Apr 20, 2017

#71 - Dateline Paperdollywood - Adrian Fashions, Classic Paris Designers, Liz Taylor, Marilyn Monroe

Dressing More Stars than in the Heavens 

The FIT Museum (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York City recently mounted a small, studious exhibition honoring one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century. Adrian. Sometimes known as Gilbert Adrian, he was born Adrian Adolph Greenburg in 1903. He created costumes for over 250 films for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the Hollywood studio known for extravagant glamour. From the late 1920s to 1941, Adrian dressed Garbo, Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy, Greer Garson and more, the stars whose fashion images were envied and copied by women everywhere. The exhibition, though concise, very neatly pinned down what made Adrian great. It was his love of textiles. He, himself, dedicated his final collection in 1952 to “the beauty and integrity of fabric.” Displays in the narrow gallery are devoted to appliqué, draping, inset, mitering, piecing, tailoring and screenprinting. Adrian was a master of them all. The hallway display opens up to a small gallery where a dozen creations are displayed on mannequins which demonstrate Adrian’s innate ability to mix drama with glamour executed with the height of talent, taste and craftsmanship. The exhibition, “Adrian, Hollywood and Beyond” enjoyed an unfortunately short-lived three-week appearance at the FIT Museum, Seventh Avenue at 27th Street, NYC. 

Adrian; Draping 1952, Print 1944, Pieced Stripe 1945

Adrian: Tailoring 1950, Mitering 1944, Piecing 1949

Paris Refashioned at FIT Museum

The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York City has once again mounted an exhibition that engages the intellect as well as the eye. Educational and entertaining, “Paris Refashioned” has been curated to clearly demonstrate an important turning point in 20th century fashion history. 1957 to 1968 marks a shift in style that changed the look and the attitude of French high fashion dictating decrees blindly obeyed. As always, big fashion changes reflect a big change sociologically. Blame it on the youth and specifically blame it on the rebellious post-war English baby boomers who simply refused to follow in their parents’ footsteps, especially about fashion. Swinging London became fashion’s epi-center and the stuck-up grandeur of Haute Couture was left out in the cold. Some designers, notably Cristobal Balenciaga, just refused to join in the Youthquake-inspired fun. A new, youthful generation of designers (Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Cardin, and especially Courrèges) continued to create Haute Couture, but in a fresh, younger spirit. When YSL opened his Rive Gauche ready-to-wear boutique, the French experienced another revolution, minus the guillotine. The FIT exhibition is divided into two distinctly different galleries. First, a display of the Old Guard attitude, elegant and mature, the last vestiges of the rigid ripple-out system. The second gallery is like a breath of fresh air, displaying designs by “stylistes” like Karl Lagerfeld, Emmanuelle Khanh, Emanuel Ungaro, Sonia Rykiel, Paco Rabanne, and more. “Paris Refashioned” ended April 15 at The Museum at FIT, Seventh Avenue at 27th Street, New York City. 

The Old Guard: Balmain, Chanel, Nina Ricci

More Old Guard: Cardin/Balenciaga, Dior, Mme. Gres

Refashioned: All, Andre Courreges

Refashioned: Emmanuelle Khanh, YSL Rive Gauche, Ungaro

Liz Taylor Again and Again!

I was thrilled when Jenny asked me to create a Liz Taylor Dress-a-Doll for a future issue of Paper Doll Studio magazine. The issue is planned as a tribute to the truly mythic movie star. Immediately, I thought the Dress-a-Doll Liz should be wearing a lace trimmed slip to recall her iconic lingerie image widely used to promote Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Butterfield 8. But Jenny and I had to put our heads together to get the best image…not too young, not too old. And what about her hair-do? A sleek coif would mean artists could devise wigs but wigs are a big challenge so we decided that it would be best to give the doll a fluffy-but-not-extreme head of hair (Liz often went to extremes). It took four attempts for me to get the right likeness, the best hair-do and to capture those oh-so-famous violet eyes. Luscious Liz is sure to inspire OPDAG artists to provide the most glamorous wardrobe ever! 

Liz, too mature and Liz with wig-possible sleek hair, both rejected.

Liz with the right hair but not a good likeness and the final approved dress-a-doll head. 

