David Fernan, a native of Buffalo, returns after more than 25 years in south Florida. While living in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, David established himself with fine modern and antique furniture shops and art galleries. His business catered to premier clientele as well as the film and commercial advertising industry. He has worked on numerous films, music videos and advertising providing style and prop expertise. His Buffalo gallery is available by appointment to the trade and public, by appointment.
Dani Weiser is a professionally trained Hollywood makeup artist who has worked extensively in London, Los Angeles, and New York, where she now resides.
In 1992, Dani graduated from the highly respected Complexions International and Greasepaints makeup schools of London, England. While obtaining her makeup artist credentials, she began work on the critically acclaimed independent science fiction film, Hardware. During the next few years, Dani was a makeup artist on several prestigious films, commercials, print ads, and music video projects, including videos for the bands Space and UB40.
In 1997, Dani moved to Hollywood, California, where she continued her career as a first-rate Hollywood makeup artist. She worked on numerous impressive projects, including Beverly Hills, 90210, and the Balthazar Getty/Peter Weller/Rebecca Gayheart feature film, Shadow Hours.
Born and raised in Buffalo, After obtaining a degree in Jewelry Design Lucy moved to Florence Italy where she worked in various aspects of the Fashion Industry. Designing jewelry, belts and accessories for Italian Handbag designer Gianfranco Lotti and Fiorucci. After 15 years in Italy and extensive world travel Lucy moved to New York city and managed a jewelry store on Madison Avenue for Mauro Vanzi a Florentine silversmith. During this period Lucy worked for Macys as a freelance Stylist and traveled to various locations for all their catalogue fashion shoots. Now in Buffalo she keeps busy running Moda Vintage a unique shop on Hertel Ave.where her life long passion for one of a kind treasures continues. Still actively involved in the local Fashion Scene, Moda supplies local filmmakers, photographers and Fashion Stylists with props and accessories. As well as being a member of the Fashion Maniac she has worked as Wardrobe mistress for local film productions and commercials.
Dani has shared her expertise as a makeup artist by working as a teacher at the Cinema Makeup School of Los Angeles. She recently lectured to the Department of Photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in New York. Dani also penned the forward to the 2008 book, Stage and Screen Makeup by Kit Spencer. Skilled in many facets of makeup artistry, including period makeup and special effects, Dani Weiser is available for the following: Film• Television• Music Videos• Print Teaching and Lectures Weddings and Events
For information on rates and availability, please call Dani Weiser, Hollywood Makeup Artist, at (716) 348-1239 or e-mail email@example.com.
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Letter From The Editor
Welcome to the first monthly issue of Fashion Maniac! With this first issue, it's the end of a long journey and the beginning of a new and exciting adventure. After so many years in the fashion industry, one has to broaden one's horizons, seek out new adventures, rebrand yourself. Fashion Maniac started, like most enterprises, small. Everyone who works with us now (and those who has had worked with us in the past) has a deep and abiding passion for their work and fashion. Phillip Johnson our Editor in Chief, passionately researches history, and trends, with his remarkable knowledge of fashion and designers. His undying love for unveiling the facts of how, when, and where, will ultimately amaze you on how a fashion item has transpired over time. Phillip a veteran in the industry , has written interviews , coverage of runway, and beauty, for international publications for 20 years. He is our fashion encyclopedia ! and his uncanny whit, will keep you fascinated with our feature spreads.
Cheryl M. Gorski
Dani Weiser our makeup artist (www.hollywoodmakeupartist.com) is a 20-plus year veteran of the industry. She has worked in London, Milan, Paris and New York fashion weeks. She has also worked with some of the industry's biggest and most talented photographers on major magazine cover shoots, on ad campaigns and was a personal makeup artist to several Hollywood stars. Even now, her passion for her job is infectious. She doesn't just show for photo-shoots. She brings her A++ game every time. Whitney Curry, our hairstylist, is another talented member of the team. Her passion for her work runs so deep that she brings her A++++ game to everything she does. Cassandra Elsaesser our stylist, knows her fashion. She knows what's hot, what's not and what's about to become very cold. Her contributions to Fashion Maniac is beyond amazing. Kimberly, our casting director, is not just beautiful on the outside; she's also wonderfully beautiful on the inside as well. She can find a diamond in the rough amongst a pile of cubic zirconium. Her instincts are sharply tuned to finding the best models for the job at hand. Jim Breidenstein our uber talented web designer, is phenomenal. We simply could not have done this without him. He's not satisfied until he has given you his absolute best. Todd Warfield our set designer extraordinaire, combines his skills ,and knowledge of the concept of each photo session to the fullest. Our prop team Lucy Mancuso, Michael Merisola, David Fernan, John Marfoglia and Stephen Phillips, are all experts in the antique business. They have worked on major movies, films, and photo shoots bringing their unique merchandise to the sets. Shon O 'Connor our Men's editor and stylist, is determined to keep men manly in our spreads, and is also our coorespondant with Miami fashion. Pamela Anczok is going to be test driving luxury cars, providing her woman's perspective on how the car handles her test drive. Terry Wherry Photographer will be capturing the interiors, and speed of the cars, showing you an up close look of the automobiles. Nathan Hall our interior editor and furniture designer, will be featuring room concepts, color schemes, and working with artificial, and natural light. This should inspire you with your decorating projects. Joe Cascio Photography will be capturing these interiors with his ability to make you feel as if you were in these rooms. The other members of the team are equally as amazing. Not only are they all very talented, they all burn with an entrepreneurial spirit that has carried them this far and will take them even further.
So you see, the name Fashion Maniac fits the bill quite nicely. Our goal is not to re-invent the wheel. We are not Don Quixote tilting at windmills. Our goal is to take the wheel, shine it up a bit, put our own spin on it and send it back out into the world. Taking the position that not everything you know is known by the general public, our goal is to entertain and educate our readers. We want to bring you news before everyone else. (at least, after Women's Wear Daily, Vogue and The New York Times but before everyone else.) We are the new kid on the block but ultimately, we want to be one of your " go to " sources for all things fashion, and life style. We will endeavor to do the best job possible, giving you fantastic photo-shoots highlighting the present collections and the trends they inspire. We will never stop trying to entertain and educate you. And we will do it with style and panache. Again, welcome to Fashion Maniac.
Cheryl M. Gorski Managing Editor
Throughout our magazine we will try to highlight our partners and supporters. Look for the Official Maniac logo and help support these business or persons who make this all possible.
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I have been doing hair professionally for 6 years. Known for my work in the fashion industry including photo shoots and runway. I can turn anyone's hair into an absolute work of art. I see hair and fashion as having no boundaries. It is limitless! I have worked and completed many educational classes in New York City, the" fashion capital of the world." Now that I am in Buffalo, Chez Ann Salon, voted #1 salon in Artvoice has also allowed for me to take things to a new level. Fashion Maniac is a great way to stay creative and up to date with current trends and I am so happy to be the hairstylist for all of the shoots!
Is Something Missing? Stephanie Luksch
More information and photos from our Fashion Maniac Team coming soon!
Buffalo Photo CD, based in Western New York, was founded and established by Terry Wherry. Although Buffalo Photo CD was established in 1999, Terry has been photographing since 1974. Prior to Buffalo Photo CD, Terry was first introduces to commercial photography through Calspan Aeronautical Laboratory and then moved to become the Chief Photographer at Summa Graphic. Terry, an avid cyclist, sailor and sports enthusiast has competed in various sports and has coached and taught over the years in these disciplines. With over 30 years of photography and color separation services, Terry
continued to dedicate his talent to athletics photography. Buffalo Photo CD/ Terry Wherry Photography is recognized as the official photographer of many major marathons and regional events including: New York City, Seattle's Rock & Roll, Nissan Niagara Marathons as well as other major road races. In addition, Buffalo Photo CD/ Terry Wherry Photography's work is viewed all over the world through major running magazines, various websites and other publications. Terry Wherry Buffalo Photo CD 716-536-3022
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Nathaniel is an artist of many mediums and a furniture designer by trade. He has studied fine art, industrial design, as well as furniture design at PRATT@MWPAI in Utica, NY, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Buffalo State College. His list of credentials is long and has been working as an independent furniture designer/ maker for ten years now. He has work in private collections throughout the country. Nathanielâ€™s work consists mainly of wood and is streamlined in appearance with efficient use of materials while practical in function. He does not make work for pedestal displays but always for an interacting audience. Currently he and a colleague are working on opening a new furniture/functional objects studio in downtown Buffalo. It will be fully functional and ready to produce by Jan. 2012.
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With a commitment to creative communication, Jim Breidenstein has been involved in countless promotional projects throughout WNY. As the founder and organizer of the charitable fundraiser, Buffalo Chilifest, the Buffalo Monsterfest as well as former editor of Hard Tales Magazine, Jim has expanded his skill set to include high impact graphic design, web design, music composition, recording and video production. After working in the commercial print industry for 20 years, Jim has maintained a viable, successful independently owned design/marketing business for over 10 years. Throughout this time, WebArt Designs and has been a contributor to the success of many of downtown Buffaloʼs most notable nightclubs, restaurants and theatres. Jim is also the music director for a number of TV and theatre projects produced by TCT TV from Marion, IL with a studio in Orchard Park NY including writing the musical score to the soon to be released, “Race to the Finish” appearing in select Dipson Theatres beginning February 24, 2011. Jim is excited to be a part of Fashion Maniac Team and is look forward to help bring an enjoyable online reading experience to all who flip through our digital pages.
Kimberly Cohen Bio Kimberly's love for fashion and modeling landed her into the entertainment industry. This fondness first started at a very young age, which groomed her career as a model. Modeling made it easygoing to take creative control with casting . Her quest for PR and Marketing, with continuing education in advertising, led her to Fashion Maniac. "I am continuously gaining new knowledge of what the industry wants and needs to be successful ". Kimberly's enthusiasm and passion is an asset to our Fashion Maniac Team.
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My journey started over 25 Years ago . After graduating from college in Graphic and Fine arts , I decided I wanted to use my creative education in hair and makeup .I then graduated from Peter Piccolo and went to New York to learn advance make-up. Since then I have worked in various Salons and modeling agencies ( Conwell, June II, and John Roberts Powers).I also worked at Studio Arena, Phieffer and UB fine Arts theater doing hair and make-up for various plays Hair Spray, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat and etc. Later I had the pleasure of meeting Cheryl Gorski and we worked together in various Fashion Magazines and free lance model shoots. Today I am the proud to own my own Salon and Spa (salon Rouge ) for 15 years. I'm excited to work for this Fashion magazine, who knows the sky is the limit!
Cassie Rose joined the Fashion Maniac Team back in August of 2010 as head stylist . She creates clothing, and accessory conecpts, based off of current trends from each season of Mercedes Benz New York Fashion week. Gaining knowledge, and inspiration from trends spotted on the catwalks , and streetstyle of New York , conveys a luster to each photo session. Cassie's love for vintage clothing, has influenced her latest endevour, designing, and revamping vintage clothing . Expect to see her line coming soon in the photo spreads of Fashion Maniac.
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Shon O'Connor is Jack of all creative trades that orig-
inally hails from the Pacific Northwest. Ambitious at a young age, he has been renovating and restoring houses since he moved to Portland, OR at 18 for school. In addition to renovating houses, Shon opened a mid-century modern furniture and vintage clothing store called the Urban Edge in Portland. He relocated to Miami at 24 and worked as a talent recruiter, artist and model there while also renovating homes. For the last 10 years Shon has split his time between his Buffalo and Florida homes while working as a freelance writer and continuing to renovate houses. Shon O'Connor 57 North Pearl Street Buffalo, NY 14202 305-509-0625
TEAM CONTACT INFO: Newell Nussbaumer : Publisher of Buffalorising.com firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Cassandra Elsaesser : Stylist of the Fashion Maniac team firstname.lastname@example.org Whitney Curry : Beauty Editor & Hair Stylist of the Fashion Maniac team email@example.com Dani Weiser : Beauty Editor & Makeup Artist of the Fashion Maniac team firstname.lastname@example.org Kimberly Cohen : Castings Director of the Fashion Maniac team email@example.com Phillip Johnson : Features Editor of the Fashion Maniac team firstname.lastname@example.org Cheryl Gorski : Managing Editor & Photographer of the Fashion Maniac team email@example.com Todd Warfield : Set Designer of the Fashion Maniac team Todd.Warfield@roadrunner.com Jim Breidenstein : Web Designer for Fashionmaniac.com firstname.lastname@example.org>, Lucy Mancuso : Accessories Prop Stylist of the Fashion Maniac team coco321c@aol,com Michael Merisola: Furniture Prop Stylist of the Fashion Maniac Team email@example.com , Stephen Phillips Prop Stylist of the Fashion Maniac Team firstname.lastname@example.org , Pamela Anczok : Auto Editor of the Fashion Maniac Team email@example.com , Terry Wherry : Auto & Product Photographer of the Fashion Maniac Team firstname.lastname@example.org , Mario Lorenzo : contributing castings of the Fashion Maniac Team email@example.com , Nathaniel Hall : Interiors Editor of the Fashion Maniac Team firstname.lastname@example.org , Joe Cascio Interiors Photographer Of the Fashion Maniac Team email@example.com , Andrew Brown : Makeup & Hair Stylist of the Fashion Maniac Team firstname.lastname@example.org Shon O'Connor : Mens Editor ,casting, and stylist of the Fashion Maniac Team email@example.com David Fernan Costume & Prop Stylist firstname.lastname@example.org , John Marfoglia Prop Stylist of the Fashion Maniac Team email@example.com , Stephanie Luksch Assistant Stylist for the Fashion Maniac Team firstname.lastname@example.org TEAM PHONE NUMBERS: Cheryl Gorski : 903-0600 Dani Weiser : 348-1239 Cassie Elsaesser : 982-1387 Whitney Curry : 239-8766 Kimberly Cohen : 907-2686 Phillip Johnson : 203-512-2528
Todd Warfield : 289-1078 Lucy Mancuso : 603-3402 Michael Merisola : 432-6216 Jim Breidenstein : 716-674-0870 Andrew Brown : 884-1010 Stephen Phililps : 573-9505 Terry Wherry : 536-3022
Mario Lorenzo : 860-5547 Nathaniel Hall : 315-762-3212 Joe Cascio : 228-5100 Shon O'Connor : 305-509-0625 David Fernan : 954-479-0576 John Marfoglia : 913-8549 Stephanie Luksch : 864-7529
a Bite out of Fashion
The Vampire's Kiss:
The Legend, The Myths, and The Fashion of Vampirism fashionmaniac.com
by Phillip D. Johnson
The Vampire's Kiss:
The Legend, The Myths, and The Fashion of Vampirism by Phillip D. Johnson most cases, vampires are thought to be Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who are said to subsist by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person. Although vampiric entities have been recorded in many cultures such as the Mesopotamians, Hebrews, Ancient Greeks, and Romans, and may go back even further to "prehistoric times", the term vampire was not popularized until the early 18th century, after an influx of vampire superstition into Western Europe from areas where vampire legends were frequent, such as the Balkans and Eastern Europe, although local variants were also known by different names, such as vrykolakas in Greece and strigoi in Romania. This increased level of vampire superstition in Europe led to mass hysteria and in some cases resulted in corpses actually being staked and people being accused of vampirism. In
of evil beings, suicide victims, or witches, but they can also be created by a malevolent spirit possessing a corpse or by being bitten by a vampire. Belief in such legends became so pervasive that in some areas it caused mass hysteria and even public executions of people believed to be vampires. (In zoology and botany, the term vampirism is used in reference to leeches, mosquitoes, mistletoe, vampire bats, and other organisms that subsist on the bodily fluids of other hosts.)
For our modern times (anytime in the last 80 years), the â€œVampire Lifestyleâ€? (itself) is a term for a contemporary subculture of people, largely within the Goth subculture (which due to space constraints, will not be part of this conversation), who consume the blood of others as a pastime; drawing from the rich recent history of popular culture related to cult symbolism, horror films, the fiction of Anne Rice, and the styles of
Victorian England. Active vampirism within the vampire subculture includes both blood-related vampirism, commonly referred to as sanguine vampirism, and psychic vampirism, or supposed feeding from their victim's essential life-force/energy.
