Archive for July, 2011

From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is currently housing the exhibition, “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk,” showcasing the designer’s influences from the streets of Paris to the world of science fiction. With a focus on creative development, the exhibit features unreleased video clips and 120 iconic designs.

My life is my work, so you’ll find out everything about me! It’s a great adventure, because my designs will be displayed in a totally new way. In a way, it will be the biggest show I’ve ever done — but also my biggest collection in a way, because it will be divided into six themes that often recur in my work.” — Jean Paul Gaultier

The Gaultier exhibition is on display through October 2, 2011 and will arrive at San Francisco’s de Young Museum in 2012.

Iconic Designer: James Galanos

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

James Galanos, widely considered a top American designer, was born to Greek parents in Philadelphia in 1924. A self-described shy loner, he dreamed of Paris and New York as a young boy and intuitively sketched designs even though he had no training or fashion influences around him. In the mid 1940s, he became an assistant at Hattie Carnegie, and later sketched costumes for Columbia Pictures. At 24 years of age, Galanos moved to Paris, just as couture houses were rebounding from the war. He eagerly worked for couturier Robert Piguet alongside Pierre Balmain and Hubert de Givenchy, who were also assistants.

In 1951, he decided to launch Galanos Originals, which was immediately a hit with Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. A master of chiffon and fur in particular, Galanos quickly became a household name in the fashion world, and Hollywood came calling. He designed costumes for Rosalind Russell and Judy Garland among others and became a favorite designer among the social set and celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich and Elizabeth Taylor. While he officially retired in 1998, Galanos continues to be in demand, with stars such as Renee Zelwegger, Nicole Kidman and Christina Riccci wearing his vintage gowns. He splits his time between Los Angeles and Palm Springs.

Shown above is a 1960s apricot orange floral matelassé silk gown trimmed in orange ostrich feathers with an asymmetrical hem. Cut on the bias, the free flowing style is reminiscent of an Indian sari. Go to 1stdibs for more information.

Tropical Trends for the Season

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Christian Dior's campaign

Not by coincidence as much as I believe divine plan tropical prints are everywhere this season.  Prada, Marc Jacobs and Dior all featured elements of a tropical doomsday. As much as people clamored for those looks right off the runway so did they come looking for their vintage counterparts here at the store. Our customers clamored for looks from the Miami of the 1930′s to the bright neon parrots and palm trees of the 1980′s.  Emphasis was on fun, lighthearted, whimsical looks to start off the summer season right.  It’s not too late if you haven’t got your look together yet.  We are here for you. Come on down!

Marc Jacobs

PRADA

Tropical Prints Sweep In

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Shelly Lyn perusing the tropical madness

There are moments in life that simply take your breath away.  I have had many of those moments here at The Way We Wore and I recently had another one when Doris Raymond, owner and proprietor of this vintage wonderland casually meandered in and plopped an innocuous looking oversize sack on the counter.  I know better at this point to not take notice when Doris plops anything innocuous anywhere.  At closer inspection it is most often an object or multitudes of objects of great beauty and fascination.

I was beyond thrilled when the bag opened up and a vast array of vintage polynesian prints spilled out. There were 1940′s and 50′s sarong dresses in outrageous acid colors, holomus with extra long dragon sleeves, high waisted rayon shorts in aloha prints that I have never seen before and various other incarnations of Hawaiian wearables that caused me not to blink for a solid hour.

I should say at this point that my mothers family is from the islands – Ohau to be specific.  I spent many idyllic summer vacations and family visits there.  I have so many memories of buying matching dresses to my brothers annual aloha shirts. We always had matching summer outfits. I loved it. He hated it. I loved that he hated it. I was an awful child. At my grandmothers house there were always scraps of what I have come to find out  were insanely collectable and valuable Hawaiian shirts. She would cut up my grandfathers and uncles shirts and use them as rags when they would wear out.  She also kept  a large jar of original coconut buttons which I still have to this day to represent a dollar amount that would have paid for a college education. These memories are priceless to me.

One of my co-workers here at the store – Shelly Lyn, hails from Kauai, Hawaii so she was just as swept away with nostalgia as I was.  We pawed each piece and echoed each others sentiments and agreed there were so many prints represented in that pile that we have never seen before. I am not going to lie and say that there wasn’t some trying on going on. That, my friends was a good day at The Way We Wore.

Tropical heaven from the 1940's & 50's