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Daniela Gregis & a Not so Well Informed Blogger….

10 Jul
Daniela GregisDaniela Gregis

Looking for information about designer Daniela Gregis, I stumbled upon an article I’d like to share. Not because it’s a great article, but because of the nonsense written in the article. 

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The Article

This is the point in my fashion career where I start to get mean.  Not because I want to, but because I have to.  Otherwise, it just wouldn’t be right.

I received an invitation to attend the Daniela Gregis Fashion Show for the AW2016/2017 collection during the Milan Fashion Week, and I was very excited to attend.  Fashion Show invites are hard to come by for relatively unknown fashion bloggers and you can read about how to make the most of the Milan Fashion Week for Beginner Bloggers in the article I wrote for the Independent Fashion Bloggers website.

The experience started off a little odd because I got there early wanting to read the press kit to find out more about the designer and the collection.  I tried to do some research online but found literally NOTHING about the brand.  A website with little more than a vague, cryptic description of dissonant phrases, plus the brand has NO SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE WHAT SO EVER!

None.

What?  In this day and age how can a brand even think about selling with absolutely no social media, and yet this is NORMAL, especially for Italian brands who have already established their distribution channels pre-the internet age.

This is still shocking to me, but as a manager and marketer I get it (I think of it as the coward’s way out), but I get it.  I even put together some tips on how fashion bloggers can ease brands into social media in this article for the Independent Fashion Bloggers website.

Don’t Fear The Negative

In the article I mention above, one of the reasons I presume brands shy away from social media is that they fear the negative publicity that can occur from “online shaming”.  Negative tweets, Instagram images with too few likes, critical comments on Facebook, they are all possibilities once you put your designs out there for the world to see.

But here’s the thing.  If you truly stand behind your brand and designs you should be willing to accept the critiques of your followers, buyers and fans along with those of the people who do not buy your brand.  I mean, feedback is one of the best aspects of social media.

You don’t need to listen to everything being said, but believing enough in your brand and designs to participate in a two-way conversation is part of the fashion game now a days.

Daniela Gregis, Clothes for Old Ladies Who Want To Look Like Old Ladies

I have nothing against Daniela Gregis, and it would be wrong of you to think that by referring to her designs as “old lady clothes” I am being negative.  Actually, quite the contrary.  In a world where designers are feverishly making clothes for thin, “Goddess like” women who are all over 5’10” with no hips …I am getting TIRED OF THE SAME OLD.

That being said, Daniela Gregis is an “old lady”, and by old lady I mean a mature woman well into her 60s if not 70s.  It is clear that her collections are targeted to women such as herself, and indeed she furthers this point by actually walking her “catwalk” herself.

Her designs are a very specific blend of unsewn “rawcut” edges, hand knits, asymmetrical shapes and taffeta mixed with  cotton.  A very particular style worn by granola eating, hippy Italians (if granola actually existed in Italy), the whole flavor of the collection was “nonna” aka “Grandmother”.

She is surprisingly well distributed in some of the country’s more prominent stores and her brand is less of a brand than a reflection of herself and her moods.

The only piece of informative text that was to be found in the press kit was a small blurb in English and Italian that went something like this:

“Daniela Gregis laughs, worries, gets angry and has a little present for everyone…friends, relatives, cousins, artists, children, mothers and perfect strangers exchange roles, interact and shape some always new and entertaining creations*creatures…”.

Although I personally would never wear this style, and find it a little sad when fashion moves toward craft and away from the sartorial roots that Italy should be known for, there are things that I do like about her collection.

I appreciate how purposefully unsexy all of the shapes are, intended to create voluminous spaces to house the body while not accentuating any particular aspect of its femininity.  This could be something I seek out as I enter the second half of my life! Who knows!

You don’t need me to tell you that mature women are making waves in the fashion world.  The number of 40+, 50+ and 60+ fashion bloggers is on the rise and for good reason.  Surprisingly enough, main stream fashion has not caught on to the trend fully and only a handful of brands from cosmetics to clothing are really serving and reaching out to this demographic.

