Monday, July 6, 2015

Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors Reportedly Leaving Lincoln Center

Lincoln Center

      PULLING UP STAKES: Could more designers be vacating the New York Fashion Week tents at Lincoln Center in February?
      On the heels of Vera Wang and Carolina Herrera saying they plan to leave Lincoln Center to show at an off-site location in February came reports Friday that Diane von Furstenberg and Michael Kors — two big-name designers who show in The Theater at Lincoln Center — might also be headed off-site.
A spokeswoman for Kors had no comment, and a spokeswoman for DVF couldn’t be reached at press time.
      There will still be plenty of action at Lincoln Center, with designers such as Monique Lhuillier, Tory Burch, Jill Stuart, Lela Rose, Milly, Nanette Lepore, Nicole Miller and BCBG among those confirmed to show in various venues within Lincoln Center.
      After numerous complaints last season, IMG has outlined several steps it is taking to better control the event and crowds and make the shows more exclusive to fashion insiders. The moves include a redesign of some of the on-site venues and price reductions for some of the venues. IMG also laid off several production staffers and plans to outsource production of the event. A spokesman for IMG declined comment about who would be showing at Lincoln Center until everything’s confirmed next month.
Forstmann Little & Co. sold IMG Worldwide to William Morris Endeavor and Silver Lake Partners last week for more than $2.3 billion.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Embattled Plus-Size Industry Is Taking Matters Into Its Own Hands

 This article inspired me to start working on collection for plus size models. Melissa McCarthy designs became my "obsession" sort of thing. I found it not fare that they don't have as much options as other size models to look fabulous and fashionable. For example please check similar article for plus size women. - from Author.

As a size 16 in Omaha, Nebraska, Hannah Olson often found herself with no other choice than to sew her own clothing in high school. There weren't any plus-size boutiques in her area, and the things that did fit her at local department stores were much too frumpy for a stylish teenager.
She taught herself how to sew and used online resources like Pinterest to learn more complicated skills. When family and friends began to make personal requests for custom pieces, Olson started her own fashion line, Hannah Caroline Couture.
The 19-year-old is now a junior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. On the side, she runs her company as an e-commerce venture and fills orders for proms and weddings; she estimates she makes around four pieces a month. She is taking business classes at school in hopes of figuring out how to build a profitable business that can exist long-term.
"There really aren't options for a girl like me in the plus-size areas of department stores, but I don’t think the industry is waiting any longer for traditional stores to carry the clothes we want," Olson says of her experience as a plus-size consumer. "These days, we go straight to the designer where we can build relationships and get better deals online."
And as a designer, she puts it this way: "It isn't necessarily a bad thing that department stores aren’t going to discover a line like mine because the need is there, whether or not they see it. I’d rather work directly with my customers."
sydney+plus+size+fashion+show | ... orange top worn by a model at this week's plus-size fashion show

When anyone talks about the plus-size fashion industry—designated as size 14 and up—the first thing that’s mentioned is opportunity. The market is valued at $17 billion, NPD chief analyst Marshal Cohen notes, though it's actually closer to $18 billion when the juniors segment is factored in.
But with the market’s prospects come plenty of shortcomings. Many plus-size women feel misrepresented and even disrespected when they shop for clothing. Despite the fact that 65 percent of American women are considered plus-size, plus-size fashion is still considered a niche market and treated as such by traditional retailers.
Trend-focused stores like Zara, Intermix, American Apparel, and Urban Outfitters don’t carry plus-size clothing, while Forever 21 and H&M offer just a tiny portion of their ranges in larger sizes. Department stores often also have sad excuses for plus-size sections.
"Plus-size has never been given respect," notes Sarah Conley, a 32-year-old plus-size fashion blogger living in New York City. "The clothing is always shoved next to maternity or sale, and is often moved around stores to make room for seasonal or beachwear. Even a store like Nordstrom, that is known to carry lots of plus-size lines, doesn’t carry options at all their locations."
The tide is turning, albeit slowly, with certain retailers giving the plus-size industry more thought in recent years. ModCloth expanded into plus-size in 2012, Target launched its own plus-size line Ava & Viv earlier this year, and J.C. Penney started making a lookbook for plus-size shoppers a few months ago. Despite these strides, plus-size insiders are far from satisfied.
"I made it to Target a few weeks after the Ava & Viv line launched, and it was just so sad," says Pamela Nanton, a designer who started her own plus-size brand, Ply Apparel, a year and a half ago. "The stuff looked great and sold out at first, but a few weeks later, it was just folded on tables and wasn't out on display. These are little jabs to the customer. Stores need to start doing these things with more thoughtful execution."
It’s for this reason that a crop of independent plus-size businesses have risen to the occasion. Last year, former employees of The Limited took over Eloquii (which the company had shut down) to transform it into a freestanding brand. Gabi Gregg, the blogger behind GabiFresh, launched her own swimsuit line, while blogger Tanesha Awasthi debuted a fashion-forward label on her site, Girl With Curves. Former model and blogger Aimee Cheshire started an online plus-size boutique, Hey Gorgeous, in 2013, and designer Ayanna Wu received lots of attention last month after launching her minimalist brand, Mei Smith. As Cohen of NPD explains, "How many times can a customer be insulted by the same store before they decide they want to give their business to people that actually put them first?"
Gregg has just released her third swimwear collection, and while several e-commerce businesses reached out to her (she currently sells it on Swimsuits for All), she has never been contacted by legacy retailers. She assumes this is because her suits are deemed too bold by conservative stores that still assume plus-size women want to cover up at the beach. This doesn’t bother her, she says, because she never needed those places to succeed in the first place.
Tara Lynn
"I’m planning on starting my own fashion line eventually, and it’s only going to be e-commerce," she says. "People always ask what stores my bikinis are in, and when I say none, they think they must not be good enough to be stocked in stores. But as a business decision, it just makes more sense to go straight for e-commerce."