Varney the Vampire was a landmark popular mid-Victorian era Gothic horror story
FASHION MANIAC TEAM: Features Editor : Phillip Johnson All Photography & Managing Editor : Cheryl Gorski Styled By: Cheryl Gorski MakeUp : Dani Weiser Hair Stylist : Whitney Curry Casting Director: Kimberly Cohen Prop Stylist : Todd Warfield, Lucy Mancuso, Stephen Phillips
Between 1897 and the 1950's, therefore, the conventional image of "a vampire:" was (1) was a walking corpse--a man who had died and returned from the grave, (2) was immortal, unaging, unchanging, invincible and immune to illness, (3) was a foreigner, usually with a heavy Eastern European accent, (4) was attractive in a slick, formal, dark and Aquiline way, (5) came from a high social stratum, usually titled nobility, (6) could shape-shift into a bat (sometimes a wolf, but the bat was a given), (7) possessed hypnotic mind control powers, which could be exerted even from a distance, or when the victim was unaware of the vampire's presence, (8) was seductive and predatory, although he was interested in something else besides sex, (9) always wore a cape or a cloak, sometimes with a high collar, (10) was always formally dressed, often in evening clothes, (11) never ate food or drank any liquid but blood, which often raised suspicion in social situations, (12) slept in a coffin in the daytime (details like special dirt, "hallowed ground," and so on were optional--but the vampire had to have a coffin, no substitute was acceptable), (13) had no reflection in a mirror (Stoker invented this. In folklore, corpses might become vampires if they were reflected in a mirror, but they certainly had reflections), (14) was repelled by garlic and religious symbols (Stoker stylized these as being specific to vampires. In folklore, all "antivampire" repellents were in fact "antievil" repellents that were used against any supernatural threat) did not usually kill the victim with the first attack, (15) could turn his victim into a vampire by biting him or her, sometimes a set number of times. The victim had to die and revive to become a vampire and (16) was dispatched with a stake pounded through his heart (usually nothing else was required, although Stoker insisted that beheading was mandatory). The vampire first appeared in poems such as The Vampire (1748) by Heinrich August Ossenfelder, Lenore (1773) by Gottfried August Bürger, Die Braut
von Corinth (The Bride of Corinth (1797) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Robert Southey's Thalaba the Destroyer (1801), John Stagg's "The Vampyre" (1810), Percy Bysshe Shelley's "The Spectral Horseman" (1810) ("Nor a yelling vampire reeking with gore"), "Ballad" in St. Irvyne (1811) (about a reanimated corpse, Sister Rosa), Samuel Taylor Coleridge's unfinished Christabel and Lord Byron's The Giaour. (1819), featuring the vampire Lord Ruthven. Byron was also credited with the first prose fiction piece concerned with vampires: The Vampyre (1819). However this was in reality authored by Byron's personal physician, John Polidori, who adapted an enigmatic fragmentary tale of his illustrious patient, "Fragment of a Novel" (1819), also known as "The Burial: A Fragment".Byron's own dominating personality, mediated by his lover, Lady Caroline Lamb, in her unflattering roman-a-clef, Glenarvon (a Gothic fantasia based on Byron's wild life), was used as a model for Polidori's undead protagonist Lord Ruthven. The Vampyre was highly successful and the most influential vampire work of the early 19th century and Lord Ruthven's exploits were further explored in a series of vampire plays in which he was the anti-hero. The vampire theme continued in inexpensive and dreadful serial pulp fiction publications such as Varney the Vampire (1847) and culminated in the pre-eminent vampire novel of all time: Dracula by Bram Stoker, published in 1897.
Varney the Vampire was a landmark popular mid-Victorian era Gothic horror story by James Malcolm Rymer (alternatively attributed to
Thomas Preskett Prest), which first appeared from 1845 to 1847 in a series of pamphlets generally referred to as “penny dreadfuls” because of their inexpensive price and typically gruesome contents. The story was published in book form in 1847 and runs to 868 double-columned pages. It has a distinctly suspenseful style, using vivid imagery to describe the horrifying exploits of Varney. Another important addition to the genre was Sheridan Le Fanu's lesbian vampire story Carmilla (1871). Like Varney before her, the vampire Carmilla is portrayed in a somewhat sympathetic light as the compulsion of her condition is highlighted.
No effort to depict vampires in popular fiction was as influential or as definitive as Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897). Its portrayal of vampirism as a disease of contagious demonic possession, with its undertones of sex, blood and death, struck a chord in Victorian Europe where tuberculosis and syphilis were common. The vampiric traits described in Stoker's work merged with and dominated folkloric tradition, eventually evolving into the modern fictional vampire. Drawing on past works such as The Vampyre and "Carmilla", Stoker began to research his new book in the late 19th century, reading works such as The Land Beyond the Forest (1888) by Emily Gerard and other books about Transylvania and vampires. In London, a colleague mentioned to him the story of Vlad Ţepeş, the "real-life Dracula," and Stoker immediately incorporated this story into his book. The first chapter of the book was omitted when it was published in 1897, but it was released in 1914 as Dracula's Guest.
Vampyre with Klaus Kinski the same year. Several films featured female, often lesbian, vampire antagonists such as Hammer Horror's The Vampire Lovers (1970) based on Carmilla, though the plot lines still revolved around a central evil vampire character.
The latter part of the 20th century saw the rise of the vampire epics.
The first of these was Gothic romance writer Marilyn Ross' Barnabas Collins series (1966–71), loosely based on the contemporary American TV series Dark Shadows. It also set the trend for seeing vampires as poetic tragic heroes rather than as the more traditional embodiment of evil. This formula was followed in novelist Anne Rice's highly popular and influential Vampire Chronicles (1976–2003). Vampires in the Twilight series (2005–2008) by Stephenie Meyer ignore the effects of garlic and crosses, and are not harmed by sunlight (although it does reveal their supernatural nature). Richelle Mead further deviates from traditional vampires in her Vampire Academy series (2007–present), basing the novels on Romanian lore with two races of vampires, one good and one evil, as well as half-vampires.
The legend of the vampire was cemented in the film industry when Dracula was reincarnated for a new generation with the celebrated Hammer Horror series of films, starring Christopher Lee as the Count. The successful 1958 Dracula starring Lee was followed by seven sequels. Lee returned as Dracula in all but two of these and became well known in the role. By the 1970s, vampires in films had diversified with works such as Count Yorga, Vampire (1970), an African Count in 1972's Blacula, the BBC's Count Dracula featuring French actor Louis Jourdan as Dracula and Frank Finlay as Abraham Van Helsing, and a Nosferatu-like vampire in 1979's Salem's Lot, and a remake of Nosferatu itself, titled Nosferatu the
The pilot for the Dan Curtis 1972 television series Kolchak: The Night Stalker revolved around reporter Carl Kolchak hunting a vampire on the Las Vegas strip. Later films showed more diversity in plot line, with some focusing on the vampire-hunter, such as Blade in the Marvel Comics' Blade films and the film Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy, released in 1992, foreshadowed a vampiric presence on television, with adaptation to a long-running hit TV series of the same name and its spin-off Angel. Still others showed the vampire as protagonist, such as 1983's The Hunger, 1994's Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles and its indirect sequel of sorts Queen of the Damned, and the 2007 series Moonlight. Bram Stoker's Dracula was a noteworthy 1992 film which became the thenhighest grossing vampire film ever. This increase of interest in vampiric plot lines led to the vampire being depicted in films such as Underworld and Van Helsing, and the Russian Night Watch and a TV miniseries remake of Salem's Lot, both from 2004. The series Blood Ties premiered on Lifetime Television in 2007, featuring a character portrayed as Henry Fitzroy, illegitimate son of Henry VIII of England turned vampire, in modern-day Toronto, with a female former Toronto detective in the starring role. A 2008 series from HBO, entitled True Blood, gives a Southern take to the vampire theme. Another popular vampire-related show is CW's The Vampire Diaries. The continuing popularity of the vampire theme has been ascribed to a combination of two factors: the representation of sexuality and the perennial dread of mortality. Another "vampiric" series that has recently come out is the Twilight Saga, a series of films based on the book series of the same name, with Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 being the latest in the series. Unlike what is commonly assumed, there are more to the members of the vampire society than simply those that drink blood. Such members tend to congregate together into small clans, usually called covens or "houses," in a tribal culture to find acceptance among others that share their beliefs.
Generally vampirism is not considered a religion but a spiritual or philosophical path. There are also many modern vampires that are not part of a coven, but rather are solitary. Most human vampires wear regular or ordinary clothes for the area they live in to avoid discrimination. In addition, there are hybrids, human vampires that take both blood and energy. There are three main types of vampires lifestylers. Those that drink blood are called Sanguinarians or "sanguine vampires". They and psychic vampires address themselves as "real vampires" and usually have a collective community. They believe they have a physical or spiritual need to drink human blood to maintain their mental and physical health.
Psychic Vampires, commonly known as Psi-vamps, are another kind of human vampire that claim to attain nourishment from the aura, psychic energy, or pranic energy of others. They believe one must feed from this energy to balance a spiritual or psychological energy deficiency such as a damaged aura or chakra. Living Vampires, often calling themselves by the namesake, are highly spiritual and consider vampirism an action required for spiritual evolution and ascension, but yet maintain a rigid ethical system in its practice. Living vampires are not blood drinkers or psychic vampires and are usually organized into initiatory orders such as Temple of the Vampire, Ordo Strigoi Vii and the Order of the Black Dragon. For Transcendental Vampires, the notion of the Vampire having an immortal soul is the focal point of this Vampiric identity. Those who associate with this form of Vampiric identity hold the belief that their soul may travel into, and fuse with the soul and body of a younger Vampire with the goal of achieving immortality. Transcendental Vampires may be sanguinarian and/or psychic in nature. Blood donors are people that willingly allow human vampires to drink their blood. Within vampire society, human vampires and donors are considered equal, yet donors are expected to be subservient to the vampires. At the same time, donors are difficult to find, and because of that human vampires have no reason to abuse their donors. Blood Fetishists in the vampire community use blood as a fetish or stimulant in sadomasochistic sex.
It is difficult to make a single, definitive description of the folkloric vampire, though there are several elements common to many European, African, South, Central and North American legends. In Slavic lore, causes of vampirism include being born with a caul, teeth or tail, being conceived on certain days, "unnatural" death, excommunication, and improper burial rituals. Many Serbians believed that having red hair was a vampiric trait. Preventive measures included placing a crucifix in the coffin, placing blocks under the chin to prevent the body from eating the shroud, nailing clothes to coffin walls for the same reason, putting sawdust in the coffin (so that the vampire awakens in the evening and compelled to count every grain of sawdust, which occupies the entire evening, so he will die when at dawn) or pierc
ing the body with thorns or stakes. In the case of stakes, the general idea was to pierce through the vampire and into the ground below, pinning the body down. Certain people would bury those believed to be potential vampires with scythes above their necks, so the dead would decapitate themselves as they rose.
Evidence that a vampire was active in a given locality included death of cattle, sheep, relatives or neighbors; an exhumed body being in a lifelike state with new growth of the fingernails or hair; a body swelled up like a drum; or blood on the mouth coupled with a ruddy complexion.
Vampires, like other Slavic legendary monsters, were afraid of garlic and were compelled to count particles of grain, sawdust, and the like. Vampires could be destroyed by staking, decapitation (the Kashubs placed the head between the feet), burning, repeating the funeral service, sprinkling holy water on the body, or exorcism. The most famous Serbian vampire was Sava Savanovic, famous from a folklore-inspired novel by Milovan Glišic.
In various regions of Africa, folkloric tales of beings with vampiric abilities were numerous. For example, in West Africa the Ashanti people tell of the irontoothed and tree-dwelling asanbosam, and the Ewe people of the adze, which can take the form of a firefly and hunts children. The eastern Cape region has the impundulu, which can take the form of a large taloned bird and can summon thunder and lightning, and the Betsileo people of Madagascar tell of the ramanga, an outlaw or living vampire who drinks the blood and eats the nail clippings of nobles.
In the Americas, the Loogaroo is an example of how a vampire belief can result from a combination of beliefs, here a mixture of French and African Vodu or voodoo. The term Loogaroo possibly comes from the French loup-garou (meaning "werewolf") and is common in the culture of Mauritius. However, the stories of the Loogaroo are widespread through the Caribbean Islands and Louisiana in the United States. Similar female monsters are the Soucouyant of Trinidad, and the Tunda and Patasola of Colombian folklore, while the Mapuche of southern Chile have the bloodsucking snake known as the Peuchen. Aloe vera hung backwards behind or near a door was thought to ward off vampiric beings in South American superstition. Aztec mythology described tales of the Cihuateteo, skeletal-faced spirits of those who died in childbirth who stole children and entered into sexual liaisons with the living, driving them mad.
Tales of Romanian vampiric entities were found among the ancient Romans and the Romanized inhabitants of eastern Europe (known as Vlachs in historical context). Romania is surrounded by
Slavic countries, so it is not surprising that Romanian and Slavic vampires are similar. Romanian vampires are called Strigoi, based on the ancient Greek term strix for screech owl, which also came to mean demon or witch.
There are different types of Strigoi. Live Strigoi are live witches who will become vampires after death. They have the ability to send out their souls at night to meet with other witches or with Strigoi, which are reanimated bodies that return to suck the blood of family, livestock, and neighbors. Other types of vampires in Romanian folklore include Moroi and Pricolici. Romanian tradition described a myriad of ways of bringing about a vampire. A person born with a caul, an extra nipple, a tail, or extra hair was doomed to become a vampire. The same fate applied to someone born too early, someone whose mother encountered a black cat crossing her path, and someone who was born out of wedlock. Others who became vampires were those who died an unnatural death or before baptism, the seventh child in any family (presuming all of his
or her previous siblings were of the same sex), the child of a pregnant woman who avoided eating salt, and a person who was looked upon by a vampire or a witch. Moreover, being bitten by a vampire meant certain condemnation to a vampiric existence after death.
Belief in vampires was common in nineteenth century Greece. Greek customs may have propagated this belief, notably a ritual that entailed exhuming the deceased after three years of death, and observing the extent of decay. If the body was fully decayed, the remaining bones were put in a box by relatives and wine poured over them, a priest would then read from scriptures. However, if the body had not sufficiently decayed, the corpse would be labeled a vampire. According to Greek beliefs, vampirism could occur through various means: excommunication or desecrating a religious day, committing a great crime, or dying alone. Other more superstitious causes include having a cat jump across the grave, eating meat from a sheep killed by a wolf or having been cursed. It was also believed in more remote regions of Greece that unbaptized people would be doomed to vampirism in the afterlife. The appearance of vampires varied throughout Greece and were usually thought to be indistinguishable from living people, giving rise to many folk tales with this theme. However, this was not the case everywhere: on Mount Pelion vampires glowed in the dark, while on the Saronic islands vampires were thought to be hunchbacks with long nails; on the island of Lesbos vampires were thought to have long canine teeth much like wolves.
Vampires were so feared for their potential for great harm, that a village or an island would occasionally be stricken by a mass panic if a vampire invasion were believed imminent. Nicholas Dragoumis records such a panic on Naxos in the 1930s, following a cholera epidemic Varieties of wards were employed for protection in different places, including blessed bread (antidoron) from the church, crosses and black-handled knives. To prevent vampires from rising from the dead, their hearts were pierced with iron nails whilst resting in their graves, or their bodies burned and the ashes scattered. Because the Church opposed burning people who had received the myron of chrismation in the baptism ritual, cremation was considered a last resort.