Coloring Marilyn Monroe

This month’s coloring book fun gave me a chance to color in a splendid 64 page book I bought when it was published in 2010 (before the adult coloring book craze kicked-in) and it’s been on a shelf at home, waiting to be colored since then. Color Me Marilyn: Classic Hollywood Moments is beautifully drawn by Emanuel Emanuele depicting Marilyn moments as originally captured in many photos that recorded her legendary life and career. The coloring book is still available for $25.00-$90.00 at Amazon.com. One slight disadvantage is that this quite marvelous coloring book has been printed on smooth, coated paper that doesn’t take well to crayon or colored pencil. Still, I’m pleased with my efforts…see below. 

"Color Me Marilyn" cover and pin-up girl pose.

Marilyn in glam gown and making the most of a wardrobe malfunction.

Mar 21, 2017

#70 - Dateline Hollywood - FIDM Movie Costumes, The Oscars Red Carpet, Exotic 1920s Fashions, Silent Star Wardrobes

Lights! Action! Costumes!

Every year for the past twenty-five, the museum at FIDM college in Los Angeles stages an exhibition of the previous year’s best movie costumes. This year’s Oscar winner, Fantastic Creatures and Where to Find Them, designed by Colleen Atwood is a perfect example of how costumes contribute to a film’s success. The exhibit, features many, many costumes that demonstrate the scope of motion pictures today; contemporary dramas like Fences, fantastic fantasies including new Star Trek and Star Wars epics as well as historical recreations. Musicals, rare these days, are represented by La La Land, costumes by Mary Zophres and Florence Foster Jenkins, costumes by Consolata Boyle. As always, period costumes deserve attention and designers channeled centuries of remembrance. Romantic 18th Century antique looks for Love and Friendship were designed by Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh. The Jazz Age inspired Live by Night costumes by Jacqueline West and ‘40s wartime fashion was recreated by Joanna Johnston in Allied. Fantastic fantasy expressions included Alice Through the Looking Glass with creative costumes by Oscar winner Colleen Atwood. Hail Caesar’s costumes by Mary Zophres captured vintage Hollywood while Michael Wilkinson opted to darken the heroic images of comic book characters, Batman v Superman. As expected, costumes from the dark side of several action/fantasy/sci-fi blockbusters were displayed, but the costumes for such now-monotonous fare are no longer as exciting as once they were. The exhibit at FIDM, 919 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90015, ends April 22. 

Florence Foster Jenkins and La La Land

Love and Friendship, Live by Night and Allied

Alice Through the Looking Glass and The Huntsman: Winter’s War

Hail, Caesar and Batman v Superman

1920s Exotica

Exhibit The Twenties wasn’t always roaring, it was also a time of fascination with exotic locations and decorations, especially China and Egypt. The FIDM Museum in Los Angeles currently has a small exhibit of some prime examples of exotic fashions from the Twenties, lavishly embroidered and decorated. Also on view is the cover of a 1927 Harper’s Bazaar magazine heralding a fashion season inspired by Egypt, obviously exploiting Howard Carter’s sensational discovery of King Tut’s tomb. The exhibit at FIDM, 919 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90015, ends April 22. 

Exotica decorated coats and 1927 magazine cover

Printed pajamas, embroidered garments and velvet gown

The RIGHT envelope, please!

The best-dressed star at the recent 89th Academy Awards was Janelle Monae in an over-done decorative mess of a mad Marie Antoinette gown by Elie Saab. No, wait! That’s wrong. I meant to say that the best dressed star was Isabelle Huppert, sublime in a simple, long-sleeved, high neck, absolutely elegant silvery beaded Armani Prive gown. Whew. I’m glad I caught that. Fashion news was made by several stars who favored long sleeves rather than the usual bare cleavage. They included not only Mlle. Huppert, but also Ruth Negga, Dakota Johnson (in Gucci) and Chrissy Teigen. 

The Oscar show is the fashion grand finale of the awards season and the gowns reached a crescendo of glamour. Metallics referenced the coveted statuettes with golden gowns worn by Jessica Biel and Robin Roberts while Teresa Palmer, among others, shimmered in silvery Prada. Charlize Theron opted for dark pewter. Fantastic feathers floated around Octavia Spencer’s Marchesa creation and Sofia Boutella’s Chanel sparkler. The drama of black (or near-black) emphasized the couture creativity of strongly stated silhouettes for Taraji P. Henson, Kirsten Dunst and Brie Larson. Half-black, a plunging bodice atop a cream skirt by Louis Vuitton, suited Michelle Williams’ and Emma Roberts’ gowns. Color was almost non-existent, excepting Scarlett Johansson’s sheer pink print, Leslie Mann’s yellow Zac Posen ball gown, Meryl Streep’s inky blue and Viola Davis’ stunning red Armani Prive gown. 

