Friday, March 4, 2011

my list of fashion f*ck ups: the legging.

As you may have realized in my last post, I am switching it up this week (and maybe next week too) by talking about current news, trends, etc.

video courtesy of youtube

Like Lauren Conrad, I have my own list of fashion faux pas or ffu's (as phrased by Conrad). Or, rather my list is one major don't: the legging worn as pants. Unacceptable. Always will be. Unless you are a size zero.

Several months ago, I wrote a piece for The Beacon, the University of Portland's student newspaper describing my hate for this popular, yet abused trend. This will not be the last time I write about leggings in this blog because my love/hate relationship with this garment is so strong. 

Throughout the ‘80s spandex leggings were worn for aerobics, and after Madonna’s “Get into the Groove” moment, they were worn outside the gym.

My first encounter with the legging was in the first grade. I had a pair of black stirrup leggings that my mother always tried to wrestle me into. Sometimes, I was very unfortunate and succumbed to her wishes. However, these days, it’s hard to find me wearing pants of any sort as my love affair with leggings has blossomed over the past few years.

Recently, the female population is stretching the role of my favorite fashion garment too far. Leggings are being worn without anything covering them up. If they are going to be worn as pants, it must be done correctly so as to not give off a look that is vulgar.

I have one rule to assure that you’ll look good: when wearing leggings, make sure your dress, shirt or sweater falls past your bottom. No one wants to see your very unfortunate camel toe or what type of underwear you are wearing.

If you insist on wearing a top that is revealing, perhaps the jegging would be a more suitable choice. Gaining popularity last year, the jegging is the love child of jeans and leggings. They give off the look of a skinny jean, but are just as comfortable and stretchy as the legging.

Leggings are the ideal garment of clothing for the fashionable languid dresser, which is precisely what I am. This stretchy spandex stand-in for pants is the ultimate in relaxation. If the wearer happens to eat too much or gain a few pounds, the legging allows room for expansion.

Though leggings and jeggings are the easiest way to wear pants without actually wearing them, they do not leave much to the imagination. Therefore, wear with caution and for all of our sakes, wear a longer top. 

You don't want your friends thinking you're an ffu. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dior sans Galliano.

google images

As I have recently delved into the beginning of the fashion empire known as Dior in a previous post an ode to Jackie Kennedy style, I would like to update you on a few of the recent happenings involving Christian Dior's label. 

John Galliano, a British fashion designer, was the head honcho behind the Dior label since 1997 up until two days ago. On Feb. 25, Dior announced that it had suspended Galliano due to his arrest in Paris for allegedly making anti-semitic remarks. On that same day, the website Citizenside received a video dating back to December of a drunken Galliano throwing anti-semitic insults at a group of Italian women--who were not Jewish. "The Sun," a British tabloid, posted the video on their website. On Mar. 1, the fashion house fired Galliano. 

Natalie Portman, a Jewish actress who has an endorsement contract with Dior for its Miss Dior Cherie fragrance, condemned the designer for his remarks. In a statement Portman said: "I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano's comments that surfaced today. In light of this video, and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way. I hope at the very least, these terrible comments remind us to reflect and act upon combating these still-existing prejudices that are the opposite of all that is beautiful."

However, Patricia Field, costume designer and stylist for "Sex and the City," disagreed with Portman. Fields defended Galliano by sending an e-mail to 500 friends, blogs and media, reported According to Fields, Galliano was acting out of character. 

"People in fashion all they do is go and see John Galliano theater every season. That's what he gives them. To me, this was the same except it wasn't in a theater or in a movie," Fields said. "John Galliano lives in theater. It's theater. It's farce. But people in fashion don't recognize the farce in it. All of a sudden they don't know him. But it's ok when it's Mel Brooks' 'The Producers' singing Springtime for Hitler."

If you are foreign to French laws, inciting racial hatred to someone in France is illegal. According to a New York Times' article, "Galliano to Face Trial Over a Anti-Semitic Remarks," Galliano could face up to a six months in prison and a $31,000 fine. His trial is set to take place sometime between April and June. 

In a statement provided through his lawyers, Galliano said: "A number of witnesses have given evidence and have told the police that I was subjected to verbal harassment and an unprovoked assault when an individual tried to hit me with a chair having taken violent exception to my look and my clothing. For these reasons I have commenced proceedings for defamation and the threats made against me... Anti-semitism and racism have no part in our society. I unreservedly apologize for my behavior in causing any offense."

Rumor has it that Galliano is now seeking rehab in Arizona.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

the 1930s: the American fashion industry during the Great Depression.

Recently, I received "New York Fashion: The Evolution of American Style" in the mail. This 303 page fashion bible takes the reader through each decade of American fashion. Though America did not see its first fashion week until 1943, the 1930s began with the Great Depression that would influence nearly every aspect of fashion. Not only did hemlines drop, there was also a transformation of American fashion into a real force. In comparison with the flapper of the 1920s, the typical woman of the 1930s was older, more sophisticated and much less carefree.

Fortunately, the American fashion industry excelled in mass production, and department stores that catered to every price level emerged. By the end of the decade, women designers controlled the industry. Though, this is no surprise because no one knows a woman's body better than herself, which made it easy to understand the movement of their designs.

Designers also had to innovate when using fabrics because of the decline of the economy. Simple, ordinary fabrics that had previously been considered inappropriate for couture were used, and textile manufacturers implemented man-made materials. Artificial silk became popular in lingerie and nightgowns. Designers used printed or textured silks to disguise that real silk was not used.

Fashion has always existed even in dire times. If anything, these times are more essential to the fashion industry because designers, manufacturers and consumers must innovate new ideas. 

"Sex and the City" fashion interpreted by college students.

This past weekend my roommates and I held a "Sex and the City" themed party. Our guests had to dress how they interpreted "Sex and the City" style. Though, most Chanel and Dior gowns are out of the question when it depends on the average college student's bank account, many of our female guests wore cocktail dresses, sequins and heels. The men of the party also stayed true to "Sex and the City" style. They wore button up shirts, blazers and cashmere sweaters. Though "Sex and the City" fashion can be interpreted into over-the-top trends and fashions, ultimately it is about making the outfit your own in a way that will make you stand out from others.