Many designers are creating their own websites equipped with small e-commerce operations to sell their clothing. There are also sites like Hey Gorgeous and FullBeauty that stock a variety of indie labels, though these kinds of multi-brand retailers are few and far between.
"Before sites like FullBeauty opened, there was no place to sell," says designer Jessica Svoboda. "The problem is that there is limited distribution in the plus-size industry. You have maybe ten boutiques in the entire country that would sell your clothing, and you used to have to start by being in ten doors at Nordstrom to actually make money."
hair to cover the arms and a tight body suit in black.  perfect. covers the arms, but shows the shoulders.  Find your best  curvy looks at Monica Hahn Photography.
"Nobody else wanted to carry plus-size," she continues. "They maybe said they did and would stock one size up, but no one was interested in catering to this market. There’s no place for a plus-size designer to grow, and at this point, the customer has already been trained to shop online. Until there are more retail outlets and more places for designers to show their clothing, they are going online—there is nowhere else to sell."
With so many independent designers rushing to get their clothing online, there is fear that it's all too easy to get lost in the mix. This is why many in the plus-size space turn to industry events for exposure.
Olson, for example, flew to New York City last week to show her collection at Full Figured Fashion Week. Now in its seventh year of operation, FFFWeek brings together designers, models, and bloggers for runway shows and networking sessions.
FFFWeek doesn’t feel like your standard fashion industry affair—and it’s not just because attendees are actually excited to be there, shouting and clapping excitedly as outfits make their way down the runway. The women who attend FFFWeek are diverse not only in size, but also in race and style. They approach each other with genuine enthusiasm and engage in curious chatter whether they be total strangers or longtime friends.