Stylists to the stars honored the diversity driving the movie industry these days and selected highly individualized looks, some Oscar-worthy, some not. Halle Berry’s explosive hair-do got more attention than her nearly nude sheer sheath by Versace Couture. Also making an overtly sexy statement was Amy Adams in a silvery foil va-va-voom gown and hair-do that suggested Jessica Rabbit. Both Best Actress Emma Stone in fringed Givenchy and nominee Nicole Kidman in Armani Prive wore similar columnar gowns encrusted with fancy embellishment. For fashionista red carpet viewers, the most interesting gown had to be Naomie Harris’ ultra-modern, minimal white sequined strapless number with a panel train from Calvin Klein, now under the creative guidance of Raf Simons, ex-Dior designer. 

The Best: Isabelle Huppert…The Worst: Janelle Monae…The Next: Naomie Harris

Golden Girls…Jessica Biel, Robin Roberts, Dakota Johnson

Long Sleeves…Chrissy Teigen, Amy Adams, Ruth Negga

Dark Shadows…Brie Larson, Charlize Theron, Taraji P. Henson

Fancy Glamour…Emma Stone, Nicole Kidman, Priyanka Chopra

Rare Spots of Color….Leslie Mann, Scarlett Johansson, Viola Davis
Feathers and Flyaway Hair…Octavia Spencer, Sofia Boutella, Halle Berry

Silent Star Wardrobes

For my forthcoming book, Silent Screen Stars, researching the wardrobes of the six paper dolls subjects was fascinating. I must admit, I’ve never been a big fan of non-talking pictures but I watched several. I really grew to appreciate the skill involved in expressing emotions without saying a word. And I now know why Garbo was so revered. Her acting style was so natural yet deeply expressive and oh, how she could suffer! I now understand what subtle skill she displayed when she finally spoke on the screen in Anna Christie. Her silent movie wardrobe was often exotic, nothing like Lillian Gish’s romantic frocks. Each star paper doll has a very distinctive wardrobe. Here’s a peek …. 

Wardrobes for Greta Garbo and Lillian Gish

Coloring Lovely Young Elizabeth Taylor

This month’s coloring book pages are from a very well drawn Whitman book published in 1954 when Elizabeth Taylor was moving from being cast as a pretty ingénue to a sultry siren starring in Elephant Walk and The Last Time I Saw Paris

David Wolfe, Classic Hollywood, Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor 1954 coloring book. 

Liz Taylor, David Wolfe, Classic Coloring BOok
Wearing colors chosen to complement those famous lavender eyes.

Art for a Special Coloring Book 

I was asked to contribute two pages for a special coloring book, ‘Fashions of the 1930s.” A compilation of artwork by many artists, it will be given as a souvenir at two events celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the United Federation of Doll Clubs in Orlando, Florida and Kingston, New York. I chose to draw a little homage to my favorite ‘30s designer, Adrian. His artistic genius transformed pretty women into goddesses of the silver screen. I also depicted several of those fabulous fashions in Adrian, Hollywood Designer Paper Dolls, currently available from Paperdoll Review

MGM Movie Costumes, David Wolfe
For a souvenir coloring book celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the United Federation of Doll Clubs.

Feb 26, 2017

#69 Dateline Paperdollwood - Paris Couture, Silent Stars, Queen Elizabeth II, Singing and Dancing Stars, Red Carpet

Smorgasbord of Styles in Paris Couture Shows

The Haute Couture collections for spring 2017 whipped up a fashion feast to satisfy a variety of tastes, and sometimes absolutely no taste. No definitive new look debuted. In fact the multiplicity of looks underscored the lack of fashion direction from the hallowed salons that once housed talented dictators of style like Christian Dior and Cristobal Balenciaga. Options aplenty prevail. Hemlines, once a seasonal issue, no longer matter as they go from thigh high to floor length. Clouds of sheer fabrics, often glittered or flowered, did not even try to modestly veil panties and bodysuits. Feathers flew, sequins sparkled and jewels glittered on evening gowns galore, some sweet and others sexy. Only the venerable House of Chanel recognized reality and showed a few new versions of the famed tailored suit. A few designers dared to ape the intentionally crazed cutting edge of style that mixes, mismatches and misfits, defying the artistry and elegance that once defined the Paris Haute Couture. 

Armani Prive, Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier.

Valentino, Giambattista Valli and Ralph Russo.

Givenchy, John Galliano for Martin Margiela and Elie Saab.

Schiaparelli, Versace Atelier and Viktor & Rolf 

Silent Screen Stars - color comes in first!

