Domesticating Your Designer Helmet

Top Row: Gaetano Navarra, Giles Deacon, Narciso Rodriguez. Bottom Row: Karl Largerfeld, Nina Ricci, Giles Deacon Though the current runways may suggest otherwise, this is not the first time that helmets have been a desirable accessory. Before it was the boys of WWII that loved their helmets and took them wherever they went. WWII helmets may not have had fur or ...
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Marché de la Mode Vintage: Lyon, France

The first vintage fashion market in Lyon was held in 2002, and since then the show has only gotten bigger and better. The decades represented usually fall between the ‘50s-‘80s and include fabrics, notions, jewelry and even some furniture. In addition to clothing vendors, there's also a vintage fashion show, photography exhibition, hair/makeup artists on hand for "vintage" transformations, and ...
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Beach Bound Beauty Standard: Flapper to Pin-Up

As we all prepare to hit the beaches this summer, I thought a vintage bathing suit comparison would be appropriate and, of course, fun. While I could have shown a picture of bathing suits from every decade, the major shift happened between the flapper and the pin-up. Before the ‘20s bathing suits were wool, and the further back we go ...
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You Can Stand Under My Vintage Umbrella

Whether it’s a residual influence from Rihanna’s summer hit, or just a change in the wind, umbrella shapes may be popping up in your fall and winter wardrobe. Umbrella skirt shapes, acting as the modern crinoline, and umbrella hats appeared on the 2009 F/W runways. From Alexander McQueen to Erin Featherstone, designers are embracing the shape and mechanics of this ...
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Lady GaGa Channels 1920s Silent Movie Metropolis

Lady Gaga’s new epic music video for her single Paparazzi leaked onto the internet yesterday. Forgive the screenshots, but I had to call out this homage to Metropolis. Metropolis is a famous 1927 silent film about a city in the year 2000.  It contains the robot Maria in her iconic gold machinist costume. Lady Gaga may have sexed up her ...
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Recession Fashion Welcomes You Back to the ’40s

Padded shoulders and hips, cinched waists and crazy platform shoes: welcome back to 1940’s fashion. It’s no coincidence that the shoes are getting higher and the shoulder pads are getting bigger, its all part of the recession fashion plan. And while this go-around of power looks does have some ‘80s references as well, the ‘40s is definitely a major under ...
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A Possible “Goodbye” to Lacroix

With the 1980s inspiring modern high fashion, one would think that Christian Lacroix would be hanging on through hard times. However, the king of ‘80s dresses and the house responsible for much of the iconic fashion excess of the Reagan years filed for Bankruptcy today. The future of the brand has yet to be determined, but even a restructured Lacroix ...
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The Original Barney’s New York

Inspired by yesterday’s post regarding old advertising in menswear, I dug up this old matchbook for Manhattan’s original Barney’s. I found this matchbook in the pocket of an antique overcoat that was dated 1905; the matchbook probably dates within a year of the opening of Barney's original store in 1923. The coat came from a Hells Kitchen estate in which ...
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Clothes (don’t) Make the Man

Although Mark Twain might disagree, a hilarious 1930s article from Esquire posted on the Black Watch blog suggests that clothes do not make the man. And what is even more amusing is that the article is attempting to sell dapper, fashion trends even though the author is condemning fashion articles that purport that dressing well will aid success. But whether ...
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Balenciaga Hearts Vintage

I am always looking for the vintage reference in every modern piece of clothing I see. However, for those who would take the most modern fashion over an older garment, historical references in progressive designer collections are often lost. Nicholas Ghesquiere is no stranger to vintage inspirations.  His praiseworthy fall/winter 2009 collection has its roots deep in fashion history. The ...
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Going, Going, Gone

After working for Sotheby’s for many years, Kerry Taylor left to start her own auction company specializing in clothing and textiles.  Her new company has auctioned off the famous collections of Daphne Guinness and Jerry Hall. Her upcoming auction, Passion for Fashion, on June 17th will not disappoint with three centuries of couture and accessories featuring standout pieces from many ...
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WWII Artful Accessories in Paris

Yesterday an exhibit with over 300 fashion accessories from 1940-1944 opened at the Mémorial du Marechal Leclerc de Hauteclocque et de la Libération in Paris. The show celebrates the creativity in fashion born out of wartime material restrictions and world turmoil. It features homemade objects to couture and even some accessories that have a double wartime purpose; obviously nothing is ...
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The Grandfather of Graphics

While it’s rare to find men’s clothing from the ‘20s and before it is much more typical to find finer clothing such as tuxedos, formal jackets and vests. Workwear and sportswear is almost impossible to find; men not only wore their everyday clothing out, but wives typically outlived their husbands and tossed whatever clothing survived after their passing. The fact ...
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Happy B-Day Mr. President: Marilyn’s Dress Does London

Deep in the heart of the fantastic London vintage shop, The Girl Can’t Help It, lies a lace wiggle dress owned and worn by Marilyn Monroe herself. And what better way to celebrate the 47th anniversary of Marilyn’s serenade to Mr. Kennedy than seeing one of her own enticing cocktail numbers. Yes, 47 years ago today Marilyn sang her famous ...
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The Ousider Artist’s Croquis

The childlike charm of outsider art has made these pieces increasingly popular in the last few decades; untrained artists in their own world create informal and interesting works that fit in perfectly with the eclecticism and quirkiness of modern decorating. This example from the Brimfield Antique show has more appeal than just a piece of outsider art as so much ...
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