Fashion is just that which would be your personal stamp on everyone around you and for that, you would need to be different. I doubt if even Madame Ramona and her crystal ball could see that, and I’m still not clear about this season. She no doubt charmed him as much as she was charmed by him. Lee was very much affected by what she saw in Paris and filed stories with photographs that were sensitive, first-hand observations. With the arrival of American service personnel, Lee seized the opportunity to become a bona fide war correspondent, uniform and all. It is here that „Lee Miller in Fashion“ takes a fascinating detour and looks at how and why Vogue was able to boost morale during the blitz and the long war years following. Though she recorded the devastation with her camera and worked hard putting out Vogue under difficult conditions, Lee became increasingly frustrated that she couldn’t do more for the war effort. Lee returned to New York City and, with the backing of a couple of wealthy admirers, rented two connecting apartments in midtown Manhattan- living in one and setting up a photography studio in the other.
In New York Lee designed theater sets, modeled and honed an interest in photography nurtured by her father, a talented amateur. She took portraits of the well-heeled and celebrated as well as precise advertising photography for upscale clients like Elizabeth Arden and Saks Fifth Avenue. She found photography work at English Vogue. French Vogue had suspended publication during the Occupation, but some couture houses remained open. Herbert, one of the real form horses on the European Tour after his recent Irish Open win, is used to cutting things fine but he was even later than usual after he hit heavy traffic trying to get from his nearby hotel. If I could have morphed into one of them I would gladly have done so. There have been festivities for weeks (a ball, a runway show, a luncheon), but Sunday afternoon belonged to Andre. For Andre Leon Talley, Fashion is the staff of life. Instead of an optimistic, lighthearted look at life in New York City, this was decidedly the other side of paradise. I don’t want to look like this, do you? Try to do one simple and different deed each day like watering your lawn, talking to older people in your neighbourhood for 5 to 10 minutes and listening to them, plant a seed, start a hobby, start a new exercise, etc. Usually, we have a couple of special days in a year like birthdays, anniversaries, etc but if we want to make a whole year special then, each and every day should be special in our eyes.
That said, if fashion is an addiction I don’t want the cure– maybe just a little payback. That’s why celebrity watching on the red carpet holds little interest for me. Last week, the star turned heads on the red carpet as she donned a striking green patterned dress for the festival’s Opening Ceremony. We can even learn from the few red carpet faux pas. This is a dress even a 71-year-old can wear. Amal Clooney allowed her wedding dress to be shown exclusively for this exhibit (ALT can be very persuasive). It’s „Daily Dress 2018- 365 Days of Fashion and Style“, published through the Costume Institute of the fashion shows for kids in New York City. Houston is hosting a retrospective, „The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta“, through January 28, 2018. ALT curated the show, which is a version of one that previously appeared in San Francisco at the De Young Museum. I knew of Diana’s long tenure at Harper’s Bazaar, her decampment to Vogue and her work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute. As they go so does a certainty in fashion, a refinement and elegance we knew to expect. She knew that would mean a lot-a remembrance of them both.
The collection also offers handbags, shoes, jewelry, hosiery, scarves, belts and a section of home, food and beauty products that Mary loves. Even if the clothes seem outdated but not yet vintage, scour the offerings for good buys in bags, jewelry, scarves and- dare I say? Even though I have coats and sweaters, wool pants and boots (even gloves, scarves and ear muffs), I’m not happy wearing them. I mean, it’s obvious she doesn’t even have time to eat. Admirers laud the stone for its exciting color, and sapphire finds its place in museums, crown jewels, and even in the royal engagement rings of modern times. Last week the Sunday New York Times Style magazine unleashed its women’s fashion issue. She was with the troops in the Alsace Campaign, the liberation of Brussels and the „last leap across the Rhine“. That tiered lavender cupcake was definitely one of the night’s missteps. I would rather own a scarf that belonged to Audrey Hepburn, one she may have worn, than a photo personally autographed to me. We may never know Sylvia Plath as she struggled to know herself. As much as we know it probably won’t fit, hope springs eternal, and pushing the „buy now“ button is easy.
Already that tells you something about the woman, but it’s taken till now for me to perform some due diligence. First a trickle, now almost a tidal wave, fashion is embracing the old, at least the older. I wanted to rip those chains off (at the very least). No one expects us to mimic these looks, but I can’t help thinking, „What if we did?“ Isn’t there enough crazy disarray in our world today to welcome some pretty or at least some calm? Portion it out a little bit- the necklace one day, the blouse another, the pants yet another. LW: The 1920s as that was the break out to be free, flirty and have fun. Weed out colors and fabrics you know are done- corduroys, dark paisleys, foulards, tweeds. Switch your sheets to the paler colors. There is no question she won’t retain a strong interest in the company, but when CH says she is turning the reins over to Wes Gordon as her successor, no one doubts she means it.
Over time I took The Bell Jar less personally and have come to appreciate her sensitive but tormented soul, stilled early by the demons she wrote about. After hearing so much about it, I finally read that 1963 novel, The Bell Jar. I just read a piece in the New York Times about a sale of Syliva Plath’s personal items. She chose to let go of the possessions of a woman she barely remembers so they wouldn’t disappear into the flotsam and jetsam of items in her own life, their provenance erased over time. The items are photographed but placed on sketches of figures. The drawings by Bernard Seindler superimposed on the photos are (purposely I assume) crude collages and colorized overlays. Are daughters the new bullies? The only apparel appealing to me are flannel pajamas, furry slippers and my terry cloth robe, the one that makes me look like a polar bear. At the end, my favorite Downton Abbey character is the one I least liked in the beginning. Balmain also apprenticed at least two young men who went on to great things themselves, Karl Lagerfeld and Oscar de la Renta. At least I am going to try. I say let’s try.