THEATRE OF FASHION - 20C VINTAGE  CONTEMPORARY FASHION

The Theatre of Fashion Blog

Fashion Blog, Ideas, thoughts, histories, filmstars, styles, and some of our most beautiful items.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
Administrator

Administrator

THEATRE of FASHION


20th Century Vintage & Contemporary


beautiful sexy nostalgic clothing for artists poets thinkers dreamers lovers adventurers peacemakers revolutionaries ~ be the drama you want to see in the world


Click - Shop

red-maxi-dresses-long-sleeve-red-dress-654.jpgRed

Red", I write "is the color of life. It's blood, passion, rage...Beginnings and violent end. Red is the color of love. Beating hearts and hungry lips. Roses, Valentines, cherries. Red is the color of shame. Crimson cheeks and spilled blood. Broken hearts, opened veins. A burning desire to return to white...” ~ Mary Hogan, Pretty Face

 

Click to buy beautiful red vintage dresses 

 

I love bright red drinks, don’t you? They taste twice as good as any other color.”  ~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

 

 

“And whenever I'm in a situation where I'm wearing the same as 600 other people and doing the same thing as 600 other people, looking back, I always found ways to make myself different, whether it be having a red lining inside of my jacket, having red shoes, it hasn't changed.” ~ Jeremy Irons

 

 

If fashion is a language, colour is one of its main means of expression...” (Veronica Culatti), and this could not be any more apparent than the colour red in fashion.

 

The colour red garners the most powerful and provocative reaction of all the colours. So stimulating, it can increase the heart rate ~ red is passionate, vibrant, intense and the strongest of all the ‘warm’ colours. It is associated with energy and strength and danger ~ and also has erotic undercurrents which very often manifests in fashion and films and femme fatales as red lipstick accentuating the mouth, or bright red painted nails, and of course the show stopping move stars in red maxi dresses. It is the colour of scandal, and of rage, and also, especially in ancient heraldry, used to indicate courage.

 

red-maxi-dresses-long-sleeve-red-dress-67.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_red-maxi-dresses-long-sleeve-red-dress-87.jpgToday, in Western culture, red is associated with sexuality, whilst in the East, it is a celebratory colour and a symbol of love, with both a short or a long sleeve red dress worn by brides in much of Eastern culture. Red has always been strongly associated with love, thus, red and it’s lighter shade pink, have become the symbolic colours of St Valentine’s Day. And think of the famous love song by Chris de Burgh, ‘Lady in Red’...which he wrote as a love song about his wife Diane.

 

Without a doubt red gets noticed, whether indicating VIP status on the red carpet, or signalling drivers to stop, our brains are trained to pay attention to red. Socially, red most symbolically represents power. This can often mean, among other things, sexual prowess ~ as has consistently been portrayed in pop culture and popular fashion. For instance, Jessica Rabbit, who famously wears a body-hugging red dress in her cartoon manifestation of powerful and overt sexual allure, or more recently, the most famous of all the contemporary  red maxi dresses, the attention grabbing and gorgeous red chiffon dress designed and worn by the famous, independent and successful model and now business woman, Kate Moss at the preview to her premium fashion collaboration with Topshop.

 

red-maxi-dresses-long-sleeve-red-dress_20140507-061705_1.jpgDuring the 1950s, many fashion designers looked to Spain for inspiration, and the rich ruby red adored by the passionate Mediterranean cultures became the colour very often worn by movie stars wanting to be centre stage. Brigitte Bardot, Liz Taylor, and Ava Gardner all chose myriad red dresses ~ and in the 1953 box office hit Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell wore the unforgettable and famous sequined red maxi dresses ~ with matching red lipstick! In the 1957 film Funny Face, the fabulous Audrey Hepburn glides down the steps of the Louvre in a show-stopping silk confection by Hubert de Givenchy ~ another of the very iconic red maxi dresses made famous by film stars throughout the decades.

 


Whether channelling Maid Marian in her medieval long sleeve red dress in rich opulent velvet or wearing the more contemporary bias cut red maxi dresses, in luxury silks and satins, red has had us transfixed for generations. In divine red lace or soft red chiffon by
 Valentino, or in rich red with ornate brocade embellishment by Galliano for Christian Dior haute couture, or wearing the ever contemporary and sought after, sell out, maxi red dresses by Topshop or other high street hot spots, all women love to wear
red...sometimes, often, always. Worn by a beautiful bride or bridesmaid, to a masquerade ball or an evening soiree, to a red carpet event, or for a Valentine’s Day, or night, liaison...the colour red, and red maxi dresses especially, have the power to entice,b2ap3_thumbnail_red-maxi-dresses-long-sleeve-red-dress-01_20140507-062103_1.jpg inspire, seduce and provoke...and it is certainly a colour we just adore it with a never ending passion. 

 

“Your red dress,’ she said, and laughed.

 

But I looked at the dress on the floor and it was as if the fire had spread across the room. It was beautiful and it reminded me of something I must do. I will remember I thought. I will remember quite soon now...”  ~  Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea

 

“Designers want me to dress like Spring, in billowing things. I don't feel like Spring. I feel like a warm red Autumn...” ~ Marilyn Monroe

 

“I want to be different. If everyone is wearing black, I want to be wearing red.” ~ Maria Sharapova

 

Follow Theatre Of Fashion's board red dress red maxi dresses lace red dress on Pinterest.

LINKS

 

 

 

 

Hits: 12785 Continue reading

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...”

― Susan Polis Schutz

A fashion short directed by Naomi Christie starring Mckenna Waitley. 

 

LINKS

1970s fashion ~ 70s shoes ~ 70s outfits ~ 70s clothing ~ Hippie, Festival, Gypsy

Tagged in: Summer

ossie-clark-1970s-fashion-70s-clothing-5_20140503-001338_1.jpgHigh on the list of designers past and present who had, and continue to have, a major impact on fashion, especially on the 1960s and 1970s fashion scene, is Ossie Clark ~ arguably the most gifted British designer of his generation and renowned for his vintage 60s and 70s clothing by present-day designers all over the world. 

 

 

As a major figure on the 1960s and 1970s fashion scene and an absolute innovator of those decades’ style, he flew the flag for designs which were smart, beautiful and desirable, producing the most fabulous designs in collaboration with print designer Celia Birtwell. The partnership with Birtwell would last for almost all of Clark's fashion career and in addition to being his undoubted muse (and later, his wife), it was her designs that he used to create his.

 

When Alice Pollock's exclusive boutique Quorum featured his designs in 1966, Ossie Clark quickly got noticed. Quorum was part of the new London boutique culture. This new and radical retail concept of the ‘boutique’ had a huge impact on the way 1970s fashion was sold ~ and these boutiques, such as Quorum, produced unique and innovative clothing which was often romantic and dreamy while endorsing an identity of individuality, freedom and rebellion which reflected the tastes of the owners and designers alike.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_ossie-clark-1970s-fashion-70s-clothing.jpgClark’s design style in the mid 60s was heavily influenced by pop-art, Bridget Riley’s Op-art, David Hockney (whose iconic portrait ‘Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy’ hangs in London’s Tate Gallery) and Hollywood glamour ~ and he’s undoubtedly renowned for his vintage 70s clothing: exquisite, flowing maxi dresses in fabulous colours and bold flower prints, smocks in chiffon, and sleek halter-neck dresses, bold and pain or in stunning patterns. His love of blissful, muted colours and moss crepe fabric was also well known ~ and adored ~ as was his fondness for Fortuny-style pleats on dresses and coats. (Fortuny was an early 20th century Italian designer, experimental and innovative, who hand-crafted pleats of fine silk which held their shape and flowed on the body. No one has been able to recreate pleating as fine, or dresses that have held their shape so perfectly, for many years. Indeed, Fortuny’s dresses are now seen as skilled works of art ~ as are Clark’s designs ~ and many survive, still pleated, in museums and personal collections all over the world.).

