Search This Blog

Blog Archive

There was an error in this gadget

Monday, March 30, 2009

Victoria & Albert Museum: An Anthology by Stephen Jones

Working with radical hat designer, Stephen Jones, the V&A presents an ‘anthology of hats’. Drawn from V&A and international collections and ranging in style and period from a 17th-century Puritan’s hat to a 1950s Balenciaga couture piece to hats by Jones and his contemporaries including to the latest creations by young milliners such as Noel Stewart, the exhibition investigates the cultural and historic importance of millinery. The exhibition is arranged in four main themes - Inspiration looks at the myriad of sources including historicism, exoticism and the natural world; Creation explores the techniques, materials and processes; The Salon focuses on the buying and selling of hats and the millinery shop; and The Clients which examines the wearing and etiquette of hats and features headgear worn by well known clients of some of the world’s top milliners including Audrey Hepburn, Anna Piaggi, Dita von Teese.

24 February - 31 May 2009
V & A Museum, The Porter Gallery
£5 Adults, £4 Seniors, Students, 12-17 yrs, ES40 Holders


Some samplings from the V&A website:

Exhibition book available at

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kim Kardashian -- Vogue Magazine Collector

Kim Kardashian recently made an entry in her blog about her new hobby:
"I just started a collection of vintage Vogue magazines. So far I have some from the 1940s, '50s, '60s and '70s. You wouldn't believe the ads and photo shoots inside, and how much we take from them today! I started this collection because a dear friend Darren, who put together my entire workout DVD, introduced me to them and now I am fascinated."

Link: offers exquisite vintage clothing 1750-1980: Early Costume; 19th-20th century Couture; wearable designer fashion for the discriminating collector. Since 1998 exclusively on the internet, Vintage Textile has offered a wide selection of the best high-style clothing in all the major categories: Early, Victorian, Edwardian, 1920s, 1930s-1950s, 20th century Designer, Shawls/Textiles. Pictures above include a black Worth dress, Christian Dior champagne dress and a 1920s sequin dress.

Some well-known labels are available here--Dior, Worth, Lanvin, Pucci, Chanel, Galanos, Ceil Chapman, Bob Mackie, Valentino and more. Some samples of items sold:
You can view items for sale here:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Golden Age of Couture

Follow the lives of the great couturiers and the houses they founded, and find out more about their training, careers and work. Explore the fascinating connections and events that link the earliest days of couture in Paris and London, through the decade 1947-57, to touch fashion even today. The great couturiers include: Balenciaga, Balmain, Dior, Cavanagh, Desses, and Givenchy.

Exhibition is now closed at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Their on-line "exhibition" still exists and provides great information:

Exhibition book available at

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Marisa Berenson wearing Van Cleef & Arpels

Above, 1965 Van Cleef & Arpels ad with Deer.

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS is a French jewellery company that was founded in 1896 by Salomon Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef. They opened their first boutique in 1906 at 22 place Vendôme, Paris. Van Cleef & Arpels are renowned for their expertise in precious stones and have won particular acclaim for a groundbreaking gem-setting procedure known as the Mystery Setting.

Above, Marisa Berenson on cover of Paris Vogue December 1967 wearing jewelry by Van Cleef & Arpels.


Vintage Van Cleef & Arpels ads:

Runway to Red Carpet

Marisa Tomei
RED CARPET Tomei hit the Tony Awards in a bold belted gown with floral embellishments. The Oscar-winning actress accessorized with simple studs and a patent clutch.
RUNWAY For her march down the catwalk, Eniko Mihalik accompanied the design with a simple banded updo.

More runway to red carpet from In Style:,,20207690_20238832_20539892,00.html

In Style: Vote for your Woman of Style

Vote for your favourite Woman of Style, and you could win a gorgeous Art Deco watch from Frederique Constant, valued at $4,360!

W April 2009

Drew Barrymore, 34, is W magazine's sultry April cover girl. The He's Just Not That Into You actress and producer of the upcoming How To Be Single, described as "petite yet sturdy" by writer Diane Solway, tells the magazine: "I’m just learning who I am and how relationships work and how to make them function. No different from anyone else."

Harper's Bazaar April 2009

Gisele Bundchen, 28, fronts the April cover of US Harper's BAZAAR on a background of peachy-pink. The supermodel and stepmother talks to the magazine about husband Tom Brady and the time in her life when she treated her body like crapola: "I was drinking a lot of red wine, smoking a pack and a half of cigarettes a day, and eating cheeseburgers all day. I was treating my body, which is my temple and my best friend, as my worst enemy. I was almost punishing myself. I was so tired. I was working so much and I was numb." She later adds: "If you are happy, you can give happiness. If you don’t love yourself and if you are unhappy with yourself, you can’t give anything else but that."