In the December issue, #67, I asked for your help in deciding whether the cover of my forthcoming Silent Screen Stars paper doll book should be in full color or in black-and-white. Since the subject is silent movie stars and most silent movies were filmed in black-and-white, I thought perhaps a monochromatic cover might be interesting, black, white and shades of gray. I was wrong! Not a single person responded with no-color as the preference. Every vote was a vote for color. So here’s what the cover will look like when the book is published by Paper Studio Press later this year. 

Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo, Mary Pickford, Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, Lillian Gish
Colorful cover for “Silent Screen Stars” paper doll book. 

Costumes speak louder than words

Researching costumes from the silent movie era is not easy. Those early cinematic efforts were not as well documented as they are today. Vintage photos, many a century old, are seldom accurately credited as to the film’s title or giving credit to the costume designer. That’s a shame because so much talent and craftsmanship were devoted to the splendiferous wardrobes that contributed so much to a silent star’s image. My Silent Screen Stars book will contain ten pages of costumes worn by the six star dolls; Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo, Mary Pickford, Clara Bow, Louise Brooks and Lillian Gish. Shown are two pages of pencil roughs, costumes of extreme glamour and fabulous fantasies. 

Lavish costumes worn by stars of the silent screen. 

Coloring Jeanette MacDonald

This month, my coloring book is the beautiful 1941 treasure that depicts many of the gorgeous costumes that Adrian designed for Jeanette MacDonald. The lovely soprano with fiery hair was born for Technicolor, but sadly, most of her fairy tale operettas were filmed in black-and-white. I think this book was meant for me as it was published the year I was born! You can imagine how thrilled I was to find it on a dealer’s table at a recent convention…and best of all, not a single page had been colored. 

Classic Hollywood Coloring Book
Coloring book cover and costume. 

Coloring Book, Vintage Coloring, Classic Hollywood
Adrian costumes worn by Jeanette MacDonald.

Future Paper Doll of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

The next project I shall be creating for Jenny Taliadoros’ Paper Studio Press will be a paper doll commemorating the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Four dolls will depict the monarch’s life, starting with Princess Elizabeth as a child, then a royal bride, a lovely young monarch and finally, the enduring and admired, dutiful Queen. The royal wardrobe will include outfits for a truly iconic (a word misused these days) woman greatly admired the world over. 

Researching Her Majesty’s regal style. 

Singing and Dancing Stars All Dressed Up and Ready to Go

My two new books in the “History of Hollywood Fashions” series are available to purchase at paperdollreview.com. Six “Singing Stars” in Volume 3 and six “Dancing Stars” in Volume 4 with dozens of costumes from many of the greatest musical movies made during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Here they are, all dressed up and posed as groups as they appear on the back covers of the new collectible books. 

Left-to-Right: Doris Day, Lena Horne, Alice Faye, Barbra Streisand, Shirley Jones, Judy Garland.

Left-to-Right: Ann Miller, Cyd Charisse, Betty Grable, Eleanor Powell, Leslie Caron, Rita Hayworth.

The Red Carpet rolls on and on!

Wake me when it’s over. The so-called “Awards Season” continued with the Screen Actors Guild presentation (most of the winning talents already have won a Golden Globe and are going to win an Oscar, too.) Fashion-wise, the SAG show used to be less fabulous than the Oscars, but now all the awards gowns are on a pretty level playing field of good, bad and in-between looks. The SAG story is easy to understand: lots of yawn-inducing black, noteworthy number of white gowns, a couple of noticeable stripes and a few fun clinkers like Nicole Kidman’s twin parrot shoulders. Stay tuned for the Oscar fashion free-for-all in next month’s Dateline: Paperdollywood. 

White of Way! Natalie Portman, Viola Davis, Meryl Streep.

Yipes! Stripes: Michelle Williams, Yara Shahidi, Michelle Dockery.

Too Much! Taraji P. Henson, Nicole Kidman, Janelle Monae.

Tune in next month for Oscar fashions!

