Sunday, 31 January 2010

Steven Meisel in Portfolio

Now that he is pretty much a recluse, it's amusing to see Steven Meisel mug for the camera in this clip from Portfolio, a 1983 film about the fashion industry. Completely silly and ridiculous, this clip is sure to put a smile on your face.

Doesn't this seem to be the inspiration for these other classics of the eighties?

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Photo of the Day: Dorothy Lamour

Dorothy Lamour

Friday, 29 January 2010

Photo of the Day: YSL by William Klein

William Klein, Antonia in Yves Saint Laurent, Paris, 1962.

Here is a new interview with one of my idols, Barbara Hulanicki, the founder of Biba. Quite short, it glosses over the various periods in her career and mainly discusses her interior design work, as she spoke at the Interior Design Show in Toronto. Wish I could have been there to see her! Did anyone go?

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Photo of the Day: Jena Muir in Monument Valley

Norman Parkinson, Jan Ward in a Jean Muir dress, Monument Valley, Utah, 1971 from British Vogue.


I wrote a review of Iain R. Webb's new book, Foale and Tuffin: The Sixties. A Decade in Fashion, and its companion exhibition at the Fashion & Textile Museum in London for Worn Through- please read my review and go see the exhibition if you are in London this month. The book is also definitely worth a read, especially if you are interested in 60s Britain.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Photo of the Day: Adam Ant

David Bailey, Adam Ant, 1978.

The ultimate love of my life.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Rules of Fashion #10

Point #10:
A: Dress your age. A hat that really belongs above a mature, thoughtful face is far more flattering, and incidentally in better taste, than a cute pixie cap. Clothes that are too young paradoxically make their wearer look older. Remember that the interesting men of the world like women who appear youthful but who are not pathetic carbon copies of the girls they were. On the other hand, clothes that are too sophisticated do not imbue the youthful wearer with the femme fatale look she longs to achieve, but tend, on the contrary, to give her a comically childlike appearance.
B: As you grow older, cover up. Aging flesh is not appealing. Whether a Bikini bathing suit on a charming young body is modest or immodest is a matter of the current mode or local morals or good taste; it has nothing to do with aestheticism, but too much revelation of a figure that is too thin, too fat, or too old can be lamentable.
For the older woman, misty tulle scarves in the evening or little jackets or stoles are pleasant bits of decorative fancy.

For years I've definitely cultivated a very childlike look for daytime, but lately when I've put some of my favourite outfits on they have felt odd, inconguous. Am I just getting older? Or have I finally seen Ms Chase's ideas as truth? I'm still unsure- I love the look of pinafores and ruffles and bows, but somehow they have felt so off to me of late. Any opinions on this look in general?

Excerpt from: Chase, Edna Woolman and Ilka. Always in Vogue. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company Inc,1954.

Photo of the Day: Cléopâtre

Lubov Tchernicheva in a Cléopâtre costume from the Ballet Russes, 1918.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Rules of Fashion #9

And this rule is going out to all my friends with the closets full of black, black and more black…

Galanos evening gown, 1967; Photo by Henry Clarke
Point #9: Consider color; don’t get set in concrete as to what colors you can and cannot wear. To be adamant on the subject of black or brown, shrimp pink or almond green is nonsense. Quite possibly with the right shades of rouges, lipstick, and powder we can wear them. Another thing to remember is that as we grow older we can frequently change our color spectrum with flattering results.

How would Ms Chase feel walking into any of my friend’s closets, or mine, for that matter? I think we can be surely confident that she would take great displeasure in the large collections of random pieces of clothing we all house.

Claire McCardell dress, 1957; Photo by Frances McLaughlin-Gill.

Excerpt from: Chase, Edna Woolman and Ilka. Always in Vogue. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company Inc,1954.

Photo of the Day: Romy Schneider


I often find myself at work in a deep conversation with my boss about the perfection of Romy's face- was there ever one more exquisite?

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Rules of Fashion #8

Point #8: In your wardrobe consider color carefully. If you use restraint you will find it makes both for elegance and economy. This does not mean you have to be drab and monotonous; if your clothes are interchangeable, shoes and accessories doing duty with several dresses and suits instead of only one, you will achieve greater variety at less cost. Don’t get a blue hat and a red bag and a brown coat and black shoes, each good in itself but as incompatible as whisky and wine. Plan your wardrobe as a whole. Don’t just buy it, compose it.

Definitely something I wish I was better at- I have a habit of buying vintage pieces that I like, with little regard to whether I have anything to wear with it or if the colors match anything. I look enviously at my friends who have all black wardrobes so are able to throw on just anything and look perfect. Since I’m not one to sit around trying on outfits, I just throw on things that I know work and other pieces languish in the back, forgotten.