Gwen DeVoe, a former model who works at Scholastic, started FFFWeek. Last year she made an announcement that 2014 would be the event's final run, but after snagging a sponsorship from Fruit of the Loom, she went full steam ahead with plans for FFFWeek 2015.
"I respect its position in that it started a big conversation and really has brought a lot of attention to the market," says Conley. "It’s all built on this social revolution that’s happened in the plus-size industry. Now you have everyone standing up and saying, ‘Enough is enough.’ If traditional fashion leadership is opposed to this market, it’s going to be self-validated and self-affirmed."
FFFWeek has gotten plenty of attention over the years; last year, the New Yorker proclaimed it was "reinventing plus-size style." But among all the passionate attendees, there is one group that's not represented: buyers.
Tara Lynn
Many who have attended FFFWeek in the past note that no one with actual purchasing power attends the event; they also lament a lack of investors looking to back brands. Admits Chrystal Jackson, owner of Atlanta’s Thiq Boutique, "This event is more about the camaraderie than buying."
"It’s all very limiting and a little bit disappointing," says one plus-size business owner who asked that her name not be published. "It isn’t done with business sensibility for the brands, and on top of that, you don’t have big money coming from important backers like the CFDA. Instead, you have money coming from people’s own pockets. You won’t see important buyers sitting in the front row. It’s limited in what it can do when it’s homegrown."
Still, FFFWeek has helped many designers gain the confidence to start their own lines. The week's kickoff is a press event held at a loft 17 stories above cell phone case kiosks and wholesale garment dealers in midtown Manhattan. A group of women swarm some 20 tables to swap businesses cards and chat about merchandise.
In one corner, Just Curves shows off the latest from its fitness apparel collection, a spandex bodysuit. A few tables down, the CEO of e-commerce site Qurvii gives her personal take on tunics to a stylist; next to her, a designer explains the name of her brand for the fourteenth time (spelled I’ME, it's pronounced I'm Me; "Why be anybody else???" is its tagline).
None of the designers seem to mind that investors and buyers are nowhere to be found. Here, it's about community and connection.
"It’s hard to get discovered by customers when there’s so much online," says Olson. "But there’s a lot of marketing that can be done at FFFWeek. I want to meet fashion bloggers in person and partner with them so they can do reviews and things like that."
This is the part of the reason bloggers Chastity Garner Valentine and CeCe Olisa decided to start a plus-size event of their own, The Curvy Con, which coincidentally also took place this past weekend in New York City. The event welcomed 500 paying guests from across the country to listen to panels and shop at a curated market.
"The plus-size community now is online—we all follow each other and talk to each other online, but it’s really rare to have us all in the same place at the same time," Olisa says. "It’s a positive and uplifting atmosphere," adds Conley. "You meet people who are excited about the same things you are, experience the same frustrations that you do."
Garner Valentine admits it was difficult getting The Curvy Con the sponsor money it needed this year; Monistat ended up being its top patron, pushing chafing relief powder gel at the first panel of the day. Garner Valentine says she’s happy plus-size designers are venturing out on their own because she believes legacy brands will not give shoppers what they actually want.
"It’s always an uphill battle to deal with brands. It’s almost like starting from the ground up," Olisa says. "The other thing to consider is that these brands have done a good job conditioning plus-size girls to feel like they don’t deserve anything beyond what they're given. They’ve made us believe we deserve to have our clothing shoved in the back, or in the basement, where 16-year-olds and 42-year-olds have the same options."
Mariah Chase, CEO of Eloquii, adds that it’s only natural the plus-size industry is taking matters into its own hands through direct sales—after all, that's the way successful startups like Bonobos and Glossier have made their mark in recent years.
"This is about the consumer finally stepping up to find a better experience," Chase says. "When a straight-size designer starts, she can present to different showrooms, show at fashion week, or pitch herself to any store. These options aren’t available for plus-size. Between finding space and finding investors, it’s hard, and until the conversation in fashion is opened entirely, you're left with direct-to-consumer."
This new direct-to-consumer model seems to have solved at least some of the problem of getting product to shoppers, but the plus-size business faces other challenges like getting customers to commit to higher price points. Hey Gorgeous's Cheshire told Racked earlier this year that the plus-size customer "hasn't been conditioned to enjoy fashion in the same way as her straight-size sisters. It's always been, 'I'm going to lose 20 pounds,' so they'll hold off on shopping."

"There’s still a lot of education that needs to happen," echoes Conley. "It’s going to take a lot of coaxing to bring her back into the fold to be able to buy that $300 dress. Plus-size women feel beaten down by the experience of shopping, so when you can’t find something that makes you feel good, you settle for something okay and get used to buying things for utility instead of fashion. That’s where the price sensitivity comes from."
Ply Apparel designer Nanton knows about that sensitivity firsthand; she says women are hesitant to invest in her $1,900 dresses and $600 skirts. She’s dressed celebrities like Orange is the New Black’s Adrienne Moore for the red carpet, but still struggles to convert customers who are used to buying "cheap, bodycon dresses." And while shoppers think she’s overpriced, upscale department stores won’t even consider her clothing.
"We’re kind of like the redheaded stepchild," Nanton’s husband and business partner Lamarr says. "High-end retailers like Barneys and Neiman Marcus aren’t catering to this customer. We’ve had meetings with Barneys buyers, and they say they love the product but don’t have room for it. But we don’t have competition because we aren’t creating cheap, Lane Bryant looks! No one is used to buying higher price points. We’re stuck in the in-between space."
As a response, the Nantons are launching a lower-priced line, PLY428, later this month. Still, Lamarr says the brand’s ultimate goal is to show the shopper she can buy "timeless pieces she can have for a lifetime."
"This market has an infinite amount of Target customers, but we see ourselves as more for the Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus customer. We might end up needing those stores to show the differentiation," he says. "Everyone will always talk about the potential of the plus-size industry, but it’s hard when there are a lot of customers but not enough retail outlets."
Eden Miller, the designer behind Cabiria, points to another problem in the industry, particularly when it comes to blogger-backed brands.
"I don’t think quality has been established," she admits. "Everyone is trying to run as fast as they can to put anything out. The entire industry has been swerving. They think a following is enough to capitalize on, as opposed to really believing in a product, so there’s a dearth of quality. It seems like everyone is designing for themselves, and I’m seeing the same thing over and over again. They say it’s for trend purposes, but these online stores have created an unrealistic expectation of how a garment should look, feel, and cost."
Thiq Boutique's Jackson is one of the few plus-size buyers in the market. She agrees that this new wave of businesses can be underwhelming.
"It’s not that we don’t want to give a designer a chance," she says. "If we see something with potential, we’ll reach out to that designer and see if there’s opportunity, but we haven’t seen enough versatility. These designers make pieces with only one style in mind."
Another plus-size boutique owner, who wished to remain anonymous, says she decided to stop working with independent plus-size designers entirely unless they're backed by major investors because many fledgling brands can't hold up their end of the deal: "A lot of these designers have good intentions, and certainly the passion is there, but there isn’t enough profit margin for them to make the same garments I request again and again."
Miller ultimately believes that most in the market won’t make it. With little visibility and paltry profits, brands will not be able to survive without big money; bloggers and designers will have to partner with big companies to really succeed.
"Those that are well-funded will have to team up with those who are well-followed," she says. "Indie brands won’t make money, but they can leverage their street-level experience to actually make a difference. I’m not saying brick-and-mortar is the future, but the greater market cannot sustain all these players without something more."