Jan 23, 2017

#68 Dateline Paperdollywood - Debbie Reynolds, Fashion Icons, Silent Screen Stars, Feminine Fashion, Broadway Coloring, Dandy Dressing, Fave Film Fashion

My Debbie Reynolds Memory

The passing of Debbie Reynolds and her daughter, Carrie Fisher, stirred up memories of the perky mother and her complex offspring. HBO quickly streamed Bright Lights, a look inside the lives and fascinating relationship of the famous mother-daughter duo. I recalled my own personal “appearance” decades ago on stage with Debbie when she performed her hugely successful one-woman show at London’s famed Palladium Theatre. I had a front row seat. Debbie was delightful, singing, dancing and casually chatting about her life and career. She pointed me out to the audience, saying she “loved men with beards” and then she invited me to join her on the stage. Being a bit of a stage-struck ham, I jumped right up. We exchanged a few sentences and she sang a song to me. I cannot remember the song, but I will never forget Debbie’s warmth and her talent. Years later, I refreshed my memory of her when I created a Debbie Reynolds paper doll book, authorized by the star herself, published by Jenny Taliadoros’ Paper Studio Press and still available from paperdollreview.com.

Debbie Reynolds
My Debbie Reynolds authorized Paper Doll Book.

Icon/Actress/Paper Doll

Two true fashion icons of the past are in the present, the subjects of new bio-pics. Both have been glamorized by the casting and coincidentally, I have created paper dolls of both in the recent past. Queen Elizabeth II is being profiled in The Crown, an ambitious multi-season Netflix production depicting her long reign. Currently playing Her Majesty as a young monarch is lovely Claire Foy (who only vaguely resembles the Queen), but other actresses will assume the role for subsequent years of her life. My paper doll of the young Queen was the dress-a-doll for a royal issue of Paper Doll Studio magazine. The other icon is Jackie Kennedy, portrayed on the movie screen by Natalie Portman who is beautiful but more delicate and possibly more cerebral than the legendary First Lady. The movie costumes are close to being authentic but Ms. Portman really should have been given a wig to replicate that famous bouffant coiffure. My Jackie paper doll is paired with Princess Diana in Fashion Icons, available from paperdollreview.com

Queen Elizabeth II, Claire Foy as the Queen and my paper doll from Paper Doll Studio's Queens issue. 

Jackie Kennedy Fashion Icon Paper Doll cutout
Jackie Kennedy, Natalie Portman as First Lady and my “Fashion Icons” paper doll.

Presenting Silent Screen Stars Paper Dolls

My next paper doll book for Paper Studio Press is well underway. It is volume number 5 in the series of my history of Hollywood fashions. “Silent Screen Stars” will feature six dolls who exemplify the distinct and specific fashion images of early motion pictures. Greta Garbo was passionate, Mary Pickford was “America’s Sweetheart” and Gloria Swanson exuded glamour. Lillian Gish was fragile, Louise Brooks was sophisticated and Clara Bow had “It.” Here are the portraits that will become the heads of the dolls that will be cut-out and dressed in costumes from the classic silent pictures that were worth a thousand words. 

Silent Screen Stars Paper Dolls
Silent Screen Stars Greta Garbo, Mary Pickford and Gloria Swanson. 

Silent Screen Stars Paper Dolls
Silent Screen Stars Lillian Gish, Louise Brooks and Clara Bow.

Fragile Femininity in Fashion

Does fashion define the modern woman of today? It depends on the woman. Hillary’s ubiquitous pantsuits define her and Madonna’s dominatrixery makes a statement, too. The runway shows previewing spring’s in-coming fashions offered many different attempts to define femininity. One prevailing trend is fragile and delicate, a vision of ruffles, lace and sheer fabrics, a somewhat saccharine vision of a creature apt to swoon. Are such Valentine fashion designs a real reflection of modern femininity? Or are they a faux declaration of delicacy or an empowering subversive statement? 

Bora Aksu, Erdem, John Galliano.

Molly Goddard, Simone Rocha, Valentino.

Rolling Out the Red Carpet (again!)

