Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Street Trends and High Fashion

Street Trends are a form of fashion that evolves from traditional clothing, adopting a western style of clothing. Street trends are an individualistic form of dressing of which then can be adopted into high fashion. In the United States, street trends started about in the 1950's, from Zoot Suits, Teddy Boys, Beatniks, Mods, Hippies, Disco, Punk and Hip Hop, street trends continue today and will continue in fashion.

Beatnik, Audrey Hepburn

Beatnik Look by Phillip Lim, Spring 2009
DKNY, Beatnik, Spring 2009

Pink In "punk"

WestWood "Bonadage Suit" Punk

Tracy Reese, Spring 2008, Disco inspired

Fake 57, Hip Hop Apparel

Galliano, Spring 2005, Hip Hop Inspired


Galliano, Hippie Chic, Spring 2005

Diane Von Furstenberg, Hippie Chic, Spring 2009

Contemporary Mod by Proenza Schouler

Mod, Mary Quant
Mod, Proenza Schouler

Yamamoto, Spring 05, Teddy Boys
Teddy Boys

Zoot Suit by Suavacito Apparel Co.

Galliano, Zoot Suit Inspired, Spring 2005


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fashion takes form through diverse ranges of influences including many from artistic styles. Artistic influences includes artwork such as Paintings, Images, Digital Art, Pop Culture Art, and past Historical Artwork and forms. Artists such as Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau, Piet Mondian, and Andy Warhol, and art forms such as surrealism, op art, pop art, art deco, have been utilized by designers in fashion.

In this blog, you will see beautiful fashion designs from prominent Fashion Designers who have incorporated one of the various forms of Art into the designs.

This fashion is referred to as "Iris" dress. Art Noveau, remained throughout the early 2oth century and as a result, the designer created this unique gown by turning to art forms such as "fine art and architecture."

"Iris" dressPainted linen cutwork, silk chiffon and cottonCirca 1905

The beautiful Evening Dress, ca. 1938, designer Mainbocher, was influenced by the "decorative arts" during the period of "revivalism." This gown was worn by Cecil Beaton, the Duchess of Windsor, who wore this dress British Vogue in 1939.

This beatiful Evening coat, ca. 1927, designer by Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, was inspired by,"the convergence of Art Deco line, the modernististic pure form, and japonisme's to [in order to] offer a vocabulary of untailored wrapping shapes.

Yves Saint Laurent, was influenced by artist Piet Mondian's color block paintings for this unique wool jersey dress. Today, color blocking continues to be used in R-T-W garments such as Michaels Kors polka dot dresses, among other designers. Color blocking requires "precision of pattern-making" and expertise in sewing the color blocked garment.

Dress Multicolor wool jersey1965, YSL

Gianni Versace, was inspired by the work of legend, Andy Warhol. It is noted that Gianni Versace frequently referenced art historical and various cultural aesthetic phenomena.
Evening gown, spring/summer 1991
Dress in Polychrome printed silk with multicolored rhinestone and glass bead embroidery.

Designer Rudi Gernreich, Black Wool evening dress, 1965-1972, includes the use of "pink and green" appliqued circles. The inspiration for this unique dress was "Pop-Art."
The colors used were very bold and stood out tremendously against the black background of which made this garment one of a kind.

Designer, Emilio Pucci, Dress in Multicolor silk jersey Circa, 1965, was inspired by "Op-Art" infused patterns. Also known as Optical Art, it is a form of abstract art of which geometric shapes are a key factor in additon to creating a 3 dimensional vibrating effects to the eyes of the viewer. Pucci apparel is very well known for the use of Op Art.

One of the more prominent designers, Yamamoto, is well known for apparel that is unique in design and construction. This beautiful Coat, early 1990's, was created in Black felted wool with gold metallic handpainted surface decoration and brass plate appliqué . Within the mirror-like images, the inspiration includes "a Surrealist element" of which was often used by artist Salvador Dali, who was also a key inspiration for designers such as Elsa Schiaparelli who created the Lobster dress based on Dali's "Lobster Painting."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Geneology Of A Gament

This blog is dedicated to the Geneology of Pointed Shoes. As we are aware, shoes have been an important accessory for humans throughout history. From Middle Paleolithic, it is documented in history that footwear evolved. Footwear was created from hydes or skins of animals. As progress was being made, fat from animals could now be used as a form of thread (known as sinew) to hold together footwear. Later in history, due to access to sumptuous materials and newer forms of technology, shoemakers were now able to create a new form of footwear with higher sophistication.