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Melissa McCarthy on Her Amazing Journey (and New Clothing Line!): 'I'm Having the Time of My Life'

Melissa McCarthy Talks Spy and New Clothing Line
      This article inspired me to start working on collection for plus size models. Melissa McCarthy designs became my "obsession" sort of thing. I found it not fare that they don't have as much options as other size models to look fabulous and fashionable. For example please check similar article for plus size women. - from Author.
Melissa McCarthy went from Illinois farm girl to the new queen of Hollywood, and she's having the time of her life. Subscribe now for McCarthy's exclusive interview on fame, fashion and making her own rules, only in PEOPLE!

No one would ever expect Melissa McCarthy to hold back when it comes to getting laughs. Yet for years, she says, Hollywood had certain expectations for female comedians. Being funny "couldn't be through your personality or actions, you just had to look crazy," she tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story.
Sitting down for an exclusive interview with PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly editorial director Jess Cagle (see the video here), McCarthy says her journey has been a lesson in pushing those limits. "I just think that we've gotten rid of, luckily, a lot of those guidelines," she adds. "Funny is funny, and it can come in 8 billion different shades and flavors, so I think it's silly to kind of limit it."

Now with her first summer action film, Spy, opening No. 1 at the box office, McCarthy is proving herself to be one of Hollywood's most bankable stars. "I'm having the time of my life," she says.
The film teamed her up again with her Bridesmaids and The Heat director, Paul Feig, and took McCarthy's love for dress-up to a whole new level. "I just think that wigs and makeup and costumes completely transform me," says the actress, who plays Susan Cooper, an office wallflower-turned-secret agent. "When I read a character that I really, really love, I know immediately what they look like. It's like I want to 100 percent become that person."

Melissa McCarthy reveals celebrity designers declined to make Oscars dresses in her size: 'They all said no'

This article inspired me to start working on collection for plus size models. Melissa McCarthy designs became my "obsession" sort of thing. I found it not fare that they don't have as much options as other size models to look fabulous and fashionable. For example please check similar article for plus size women. - from Author.

The 'Mike and Molly' star started a plus-size clothing line that was partially inspired by the challenges she met when trying to get designers to create her red carpet looks. 'I asked five or six designers,' she recalled.

Melissa McCarthy dresses to kill on red carpets despite designers declining to make dresses in her size.
"Two Oscars ago, I couldn't find anybody to do a dress for me," the 43-year-old actress told Redbook in the July cover story.
"I asked five or six designers," she continued. "Very high-level ones who make lots of dresses for people, and they all said no."
The rejections didn't slow "The Heat" star down one bit. In fact, it's one thing that inspired her plus-size clothing line.
"When I go shopping, most of the time I'm disappointed," she added.
McCarthy's confidence shines through straight to her marriage to Ben Falcone, who played the air marshal in "Bridesmaids."

"Success doesn't define us, even though we love what we do," she said of her husband of nine years. "The important thing is our family and kids."
The couple shares two children together — Georgette, 3, and Vivian, 6 — and McCarthy keeps them grounded by being real about fame.
"She asked me, 'Are you famous?'" McCarthy said of her oldest daughter. "Famous doesn't mean anything. Just because people know my face doesn't mean they know us or that it makes us any more interesting or better."
The "Mike and Molly" star recalled a time when she wasn't under the Hollywood spotlight and admitted it was probably better for her not to have fame and fortune at that time.
"I see teenagers or people who are 21 and think, 'I was an idiot at that age,'" she said. "I was running around New York like a crazy woman. Thank God I only had three-and-a-half cents to my name. I was too immature to handle success then."