Trend spotting at a Hollywood Red Carpet event is like shooting fish in a barrel. Correction. Make that mermaids in a barrel. The sirens of the screen preen and pose as they self-promote in hopes of scoring a Golden Globe awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a rather small, but influential group. The fashion industry scrutinizes the star parade, desperately seeking a new trend, or at least a confirmation that glamour still stirs fashion consumers’ interest and envy. The stars wear gowns from the recent spring ’17 collections, a perfect example of “buy now/wear now” except they don’t buy, they borrow. That’s not always wise. For example, Kerry Washington’s fancy fabric, over-trimmed and awkward length dress by Dolce & Gabbana may have looked great on a tall model, but tiny Kerry couldn’t carry it off. The Golden Globes Red Carpet confirms the current state of fashion in the real world: No big change, no new general direction, but so many options that it’s easy to fabricate a trend or two. Sex appeal is mandatory, of course. Flesh is flashed with wide open, plunging necklines, cold shoulders, bare backs and a few bare midriffs. Jessica Biel, Kristin Bell, Drew Barrymore, Rosamund Pike and Sarah Jessica Parker took the plunge. Glittery glamour abounds and metallics continue to rule, most often silvery as seen on Ruth Negga, but more directional in color like the shimmering rose worn by Claire Foy. Metallic looked newest when splashed delicately onto sheer fabrics as seen on Nicole Kidman, Emma Stone and Sofia Vergara. Silhouettes are varied with slinky movie star form-fitting basics getting less attention than a few extremely full skirts worn by Lily Collins, Janelle Monae and Chrissy Teigen. Black is still playing it safe but not making news. Head-turning color included Viola Davis in bright yellow, Natalie Portman in yellow-green, Brie Larson in dark red, Jessica Chastain in sky blue and Zoe Saldana in hot pink and vivid rose. Of course, designer names are dropped and most are familiar. It’s no surprise that the few creations by red hot, right now Alessandro Michele of Gucci attracted the attention of every trend-sensitive fashionista watching this, the first of the Awards shows…more to follow. 

Rich metallic on Ruth Negga, Sarah Paulson and Annette Bening. 

Sparkle-sprinkled sheers on Nicole Kidman, Emma Stone and Sofia Vergara.

Flashes of flesh on Drew Barrymore, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kristen Bell.

Color on Viola Davis, Natalie Portman, and Jessica Chastain.

Romantic glamour on Zoe Saldana, Lily Collins and Claire Foy.

Coloring Broadway Musicals

My compulsion to colorize continues, but this month I have temporarily abandoned vintage movie star coloring books for a new book, “Color Me Broadway,” drawn by Brian Kelly. It includes scenes from most of the classic Broadway musicals: Showboat, My Fair Lady, The King and I, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, On the Town, Mame and many more. The book is illustrated in a somewhat crude style that calls out for crayons or colored pencils (my choice). My copy was a gift from my friend, Sharry O’Hare. It is published by BrooklynArtDept.com and is widely available on line, price $15.

Color Me Broadway” cover and “Hello, Dolly!” 

“My Fair Lady” and “Guys & Dolls” 

New England Dandy is Dangerous!

If you think of the well-dressed English gentleman as a neat and natty modern Beau Brummell, a Jane Austen hero, think again. The London Men’s Fashion Week previewing fall ’17 style suggestions abandoned English elegance in favor of an apocalyptic action man dressed to do battle in a Marvel Comic dark metropolis. The male models were examples of the current anorexic androgynous lads, but when bundled up in massively oversize, aggressively militant and athletically inspired outfits, they seemed larger-than-life. Strong, manly overcoats and casual jackets were overwhelmingly sized with plenty of room to slip over relaxed jackets and pullover knits. Pants grew wider and wider, slouchy rather than pleated. Almost every collection included a big, bulky statement sweater. The inspiration for much of the exaggerated styling was the street where young men dress in a mix of modes, military and/or athletic plus jeanswear. Jogging suits and bomber jackets are popular. Black remains a staple color but there is a splendid assortment of accent colors, sometimes bright and bold, but occasionally light, too. Styling continues to be as important as design and there are sometimes discordant collisions of color, fabric and design in mad mixes. 

Survival style by Christopher Raeburn, Craig Green, KTZ. 

Overwhelming overcoats by Casely-Hayford, Joseph, JW Anderson.

Sweater statements by Vivienne Westwood, JW Anderson, Topman.

New blue jeans by Topman, Christopher Shannon, Miharayasuhiro.

Modern ease by E.Tautz, Chalayan, Martine Rose.

Fave Film Fashion on YouTube

“Fave Film Fashion.” That’s the title of a fabulous new YouTube series by my talented daughter, Professor Amanda Hallay. The weekly series of short films are a spin-off of her popular The Ultimate Fashion History channel on YouTube. Each film in this new series is devoted to the costumes and style in one of Amanda’s favorite vintage films like Imitation of Life, Double Indemnity, Taxi Driver and White Christmas. Every week, Amanda explains and explores in her own authoritative and amusing style, the important role that costumes play in so many films. She points out design details and fascinating fashion factoids about the stars and designers whose style illuminated so many great films. If you’re a movie fan and a fashionista, you’re sure to enjoy “Fave Film Fashion” on YouTube. 

Fave Film Fashion
Imitation of Life” Fave Film Fashion on YouTube 

Fave Film Fashion Series
Double Indemnity” Fave Film Fashion on YouTube.