 

In the late 60s and especially in the early 70s, Ossie Clark hit a rich vein with his flamboyant 60s and 70s clothing. Dubbed "The King Of King's Road", his clients were beautiful and famous and adored his exquisitely tailored and sensual pieces, and Ossie’s list of clients featured such iconic peers as Julie Christie, Twiggy, Penelope Tree, Marianne Faithfull, Talitha Getty, Mick and Bianca Jagger, Jean Shrimpton, The Beatles, Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minnelli, Marc Bolan and Jimi Hendrix ~ to name but a few. He dressed, in the most beautiful and flamboyant 70s clothing, the rich and famous who inhabited the ‘beau monde’ of late 1960s and early 1970s London, while his popularity also extended to New York cool and Paris chic.

 

ossie-clark-1970s-fashion-70s-clothing-70.jpg

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_ossie-clark-1970s-fashion-70s-clothing-1.jpgIn 1967, Clark presented his first fashion show under the patronage of Radley, a seminal turning point in the history of fashion shows ~ his initial London collection was the first British fashion show to feature black models. In1968 he designed the first of many diffusion lines for Radley. The label ‘Ossie Clark for Radley’ would make his coveted late 60s and early 70s clothing available to a high street clientele and here he found another very appreciative audience who again adored his 70s outfits with as much desire as his couture clientele.

 

ossie-clark-1970s-fashion-70s-clothing-4.jpgAside from the obvious attraction and desirability of his sought after creations, his genuine appreciation of the female form ~ and an inherent understanding of how women wanted to look and feel ~ gave an enviable yet admired credence to his work and played a huge role in the popularity of his 70s outfits, from his sensual maxi dresses to his languid trouser suits.  His great idol was the famous dancer Nijinsky, and his love of dance inspired his clothes to be free moving and unrestrictive to the female form, a style that became very popular in 1970s fashion thanks largely to the esteem and influence of Clark's clothing.

 

ossie-clark-1970s-fashion-70s-clothing-3_20140503-002455_1.jpgThe sense of idealism, optimism, innovation, experimentation and revolution, in all spheres of society, and which permeated the 60s and 70s, was enhanced by an explosion of creativity and brilliance, and never more so than in fashion. Changing attitudes gave rise to a new-found sense of freedom as society discovered colour, flamboyance and style which liberated a multitude of groundbreaking fashion trends ~ and which translated into innovative 70s outfits which an eager audience of women craved, wanting something different which reflected their desire for new freedoms. Ossie Clark was among the shining lights of 1960s and 1970s fashion designers who left their mark and their legacy with a glorious imprint of definitive dressing that continues to inspire, excite, innovate and endure. His influence can be seen in collections by Marc Jacobs, Prada, Gucci, Anna Sui, Tom Ford and Manolo Blahnik, to name but a few, and his original and collaborative collections remain highly regarded and desired, while the label and its caché continues to thrive. Clark’s glorious fashions fit the contemporary mould while still evoking a particular style idyll reminiscent of revolutionary fashion shapes that typified the all-conquering ‘swinging London’ scene and, as such, are now more favoured and sought after than ever. Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, among other red carpet celebrities, are among those often seen in his exemplary designs, especially wearing his vintage 70s outfits and vintage evening dresses which are snapped up whenever they are offered for sale, not only to women who want to wear them and feel beautiful, but by collectors as well.

 

In 2003/04, London’s V&A museum showcased the extraordinary brilliance of Ossie Clark, a designer’s designer who not only dressed the beautiful people beautifully, but whose enduring influence simply can’t be overstated. To quote Judith Watt ~ writer and fashion historian: "He was not just a man of his time...his work stands with the greats”.

LINKS

Ossie Clark on Pinterest

 

Hits: 13119 Continue reading

designer-leather-jackets-1.jpgMichael Hoban ~ North Beach Leather

 

Click to buy beautiful vintage leather

 

“What everybody else calls fashion, I’ve been in forever...” ~ Michael Hoban

 

Michael Hoban, the founder and designer of North Beach Leather, was one of the first designers in the 1960s to introduce counterculture leather clothing and designer leather jackets to Hollywood’s celebrities. 

 

Having grown up in 1950s Boston as leader of the Warriors, a teenage street gang, he would later use the gang’s clothing of the time as inspiration for many of his designs ~ (his nickname of ‘Hobo’ found its way into the designs or labels of much of his first sportswear clothing line and some of his designer leather jackets).

 

Having failed to find any leather bellbottoms in the early 60s, Hoban made his own pattern ~ prompting him to start working with leather ~ and further production of custom-only leather garments led Frank Morgan, his later business partner, to persuade Hoban to open a shop. Soon Hoban was creating entire leather outfits which he sold at his boutique in Los Angeles. In 1967 the small shop moved to San Francisco's North Beach district, from which they took the company name. Another shop then opened in Berkeley, California and as a centre for counterculture in the 1960s, Berkeley provided the perfect atmosphere for Hoban's designs. 


b2ap3_thumbnail_designer-leather-jackets-70s.jpgdesigner-leather-jackets-80s.jpgAs his custom business began to expand, so did his clientele ~ early devotees of his work included luminaries such as Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra and Jackie Kennedy-Onassis, while Elvis Presley once spent $38,000 on an order of leather capes, trousers and designer leather jackets in one visit. Hoban also made clothes for the Black Panthers and he counted Hell’s Angels among his most prized customers.

 

He was soon designing custom leather ensembles for the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Diana Ross, Elton John, Cher, Paul McCartney and Tina Turner and indeed, it seemed that half the celebrities in the pop and rock world sought the artful biker leather chic he pioneered. As no self respecting rocker’s wardrobe was complete without an obligatory and sexy, leather collection, Hoban’s fabulous designs were ideal for the celebrities of the music and fashion scene of the 60s and 70s. He remained popular with the changing decades and into the 1980s, and his pieces were perfect for the ubiquitous 80s look of big hair and big shoulders and were espoused by celebrity glam rockers and the underground club scene.

 

The iconic supermodels of the day ~ including Cindy Crawford, Paulina Porizkova, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Karen Mulder and Tatjana Patitz ~ graced the covers of North Beach Leather advertisement campaigns, and Hoban worked with top photographers from Skrebneski and Herb Ritts to Philip Dixon and Bensimmon, who assisted in creating edgy, targeted and memorable campaigns ~ all of which reflected North Beach London’s position as the largest privately owned leather company in the US.

designer-leather-jackets-60s.jpgNorth Beach Leather's designer leather jackets are bright, bold, beautifully crafted and justifiably expensive, often displaying graphic images in intricate patterns and detailed designs that incorporate such techniques as patchwork, insertions and appliqué. The leather used is always of the highest quality, soft and supple, and the pieces are brilliantly designed and beautifully tailored. This visionary designer not only changed the course of fashion history by inventing elaborate concepts to shape into leather, he also promoted the American leather industry and was significant in encouraging improved methods of manufacture to produce better quality leather in a broad range of colours ~ while continuing to search for ecologically sound ways of refining the raw material to make leather a mainstream fabric within the garment industry.