The Ultimate New York City Plus Size Shopping Guide

I found interesting articles about plus size designs. I believe fashion has to be fashionable for everyone. It made me thinking more and more after Melissa McCarthy interview. And then I started sketching plus size designs to be able to fit not just to actress needs but to ordinary people . Melissa McCarthy designs became my "obsession" sort of thing.  - from Author

When it comes to affordable fashion, plus size ladies have loads of online options (Asos! Modcloth! eShakti!), but picking up a last-minute look that’s both stylish and budget-friendly IRL can be a bit trickier. That’s why we tapped Sarah Conleyfashion blogger, casual red lipstick-wearer, and social media manager for the excellent plus size e-tailer Eloquii—to take us on a tour of her favorite New York City shops. "I think for a long time, plus size women just had to pick from what was available," Conley says. "Now, with so many new brands emerging, we’re really having the opportunity to explore our own personal styles." Tag along as she gets fancy, reveals her secret tall-girl shoe source, and shares some styling tricks women of any size can copy (for example, wearing two fur stoles at once, like a boss).

Rent The Runway: 16 W 18th St.

First stop: Rent the Runway! At the online rental shop's brick and mortar location, customers can try on dresses they've mused about online. Pro tip: while the Flatiron store carries sizes 14 through 22, it's best to call a few days ahead if there's a particular plus size style you have your eye on. That way, if it's not on hand, Rent the Runway's stylists have time to pull it from the company's massive warehouse (along with any other picks they think you might be into).  

Sarah arrives Eloquii'd out in the brand's jeweled sweatshirt and cobalt 'Studio' midi skirt ($89.90), and gets straight to browsing. " I love a midi skirt because it makes my waist look smaller and masks wider hips," she says.
Next up is a floral Eloquii dress ($40 rental fee). "I love the really bold print contrasted with the solid sleeves and the mesh," says Sarah. "You can wear it now with tights, and it make you look like you’re looking forward to happier weather, which is really important these days"
Sarah swings by the accessories table before heading out the door. Onto the next stop!  

Intimacy: 104 5th Avenue

Intimacy is Sarah's go-to for lingerie. The mini-chain specializes in bra fittings, and stocks hard-to-find cup sizes. But, before we head inside—an outfit shot! Sarah is wearing a quilted leather jacket from Lane Bryant, studded Docs, a Sunday Somewhere backpack, and two faux fur Zara stoles—a longer one to belt, and a shorter one to keep her neck warm (a pretty genius styling trick). 
Sarah grabs three bras by her favorite lingerie labels, Panache and Elomi, and heads through the beaded curtain to the dressing room.  

Lord & Taylor: 424 5th Avenue


The last stop of the day is Lord & Taylor, where Sarah spots a neoprene Calvin Klein dress ($139.50). "The green is such a fresh color, especially with the weather right now," she says. "The A-line shape and scuba fabric are also very flattering, and this dress will transition very easily into spring through summer."
A Calvin Klein moto jacket ($139.50) finishes off the look. Shopping day = successful.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bonnie Cashin is a pioneer in the sportswear industry and first designer of Coach handbags!

             One of America’s foremost designers in the second half of the twentieth century, Bonnie Cashin (1908 – 2000) was a pioneer in the sportswear industry, specializing in modular wardrobes for the modern woman “on the go.” Her lifelong interest in clothing design, however, encompassed a number of careers on both American coasts. Growing up in California, Cashin worked as an apprentice in a series of dressmaking shops owned and operated by her mother, Eunice. In her teens she worked as a fashion illustrator and dance costume designer. Between 1943 and 1949 she costumed more than sixty films at Twentieth Century-Fox. It was not until midcentury, when she was over forty years old, that she began designing the ready-to-wear for which she became best known.
              Cashin favored timeless shapes from the history of clothing, such as ponchos, tunics, Noh coats, and kimonos, which allowed for ease of movement and manufacture. Approaching dress as a form of collage or kinetic art, she favored luxurious, organic materials that she could “sculpt” into shape, such as leather, suede, mohair, wool jersey, and cashmere, as well as nonfashion materials, including upholstery fabrics. Cashin’s aim was to create “simple art forms for living in, to be re-arranged as mood and activity dictates” (Interview 1999).

Early Years

                As a girl moving along the California coastline, Cashin developed a love for travel and a keen eye for the clothing of different cultures, which would underpin her later professional work. This interest in “why people looked the way they did” placed her in good stead to begin work in 1924, alongside Helen Rose, as a costume designer for the Los Angeles dance troupe Fanchon and Marco. In 1934 her producers took over performances at New York’s Roxy Theater and asked Cashin to join them as costumer for the Roxyette dance line, the precursors and rivals to the Rockettes.