A few years ago, I was responsible for putting together a catalogue for one of our luxury exotic leather belt lines.  It was a few weeks before our presentation at a  fashion fair in Paris and I contacted a 50 year old ballerina to be the model for the catalogue.  OH THE CRITICISM I RECEIVED!!

Why did you get such an old model? What did you find so perfect about her? Why didn’t you use a regular model?

Let’s think about it.  How many 17 year olds do you know who can afford 650 euro for an alligator belt? And more importantly,  of the 17 year olds in the world that CAN afford our belts, how many of them are interested in spending their money on “classic” designs as opposed to the latest trend that some rap singer is wearing!?

My audience is NOT 17 year old models, why should I use them to speak to the women who are potentially my clients?  And yet, this decision was poopoo’d upon.  I would like to set the record straight that I am ahead of the times, because the following year, it seemed like beautiful “blue haired” models where in all of the catwalks, a token symbol with little substance of fashion’s willingness to represent who they actually sell to.

But I digress,  Although Daniela Gregis’ collection is not my style I applaud the fact that she is creating clothes for the more than “mature” audience and is willing to put herself in the limelight to prove her style’s wearability.

Now, if she was on social media she would know about this review!  Social Media and “the internet” is not something every over 60 year old has embraced, so I will just assume that her lack of social media presence is part of the technology age gap and less about social media fears.

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My Response

This fashion blogger did some research on the internet and found nothing on the brand,  plus the brand has NO SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE WHAT SO EVER! In this day and age how can a brand even think about selling with absolutely no social media, and yet this is NORMAL, especially for Italian brands who have already established their distribution channels pre-the internet age.

Everybody has the right to determine how to run their company. How and if to promote their brand. Because there’s the possibility to work with social media, doesn’t mean you have to promote on social media. There are brands that choose to not promote at all, also brands which are relatively young, like for instance Paul Harnden Shoemakers. A very sought-after brand, although almost nothing is known about the designer.

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one of the reasons I presume brands shy away from social media is that they fear the negative publicity that can occur from “online shaming”.  Negative tweets, Instagram images with too few likes, critical comments on Facebook, they are all possibilities once you put your designs out there for the world to see.

For some brands, the clothes/collections speak for themselves. Some fashion bloggers have the idea they can make or break a collection, but they’re overestimating the power of social media.

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But here’s the thing.  If you truly stand behind your brand and designs you should be willing to accept the critiques of your followers, buyers and fans along with those of the people who do not buy your brand.  I mean, feedback is one of the best aspects of social media.

You don’t need to listen to everything being said, but believing enough in your brand and designs to participate in a two-way conversation is part of the fashion game now a days.

If you truly stand behind your brand and designs, you don’t need a two-way conversation. Maybe for designers who only want to please their customers, feedback is a good aspect….

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That being said, Daniela Gregis is an “old lady”, and by old lady I mean a mature woman well into her 60s if not 70s.  It is clear that her collections are targeted to women such as herself, and indeed she furthers this point by actually walking her “catwalk” herself.

The “old lady” on the catwalk is not Daniela Gregis, but the beautiful model and actress Benedetta Barzini!!!! If the writer of the article had taken five minutes to to do some research online, she would have found out Daniela Gregis is the woman in the photograph above this post, like it took me five minutes… 

Benedetta Barzini has been modeling for many decades. Discovered on the streets by Consuelo Crespi in 1963, Diana Vreeland soon spotted her potential as a model and arranged a photo shoot with Irving Penn, which established her successful fashion career in New York. She also worked with other notable fashion photographers such as Bert Stern and Richard Avedon. Barzini graced the cover of the first issue of Vogue Italia in November 1965. In December 1966, she was named one of the “100 Great Beauties of the World” by the American fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar.