In modern fiction, the vampire tends to be depicted as a suave, charismatic villain. Despite the general disbelief in vampiric entities, occasional sightings of vampires
are reported. Indeed, vampire hunting societies still exist, although they are largely formed for social reasons. Allegations of vampire attacks swept through the African country of Malawi during late 2002 and early 2003, with mobs stoning one individual to death and attacking at least four others, including Governor Eric Chiwaya, based on the belief that the government was colluding with vampires.
In early 1970, local press spread rumors that a vampire haunted Highgate Cemetery in London. Amateur vampire hunters flocked in large numbers to the cemetery. Several books have been written about the case, notably by Sean Manchester, a local man who was among the first to suggest the existence of the "Highgate Vampire" and who later claimed to have exorcised and destroyed a whole nest of vampires in the area. In January 2005, rumors circulated that an attacker had bitten a number of people in Birmingham, England, fueling concerns about a vampire roaming the streets. However, local police stated that no such crime had been reported and that the case appears to be an urban legend. In 2006, a physics professor at the University of Central Florida wrote a paper arguing that it is mathematically impossible for vampires to exist, based on geometric progression. According to the paper, if the first vampire had appeared on January 1, 1600, and it fed once a month (which is less often than what is depicted in films and folklore), and every victim turned into a vampire, then within two and a half years the entire human population of the time would have become vampires. The paper made no attempt to address the credibility of the assumption that every vampire victim would turn into a vampire.
Methods of destroying suspected vampires varied, with staking the most commonly cited method, particularly in southern Slavic European cultures. Ash was the preferred wood in Russia and the Baltic states, or hawthorn in Serbia, with a record of oak in Silesia. Potential vampires were most often staked through the heart, though the mouth
precaution of shooting a bullet through the coffin was taken. For resistant cases, the body was dismembered and the pieces burned, mixed with water, and administered to family members as a cure. In Saxon regions of Germany, a
was targeted in Russia and northern Germany and the stomach in northeastern Serbia. Piercing the skin of the chest was a way of "deflating" the bloated vampire; this is similar to the act of burying sharp objects, such as sickles, in with the corpse, so that they may penetrate the skin if the body bloats sufficiently while transforming into a revenant.
lemon was placed in the mouth of suspected vampires.
Decapitation was the preferred method in German and western Slavic areas, with the head buried between the feet, behind the buttocks or away from the body. This act was seen as a way of hastening the departure of the soul, which in some cultures, was said to linger in the corpse. The vampire's head, body, or clothes could also be spiked and pinned to the earth to prevent rising. Gypsies drove steel or iron needles into a corpse's heart and placed bits of steel in the mouth, over the eyes, ears and between the fingers at the time of burial. They also placed hawthorn in the corpse's sock or drove a hawthorn stake through the legs. Further measures included pouring boiling water over the grave or complete incineration of the body. In the Balkans a vampire could also be killed by being shot or drowned, by repeating the funeral service, by sprinkling holy water on the body, or by exorcism. In Romania garlic could be placed in the mouth, and as recently as the 19th century, the
The accompanying photo-shoot was designed to focus on the modern interpretation of the vampire, not to be an totally accurate depiction of vampires (as they are and can be as you have read in this article). Vampiric fashion, such as it is, starts with Gothic fashion influences. There is no vampire fashion without acknowledging the early and highly influential Gothic fashion that came before â€“ and which continue to influence modern vampire culture. Gothic fashion did not just spring up, fully formed, out of nowhere and nothing. Instead, over the past thirty years, Goth fashion has evolved, sometimes dramatically, by incorporating elements from multiple, heterogeneous cultures, subcultures and religious traditions. Ancient Egyptian women wore kohl, a powder made from lead sulfide, on their eyes, to give them a dramatic look. Some women even had kohl blown into their open eyes from a young age, to give them smokey eyes in adulthood. Tombs, murals and paintings of ancient Egyptians show them wearing very dramatic eye makeup. Often they had thick black eyeliner extending past their eyes , as well as lines extending from the lower eyelid down into the face. Modern-day Goths can safely and easily duplicate the ancient Egyptian eye makeup using much safer and more hygienic cosmetics.
The Ankh, or a cross with a loop on top of it, was a popular accessory for many goths in the mid- to late-1990s. In ancient Egyptian folklore, the ankh was the "key of life," or a symbol for immortality; it appeared frequently in ancient Egyptian tombs, often showing a god or goddess giving the ankh to the dead person, and thus giving them eternal life.
â€œover the past thirty years,
has evolved, sometimes
There are few surviving manuscripts written in Gaulish; as druids were forbidden from writing down certain verses due to their religious significance. Despite, or perhaps because of this, celtic influence on modern goth fashion is primarily aesthetic. Celtic wheels, claddagh rings and celtic crosses are popular with goths for aesthetic, religious, ethnic or symbolic reasons. Celtic knots are popular details for rings, necklaces and embroidered dresses.
Shakespeare's Prince of Denmark, Hamlet, is thought to be an original goth. Melancholy, emotional, given over to philosophical maundering and fits of madness, Hamlet was hugely influential in the later romantic movement, and thus in Gothic fashion. Hamlet dresses in all black as an outer sign at his inner grief over the death of his father. He is a skilled rhetorician and employs courtly, highly developed language to express his grief over the death of his father. This is one of the most well known examples of how philosophy expresses itself through "the trappings and the suits of woe" (or any other emotion, for that matter). Hamlet's philosophy and his black clothing are both expressions of the same inner self.
Ophelia, Hamlet's love interest, was a popular figure in Romantic paintings, and thus became a style inspiration to modern goths as well. She is typically painted with long, golden-brown hair, in a white dress, either sitting on the willow branch which broke and drowned her, or in the water, drawing close to death. The Romantic influence on Gothic fashion is unmistakable and expected. The Romantic movement was, in part, a rebellion against the sunny optimism of the Enlightenment and the scientific rationalization of nature. In England and Germany, where the movement was strongest, artists combined emotive passion with sorrowful yearning for some forbidden or forbidding love. Due to this movement, young men began wearing "poet's shirts," or long, flowing white shirts with loose collars. Dress became exaggerated and "democratic," which meant fewer aristocratic pretensions and plainer fabrics. Women, however, who were still constrained in corsets, full skirts and petticoats. During the Renaissance, "Gothic" became a pejorative term, meaning barbaric or uncivilized; and was used to describe what we now call gothic architecture, such as Chartres Cathedral in France, and Marburger Schloss in Hesse, Germany. By the late 18th century, the word's meaning had transmuted to imply the mysterious, dimly-lit, otherwordly atmosphere of these buildings. Romantic writers like Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker were attracted to the gothic aesthetic, and used crumbling castles, haunted houses and Bohemian cathedrals as settings for their stories. Vampires, ghouls, mad geniuses populated these stories; in many, a sense of melancholy and "doomed love" prevailed. Thus, the Romantic movement was a predeces-
sor of today's goth subculture. In the early 1980s, the New Romantics updated this look with drawstring collars, black pants and large, backcombed hairdos.
Victorian (England) dress has been one of the most sexualized styles in recent memory. Corsets and bustles emphasized the breast and buttocks, while tightly-laced boots and giant hats gave a flirtatious air to women's dress. Men wore hats and three-piece suits, as well as greatcoats. Some men wore corsets as well. Gothic fashion was influenced by Victorian styles through many direct and indirect channels, with vampire fashion likewise influenced by proxy. Although early goths eschewed this look for Vivienne Westwood inspired (and designed) punk knock-offs, later goths enjoyed this high-maintenance aesthetic. Gothic Lolita and Steampunk fashion both borrow heavily from Victorian fashion; and high-fashion, high-maintenance goths are attracted to the formal figure cut by these clothes: lace-up boots, petticoats, top hats, lace and frills.
Fetish fashion, a style of dress which arose in London's gay s&m scene after World War II, included fishnets,
black leather and vinyl, and biker gear; with pin-up girls like Bettie Page donned them for racy photo-shoots. During the 1960s and 70s, this subculture came "out of the closet" via rock bands like the Velvet Underground. Early gothic bands, like Bauhaus, Joy Division and Siouxsie and the Banshees emerged out of the 1970s London punk scene. Designer Vivienne Westwood, and her then-partner Malcolm McLaren, were almost the architects of early gothic fashion, combining ripped fishnets and S&M gear with neo-Edwardian and punk rock clothes.
The modern myth also says that vampires are sometimes portrayed wearing fur. While the exact date when fur was first used in clothing is debatable, fur is generally thought to have been among the first materials used for clothing and bodily decoration â€“ even by the cavemen. It is known that several species of hominoids including Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis used fur clothing. Today, for the most part, people sees fur and other animal skins (when used as clothing) as a luxury, but really fur, even back in the day of the cavemen, who has a steep learning curve when it comes to learning how to fend for themselves, was worn as a necessity and for warmth due to its superior warmth and durability. Vampires would have likewise wear fur not only just for warmth but also as a way of distinguishing themselves as part of high society. Fur is still used by indigenous people and developed societies, due to its availability and superior insulation properties. It must also be said that many members of the modern vampire subculture would seek out vintage fur pieces instead of new because it ties into their sense of style.
Either way, an elegantly dressed vampire wearing fur can hardly be seen as immediately evil, can they?
Model's Clothing: SCENE The Slaying : Suede ponchos & hair accessories provided by Moda Denim jeans provoded by Macy's Men's jacket provided by Limited Express Mens Cross necklace provided by Moda Furs provided by Furs by Russell White Peasant shirt provided by Roc's closet SCENE Seduction: Black dresses with jewel brocade provided by Deja Le Boutique Mens attire provided by Limited Express Mens Grey coctail dress designed by Sebastiana Piras & grey hat provided by Atelier Jewelry provided by Moda Mens military cut jacket provided by Macy's Furs provided by Furs by Russell White shirt & Vest provided by Guess Antique pocket watch provided by The Lodge Auction House SCENE The Plan: Dress, gown, & belt provided by Atelier Jewely provided by Moda Garter belt by Frederick's Of Hollywood Antique Knight Helmut proived by the Lodge Auction House Scene The Feast: White vintage dress & gloves provided by Moda Black dress with gold trim provided by Deja Lu Boutique Mace, Vintage goblet ,eyewear, & knecklace provided by The Lodge Auction House Furs provided by Furs By russell Velvet Coat and White Victrian shirt Provided by Roc's closet Scene The Kiss: White & Black vintage slip dresses provided by Moda White shirt & belt provided by Guess Vintage knecklace provided by The Lodge Auction House Vampire teeth provided Spirits
Location: Roc Doyle & Andrew Covey's home & Frederick Law Olmstead's Delaware Park's bridge Clothing provided by: Designer Sebastiana Piras of Atelier 820 Elmwood Ave 716332-6935 www.sebastianapiras.com Deja Lu Boutique 1451 Hertel Ave 716-837-3333 email@example.com and on facebook Limited Express Mens Walden Galleria Mall Guess Walden Galleria Mall Macy's Walden Galleria Mall Furs by Russell Inc 4446 Main St 839-5900 www.fursbyrussell.com Moda 1509 Hertel Ave, Bflo NY 716-725-6636 Stephen L. Phillips of The Lodge Auction House & Banquet Center 212 Cazenovia St. Buffalo NY 14210 |www.thelodgeauction.com 716-826-0168
Imitation of Chirst
Imitation of Chirst
Imitation of Christ
Imitation of Chirst
The Jewels in the Crown: A Review of
the Spring/Summer 2012 Jewelry and Accessories Collections
Fashion Week is never just about clothes. Itʼs also a chance for jewelry and accessories designers to strut their stuff before a captive audience. This past September in New York City, the following designers rose above the rest, piqued my interest, and showed collections that were daring, beautiful, filled with high energy and as dramatic as you would expect a jewelry/accessories collection to be.
By Phillip D. Johnson
Kara Ross' love of fine jewelry began at the age of 13 when, during an African holiday with her parents, she was encouraged to choose a native gemstone to design her own ring. She later spent years designing fine pieces for private clients and is known for her use of color in both her jewelry and handbag/belt collections which informs her viewpoint that jewelry should be bold, traditional but edgy, feminine yet modern and always vibrant. A certified gemologist, Ms. Ross has been designing jewelry for over 20 years and is also celebrated for her modern, geometric pieces that sometimes feature semiprecious stones, often set in 18kt gold and always designed on a grand scale. Her designs also boast a sleek, architectural look with structured pieces that often reminds one of geometry and her attention-grabbers have been worn by Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, Ellen Pompeo, Reese Witherspoon, and Michelle Obama, just to name a few. The vision for the spring/summer 2012 collection is “upbeat and whimsical.” For her jewelry collection, she was inspired by the ocean, and an "under the sea" fantasy was born in this collection. It feature cool color palettes, layering designs in a fresh light and playing up ideas of free flowing strands and layering. However, the elements of the pieces still retain our signature structure and geometric shapes.
For her handbag collection, she was inspired by summer desserts. Almost all of the exotics skins used in the collection have a “berry” reference (blue raspberry, pink berry, black berry wash) while still remaining edgy and fashionable with touches of metallic and neutral washes. We also have a python skin we call “cookies and cream”
There is nothing here in this collection that I wasnʼt in love with. I adored her stackable bracelets, her gorgeous turquoise and gold rings; the rose quartz suite (earrings, bracelets, and rings) and just about everything she showed at the Circa Lounge at Lincoln Center. Her handbags, mainly evening clutches, were like icing on the cake. Here too, she outdid herself in providing luxury, beauty and function. Sheʼs at the top of her game and I expect that the fall/winter 2012 collection will be just as good, if not better.
The vision for the spring/summer 2012 collection is “upbeat and whimsical.”
The Reece Hudson handbag line was established by designer Reece Solomon and Max Stein in 2009, with the goal of launching a collection that bridges the gap between luxury products and street style. Ms. Solomon (Hudson is her younger brotherĘźs name) strives to combine strong design sensibilities (after all, she started out designing clothing) with the highest possible quality materials and construction â€“ all of course handcrafted in New York City.
Each bag is hand-crafted, made of super-soft leathers and exotic skins, and lined in cotton. She is inspired by people she sees on the street, travels, and often old photographs; and is particularly interested with form and function when it comes to designing and shapes. The line is anchored with an innate attention to detail combined with an astute skill in the mixing of textural and tonal contrasts, quilting, and exotic skins.
The Reece Hudson handbag line
For spring/summer 2012, Ms. Solomon has “sunshine on my mind. I was thinking about a tropical beach," and most of the pieces in the collection were both beach- and city-worthy. In high gloss primary colors, there were totes in stripes and chevron; oversized clutches in turquoise and cobalt; and weekend-ready carryalls in sunflower yellow. In terms of color, the collection was very cohesive in that there were the right amounts of color without going crazy. Shapes were structured, lines were clean, and the details had just the right amount of city grit. She expanded her skill set by working with fabrics in addition to skins for the first time, as well as experimenting with new embroidery techniques and applications. Next season, Ms. Solomon and Mr. Stein will be working with a hardware specialist as the next necessary step in advancing the line and adding some weight to the bags.
Lulu Frost, a jewelry brand founded in New York City in 2004 by designer Lisa Salzer, is known for combining vintage style with contemporary design to create classic and enviable pieces featuring an eclectic mix of pearls, diam a n t e s , turquoise and silver. She is inspired by many things: her at Dartmouth College experience as an art history and fine arts, her familyʼs long involvement in the fine estate jewelry business (for over 30 years), and the influence of having worked with Victorian, Deco and Nouveau pieces as a child.
This love of combining modern with vintage came through loud and clear in her spring/summer 2012 collection entitled “Endless Summer”. While working on the collection, Ms. Salzerʼs mind was very much on her Long Island childhood and the summers she spent on the beach in Montauk. Going outside her comfort zone a bit, the collection combined unexpected materials such as raw-cut stones, suede lashing, silk orchids, brass beads melded into gold, and found pieces with her usual semiprecious stones, gold, and silver, all working to create a collection any woman can love. She stacked bracelets on top of each other, created gladiator-like pieces that ran up the leg and arms, necklaces that combines pearls, gold leaflets and gold pieces shaped like sharkʼs tooth, and colorfully stringed beads in perfect harmony. What could have been a clashing mess turned out to be a glorious mix.