Fashion and Film

                In 1937 the Harper’s Bazaar editor Carmel Snow, an admirer of Cashin’s costume designs, encouraged Bonnie to work in fashion and arranged for her to become the head designer for the prestigious coat and suit manufacturer Adler and Adler. Owing to the wartime focus on American fashion design, she became so well recognized that she was commissioned to design World War II civilian defense uniforms and was featured in a Coca-Cola advertisement. By 1942, however, Cashin felt boxed in by wartime restrictions. She returned to California to sign a six-year contract as a costume designer with Twentieth Century-Fox.
Cashin designed costumes for the female characters in more than sixty films. Her favorite projects, Laura (1944), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), and Anna and the King of Siam (1946), also became American cinematic classics. Designing for the lavish productions that typified Hollywood’s golden age, she was expected to make innovative use of the day’s finest materials to create historical, fantasy, and contemporary wardrobes. She used the resources at the Fox studios to experiment with designs for “real” clothing that she wore and made in custom versions for her leading ladies’ offscreen wardrobes.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 

 Anna and the King of Siam

Return to Ready-to-Wear

               Cashin returned to New York, and to Adler and Adler, in 1949. She received the unprecedented honor of earning both the Neiman Marcus Award and the Coty Fashion Critic’s Award within the same year (1950). Displeased, however, with her manufacturer’s control over her creativity, she decided to challenge the setup of the fashion industry. Working with multiple manufacturers, she designed a range of clothing at different price points, thereby specializing in complete wardrobes for “my kind of a girl for a certain kind of living.”
                In 1953 Cashin teamed with the leather importer and craftsman Philip Sills and initiated the use of leather for high fashion. She made her name through her unconventional choices in materials as well as her inexhaustible variations on her favorite theme of adapting the flat, graphic patterns of Asian and South American clothing to contemporary global living. Through her work for Sills and Company, she is credited with introducing “layering” into the fashion lexicon. In turn, she credited the Chinese tradition of dressing for, and interpreting the weather as, a “one-shirt day” or a “seven-shirt day.” Her layered garments snugly nestled within one another and were easily converted to suit different temperatures and activities by donning or removing a layer. Cashin’s objective was to create a flexible wardrobe for her own globe-trotting lifestyle, wherein seasonal changes were only a plane trip away. Frustrated by the categorization of sportswear designer, she declared that travel was her “favorite sport.”

Coach and the Cashin Look

                In 1962 Cashin became the first designer of Coach handbags and initiated the use of hardware on clothing and accessories, including the brass toggle that became Coach’s hallmark. She revolutionized the handbag industry. Unlike contemporary rigid, hand-held bags, her vividly colored “Cashin-Carries” for Coach packed flat and had wide straps, attached coin purses, industrial zippers, and the famous sturdy brass toggles, the last inspired by the hardware used to secure the top on her convertible sports car.
Without licensing her name, Cashin designed cashmere separates, gloves, canvas totes, at-home gowns and robes, raincoats, umbrellas, and furs. She also ran the Knittery, a consortium of British mills that produced one-of-a-kind sweaters knit to shape, rather than cut and sewn. Among many other industry awards, she received the Coty award five times and entered their hall of fame in 1972; in 2001 was honored with a plaque on the Fashion Walk of Fame on Seventh Avenue in New York City.

                Cashin worked until 1985, when she decided to focus on painting and philanthropy. Among several scholarships and educational programs, she established the James Michelin Lecture Series at the California Institute of Technology. Cashin died in New York on 3 February 2000 from complications during heart surgery. In 2003 the Bonnie Cashin Collection, consisting of her entire design archive and endowments for design-related lecture series and symposia, was donated to the Department of Special Collections within the Charles E. Young Research Library at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Activewear. Flash back

Cindy Crawford By Photographer Irving Penn For Vogue US, 1989 

Cindy Crawford By Photographer Irving Penn For Vogue US, 1989

           The clothing known as activewear in the early 2000s traces its origins back to the high-performance sportswear designed for mountaineering, sailing, and hiking that became popular among urban youth during the 1970s. By the 1980s, such utilitarian styles swept through college campuses in North America, and, subsequently, sneakers were worn with suits, backpacks replaced briefcases, anoraks were paired with deck shoes, and sweatshirts were combined with khaki trousers or jeans. As the style began to characterize the sporty chic of city dwellers and coed campus life, activewear became a staple of the modern wardrobe.

            While activewear is often regarded as a contemporary style, the combination of street clothes, travel accessories, and sportswear is nothing new. In the 1930s and 1940s, the American designers Bonnie Cashin, Claire McCardell, and Vera Maxwell updated garments produced for travel, leisure, and sport with vestiges of high fashion. The designers made functionality a statement of style by producing easy-fit, loosely constructed clothing in fabrics such as wool, denim, and calico. One of Cashin’s signature garments was an overcoat with an integral purse, while Maxwell designed a jacket with built-in bags rather than pockets. Such garments were conceived as urban tools that expanded into wearable luggage, widening the appeal of apparel that could maximize the performance of clothing as well as the body’s ability to transport necessities with ease.