 

In the ever-changing world of fashion, Hoban’s style has transcended trends and vintage North Beach styles remain a huge hit with the fashion elite. The vintage military and tuxedo dresses, the biker jackets and the bold and striking bustiers are particularly sought after, while his designs continue to inspire the collections of Michael Kors, Luella et al.

 

Hoban's vintage pieces have now become very rare to find and are extremely sought after, and just like they were when they were first created, they are still worn and adored by celebrities, rock stars and supermodels to this day... 

 

Follow Theatre Of Fashion's board Michael Hoban on Pinterest.

LINKS

Vintage leather jacket ~ Bikers and leather jackets ~ Best Winter Jackets  

Hits: 15145 Continue reading

Bohemian style clothing ~ Boho clothing

Posted by on in Styles

Boho ~ Beautiful, Beguiling and Back on Trendbohemian-style-clothing-boho-clothing.jpg

 

Click to buy beautiful vintage BOHO fashion 

 

The term ‘bohemian’ has gone through many evolutions since its earliest inception (the original Bohemians were travellers from central Europe), and from the adherents of the Bloomsbury Set in the early 20th century to the modern ‘boho’ lifestyle, this term has applied to those who live an unconventional, non-conformist and often artistic lifestyle. It has been attributed to the Pre-Raphaelites, the bobbed hair and cross-gender styles of the 1920s and, of course, to the more recent incarnation that defined the counterculture of the 60s and 70s.

 

The modern interpretation of the bohemian lifestyle and boho fashion is a continuation of the ethic and the expression which permeated these decades, arising from an era of upheaval to deliver a new-found sense of freedom in fashion trends, mirroring the social movements and the flourishing festival scene of the time. This sense of empowerment and liberation led to a counterculture that was reflected in the mood, the music and the bohemian style clothing. As a lifestyle, it was in such marked contrast to anything that had gone before, and it sat cross-legged and defiant in the midst of an ever-increasing consumerist society and has remained there ever since.

 

It’s easy to see why the bohemian lifestyle and boho clothing endures in today’s society ~ its core values represent a freedom of spirit; a thirst for knowledge; exploration and discovery through travel; opening up of the mind and body to holistic therapies; being in tune with art, nature and alternative ideologies; a sense of emancipation from the constraints and mores of modern conventions and obligations ~ and a love of loose, beautiful and unrestricted clothing which reflects a look that’s always been at the heart of the hippie vibe.

 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_bohemian-style-clothing-boho-clothing-7.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_bohemian-style-clothing-boho-clothing-6.jpgGorgeously gregarious and bohemian style clothing comes in so many shapes and styles and, whether contemporary or true vintage, its character is unmistakeable: relaxed, casual and often loose and flowing. The bohemian style can be seen in cool, simple whites to explosions of colour and vivacity, and it follows its forebears with tunic tops and tie-dye, vests and waistcoats, kaftans, peasant blouses, flares and culottes, gypsy skirts and magical maxis, scarves, sandals, headbands, beads, fringes and flowers ~ in bursts of clashing prints and patterns; the coolest of cottons, cheesecloth and crochet; vivacious velvets; fabulous florals; Indian prints and ethnic patterns; flowing silks, chiffon and gauze ~ a wonderful boutique of boho clothing which continues to charm and captivate each new generation.

 

bohemian-style-clothing-boho-clothing-3.jpgThis homage to a more carefree existence is also expressed in ways that complement boho clothing ~ from espousing multi-culture and travelling (VW camper vans optional!) to the current fashion for 70s retro in terms of décor, interior design and all things vintage ~ this is a lifestyle that continues to thrive. For those unable to immerse themselves completely into a world of bohemian style clothing or are unable to escape the restrictions of the ‘nine to five’, festivals and gigs provide the perfect excuse to embrace your inner hippie and bring out your boho side. The choice is endless ~ from the exoticism and eclecticism of Benicassim, Burning Man, Coachella and Shambhala, to our own home-grown fabulous festivals big and small, nowhere is the phrase ‘anything goes’ more apt when it comes to the most eclectic array of boho clothing. Glorious Glastonbury ~ that annual altar of mud, music and mayhem, sunshine (sometimes) and spirituality ~ sees rock royalty and pop princesses rub shoulders with a cast of thousands in a fashion parade that’s beautiful, bohemian and bizarre...revellers rock in leather, leggings and lusciously long layers of marvellous maxis and cool crop tops, piled up with jewellery and worked with wellies and biker boots. Fabulous!

 

Many couples are also now favouring bohemian weddings in place of traditional church weddings and opting to wear bohemian style clothing instead of modern wedding attire ~ for an alternative yet natural way of joining together, whether at home or abroad. Imagine beginning your new adventure together at an intimate gathering on a beautiful beach, in a magical woodland setting or under a blanket of sparkling stars...the joy of a bohemian wedding is that there are no rules, and ceremonies often mix themes and cultures, eras and styles and the current desire to wear a vintage inspired dress or a gorgeous original piece as a unique wedding gown is extremely fashionable. From luscious, long bias-cut 30s silk to exquisitely crafted and beaded 20s flapper dresses, to cool, chic crochet creations from the 70s ~ wearing a vintage wedding dress, in classic white or ivory or in beautiful bohemian colours, will make you look and feel magical.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_bohemian-style-clothing-boho-clothing-5.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_bohemian-style-clothing-boho-clothing-2.jpgThere’s little doubt that with fashion now looking back to the bohemian era, 70s retro and boho clothing in general has made a celebrated return to the catwalk and the modern wardrobe, and continues to impact on current trends. Designers such as Jill Sander, D&G, Stella McCartney, Pucci, Isabel Marant, Erdem and Alice Temperley have all incorporated bohemian style clothing in recent collections, while Paul Smith has focused on designing the most lust-worthy crochet pieces to bring the original, homespun, and nostalgically adored, hand knitted ‘granny squares’ into the world of couture.

 

The trend for owning and wearing true vintage pieces continues apace ~ original paisley and Indian prints in sheer cotton gauze and sensuous silk are so sought after, yet these coveted creations fit so well with today’s vintage and bohemian-inspired pieces that have themselves become a very modern trend. Florals are always in, as are fabulously flattering and 

flowing maxi dresses and skirts ~ a classic bohemian style in a timeless shape that will always be aesthetically pleasing. Crochet is big news on the high street this season and spearheaded by fashion hot spot and trend setting Top Shop ~ the behemoth of bohemian style clothing which continues to extol the vintage vibe.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_bohemian-style-clothing-boho-clothing-9_20140501-224443_1.jpgbohemian-style-clothing-boho-clothing-1.jpgA carnival of colours in patterns and prints, from silks to cottons, chiffons to tapestry, wearable art to wallpaper, embroidery to ethnic jewellery, the bohemian influence is now seen on maxi dresses, billowing blouses, scarves, hobo bags, textiles, furniture, crockery and cakes ~ and everything and everyone in between who’s ever been inspired ~ from Florence Welch, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and Pearl and Daisy Lowe to Annie Sloan and Farrow and Ball.