Ms. Salzer is a very talented craftsman and this collection will serve to highlight her strengths and gain her even more fans.
Lulu Frost, a jewelry brand founded in New York City in 2004 by designer Lisa Salzer, is known for combining vintage style with contemporary design to create classic and enviable pieces featuring an eclectic mix of pearls, diamantes, turquoise and silver.
forms lavishly decorated with broaches, bib necklaces and other pieces alongside models transformed into fairies, dancers, a cellist, an opera singer, all within a whimsical landscape of flora, fauna, and jewels. The highly creative colors of the makeup on the models were the most creative and vivid seen all Fashion Week, the hair and costumes were straight from Black Swan and the set resembled a bejeweled jungle, all in theme to create a fantastical yet inviting world. Necklaces were displayed on half-forms, all the better to highlight their creativity, and the full-form mannequins were “decorated” to the hilt with a vivid collection of colorful silk flowers, Broaches made with pearls, beads, semi-precious stones, necklaces wrapped around the dummyʼs arms – all piled one on top of each to create an extraordinary mosaic of beauty with dramatic effect. This garden was really one I could have lived in forever.
The partnership of Karen Erickson and Vicki Beamon, also known as Erickson Beamon, has long been a driving force in costume jewelry design for over 23 years; and really doesnʼt need an introduction. The two women, hometown friends from Detroit, happened into jewelry design by chance. But chance has had nothing to do with their subsequent success. Their designs are as varied as their customers base and ranges from street fashion to ladies-who-lunch-but-nevereats and haute couture. They have collaborated with every major designer over the years, as well as selling to the worldʼs top retailers. But truly the one of the highpoints (so far) in their career was working, in the mid nineties. on John Gallianoʼs first show for Dior, Alexander McQueenʼs first show for Givenchy, with Dries Van Noten and Ungaro - all in one season. They continue to grace the photo-editorial pages of the top and most progressive magazines (Vogue, Vogue Italia, Harpers and Queen, ID, Dazed and Confused, Purple, W, Dutch, Tank etc....) and their beaded necklaces, chandelier earrings, bracelets, and brooches are all meticulously handcrafted using crystal and semi-precious stones. As an aside, they are known throughout the industry for their signature chandelier and statement necklaces, “sometimes with a vintage feel, and often with a rockʼnʼroll twist.” Their Spring/Summer 2012 collection, “The Redemption of Eve: Return to the Garden”, was inspired by “Kar Wai Wongʼs beautiful and timeless film In the Mood for Love, the infamous French photographer Guy Bourdin, with folklore brights and eclectic prints inspiring the color palette.” Designers Karen Erickson and Vicki Beamon transformed an eight floor space at Milk Studios into a garden of ethereal yet earthly delights. The collection was displayed on mannequin
The sisters Phoebe and Annette Stephens are the faces and youthful talent behind Anndra Neen, an unusually rustic yet very glamorous collection of handmade copper, brass, and nickel-silver jewelry all handcrafted in Mexico. Launched just this past spring, the Sisters Stephens grew up in Mexico City surrounded by artists. Their grandmother, Annette Nancarrow, was a painter, sculptor and jewelry designer in Mexico during the '30s and '40s, with an amazing studio in Mexico City filled with pre-Columbian figures, beads, feathers, and bones. Ms. Nancarrowʼs designs, made primarily from Columbian stones and shells with mixed metals, were worn by Frida Kahlo, Helena Rubenstein, Elizabeth Arden, and Peggy Guggenheim and sold at Henri Bendel in New York City. The sistersʼ collection, however, conceived and made by local artisans in Mexico City, are influenced by their grandmother but draw on their own interpretation of antique European jewelry, Egyptian and Bedouin motifs, Japanese design elements and French Medieval armor. All these influences can be readily seen in their Spring/Summer 2012 collection shown during New York Fashion Week at Made at Milk (at the Milk Studios). I really liked the silver bib necklaces, the bicycle chain and silver-nickel necklaces with Agate, Lapiz and Quartz pendants. As a point of fact, the Stephens sisters, young as they are, have probably learned a very valuable lesson from their artistic family: Itʼs okay to push the boundaries but you have to know when to leave well enough alone. All the pieces in the collection are highly expressive, pieces that say “look at me!” but they grounded enough to garner fans across the entire spectrum, from the avant-garde/downtown, hip-til-it-hurts maven to the Upper East society girl. However, the most exciting aspect of this collection is the metal cage evening bags. It actually originated as an extension of their signature Cage Cuff. The sisters were intrigued by the challenge of taking that concept even further and saw it as a way of standing out in the crowded accessory marketplace. “We liked the idea that you could see through it, so what youʼre carrying becomes part of the bag's aesthetic. After we had made and used the first clutch, we had the idea to make a smaller, oval shaped one that you could hold in the palm of one hand for the nights when all you need is a credit card and your lipstick. The sisters worked closely with their Mexico citybased artisan who developed the bag into a three-dimensional piece. After that, it was about testing the bag in real-life social situations to get a feel for its functionality and to figure out if there were any other adjustments that need to be made. In terms of taking this collection to market and their future in the industry, the sisters see only the limitless possibilities that lie ahead. “Our father paints and brought us up to be able to really look at art in terms of its composition. We feel that each piece we make must feel complete and balanced. We feel it's important, especially in jewelry, to create pieces that someone will keep for a long time and hopefully pass down to their children. Our design philosophy is to always push boundaries. If the two of us get truly excited by the piece and by wearing it, that will come through and hopefully others will like it as well.”
All imaged were photographed by the author and Cheryl Gorski
Exercising Your Options with Phillip Johnson
You see her and can't help but admire how fabulously put together she is: the Marc by Marc Jacobs top, the Alexander Wang pant, the Mui Mui fitted jacket and the sky-high four-inch high heels. She's a vision of loveliness in her hot outfit and her killer heels. But what you didn't see was her walking five blocks from her home that morning in those four-inch heals to get to the subway station. You didn't see her hurrying down the stairs at the station as she runs for her train (after all, she's already late for work) in those four-inch heels. You didn't see her throughout the day running her errands, and traversing the office aisles in the said heels. You didn't see her occasionally massaging her feet under her desk. You didn't see her later that night out at dinner with her friends, with her shoes off under the table. Once she got home that night, her feet was swollen but hey, sometimes we suffer for fashion. Well, maybe now you won't have to.
In Working Girl, Melanie Griffith's character, Tess McGill, lived on Staten Island, took the Staten Island Ferry to work as a secretary on a trad-
ing floor on Wall Street, where she changed from her Reebok sneakers into the shoes she had stashed in a draw in her desk. That was the 1980's and early 1990's for you. That wouldn't necessarily be the case today. Most young women and professional women in the New York City wouldn't dream of downgrading their outfit, however temporarily, for comfort. It's simply not done. I am thinking Slim Goodies is the answer to their prayers and to maybe get them out of those godawful flip-flops as well. .
Alyxaundria Sanford and her friends, Sheree Coleman and Sherrae Hayes, all left Ohio (in 2008 and 2009) to move to New York City to attend New York University and graduate school (Miss Sanford and Miss Hayes), and to pursue her dream of working in television (Miss Coleman). They embraced all that New York City had to give them, further developing great style, participating in the NYC nightlife and generally grew to love the city and all that it had to offer. Except wearing killer heels wasn't all its cracked up to be. They believed that, in matters of the “sole”, every woman needs the ability have instant relief at her fingertips. Tired of their own aching heels and swollen feet,
the three women, knowing that there has to be a way to be trendy yet medically safe, in 2009 put their heads together and let loose their entrepreneurial spirits to create Slim Goodies. Designed for delicate soles, Slim Goodies are wonderfully flexible ballet flats that are so slim, they slide with ease into an accompanying pouch that is small enough to fit in any bag, or large enough to carry all the other essentials like a credit card, your ID, mad money (extra cash in case your date flakes on you and stuck you with the bill) and your cellphone. Although Slim Goodies' primary target market would naturally be career women on the go (that walk from home to the subway station in the mornings in high heels can seem awfully long), Ms. Sanford and her fellow Goodie-ites believe that every woman should exercise her rights to be comfortable and discreet. Slim Goodies comes in black leather, a leopard print, silver and gold (for now) and in simple sizes: small (5-6.5), medium (7_8.5), large (9_10.5), and extra large (11_12.5). More colors are coming.
“every woman, if given the chance, will like Slim Goodies”
This flexible shoe is a practical product that serves as a temporary yet very stylish solution to relief foot pain after wearing heels or even after long walks. It has an extra hydrophilic foam layer on the sole that absorb moisture and keep your feet fresh. The elongated front preserves your dignity so to speak by hiding unwanted toe cleavage and the soft leather look is easily as stylish and versatile enough to keep you on the well-dress list. It's far better than lugging around an extra pair of bulky shoes and you won't anymore have to carry a work and a sneaker bag. And even better, you are helping your feet to heal itself, because quite frankly, they are the only feet you will have in your lifetime.
Although they live in New York City, Ms. Sanford and the Sole Discretion Team knows that every woman, if given the chance, will like Slim Goodies, whether they are out partying in Las Vegas, a professional in downtown Cleveland just running out to get some coffee or lunch, or running errands during your lunch break in San Diego.
Slim Goodies were handed out to celebrities and fashion insiders attending the GBK Gifting Lounge at the Empire Hotel at the recent Spring/Summer 2012 New York Fashion in September. The fashion blogging community has discovered Slim Goodies and much have been written about them on numerous fashion blogs, which after all is the target audience. There has also been testimonials on twitter and numerous retweeting by Slim Goodies' increasing fan base. As Miss Coleman told Amanda Amsel of Cincinnati City Beat, All the shoes in this series will have the same premise of being compatible and easy to carry around. However, the next shoe in the series can be worn all day and can be a substitution for heels It will have a slightly elevated heel, but still will be able to fold up.
Almost any heel can be uncomfortable, so it comes in handy to be able to switch to a comfortable shoe anytime you need to,Miss Hayes says. It also gives you a sense of freedom to not have to carry around multiple bags. It is
so nice to have everything you need in one clutch.
Slim Goodies, costs $15 each and currently only available online, although the company hopes to be able to offer them in local retail outlets soon.
For more information, email customerservi ce @ so le -discretion.com or visit w w w . s o l e discretion.com. www.sole-discretion.com
The Fashion That Was
The Sixties and How it influenced the Fashion World
While there is a tendency to think of the Sixties as a whole unified decade, in terms of fashion it must, in fact, be viewed as two separate and quite distinct parts (if not more), with the early years clinging doggedly on to modifications of Fifties styles and the later years exploding into the wild fashion frenzy for which the decade is possibly best remembered. The 1960s was an important decade for fashion because it was the first time in history that clothing was geared towards the youth market; and featured a wide
clothing was geared towards the youth market
number of diversified trends. It was a decade that broke many fashion traditions, mirroring social movements during the period. Previously, fashion houses designed for the mature and elite members of society; however, during the enormous social and political revolution that transpired in the midSixties, the power of the teenage and young adult market was too great to ignore. They led with new and radically innovative fashion styles, with little girl/woman androgynous looks for women that swept away the sophisticated sweater girls of the early sixties.
The Fashion That Was...
The Fashion That Was...
Fashions in the early years of the decade reflected the elegance of the First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy. In addition to the pillbox hat, women wore suits, usually in pastel colors, with short boxy jackets, and over-sized buttons. Simple, geometric dresses, known as shifts, were also in style. For evening wear, full-skirted formal gowns were worn; these often had a low decolletage and had closefitting waists. For casual wear, Capri trousers were the fashion for women and girls. Stiletto-heeled shoes were widely popular. As the traditional men's suit drifted away from pale, toned shades, menswear was now bright and colorful. It included frills and cravats, wide ties and trouser straps, leather boots and even collarless jackets. Ties were worn even five inches wide, with crazy prints, stripes and patterns. Casual dress consisted of plaid button down shirts with comfortable slacks or skirts. In the middle of the decade, culottes, boxshaped PVC dresses and go-go boots were popular. The widely popular bikini came into fashion in 1963 after being featured in the musical â€œBeach Partyâ€?.
Stiletto-heeled shoes were widely popular. As the traditional men's suit drifted away from pale, toned shades, menswear was now bright and colorful. It included frills and cravats, wide ties and trouser straps, leather boots and even collarless jackets.
It's easy to associate all 1960s fashion with short skirts, but the short skirt was not really worn by many until 1966 and not nationwide until 1967. Just as in the 1920s, for half a decade clothes still showed signs of belonging to the late fifties. The fore runner of the mini dress, the straight shift, which had developed from the 1957 sack dress, was still well below the knee. Pleated skirts set on a hip yoke basque were worn with short sleeved over blouses which were cut not unlike the shell tops of today. Straight skirts had front and back inverted pleats called kick pleats and were ideal for doing the twist dance craze as they allowed the knee to move freely. Straight sweater dresses in lambswool or the synthetic acrylic variety called Orlon were worn belted with waists nipped in became fashionable. Pencil skirts were still worn with sweaters or even back to front cardigans that had been pressed super flat. Before the days of tumble dryers, many women lay their washed rung out knitwear in paper tissue and then brown paper. They put it to dry under a carpet for two days.
When it was removed from the tissue, the footsteps that had pounded over the knit gave it a flat dry cleaned as new appearance. Laundering of delicates could still be a problem, but everything changed when mass produced synthetic garments arrived.
While focusing on colors and tones, accessories were less of an importance during the sixties. People were dressing in psychedelic prints, highlighter colors, and mismatched patterns. The hippie movement later in the decade also exerted a strong influence on ladies' clothing styles, including bell-bottom jeans, tie-dye, and batik fabrics, as well as paisley prints. Most importantly, in the early to mid-1960s, the London Modernists known as the Mods were shaping and defining popular fashion for young British men while the trends for both sexes changed more frequently than ever before in the history of fashion and would continue to do so throughout the decade. The Mods (short for Modernists) were characterized by their choice of style different from the 1950s and adopted new fads that would be imitated by many young people. As the Mods strongly influenced the fashion in London, 1960s fashion in general set the mode for the rest of the century as it became marketed mainly to young people. They formed their own way of life by creating television shows and magazines that focused directly on their lifestyle. They were known for the Modern Jazz they listened to as they showed their new styles off at local cafes. They worked at the lower end of the work force, usually nine to five jobs leaving time for clothes, music, and clubbing. It was not until 1964 when the Modernists
were truly recognized by the public that women really were accepted in the group. Girls had short, clean haircuts and often dressed in similar styles to the male Mods. The Mods' lifestyle and musical tastes were the exact opposite of their rival group known as the Rockers. The rockers liked 1950s rock-and roll, wore black leather jackets, greased, pompadour hairstyles, and rode motorbikes. The look of the Mods was classy; they mimicked the clothing and hairstyles of high fashion designers in France and Italy; opting for tailored suits, which were topped by anoraks that became their trademark. They rode on scooters, usually Vespas or Lambrettas. The Mods' dress style was often called the City Gent look. Shirts were slim, with a necessary button down collar accompanied by slim fitted pants Levi's were the only type of jeans worn by Modernists. Flared trousers and bell-bottoms led the way to the hippie stage introduced in the 1960s. Variations of polyester were worn along with acrylics.
They formed their own way of life by creating television shows and magazines that focused directly on their lifestyle.
