Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

Old Tricks in the Design Capital: The Sidewalk-Catwalk

July 16, 2010

Donna Karan's Mannequin sans hat and backpack

There’s a new tribe marching down Broadway in the Fashion District, and no, it’s not Lady Gaga and her dance troupe. It’s a line of Ralph Pucci-designed mannequins strutting their weatherproof wares (wears) between Times and Herald Squares. What is the reason for this stoic entourage? Well, like the fiberglass pigs, horses, and cows that cropped up around the US in previous decades, these hard-bodied silhouettes have been installed to build awareness and support for the fashion industry in New York City.

So, are they doing this job well?



Clothing in the Year 2000!

March 22, 2009

This short film was made in the 1930’s with a view of fashion in the year 2000. Some of the predictions have come true, making me wonder if Marc Jacobs watched it when he made his backward heel shoes.

Towards the end, a man is shown wearing a suit that contains several pockets for his accesories, including a telephone. And now here we are eighty years later, obsessively carrying our Blackberries and iPhones. Who knew?

A Tornado of High Heels

March 20, 2009

Shoe WheelI’m completely intrigued by the shoe wheel from Rakku. However, doesn’t it look like the most impractical storage device of all time? Sure it saves room but it looks like a pain to get shoes in and out. Plus, it looks like a box fan that sucked up a bunch of high heels. I think the only reason it looks slightly appealing is because of that perfect rainbow of pumps.

A Tie Worth Having

March 19, 2009

Photoshop tie


Technology + Art = Design

March 14, 2009

Modular Jewelry

Modular Jewelry

Fiona Carswell’s work is a fascinating combination of science and artistry. With a background in Interactive Telecommunications and Art History, it’s no wonder she designs such clever and intense objects. From Smoking Jacket to Cell Stickies, Modular Jewelry to Co-Dependent Gloves, Carswell is addressing human issues in an unexpected way.

Thank you, swissmiss.

Green Totes: Are We Sure About This?

March 11, 2009


Is this really what the whole, green, eco-friendly trend is supposed to achieve? Totebags that are intended to replace plastic bags are now being mass produced by the thousands, probably out of harmful materials. Visit your local Forever 21 to see the anti-green tote bag, stacked up and strewn about, each printed with an extremely annoying phrase like “I know I’m green but what are you??” Oh boy.

Buy it Now, Then

March 10, 2009


Vending machines were all the rage in the 1940’s and 50’s. The allure of buying something the instant you thought of it was a potent sales tool, as our current addictions to internet shopping prove. Vending machines remain popular in Japan for all sorts of items, though in the USA they’re pretty much relegated to selling beverages and snacks. There is a genius art vending machine in the Whitney Museum’s lower level, a kitschy statement on the value of artwork and how it’s bought and sold. But a half century ago, you could rely on a vending machine to provide the trappings of a swell night out. Feel naked without your perfume? We can help.


Hair Related Accidents

March 8, 2009

World War II didn’t just put women into factories, it also changed their hairstyles. Working around high powered machines was dangerous for a person with long hair, therefore women were encouraged to pin back loose curls to avoid injury. Above is an incredible clip from U.S. News Review entitled Safety Styles to educate the new lady work force of the 1940’s.

Covering the Home Front

March 8, 2009


Clockwise from top left: #17 Use anger to throw them into disarray; #12 If you want to weaken something you must certainly strengthen it; #8 In the case of the Firmly Unbending, entice and then seize them; #2 Attack where they are unprepared.

Brooklyn-based artist Miriam Schaer transforms garments—gloves, girdles, bustiers, brassieres, and children’s clothes—into artwork and books that explore feminine, social, and spiritual issues. Have a look at my favorite project of hers: Rules of Engagement. It features epigrams from Sun-Tzu’s fifth century The Art of War hand-embroidered onto a series of 14 hostess aprons, along with Xerox-transfer printed portraits of idealized women. It’s a witty take on how those of lesser power can seize victory if they are smart enough to transform the enemy’s apparent strengths into weaknesses.

I asked Schaer how the idea came to her. “I never heard of this guy until I bought Sun Tzu and the Art of Business: Six Strategic Principles for Managers at an airport bookstore in Spain some years ago. I thought it was crazy: why was a Chinese war theoretician being used to explain the business world? That seemed so obvious. I thought it would be a lot more interesting to insert those rules into a domestic context instead.” You can get your very own copy of Rules of Engagement as a softbound book at

Dear J.CREW: How American Can You Be?

March 7, 2009

Jenna and the Silk Chiffon Whitney Dress in the March 2009 Catalog

Jenna and the Silk Chiffon Whitney Dress in the March 2009 Catalog

When the latest J.CREW catalog arrived at my desk, I was shocked by the word “AMERICA…” centered on its icky (and inky) black cover. In the lower right hand corner was an image of a couple, cheerfully posing for the camera in a convertible parked facing the Golden Gate Bridge. On the inside of the cover are the words “…THE BEAUTIFUL” surrounded by photos of models including Lauren Hutton and artist Alex Katz in myriad poses around the great ol’ US of A: more San Francisco, some Philadelphia, and Route 66. (more…)