Archives for posts with tag: style

ImageThe cotton oxford button-down is one of the most versatile items in your closet and consequently one of the most replicated items in the marketplace. Named after the Oxford weave (which was named after the university), these shirts traditionally are made of 100% cotton. Cotton is perfect for this item because the fiber properties coupled with the weave allows for breathability. This was especially important in the athletic origin of this clothing item. Since it is cotton it is also easily laundered, a necessity for anyone that is lazy like myself. 

ImageIn the 1800’s the cotton oxford button-down could only be found on polo players in England as a portion of their uniform. Lucky for us, in 1896 Brooks Brothers launched the first line of cotton oxford button-downs catapulting this popular item into the American marketplace. By the middle of the 20th century button downs were a staple for both men and women. What started as a uniform for athletes soon turned into the “WASPY” uniform of east coast Ivy leaguers.

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1930’s film star Marlene Dietrich is credited with “androgynous style” of oxford button downs and suites. She was once the highest paid actress in Hollywood and by many considered one of the sexiest. She shows a different way to wear the ever versatile oxford button-down. It was once considered a male only item, but through women like Marlene Dietrich it soon became a staple for men and women alike.

ImageIn the 1960’s JFK brought the Ivy-league style of oxford button-downs to center stage. As America’s president and a style icon through the years, he forever preserved the relaxed preppy style of a white oxford. I would like to take a second to thank Brooks Brothers for making all the handsome oxford clad pictures of JFK possible.

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In the 1980’s Tom Cruise placed the oxford button-down on the silver screen in a very big way. His dance scene in Risky Business, wearing only oxford button-down, underwear, and tall white socks forever immortalized this shirt. During the mid-80’s the “preppy” look was in and that meant oxford button-downs and boat shoes. This look has staying power, as we still see it across college campuses 30 years later.

ImageToday we see oxford button-downs every day. The item has been transformed, restored, and transformed again. Children and adults of both genders wear oxfords daily. This item seems to never go out of style even if it goes through styling changes. Today you can find college girls wearing oversize or “boyfriend” oxfords with leggings or shorts. J-crew inspired families’ wear them paired with kakis and sweaters for family portraits.  Women of all ages wear oxfords with skirts and pants of all silhouettes and shapes. Men wear them at the beach and to the office in traditional and non-traditional fabric patterns. No other item can be worn so many ways and by so many people; it has become a ”uniform” of sorts for Americans across the country.

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Finland is an interesting country for many reasons such as its capital is the most wired city, the first country that allowed women to vote, and it is the home of Santa Clause. Traditional Finnish clothing is just as interesting and varies from region. You can still observed the costumes on special occasion and national holiday celebrations.

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The West Finnish costume and the Karelian are very similar, but have a few differences. West Finnish dress has a high collared smock, a skirt with stripes, apron, wool jacket and white socks with black shoes. Karelian costume is decorated lavishly and has a smaller shaped head covering than West Finnish costume. The caps are usually only worn by married women. Both of these types of dress came from Viking heritage and were influenced by Sweden.

 The other type of dress comes from the Nordic region of aboriginal people called the Sami who wear Gakti. The Sami are often associated with reindeer herding. Reindeer leather and fur are traditionally the material used to create the Gakti, but most are made from Wool, Silk, or cotton. The garments are green, blue, red, or white and do not vary from this color scheme. The women wear the traditional long tunic belted with either leather or hand woven belt. A fringed shawl is layered on with multiple silver broaches holding it together. In the winter a fur cape or “pesk” is layered beneath the shawl and paired with Fur boots that curve up dramatically at the toe and have woven shoe laces to match the rest of the Gakti. Men wear a similar tunic that is “jacket-shirt” and shorter than the female tunic. The men’s clothing is made from the same materials and Hats are made of wool, leather, or fur.

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Each Gakti has symbols and shows the material status of an individual. It shows what family and region you belong to because each has a different pattern weave for trim on the tunic, shawl, and belt.

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Santa Clause was depicted on the 1930’s Coca-Cola ad campaign by a Swedish painter; this set the modern “uniform” of Santa. This modern outfit is similar to the Gakti in the red color tunic style jacket-shirt edged with fur and held up with a leather belt. One also must comment on the similarity of Christmas elves’ shoes and outfits to the pointed boots worn by Sami people.

The most modern interp

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relation of this look can be seen on the runway and on the streets through fur capes. Just last week during NYFW Carolina Herrera had a fashion show that featured fur on the majority of her looks. Finland is one of the largest exporters of fur and it is impossible to miss the influence of Finland on the fur industry. Curled toe cowboy boots seen in Mexico are a humorous evolution of the Gakti boot. Shawls with broaches have been popular in the United States for decades, but is not typically worn over fur like the Gakti costume.

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The Gakti ,among other folk wear, served as inspiration for Matthew Williamson’s 2013 London Fashion Week show. The picture below is a picture tweeted from the fashion label’s twitter of a mood board that inspired the collection.