Excerpt from: Chase, Edna Woolman and Ilka. Always in Vogue. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company Inc,1954. Photo of Givenchy's Paris store.

Photo of the Day: Jeanloup Sieff Portrait

Jeanloup Sieff, Pre-Raphaelite Portrait, 1975.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Links à la Mode

links a la mode

The Heavyweights

Edited by Dramatis Personae

Fashion’s getting heavier– and I’m not just talking about the rise of supermodels like Crystal Renn. This week we’ve got meaty posts covering ethical topics like the sustainability of bamboo at Awakened Aesthetic while Bonne-Vie covers the the implications of buying items made in China. We’ve got not 1–not 2, but 3 AMAZING Interviews this week at Alice in Stilettos, kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS, and White Rabbit. Even Gala Darling’s post on her 2010 Style Direction could serve as a paperweight, it’s so chock full of inspiring images, details, and notations.

As usual, there’s a fabulous collection of links in the forums for your continued reading pleasure!

Links à la Mode: January 21st

  • Alice in Stilettos: – Interviewed brilliant 18 year old designer, Nathan Gerard!

  • Awakened Aesthetic: – How Green is Your Bamboo?

  • Bonne Vie: – At Bonne Vie, we talked about the impact of conscious spending on your wardrobe (and one girl’s journey to not buy “Made In China”)

  • Cafe Fashionista: – Style Secrets: Stormy Sophistication. A comprehensive guide for the girl who wants to remain fashionable even in the midst of a monsoon!

  • DailyDivaDish: – Vintage Broaches: 8 Unique ways to wear these treasures & more — includes many pics of different broaches & a DIY idea for reusing those with broken clasps.

  • dramatis personae: – Following Your Instincts…When Meeting New People, When Shopping, When at Work, and When in Love

  • Fashion Pulse Daily: – Ponders the significance of the C. Finley Wallpapered Dumpster Project

  • For Those About to Shop: – nternational runway sensation Stacey McKenzie inspires aspiring models to be themselves.

  • Gala Darling: – 2010 Style Direction: Psychadelic Ladies Who Lunch

  • girl friday : – DIY Ribbon Necklace & Bracelet. tutoirial on how to make your own ribbon necklace.

  • hello beauty! – In my post on Hello Beauty, I wrote about the new Bobbi Brown campaign. She’s using friends – not models.

  • Idee Fixe: – Fashion and the arts charities supporting Haitian Relief on Idee Fixe

  • In Life & In Fashion: – Make a “Most Coveted List” to avoid silly impulse spending! Includes tip on how to create your own list and what is currently on mine!

  • Independent Fashion Bloggers: – How to Create Your Media Kit

  • kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS: – My exclusive interview with Inbar Spector, an Israeli London-based designer whose renowned avant garde Bjork-inspired designs have been worn by celebrities such as Rihanna.

  • Model Max: – A special report on the history of male modeling – from the 1980s to the present time, with short profiles of selected male models who remain successful even after modeling.

  • Oranges and Apples: – Top tips for organising your wardrobe

  • Retro Chick – The 4 things I’ve always wanted but never owned

  • THE COVETED – Marion Cotillard and Franz Ferdinand team up for Dior

  • the fashionate traveller: – the rock/burlesque/voodoo vibe that is alternative Sydney label Baroque & Roll.

  • White Rabbit: – Introducing Sorcha Gillet, the Irish born textile designer and blogger.

Rules of Fashion #7

A rule that is the antithesis of today’s fast fashion…


Point #7: Don’t buy too much. There is nothing to sap the morale and dull the appearance like a closet full of half-worn, no-longer-at-their-peak clothes. With the exception of the aforementioned staples- coats, sits, and street shoes, which should last several seasons- buy only what you need at the time, make it serve you well, and get rid of it.

How would Ms Chase feel walking into any of my friend’s closets, or mine, for that matter? I think we can be surely confident that she would take great displeasure in the large collections of random pieces of clothing we all house.


Excerpt from: Chase, Edna Woolman and Ilka. Always in Vogue. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company Inc,1954. All photos by Todd Selby.

Photo of the Day: The Lust Inducing Julie Newmar

Julie Newmar

Friday, 22 January 2010

Rules of Fashion #6

And now Edna comes to the nitty gritty of fashion….


