….Miscellany day could be a great recipe, restaurant, movie, play….whatever strikes my fancy that week.

img_1141

CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM TIFFANY STAINED GLASS

Thursday….Homes and Gardens, again tapping my friends and their eclectic styles, mostly self-decorated homes and brilliant gardens.  A glimpse at my tiny space as well.

2016-03-27-13-47-56

A FRIEND’S EXQUISITE SOLARIUM

Friday….Fashion Flashback.  I’ve worked with over 150 designers and fashion personalities through the years and want to share some of these experiences with you.  I’m sure those of you who know me thought the blog would be all about the “glamorous” fashion shows I produced, yes, there is that but the nitty gritty as well and only one day a week.

Nena, Pauline Trigere, Bill Blass
 Nena, Pauline Trigere, Bill Blass

Here we go….I hope you will join me on my on reinvention.

TIMELESS FASHION: TARTAN AND PLAID

Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New

Fall/Winter 2020/2021 ready to wear collections

Fashion Trend Report by Nena Ivon, nenasnotes, Originally published exclusively for Randolph Street Market. Updated and edited post republished with permission of Sally Schwartz.

During the confinement for our Pandemic I have been pondering, along with others in the industry, the future of fashion, retail and, in particular, fashion shows. How will the industry pivot to be not only relevant but how to present fashion…virtually…in person…both or….! ?Many of the “big” names will sit out this week’s New York Fashion Week as well as the upcoming London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks. I’ll be glued to all sites to see what our creative minds have up their sleeves. Time for change, time for reinvention, time for major creativity in a time like no other. I can’t wait to see how technology will play into the scheme of things. In a world, (fashion), of self expression individuality and newness….what a once in a lifetime opportunity to make things exciting! I, for one, can not wait to see our new world through the eyes of the creative fashion powers that be! Stay tuned for my impressions of Spring 2021.

Now let’s talk about the durability of plaid as a classic pattern…one that we see year in and year out and always says Fall to me.

Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New

I asked, Jeffrey Banks, a true Renaissance Man…designer, lecturer, fashion historian, and esteemed author of several books, most recently NORELL: MASTER OF AMERICAN FASHION, the first monograph on the iconic designer, to share a paragraph on the pattern. I encourage you to get his book TARTAN: Romancing the Plaid, to further explore its fashion story.

“TARTAN is one of two perennial patterns that seemingly never goes out of Fashion. The other perennial is animal prints. They are both all-time classics. And although some seasons they are more dominate a theme than others they are never more than a season or two out of the limelight. Because tartan is classic, romantic, subversive, and even sometimes ironic, its appeal never fails to fascinate. And it is the one pattern that even print shy men seem to always embrace!” Jeffrey Banks.

Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New

Tartan is often misused for all plaid it is by definition, “A woolen cloth woven in one of several patterns of plaid, especially of a design associated with a particular Scottish clan.” There are over 4000 tartan plaids.

Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New

Of course, the first brand we think of is Burberry, established in 1879 by Thomas Burberry. They trench coat “Its name derived from the trenches where military personnel were stationed in WW1, the original Burberry trench coat was designed in 1912 by Thomas Burberry to keep officers protected against wind and rain.”

“Initially developed for the military, each feature on a trench coat has been specifically designed for a reason. The epaulettes were added to display the rank of the officers while the storm shield, found on the upper back, enabled water to run off the coat and keep the wearer dry. A pleat was also featured on the back which allowed for ease of movement when running or on horseback.”

*The distinctive plaid lining was added in 1920.

I’m sure, just as Levi Strauss would be in awe at how his denim, originally for workman’s overalls, has evolved into classic fashion, Thomas Burberry could not have predicted the International success a military coat would have!

No plaid, to my mind’s eye, is more recognized. It hasn’t changed until recently….let’s look at the traditional and some newer versions.

Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New
Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New
Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New
Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New

The Chicago flagship store on Michigan Avenue…..who knew, plaid architecture, brilliant marketing and a stunning addition to what is arguably the most diverse architectural city, Chicago, where modern architecture was born!

Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New

A book, of course…

Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New

From Alexander McQueen

Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New

Sarah Jessica Parker and Alexander McQueen wearing the official McQueen tartan at the Met’s Costume Institute gala for “Savage Beauty”.

Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New
Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New
Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New
Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New

Vivianne Westwood

Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New
Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New
Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New

Yves Saint Laurent Couture

Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New

Jean Paul Gaultier

Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New

Want more…

Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New
Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New
Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New
Tartan + Plaid Always Classic Always New

To me plaid is always “in” as an accent, as an accessory, or as a complete outfit. It can be a traditional tartan or a new version of the classic Burberry plaid. It can be whimsical, think McQueen and Westwood, or line the classic trench coat that knows no gender. This season try it with a bit of leopard and what the heck a dash of a floral print, the point be confident in dressing and most of all have fun with your wardrobe styling!!!!