Benedetta Barzini. Photo by Irving Penn. Vogue, September 1968.Benedetta Barzini, Ph. by Irving Penn. Vogue, September 1968
Steven Meisel , Romeo Gigli ,Benedetta BarziniBenedetta Barzini, ph.Steven Meisel for Romeo GigliBenedetta Barzini in a brown, cowled linen dress by Christian Dior, photo by Avedon for Vogue 1967Benedetta Barzini, ph. Richard Avedon, Vogue 1967 Vogue US, January 1965. Bert Stern. Benedetta Barzini.Benedetta Barzini,ph.Bert Stern, Vogue US, January 1965 Gregis-RF16-0148_img_400_665 Benedetta Barzini in Daniela Gregis show

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A very particular style worn by granola eating, hippy Italians (if granola actually existed in Italy), the whole flavor of the collection was “nonna” aka “Grandmother”.

I appreciate how purposefully unsexy all of the shapes are, intended to create voluminous spaces to house the body while not accentuating any particular aspect of its femininity.  This could be something I seek out as I enter the second half of my life! Who knows!

Daniela Gregis collection is sold by the Dover Street Market stores (multilevel fashion retail and concept stores created by Rei Kawakubo of Japanese fashion label Comme Des Garçons) in London, Tokyo and New York, together with Raf Simons, Vetements, Gucci, Dior and The Row (the luxury brand by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen). So maybe the writer of the article doesn’t get the style of clothes Gregis designs…… ? 

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You don’t need me to tell you that mature women are making waves in the fashion world.  The number of 40+, 50+ and 60+ fashion bloggers is on the rise and for good reason.  Surprisingly enough, main stream fashion has not caught on to the trend fully and only a handful of brands from cosmetics to clothing are really serving and reaching out to this demographic.

Wow,mature 40+, 50+ and 60+ fashion bloggers are on the rise….! What could they have to say? And do they need special brands? 

I think “mature women” could know a lot more about fashion, then the writer of the article. And “mature women”, like Anna Wintour, Franca Sozzani, Miuccia Prada, Pat McGrath, Grace Coddington and many more still dictate fashion today…..

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Now, if she was on social media she would know about this review!  Social Media and “the internet” is not something every over 60 year old has embraced, so I will just assume that her lack of social media presence is part of the technology age gap and less about social media fears.

The writer of the article is on social media, so I assume one day she will know about this review and find out, Daniela Gregis is not “over 60 years old” and her collections are sold in the trend setting Dover Street Market stores and are not (only) made for the “mature women” in the second half of their lives…. 

If you want to be a great fashion blogger, respect choices people/brands make, do good research before you start writing and don’t overestimate the social media!

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A/W 2016/’17  Daniela Gregis

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info: http://reasonstodress.com/danielagregis/

 

Raf Simons created a Robert Mapplethorpe Collection

26 Jun

Raf Simons s/s 2017

It was the invitation that bore the first clue to what the SS17 collection would hold – a self portrait of Robert Mapplethorpe, the photographer best known for his highly controversial documentation of New York’s gay and fetish communities in the 1970s and 80s. Mapplethorpe’s image and images ran throughout the collection, appearing on every garment both literally and in more referential ways. Besides the photo prints, both of the artist and of his subjects and still life compositions, his influence could be felt in the shine and studs of a leather bar trucker hat, the subtle sexuality of a thin belt worn around the neck. 

Raf Simons s/s 2017

More than simply repurposing the work, Simons expressed a desire to present the world of an artist he has followed for years to a new audience. “I want to challenge myself also for the [Robert Mapplethorpe] Foundation to hopefully make it believable to a different audience… (to) reach out to different generations, not only people who are following art.”Raf Simons s/s 2017

Raf Simons s/s 2017

Raf Simons s/s 2017

Raf Simons about this collaboration

Usually when I work in collaboration with an artist I go ask the artist. This time I was the one who was asked to collaborate. The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation contacted me because they wanted to know if I was interested in finding a way to do something together. As soon as we started talking I began to feel that they’re really in another world. I was curious to find out why they wanted to do this and then I was interested to see what kind of schedule they had in mind. Maybe this was something they wanted to do in relation to the retrospective that was going to open, the documentary that’s about to come out and the film that’s been shot.