Carnaby Street and Chelsea's Kings Road were virtual fashion parades. By 1966, the space age was gradually replaced by the Edwardian, with the men wearing double-breasted suits of crushed velvet or striped patterns, brocade waistcoats, shirts with frilled collars, and their hair worn below the collar bone. Women were inspired by the top models of the day which included Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Colleen Corby, Penelope Tree, and Veruschka. Velvet mini dresses with lace-collars and matching cuffs, wide tent dresses and culottes had pushed aside the geometric shift. Hemlines kept rising, and by 1968 they had reached well above mid-thigh. Those were known as "microminis". This was when the "angel dress" made its appearance on the fashion scene. A micro-mini dress with a flared skirt and long, wide trumpet sleeves, it was usually worn with patterned tights, and was often made of crocheted lace, velvet, chiffon or sometimes cotton with a psychedelic print such as those designed by Emilio Pucci. The cowled-neck "monk dress" was another religion-inspired alternative; the cowl could be pulled up to be worn over the head. For evening wear, skimpy chiffon baby-doll dresses with spaghetti-straps were the mode as well as the "cocktail dress", which was a close-fitting sheath, usually covered in lace with matching long sleeves. Feather boas were occasionally worn. The Kings Road in Chelsea became one of the main clothes centers of Sixties London, following the success of a small lane behind Regent Street near Oxford Circus, called Carnaby Street. These were the fashion shrines of British youth in the early to mid Sixties. By 1965 Carnaby Street had become the mecca for boutiques, with all the latest clothes for the dedicated fashion followers of 'Swinging London'. The most influential retailer there, having great success in getting men to follow fashion as much as women did, was John Stephen, a grocer's son from Glasgow. He acquired his first boutique in 1963 and ended up owning ten shops in Carnaby Street with names like 'Male West One', 'Mod Male' and 'His Clothes'. He also owned a similar number around other areas of the capital as well as at least two in Brighton. Although John's name is inextricably entwined with the gimmickry and 'fad' perception of 'Carnaby Street' fashion, he also had a very good understanding of other aspects of
the business, including updates on classic styles of ready-made suits. For example, in 1968 he was advertising 'Mohair, cashmere, wool and worsted jackets and suitsĂ…ccut with the flair of John Stephen designs - but gently'. Other Carnaby Street establishments included 'Lord John' owned by Warren and David Gold and 'Lady Jane' owned by Harry Fox. in 1967 there were more than 2000 'boutiques' registered for business in the Greater London area.
Away from Carnaby Street another leading London fashion name was Barbara Hulanicki who started 'Biba' as a mail-order operation in 1964 with her ad-man husband Stephen Fitzsimon. They felt that the price of designer goods was far too high for most people and adopted and promoted the 'use for a while, throw away and buy more' marketing philosophy. Barbara designed her own fabrics, generally using combinations of 'art deco' and 'art nouveau'. The business really took off when the Daily Mirror featured one of their gingham dresses at under Ă…Ă3 and orders started to pour in. Hulanicki's ultra modern, affordable and attractive styles made her a cult figure in the fashion business leading, in 1963, to her opening the BIBA boutique in Abingdon Road. Dark wood screens,
had set up his own furniture-making business in 1952, which started in a basement studio in London's Notting Hill. In 1956, The Conran Design Group was founded, initially as part of the furnituremaking business. Fast becoming a leader in raising design awareness, he opened his first 'Habitat' store at 77 Fulham Road in May 1964, concentrating on modern furniture and home accessories. Conran provided innovation and good design at affordable prices, much of it imported from Europe. Habitat soon introduced Swinging London to a range of French cookware, displayed in a simple, austere environ of white-painted walls and quarry tiled flooring. Fashion-conscious Londoners flocked to his first shop, with customers such as John Lennon, Mary Quant, George Harrison and Julie Christie all buying their furniture there. The staff's uniforms were designed by Mary Quant herself.
The Conran Design Group was founded, initially as part of the furniture-making business
low lighting and pop music gave the place the air of a discotheque and potential customers were actively encouraged to go inside and try whatever they liked. The largest store was opened in Kensington High Street in 1969, which had an all-black 1930s style d_cor with twenty or more potted palms and even more hat stands. Selling Biba clothes, Biba make-up, Biba everything! it survived until 1973 when it moved to the old Derry & Toms store in Kensington, finally closing it's doors in the mid-seventies. Another trendy place to shop was Cecil Gee on Shaftesbury Avenue. Fashion boutiques with bright lights, colors and pop music opened with enthusiasm all over the country. Of course, to display the clothes to their best effect, fashion models were required and the big names in fashion modeling were Jean 'The Shrimp' Shrimpton and Lesley 'Twiggy' Hornby, known as The Face and The Image of the Sixties respectively. Other top Sixties models were Patti Boyd who married Beatle George Harrison, Penelope Tree, Paulene Stone, the incredibly tall Veruschka and willowy Peggy Moffitt. In 1964 the World In Action program produced by Granada Television made an edition called 'The Face On The Cover' in which a TV crew followed Jean Shrimpton on modeling assignments in New York and London. Terence Conran (later Sir Terence Conran)
Mary Quant and the Mini Skirt Starting with designer Mary Quant who is credited with the invention of the iconic miniskirt (designed in response to the youthful, fun-loving attitude that was spreading throughout the country), the capital became known as "Swinging London" and soon brightly colored streamlined fashions were all the rage in Europe and America . By 1966 Mary Quant was producing short waist skimming mini dresses and skirts that were set 6 or 7 inches above the knee. (It would not be fair to suggest she invented the mini skirt because in 1965 she took the idea from the 1964 space-age designs by Courreges and liking the shorter styles, she made them even shorter for her boutique, Bazaar. She is then rightly credited with making popular a style that had not taken off when it made its earlier debut.) Quant found London girls seeking newness only too willing to try her new daring short mini skirt and the fashion trend took off because it was so different; and to wear it well, you had to be youthful to get away with an outfit that was so controversial, particularly among adults. The Quant style was soon known as the Chelsea Look. The shapes Quant designed were simple, neat, clean cut and young. They were made from cotton gabardines and adventurous materials like PVC used in rain Macs. They almost always featured little white girly collars.
But that's not the whole story when it comes to the â€œinventionâ€? of the miniskirt. John Bates was one of the most influential British designers of the 1960s and many fashion historians consider him the true unsung hero and inventor of the mini skirt. Long before Mary Quant, his mini dresses were the shortest, had the barest midriffs and the models wore the least undergarments - he preferred a bra-
less silhouette. In 1959 he had set up the Jean Varon label and later a label under his own name. His influence in the sixties was such that he dressed Diana Rigg in The Avengers series. Other celebrities of the day such as Twiggy, Sandie Shaw, Jean Shrimpton and Dusty Springfield all wore his fashion designs. But so did the masses as he also designed for important key department stores in the UK. John Bates has never been given enough credit for his role in the rise of the mini skirt. The facts are that John Bates was making shorter skirts long before any others. But Mary Quant was the facilitator of this novel idea who was really noticed. She got the mini skirt out among trendy young girls about town and it soon became copied and popular everywhere. Miss. Quant also sported a sharply cut geometric hairstyle; the 5 point cut created and popularized by Vidal Sassoon. Taken together, the hairstyles and the short mini-skirts and min dresses were the signature look for the better part of the decade.
The Fashion That Was...
By 1964, bell-bottomed trousers were a new alternative to the capris of the early 1960s. They were usually worn with chiffon blouses, polo-necked ribbed sweaters or tops that bared the midriff. The look of corsets, seamed tights, and skirts covering the knees had been abolished. The idea of buying urbanized clothing, which could be worn with separate pieces, was quite intriguing to women of this era in comparison to previously only buying specific outfits for certain occasions. For daytime outerwear, short plastic raincoats, colourful swing coats and dyed fake-furs were popular for young women. In 1966, the Nehru jacket arrived on the fashion scene, and was worn by both sexes. Suits were very diverse in color but were for the first time ever, fitted and very slimming. Waistlines for women were left unmarked and hemlines kept getting shorter and shorter.
the "lounging" or "hostess" pyjamas. These consisted of a tunic top over floor-length culottes, and were usually made of polyester or chiffon. Picture Liz Taylor at home with a martini in her hand and you will get the picture. Another popular look for women and girls which lasted well into the early 1970s was the suede mini-skirt worn with a French polo-neck top, square-toed boots, and Newsboy cap or beret. Long maxi coats, often belted and lined in sheepskin, appeared at the close of the decade. Animal prints were also popular for women in the autumn and winter of 1969. Women's shirts often had transparent sleeves. Psychedelic prints, hemp and the look of "Woodstock" came about at the same time.
By 1968, the androgynous hippie look was in style. Both men and women wore frayed bellbottomed jeans, tie-dyed shirts, workshirts, and headbands. Wearing sandals was also part of the hippie look for both men and women. Women would often go barefoot, and some even went braless. Fringed buck-skin vests, flowing caftans, Mexican peasant blouses, gypsy-style peasant skirts, long flowy scarves, and bangles were also worn by teenage girls and young women. Indian prints, batik and paisley were often the preferred fabrics. For more conservative women, there were
By 1968, the androgynous hippie look was in style. Both men and women wore frayed bell-bottomed jeans, tie-dyed shirts, workshirts, and headbands
Ultimately, what made the mini really acceptable was the introduction of pantyhose, otherwise known mostly today as tights. It was hard to wear a mini dress with stockings and feel confident, but with tights there was protection from the elements and no unsightly glimpse of stocking tops. As a result, stockings died in the mid 1960s and were only revived as leg wear in the 1990s or else kept for the bedroom. Likewise when tights were first introduced in the 1960s, it also liberated women from girdles, roll-ons and suspender belts. It's difficult to know which came first - the skirt or the tights, but the introduction of seamless stockings had started the tights revolution. What is certain it is unlikely the one could have existed without the other as no groomed young lady ever went out bare legged then. A pair of Wolsey tights cost about Ă…Ă1 in 1965 and with careful daily washing they could be made to last a month. Marks and Spencer was soon churning out lower cost versions at a rapid pace. Obviously planned obsolescence has been introduced since then for all brands, as most of us now find it difficult to make them last for more than a day or two's wear. Tights in the late 60s were often patterned with arrangements of diamonds or other graphic motifs and a favorite color of the era was a golden brown called American Tan. Fishnet tights were also briefly popular and Lurex glitter tights in gold or silver were a hit for the Christmas period.
Pinafores and knitted twin sets were still worn, but often the items were worn as separates. Square, V or round neck pinafore dresses in plain or tartan wool fabrics were paired with polo neck jumpers or tie neck blouses. Other combinations were burgundy plum pinafores worn with white or mustard blouses. A sleeved variation of the button through version of the pinafore was called a coat dress and it was worn with or without a skinny rib fitting sweater and often with a half belt at the back waist. All clothes were narrow shouldered and cut in at the armholes to properly reveal the arm and
its shoulder joint. Even short sleeve versions were set well into the armhole.
Baby doll dresses of 1966 were full and flared into tent shapes mostly with cutaway armholes or/and a halter neck. They were made of transparent tulles, lace or chiffons plain or tree bark mounted over a matching lining or could be made of crinkled cotton crepe fabrics. Lace of all types from Broderie Anglaise to guipure to with crocheted effects over colored linings or flesh toned linings were often seen. Black polo neck sweaters made popular by the Beatles cover album were often worn under check pinafore dresses. The dresses were usually solid colors of red or purple wool material. You could also find checks of black and white such as dog or hound's-tooth or the iconic Prince of Wales check. Black and white was a sixties combination and was used in op art dresses and block pieced dresses worked in Mondrian style. Black patent accessories complimented all these combinations.
Black polo neck sweaters made popular by the Beatles cover album were often worn under check pinafore dresses.
One of the easiest ways to get the sixties look was to wear short little colored gloves with a hole cut out to reveal the back of the hand. The gloves were similar in appearance to golf gloves of today. Along with the gloves, colored plastic beaded raffia knit bags and plastic colored bangles (Bakelite and other materials) and chandelier earrings made of large sequin discs were all high fashion accessories that lasted about 5 years. Swimwear, particularly the bikini (a more revealing version of the earlier two-piece swimsuit) had been commonly available since 1959, gradually becoming smaller until, in 1964, Rudi Gernreich hit the fashion headlines with his infamous 'topless swimsuit'. He was also responsible for the highly revealing bra-less body stocking fashion of the time. These items exposed breasts for the first time in commercially available fashion and almost instantly became an international controversy. They were allegedly designed as a symbol of women's liberation - as Gernreich himself stated, "...in fashion, as well as every other facet of life." The topless swimsuit soon led to the topless dress, and also gave birth to another revolution, the 'nobra bra' which effected quite a change to the fit of clothes and was somewhat more acceptable in public.
Lower kitten heels became a dainty alternative to stilettos. Pointed toes gave way to chisel shaped toes in 1961 and to an almond toe in 1963; which in turn led to the trendy white go-go boots. These shoes were often made from patent leather or vinyl. And because The Beatles wore elasticsided boots similar to Winkle-pickers with pointed toes and Cuban heels, They were also known as "Beatle boots" and were widely copied by young men in Britain and America. Flat boots also became popular with very short dresses in 1965 and eventually they rose up the leg and reached the knee. A cult for Dr. Scholl clog sandals worn in offices and outdoors was all the rage in the mid to late sixties in the same way that Birkenstocks were popular in the 1990s.
Outdoor looks were achieved by using fabrics like wool, Terylene or cotton gabardine, corduroy, leather, suede or mock suede fabrics made up as car coats. Also cheaper alternatives such as
padded nylon diamond quilted anoraks or cotton anoraks with toggles and Austrian peasant embroidered braids were quite common. Although the mini dominated for the most of the decade, women sometimes needed a practical alternative smarter than jeans that could be worn day or evening. Quite formal trousers worn with a tunic, shirt, skinny rib or matching suit jacket were acceptable in certain work situations and liked as alternative evening wear when made from slinkier materials. Trousers were made from Courtelle jersey, cotton velvet, silky or bulked textured Crimplenes, lace with satin, and Pucci style printed Tricel. Hipster versions were popular and very flared versions developed by the late sixties, with every style ultimately translating into denim jeans. Its worth noting that the hipsters of the 60s were not quite as low cut along the pelvic line as low rise jeans of the 2000's. The '60s also gave birth to the skinny jeans, worn by Audrey Hepburn, which again became popular with young men and women in the first decade of the 2000s. The late 1960s produced a style categorized of people who promoted sexual liberation and favored a type of politics reflecting "peace, love and freedom". Ponchos, moccasins, love beads, peace signs, medallion necklaces, chain belts, polka dot-printed fabrics, and long, puffed "bubble" sleeves were additional trends in the late 1960s.
Quite formal trousers worn with a tunic, shirt, skinny rib or matching suit jacket were acceptable in certain work situations and liked as alternative evening wear when made from slinkier materials.
Many of the fashions of the 1960s existed because of the fabrics used and invented at the time. They introduced new fabric properties and when synthetics were mixed with natural fibers there was improved performance in wear. Some had been invented years earlier in the 1930s and 1940s, but it was only in the 60s that huge production plants for synthetic fibers sprang up globally. In the United Kingdom in the 1960s, Marks and Spencer was instrumental in bringing Elastomerics from America to their range of bras, corsetry and bathing wear. Other manufacturers and fashion retailers soon followed. Du Pont and ICI were the giants of synthetic manufacture producing a wide range of fabrics under trade names relating to Polyamide, Polyesters, Polyurethanes, Polyolefins, and Polyacrylonitriles the polyvinyl derivative. All the fiber bases could be used as bulked or fine yarns dependent on fiber extrusion method and final finishing. The name often related to the country or plant where the fiber was produced. For example, Enkalon was Irish-made nylon whereas Crylor, an acrylic yarn was made in France. Polyamide is nylon and it came under trade names such as Nylon 6, Celon, Enkalon, Perlon, Bri-Nylon, Cantrece and others. Polyester was known variously as Terylene, Dacron, Terlenka, Trevira, Kodel, Diolen, Tergal and Lavsan. Polyurethane is the generic name of the elastomeric family of stretch fibers like Spandex, Lycra and Spanzelle. All these man-made synthetic fibers were commonly used in bras, underwear, swimwear and sportswear. Lycra eventually found its way into fabric mixes to aid crease recovery, wearing ease, fit and stretch, creating cotton/lycra blend, etc. Polyvinyl derivatives produce polyacrylonitriles and this includes Orlon, Acrylic, Crylor, Courtelle and Creslan. Modified acrylics such as Dynel and Teklan were first used to make fake furs and fake hair for wigs in the sixties.
