Vintage Miscellany – October 6, 2013

Is this photo posed, with the bicycle being used merely as a prop, or is the young woman actually going off for a ride in her alligator pumps and wonderful plaid suit?  These are the questions that occupy my mind.

More food for thought:

*  I wrote about clothing  storage last week and so did the New York Times.  I’ll probably be leaving my stuff where it is.

*   I’ve already linked to a video of the the V&A’s new Clothworker’s Centre, but I can’t say enough about how I love this idea.  You can read more on the V&A site. Thanks to Last-Year Girl for the info.

*  It’s almost time for the next clothing auction at Augusta Auctions which will be held November 13, in New York City.  There is a red 1920s swimsuit that is especially nice (not to mention Dior, Patou, Hermes…).

*   A big problem associated with the return to American manufacturing is that for the past 20 years  new sewers have not been trained, and now there is a shortage of skilled workers.    Thanks to Custom Style for the link.

*  Despite the recent closure of Scottish cashmere maker Ballantyne, a renaissance of Scottish textiles is looming. (sorry for the pun) Thanks to @brennaariel

*   The Guardian posted a very thoughtful piece by The Invisible Women about why she prefers style over fashion.

*   Journalist Brandon Eastman decided to try and trace a sports hoodie from the store in the US to the person in Indonesia who made the garment.  There are some interesting insights in his article.  Thanks to @otdiFASHION

*   Women in trousers were fiction’s sartorial trailblazers according to this interesting piece in the Guardian.  Thanks to @KittNoir

*   What’s in a name?  Quite a bit of money according to the man who buys old fashion names in order to resell them.  He owns the rights to Poiret, Mainbocher, and thirteen others.

*   Probably the biggest controversy in the just concluded fashion weeks concerns the show of designer Rick Qwens.   Instead of using professional models he used step dancing teams, which were made up primarily of young Black women, most of whom were not skinny.

There has been an on-going call for more racial diversity in fashion presentations.  In many shows all the models are White and blonde.  Before the fashion weeks began, there was a letter put out by fashion veteran Bethann Hardison calling on designers to include more models of color in their shows.  Many designers did have a more diverse cast.

If you have not seen the video of the Owens show, you really should take the time to watch it.  Frankly, I was blown away by the show, even though I’m not a big fan of Owens.  After watching hundreds of thin, tall women walk the runways, it was the most energizing show I could imagine.  So why all the fuss?

It centers around the stereotype of the “angry Black woman.”  The facial expressions that I read as “powerful,”  others read as “angry.”  Some people are upset that Black women are prominent in a fashion show, but that they were made to look “ugly.”

Perhaps I’m not the best person to give an opinion on the matter, as I was not actually in attendance at the show .  Let’s just say that I agree with Pulitzer Prize winning fashion critic Robin Givhan, who was in attendance at the show.  Click on the “Listen” box to hear her thoughts on the matter.

PS:  My first thought on watching the show was not the color of the models, but their size.  I thought the clothes looked fabulous on larger women, and I’m hoping that size (and age) will be considered also when speaking of diversity.


Filed under Vintage Miscellany

10 responses to “Vintage Miscellany – October 6, 2013

  1. Thanks for the mention! Hope you have had a good weekend 🙂


  2. SGeiger

    Thank you for mentioning Patou! One of my favorites and I had forgotten him.


  3. It’s such a treat to sit with a cup of tea and your Vintage Miscellany posts. Lots of thought-provoking articles. I’m glad I watch the Rick Owens show. It was a great performance even though I felt like the clothing belonged on some dystopian planet I don’t want to visit.


  4. Teresa

    Love this photo and I like to think she is off for a ride! 🙂


  5. LB

    Georganna and I were in Charleston a couple of years ago on a lovely Sunday morning and saw several women on bikes in dresses and heels pedaling to church. You know how Charleston is such a dress up town.


  6. I listened to the interview and was blown away by Givhan. Until now I’ve only read a few articles by her–now I’m on a quest!


  7. Christina

    Re: Rick Owens and diversity.

    Isn’t it extraordinary that in 2013 we are discussing diversity in this multi-billion dollar industry? If the fashion houses wanted to change the perception the rest of the world has about the way it uses models they would have started on the road to diversity years ago. As it is, idealising the female form, not a new idea, will continue to dominate the catwalks. It’s like a house of cards. The industry is built upon a self-supporting culture. Once you chip away at one issue, I would argue you have a direct impact on advertising, cosmetics, diet/weight-loss products etc etc. All of which = enormous profits and all of which help to perpetuate some of the issues that diversity brings up.

    Good on Rick Owens for creating a bit of a buzz but the tokenism wasn’t lost on me and I don’t think it was on the rest of the fashion industry either.


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