Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What's All The Fuss? Chanel and it's Importance (oh what a fancy schmancy title *elegantly pats mouth with doily*)

          Today I spent two hours in the library reading (or rather, worshipping) a coffee table book of Chanel clothing, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Almost all of it was Coco Chanel's actual designs, some from Lagerfeld. All of them, gorgeous. The Chanel label is so well known, to the point of being a cultural cliche. ''Oh, it;s very Chanel esque'' some might say of any black dress, even if it looks nothing like a Chanel piece. The simple double-C symbol of the house is so iconic. Some even have it tattooed on their bodies. But what actually makes Chanel so wonderful? Is the price and popularity just consumarist hype? In short, is that jacket really worth $700? My answer, controversially, is yes.
       The average outfit is made in a sweat shop. One of the biggest building collapses ever happened in a Bangladeshi garment factory, which produced clothing for popular brands like Gap and H&M (figures one of the worst brands, both in how it's made and designed, would be made in such cruel and inconsiderate conditions). Workers are considered animals in these factories. People who try to start unions for these workers have been killed by their own government.
      On the other hand, the Chanel garment is made in either France (couture) or Italy (ready to wear). Clothing is hand sewn and in the case of couture, fitted to the buyers exact measurements. Aside from the good of the consumer, the employees are actually well paid and trained sewers. When the Barrie's wool factory in Scotland was about to close, Chanel purchased the factory and saved over 200 jobs. Aside from sounding like a Mitt Romney campaign promo, I really think high quality clothing like Chanel is worth the effort. I also believe that people (like myself) deserve to have access to well made and ethical clothing, without paying a high school tuition for it. Cheaper priced brands should train their workers, treat the clothing like an actual craft, and actually pay the workers. Fashion is art, and it deserves to be treated as so. And in order for art to be, well, art, it must be made in a beautiful way that gives back to the world.
         Chanel, specifically, revolutionized fashion. Many times the story of saving women from corsets has been told, so I'll skip that. Chanel clothing melds the practical with the beautiful. Tiny things like a simple chain at the bottom of a jacket help it to drape properly. A garments true beauty by itself is shown without piles of unnecessary buttons. Certain necklaces, such as her Constellation necklace, were customizable. She popularized displaying jewelry on head mannequins and fake arms, to give an idea of how a piece was worn. Chanel No.5, for gosh sakes! Instead of simply putting one scent in, she had numerous.
         This beautiful fashion house has so many fun little secrets, also. The topper of Chanel No.5's bottle is modeled after the Place Vendome in France. The reason for the perfume's name is because it was the fifth sample Ernest Beau presented to her. Byzantine inspired jewelry from her collections were references to the cross mosaics on the ground in front of Coco's childhood church. Camellias, her favorite flower, is shown in almost every Chanel collection. Lastly, her prized Japanese room panels inspired many of her designs, my favorite being her day robe outfits.
       In short: Scatter my ashes at 31 rue Cambon.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Marc Jacobs and Yves Saint Laurent; A Comparison

   Lately I've been focusing on my math review, and hanging out with my friends. Basically, enjoying summer. But I definitely don't consider writing about fashion as boring, so here I go!
      I collect vintage fashion and news magazines. In an early 60's issue of Newsweek with Laurent on the cover, was probably the best article on him I've ever read. It communicated his philosophy so well, with only a few quotes from himself. Just by saying such straight forward words, he was very clear. St. Laurent spoke about appreciating couture, but at the same time wanting to attract younger customers. Then, houses like Chanel ( Chanel No.5 being the exception) and others decreased in popularity. Dior by Marc Bohan was very successful, though, with the house exanading to baby wear, shoes, and more basic clothing. The name Dior was what was so attractive. Not the actual quality.
        As I read this, it reminded me of Marc Jacobs. By looking at Laurent and Jacob's work, such as Yves Saint Laurent's pop art dresses. But looking farther, they have a similar philosophy. Marc Jacobs is not couture, but it has that high fashion flair and is well made. This brand is mostly geared towards teenagers and young people. Uniqueness and art is a rare thing to find in clothing now, especially when it's slightly cheaper. Popularity of websites like Rookie and the surge in teen fashion blogs makes me really excited about clothing for young people. Teen clothing, especially, is constantly made fun of. Justin Bieber's baggy pants? Something cringe worthy, but certainly not representative of all teens. (THANK GOSHNESS)
        Both of these designers both have and had a a calm quirkiness in their clothing. The Marc Jacob's 60's London inspired spring/summer 2013 collection was different and fun, but still wearable. St. Laurent's white wedding dress with red velvet sleeves was subtle, but managed to be elegant and unique.
    All in all, both of these designers seemed to have fresh ideas for how to revive a bland fashion industry. Some might say these designers did nothing for young fashion, considering that only a  small minority could afford it. But remember what happened with Chanel? Did just a few rich flappers wear her jackets? And everyone else continue on wearing whale bone corsets? Nope. They say the looks of their favorite movie stars and asked their tailors to replicate them. And companies like Sears replicated early Dior-like looks. High fashion greatly influences ready to wear and, sometimes, even Target.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I've been hearing a few things about losing followers through some google change up thingy? So follow me on bloglovin, please!

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Shoes Hope for a Million Dollars

Recently Salvatore Ferragamo released a collection of their classic Vara's which are customizable. As fantabulous and Duh-vine (channeling Vreeland, folks) as this modern collection is, I found it even the more gratifying to realize that I have a vintage pair! And, they only cost like five bucks at a charity thrift store!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Marsha Marsha MARSHA!

Living in Chicago, we have a public television station that airs all of the classic TV shows from the 50's to 90's. many an afternoon was spent when I was in elementary school watching the Partridge Family and the Brady Bunch. Since then my tastes gave expanded to Alfred Hitchcock Presents and All In The Family. So maybe I'm a Gloria now.
Lee bell bottoms, handmade peasant style shirt dress.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

50's Varsity Jacket with amazingly fab cat patch!!! (And a zayn Malik photo bomb)

I went to the raddest vintage shop, Hollywood Mirror. It's like 80's heaven in there. I saw the greatest cat sweater ever in existence ( well if I found a St. Party's day one, maybe that would be better), green and a floral collar. The wigs there are in pristine condition, too. ( my mom's buying me one soon so I'm super excited!
And sorry about the photo bomb. Zayn's just a very proud boyfriend.