Quite apart from being 'The Summer Of Love', 1967 was also the 'Year Of The Turtle' according to fashion paper The Daily News Record. Turtle in this case being the turtle-neck sweater which doubled both as an acceptable alternative to a collared shirt and tie with a suit or a completely informal top with almost anything else. The garment had been around since the 20's, being a fa-
vorite of Noel Coward, but re-emerged in the Sixties both as a Beatnik favorite and, later, celebrity fashion as popularized by such as Bobby Kennedy, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Sammy Davis, Jr., and James Coburn, among others.
Other more or less popular 'fads' of the Sixties included false fingernails, false eyelashes ( male mods often used eye makeup or mascara to enhance their looks ) and, for some reason, disposable paper knickers. 'Disposable' clothing really reached its zenith around 1966 - 68 (estimated sales in the US in 1967 were between 50 and 100million dollars!) but was generally more of a gimmick than a viable alternative. Society was adopting an increasingly 'throw-away' attitude and disposable cutlery, children's diapers and cigarette lighters were already commonplace. Throw-away clothes, furniture etc. were the next logical step. Even NASA had considered producing paper clothing for future space-travelers. The Scott Paper Company pre-empted them when, in a 1966 publicity stunt, they released their psychedelic paisley shift, a dress that cost $1.25. It originally came in two designs, a black and white Op Art motif and a red bandanna pattern. Scott advertising described the paper dress as "created to make you the conversation piece at parties. Smashingly different at dances or perfectly packaged at picnics. Wear it anytime...anywhere. Won't l a s t forever...who cares? Wear it for kicks -- then give it the air." They sold over half a million in the USA in six months. When paper clothing hit the UK's shores in 1967, even the Beatles got in on the fad and wore paper jackets in public. However, disposable clothes were not really much cheaper to make than ordinary dress production and that was that.
The '60s also gave birth to the skinny jeans, worn by Audrey Hepburn, which again became popular with young men and women in the first decade of the 2000s.
Bow ties became a popular unisex accessory, and a revival of 19th Century fashion brought back the 'choker' - a collar of pearls or fabric, gleefully known as the 'dog collar. Another accessory to 'come back' into fashion in 1964 was the wig, particularly when it was discovered that The Supremes used them on stage. Wigs were also used by men, notably Andy Warhol (who owned more than 500 including silver, blue and white).
Rolling Stone musician and trendsetter Brian Jones initially set the tone in 1965 with his trademark bowl-style haircut; but that changed dramatically towards the end of the decade as the time changed, men's hats went out of style, and was replaced by the bandanna, if anything at all. As men let their hair grow long, the Afro became the hairstyle of choice for African Americans. Moptop hairstyles (popularized by The Beatles and other musical groups of the time) were most popular for white and Hispanic men, beginning as a short version around 1963 through 1964, developing into a longer style worn during 1965-66, eventually evolving into an unkempt hippie version worn during the 1967-69 period which continued in the early 1970s. Facial hair, evolving in its extremity from simply having longer sideburns, to mustaches and goatees, to full-grown beards became popular with young men from 1966 onwards. Women's hair styles ranged from beehive hairdos in the early part of the decade to the very short styles popularized by Twiggy just five years later to a very long straight style as popularized by the hippies in the late 1960s. Between these extremes, the chinlength contour cut and the pageboy were also popular.
There were also the famous 'Beatle' wigs (which were one of the best selling pieces of poprelated merchandise ever) although the band themselves made very little from the marketing of them after manager Brian Epstein failed to recognize the potential. A variety of fashionable 'groovy' wigs were also created and marketed by John
Stephen which found considerable popularity with trend-setters. In the latter part of the Sixties the 'afro' wig also enjoyed popularity with both sexes.
The top name in hairdressing during the Sixties was undoubtedly Vidal Sassoon whose customers included Mary Quant, Jean Shrimpton and Mia Farrow who he famously flew to America for, when she wanted her hair styled, while she was on set making ' the film Rosemary's Baby'. (That haircut became rather famous because Frank Sinatra, her husband at the time, became very furious at her because she did it without his permission. Talk about control issues!) Born in the East End of London in 1928, he had worked for 'Teazy Weazy' Raymond until 1955 and by the time the swinging Sixties arrived, he had his own salon in New Bond Street. Creations of his included the 'bob cut', the 'five point geometric cut' - the neat swinging line as used by Mary Quant and Nancy Kwan, the 'One-eyed girl', the 'Asymmetric Isadora cut' and the 'Greek goddess' styles.
These 'modern' hairdos had taken over from the popular but troublesome 'beehive' style . In this, the hair was back-combed to give it massive height and volume, styled, and then set in place using huge amounts of hair lacquer. Together with stiletto heels, it could make a girl look up to a foot taller than she really was! Styles for women varied considerably, new 'cuts' being created on a regular basis covering a very wide variety of 'looks', but settling down to the simpler, long, shoulder length ( or longer ) hairstyles of the mid to late Sixties, via the chin-length heavily fringed or center-parted Mod look. Another name commonly believed to have been a top hairdresser* under yet another name - Christian St Forget - was Justin de Villeneuve ( real name Nigel Jonathan Davies ) who was probably more famous for his 'discovery' of, and relationship with, the fifteen year old Neasden girl Lesley 'Twiggy' Hornby. Born in London's East End and a genuine 'Cockney', Justin was evacuated to a Herefordshire manor house during World War 2 where he was a guest of writer J.B.Priestley. He went on to become a photographer, collaborating on pictures with Klaus Voorman (who created the Beatles 'Revolver' cover) and Erte. He photographed Henri Lartigue in 1968, and created the Marsha Hunt "silhouette" poster.
the Afro became the hairstyle of choice for African Americans. Mop-top hairstyles (popularized by The Beatles and other musical groups of the time) were most popular for white and Hispanic men
The Fashion That Was...
Twiggy's boyish 'crop' hairstyle was actually created by Len Lewis who was better known as 'Leonard of Mayfair'. He also takes the credit for creating the 'mop top' style of The Beatles who were brought to him by Brian Epstein after their sojourn in Germany in order to 'smarten up' their image. Len had been a prot_g_ of Vidal Sassoon and, working with colorist Daniel Galvin, his own salon at 6 Upper Grosvenor Street saw many famous visitors including Judy Garland, Liz Taylor and even John F. and Jackie Kennedy when they were in town. The 'In' hairdresser for the mods in the early to mid Sixties was John Anthony's salon in Twickenham. Hair styles for men gradually lengthened as the decade progressed, through the 'mop-top Beatle' style, the raised-back Mod style and the longer, more casual 'Rolling Stones' style to the shoulder length hair favored by the hippies of the later Sixties, often worn in permed 'Afro' style.
Best known for being the time of civil rights and serious political activity, the 60ʼs wasnʼt just responsible for changing the countryʼs political and cultural background, it also strongly influenced the way African Americans dress and viewed themselves. Early in the 60ʼs, you could catch an African American male sporting what was called is a conk. The conk was a hairstyle made popular among African American men. Coming into the 60Åfs, the conk was popular because blacks were still in the mindset of whites being superior so they would have their hair chemically straightened to resemble the hair of a white man. The style later fell out of popularity with the emergence of the black power movement and one of its trademarks, the Afro. Becoming popular in the 60ʼs, the Afro quickly became a symbol of African American pride. The Afro was much more than just big hair. It gave African Americans the chance to embrace their ethnicity and to not feel socially forced to copy white hair. The irony of that situation was that, while Blacks were embracing their ʻʼrootsʼ so to speak, Whites started to copy them, thus creating what has to be one of the most lasting images of the 60's: The White or Jewish Afro.
Phillip D. Johnson
The Fashion That Was...
God Save the Queen...
God Save the Queen
The British Invasion and American Fashion
The British Invasion of the mid-1960's, such as it were, was a term used to describe the large number of rock and roll, beat, rock, and pop performers who arrived en-mass from United Kingdom, literally invading the world of popular music in the United States during the period from 1964 through 1969. The rebellious tone and image of American rock and roll and blues musicians had become very popular with British youth in the late 1950s; and while early commercial attempts to duplicate the American rock and roll sound mostly failed, that experimentation was the starting point of several British acts that would later be part of the "invasion".
The tale goes as follows: On Decemb e r 10, 1963, the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite ran a story about the Beatles, an emerging group out of Liverpool, England and the surrounding Ă…gBeatlemaniaĂ…h phen o m e n o n happening in the United Kingdom. After seeing the report, 15-year-old Marsha Albert of Silver Spring, Maryland, wrote a letter the following day to disc jockey Carroll James a t radio station WWDC aski n g "why can't we have music like that here in America?". On December 17, DJ James had Albert introduce the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" live on the air, the first ever airing of a Beatles song in the United States. WWDC's phones lit up and Washington, D.C. area record stores were flooded with requests for a record they did not have in stock. On December 26, Capitol Records released the record three weeks ahead of schedule and the fact that the release of the record coincided with a time when teenagers were on vacation helped spread Beatlemania even more across America. On January 18, 1964, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" reached number one on the Cash Box chart; the following week it did the same on Billboard's charts. On February 7, the CBS Evening News ran a story about the Beatles' United States arrival that afternoon in which the correspondent said "The British Invasion this time goes by the code name Beatlemania". Two days later (Sunday, February 9) they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. Nielsen Ratings at the time estimated that 45 per-
Phillip D. Johnson
cent of Americans watching television that night viewed their appearance. By April 4, the Beatles held the top 5 positions on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, the only time to date that any act has accomplished this. The group's massive chart success would continue until they broke up in 1970.
Dusty Springfield, having left the English group, The Springfields featuring Dusty Springfield, then launched a solo career, becoming the first non-Beatles act during the invasion to have a major U.S. hit with "I Only Want to Be With You". She soon followed up with several other hits, becoming what music historians would describe as "the finest white soul singer of her era." During the next two years, Chad & Jeremy, Peter and Gordon, The Animals, Manf r e d Mann, Petula Clark, Freddie and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, Herman's Hermits, The Rolling Stones, The Troggs, and Donovan would have one or more number one singles. Other acts that were part of the first wave of the invasion included The Kinks and The Dave Clark Five. British Invasion acts also dominated the music charts at home in the United Kingdom.
The terms "rock music" and "rock" usually refer to the music derived from the blues-rock and other genres that emerged during the 1960s; and the term is often used in combination with other terms to describe a variety of hybrids or subgenres, and is often contrasted with pop music, with which it shares many structures and instrumentation. Rock music has tended to be more oriented toward the albums market, putting an emphasis on innovation, virtuosity, performance and song writing by the performers. Although much too diverse to be a genre in itself, British rock has produced many of the most significant groups and performers in rock music internationally, and has initiated or significantly developed many of the most influential sub-genres, including beat music, progressive rock, heavy metal music, punk, post punk, new romanticism, and indie rock. However, the British Invasion was by no means limited to Beatlemania and other successful groups from that first wave in the mid-'60s period. The Beatles' movie A Hard Day's Night and fashions from Carnaby Street led the American media to proclaim England as the center of the music and fashion world; and the fashion and image elevated the Beatles to an higher platform from their earlier American rock 'n' roll counterparts. Their distinctive, uniform style (clean-cut, dressing in suits) "challenged the clothing style of conventional US males", just as their music challenged the earlier conventions of the rock 'n' roll genre.
God Save the Queen...
God Save the Queen...
The British Invasion had a profound and major impact on the shape of popular music. It helped internationalize the production of rock 'n' roll, establishing the British popular music industry as a viable center of musical creativity, and opening the door for subsequent British and Irish performers to achieve international success. In America, the Invasion arguably spelled the end of such scenes as instrumental surf music, vocal girl groups and (for a time) the teen idols that had dominated the American charts in the late 1950s and very early 60s. It dented the careers of established R&B acts like Fats Domino and Chubby Checker and temporarily derailed the chart success of surviving rock 'n' roll acts, including Elvis Presley. It prompted many existing garage rock bands to adopt a sound with a British Invasion inflection, and inspired many other groups to form, creating a scene from which many major American acts of the next decade would emerge. The British Invasion also played a major part in the rise of a distinct genre of rock music, and cemented the primacy of the rock group, based around guitars and drums and producing their own material as singer-songwriters.
By the end of the 1960's, British Invasion artists played in styles now categorized either as blues-based rock music or as guitar-driven rock/pop. A second wave of the invasion occurred featuring acts such as The Who and The Zombies which were influenced by the invasion's pop side and American rock music. The musical style of early British Invasion artists, such as the Beatles, was influenced by earlier American rock'n'roll, a genre which had lost some popularity and appeal by the end of the Invasion. By the time the Rolling Stones came unto the scene in the second wave of the invasion, the perception about British music and its impact on the American music scene has changed. The Stones, by virtue of the way they dress and their sound, was perceived by the American public as a much more 'edgy' and even dangerous band. They stated themselves that they were Ă…gmuch more influenced by black-oriented rhythm and bluesĂ…h and thus view the world differently. This image separated them from beat artists such as the Beatles, who by then had become a more acceptable, parent-friendly pop group. The Stones appealed more to an 'outsider' demo-
graphic and popularized, for young people at least, the rhythm and blues genre which had been largely ignored or rejected when performed by black American artists in the 1950s.
God Save the Queen...
But the truth must be told: White British performers essentially revived a musical genre stolen from and rooted in black American culture in the first place. The British Invasion was simple the British bringing back home a sound that was American in the first place _ African/Black American. Not too many people are aware that due to discrimination across the spectrum, what white people in America thought was rock 'n' roll was actually black, rockabilly music purloined from Black musicians and sold as an original sound to White America. Elvis Presley's first hits, were actually remakes (once again, purloined in the dead of night) of songs he first heard on Black radio and on the Chitlin Circuit*. And because his audience has never heard these songs before and probably not about black music and the Chitlin Circuit, he and his hips were proclaimed King of Rock 'n' Roll and he made a great deal of money in the process. Where that left the original black artists are still being debated today (yes, in 2011). This sound inspired the British young musical groups in the 50's, creating a hybrid of sounds they then imported back to the United States and throughout the world.
Lastly, the emergence of a relatively homogeneous worldwide "rock" music style about 1967 marked the end of the "invasion".Though a majority of the acts associated with the invasion did not survive its end, many others, such as the Stones, Marianne Faithful, The Animals, The Moody Blues, The Hollies, The Yardbirds, and the Kinks, would become icons of rock music.
*The "Chitlin' Circuit" was the collective name given to the string of performance venues throughout the eastern and southern United States that were safe and acceptable for African-American musicians, comedians, and other entertainers to perform during the age of racial segregation in the United States (from at least the early 19th century through the 1960s). The name derives from the soul food item chitterlings (stewed pig intestines) and is also a play on the term "Borscht belt" which referred to a group of venues (primarily in New York's Catskill Mountains) popular with Jewish performers during the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
Noted theaters on the Chitlin' Circuit included the Royal Peacock in Atlanta; the Cotton Club, Small's Paradise and the Apollo Theater in New York City; Robert's Show Lounge, Club DeLisa and the Regal Theatre in Chicago; the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.; the Uptown Theatre in Philadelphia; the Royal Theatre in Baltimore; the Fox Theatre in Detroit; the Victory Grill in Austin, Texas; the Hippodrome Theatre in Richmond, Virginia; and the Ritz Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida.
The song "Tuxedo Junction" was written about a stop along the chitlin' circuit in Birmingham, Alabama. Once the performance was over, the band would leave for the next stop on the circuit. When the lyrics were ready to be added, Erskine Hawkins explained the reason for the title to Buddy Feyne who then created lyrics to match the meaning.