Below you will find various types of pointed shoes beginning from middle Paleolithic -raw styles through 2007, -current high end designer shoes. You can see both progress being made through years and also see similarities in shoes, such as shapes, materials used (leathers, fabric), and pointed shoes included round points, despite place of origin. You can also see changes in embellishments such as fine and intricate embroidery details. You will also see the change in the overall sophistication as progress continues, such as in newer current trends, including clean design and textiles. I tried to include shoes that had more exaggerated points, but they were limited.

Another note, I find it interesting and would like to know why some consumers wear "pointed" as opposed to "round." To me, I always felt that those who wore pointed, want to be taken more seriously and respected. As for those who wear rounded, I feel that it shows a personality that is bubbly, fun, and youthful. Although I am currently researching, "Why pointed shoes" I would like to hear your thoughts on this! Hope you enjoy this!

Middle Paleolithic Leather Sandals. See the interesting cut and placment for threading (sinew). It was interesting how details started existing since this time and age.

Shoes (Crackows), 1300–1450British; Found London, Englandleather; Length: 10 1/2 in.

Bashford Dean Memorial Collection

Shoes, 1690–1700 French
silk, leather Length: 10 in.;
Rogers Fund; White kid shoes embroidered in silk of green and yellow and metal thread in floral motif: extremely pointed toes; "Louis" heels.

Shoes, 1740s British
wool, designer unknown.
Gift of Mrs. Moseley Taylor.

Shoe of pink wool damask; very pointed toe and rather wide, shaped heel; straps at instep over tongue.

Shoes, Evening, 1900–1905. Arthur Burt (American), Designer; Americansilk, glass; Heel to Toe: 9 1/2 in.

Shoes (Pumps), 1914–1919
Pietro Yantorny (Italian, 1874–1936)
leather, silk, metallic Length: 9 1/2 in.

Sling-back pumps (1 pair) of wine-red velvet embroidered in a silver metallic design of flowers and leaf forms. The turned up pointed toes, the heart shape curve of the vamp and the curving line of the uppers towards CB, show a definite near eastern influence. Black elastic sling covered with fine wine net. Squared Louis heel with flat plane CB. Shoe lined with wine kidskin and satin.
[label] Yantorny/Paris 26, Place Vendôme

Shoes, 1912–1914 American
leather, wood Length: 9 3/4 in. Bar shoes of bronze kid embroidered in a bow motif in tiny bronze beads embellished with large cut bronze beads on the pointed toed vamp, strap over instep also embroidered.

[label] Park Brannock Co., Syracuse, N. Y.

Shoes, 1958
House of Dior (French, founded 1947)
silk, leather, metallic threads, plastic, glass Length: 9 3/8 in.
Single shoe of pale yellow satin; pump embroidered with orange, metallic gold and silver threads and pale orange and clear rhinestones, very pointed toe and modified narrow Louis heel.
[stamped in shoe] "Christian Dior créé par Roger Vivier, Paris"

Shoes, Evening, ca. 1969Albanese (Italian), Manufacturer Italian leather, silk, metal, synthetics; Length: 9 1/8 in. (23.2 cm) Height (of heel): 3 1/2 in. Designer unknown.

Shoes, 1963–1964
Saks Fifth Avenue (American, founded 1924)
leather Length: 9 3/4 in.

Pair of shoes of dyed pony skin in red and black zebra pattern: pointed toe; square throat trimmed in black leather border; thin black leather strap across instep with small center buckle;

[label] "Pacelle/Saks Fifth Avenue"

Shoes (Crackows), 2001
Designer/Stamp: Daniel Storto (Canadian)
cotton, leather Pair of poulaines (crackows) of painted white cotton canvas with white leather soles: low-cut shoe; square-cut throat; seam at instep; seam at CB; extended vamp with exaggerated pointed toe;

Notice the comparisons to the Crackows created in 1300 (Above). They appear to be identical, however, this pair includes the use of cotton as opposed to only leather and also appears to be more comfortable due to uses of cotton.