Raf Simons s/s 2017

Raf Simons s/s 2017I went through all the work. Mapplethorpe kept all his original contact sheets. The archive is very beautiful to look at. Every print is in the same scale so you can see everything. There’s a huge number of books with categories for famous people, black guys, flowers, Lisa Lyon, her portraits, Polaroids… I was familiar with most of it, but there were also many things I’d never seen before. I was quite struck from the emotional impact seeing portraits of artists and certain people I admire who have passed away.Raf Simons s/s 2017

I’m a fashion designer, so I thought the biggest challenge for me was not to be boring and show Mapplethorpe’s work in a gallery again, but instead to show it in relation to my own environment.

Raf Simons s/s 2017

Raf Simons s/s 2017

Raf Simons s/s 2017

Raf Simons declared: “It’s so easy to go wrong.” 

I am a huge fan of the work by Raf Simons and of the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe. But this time, I think Simons did go wrong. Years ago I made some clothes with printed-on photo’s of Joy Division and I can honestly say, these items were much more interesting than this collection. I wish I could show some pictures of the Joy Division items, alas I wasn’t and still am not good at documenting my work….

Simons could have been much more creative with the Mapplethorpe theme. I think, the way the photographs are presented in/on this collection doesn’t do Mapplethorpe’s work right at all.

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Mapplethorpe, A Biography  

by Patricia Morrisroe

Book cover

The only biography I read as often as the biography of Coco Chanel!

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info:

http://www.wmagazine.com/fashion/2016/06/pitti-uomo-raf-simons-transforms-robert-mapplethorpes-photography-fashion/

 

Paper-Cut-Project, amazing handmade Paper Wigs & Masks

29 May
Paper cut projectMarie Antoinette paper wig
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Duo Amy Flurry and Nikki Salk, aka the Paper-cut-project. The former fashion writer and local boutique owner, formed an artistic partnership to create handmade paper sculptures and installations in the midst of a free-falling economy in 2009.

“It was a glum moment, but both of us still needed an outlet for our creativity. So we got together and imagined one that nobody was directing but us,” says Flurry.

Their first job: Design windows for the New York and Atlanta outposts of Jeffrey, the longtime arbiter of high-end women’s fashion in Atlanta. “We had a plan for a window and thought that maybe we could convince someone to go along with,” says Flurry. “Then, we thought: ‘The Jeffrey window.’ They knew both Nikki and I, and on trust and with a little bit of collaborative effort with their visual director, they gave us the windows in New York and in Atlanta.”

Wigs for the Jeffrey Windows

Ponytail

IceCreamCone

Pigtails

Since then, Flurry and Salk, a formally trained artist, have cut their way through commissions for some of fashion’s most recognizable and respected names: a mess of Shirley Temple curls in a bouffant for a holiday window display at the Bay; strands of coal-black hair for a series of wigs for Kate Spade; an exclusive collection of animal masks for Hermès.

Animal Masks for Hermès

Horse

Owl

Horse 2

Any given Paper-Cut-Project sculpture can be made up of thousands of hand-cut, hand-placed, hand-glued pieces, the final work sometimes taking upward of 80 hours to create. And the duo doesn’t have six months to create seven pieces when Italian Vogue comes knocking. Paper-Cut-Project does it in a month. 

Vogue Italia, ph. by Greg Lotus

Paper-cut-project, ph. by Greg Lotus, Vogue Italia

Paper-cut-project, ph. by Greg Lotus, Vogue Italia

Paper-cut-project, ph. by Greg Lotus, Vogue Italia

Paper-cut-project, ph. by Greg Lotus, Vogue Italia

“For the two of us to work together, it is this very fluid knowing because we’ve done it together from the start. It would be almost impossible to bring somebody else in because it’s a piece-by-piece, cut-by-cut situation,” says Flurry. “People look at these pieces, and they think, ‘You must have had a whole crew of people sitting around cutting this stuff.’ It couldn’t work that way.”