All photos from Pinterest photo credits unknown.
*Burberry quote from a Harrods editorial.


COLLECTIONS: TARTANWARE PART 2

Photo found on Pinterest photo credit unknown.

A first for my blog and something I would love to continue….a reader, (and more importantly a long time personal friend) of nenasnotes sent me photos of her Tartanware Collection, which is amazing. I asked if I could share the photos along with her comments on the collection, here you go!

From Lawrie Weed…

“As my father was of Sottish heritage it was the emphasis to start the collection which is about 40 years old. Most items are related to sewing, thimbles, needle cases, bobbins, etc. I have 22 napkin holders all different tartans. Ralph Lauren started having tartenware for his stores and the prices escalated dramatically so the average collector was hard pressed to continue finding the rare and wonderful pieces. My favorite pieces are a photo album and an Hourglass.”

From Lawrie’s Collection
Another view which includes the stunning mirror on the door of the exquisite cupboard.

Lawrie, thank you SO much for sharing your very special Tartanware Collection for us to enjoy!

COLLECTIONS: TARTANWARE

A Tartanware Collection.

I’ve been fascinated with Tartanware for years. I think I first saw these interesting highly collectible pieces at an Armory antique show in New York many years ago. Then in decorative art books and shelter magazine articles. When thinking of this post I wanted to talk with a Tartan expert and that person was Jeffrey Banks, a true Renaissance Man with so much knowledge about so many lifestyle topics. If you follow my blog you have read my interview with Jeffrey as well as a review of his current brilliant monograph NORELL: Master of American Fashion. I also talked about his first book TARTAN: Romancing The Plaid in a Randolph Street Market blog post several years ago and one that I am reprinting this week in this blog. All of Jeffrey’s extraordinary books are must haves in your library.

Nena with Jeffrey Banks

“Tartanware, was the name given the ‘souvenirs of Scotland’ that were usually small wooden objects covered in miniature tartan paper and then covered with varnish used to publicize a company’s connection with Scotland. These delicate small objects included egg cups, sewing kits, obelisk thermometers and napkin rings. Though never intended to be Collectables, these treasures were, if you will, ‘Cracker Jack‘ prizes for those doing business with Scottish companies. Made chiefly by the Mauchlin Company in Scotland around the turn of the century, these Objects were popularized by the almost fanatic following of anything Scottish loved by Queen Victoria. Never really meant to last for long lengths of time these items are much prized today by collectors as they have become exceedingly rare to find in mint condition. The most prized (and indeed most rare) are the larger Tartanware items like trunks and small pieces of furniture.” Quote from Jeffrey Banks.

When speaking with Jeffrey last week I asked him about the first piece he collected for his now vast collection, he paused, thought about it and said “I think a napkin ring.” This beginning of a carefully curated collection has become quite extensive. Here is a photo of some of his collection and several other photos he shared with me for this post.

From Jeffrey Banks private collection.

The following photos Jeffrey shared with me, not in his collection.

Notice gold lettering…Jeffrey shared that each piece has the name of the Tartan in gold on each Mauchlin piece.
A rare chest.
The only book on Tartanware

Tartanware was produced in the Scottish town of Mauchline from the early 1800s to 1933. The prime company was William & Andrew Smith of Mauchlin, from 1821 onwards. In 1852, Prince Albert purchased Balmoral estate in the Scottish Highlands for Queen Victoria. The Queen had a passion for Tartan and visitors to Scotland wanted small Tartanware items that were easy to take home, and something the Queen might endorse. Many pieces were what we would call today “gifts with purchase” and used as marketing other products…as Jeffrey mentioned in his quote “like Cracker Jack prizes”. Originally, they were hand painted, in 1853, new machines were invented to speed up the manufacturing process. Tartan designs were applied to paper and then glued to small everyday objects. The items were heavily varnished giving them longevity, thankfully for today’s collectors. In 1933 production of Tartanware came to an end after a fire destroyed the printing machinery.

The following are images I have collected, over time, found on Pinterest photo credits unknown. Some individual pieces and some decorating ideas….enjoy!

Sewing accessories
An example in tin.
Do you think there are any Royal signatures inside????
More sewing pieces
Modern piece from Ralph Lauren who has done entire home and ready to wear collections in tartan.
Just for fun!
Everything is collectible! I threw this in for a giggle!

COLLECTIONS: LOVER’S EYE JEWELRY

Lover’s Eye Jewelry

I’ve been fascinated by Lover’s Eye jewelry ever since I saw a collection at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum many years ago. And what better time to do a post on this unique short lived Georgian jewelry craze (1790-1820) than now when we are masked and can only see our loved ones, actually everyone’s, eyes! Perhaps a revival is in order, we all can use a bit of romance in our lives!