Point #6: The allotment of budget. There are certain articles in one’s wardrobe on which one not only may, but should, splurge. Within reason, of course. Remember this is a Quaker speaking. A good cashmere sweater will last for years. Your winter coat should be the very best you can afford. It is meant to survive several seasons, keep you warm, and be worn every day. The same is true of your tailored suit. It should be of good fabric and well cut. Also your street shoes should be the best. Smart, comfortable, and with a medium heel. For walking the city streets they should not have open toes and heels. This misbegotten fashion I have already dwelt on at length. Keep your shoes in good repair; you prolong their life indefinitely.
Economize on evening slippers. They are fragile and unless you are a debutante the wear you exact from them will probably be limited. If you are a debutante you will want several pairs, but they need not be expensive.

Overall, all useful advice, though I doubt the girls I hang out with “economize” on their evening shoes. I can’t imagine what Edna and Elizabeth Hawes, who also had a revulsion of opened toed shoes, would think of summer in New York nowadays- it seems that even office workers seem to forget all rules of propriety and run around in flip-flops and light summer dresses.


Excerpt from: Chase, Edna Woolman and Ilka. Always in Vogue. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company Inc,1954. All photos by John Rawlings for Vogue, 1943 and 1946 respectively.

Photo of the Day: Amber

Amber Valletta by Craig McDean.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Photo of the Day: Lynx Ladies

Jeanloup Sieff, Vogue Paris, 1978.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Photo of the Day: Madonna

Madonna by Bettina Rheims

This might just might be my favourite incarnation of Madonna...

Friday, 8 January 2010

Photo of the Day: Lillian Bassman

LILLIAN BASSMAN, Fashion study for Harper's Bazaar, 1951

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Jen Kao and The Problem of Lindsay Lohan

There was a time when I was quite a fan of Lindsay Lohan- even when she started falling apart I rooted for her and told others off for not supporting her through a bad period. As time went on it became apparent that this wasn't just some phase and that she is completely unwilling to change things in her life, so for the last two years I've had little time for her antics. The various projects she's taken on, from spray tanners to leggings, haven't endeared her to me any more, and her latest, a full fashion line, looks likely to move her into the category of someone I despise.

Earlier this week she released sketches from her new line, 6126, and one of them is an exact copy of a dress by my friend, Jen Kao. Lindsay was even photographed in this dress, from A/W 2009, last year.


Here you can see Jen's dress in her lookbook and on Lindsay, with Lindsay's pirated sketch in the middle. Many of the dresses in this collection of Jen's had the same geometric banded details as the dress Lindsay wore, and are unmistakably a signature of her work.

This story has been covered by several other sources as we're trying to get the news out about Lindsay's thieving ways- check out Fashionista, Sugar Rock Catwalk, and The Frisky.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Photo of the Day: Jean Shrimpton, 1970


Rules of Fashion #5

Time moves amazingly fast- somehow I haven't posted a style rule from Edna Woolman Chase's Always in Vogue since October. I guess that is what they mean when the say that grad school takes over your life...


Point #5: Select clothes appropriate to the life you lead. The wildly inappropriate garment is usually the mistake of youth, before the discipline of taste and budget has had the time to sink in. Although the temptation may be strong, even in maturity, to purchase the dress that would be knockout for a unique occasion and completely out of key the rest of the time, unless you're rich, don't succumb. Compromise. Obviously, if you sense that a certain ravishing garment will cause him to pop the question don't be a fool. Buy it.

Of all of her points so far, this is the one I personally don't follow at all. While I do think my style is becoming more refined as I get older, I am just as likely to buy something completely nonsensical as I always was. Fantastical evening clothes attract me, and even though my life is not filled with galas every night, I buy them more often than I do day-to-day clothes. This has meant that I wear ball gowns for cocktail parties and cocktail dresses for school- my 'ravishing' dresses haven't brought me any proposals but they have definitely drawn quite a bit of attention to me over the years. I guess I could put it this way- instead of choosing clothes for the life I lead, I choose my clothes for the life I want to lead. While that sounds like a hint from an article on getting a better job, in my experience it has actually been working. Therefore, I am going to have to politely disagree with Mrs. Chase and say that, while this might be right for most people, I'll stick to my lamé, sequins and furs for day- yes, they are supposedly inappropriate for class, but if you want a more glamorous life you have to dress for it.


Excerpt from: Chase, Edna Woolman and Ilka. Always in Vogue. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company Inc,1954. Photos styled by Catherine Baba.

Photos of the Day: YSL's Botticelli Bride

Yves Saint Laurent's crepe georgette wedding dress with pearl buttons and satin edging. Photographed by David Bailey for Vogue UK, November 1973.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Style Icon: Lori Maddox

Lori, on the left, modeling for Creem magazine, August 1974.

