You may remember the post that I wrote about “Versailles ’73”, after I saw a short clip of the documentary streaming when I attended the Stephen Burrows “When Fashion Danced” exhibit at the mcny.org. It still baffles me that I had never heard of this historic “runway showdown” which took place only 40+ years ago. Well, I was even more surprised a couple of weeks ago to receive an invitation to attend a screening event to view the film! So, you can imagine my excitement to RSVP (ASAP..lol!).
Today’s Throwback Thursday post is going way back. I decided to highlight the main event that has been recognized many times over as the “Moment in history that changed the course of (fashion) history”. We can now have a front row seat to the show that became known as the American Runway Revolution!
As I noted in yesterday’s post, this was also the event that gave Stephen Burrows Continue Reading
I know I may be late with this post, and by now you probably have seen all of the red carpet images from “the fashion industry’s big night out” plasters throughout the internet. There are various blog posts on all the looks, best and worst dressed lists, the scandal behind Kim K’s non-invite, and how great the exhibit is in general. Even with all that said, now that the exhibit is open to the public I still wanted to give my two cents. 😉
I can’t honestly say that I have seen The Hunger Games, the “Must See Movie Of the Year”, as of yet…but I plan to! One of the highlights aside from the great background story and action scenes is the one character that has everyone’s attention.. Effie Trinket.
This bold, colorful, overly joyous, not to be trusted character played by Elizabeth Banks is the main attraction within fashion news surrounding the film. The costume design for Effie’s character may be the extreme in relation to what Elizabeth is used to wearing, but she has had red carpet success on the promo tour as well as other appearances. We applaud her own unique and creative style as well!
So what better way to honor the escort of the District 12 tributes than a highlight of her “tribute” to new fashion trends that will be great additions to your Spring/Summer looks!
1. Fluttering butterfly eyelashes
2. Big flower Hair and Clothing accessories
3. Shiny peep-toe booties
4. Decorative Nail Adornment
The top nail design is done with more adornment than the nail design above, but many nail artists have posted their own version of DIY Effie Trinket inspired nail art.
So which, if not all of these Effie Trinket Style “tributes” will you be trying? Feel free to comment below 🙂
Before Kanye and Jay Z knew how to utter the words Margiela… Patrick Kelly was the “Designer in Paris”.. creating and doing big things in fashion…
As Kanye gets prepared to show his 2nd collection in Paris, the number of Black American fashion designers involved at an International level continues to grow. This has not always been the case as historically designers of color were few and far between. Without looking back at the designers who gave the fashion industry diversity, it would be rude to celebrate those who are doing it freely now. One of the 1st and most famous black designers during the boom of the fashion business era was none other than Patrick Kelly. He was a southern born, Black American, who made his claim to fame in the city of lights. His story is one of fashion fairytales: two-time college dropout, living on the street, to doing odd jobs, to freelancing and then landing a multi- million dollar contract to further his new business.
A very happy spirit, Patrick Kelly often thought of himself as “a black male Lucille Ball” he said “I like to make people laugh”. He was said to blur the lines between fashion and show biz with his great designs and big personality. Kelly knew from a young age that he wanted to be a designer from the minute his Aunt taught him to sew. At two of his Louvre shows he had focused on spoofing the Mona Lisa. “Jungle Lisa loves Tarzan” (décolleté leopard-print gowns), “Moona Lisa” (plexiglass-bubble headgear and silver star-studded dresses). He had an invitation that pictured himself naked with just a loincloth. His clothes included everything from bright colors, tiers and peplums, full skirts, tailored blazers, turbans over satin cocktail dresses, watermelon hats and various button and ribbon embellishments. His runway shows were more than a presentation they were fun! From the sassy attitude of the models, to his signature spray painted and heart, and the great music.
This video clip is a great example:
The French people saw him as very exotic as well as having his own folklore. He was always pushing the envelope with fashion as much as with race issues. He was the owner of 6,000 black dolls, and felt strongly and proud about the beauty of his Black American heritage. During many of his promotion tours he gave everyone in attendance little black rag dolls, or pins with black doll characters or shopping bags with the same. He was also a man who didn’t fit any stereotypes and loved eating cheap french fries and chill dogs just as much as $150 dish of scallops and truffles. Although we only got a chance to witness his success over 10 short years, he made an unforgettable mark on fashion history, Parisian history and Black history. Patrick Kelly became the first Black designer inducted into the French Federation of Fashion and of Ready-to-Wear of Couturiers and Fashion Designers in 1988. A year before he died there were licensing negotiations in the works for Kelly furs, sunglasses and jewelry. Kelly passed away age 35 on New Year’s Day, 1990. Cause of death was later determined to be complications of AIDS.
“Kelly’s mascot was the kind of poorly wrought Negro doll. While the fashion industry was ignoring questions of race, he was embracing the doll as a totem”.~ Robin Givhan, Washington Post (2004)
On 28th March, 1990, the Fashion Institute of Technology, in New York held a memorial to Patrick Kelly. They filled the windows of their 7th Avenue showrooms with his creations. April 17, 2004 through September 5, 2004 The Brooklyn Museum had an exhibition called Patrick Kelly: A Retrospective.