And then Christie’s called. The elite New York auction house phoned the duo during the last-minute prep for its high-profile sale and exhibit of Elizabeth Taylor’s couture collection. “They had all these exquisite jewels for couture on the mannequins, and they looked goofy without something on the head,” Flurry says. They knocked out four pieces in two weeks, including a daisy-adorned ponytail to top Taylor’s lemony chiffon sundress she wore for her first wedding to Richard Burton.

Wigs for the “Hollywood Costume” exhibit at the V&A

BarryLyndonBarry Lyndon ElizabethGoldenAgeFrontElisabeth, the golden age BirdsBirds VirginQueenThe Virgin Queen shakespeare in love, ElisabethShakespeare in Love, Elisabeth Shakespeare in love, JosephShakespeare in Love, Joseph GangsofNewYorkGangs of New York CamelotCamelot (front) CamelotCamelot (back)

The duo was also commisioned by Valentino and collaborated with the Victoria & Albert museum, a 16-piece collection of paper wigs for their “Hollywood Costume” exhibit.

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The Paper-cut-projectAmy Flurry and Nikki Salk, ph. by Caroline Petters
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info:

Caftan, moves with the Air and with the Body

24 Apr
Caftan Emilio Pucci, ph. Bob Krieger 1970Emilio Pucci caftan, ph. Bob Krieger 1970 

History

Where exactly did these divine garments come from? They’re believed to have roots in ancient Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, a region that includes parts of present-day Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. Pretty much as soon as the first piece of textile was woven, someone thought to put a hole in it, pull it over their heads, and cinch it with a length of rope around the waist. They were worn by men and women—in some cultures, exclusively by men. More advanced caftans had real sleeves, and some opened in the front, like a coat or robe, worn with and without a belt.

The structure of a caftan is really just loose fabric, attached to the shoulders with holes for the arms and the head. It’s the kind of garment that has been worn throughout history by lots of different cultures. The idea of taking loose fabric and covering the body is prevalent throughout the world. But the ones that we know now as fashionable caftans have their most immediate root in the 1960s, when designers were starting to look toward more exotic locations like Morocco and Turkey, places where these traditional loose, flowing garments were worn for centuries because of the warm climates. It’s such a breathable, comfortable garment in the heat.

Caftan in the 1960sVogue US November 1967 Marisa Berenson is wearing a golden silk caftan by Tina Leser Photo Henry ClarkeMarisa Berenson, Ph. Henry Clarke for Vogue US, 1967.Actress Rachel Welch wearing a Creation of Valentino ph. by Franco Rubartelli for Italian Vogue,in 1969.Rachel Welch wearing Valentino, ph. Franco Rubartelli, Italian Vogue 1969Harper's Bazaar - 1969Harper’s Bazaar, 1969
Balmain, 1969Pierre Balmain, 1969
vintage pineapple print maxi Gian Paolo Barbieri 1969 Vogue ItaliaPh. Paolo Barbieri for Vogue Italia 1969

The caftan-like garments that popped up throughout civilization had their own regional styles and names. The Japanese developed flowing robes known as “kimonos,” while the Chinese started wearing big-sleeved robes called “hanfus.” The West African “boubou,” also known as a Senegalese kaftan, is a wide-sleeved robe similar to a hanfu. In other regions, the caftan took the form of a slimmer-fitting long jacket that buttoned in the front like the Indian “sherwani” or the Persian “khalat.”

Several cultures used the word “caftan” to describe their traditional dress. In North Africa around Morocco and Algeria, caftans also called “djellaba” are long outer robes with hoods. Morocco also has a woman’s caftan known as a “takchita,” which has two layers, a pullover dress made of unadorned fine fabric and then a matching overcoat that buttons up the front and is embellished with embroidery, beads, or sequins. The takchita is worn with a matching belt under the bust.