Shoes, 2007
Designer: The one and only... Manolo Blahnik (born Spain, 1942)
(a, b) silk, feathers Heel to Toe
Shoes of purple silk with applied peacock feathers: (a, b) slingback pump; pointed toe; appliqué vamp; piped throat; elasticized slingback self-covered strap.

Isn't just interesting to see how technology and creativity continue to grow in the designing of shoes. I find it interesting how artists can learn from history and re-envision new artistic thoughts, making what once would be difficult, but with new technology coupled with past studies of history, the possibilities are endless!
I want to add one more important note about how important it is to purchase a great pair of shoes. I always loved to wear the latest in Western Boots. One day, as I was posing for a school fashion shoot (wearing my own design)... it was a rainy day and my boots got wet, thus I got mud on them:( I looked good from the ankle up), but apparently the shoes made the design look bad... although the photo did not include my boots. Immediately, nne of my great professors, Mina, from Yugoslavia said, "Dust your shoes... dust your shoes" she continued to say, "no matter what you wear and it could be torn jeans or a t- shirt... never, never, wear shoes that are muddy, old or dusty or dirty... shoes say alot about a person and show an image." Although the shoes were not that bad, you can bet from that day forward, I always have looked at my shoes in a new way and looked at other persons shoes in a different way too. And no matter my mood or what I am wearing, tore jeans especially, I always make sure my shoes match and are always kept clean. So get your best shoes on, collect as many as you can... even when on sale for the end of season... well of course, depending where you live... and always look your best with those Manolos or whatever you prefer, but always keep them free of mud... add a pair of boyfriend or destruction jeans or just your worn out jeans and trust me... You will be noticed, in a good way!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Historical Draped and Tailored Garments


The "toga" was a traditional form of dress in Roman culture. The toga is a draped garment which can either form fit to the body or be worn loosely. Usually draped from a "very large, semicircular piece of undyed woolen cloth."

Statue of a togatus, ca. 14–9 b.c.; AugustanRomanMarble
H. 77 5/8 in. (1.97 m)Gift of John D. Crimmins, 1904 (04.15)

"A chiton and peplos is well represented in Classical art. In most instances, shoulder harnesses intended to rein in the sleeves crisscross in the back and loop in a raglan line at the front." This was a predominant form of draping that historically took place in the Greek culture. Usually made of light linen, this chiton softly draped, clinging to the form of the Terracotta.

Statuette of Nike (personification of victory), late 5th century B.C.; Classical Greek Terracotta.

Madame Grès was known for these "himation-like swags" made of pleated silk jersey. These finely draped gowns involved the tedious process of "pleating." This process, along with the draping process involved the "uninterrupted use of cloth" of which accentuated the soft draped look.

Evening gown, ca. 1965Madame Grès (French, 1903–1993)White silk jersey; L. at center back 44 in. (111.8 cm)Gift of Mrs. Oscar de la Renta, 1994 (1994.192.12)


16th Century "jerkin" Spanish, is a form of "tailored school." You can see the pattern of which has been cut to fit the wearer. Additionally, the form fitting shape signified "tailored." Other adornments added to this unique pattern, "padding at the shoulders, silk tufts, and metallic bobbin lace,...[laced closures]..." , also make the jerkin an apparent tailored garment.

Jerkin, ca. 1580 (16th Century) Spanish
Brown silk voided velvet trimmed
with metallic bobbin lace
L. 23 1/4 in. (59.1 cm)
Gift of Bashford Dean, 1926 (26.196)

The "Jimbaori" is created through "tailoring." The "broad lapels" similar to the "panels" from the women's jacket (below) are a clear distinction of "tailored" in addition to the high quality of workmanship in the applique process.Worn usually by a "high-ranking samurai" for protection of the elements (usually worn over armor) as well as to show "family status."