Many notable performers started on the chitlin' circuit, including Count Basie, George Benson, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis, Jr., Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, The Jackson 5, Redd Foxx, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Billie Holiday, John Lee Hooker, Lena Horne, Etta James, B. B. King, Patti LaBelle, Bernie Mac, Moms Mabley, The Delfonics, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Wilson Pickett, Richard Pryor, Otis Redding, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Little Richard, Smokey Robinson, Ike & Tina Turner, The Four Tops, The Isley Brothers, The Supremes, The Temptations, Tammi Terrell, Muddy Waters, and Flip Wilson.Jimmie " JJ " Walker
Phillip D. Johnson Fall is all about change. Whether is the changing colors of the leaves or putting away your summer clothes and airing out your winter wardrobe, we face a certain amount of necessary upheaval. In Fashionland, women change virtually everything in their lives: their clothes; their perfume, their lipstick, sometimes their hairstyle and most definitely their nail polish. (Sometimes even their husbands!) Because as all beauty experts will tell you, what works during the spring and summer months won’t necessarily translate well into the fall-winter months.
As Jennifer Balbier, Senior Vice-President of Global Development, Artistry Brands recently told the Wall Street Journal: “You can’t be running around in a tweed outfit and fluorescent nails. …very bright and fluorescent colors look out of place when juxtaposed with the heavier, darker fabrics of fall.” In our efforts to educate the FashionManiacOnline reader, I went directly to the source.
Aija Vilemsonne, Creative Director of Pretty Woman USA (www.prettywomanusa.com), is a fount of information when it comes to nails and their care. And first and foremost, she believes it is very important to know your skin tone as it is essential to maximizing your look. Winter skin tones range from pale to olive to dark. Undertones are typically blue or pink, with dark eyes and hair. Autumn skin tones have golden undertones. Most women who have autumn skin are red-heads or brunettes with brown eyes. Spring complexions are pale, with pinkish or bluish undertones. Spring skin tones are often blondes, or brunettes with light eyes. Summer complexions have golden undertones, with peachy skin. It’s common to see straw-colored or red hair with light eyes. Once you know your skin tone, you are then able to find the right nail polish fall trend that will best work for you. Ms. Balbier concurred with her assessment on skin tone sand offers up the following: “If you have olive skin, you have to be really careful about putting on shades that are cold because it clashes with your skin. For dark-skinned women, nothing looks better than a nail polish with a hint of pearl.” Everyone agrees, however, that we are experiencing a blue moment in nail polish. For a time now, more and more celebrities have been embracing blue, starting with nails and extending through to
eye makeup and denim. While it’s okay to follow celebrity trends sometimes, Ms. Vilemsonne cautions that, “choosing the right blue for your skin tone can be tricky; [because] not every blue is flattering for every individual.” For winter skin tones, she recommends going for high-impact colors like a deep navy or an icy-tinged pastel for a most flattering look. For women with autumn skin with golden undertones, blue isn’t your most flattering color. ( Knowing when NOT to follow a trend, in this case, is as important knowing when to.) Women with pale skin (spring) should wear a bright navy or a light whitish-blue to help make the nails more striking. Summer should go with a soft pastel for maximum impact against peachy skin. Ms, Vilemsonne sees this as the one trend that stands out above all others: “You can’t go wrong with nude, and metallic hues are always attractive, but there’s just something about blue! With luxury brands Chanel and Dior releasing collections inspired by denim, we can’t ignore that this trend has caught the eye of some of fashion’s biggest names. Use our guide to find the right color for you, and wear it with confidence.” It appears that the fashion industry wants you to keep on blinging. Fall metallics have hit the stores with a vengeance. It’s become clear that it doesn’t really matter which shade you decide on, be-
cause if it’s metallic, it’s in. In that case, Ms. Vilemsonne suggests taking advantage of the fact that this trend is colorless: “You can customize the trend to work for you.” Winter: This is your chance to go bright! Whether an orange-red or shocking pink, take the plunge. Spring: Avoid dark colors and embrace something soft in the lavender or rose-brown category. Summer: From lavender to plum, the purple family is the way to go to maximize your look. Ms. Vilemsonne is a big fan of nude nail polishes although “nude nails can be difficult [and] finding the right hue can be challenging. Though you’ll generally reach for a color that’s closest to your skin tone [and] even if something seems perfect, it might clash with your skin once it’s applied. Here, you should focus on your own undertones and those of the color you choose.” Winter: Subdued tones are not your most flattering, but sticking close to your skin tone will help. Spring: Go with a camel or a peachy color. Also, zero in on the brown family to complement your complexion. Autumn: Golden undertones are the name of the game. Particularly, beige and camel will work well. Summer: No matter what shade you decide, stick true to your skin’s undertones. Go with a rose-tinged nude.
...Nailing the Trends continued... The trend that is most challenging right now is paste-ons, stickers, and acrylics. “Thanks to celebrities like Katy Perry, who brought the bling with a Swarovski manicure, stone paste-ons have become incredibly popular. Rhinestones are an obvious choice, and you can pick up application kits at most drug stores. Stars like Rhianna prefer stickers in bold patterns and colorful designs. Go a little crazy with this trend. Choose a color that works with your skin tone. Right now, animal skin prints and metallic options are the most ontrend.” Rhinestones that were originally made from rock crystals are now also made from glass and acrylic. And due to its glistening effects, rhinestones have found extensive applications in nail art, and other fashions besides being used as imitation diamonds in jewelries. In fact, with the ever-rising popularity of nail
arts, rhinestones are being used for almost all the different types of nail arts and nail designs including acrylic and artificial nail art, gel nail designs and many more elegant nail arts And what is the one nail polish that most every woman can wear for fall despite their skin tone: “When attempting to complement every skin tone, the best thing to do is stick with a neutral. Whether it’s nude (in a color closest to the individual’s skin shade) or a lighter option like creamy beige, this color will flatter just about everyone. To avoid making a fashion faux-pas, consider undertones.” Overall, as Ms. Vilemsonne sees it, “The most important thing to remember about nails is to have fun
with it. Make mistakes, test out new colors, and see what you think works best for you. After having read these tips, you’re already ahead of the pack.” Some background information was courtesy of Aija Vilemsonne, www.prettywomanusa.com and Gina Conforti of KMR Communications, Inc. For more tips on nail care and trends,visit Pretty Woman USA at www.prettywomanusa.com
John Galliano once claimed that “the only way forward in fashion is to return to construction,” and although I am sure that Ralph Rucci and John Galliano doesn’t necessarily run in the same circles (even if the world of international fashion is like a small town and getting smaller every day), it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Mr. Rucci likewise subscribes to that same point of view. While some designers are known to jump all over the place in terms of their seasonal inspiration (last season – Inuit Eskimos mixed with essence of Orthodox Jews, this season - the legend of the fallen Mexican Mayan society), Mr. Rucci has a passion for meticulous workmanship and believes that one’s aestheticism should evolve over time, garment by garment, stitch by stitch.
By Phillip D. Johnson
He employs new silhouettes and technical processes as he sees fit and is impervious to external pressures and influences. As a result he, in his work, has managed to (as they say) stuck to his knitting by improving the construction of his designs while adopting new fabrics and techniques in creating exquisite, intricate handcrafted clothes that inspire those who seek refinement in their clothes. Over the years, I have met customers who would proudly proclaim their love for his designs to anyone and everyone around them. At his 25th anniversary collection, I met a longtime customer once who was wearing a piece she bought from him from that his inaugural collection when he first started out in his business. And you couldn’t tell if it as spring 2009 Rucci or a spring 1999 Rucci or fall 1993 Rucci.
Mr. Rucci has a passion for meticulous workmanship and believes that oneâ€™s aestheticism should evolve over time, garment by garment, stitch by stitch. But Mr. Rucci, although he believes in incremental continuity, doesnâ€™t believe in being stagnant either. He cherishes
cut, proportion and cnstruction and this
season, his designs
were full of beautiful,
He opened the collection with a classic white neoprene coat. But then he threw away the playbook following that with a daring silver python jacket and a silver python circular banded skirt paired with a beautifully constructed white chiffon button front blouse. Andre Courreges, in the 1960â€™s, popularized the use of plastic in his space-age inspired designs but for spring 2012, Mr. Rucci took the use of plastic to a whole new level of elegance. Known for his skill in cut-outs that follow the skeleton form of the womanâ€™s body, this season, he inserted latex plastic into the cut-
outs creating a subtle peeka-boo effect. First such design out of the gate was his silk faille** motorcycle jacket with plastic midriff and sleeve cut-outs. After that, it was one lovely surprise after the other. For every piece that is a classic Ralph Rucci, he gave us something new to wrap our brains around. I adored his printed gazar*** coat (clas-
sic Ralph) but I was blown away by his black and nude (with stripes of plastic) faille raincoat and his white heavy wool coat with black circles. His black wool crepe dress with front braided detail was magnificent but he took me to a beautiful place with his black hammered silk and tulle cocktail dress. It was youthful. It was divine.
And so it goes on. Other standout pieces in the collection (at least for me) includes his stunning silver paillette tunic and skirt combo, his silver tunic with paillette pant paired with a clear plastic trench coat and his white wool gown (classic Rucci) with a stunning hot red paillette tube skirt. As if to set us up for the
fall-winter 2012 show in February 2012, he closed the show with another Ralph Rucci Classic: A white horsehair Infanta gown that at once a classic imbued with the new and the youthful.
By Phillip D. Johnson
(The runway images used
were provided by the de-
**A slightly glossy silk with strongly defined soft, wide
ribs, silk faille is heavy in
weight but maintains a shallow, graceful drape. An ex-
ceptionally soft hand and
readiness to take a crease
makes this fabric beautiful
for use in tailored suits and jackets. Silk faille retains a
light sheen that draws atten-
tion to its premium silk fibers,
without being too glossy for
the workplace or formal settings
***Gazar (also gazaar) is a
silk or wool plain weave fabric made with high-twist dou-
ble yarns woven as one. Gazar has a crisp hand and a smooth texture.
with Jeremy Scott
By Phillip D. Johnson
Everyone knows that Jeremy Scott, a designer with an unlimited joy for life and talents, also marches to the beat of his own drum section. If were to tell the whole truth, Jeremy has his very own Philharmonic Orchestra and mighty proud of it too. So itâ€™s no surprise to me at all that he formed an alliance with the Swatch Watch Company last year to create a range of watches that are bold, witty, provocative and very stylish â€“ much like Mr. Scott and Swatch.
For the second consecutive season, Swatch and Mr. Scott has created a line of five new watches that echoes the same exuberant qualities that is the very DNA of his clothing and accessories collection.
This collection is designed to let the wearer stand out in the crowd for all the right reasons.
Jeremy has his very own Philharmonic Orchestra and mighty proud of it too.
with Jeremy Scott
The Melted Minutes features a transparent plastic dial with a background that is very evocative of Salvadore Dali’s Melting Clocks surrealist paintings. The oversized Swatch Portrait has a plastic dial adorned with a stylist rendition of Mr. Scott painted upon the glass and finished with a silver picture frame, all the more to indicate the distinctive nature of the piece itself. This watch is especially not designed the faint of heart nor for a wallflower. The Swatch Punk, my second favorite in the line, has a solid green dial with black hands and a contrasting leopard print silicone strap (and six bold yellow loops) that wraps twice around the wrist. I am a watch enthusiast and this is the one I would wear everyday because I just love that it would make me happy despite whatever else is happening in my life at that moment. My other favorite is
By Phillip D. Johnson
the Double Vision Swatch with two red and white twirl-effects dials fixed on one black plastic strap. Saying that it’s out of this world would be a major understatement. Think the beginning credits of the legendary Twilight Zone television series. The last piece in the collection, the Hypnotic Heart, is a special edition limited to only 777 pieces. It has a huge attentiongrabbing heart shape with a vibrant red and white twirl-effect dial and roman numerals. Think the 80’s and Flavor Flav and his the huge medallion c l o c k around his neck. You are really putting yourself out there with this piece. But then again, if you are truly outgoing and fashion-forward, this would not be a stretch for you at all.
The new Jeremy Scott Swatch line will be available starting October 1st at all swatch stores, online at www.swatch.com and at Opening Ceremony in New York City (35 Howard Street, New York, New York 10013, (212) 219-2688)
The oversized Swatch Portrait has a plastic dial adorned with a stylist rendition of Mr. Scott
The Remember Bag REMEMBER
Each life is a miracle that
changes the world and leaves it a
By Phillip D. Johnson Jen Mascali, a talented handbag designer known for imprinting her bags with a luxurious, rich hippie vibe, comes from a long line of fine Italian craftsmen. Her grandfather, as a leather artisan, handcrafted custom-made shoes for the legendary actresses and prominent women of his time included the pair he made for Grace Kelly to wear on the day of her wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco. (They are now presently on exhibition and in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.)
Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps in creating genuinely “Made in Italy” products, she moved to Italy and worked with several luxury handbag designers as an apprentice before establishing her own line of handbags in 2008. Her bags are produced by the finest factories in Tuscany and are the perfect combination of casual elegance and handcrafted classic luxury. She also follows her grandfather’s footsteps in that her bags are coveted by the Hollywood establishment (including Halle Berry) and other stylish women who appreciate the beauty of a bag that is designed to work with their lives.
Ms. Mascali is the first to acknowledge the influence her father, NYC Firefighter Joseph Mascali, has had on her life. On September 11, 2001, Firefighter Mascali was one of the several hundred firefighters who lost their lives helping others downtown New York City when the planes hit the World Trade Center towers. In memory of his life and the legacy he left behind, Ms. Mascali has designed the “Remember” Bag in tribute and honor of her father and the nearly 3,000 lives that were lost on that day. Crafted from fine Italian patent leather, in Italy, the “Remember” bag has brown leather handles with red contrast stitching and a flame-shaped hand tag with the
phrase: “REMEMBER. Each life is a miracle that changes the world and leaves it a better place than it was before.” The flame for Ms. Mascali is a reminder of eternal remembrance. “It’s my hope that this bag will become a vibrant symbol of strength and love; and raise awareness to never forget,” says Ms. Mascali. “Those who carry this bag can be proud to know that they made a contribution to honoring those we lost and are showing the world that we remember.” On September 7th, Ms. Mascali hosted a cocktail party at Nexus Showroom & Townhouse to com-
memorate the bag. The event was an intimate affair where friends, family and fashion industry insiders gathered to remember this tragic day. The room was filled with red roses and candles to inspire this heartfelt tribute. During the party, Ms Mascali graciously answered questions describing her inspiration for the bag, as it hangs on her arm. The proceeds made by Jen Mascali from the sale of the Special Edition “Remember” bag will be donated to 9/11 charities. “ Ms. Mascali continues by saying, “The efforts of these charities allow us to build a permanent way to remember the victims of the terrorist attacks and honor those who went to their rescue.” The “Remember” Bag can be puchased online at www.opensky.com and at Treasure and Bond, 359 West Broadway, (between Grand Street and Leonard Street in SoHo), New York, New York 10013. 646-669-9049. P.D. Johnson
The cocktail party photographs are courtesy of Nexus Showroom and Townhouse. All others are by the author.
In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Great Lash, the number one best-selling mascara ever in the United States, Maybelline New York introduced a special limited edition collection inspired by and created with designers Max Azria, Tracy Reese and Vivienne Tam. Each designer took inspiration from their own collection to create their inspired, fresh takes on the iconic pink and green tube. Great Lash's history is deeply rooted in fashion. In
1971, Lilly Pulitzer, a then upand-coming designer known for her bright and cheery fabrics, inspired Great Lash's legendary pink and green tube and that unique color palette has become instantly recognizable and the symbol of an American beauty icon here in America and around the world. After 40 years, Great Lash remains America's favorite mascara for women and the go-to mascara for makeup artists.
