Tag Archives: fall 2008

Purple Reigns Over Fall’s Color Pallet

From shoes, jackets, clothes and accessories, you can’t help but notice purple is Fall’s new “it” color.  Long believed to be the symbol of royalty, purple dye has an interesting history.  Did you know, the genesis of purple dye is believed to lie in the glands of tiny shellfish creatures?

Purple dyes can be traced back to about 1900 B.C. where early archaeological evidence points to the Minoan civilization in Crete.  Ancient texts dating back to around 1600 B.C. indicate that the dye was produced from the mucus of the “hypobranchial gland” of a variety of marine mollusks, most notably the Murex.  Incredibly, it took 12,000 shellfish to produce only 1.5 grams of the pure hue.

It’s no surprise then that only royalty would be able to afford such precious material.  Hence purple became a symbol of power and status for the tone and those who wore it.

Fortunately, we have William H. Perkin to thank for the opportunity to wear the royal shade.  While working on a cure for malaria in 1856, Mr. Perkin discovered an aniline-based purple dye, mauveine changing the world of modern dyes and introducing the masses to “mauve”.

You learned something today didn’t you?  Now that you know a little of the history of the color purple, here are some of your many choices for Fall.

(click on images for shopping information)

  Source: Dr. Richard M. Podhajny, Ph.D

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Filed under Accessories, Beauty, Cosmetics, Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Sensei, Metro Detroit, Polyvore, pop culture, retail, runway, Shoes, Style, Trends

Fashion Lesson #17 The 411 On The LBD

  sex and the city 1   emmanuelle_chriqui

Last week I was asked to write a piece about the Little Black Dress.  A staple in any woman’s closet, The Little Black Dress has an interesting history involving icons, war, “Sex” and even safety pins.  The Little Black Dress first originated in 1926 with Coco Chanel.  The first archetype was silk, calf-length, straight, and decorated only by a few diagonal pin-tucks as decoration.  American Vogue dubbed it the Chanel “Model T”, because like the original automobile, it was simple and accessible for woman in various social classes. Vogue further predicted that the LBD would become “a sort of uniform for all women of taste.”

200px-Breakfast_at_TiffanysInterestingly, prior to the 1920’s the color black was only for women in mourning.  However, due to the number of fatalities in WWI, in addition to the overwhelming fatalities during the Spanish flu epidemic, it became more common for women to appear in public wearing black.

With help from Hollywood, (black was the color of choice for film making during this period as the color would not be distorted on the infant technicolor film), the LBD grew in popularity.  Further more, during World War II, when women began entering the workforce, and a widespread rationing of textiles existed, the Little Black Dress became the uniform of choice for the new legion of civilian working women (with accessories of course).tatiana1

In 1961, Hubert de Givenchy inspired women with his sexy black sheath dress worn by actress Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s“.  Then after a decade of sparkle and sequins in the 1970’s disco era, the LBD experienced a resurgence in popularity during the 1980’s.  Remember Tatiana Thumbtzen in Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” video?  I wanted nothing more as a teenager than to look like that in the fashionable tube dress.

b5c6c2f012048903337307In the 1990’s where grunge and heroine chic ruled, Elizabeth Hurley’s famous safety pin Versace gown dazzled us while she escorted then boyfriend Hugh Grant.  Closing out that decade, the gals from Sex And the City personified the LBD and how woman wore them.

After a fall from grace with certain designers at the start of the millennium, the color black ruled the runway for Fall 2008.  Be it the bleak economic out look, or a newfound appreciation for the Little Black Dress, they’re here to stay.

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Per Nothing Fancy’s request, I have some LBD’s for your consideration. 

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Source: Wikipedia; The Little Black Dress by Jenna Wallis; click on images for photo sources

Related Articles: Vintage Textile; Black Magic People.com;

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Filed under Fashion, Fashion Lesson, Fashion Sensei, retail, runway, Style, Trends, Uncategorized, YouTube

Comme Des Garcons for H&M Fall 2008

H&M has announced that Rei Kawakubo will collaborate with the discount design emporium come November 2008.  Her collection will include men and women’s collections along with some pieces for children.  The collection release will coincide with the launch of the second H&M store in Tokyo.

“Rei Kawakubo has been at the top of our wish list for a long time and we are thrilled that she has chosen to collaborate with us. We have tremendous respect for Kawakubo’s fashion philosophy of questioning fashion’s ingrained patterns, and admire her artistic approach to design. …explains Margareta van den Bosch, creative advisor, H&M.”

Rei Kawakubo who was born in Tokyo and interestingly, not being a trained fashion designer (she studied fine art and literature), dictated her designs verbally to pattern makers.

She now is responsible for 14 different brands, in shops spanning 25 countries, with nearly  700 employees.

Comme des Garcons has been described as specializing “in anti-fashion, austere, sometimes deconstructed garments, sometimes lacking a sleeve or other component.”

Here are some looks from her Spring and Autumn 2008 collections.

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I will be interested to see what sort of collection she decides upon.  Not to mention the budget constraints she will have with fabric and materials.

Hmm…this is all beginning to sound like a Project Runway challenge.


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Sources: infomat, H&M, Style.com


Filed under Fashion, retail, runway, Style, Trends, Uncategorized