 


The bohemian lifestyle (and boho clothing in particular) remains an integral and essential part of modern life. It may have been reworked and reimagined through time and evolution but its original essence and its desire to be different remains. This is a lifestyle and a look that will always be at heart, unconventional, individual, free-spirited and timeless...they say boho is back ~ but for many, it never went away. 

 

bohemian-style-clothing-boho-clothing-8.jpg

 

LINKS

70s outfits ~ 70s clothing ~  1960s Fashion – The Sounds and Styles ~ Bohemian style on Pinterest ~ Wiki

Tagged in: Boho Hippie Summer
Hits: 15749 Continue reading

70s-shoes-1970s-fashion-02.jpg

1970s Fashion Designers – Timeless, Innovative, Inspiring...

Click to buy beautiful 70s clothing... 

 Much of the colourful, casual fashions of the 1970s counterculture was about the relaxed and unstructured styles which embodied the hippie, folk and roots movements and designers such as Thea Porter, Bob Gibb and Missoni contributed to this look. Porter translated her experiences of travelling and multicultural influences into stylish pieces that defined the bohemian essence ~ while Gibb mixed prints, textures, and embellishments with ethnic, medieval and romantic influences to create iconic 1970s fashion with a hippie vibe (the influence of artist and textile designer Kaffe Fassett also inspired the wild use of colour and pattern in Gibb’s designs). Missoni was best known for its unusual knitwear and psychedelic, bold and bright space-dyed weave patterns ~ and although it reached the peak of its fashion influence in the 70s, it continues to be a top designer brand and its iconic zig-zag pattern remains instantly recognisable.

 

However, it was also a time when other amazing fashion designers came into their own to effect another style revolution ~ more elegant, sexy, sophisticated and cutting edge, but no less central to iconic clothing, 70s shoes, and its embodiment of outstanding fashion design.

 

The advent of the boutique culture had established the likes of Barbara Hulanicki and Biba ~ stunning, sophisticated designs resulting in fabulous clothing which, in keeping with the times, was romantic, dreamy and inspired by history. Her original designs are now increasingly coveted by fashion collectors and are still, to this day, infinitely wearable and Hulanicki remains synonymous with evocative design, while continuing to collaborate on collections for the high street.

 

 

70s-shoes-1970s-fashion.jpgOssie Clark was another very major figure on the scene and an innovator of 1970s fashion who collaborated with print designer Celia Birtwell to produce the most desirable dresses. His design style was influenced by Hollywood glamour ~ exquisite, flowing maxi dresses in fabulous colours and bold flower prints, smocks in light chiffon and halter-neck and tea dresses in stunning patterns. Ghost’s diaphanous gowns are certainly reminiscent of Clark’s pieces and his influence on a raft of modern designers endures, while his vintage designs and collaborative collections remain highly regarded and sought after.

 

The multi-award winning Oscar de la Renta was already an internationally renowned couturier and having worked for Balenciaga and Lanvin, his success continued throughout the 70s as his elegant red carpet gowns and evening wear became his trademark. His clothing has always been opulent, romantic, extravagant and ornate while his simpler daywear is defined in the detail. One of fashion’s designer heavyweights, his eponymous fashion house continues to dress the great and the good, film stars and royalty.

 

The sophistication and elegance of 1970s fashion can also be attributed to another list of luminaries whose pioneering styles and contribution to 70s fashion prevails.

 

Diane von Furstenburg became an icon in 1972 with the creation of her signature jersey wrap dress, a design that launched her career and labelled her ‘the most marketable woman since Coco Chanel’. The elegant yet understated shape flattered all body types and sizes and was suited to daywear as well as becoming a staple of evening and club wear. This landmark in design influenced all dress design by establishing a standard for ease and comfort in women’s clothing and became so popular that in 1997, von Furstenburg relaunched the wrap and it continues to be a classic, elegant yet infinitely wearable ‘must have’.

 

The eponymous Yves Saint Laurent made trousers an acceptable form of clothing for women ~ for daywear and as glamorous evening wear ~ and the trend became an important and enduring feature within 1970s fashion. Thanks to his revolutionary long and lean look, suits, trousers and the ‘Annie Hall’ style became accepted as part of the female dress code and his shamelessly chic and sexy clothes dovetailed perfectly with feminism's new wave. His suits, slinky tuxedos and straight line dresses still look as modern and as desirable today as they did on their debuts.

 

 

70s-shoes-1970s-fashion-05.jpgYves Saint Laurent was also responsible for mainstreaming the idea of wearing and reworking the shapes and silhouettes from the 1920s, 30s and 40s, and is credited with beginning to democratise the fashion world by shifting focus from the rarefied and generally unattainable world of haute couture to the relatively more accessible prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) lines.

 

While other 70s designers created fashion works of art, Bill Blass focused on clean, modern and simply elegant designs which influenced a myriad of other collections and formed the blueprint for classic clothes that are still indisputably fashionable. Influenced by Hollywood inspired-fashions, he concentrated on ease and comfort for the wearer while creating the most chic and beautifully tailored pieces.

 

 

Roy Halston Frowick became a definitive designer of the 1970s, with his draped jersey dresses, lean trouser suits and the use of ultra-suede fabric. He was also famous for his evening wear, and the maxi dresses that draped and shimmered in sensuous swathes became synonymous with 1970s fashion almost exclusively because of Halston’s designs.

 

 

Music styles such as disco had a huge influence not only on the club scene, but on 70s clothing styles more generally. Halston’s designs were perfect for dancing because of their draped and free-moving construction and his most replicated halter-neck and one shoulder styles were the dresses to be seen in as you shimmied across the dancefloor.70s-shoes-1970s-fashion-01.jpg

 

The explosion of disco saw a drastic difference in mainstream fashion and created a change which hadn’t been seen since the 1920s. The jumpsuit was popular with both sexes, and clothing inspired by modern dance such as wrap skirts and dresses of rayon and jersey ~ form clinging and sexy yet unrestrictive ~ became de rigueur on the ubiquitous, illuminated dance floors which we all remember from films such as Saturday Night Fever in 1977. Silk neck scarves were a popular accessory while skin tight trousers, tube tops, slit skirts (often worn with leotards), spaghetti straps, silk blouses and shirt-waist dresses helped to work the disco look. Such shapes and styles, created in and defined by the 70s and a scene that epitomised a defining mood and movement, have since become classic and timeless items which have evolved to work as separate pieces to form the foundations of so many designs and effortlessly wearable pieces in the eras which followed.

 

70s-shoes-1970s-fashion-04.jpgThe glamour and sparkle of 70s elegant evening wear and the sexiness of its sophisticated styling was mirrored in footwear that evoked the 1940s. 70s shoes and boots were influenced by all the best attributes of the 1940s, especially its signature shoe: the platform. This towering triumph of the shoe world featured metallic finishes, stripes, two-tone and cut-out and tooled designs in leather, suede and vintage-inspired velvets.