By Phillip D. Johnson
Lashes Away: Celebrating Maybellineâ€™s Great Lash Mascaraâ€™s 40th Anniversary
and complements the signature colors of the brand,â€? says Tracy Reese
"Great Lash has always been a favorite among leading makeup artists and industry insiders, whether they are working on a celebrity client or backstage at Fashion Week," said David Greenberg, president of Maybelline New YorkGarnier-Essie. "For the product's 40th anniversary, we're celebrating Maybelline New York's fashion heritage by partnering with sought-after designers to bring a new look to America's most iconic beauty product. The designs of Max Azria, Tracy Reese and Vivienne Tam represent the spirit of the Maybelline New York woman â€“ modern, confident and chic." "Maybelline has been back-
Vivienne Tam continues the love by adding, "I've worked with Maybelline New York for the past several seasons of Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. I'm delighted to work with them again to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Great Lash Mascara. My Great Lash design is adorned with the Chinese symbol for 'Lash,' creating the perfect fusion of the Vivienne Tam and Maybelline esthetics. stage for BCBGMAXAZRIA's It's the must-have beauty acrunway shows for the past sev- cessory for fashionistas this eral seasons and I'm thrilled to fall." be once again partnering Great Lash Mascara, with its with them on the 40th an- iconic pink and green tube niversary for their Great Lash continues to be America's #1 Mascara. To bring the BCBG- selling mascara, with over 20 MAXAZRIA design aesthetic to million pieces sold each year. such an iconic product is a Every 1.7 seconds, a tube of true honor," says Max Azria, Great Lash is sold in the United Founder, Designer and Chair- States. man of BCBGMAXAZRIA- Maybelline New York has partnered exclusively with Target GROUP "Great Lash Mascara is a time- to distribute the Great Lash less product; every woman Limited Edition collection for a knows the iconic green and limited time only. The collecpink packaging. I was excited tion was launched on Tarto design limited-edition get.com on August 14 and is packaging in celebration of available in-store at a sugthe 40th anniversary and gested retail price of $6.99. chose a graphic floral print that exudes fun and femininity P.D. Johnson
Every 1.7 seconds, a tube of Great Lash is sold in the United States.
By Phillip D. Johnson
FASHION MANIAC TEAM: Features Editor : Phillip Johnson All Photography & Managing Editor : Cheryl Gorski Copy Editor : Chris Alfiero Stylists : Casssie Elsaesser MakeUp : Dani Weiser Hair Stylist : Whitney Curry Casting Director: Kimberly Cohen Prop Stylist : Todd Warfield, Lucy Mancuso, Michael Merisola Graphic layout and Web Design : Jim Breidenstein
Every so often, in the been-theredone-that fashion community, someone comes along like a bolt of lightning, a spark of brilliance, creating a buzz and excitement we want to be a part of.
An androgynous individual is a female or male who has a high degree of both feminine (expressive) and masculine (instrumental) traits.
Every so often, in the been-there-donethat fashion community, someone comes along like a bolt of lightning, a spark of brilliance, creating a buzz and excitement we want to be a part of.
Such is the case with Andrej Pejic, a Bosnian-born, Australian male fashion model, whose long blonde hair and delicate features have made him the toast of the international fashion circuit from London to Paris to Milan to New York City and beyond. When Pejic was first scouted, he was mistaken for a girl. Nonetheless, he signed with Chadwick Models and made his runway debut at the Paris menswear shows in June 2010. Although he initially had casting directors, modeling agencies, and designers alike wondering why a woman was walking men’s shows, he was soon booked for major editorial spreads in influential fashion magazines such as Vogue Paris, i-D and L’Officiel. He also became a favorite of French designer Jean Paul Gaultier, who cast Pejic for both his women’s and menswear runway shows. Pejic is just the latest in the long line of models whose ambiguous, gender-bending features has created a major buzz, thus placing him at the front of the line. Though Pejic’s looks are considered somewhat extreme (believe me, at first blush, he is not easy to categorize in any sense of the word), there is a host of other successful male models known for their androgynous features: including Tomek Szczukiecki, Marcel Castenmiller, Victor Nylander, Ethan James and Thomas Penfound. There are also a number of androgynous female models: Freja Beja Erichsen, Agyness Deyn, Malgosia Bela, Natasha Vojnovic, Kristina Salinovic, Hannalore Knuts, Jamie Bochert, Kirsten Owen, and Stella Ten-
nant are a few of the most successful. Even transsexual models are introducing themselves to the fashion industry— you may have heard of Lea T, born Leandro Cerezo, now a female model serving as a muse for Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci.
In its simplest terms, androgyny refers to the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics. For humans, an androgyne in terms of gender identity is a person who does not fit cleanly into the typical masculine and feminine gender roles of their society. They may also use the term ambi-gender to describe themselves. Many androgynes also self-identify themselves as being mentally "between" woman and man, or as entirely genderless. They may identify as non-gendered, gender-neutral, agendered, between genders, intergendered, pangender or gender fluid. An androgynous individual is a female or male who has a high degree of both feminine (expressive) and masculine (instrumental) traits. A “regular” feminine individual is high on feminine (expressive) traits and low on masculine (instrumental) traits. A “regular” masculine individual is high on instrumental traits and low on expressive traits. Persons with androgynous traits either have no gender value, or have pronounced aspects generally attributed to the opposite sex.
During the 'counter-culture' revolution in the 1960s, the music and fashion industries inspired a trend towards self-exploration emphasizing individual freedom and self-realization. This allowed men and women to start self-defining who and what they were, the evidence being men and women basically wearing the same clothes and hairstyles; and men, more than ever, adapting what
was traditionally women’s wear. This is best seen with both men and women in tight, low-slung denim, tight, body-forming tops and headbands, jewelry and other accessories taking on a non gender-specific role. The Rocky Horror Picture Show, also of the same era, was an eye-opening cult film that celebrated the confusion of sexual identity. Tim Currie, the star, played a female with strangely seductive characteristics. In fact, most of the female temptresses were played by males.
The notion of androgyny wasn't fully accepted in society until 1974 when Dr. Sandra Bem, who was honored the American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Award in 1976, introduced the concept of 'psychological androgyny' to describe those men and women who did not fit into traditionally defined gender roles. She also put forth the view that a blending of masculine and feminine dispositions is more adaptive than stereotypic emphasis on either alone. On the heels of Dr. Bem's theological revelation, the gay liberation movement embraced the idea of androgyny, for it allowed lesbians and gay men to show their gender characteristics openly in society. Subsequently, the prevailing wind for social changes started to sweep across the globe, empowering women and softening the image of men, while altering the perception of human nature consisting of opposite sex roles to human nature unifying two complimentary sex roles as a legitimate gender.
As with everything else connected to the 70’s, evidence of androgyny (and its basic tenets) being embraced by society appeared everywhere. Trendsetters in the entertainment and fashion industries played an influential role in advancing a challenging perspective on human sexuality for modern times. Carrying forth into the 1980s, androgynous musicians - Boy George, David Bowie, Adam Ant, Annie Lennox, and Prince - made headlines as they captured the world's fascination with their sexual ambiguity. Perceived as a worldwide idol, Michael Jackson personifies androgyny with his falsetto voice and effeminate manners. Hollywood’s propensity for gender-bending gained a wider acceptance in the 1980's as many films played with this theme of sex role reversal. Victor/Victoria, Tootsie, and Yentl were just three movies which addressed the inequities of socially imposed gender roles from the perspective of the victims of cultural stereotyping. Movie producers attempted to make "gender blending" humane and less threatening through these artistic comedies. As people became familiar with androgyny they also become de-sensitized to its transgressions of cultural norms. It became an acceptable, if alternate, norm to a portion of modern culture. And on stage, the 60's fascination with sex in general, with productions like Hair and O Calcutta, became in the 80's a fascination with homosexuality (and blending the sexes) in particular, with La Cage Aux Folles competing –and winning- the Tony Award for Best New Musical in 1984. Artists in film like Leonardo Vicario and Toby Maguire sported the "skinny" look in the 1990s - a clear departure from traditional masculinity which resulted in a fad
known as "Leo Mania". Likewise, the phenomenal rise in popularity of "pretty" boy bands in the late 1980s and 1990s like New Kids on the Block, Take That, the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync "redefined masculinity" for our time. Following sports stars like England's FA Premier League like David Beckham in the 1990s, men became increasingly conscious of fashion and their looks, and were full-throat in their embrace of traditional female interests like an overly vested interest in clothing, fashion accessories, hairstyles, manicures, spa treatments and so on, something that has long been seen as being inherently female. The fashion industry also capitalized on the growing social affinity to androgyny. Fashion’s borderline androgyny trend showed up in dresses, full-length skirts, and heeled boots for men on the runway and on the streets, especially in fashion-forward places like New York’s downtown neighborhoods.
While women began adopting menswear into their wardrobes as early in the 20th century, it is fair to say that men has only recently began experimenting with adapting women’s clothing for their use. This modern movement has nothing to do with free love, and everything to do with the fashion-forward freedom to blur traditional gender lines in expressing one’s personal style. Still somewhat controversial, the trend of androgynous fashion is sparked the creativity of apparel designers, fashion-loving tastemakers, and style icons alike. First, designers such as Marc Jacobs, Jean Paul Gaultier and Rick Owens (and others who can’t be named here for space purposes) began experimented with alternatives to trousers for men in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. It was only in the 1960s, when the hippie movement ushered in colorful clothing and jewelry for men, and today, where men and women share unisex trends such as skinny jeans, hoodies, and fashion scarves.”
The fashion industry also promoted the meteoric rises of fashion designers - Helmut Lang, Giorgio Armani, Rick Owens, Pierre Cardin, to name a few - for their unisex-styled clothes. Mr. Owens’ surreal and utterly beautiful Spring/Summer 2012 men’s fashion show in Paris (this past July) showed male models wearing skirts and long dresses. He also showed semi-fitted jackets, long overcoats and vests with these pieces. But the most surprising aspect of all was the fact that these models, despite wearing skirts, were extremely masculine. One didn’t doubt for one second that they weren’t comfortable in those clothes and their skin. If anything, I was most reminded of the inherent masculinity of men of Arab descent as seen in books, magazines and on television in their robes and outer garments. One particular model was the very essence of a stylish Dalai Lama with his bald head and stern expression. This em-
bracing of androgyny can also be seen in the Fall/Winter 2011 Dolce & Gabanna print campaign, presently seen in all the big September fashion magazines.
While in the 1990s society slowly developed an affinity for unisex clothes, the trends in fashion only hit the public mainstream in a big way in the 2000s, which saw men (and women) demonstrating a new confidence in themselves and their outward appearances.
Calvin Klein, a brand long known for its adherence to strict and uncompromising minimalism and typically associated with its unisex fragrances has also expanded into jeans, underwear, and even swimwear for both men and women with its CKOne line.
Agnès Troublé, aka Agnès B., French designer of the influential agnès b. line based in Paris, is yet another designer whose masterful unisex aesthetic has found a ready audience around the world. Her simple yet elegant and original designs are coveted for their casual simplicity and timelessness, and are truly catholic and egalitarian in their scope. Her first collection was inspired by classic workers’ uniforms – overalls, loose pants, and short jackets - that she tweaked, streamlining them for streetwear and having them done up in worn, white cotton. soon she had a long line of classic pieces that are still part of her collection today: Long- and short-sleeved t-shirts done in striped Rugby cotton, iconic white shirts, timeless pants, dresses with mignon touches such as tiny buttons and pin pleats, buttery-leather jackets that came already broken in, and her signature snap cardigans made from sweatshirt cotton and fastened with a long line row of pearl snaps.
Fashion people are incredibly cynical (as well as smart) and not easily fooled.
People aren’t as worried about whether something is designed for women or for men – it’s all about the garment. These pieces established the streamlined aesthetic that has made her an influential member of the international fashion community. Her client list includes John Waters, David Lynch, Yoko Ono, Helena Bonham Carter, Natalie Portman, Philippe Starck, David Bowie, and a multitude of famous and non-famous customers who reveres her and would follow to the end of the earth. The other major market value of male androgyny is much less new to the world of fashion – shock value. Designers will often use androgynous models or outerworldly settings to create an attentive buzz to their various lines.
During fashion week when you are competing with 200 or more other designers to grab attention your collection, it’s about showing all kinds of possibilities. You want your brand to become more visible. You want Cathy Horyn, the chief fashion critic from The New York Times, to attend and talk about your show in the paper. Co-opting this trend communicates to your intended audience that that you are a label that is open and available to all kinds of people. The flip side of this coin, of course, is whether or not you are successful in this venture. Fashion people are incredibly cynical (as well as smart) and not easily fooled. Therefore, if using androgynous models or staging your show using androgynous imagery, it has to have some sense of genuineness about it. It can’t be all fake. Asked which of his customers are buying clothes that fit into this new phenomenon, Louis Terline, owner of Soho (new York City) designer boutique Oak, states that he’s not seeing one specific demographic of shopper pick up this trend. Instead, “It’s only about confidence. It’s the people who have this sort of sense that ‘it’s just clothes.’ We’re seeing more shoppers who feel that maybe we’ve all taken this whole [gender] thing too seriously for too long, and that we should be able to explore.” But Terline also sees this movement as being about more than self-esteem. “This is the most comfortable environment we’ve seen in retail. People aren’t as worried about whether something is designed for women or for men – it’s all about the garment. In a way, this trend is eradicating sexual identity from clothing.”
Designers who specialize in unisex dressing are also echoing this sentiment. Louis Mairone, whose line Dominic Louis has been picked up by Oak in its first season, pretty much echoes the same sentiment: “I don’t use androgyny to wow people – it’s about expressing what I love from both men’s and women’s clothing, and showing who carries it well from both worlds. The unisex aspect of the collection is more about unifying people.”
Mairone designs in unisex because it frees him to focus on innovation and quality, rather than the restriction of gender tradition. He says he shares the same garments between his parents and his friends. “My mom and I both look great in the same garment. We have different bodies obviously, but it’s the same fit. Unisex clothing is powerful because it has the ability to serve clients across ages as well as genders.” Currently seen as the tiniest of niche markets, unisex and androgynous clothing may actually be the opposite. In some ways, this, “all things to all people” philosophy is already found in every mall across America. If you pay close attention to the marketplace, you will find that unisex lines out there already- and striving. Labels like J. Crew, H&M, Forever 21, Zara, Unable, the Gap, American Apparel, Alexander Wang, Old Navy, Thom Browne, and Band of Outsiders, all have unisex lines – they sell the exact same garment to men and women, just with different cuts.
Does this trend have legs? Is this the beginning of solidifying it into our minds? Or it will be gone in the blink of an eye? Who knows? We shouldn’t be surprised the trend is coming back – everything runs in cycles, and as the saying goes ‘everything old is new again’. Lady Gaga is the modern day David Bowie (in his Zingy Stardust and Tall White Night phrase), as Adam Lambert could be today’s Adam Ant. Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert, the most contemporary glam king and queen of androgynous fashion today do bear a striking resemblance to the androgynous artists of an earlier era. (And whether or not Gaga is androgynous in both the physical and psychological sense, does it really matter? She rocks just the same. Thank you.) The androgynous figure in the fashion realm, as well as on a personal level, is looking for a place to call their own, to find redemption and a safe, emotional place from the hurts outside. The main message coming from these androgynous artists is individual expression. No doubt, this message holds a lot of appeal to fans-- those who want an excuse to rebel as well as those who genuinely want to be appreciated for just being different.
My mom and I both look great in the same garment. We have different bodies obviously, but it’s the same fit. Unisex clothing is powerful because it has the ability to serve clients across ages as well as genders.
Last year, Lady Gaga made an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres talk show and told her that she wants her fans to know that "It's OK" to be a "freak": "I didn't fit in at high school, and I felt like a freak. So I like to create this atmosphere for my fans where they feel like they have a freak in me to hang out with and they don't feel alone...This is really who I am, and it took a long time to be OK with that...Maybe in high school you, Ellen, you feel discriminated against. Like you don't fit in and you want to be like everyone else but not really, and in the inside you want to be like Boy George--well, I did anyway. So I want my fans to know that it's OK. Sometimes in life you don't always feel like a winner, but that doesn't mean you're not a winner. You want to be like yourself... I want my fans to know it's OK." So does Andrej Pejic.
I didn't fit in at high school, and I felt like a freak. So I like to create this atmosphere for my fans where they feel like they have a freak in me to hang out with and they don't feel alone...This is really who I am, and it took a long time to be OK with that
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