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The Gakti is an interesting article of clothing that has inspired everything from goofy shoes to Santa.

 

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Bridgette Bardot was the best kind of cat lady, a “Sex kitten.” The phrase “Sex kitten” was coined for her when she got her fame in the early 1950’s with an iconic role in a French film “And God Created Women” that put her on the international radar. She was born in Paris and got her first spot in the public eye as a model at the age of 15. Over the years she has been married four times and dated men like Marlon Brando, Mick Jagger, and Sean Connery. I would expect no less from an internationally acclaimed sex symbol. After her film career, she started an animal rights fund and recently threatened to leave her French home to become a Russian citizen over an animal rights issue.

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Bridgette is a style icon because of her effortless French chic style. She was among the first to wear a bikini, and it soon became one of her style staples. I don’t know if I should be appreciative or upset that she started this very revealing trend that makes the existence of a “spring break diet” a reality. She also inspired the gingham look. This plaid became a popular fabric in skirts, tops, and of course bikinis. She also gave us the “Bardot neckline” which can be described as a neck that is open from shoulder to shoulder. It is not a deep cut but allows ample skin to show through the wide neck. Her style is classic, but still very sensual. Her iconic look emphasizes her curves and really embodies the blonde bombshell look that became so popular during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Her visits to St. Tropez helped launch it as a style haven for the era.

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Bardot inspired the famous Repetto ballet flat, that has fans worldwide. The shoe was created for her by Rose Repetto in the Paris Workshop.

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The 1960’s was a time of sexual exploration and freedom. Things that were once taboo became socially acceptable; that translated to the clothing women wore. Showing off ones curves and skin was a trend that went along with the sexual liberation movement and something that Bridgette embodied. Bridgette and her friends, while visiting St. Tropez, were among the first to tan topless. Although most of us are not this bold, many of us have worn something that was inspired by Bridgette Bardot.

The Bridgette Bardot look has been mimicked for years, especially in ad campaigns. Kate Upton, similar pout and curves, is the most recent model to embrace the look for a photo shoot with V magazine. Other photo shoots of models such as Kate Moss, Lara stone, and Gisele Bundchen were inspired by the “Bardot look”. Bardot’s hair had a sexy unkempt bedhead look to it that was a far cry from the tightly styled looks at the time, and served as inspiration for the hair of Erin Fetherston spring 2013 NYFW show.

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Bardot has a breezy style that has inspired generations. Her iconic style as a sex symbol will have women dressing in curve hugging styles and that famous neckline for years to come.

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The 1940’s are a perfect example of Pendulum swing. The clothing went from functional and frugal to elaborate and over-the-top. It was a time of war and a time of peace. Woman in the work place went from almost nonexistent to a cultural norm. The economy went from a deep depression to an economic boom.

ImageEach of these swings was due in part to World War II Classics such as “A Wonderful Life” and “Casablanca” were released in the 1940’s and made an impact on the people of that day as well as current pop culture. “Casablanca” was the top grossing film for this decade. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard “Of all the gin joints in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine” or “I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship” uttered during my lifetime because of  this iconic film.

ImageSome famous cinema starts included Ingrid Bergman, Hedy Lamarr, Rita Hayworth, and Fred Astaire. The movie stars of this decade were glamorous and beautiful in every sense of the word. There was a lot of fear and paranoia during this time, but the cinema served as a short escape from these everyday worries.

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During the war, women had to take over factory jobs forcing women to leave the home for work for the first time. A famous poster from the era entitled “Rosie the Riveter” was displayed with the quote “We can do it” above a portrait of a women flexing her arm and wearing a work uniform once reserved for the boys. When the men returned, the women went back to being homemakers. This taste of freedom and work equality was just enough to change the way women viewed the workplace. It gave women their first chance to work outside the home, and was a precursor for many social movements.

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Coming out of the depression and rationing for war, Woman’s clothing was very plain and economical. The designs were simple, the colors were drab, and the fabrics were plain. After the war, with the help of Christian Dior, woman’s clothing became an exciting thing. Structure, corsets, small waists, full pleated skirts, draping, and fine fabrics were all the rage. Christian Dior displayed the “New Look” in 1947 and it changed the way women dressed for the rest of the decade. From hair to makeup, the new woman was well put together and more stylish after the war.

1940’s style has influenced us today from the not-so-subtle red lip trend, to resurgence of peplum style blouses and dresses. Peter Som revisited the structure of “New Look” style garments in his 2011 collection. Peplum, influenced by the “New Look”, has been very popular this year. It has been popping up across runways and on fashion blogs. In 2012 designers like Badgley Mischka, Tory Burch and Jason Wu all showed pieces featuring peplum. Other trends from the era we still see today are headscarves, pencil skirts, and floral dresses.

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