Friday, 26 July 2013

Last-Week Links: 26 July 2013

Not just one, but two weeks of links to catch up on due to Latitude-related time lag. Only four days without the internet (imagine!), but I've still lost track of what's old news and what's simply news. Humour me as I attempt to get up to speed again.

It's still hot, hot, hot in London, no-one knows what they should be wearing, and I keep being reminded of the vintage tips on summer city style. This set of Life photos showing the "New York Look" in the hot summer of 1969 were also great fun to flick through, along with the accompanying editorial: "New York City is a costume party for the young this summer, a party that is taking place outdoors, on the streets and in the parks. Long hair, long legs. The party is not always elegant, but it is completely alive."

However they lose the prize for being the coolest looking people I've seen strolling the street of New York recently to Karlie Kloss and Daft Punk photographed in their Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent suits for US Vogue. (Contrast the glamour of both the 60s and the NY 2013 images with Bob Mazzer's pictures of the London Tube in the 1980s.)

Half of this blog is about the reworking and reinterpretations of different fashion periods so, naturally, I love Antipodium's Teddy Boy-inspired Resort 2014 collection. It's another classic style that's apparently "the dress of the summer" according to Fashion Editor At Large and "the frock of the moment" as stated by the FT: the 40s-style tea dress. There does seem to be something in the water tea at the moment - entirely coincidentally my vintage column for Domestic Sluttery this month was also devoted to tea, and featured many pretty dresses.

What if these look stop being reinterpretations and start becoming cut-and-paste versions of the past? That's the interesting question posed by this piece on The Business of Fashion. What seems to stop designs becoming too literal is the space for interpretations, and personal memories. That seems like a good time to link to this film by Showstudio, created on the occasion of Suzy Menkes's auction (as mentioned in my last set of links). Picture is an Ossie Clark/Celia Birtwell design mentioned in the discussion. The panel don't reach any startling revelations about the subject of fashion and memory but it's an engaging ride.

The discussion ends with Menkes urging people to buy her clothes and give them a second life - to go out and have fun in them. Hilary Alexander also encourages people to wear clothes they love, not purely because they are in fashion. Logical, you'd think, but a remark greeted with a round of applause because, somehow, this seems to have been forgotten somewhere. I found this interview with Betty Halbreich, personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman for 36 years, equally refreshing: "People ask her if 'they’re allowed' to wear the same dress twice. 'Are you kidding? At these prices you turn it inside out and wear it backwards if you have to.'" If only we were allowed to know what she said about the "Russian Czarinas unleashing the black Amexes downstairs in accessories"

A while ago, I started reading Michael Gross's Model but gave up on it when I reached the bit where the industry headed over to Milan and seemed to collapse under a weight of sleaze. John Casablancas, who died earlier this week, was one of the people who figured large in the book as founder of Elite Model, and someone who skated very close to the edge of some of the scandals surrounding modelling. Perhaps one day I'll be able to stomach picking up the book again and get up to Casablancas's role in the creation of the "supermodel".

Links aside, I'm happy to see the weekend ahead. What does it hold for you? It's my birthday on Monday, so I'm planning a little seaside adventure on Sunday to mark the occasion. And because it's my birthday, I also get to post this piece of pure 90s nostalgia. Enjoy!

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