Caftan in the 1970sCaftan

Vogue 1970s ethnic caftan dresses.

1970- UNISEX CAFTANS by Rudy GernreichUnisex caftans by Rudy Gernreich, 1970 1970s caftanPh. Anthony Barboza, 1970s 

The Ottoman Empire, ruled by the Oghuz Turks, ruled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa during the 12th and 13th centuries. The all-male Ottoman sultans, as well as male dignitaries and generals, wore caftans. These caftans were more like coats that buttoned in the front and flared at the hips, and their rich colors, bold patterns, and accoutrements like buttons and ribbons all indicated the wearer’s status. They were given as gifts of honor to court guests. The Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul has an impressively preserved collection of ancient sultan caftans.

When the Western World started to appropriate caftans in the 20th century, the idea was pilfered from all over the map. Caftan fashion in the West was borne out of a romantic obsession with the idea of the exotic otherness.

Elizabeth TaylorElisabeth Taylor

Elisabeth Taylor

The appropriation started with Russia, after Queen Victoria’s granddaughter Alix of Hesse married Czar Nicholas II, which made her Czarina Alexandra. In the late 1890s, Alexandra was an aspirational royal style icon. The czarina rocked the Western European fashion world when she appeared in a long, straight, and heavily embellished traditional coronation dress from Russia’s past. (Historically, Russian caftans look quite similar to those worn by Ottoman sultans.) Radically different from the waist-cinching corset and curve-hugging dress that was so fashionable in England, the robe completely obscured her figure. She looked delightfully striking and strange to Western eyes.

She definitely sparked an interest in a looser silhouette. She is one of the first examples of a woman who was also seen in fashionable Western dress wearing something so exotic. Her coronation gown influenced fashion, even if it wasn’t necessarily the same types of fabric or the same exact silhouette. But after that, socialites and designers were drawn to the idea of looser clothes with more volume and less constriction.

Designer caftans in ’60 & ’70

Zandra RhodesZandra Rhodescaftans7_designer_bustown_missoniMissoniEvening dress Hanae Mori 1975Hanae Mori , JapanEvening dress, circa 1974. Silk chiffon. Hanae Mori, JapanHanae Mori, Japanrudi GernreichRudi GernreichEvening dress Madame Grès (Alix Barton) (French, Paris 1903–1993 Var region) 1960–79Madame Gres

While the allure of unknown cultures like Russia and Persia was one factor that brought caftans to the West, another important influence was innovative fashions by turn-of-the-century designers who rejected the confinement of Edwardian S-shape corsets. Groundbreaking French fashion designer Paul Poiret was one such influencer—even as a teenager in 1896, he wanted to get women into robes. Which is not to say that all women blindly followed his lead. For example, 80-year-old Russian princess Leonilla Bariatinskaya wasn’t about to trade her corset for an ancient-style dress the way the young queen did. When teenage Poiret presented her with a hanfu cut with kimono-style sleeves, she exclaimed, “What a horror! When there are low fellows who run after our sledges and annoy us, we have their heads cut off, and we put them in sacks just like that.”

christian DiorChristian Dior Caftan dress

Dior is credited with showing the first modern caftan, as a coat over a dress, on a haute couture runway in the 1950s. By 1954, Dior had jettisoned the hourglass silhouette of his New Look for a flat H-line shape recalling the Jazz Age. In 1955, he added Yves Saint Laurent, a 19-year-old French designer from Algeria, to his team, and the house introduced the triangular A-line silhouette and the wide-shouldered, slim-skirted Y-line shape. After Dior died in 1957, Saint Laurent took over his fashion house, and introduced the “trapeze dress”—a short, waistless dress, also with an A-line silhouette.