 

 

Towards the end of the decade, footwear fit for the dancefloor also began to echo the 1940s shape of high-heeled, lower-platform mules and stilettos. Indeed, platforms were already making way for ankle-strapped shoes, wedges, clogs, loafers, Oxfords and Mary Janes ~ an assortment of 70s shoes in a fiesta of fabrics, colours and models by innovative designers such as Beth Levine. Levine's greatest influence is considered to be the re-introduction of boots to women’s fashion and the popularisation of mules. New York based shoe designer Fred Braun’s 70s shoes were beautifully made and came in speciality sizes ~ and now have a cult following. And no mention of 70s shoes would be complete without reference to Manolo Blahnik ~ established in the 70s and having designed his first collections for Ossie Clark in the early part of the decade, his London boutique Zapata opened in 1973.

 

70s-shoes-1970s-fashion-06.jpgA pillar of 1970s fashion royalty, Blahnik has become world famous. His beautiful shoes exude a level of craftsmanship rare in today's age of mass production. His designs have a wonderful sense of line and silhouette and can transform any outfit into a spectacular fashion statement. His talent ensures he shares the mantle worn by other brilliant shoe designers of the 20th century:  Yanturni, Vionnet, Perugia, Ferragamo, and the one Blahnik most admires, Roger Vivier.

 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_70s-shoes-1970s-fashion-08.jpgThe flared ‘disco’ look was gradually replaced by straight, cigarette-legged jeans steered by the influence of punk on fashion, while 70s shoes shaped by the new musical influences included Beatle shoes and the now eponymous and legendary Dr Marten boots.

 

Vivienne Westwood, who continues to be a major force in design with creations that are outlandish and outré yet breathtakingly beautiful, began her career in the early seventies by making 50s influenced Teddy Boy clothes. By 1972 the designer’s interests had turned to biker clothing, zips, leather and provocative clothing, rebranding her shop ‘Sex’ for the third time in 1974 ~ a shop ‘unlike anything else going on in England at the time’. In 1976, the shop reopened yet again, as Seditionaires, transforming the straps and zips of fetishism into fashion and inspiring
a D.I.Y. aesthetic. Her relationship with Malcolm McLaren created ‘a symbiotic relationship between music and fashion that effectively set the tone of popular culture for decades to come’ and her career continues to flourish with desirable designs that evoke period drama and renaissance while retaining the rebellious spirit that has permeated her always colourful and sometimes controversial career

 


The 1970s was a nostalgic era that looked to the past for fashion stimulation and drew inspiration from previous eras such as Edwardian, 30s and 40s, while the younger ‘mod’ look was replaced by the glamour and gorgeousness that resembled the red carpet styles of Hollywood movie stars. It’s a decade that still remains relevant to fashion today, with touches of the 70s in nearly every contemporary runway collection.

 

The shining lights of 70s design left their mark and their legacy with a glorious and beautiful imprint of 1970s fashion and a stampede of 70s shoes that continues to inspire, excite, innovate and endure. In a century of so many changes, innovations and defining moments, the style, sophistication and sexiness of this evocative era will never go out of fashion.

 

Follow Theatre Of Fashion's board 70s shoes 1970s designers 1970s fashion on Pinterest.

 

Links

Click to buy 1970s fashion  ~ 70s colour on Pinterest  ~ wiki ~  70s outfits ~ 70s clothing

Hits: 18992 Continue reading

70s-outfits-70s-clothing-1.jpg

1970s Fashion ~ Dreaming in Colour

 

Click to buy beautiful 70s clothing... 

 

1970s clothing is often associated with a typical palette of beiges and browns ~ or a number of variations on that theme.  In truth, the sexy, sultry, sensational 70s took up the baton from the trend-setting 60s and continued on a trailblazing trajectory that established 70s clothing as a more fabulous and flamboyant force to be reckoned with, setting the scene for a decade of colour, creativity and bohemian beauty and forging its own style revolution. It also combined some of the best elements that had gone before and perfected and/or exaggerated them for a new generation: 70s fashion was fun!

 

By the birth of the 70s, the festival scene had taken hold and the bohemian counterculture was thriving. Loose and relaxed clothing ~ such as brightly coloured bursts of clashing prints and patterns, bell bottoms, tunic tops and tie-dye, velvet waistcoats, frills and beads ~ continued to reflect the mood and the music while headbands, scarves and flowers adorned longer, looser, free-flowing hairstyles to complete the look and character of these 70s outfits that charmed and captivated.

 

70s clothing personified that sustained sense of empowerment and liberation which prevailed with an explosion of bright colours and unstructured fashion that embodied the hippie, folk and roots movements and defined the zeitgeist of this memorable decade.  Wide and wonderful culottes and flares were worn alongside the tightest of trousers and jeans that splayed into fabulous bell-bottoms; t-shirts, tunics, vests and peasant blouses complemented magical maxi dresses, tiered gypsy skirts and vibrant kaftans in a rich riot of colour and vivacity.70s-outfits-70s-clothing-2.jpg 70s outfits which were inspired by an emerging ‘back to nature’, homespun ethos and culture also saw the growing popularity of natural fibres such as cotton and cheesecloth, not just in t-shirts and the like, but increasingly in garments of hand-made crochet of the sweetest summery whites and brightly coloured ‘granny squares’, all contributing to the laid-back and laissez-faire feel of 70s clothing.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_70s-outfits-70s-clothing-3.jpgFabulous floral designs, inspirational Indian prints and ethnic patterns enhanced flowing silks and chiffons and sheer, sensual cotton gauze to epitomise the billowing, bohemian feel of endless hot summers, dreamy days and sultry nights. Non-Western inspired clothing with Native American, Asian, Indian, African and Latin American motifs were also popular, due to the religious and cultural diversity espoused by the hippie and folk values and a renewed interest in travelling and exploring,  while the influence of Eastern philosophy and spiritual concepts was seen in a variety of beautiful 70s outfits and prints.

 

 

The earlier Indian pilgrimage of the Beatles had, in part, sparked an increased interest in Eastern spirituality and the resulting heritage prints of twisted teardrops, florals, swirls and circles were seen on floaty swathes of sensual silks in clashes of hot and spicy colours, reminiscent of bustling bazaars. Indian colour block prints of psychedelic paisley in the lightest of cotton gauze also adorned dresses, skirts and tunics ~ in muted ethnic colours or in the boldest and brightest kaleidoscopes of mystical shapes and designs.

 

70s outfits consisted of so many shapes and styles, forged in an era of groundbreaking and daring design. Flares, platforms, tight trousers, maxis, midis, waistcoats, wide collars, pantsuits, tracksuits, flower-patterned dress shirts, have all, in one form or another, evolved to become timeless, classic styles ~ or indeed, have continued to be revived and redesigned for a modern, contemporary outlook which brings the essence of 70s outfits right up to date.

 b2ap3_thumbnail_70s-outfits-70s-clothing-6.jpg


b2ap3_thumbnail_70s-outfits-70s-clothing-90.jpgBut it’s the iconic 70s clothing whose look was distinctive and dreamy, beautifully bohemian, fabulous and floaty with bold, bright
 colours and ethnic influences that captured a moment in time which can never be fully recreated but which will always evoke those sunny, carefree heady days of summers in the city, country roads and seasons in the sun: the smells and the sounds, the heat and the hope, the feel of soft, cool grass under your feet and flowers in your hair ~ ice-cream, idols and immutable, inspirational music buoyed by the flourishing festival scene and the musicians and artists who sought to change the world. 70s clothing will forever resonate with revolutions in art, music and politics and with fashion-forward flamboyance and freedom which came to define an era of inspirational ideology and infinite possibilities.