Several months ago I wrote a long post about Sable Starr, the unofficial queen of the LA scene in the early 70s. Her style and story were both so intriguing to me, and I have long meant to write a similar post on her best friend, Lori Maddox. Lori’s story will be well known to any Zeppelin aficionado, but it bears repeating here as a powerful example of the drawbacks of dating a rock god.

Lori and Sable.


Her look is wild
She's young but never shows it
She loves to live and lives to love
The ones know she's the One

Lori was born in Los Angeles in 1958, and when she was around 13 made her entry into the rock n roll scene with Sable. They were regulars at the Rainbow Bar & Grill, Rodney's English Disco, the Continental Hyatt House (the notorious “Riot House"), and the Whisky A Go Go. She became a teen model and was included in several editorials in Creem and in Star magazine, the local bible of the scene. Her petite frame, large brown eyes and masses of chestnut curls drew her many admirers, and it has been reported that she lost her virginity to David and Angie Bowie at thirteen. Around the same time a photo of her was shown to Jimmy Page, who quickly became infatuated with her. He was still dating Miss Pamela of the GTO’s (later Pamela Des Barres) but when he was in LA in 1972 on the Zeppelin tour he went after Lori.

Lori and Queenie Glam at Rodney's English Disco, 1973.

Sable and Lori with Iggy Pop.

Lori avoided his advances several times, later stating that she was frightened of him; finally Led Zeppelin’s tour manager “kidnapped” her and brought her to the Hyatt and to Jimmy’s room. Interviewed in Hammer of the Gods, a biography of Led Zeppelin, Lori said that the room “was dimly lit by candles... and Jimmy was just sitting there in a corner, wearing this hat slouched over his eyes and holding a cane. It was really mysterious and weird... He looked just like a gangster. It was magnificent." They started an affair that night, which was kept secret since she was only 14 and he was still dating Pamela. His relationship with Pamela ended dramatically when he took her to a party for the band but left with Lori.

Jimmy and Lori, 1973/74.

By all accounts, Jimmy and Lori were very in love and for the next year and a half she traveled often with the band. When she was 16 he left her for Bebe Buell, the Playmate who had recently been living with Todd Rundgren. Bebe was Jimmy’s date for the Swan Song soiree, which Lori found incredibly upsetting since she was still in love with him. Out of her mind on Quaaludes, she stumbled around the party, bloodying her nose and soaking her white gown in blood. When Bebe and Jimmy were leaving the party, she cornered them, screaming at Jimmy, “Why are you doing this to me?” but he ignored her and went to the Rainbow Room where he had a huge fight with Bebe over his cruelty to Lori.

Lori and Jimmy arriving at John Bonham's 24th birthday at The Rainbow Bar & Grill, 31 May 1972.

Lori with Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Rodney Bingenheimer, Sable Starr, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, Pamela des Barres, Morgana Welch, Peter Grant and other friends at John Bonham's birthday.

The next day Lori went to the Hyatt where she found Jimmy and Bebe in bed together. She fled but came back later and knocked on the door. When Bebe opened the door with the chain on it, Lori reached through, grabbing Bebe’s hair and trying to drag her out. Jimmy watched his former and current girlfriends fight it out from the safety of his room, laughing hysterically. Lori drifted out of the groupie scene and briefly got back together with Jimmy in the early 80s; she supposedly never got over the pain of their first breakup but has gone on to a stable career as a buyer in LA and has a son.

Lori with Rodney Bingenheimer and a friend.

Lori Maddox and Shray Mecham partying at Rodney's 'English Disco', from Star Magazine's last published issue, June 1973.

Just like Sable, Lori’s style was an amalgamation of trash and full-on glamour. Often wearing hot pants with halter tops made from long, thin scarves that barely covered her pre-pubescent breasts, Lori was just as likely to wear a vintage 40s satin gown with a mink stole. Even in her trashiest outfits, her huge smile lights up the snapshots and she never appears as cheap as Sable sometimes did. More openly romantic than her good friend, it isn’t hard to see how she was so deeply affected by the events of her teenage years.

Lori Maddox and Shray Mecham from Star Magazine, June 1973.

Lori with Keith Moon on his birthday, date unknown.

Lori and Keith Moon.

Lori, Leee Black Childers, Sable and friends.

Lori Maddox, around 1973.

Lori, laying on the ground, with the New York Dolls in Creem magazine, August 1974.

Lori, 1973.

Lori with Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls upstairs at the Whisky A Go Go, August 1973.

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