In the early ’60s, “Vogue” editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland discovered caftans on a trip to Morocco, and began to wear them around the office and champion them in her writing, calling them “the most becoming fashion ever invented.” In 1964, Elizabeth Taylor met young fashion designer Vicky Tiel, who was wearing a white lace mini caftan, and decided she absolutely must have one. Soon, Taylor made African mini caftans in colorful batik her signature look, which was copied by women all over the world. Around the same time, Thea Porter had so much success selling Middle Eastern wares and antique caftans at her London shop, she started designing caftans herself, which are very collectible these days.

Thea Porter caftansThea Porter caftan 2

Thea Porter Caftan 3

Thea Porter Caftan

By 1967, Vreeland’s Vogue was overflowing with caftans. She insisted that caftans were “fashionable for the beautiful people.” That same year, the Beatles wore Indian sherwanis when they visited guru Maharishi Mahesh in India, and this had a huge impact on bohemian fashion in America, particularly the hippies participating in the Summer of Love.

Diana Vreeland really embraced jet travel and the jet set. During her years at Vogue, she sent models and photographers off to all these exotic locations to shoot them in caftans. The world was just opening up to people in terms of visuals, thanks to the photographs that were appearing in the pages of Vogue.

Diana Vreeland Diana Vreeland , caftan

Diana Vreeland

Vreeland just loved caftans. When it comes down to it, the caftan is just an unstructured, uncut length of fabric. You have all that color, all that pattern, and Vreeland loved the bright patterns and great colors of the ’60s fabrics. She was all about making a big statement. What Balenciaga was doing with gazar had a really sturdy structure to it, and a lot of the Russian traditional garments have a heavier hand, or feel, to them. But the caftans that models were wearing in Vogue in the ’60s were about diaphanous, flowing material.

Yves Saint Laurent and his life partner, Pierre Bergé, who launched the Saint Laurent fashion house with him in 1961, visited Marrakesh, Morocco, in 1968, and became enamored with the colors, textiles, and sensuality of Moroccan culture. Saint Laurent fashioned caftans for his fabulous pals like actress and socialite Talitha Getty, her playboy husband, John Paul Getty, Jr., and supermodel Marisa Berenson. In January 1969, the Gettys were photographed by Patrick Lichfield wearing caftans on a Marrakech rooftop, which became an iconic image that defined what’s known as hippie or boho chic.

Marrakech Yves Saint LaurentYves Saint Laurent in MarrakechRetro Marrakech, 70's fashion shootTalitha Getty & husband John Paul Getty Jr., ph. Patrick Lichfield

Oscar de la Renta started created caftans as “hostess” dresses for his clients. Pucci, Pierre Cardin, and Valentino all debuted out their own versions of the caftan on the runway. Each designer made the caftan his or her own with the type of  fabric, color palette, and embellishments used.

Celebrities like Jackie Kennedy, Bianca Jagger, Anjelica Huston, Brigitte Bardot, and Diahann Carroll were photographed in designer caftans. Grace Kelly, who became the Princess of Monaco in 1956, naturally, appeared sporting a caftan. 
Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco wearing a creation by Grès and photographed by Richard Avedon for Italian Vogue.Grace Kelly wearing madame Grès, ph. Richard Avedon, Italian Vogue
Grace Kelly was the most beautiful and chic woman. Here she's taking photos at a 1972Grace Kelly wearing a Emilio Pucci caftan, 1972

Over the years, Elizabeth Taylor amassed a huge collection of designer caftans by Emanuel and Thea Porter, and she even wore a tie-dyed Gina Frantini caftan for her second wedding to Richard Burton in 1975. In the 1970s, Halston designed tie-dyed and silk chiffon caftans explicitly for nights on New York’s club scene. Halston was the person who clothed the jet set of that time, and especially the Dancing Queens who loved their disco. It was the height of fashion to have something that you could dance in that really showed off your motion by moving with you.

While caftans were for the young and sexy in the disco world, as soon as disco became passé, caftans, along with muumuus, were regaled to batty old ladies, the kind who stayed at home smoking and drinking cocktails. Instead, young starlets in the 1980s adopted form-fitting Spandex and big, angular shoulder pads.

