This is a discussion landscape regarding the au courant in fashion, including all accessories (jewellery, hats, shoes, handbags, et al.) paired with its art and historical origins, placing an academic slant on the usual "hollywoodesque" fashion blog. I am obliged to answer any questions, comments or suggestions one may have regarding today's fashion, its history, museum or runway news, or perhaps questions on what and what not to wear. In posting a subject everyday, I will comment on contemporary fashion news and critique a particular ensemble, pairing it with a historical element. Everyone who wants to learn about fashion is welcome. From questions and comments regarding bridalwear to fashion icons, such as the Graces (Kelly & Mirabella), as well as general questions regarding taste and trends, let's discuss! Remember, we are all students of fashion.

About Me

New York, NY, United States

Anglica Theatrum, W. Hollar (c. 1640)

Anglica Theatrum, W. Hollar (c. 1640)
Hollar was the 1st Fashion Journalist

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chanel Auction today in Paris


February 24th and 25 auctions at Paris’s Druout Richelieu ended today, but because of France’s fascist auction laws, we do not yet know the results of the 800 plus garments, shoes, handbags, costume jewelry and other accessories.  In fact, don’t bother visiting Druout’s website.  I already did.  You cannot access the sale items before or after a sale unless you spend 100 euros to sign-up for their magazine/newsletter.  I don’t think so.

Druout auctioneer, Pierre Cornette de Saint Cyr stated their low/high sale total estimate is $270,000-540,000.  The AP reported some highlights.  One of the pieces, I believe, is an iconic staple to the Chanel archive (don’t be surprised if they are not the purchasers, either), which is a black lace sheath gown with a black bow at the neckline from 1935 that includes its sewn-in couture number.  The report also states there is a green leaf printed day dress with matching jacket, dated 1929.

I will let you know the results of this illustrious sale after they are published- not quite sure why the law prohibits news from being immediately disseminated in France.  I love being an American and thank my ancestors for moving here from France.  (Associated Press Photo by Jacques Brinon 2/25/10)


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pamella Roland Fall 2010- Smart Opulence

Pamella Roland Runway Fall 2010As my decorative arts blog is titled, Smart Opulence, it just so happens that one of my favorite contemporary designers for today’s jet-setting woman is Pamella Roland who just so happens to embrace this sense, rather a sixth sense, that only some of us are lucky enough to be born with.  She is a genius in understanding what her clientele desires in dressing for their careers and lifestyles.  Always elegant, always relevant,  Pamella Roland’s Fall 2010 collection showed today at Bryant Park’s Salon for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.  Mrs. Roland continued to impress her viewers with glorious eye candy as they came away with long shopping lists.  This collection takes a woman from day to evening without a hitch by using sumptuous fabrics in silk and wool, furs and leathers for daywear and ski wear, or rather for looking stunning, sipping toddies at the bottom of the hill.  She showed shearling and leather coats, fur hats, slim fitting pants, sweaters and wraps in cashmere, ending with tailored dresses and pantsuits in luxe wool suiting.  Pamella Roland Runway Fall 2010 MBFW daywearHer graceful asymmetrically-draped knifed-pleated strapless dresses in wool suiting, belted at the waist were a fresh take on after-work cocktail attire that can be worn with a gorgeous leather jacket and tall boots during work hours, taken off at a cocktail party to unveil a sophisticated look that is both upscale enough for drinks at the Old King Cole bar, yet laid back enough for late night downtown dining.Pamella Roland Runway Fall 2010 MBFW asymmetrical strapless   Her evening attire tipped the scales of glamour for every woman with cocktail suits, dresses and gowns gilt to the hilt or drenched in gem-colors that were were just as stunning from the back as they are the front and succeeded in giving every woman their ultimate… leave them wanting more as you walk out the door. Pamella Roland Runway Fall 2010 MBFW Glamour gowns 2Pamella Roland Runway Fall 2010 MBFW Glamorous GownThere is also no dearth in this collection for basic black, though there is nothing basic about these pieces.  Pamella Roland Runway Fall 2010 MBFW Chapeau & frock coatHer jazz-age inspired headwear paired with patterned tights and sleek silhouettes, such as a black wool cloche that topped off a slim-fitted black tuxedo inspired frock coat, channeled twenties femme fatales.  Luxurious accessories, including the patterned tights (probably Wolford), glamorous sunglasses, three-quarter length kid gloves and over-the-knee, high-heeled boots, fur felt cloches, and fur hats and wraps add to the opulence of this collection.

 Pamella Roland Runway Fall 2010 MBFW Daywear 3 Pamella Roland Runway Fall 2010 MBFW daywear with clochePamella Roland Runway Fall 2010 Aspen AttirePamella Roland Runway Fall 2010 daywear

Take a look at her collection at 

Also, don’t miss her Spring 2010 collection inspired by Georgia O’Keefe that can be seen in stores this winter/spring.  ( February 15, 2010 –All Photos by Jemal Countess/Getty Images North America)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thanks to McQueen

Blog_McQueen2008 If any of you looked at my blog site when I began in 2008, I chose an image of a Hollar print from the 1640s and an image of an Alexander McQueen suit from the Couture Paris runway show, 2008, thanking him for such impeccable tailoring with an understanding of a woman’s body and taste.  Again, I believe this image, above all of his over-the-top designs for celebrities, including most recently, Lady Gaga and Sandra Bullocks black gown trimmed cobalt blue she wore to the Golden Globes, defines what he truly contributed to fashion and why he will be remembered by most critics, collectors and historians.  Thank you, Alexander.  RIP. 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My New Screen Saver

In lieu of being overwhelmed with contemporary fashion this week during New York’s fashion week, I needed to feed my eyes with an amazing artifact from my favorite period, the 18th century.  Chinese Silk Robe ala anglais, upper bodice lined in calico - Kerry Taylor 12-8-09 close-up backThis is an image that I have saved for for my 18th century dress and textiles research, which was sold at Kerry Taylor Auctions in London in 08 Dec 2010 Passion for Fashion sale as lot 65.  The cataloguing is a follows:

Robe a la Anglais, c. 1770s, made from white embroidered Chinese silk for the western market, c. 1755-60.  Embroidered in imitation of a brocade with bouquets of flowers tied with blue ribbons; wing cuffs trimmed in brown fur, front-closure to bodice edged in dark green silk, gown unlined except the upper bodice lined in calico.

Enjoy the eye candy. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentino Couture 2010

It seems as though we have another design house that has fallen down the tubes of individualism with a team of a new, young designer who obviously is not staying true to the original reputation of the house with such obvious feminine ideals detailed with impeccable tailoring and glorious draping, only to worship a woman's body. Alessandra Fachinetti just couldn't make the cut and now, Chiuri and Picciolo seem to have ridden down the same path...Valentino was a master because he made luxurious clothes for women who love glamour. This display was just misguided, in the sense that the team was trying to be cutting edge in the new design format of, dare we say..."futuristic." From Lady Gaga resorting to Armani Prive to design her stage and red carpet costumes for the Grammy's to this disheveled mess of a couture collection, I think it is rather more of a retro look that we need to point towards rather than "futuristic." Rather than terming Lady Gaga being "futuristic," isn't she just updating the latter? Does no one remember Dale Bozzio from Missing Persons leading the pack of new wave bands into futuristic fashion for the eighties. Amy Odell of the New York Magazine commented that the Valentino team was tryin too hard; or was it that they weren't trying hard enough(