"ROBES ET FEMMES", Enrico Sacchetti

Paris, 1913: year of shocking Modernism (Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Cubism, Proust…), and pre-Great-War party mood, shadowed only in retrospect. And in fashion: These avant garde robes signal freedom not attained by actual French femmes, who won’t be able to vote for 31 more years, but at least they can move, with loosened corsets, only slightly hobbled ankles (so worth it for that tapered silhouette), and—for rich ladies en vacances in Deauville—the revolutionary sportswear of a young milliner called Gabrielle Chanel. So much is heavenly about these watercolors: The Coco lookalike staring down the fur-laden socialite; the Edwardian Cruella de Vil; the aggressive feather; the zaftig and the skinny equally à la mode. Sigh. Bon weekend! 

A Stitch In Time Saves Nine, or: We’re not in Etsy any more

The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

You know when you discover something AMAZING and then the moment you discover it, you realize everyone else already knew? Or is that just me? Well I don’t care if you already know; it’s here because this is the single most radical use of extreme sewing skills I’ve ever seen.

Frances Glessner Lee is known as “The Mother of Forensic Investigation” because, in the 1940s and 50s she took it upon herself to create 20 tiny 1:20 dioramas of murder scenes, as teaching aids for the Baltimore Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. I’m not telling that story here—it’s been perfectly related by the photographer of these images, Corinne May Botz, in her eponymous book: The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death’, and there was this great piece on Slate by Rachel Nuwer. Not to mention a John Waters docu. No, I’m just taking a moment to honor the subversive potential of this most domestic art. Lee, a wealthy Chicagoan, took it upon herself to use her (she must have felt) quite pointless, feminine arts of embroidery, needlework and miniature making to train then-clueless investigators, spending $3000 - $4500 of her own money apiece on her painstakingly reconstructed murder scenes. It’s the world’s darkest dollshouse and it is still in use today, for the Harvard Associates in Police Science homicide investigation seminar. Feminist hero or what?

THE TOP 3 PEOPLE’S CLIMATE CHAPEAUX

Hats off to the People. 400K of us yesterday, with excellent hats. So many people, that, at the back it took us almost 3 hours to even start walking. Nobody minded. Are you listening UN? The 12.58pm silence was one of the coolest things I’ve ever been in… 

ABOUT DESIGNER BAGS ON REFASHIONER

Dear Purse Lover,

As you can tell from our Luxury Goods as Religious Icons pinterest board we are reluctant to buy into the money-printing image machine that Designer Handbags inhabit. Yet we do love a beautiful purse. So we’ve developed an attitude. It means you’ll find rare & costly —authenticated!— bags here, cheaper than elsewhere. Here’s why. 

Why are your bags bargains?

Well, we generally steer clear of the fraught area of whole-paycheck DESIGNER BAGS. Frankly? We don’t like them. We don’t fancy the world of “Luxury”, where you are judged on your arm-wear, and must continually covet the next thing.  BUT we even more utterly despise the evil stepchild of Luxury: the world of counterfeits, so when we do post a purse, we have it authenticated.  Then we add our own detail photos and rundown to the owner’s description in the listing, with corrected info where necessary.

How is this different from the plethora of Designer Bag Resale sites?  

Behind every one of those is a single aim: Make Money. Luxury bags work like (& can cost the same as) cars: ie they retain a demonstrable, if mutable, value. It’s investable-in. Here, we recognize and celebrate a different set of values, namely, the depth of meaning acquired by handbag (or garment) through ownership, use, and, yes, love. Any bag, designer or otherwise, that we accept, was acquired for more reasons than investment or showing off. We think buying a bag is a visual and sensory act of passion and that this rubs off on a thing. It retains essence of owner, and this is a good thing.

But why sell them for less?

In our teeny way, we’re countering the Luxury Industry. We thoroughly research the market and price these bags to be accessible—not cheap, but not inflated to the exorbitant ranges the market has allowed in recent years. We want all our pieces to speak to you, to find their righteous owner, to be appreciated in their own right, not for their label or celebrity endorsement or whatever the hell fetish is currently in vogue (or in Vogue).

So why would anyone sell through you?

If this strikes a chord, then you can strike a blow. These things cost a tiny fraction of their tag price to produce (with one honorable exception: Hermès). By paying the premium for LVMH, Kering, Richemont and the other Luxury Conglomerates’ pricey marketing campaigns, you are being hoodwinked by aspirational imagery, and you are contributing your hard-earned cash to their net profits. Which were, in 2013: $5 Billion (LVMH: Céline, Vuitton, Fendi, Marc Jacobs), $2.6 Billion (Richemont: Chloe, Alaïa) and $69 million (Kering: Gucci, Balenciaga). Why would you do that?

So, bottom line: when we post designer bags on Refashioner they are bargains, and yes, you can buy ‘em up and resell ‘em and make a damn profit. But then you’ll have to live with yourself.

 

Below: 1995 Gucci Pelham Borchie, from Marianne Frieda’s closet, $495

Gucci bag



HAPPY BIRTHDAY RHETT THE FASHION BORZOI  

Rhett, neighbor of our Manhattan office, modeling here for Valentino, is having a 6th birthday block party—and giving YOUR mutt a gift. His doting dad, top Lasek surgeon Emil Chynn, will correct the sight of one doggie for free. If you suspect your hound is nearsighted, Emil’s office (Park Avenue SafeSight, 102 E. 25th St , 212 741-8628) will use their WaveScan to examine him/her—for free. Seriously. The party’s on Cornelia Street in the West Village, Sun., Sep 28 from 1-5 PM. BYOD. 