 

70s-outfits-70s-clothing-02.jpg

 

Links

Click to buy 1970s fashion  ~ 70s colour on Pinterest  ~ wiki ~

 

Tagged in: 1970s Summer Vintage
Hits: 16183 Continue reading

There is something so exciting about a masquerade ball......

 

And, after all, what is a lie? 'Tis but the truth in a masquerade.

 

~ Alexander Pope

 

The idea of a Masquerade Ball or Masked Ball goes back to late medieval court life, originally designed to celebrate a marriage or mark a point in a royal dynasty, as well as other mysterious and wonderful occasions..

 

The invited would wear costume and masquerade mask brilliant bold an elaborate, and, as you can imagine, the anonymity this provided to a class that were governed by the strictest etiquette and constricting rules was irresistible..

 

 

I couldn't see her eyes behind the mask. Her statuesque pose echoed the city's stillness. Then the slightest of movements - a nod, a shift of the fingers, a footstep - gave away what lay underneath the mask and costume. It was in those fleeting moments that Venice came to be as it once was.

 

Follow Theatre Of Fashion's board Masquerade ball on Pinterest.

 

This is not something I would normally post, but I think the idea of evening dresses and ballgowns on the beach is an beautiful one. We so often think of fashion in the context it has been given us, we don't have parties of silk and satin on the beach, I think this is a pity....

 

I can imagine it now, deckchairs, the sound of the sea, barefoot, gloves and ballgowns.

 

 

LINKS

Ballgowns uk  ~ Ball Gowns British Glamour Since 1950

 

Follow Theatre Of Fashion's board Vintage Ballgowns on Pinterest.

 

Occasions for wearing evening attire have evolved from the private event to the public parade. Traditionally, the British social season included a variety of balls and other events requiring the most beautiful and exquisite ballgowns.

 

Quintessentially British, some beautiful vintage footage enjoying...

 

 Queen Mother Sees New Styles - ballgowns uk

 

 

Fashion show from the past, another beautiful piece of history

 

 

ball-gowns-uk-03.jpg

 

Once upon a perfect night, unclouded and still, there came the face of a pale and beautiful lady. The tresses of her hair reached out to make the constellations, and the dewy vapours of her gown fell soft upon the land.

~ Kit Williams

LINKS

Ball Gowns uk

 

 

Tagged in: Ballgowns Video Vintage

From debutantes and royalty to charity balls and the red carpet, 'Ballgowns: British glamour since 1950' charts 60 years of stylish evening wear. The exhibition highlights the styles, silhouettes and colours that have been perennial favourites for many years.

 


 

In this video ~ ball gowns uk  ~ ball gown uk ~ long evening dresses uk ~ evening gowns uk ~ ballgowns uk

 

ball-gowns-uk.jpg

 

You feel very romantic when you're in a ball gown. Everyone should wear one once in a while.

 

~ Carolina Herrera

 

 LINKS

Ballgowns on Pinterest ~ Ball gown UK wiki ~ Shop for ballgowns

 

Tagged in: Ballgowns Vintage

Yves Saint Laurent ~ beautiful videos

Posted by on in Styles

Some beautiful videos, these videos give you a flavour of the fashion of Yves Saint Laurent through the ages.

There were so many beautiful videos I couldn't put them all in this post, please see links to all the other wonderful things I found on Yves Saint Laurent below......

 

Yves Saint Laurent, some beautiful fashion from the 1980s

 

 

Yves Saint Laurent ~ Exhibition (Apologies for the audio quality)

 

 

LINKS

Yves Saint Laurent exhibit ~ on Pinterest ~ Yves Saint Laurent - Jazz Original ~ Yves Saint Laurent- Official Trailer- HD ~ Fashion History ~ Yves Saint Laurent ~ Yves Saint Laurent on Pinterest ~ Yves Saint-Laurent - 1959 Interview ~ Yves Saint-Laurent - VOGUE ~ A flavour of the fashion ~ Yves Saint Laurent, 1962 Yves Saint Laurent - film complet ~ Yves Saint Laurent video

 

Tagged in: Designers Fashion Video

Yves Saint Laurent- Official Trailer- HD

Posted by on in Styles

Paris, 1957. 21 year old Yves is catapulted to international stardom as the successor to Christian Dior who has recently died. At his first catwalk show he meets Pierre Bergé, who will become his lover and business partner, and begins a relationship that will change his life forever. Just a few years later however he's subjected to the public humiliation of being fired. Refusing to succumb to his critics and self-doubt, he creates the Yves Saint Laurent fashion house and presents the first-ever 'ready to wear' collection, shocking the world of couture.

 

 

YVES SAINT LAURENT follows the designer as he attempts to democratise fashion against the backdrop of Sixties' liberation, battling his personal demons to build an empire that would be renowned for liberating women all over the world.

 

 

Links

Fashion History ~ Yves Saint Laurent ~ Yves Saint Laurent Wikipedia ~ DVDs OF Yves Saint Laurent ~ Yves Saint Laurent ~ beautiful videos

Tagged in: Designers Fashion Film
Hits: 11326 Continue reading

Fashion History ~ Yves Saint Laurent

Posted by on in Styles

Yves-Saint-Laurent-04_20140318-005759_1.jpgThe most consistently celebrated and influential designer of the past twenty-five years

 

Regarded as one of the greatest names in fashion history (a member of French Fashion’s ‘holy trinity’, alongside Dior and Chanel), the designer Yves Saint Laurent’s venture into the industry started auspiciously with his introduction to the great Christian Dior. Under his tutelage, Saint Laurent’s talent would become recognised and his iconic style would be cultivated. Having then found himself, at the age of 21, as head designer at the House of Dior, Saint Laurent’s spring collection of 1958 catapulted him to international stardom by launching what would be the first of many of his inspired, iconic and timeless designs: the sleek, straight silhouettes which would become the Trapeze line. He went on to create five more collections for Dior, culminating in the veritable chic of the 60s Beatnik look of turtlenecks and black leather jackets.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Yves-Saint-Laurent-01.jpgHaving set up his own fashion house in 1962, St Laurent began to further develop his signature style and popularised trends such as the unisex safari jackets, tight trousers and, in 1966, the celebrated tuxedo suit for women, 'Le Smoking' ~ an achingly chic androgynous look which was received rapturously at the time and remains classic and timeless...(a designer ahead of his time, he was convinced “.. women want to wear trousers”). His Mondrian dress (inspired by the Dutch artist), a wool shift printed with primary block colours, became one of the dresses epitomising 60s style and generated an array of copies. Indeed, it looks as modern now as it did in 1965.