David Webb 60th Anniversary

Designer David Webb is known for his playful, bold, and colorful animal motif bangles and brooches that were worn by socialites and celebrities in the 1960s. Some of those iconic animal designs were reinterpreted for a 60th anniversary collection that was unveiled in company’s Madison Avenue boutique in New York in October. The rock crystal lion bangle, shown, is an example of the artist’s imaginative vision. Other signature pieces include turtles, frogs, and fish. Webb’s new designs are inspired by his recognizable past works, but he’s added a subtle twist for the next generation. The jewelry, which is made in a workshop above the boutique, ranges from $3,000 to $700,000. (212.421.3030)

Paco Rabanne Rhodoid Plastic Dresses

Paco Rabanne became known as the enfant terrible of the French fashion world in the 1960s.

Rabanne started his career in fashion by creating jewellery for Givenchy, Dior and Balenciaga. He started his own fashion house in 1966. He used such unconventional materials as metal, paper and plastic for his outlandish and flamboyant designs.

Paco Rabanne is known for his costume designs for such films as Barbarella.

His well-known "Do it Yourself" Mod Rhodoid Plastic Disc Dress "Suitcase" Kit is shown below. Said Rabanne in 1966, "I defy anyone to design a hat, coat or dress that hasn't been done before...The only new frontier left in fashion is the finding of new materials". Enter in the disc dress made of small rhodoid plastic discs that are connected by metal jump rings to create a new kind of dress.
Rabanne even created a DIY kit fully stylized in a clear plastic (logo blazoned) suitcase to create the dress!

1997 Princess Diana Christie's Auction Dresses

Diana had Christie's auction off 79 gowns collected during her 15 years as the wife of Windsor in 1997 . All proceeds from the June auction went to charity. Here is some sampling of what the dresses were.

The dresses from Christie's auction:

Princess Diana Remembered shows all 79 dresses:

Princess Diana 'Dresses for Humanity' - Tampa Bay

Exhibition from Jan 25 - May 1, 2009

The exhibit of 17 dresses includes the pink silk dress designed by Catherine Walker, Diana's favourite designer, for the princess' state tour of India in 1992. It's one of 13 dresses that Tampa businesswoman Maureen Rorech Dunkel bought for nearly $700,000 at a Christie's charity auction just two months before the princess was killed in a car crash in 1997.
Rorech Dunkel (below)who serves as board chairwoman for the University of Tampa, decided to keep Diana's legacy alive by forming the People's Princess foundation and sending the dresses on a world tour that would raise money for various causes.
Most of Rorech Dunkel's collection, which now totals 15 dresses, is currently on a 10-year loan to Kensington Palace in London. But the palace doesn't display all the pieces at once, and Rorech Dunkel was given two gowns to lay the foundation for what she has dubbed the Dresses for Humanity II tour.

Location: Storefront at 720 Village Circle (signs point you to the Dresses for Humanity II tour)
Hours: 11 am to 8 pm daily
Cost: $20 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12. Tickets for Tampa Museum of Art patrons and anyone who spends more than $50 in Old Hyde Park Village are $10. Free re-admission.


Diana, Princess of Wales Dress Collection

In the years following her marriage to Prince Charles in 1981, Princess Diana was the most celebrated model of British clothing since Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy. She commissioned scores of elegant dresses by designers such as Catherine Walker and Victor Edelstein, wearing them at events that ranged from London movie premieres to official tours of the Commonwealth.

In 1997, just months before her death, Princess Diana had 79 of her dresses auctioned by Christie's to raise money for humanitarian causes. Fourteen of the dresses were acquired by philanthropist Maureen Rorech Dunkel of Tampa, Florida, who sent them on a worldwide "Dresses for Humanity" fundraising tour. The dresses are now on permanent display in Kensington Palace.
This exhibition at Kensington Palace focuses on the development of the Princess’s style from the romantic ruffles of the early 1980s to the sophisticated silhouette of the mid 1990s. The exhibition of twelve dresses features seven never before displayed at Kensington Palace. For conservation reasons not all of Diana’s dresses are on display at any one time.

Location: Kensington Palace,The Broadwalk, Kensington Gardens, London, W8 4PX, UK

Travel: High Street Kensington/Notting Hill Gate
Some beautiful dress photos: