Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa Fe New Mexico Vacation

I grew up in Santa Fe and am now here for the holidays. Very pretty, very snowy. My parents have kept my room exactly the same since I left 10 years ago. Lately aside from Yves Saint Laurent studies, I have a new interest in Norman Norell. I was not aware of him until I saw some of his work on the Decades blog. I am so used to my old bedroom that I had never realized that I had a Norman Norell 1960s fashion spread pasted on my wall! I am going to take it down and scan it because I am unable to find it online, it is very gorgeous. Although it seems like Women's Wear Daily was not so fond? More later.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hippie de Luxe Inspirations

Yves Saint Laurent with Betty Catroux and Loulou de la Falaise in 1969 at the YSL Rive Gauche opening in London.

Betty and Loulou were the main components of the Yves Saint Laurent posse, both gorgeous, both with substance problems (but I think everyone had a substance problem in the 70s and 80s), and finally both skinny and well dressed and totally charming.

Talk About Hippie de Luxe

The lovely funny lady Susan Saint James of McMillan and Wife and Kate and Allie fame. Have I mentioned how much I love that show. I can't tell if I like Kate's or Allie's fashion better, I kind of want to combine their fashions to become some sort of waspy 80s momish fashionista.

Kim Basinger 9 1/2 Weeks

People don't like to talk about 9 1/2 Weeks because I think they don't want to look like perverts. I just saw it and I really liked it. Although, I have to say, what I liked best was the costuming for Kim Basinger. Really bleak color, gigantic shapes swimming around her body, the fashion actually felt very current in its large shapelessness. Then taking a cue from Mickey Rourke she starts dressing in tight well fitted skirt suits with those exquisite Balmain shoulders that I would have hated if not for my recent love of this film, Kate and Allie, and I am entering the late 70s early 80s in my Yves Saint Laurent biography. Therefore I am in a late 70s early 80s haze, the more shoulders the better.

Anyway, so we have the two extremes with this film, the loose shapeless clothes which felt very Japanese like Comme des Garcons, and the tight Balmain-like suits. I have been reading a lot of things lately that talk about clothes for women, or clothes that women love to wear, such as Yves Saint Laurent trapeze dresses, suits, or kaftans, or even Comme des Garcons large avant garde dresses. I was even reading about Marni the other day, which tends to be on the large and unusual side, and how these clothes are clothes for women to wear and love. They are for a woman's pleasure to wear even though men aren't so keen on the shapelessness. I thought that this was illustrated nicely in 9 1/2 weeks, plus look at that hair and make-up!

Valentino the Last Emperor

This is a great film about fashion and business. It is a great film to get a perspective on the artistry of fashion and the business necessary to uphold it. I had no real desire to know more about Valentino, but as soon I started watching, I was mesmerized by his personality, pugs, gorgeous life, and insane homes (I mean insane in a good way, insane in a way that I will never live in homes like these).

The film centers around Valentino and his partner Giancarlo Giametti selling the company to HdP an Italian conglomerate in 1998. Subsequently as we see in the film the company is then sold in 2002 by HdP to Marzotto Apparel with much upheaval for Valentino as his business would have to change and branch out from exclusively couture.

It definitely has that end of an era feel, because we are at the end of the days of grand couture, but is so lovely, funny, and a true spectacle. Karl Lagerfeld is in it briefly and proves himself a kind friend which maybe makes it even more worth seeing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My inspirations for starting this thing is a sudden fascination with fashion history. The realization that the current top fashion houses have existed for longer than I had thought. When you consider that Christian Dior died in 1957 (and only had his fashion house for about 11 years before his death) and yet the name and style continues to evolve, it is pretty impressive, not to mention inspirational (inspirational in that he was a late bloomer and also very shy).

I never considered the business of fashion, much like I never thought of the business of film and television before my studies in college. I never considered the shares and mergers portion of fashion houses, nor the importance of licensing. I have always been one to really like the over the top fashion logo jewelry of Chanel, and Dior without thinking of the power that those brand names had over me (and still do even though I know it is marketing). Unlike the film industry which has slowly lost its magic (for me anyway) by learning more about it, fashion, I find becomes more fascinating.

So hopefully, someone will read this once I have my bearings and actually have something informative to say. I have been reading the Alice Rawsthorn biography on Yves Saint Laurent and it is very informative (although at times grammatically incorrect - which is forgivable!) and it really breaks down the business of fashion, and has made me want to dig deeper.