 

Yves-Saint-Laurent.jpgSt Laurent was also responsible for mainstreaming the idea of wearing the shapes and silhouettes from the 1920s, 30s and 40s and is credited with beginning to democratise the fashion world by shifting focus from the rarefied and generally unattainable world of haute couture to the relatively more accessible prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) line. The first of the company's Rive Gauche stores, which sold the popular line, opened in Paris in 1966 and its first customer was the film star Catherine Deneuve, a favourite among his female clientele who typified the kind of seductive, wealthy, intelligent French woman his styles epitomised. Indeed, his muses over the years were many and included the actress
Talitha Pol-Getty and models Iman, Nicole Dorier, Katoucha Niane, Rebecca Ayoko and Laetitia Casta... (St Laurent was one of the first designers to use models of colour and was known for his frequent references to art and other aspects of modern and non-European culture).

 

In 1983, Saint Laurent became the first living fashion designer to be honoured by the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a solo exhibition. In 2001, he was awarded the rank of Commander of the Légion and in 2007, the rank of Grand Officier de la Légion d'honneur. This recognition of his remarkable influence on fashion which changed the way women dressed in the post-war era and beyond, marks him out as a true pioneer whose contributions to 60s style remains legendary.
 His shamelessly chic and sexy clothes dovetailed perfectly with feminism's inception, as did his advent of trousers for a woman's daily wardrobe, and his nipped-in suits, slinky tuxedos and straight line dresses still look as modern and as desirable today as they did in their debuts.

 

 


To quote Caroline Rennolds Milbank :  "The most consistently celebrated and influential designer of the past twenty-five years, Yves Saint Laurent can be credited with both spurring the couture's rise from its sixties ashes and with finally rendering ready-to wear reputable." No mean feat for any designer ~ but it was the genius, versatility and longevity of the eponymous and exceptional Saint Laurent that broke the mould and transformed women’s fashion forever.

 

Yves-Saint-Laurent-05_20140318-013005_1.jpg

 

LINKS

Yves Saint Laurent on Pinterest ~ Yves Saint Laurent Exhibition ~ Yves Saint Laurent- Official Trailer- HD ~ Yves Saint Laurent ~ beautiful videos

Tagged in: Designers Fashion
Hits: 13434 Continue reading

Droopy--Browns-Quintessential-English-04.jpg

Droopy--Browns-Quintessential-English-Elegance.jpg

 

Droopy & Browns is a byword for quintessential English elegance in vintage fashion. Ball gowns, wedding dresses, long skirts, wide-legged trousers, fitted jackets with a theatrical flourish are all what the company is best known, and adored, for... but it wasn't always so...

 

The label, which at the height of its success had eight stores across the country, had the humblest of beginnings on York's Newgate Market before opening seven stores across the UK. It was the brainchild of Angela Holmes, her brother Jonathan and Angela’s partner Keith Wilkinson.

 

As a little girl, Angela had watched her mother buying couturier gowns in that very Newgate Market shop. Years later, and inspired by those memories, she started designing even more extravagant clothes.

 

Apart from financial hurdles, the trio struggled on the brand’s name. It was Angela’s longing for bygones past which eventually inspired not only the creative direction for the brand, but also the name, as Jonathan More reflects:“When it came to picking the name, I went through a list of the usual type of boutique names and Angela just curled her lip. She said: ‘I want it to be Edwardian: all droopy and brown.”

 

As such, the designs owe much more to styles from the Edwardian era at the turn of the last century and Hollywood starlets, than the fickle world of fashion today. Their clothing is flamboyant and nostalgic, yet contemporary, and with a historical influence, reflecting Angela's love of fantasy. Instead of following the ever-changing rules of the catwalk, which insist on a new look every six months or so, Droopy & Browns built its reputation on creating classic clothes which are refreshed regularly. A best-selling skirt one spring may reappear in the autumn in a different fabric and colour. The cut will be the same because it is the design which the customer loves; and this emphasis on giving the customer what she wants created a loyal following.

 

 

Ahead of her time in the ethical fashion stakes, Angela deliberately avoided the predictable mainstream, rejecting the exploitative and unsustainable nature of ‘fast fashion’ which was already beginning to rear its ugly mass produced head. Instead, she stayed true to her principles and lovingly produced exquisite, individually crafted pieces to her own exacting specifications.  Her designs undoubtedly had, and still have, that essential 'wow' factor, deriving inspiration from bygone eras and celebrating nostalgia and romance, often with a theatrical twist. Droopy & Browns ceased trading a number of years ago and their sublimely beautiful vintage pieces have now become some of the most sought after in vintage fashion. To wear them and to love them is to know why!

 

Droopy--Browns-Quintessential-English-03.jpg

 

LINKS

Quad ~ Beautiful, Bohemian, Boutique ~ BIBA and Beyond 

Hits: 13215 Continue reading

Beautiful-Bohemian-Boutique.jpg

 

Quad was one of the many fashion boutiques that sprang up in London in the late 1960s, when the emergence of youthful and ambitious British designers revolutionised the fashion world and became synonymous with the counter culture fashions of the time.

 

The advent of the 'boutique' ~ a retailing concept that radically changed how clothing was made, marketed, displayed and sold ~ endorsed an identity of individuality, freedom and rebellion which reflected the tastes of the designer or owner. Boutiques also experimented with innovative interiors, promoted creativity and informality between owners, staff and clientele and, of course, defined a new and exciting style of dressing.

 

Iconic names and places such as Mary Quant, Biba, Paraphernalia and Tuffin and Foale became synonymous with the King’s Road and Carnaby Street while other boutiques such as Countdown, Blast Off, Top Gear, Change Down, Glad Rags, Clobber, Quorum, Ad Hoc, Lord Kitchener's Valet, Palisades and Barricades evoked the spirit of freedom and originality and ensured that London became the quirky capital of cool in the 60s and early 70s, with its radical and ultra-modern new looks...encouraging young designers to start their own boutiques while inspiring other fashion capitals to change their outlooks.

 

Quad was part of this new boutique culture ~ prevalent alongside more established names, it produced fabulously unusual and iconic clothing which, in keeping with the times, was romantic, dreamy and inspired by history.

 

 

Boutiques remain a vital part of fashion retail ~ whether as an individual enterprise or incorporated into a larger setting ~ and are still cherished and coveted for their independence, character and unique designs. The epitome of trend-setting during the 60s and 70s, Quad’s inimitable fashions fit the contemporary mould while still evoking a particular style idyll reminiscent of revolutionary fashion shapes which typified the all-conquering ‘swinging London’ scene and, as such, are now adored, collected and very sought after.

 

Links

BIBA and Beyond 60s London Boutique ~ Jimi Hendrix - military fashion

 

Tagged in: 1960s Fashion Vintage
Hits: 10129 Continue reading

Assuit Shawls ~ History in the Making

Posted by on in Styles

assuit-dress-assuit-shawl-0.jpg

assuit-dress-assuit-shawl-02.jpg

 

‘Assuit’ is an Egyptian netting fabric embroidered with real metal and named after its city of origin, Asyut ~ a region of Upper Egypt at the heart of the textile industry during the 19th century. Known as ‘tulle bi telli’ or ‘al tally’ throughout Egypt (Arabic for ‘net with metal’), its alternative spellings (due to its transliteration from Arabic to English) are many.