Surcoat (jimbaori), Edo period (1615–1868), 17th centuryJapanSilk, felt, metallic thread, lacquered wood
H. 38 3/8 in. (97.3 cm)Purchase, Charles and Ellen Baber Gift, 2006 (2006.95)

The panels of which makes this sleeveless jacket is a form of "tailoring." Cut pieces to create the pattern combined with decorative overlayering (central paneling) is also tailoring. This unique "... piece features a decorative composition" which includes " ... garden rock and bamboo in gold and silver threads and silks in shades of blue,... [and the] ... central panel consists of a fretwork with leaves, also woven with metallic threads. " Primarily worn by over robes by female members of the Qing dynasty's ruling family.
Woman's sleeveless jacket with bamboo, Qing dynasty (1644–1911), late 19th century ChinaTapestry-woven (kesi) silk and metallic thread
28 1/2 x 36 in. (72.4 x 91.4 cm)Gift of Florance Waterbury, 1945 (45.125.13)

A clear form the "tailoring" coupled with intricate pleating. Miyake is a master of this form of school. Painstaking pleats created through "sculptured manipulation" make these garments a form of tailoring.

"Miyake forms garments that celebrate the vitality and movement of the human body, particularly referencing Sudanese, Japanese, and American modes and overlaying them with the dictates of couture tailoring to communicate a liberated global aesthetic."

Dress, ca. 1990Issey Miyake (Japanese, born 1938) Gold and burgundy finely pleated cotton blend
Gift of Adele Lutz, 2001 (2001.711)

Clear Distinctions Between Draped and Tailored Schools

Femine Details, elaborate artistry (handpainted details), severely constructed, cut, create a tailored garment. In this Dolce and Gabanna 2oth Century evening gown, you can see the difference from the below evening gown created by Madame Gre's.

Evening dress, fall/winter 1998Dolce & Gabbana (Italian, founded 1982)Black silk duchesse satin with multicolored handpainted floral motifs and blue silk crepe lining
Gift of DOLCE & GABBANA, 1999 (1999.23)

"Vertically draped panels that run unbroken from neckline to hem, alludes to the girdling and quiver straps seen in classical renderings of Artemis." This gament has been created by use of "draping," in which intricate cuts, panels, are not used.

Evening gown, 1954Madame Grès (French, 1903–1993)White silk jersey
L. at center front (a) 55 in. (139.7 cm), (b) 39 in. (99.1 cm)Gift of Mrs. Byron C. Foy, 1956 (C.I.56.60.6a,b)

This was a very fun and exciting project. I learned alot from this exercise and although the research was intense, it was well worth it! I hope you enjoy this!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Social Functions of Dress

Environmental Protection: To stay cool in the summer, “usually worn without underclothes.” Also used as a bathrobe, nightgown and morning gown.”

Women's Traditional Buckskin Dress: Worn at Ceremonial Gatherings, Pow Wow's. Artwork includes tedious beadwork, fringework, embroidery (by hand), all handwork and does not include the use of sewing machines. Usually held together with leather lacing or sinew.

Gender Differentiation:

Tradtional Wedding Attire for Bride and Groom
Designers: Joseph and Feiss. Also a form of Ceremonial Function of Dress.

Group Membership: Espanola NM (20 miles North of Santa Fe, NM) young men dress in group membership dress to differentiate from other groups, usually black and white, including t-shirts with rap or other music logos!

Ceremonial: "Furisode" A type of kimono that “… is traditionally worn only by women before marriage.” The elaborate embroidery is used to show status of family…”

FurisodeJapan, 2ca. 1975-1985, Ivory silk satin embroidered with metallic thread and multi-colored silk floss Silverman/Rodgers Collection,KSUM 1983.1.0844

Sexual Enhancement

Worn for beauty enhancement by various social classes, however, traditional corsets caused health problems, mostly due to tight binding and materials used, including whalebone stays. Now created with wire or plastic stays for the contemporary woman. Usually worn for a form of sexual enhancement .

Corset, 1891Maison Léoty (French), DesignerFrenchsilk; [no dimensions available]Gift of Miss Marion Hague, 1945 (C.I.45.27)