This retrospective celebrates Kelly’s charismatic style and his contribution to fashion. On display is a wide array of the witty and provocative clothing and accessories that were his signature, along with photographs, works on paper, and video segments that evoke the context for his work. Numerous objects are also included from his extensive personal collection of Black memorabilia, which held meaning for him as a reminder of where he “came from” as an African American, and which bears a clear relation to the ironic play on racial stereotypes that he injected in his designs and marketing. Although Kelly’s career as a mainstream designer lasted a mere eight seasons within four years, many consider him one of fashion’s brightest stars. ~Thelma Golden, Brooklyn Museum Guest Curator
A movie made years before I was born, turned out to be inspiration for my dreams of becoming a fashion designer…
Mahogany is a movie that captured my attention for so many reasons: 1- I could relate to Tracy and her aspirations of becoming a designer, 2- lead role is played by the dynamic Diana Ross, an icon of black fashion and culture in her own right, 3- at the center of the story is the reality of what success involves, and last but not least 4- fashion plays an important part throughout the movie! I swear one day there was a marathon of Mahogany on and I watched it 3x back to back, appreciating it more each time.
Mahogany – October 8, 1975 (Motown Productions – Paramount Pictures)
In this feature film Diana Ross plays Tracy Chambers, a sassy industrious young woman living in the projects of Chicago who dreams of becoming a fashion designer. She has worked her way up from salesgirl to secretary and assistant to the head buyer at a luxury department store (modeled after, and filmed at, Marshall Field’s on State Street, Chicago). Her boyfriend Brian Walker, played by Billy Dee Williams, is running unsuccessfully for office in the district. When Brian insists Tracy give up her dreams for his, Tracy flees in the middle of the night for Rome, where she becomes a muse to a former client. Her ambition leads her to a choice between the man she loves or her newfound success.
Mahogany is truly a “story of life” film- how we passionately pursue our dreams, how the choices we make along the way could affect the people we care for, and the lesson of how success is nothing if you have no one to share it with!
**Black History Prescription- During this month, find a few movies to watch (particularly drama/theatrical) with a predominantly black cast**
February is when Black History Month is celebrated and usually civil rights leaders, innovator and inventors, and the history of the black culture. At A daily dose of vitamin f, we are putting a spin on the celebration by focusing on the relation of Black America and Fashion. So, for the entire month of February we will be giving you doses of black fashion history! Fashion touches more than the apparel industry, it reaches music, movies, television and subcultures. Everyday there will be a post on our blog about various ways Black Americans have influenced, were a part of, and expressed themselves in fashion of the past. Also we will cover the new influences, involvement, and expressions of Black Americans in fashion today.
We hope that you enjoy reading the posts!
Please leave comments and share your thoughts 🙂
With yesterday’s People Magazine “Sexiest man alive” announcement, (Ryan Gosling was a contender)… I was reminded that I have been meaning to create a post on him since September! That is when I saw the movie Crazy Stupid Love (Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore and Emma Stone)… better late, ok very late than never 😉
This movie was so great for various reasons! First- The interaction throughout the movie between Steve Carell (Cal Weaver) and Ryan Gosling’s (Jacob Palmer) characters, was perfection- their comedic timing as well as believable character portrayal. Second- Who doesn’t like a good ‘ol “Romance Comedy”. Lastly- The tailored threads that Jacob (Gosling)
Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling lead an all-star cast in Crazy, Stupid, Love. Fortysomething straight-laced Cal Weaver (Carell) is living the dream—good job, nice house, great kids and marriage to his high school sweetheart, Emily (Julianne Moore). So when Cal learns that his wife has cheated on him and wants a divorce, his “perfect” life quickly unravels. Cal, who hasn’t dated in decades, stands out as the epitome of un-smooth so handsome player Jacob Palmer (Gosling) takes him on as wingman and protégé, opening Cal’s eyes to the many options before him: flirty women, manly drinks and a sense of style. ~WarnerBros.com
Costume Designer Dayna Pink had the great job of making such a bold statement with the styling of this hilarious movie. She was interviewed in GQ saying this about her process:
We’re used to women’s clothes being spectacular. And there are less options with men. What are you going to do? You’re going to do a suit, you’re going to not do a suit. Those are your choices. So making that interesting, and layering on that, and sort of playing with the fit, and playing with the details of cuff and collars, and different types of silhouette. I always say that the most important thing is fit. If you buy a great suit and it doesn’t fit you, it’s not going to be great. So I think no matter where you shop, or what you buy, it’s all about the fit. There was a part of this movie that was like: there’s 16 simple things you can buy and redo your whole wardrobe. Well, if you do have some basics, and you only get a few things, get a suit and make sure that a tailor looks at it so the shoulders are right and the sleeves fit you properly and the pants are hemmed properly.
One of my favorite parts of the movie is the “Makeover Session” that Jacob (Gosling) has with Cal (Carell) at the local mall and other high end stores. Between throwing Cal’s New Balalnce sneakers over the railing at the shopping center, taking a hilarious step back to admire Cal’s velcro wallet, and slapping him with both hands as sign of the positive approval of the journey- Jacob (Gosling), shows us his true “styling expertise”, that has him looking sooo good!
Here are a few of my favorite “Jacob” looks:
This may have been the first movie that Ryan Gosling looked so dapper, but the actor already has a great style of his own- below are pics of Ryan out and about:
Ryan is most recently starring in the new movies DRIVE and IDES of MARCH!!! I think we are only starting to see the less “love story” talent that he is also very capable of… Even though he won many hearts in The Notebook, Lars and the Real Girl, etc… His career and style are definitely starting to heating up!