1930s Summer Wear Ad

Vogue June 1 1940, Lisa Fonssagrives - #Vintage #yoga Loved and pinned by #deyogatempel 

Vogue June 1 1940, Lisa Fonssagrives

         For several decades, activewear was characterized by bulky, loose-fitting garments. As the body-conscious styles of the 1990s took hold, activewear gradually became more tailored and form-fitting, yet continued to suit the active leisure interests of urban dwellers. Dress codes became more fluid as Rollerbladers, inner-city cyclists, and speed-walking pedestrians dressed in smart basics that moved easily and provided protection from adverse weather. Mobility and versatility became key considerations for professionals, who started commuting to work in sneakers and multifunctional outer garments. Many were made with detachable hoods that transformed overcoats into raincoats as they were buttoned or zipped into place, or designed with removable collars and detachable sleeves that could be adapted to weather changes.
The hoods, zip-front seams, windproof jackets, pouch pockets, Velcro, and magnetic fastenings of activewear have become part of the everyday fashion vocabulary, along with drawstrings fitted at the neck, sleeve, and waist to make zippers and buttons redundant. Maharishi popularized these tailoring details on the catwalk as the 1990s drew to a close, updating them with elements of occupational uniforms to create a signature militaristic style. The rise of activewear’s popularity throughout the 1990s indicated that the traditional compartmentalized wardrobe no longer sustained shifting social and cultural needs. As the style formed an essential part of the modern wardrobe, it encouraged the movement of materials and technologies across disciplines, moving high-tech fabrics into the collections of forward-thinking fashion designers. Activewear’s multifunctional, dynamic features seemed to herald the dawn of twenty-first century fashion in garments that fused fashion with high-performance sportswear.
              Labels such as CP Company, Mandarina Duck, Issey Miyake, Vexed Generation, and Final Home were among the first to use advanced textile technology to create an edgy, urban aesthetic in designs as durable as they were chic. CP Company led the pack with designs that transcended fashion altogether; their overcoats transformed into one-person tents or inflated into air mattresses, and their parkas puffed up into armchairs. The garments are transformed by the wearers themselves, introducing a notion of technical skill required beyond the point of purchase. Likewise, the “Jackpack,” designed by Mandarina Duck in Italy, integrated a backpack’s straps, fastenings, and compartments within the fabric of the jacket’s back panel. By taking the jacket off, turning it inside out, and folding the sleeves, lapels, and fabric panels into an internal pouch, the structure of the garment was completely transformed. The pouch contains other zippered compartments for stowing away shopping or other items of clothing. Issey Miyake, for his “Transformer” series, also designed cotton jackets that concealed a nylon raincoat within.

Mandarina_Duck_Journal_Img_385x385 – 2
Mandarina Duck
            The British fashion duo Vexed Generation countered the problems of modern life with clothing crafted from bullet-proof and slash-proof materials. Their designs combined high-performance fabrics with cutting-edge street style in garments incorporating many of the functions associated with protective clothing. Temperature-regulating materials manufactured for sportswear were incorporated into their winter coats, ending the need for bulky layering. By lining jackets and overcoats with phase-change materials such as Outlast, Vexed Generation created outer garments that could function as personal thermostats. Tiny paraffin capsules in the phase-change fabrics expand when body temperature climbs, absorbing the heat. Once body temperature drops below 98.6° F (37° C), they contract, releasing the heat they have stored. By maintaining a mean temperature within changing climatic environments, Vexed Generation created a comfort zone for the wearer.
The Vexed Parka created in 1994 a very popular design by Vexed.
               The Japanese designer Kosuke Tsumura’s signature garment, the Final Home jacket, expands the mobility of activewear into an expression of architecture as he claims that clothing constitutes the ultimate shelter. The multifunctional, transparent jacket is a nylon sheath equipped with forty-four zippered pockets that can be lined with warm materials for extra insulation, or cushion the wearer when sitting or reclining. Tsumura sees the jacket as a protective shell that enables the wearer to withstand harsh weather conditions. Along with personal items and accessories, Tsumura suggests that some of the pockets be filled with survival rations and practical supplies, eliminating the need for backpacks, shopping bags, luggage, and even tool kits.

Kosuke Tsumura in LOVE Exhibition 20130810
Final Home Jacket
            As fashion consumers continue looking to activewear to reconcile the demands of the modern lifestyle, the boundaries between street clothes, office attire, and sportswear are blurring even further. High-performance designs and technologically advanced textiles are common to all three, as comfort, flexibility, and protection become central to all parts of the modern wardrobe. As the garments are updated with innovations that transcend conventional clothing, activewear is proving to be one of the fastest moving areas of fashion in the early 2000s. New tailoring techniques radically streamline the designs each season, and future styles of activewear portend such sophistication that the gym is probably the last place one can expect to see them.