 

This truly stunning, exotic and exceptional material is created by threading wide needles with flat strips of metal (such as nickel, silver, copper or brass) through cotton or linen netting, then flattening and rolling, or hammering, the metal to achieve the most exquisite and distinctive effect through impeccable craftsmanship and expertise. Patterns formed by this unique embroidery include geometric figures as well as plants, birds, people and camels ~ symbols heavily depicted in Egyptian iconography. It is generally black, white or ecru and used mostly as shawls, but is also seen in small squares, large pieces (used as bed canopies) and in traditional Egyptian dress. Vintage Assuit shawls are primarily made from the highly superior long-staple Egyptian cotton grown in the Asyut region with a quality so fine that antique dealers sometimes mistake the cloth for linen, or even silk.

 

The concept of metal embroidery dates back to ancient Egypt (as well as other areas of the Middle East, Asia, India and Europe) ~ a very sheer fabric is shown in Ancient Egyptian tomb paintings and the metallic embroidery is referenced in Exodus 29: “...And they did beat the gold into thin plates and cut it into wires, to work it in the blue, and in the purple, and in the scarlet, and in the very fine linen, with cunning work.” However, the bobbinet machine (invented in 1807 and introduced to the Asyut region during the French Protectorate) led to machine-made netting and the subsequent production of Assuit here from the late 19th century.

 

Shawls began appearing in the last quarter of the 1800s and were first made as tourist art for European and American travellers, with the fabric later described in Edwardian era travel literature as ‘spangled mosquito netting’ (to be worn over hats as protection). Their popularity soared in the 1920s at the height of the rush to uncover the ruins of ancient Egypt ~ culminating in the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 ~ incorporating the requisite motifs and symbols representative of hieroglyphics, Egyptian iconography and ancient art. Shawls then began to be made into garments, a fashion that neatly juxtaposed the geometric designs and motifs, influenced by the ancient world, with the modern Art Deco sensibilities of the time. Suddenly, everything Egyptian was desirable and its influence permeated dance, fashion and film.

 

 

 assuit-dress-assuit-shawl-assuit-fabric.jpg

 

Assuit had first been imported to America for the 1893 Chicago Exposition and with the ensuing revival of interest in the 1920s, Hollywood played its own significant part by falling in love with this gorgeous cloth and duly dressing the icons of the silver screen in its inimitable and enticing creations, providing a connective link to the 20s and the zenith of Assuit’s popularity. Off screen, this fabulous fabric appeared in publicity stills and was worked into revealing costumes for exotically themed parties, worn draped over the head or as divinely decorated wraps, and transformed into the most stunning and seductive of wedding gowns. Throughout the early days of film, when the cloth represented the luxury of travel and a mythologised East, it became symbolic of an educated, well travelled bohemian lifestyle and encouraged starlets off screen to collect shawls to wear as elegant accessories or even as garments (Clara Bow ~ Hollywood’s ‘It’ girl ~ famously wore an Assuit shawl as a gloriously glamorous dress).

 

assuit-dress-assuit-shawl-01.jpgOne of the first epics to feature Assuit was the 1916 D W Griffith masterpiece, Intolerance...by using modern fabrics sourced from Egypt, the film and the costumes evoked the exoticism of a fantastical and timeless place. Travis Banton ~ considered one of the most important costumiers in Hollywood in the 1930s ~ used Assuit in Cecil B DeMille’s classic Cleopatra (1934); June Havoc’s Assuit dress lent her statuesque frame a cool, metallic quality in Intrigue (1947); and it was draped to dramatic effect in Samson and Delilah (1949) in an Edith Head designed, stunning two-piece ensemble cut on the bias to emphasise the contours and curves of the inimitable Hedy Lamarr.

 

Elizabeth Taylor was pictured maintaining a stylishly subtle connection to Egypt (and her hallmark roll of Cleopatra) in a beautiful Assuit robe in 2007 and lately, period movies have used Assuit to reference and echo the last century ~ prompting designers to incorporate this fine vintage cloth to appropriately evoke its popularity with the beautiful and the bohemian during the 1900s and the 1920s. It was used in the film Water for Elephants, to reinforce the subtle connection between the fabric and dance and more recently, Tom Cruise wore a vintage Assuit scarf to channel his 80s ‘metal guru’ in Rock of Ages.

 

In terms of modern designers, Galliano used Assuit in his 1997 Autumn collection for Christian Dior ~ a major style statement that went on to grace every fashion magazine that season, and justifiably so.

 

 

This is a fabric so utterly fabulous, so luxurious, sensual and illuminating ~ interwoven with history, mystery, allure and adventure while creating the most unusual and exceptionally beautiful items that have the ability to seduce and captivate. Evocative of an Egypt ancient and timeless, redolent of the Golden Age of Hollywood and even the Golden Phase of Klimt with its impressionism, symbolism and art of illuminating imagery spun with shimmering gold ~ this is a fabric to be draped in and to dream in: delicate, delightful, desirable and just divine!

 

assuit-dress-assuit-shawl-1.jpg

 

LINKS

 1920 Dresses ~ Assuit on Ebay ~ Assuit on pinterest

 

Tagged in: 1920s
Hits: 16688 Continue reading

V&A: Barbara Hulanicki

Posted by on in Biba

Barbara Hulanicki, founder of the iconic clothes store Biba, chooses objects from the V&A collection that inspire her.

 

 

Links

Biba pictures - Just beautiful ~ Beyond Biba Trailer ~ BIBA and Beyond ~ The Biba Pinterest

Tagged in: BIBA Exhibitions

Exhibit of Grace Kelly's fashion showcases eternal elegance that still influences fashion today. A exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum pays homage to the style of the actress who swapped Hollywood for Royal life in Monaco.

 

With her porcelain beauty and self-awareness, Grace Kelly could make even the simplest of fashions look effortlessly glamorous. She epitomized '50s style, from the carefully coiffed hair, shirtwaist dresses and fitted sweaters to the tailored jackets, full skirts and satin evening gowns. Those fashions, combined with her poise and confidence, brought forth a timeless style that continues to influence the likes of Hermès, Tommy Hilfiger and Mad Men's costume designer Janie Bryant. But as big a hit as Kelly was on the big screen — she won the 1955 Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in The Country Girl — she was an even bigger star as Princess Grace. When she announced her engagement to Prince Rainer of Monaco in 1955, the news set off a whirlwind of press and fanaticism over the prospect of an American girl becoming a real-life princess. Though she left her movie career behind once she became princess, her influence remained.

 

 

Grace-Kelly-50s-fashion.jpg

 

Links

Grace Kelly, read more  ~ Grace Kelly on Pinterest Fashion videos, the 1950s ~ 1950s wedding 

 

 

 

Hits: 10108 Continue reading

Vintage archive film of beautiful 1930's pinup hairstyles.

 

In the 1930s hairstyles were still quite close to the head with deep set finger waves. Some were parted in the center , others on the side. Around 1932 the styles began to soften a little bit as a play in the waves arrived and a little bit of volume appeared. Many hair styles were worn with a center parting with deep waves and the hair pulled back into an array of small curls on the neckline, sometimes secured with bobby or hair pins.

 

 

 This film features great examples of 1930s women's fashion and style.

 

 

30s-1930s.jpg

 

Links

Finger wave wiki ~ 1930s Fashion 1930s Hairstyles 

 

 

Tagged in: 1930s Hairstyles
Hits: 11073 Continue reading