From the V&A collection

The story has a romantic beginning and takes us to the court of the future King George IV of England, then the Prince of Wales, and his secret lover, Maria Fitzherbert.

George IV
Maria Fitzherbert

Since Mrs. Fitzherbert was divorced it would prove difficult for them to be married. After many proposals, George sent her a locket containing a portrait of his eye, along with the note: “P.S. I send you a parcel … and I send you at the same time an Eye, if you have not totally forgot the whole countenance. I think the likeness will strike you.”

She replied to the sent image with a portrait of her own eye. They were married in a secret ceremony.

Most of the miniatures are painted in watercolor on ivory or gouache on card, the miniatures were set in pins, rings, and lockets for women and various containers such as snuff boxes or stick pins for men. Usually a decorative border of burnished or engraved gold, gems or pearls surround the portrait and often a hair compartment was included to hold a loved one’s hair. Obviously very intimate and meant for the recipient “eyes” only, they were small and to be concealed.

A charming portrait holding a portrait!

Here are some of my favorite finds….you can go to my Pinterest Board to see the many images I have collected pin.it/qnUPiGH

My most favorite.

It is said that if the miniature portrait was surrounded in pearls the subject was deceased.

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art Collections early 19th century.
From the V&A Collections early 19th century

A couple of books…..

Continue reading

ALWAYS IN FASHION: GLOVES

I have been thinking about this post for quite awhile and was excited to see such an abundance of gloves in the Spring 2020 Haute Couture Collections. I particularly love the play of color.Gloves… Always Classic, Always New

Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market

Historical gloves…

Gloves Randolph Street Market

Tudor glove…

Gloves Randolph Street Market

From 1600’s V & A collection

18th Century gloves…

Gloves Randolph Street Market

Wooden glove molds are very collectible…perhaps you will find one at Randolph Street Market could be a fun collection.

Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market

When I started my career in retail all ladies wore hats and gloves and, I must admit, I still like the finished look a glove gives to an outfit. Of course, in Chicago, we need them for warmth and why not have a fun color, pattern, embellishment or a fingerless pair to allow for texting!

Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market

The fashionable ladies of Downton Abbey…

Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market

Elsa Schiaparelli’s whimsical surreal gloves, way too much fun, don’t you agree!

Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market

And inspired by Schiaparelli, designed by Salvador Dali and photographed by Cecil Beaton for Vogue

Gloves Randolph Street Market

Glove purses by Hannah Lamb

Gloves Randolph Street Market

Or perhaps a hat or two…

Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market

From the brilliant Rei Kawakubo for Comme Des Garçons

Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market

Or…

Gloves Randolph Street Market

Or make your own…

Gloves Randolph Street Market

Let’s travel to the 1970’s and, the doyenne of American Fashion, Bonnie Cashin’s revolutionary gloves…

“It was Cashin’s sixth decade in design. As she entered the 1970s, and her seventies, Cashin was something of a grande dame and the last of an old guard. Referred to as the country’s “longest blooming perennial designer,” … Cashin continued to be a top choice for companies in need of a revitalized image. The plea from Crescendoe-Superb, then the country’s oldest-running glove manufacturer still operated by its founding family, was among the most memorable for its lack of pretense. “We think our gloves are very bad and corny,” wrote the company’s owner, asking Cashin, “would you undertake designing your beautiful concept of what these … [designs] should look like, instead of our bad ones?” When the collection launched in 1972, the company wrote of her designs in twenty-two-inch-long lime suede (for layering as sleeves under ponchos) and grommet-knuckled kidskin (for fending off a purse snatcher), “these are the most expensive and beautiful line of gloves ever designed.”

Copy and following three photos courtesy of my friend, Dr. Stephanie Lake, Owner, The Bonnie Cashin Archive.

Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market

Also from the Bonnie Cashin Archives and in Bonnie’s own handwriting, courtesy of Dr. Stephanie Lake.

Gloves Randolph Street Market

Michael Jackson’s iconic glove

Gloves Randolph Street Market

Karl Lagerfeld in signature mitts…

Gloves Randolph Street Market

Two of the most iconic gloves on film on two super stars of the silver screen…


Rita Hayward’s “strip tease” in Gilda! Fabulous….

Gloves Randolph Street Market

And the delicious Marilyn Monroe performing “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” in Gentlemen Prefer Blonds!

Gloves Randolph Street Market

And on the covers of magazines…

Gloves Randolph Street Market

A “pair” of books on gloves…

Gloves Randolph Street Market
Gloves Randolph Street Market

And a “bouquet” of gloves…

Gloves Randolph Street Market

All photos, unless otherwise noted, from Pinterest photo credits unknown. Reprinted with permission from Randolph Street Market Blog, January 2020. FASHION TREND REPORT EXCLUSIVELY FOR RANDOLPH STREET MARKET BY NENA IVON, nenasnotes