1970s Active Wear Pattern-1979 McCalls 6469- Sporty Roller-Boogie Hoodie, Top, Shorts, Pants- 31 Bust. $2.00, via Etsy. 

1980s 'Red Robin' Active Leisure Wear, (Australian brand) photo Bruno Bernini 

1980s 'Red Robin' Active Leisure Wear, (Australian brand) photo Bruno Bernini

80s 90s Neon Glow Green and Black Bikini Top // by VelvetWillows 

80s 90s Neon Glow Green and Black Bikini Top // by VelvetWillows

Friday, March 27, 2015

Edith Head Biography

Edith Head Biography

Fashion Designer (1897–1981)
      Edith Head was one of the most prolific costume designers in 20th century film, winning a record eight Academy Awards. She's known for films such as 'All About Eve,' 'Roman Holiday' and 'The Sting.'
     Born on October 28, 1897, Edith Head became chief designer at Paramount Pictures in 1933 and later worked at Universal Studios. Hollywood's best-known designer, Head's costumes ranged from the elegantly simple to the elaborately flamboyant. She won a record eight Academy Awards for her work in films such as All About Eve (1950), Roman Holiday (1953), The Facts of Life (1960) and The Sting (1973).

Early Life and Education
     Legendary American costume designer Edith Head was born Edith Claire Posener on October 28, 1897, in San Bernardino, California, the daughter of a mining engineer. Head relocated several times during her youth, growing up largely in Arizona, Nevada and Mexico. After graduating from Los Angeles High School, she attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in letters and sciences (earning honors in French), and then went on to enroll at Stanford University, where she earned a Master of Arts degree in romance languages in 1920.

Commercial and Artistic Success
     After receiving her M.A., Edith Head served a brief stint as a schoolteacher. Then, in 1923, Head landed the position of sketch artist, then design assistant at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. In 1938, Head was named chief designer at Paramount Pictures. She remained at Paramount for 44 years until 1967 when she moved to Universal Studios, where she became known for personally phoning producers and directors who were working on important films for the studio to offer her services.
Head received her first Academy Award nomination (Best Costume Design, Color; shared with designer Gile Steele) in 1949, for her design work in the 1948 film The Emperor Waltz, starring Joan Fontaine (Johanna Augusta Franziska) and Bing Crosby (Virgil Smith). Head won her first Oscar (Best Costume Design, Black-and-White; shared with designer Gile Steele) in 1950, for her costume work in 1949's The Heiress.
     Head's costumes ranged from the elegantly simple to the elaborately flamboyant. The celebrated visionary continued to be an artistic force with other films from the decade, including All About Eve (1950), Roman Holiday (1953), Sabrina (1954), To Catch a Thief (1955), The Ten Commandments (1956) and Houseboat (1958). And the 1960s saw Head serving as designer for movies like The Nutty Professor (1963), The Carpetbaggers (1964), the Natalie Wood comedies Sex and the Single Girl (1964) and Penelope (1966), Chuka (1967) and Barefoot in the Park (1967), among many other projects.

Record-Setting Oscar Wins
     By 1970, Head had received her 31st Oscar nomination, specifically for her work on Bob Fosse's 1969 musical Sweet Charity, starring Shirley MacLaine (Charity) and Ricardo Montalban (Vittorio). Head had also reunited with iconic director Alfred Hitchcock (the two had worked together on previous Hitchcock films like Rear WindowVertigo and The Birds) for Topaz (1969), and with George Roy Hill for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. She later called the latter film her favorite movie, stating, "In terms of sheer entertainment, not in terms of my designing ... It had everything—humor, action, romance and the two handsomest men in Hollywood." 
In 1978, Head was honored with her last Oscar nomination (Best Costume Design; shared with Burton Miller), for her design work in Airport '77. She had won her eighth and last Oscar four years earlier, in 1974—setting the record for most Oscars won by a woman (a record she still holds today)—for her work in Hill's The Sting (1973).

Later Years and Legacy
     By the end of her lifetime, Edith Head had secured her legacy as Hollywood's best-known costume designer. During her career, Head worked on more than 1,100 films, received 35 Oscar nominations and took home eight statues. She was also known for having designed uniforms for female members of the U.S. Coast Guard towards the end of the 1970s. She also authored the books The Dress Doctor (1959), How to Dress for Success (1967) and the posthumous, autobiographical Edith Head's Hollywood (1983). 
The iconic designer died on October 24, 1981, at the age of 83, in Hollywood, California.