Halston Painted Caftan, 1972,Halston tie-dyed and silk chiffon caftan, 1972

Finally, the caftan is making a triumphant return. For its whole spring/summer 2011 collection, Missoni returned to the multi-cultural looks of the 1970s, with fluid smocks, tunics, caftans, and kimonos and colors and patterns that took cues from Bakst’s designs for Ballets Russes. Emilio Pucci returned to caftans as well, always a fantastic way to showcase his signature fabrics.

More recently, designers like Naeem Khan, Stella McCartney, Alberta Ferreti, Reem Acra, Gucci, and Roberto Cavalli have gotten on the caftan bandwagon. In 2013, Hedi Slimane showed caftans for Saint Laurent.

Caftans by contemporary designers
Saint Laurent 2015
Saint Laurent by Hedi SlimaneEtro Spring 2013 RTW CollectionEtro spring 2013Etro-Spring-2013-RTW-Collection40Etro spring 2013Sophie Theallet Spring 2016Sophie Theallet 2016Paul Smith 2013Paul Smith 2013Jean Paul Gaultier 2013Jean Paul Gaultier 2013Dries Van Noten Fall 2004Dries Van Noten Fall 2004

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info:

Harper’s Bazaar

http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/caftan-liberation/

Alta Moda, the Splendor of Inca Culture

17 Apr

Mario-Testino-Alta-Moda_1

It’s always a treat to flip through a fashion editorial shot by photographic powerhouse Mario Testino and see the world through his artistic eyes.  A Testino portrait seems to look straight into it’s subject and bring out the secrets they’ve never told a single soul with an attention to detail and gesture that are unparalleled.  They set the mood, they inspire.Alta Moda, Mario Testino

Alta Moda, Mario Testino

Alta Moda, Mario Testino

Alta Moda, Mario Testino

Alta Moda, Mario Testino

Pointing his lens at the costumes and people of his native Peru, a culmination of five years work, Testino’s book Alta Moda sheds that same insight into a culture as rich and vibrant as the multi-colored outfits depicted in the photo series.  A passion project Testino started while sourcing outfits for a British Vogue piece, his portraits capture the bright and bold colors, textures and distinct personal histories from Cusco, one of the highest mountainous regions of Peru.  The elaborate traditional costumes compare to any of the major fashion house’s couturiers in their intricacy, craftsmanship and delicate detailing.

Alta Moda, Mario Testino

Alta Moda, Mario Testino

Alta Moda, Mario Testino

Alta Moda, Mario Testino

Alta Moda, Mario Testino

Alta Moda, Mario Testino

Alta Moda, Mario Testino

It’s magic when high fashion and art blend into one in the same. But as Stanley Tucci’s character in The Devil Wear’s Prada poignantly pointed out, “what (the designers) created was greater than art because you live your life in it.” Which is what truly defines Testino’s photographs in Alta Moda.  Donning the most decadent of dress, you see the humanity and everyday life of the Peruvian people.  They dress to celebrate their home and culture.  Each portrait tells the story of it’s subject, while also sharing Testino’s personal history and pride for his homeland.

Alta Moda, Mario Testino

Alta Moda, Mario Testino

Alta Moda, Mario Testino

Alta Moda, Mario Testino

Alta Moda, Mario Testino

The book 

Exploring the “splendor of Inca culture”, Peruvian photographer Mario Testino‘s hardback is filled with vibrant images of costumes and masks, as well as an introduction by infamous editor Hamish Bowles. This wonderfully interesting book is a true collector’s piece – only 2500 copies have been published.
 For sale at Net-a-Porter for € 80,- (Product Code: 386632)
models: isabeli fontana and aymeline valade 
photographer: mario testino
stylist: emmanuelle alt
hair: james pecis 
make-up: charlotte tilbury
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info:

http://www.net-a-porter.com

http://oliviapalermo.com/mario-testino-alta-moda/