 Rhett the Borzoi

OUR FAVORITE GENIUS

This weekend at artistsandfleas Williamsburg (N7th between Driggs & Kent) is #‎AFStyleStudio‬  What we’re excited about: the walkabout show at 3pm tomorrow, Saturday 13th, of VAMPS pieces by Michael Calloway  —here’s a preview, modeled by high schoolers. Loving the Dali-punk Bow Wow Wow Hayzi Fantayzi Leigh Bowery thing, channeling London circa 1980. For more on Michael, his stylelikeu profile (one of the first they did!) can’t be beat. AND… get it while you can: he’s moving far from NYC. New pieces this weekend, and a $20 rack! 

The last pic is a Vamps dress you cannot buy—it’s my daughter’s.

runwaypassport:

Dorin Negrau Spring Summer 2015 
#NYFW @DorinNegrau #linconlcenter

We love us a playsuit: Romanian phormer pharmacist Dorin Negrau, latest designer crush…

Shades of Summer… Hi, Fall!

(No CFDA, Not THAT Kind of Calendar…)

The CFDA chose this image for the email containing news of their takeover of the Fashion Calendar because:

a) The Fashion Calendar founder is Ruth Finley and she is small and a baby is small, therefore Baby Ruth is funny.

b) Steven Kolb bought this painting & wants to cause the comeback of “Pop Art Icon” Mel Ramos.

c) Hilarious opportunity to position DVF’s arm.

d) Irony.*

e) Sponsor logos not available at short notice. 

*Please explain

WTF. 

ARTISTS! FLEAS! 

We had a blast last weekend in Billyburg. 

lagniappeLAGNIAPPE goes live… Free gift with purchase, darlings.

hats by VampsThank you neighbor Michael Calloway for the Vamps hats. 

Bored daughter

artists & fleas signSee you in September… 

humansofnewyork:

Beginning tomorrow, I’ll be taking a 50 day trip in partnership with the United Nations, supported by the Secretary General’s MDG Advocacy Group. I’ll be posting portraits and stories from the trip on the blog. We’re calling it a ‘World Tour,’ because the trip will span over 25,000 miles and circumnavigate the globe. But since there are only ten countries on the itinerary, it would be rather foolish to claim that these portraits and stories somehow represent ‘the world,’ or humanity as a whole. The point of the trip is not to “say” anything about the world. But rather to visit some faraway places, and listen to as many people as possible. 
In addition to gathering portraits and stories, the purpose of the tour is to raise awareness for the Millennium Development Goals, which are pictured. The MDG’s are eight international development goals that every member state of the UN agreed we should accomplish by the year 2015. Basically: they’re stuff that everyone can agree the world needs. (More info can be found here: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/). So in addition to telling stories of individuals, we hope this trip may in some way help to inspire a global perspective, while bringing awareness to the challenges that we all need to tackle together. Hope you enjoy.

Thoroughly behind this in every way. Like all humans, we very <3 you humansofnewyork  

humansofnewyork:

Beginning tomorrow, I’ll be taking a 50 day trip in partnership with the United Nations, supported by the Secretary General’s MDG Advocacy Group. I’ll be posting portraits and stories from the trip on the blog. We’re calling it a ‘World Tour,’ because the trip will span over 25,000 miles and circumnavigate the globe. But since there are only ten countries on the itinerary, it would be rather foolish to claim that these portraits and stories somehow represent ‘the world,’ or humanity as a whole. The point of the trip is not to “say” anything about the world. But rather to visit some faraway places, and listen to as many people as possible. 

In addition to gathering portraits and stories, the purpose of the tour is to raise awareness for the Millennium Development Goals, which are pictured. The MDG’s are eight international development goals that every member state of the UN agreed we should accomplish by the year 2015. Basically: they’re stuff that everyone can agree the world needs. (More info can be found here: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/). So in addition to telling stories of individuals, we hope this trip may in some way help to inspire a global perspective, while bringing awareness to the challenges that we all need to tackle together. Hope you enjoy.

Thoroughly behind this in every way. Like all humans, we very <3 you humansofnewyork  

It’s raining. So shop.
We’re at Artists & Fleas, Williamsburg, This weekend 10-7.
TONS of beautiful vintage, plus Marni, Dries, Zero, Prada, Marc, Jil, Paul Smith, DVF, CDG, Dior, Vince, Rag & Bone etc etc. 
A huge $24 and $10 rack
And the return of LAGNIAPPE—choose a free gift!
See you there… 

CLOTHES STORIES: The dress that made me marry him

This Fifties frock, which is very far from my color scheme and not my size, I last wore for my boyfriend’s birthday. We’d just met and what he really wanted to do was have me cook for him. What he didn’t know was that I was phobic about cooking for men, or rather, one man, the man I was dating man. It brought out the feminist in me, which didn’t need much outbringing, being always out, and made me instantly worried about being a domestic drudge. That made no sense, since I love cooking, and think it’s an art, but it was beyond my control. Anyway, I liked him a whole lot, so I said yes, and wore a satirical cookery outfit to get me through: the most authentically 1950s suburban housewife dress I had—this of course—and no shoes. Barefoot in the kitchen. He’s my husband now.    —Kate Sekules

ps This one you can buy! $45

My story in ART & AUCTION mag about serious vintage collecting… 

Because they don’t post stories online. What? Read on below. Wear specs.

(Here’s my original, funner, lede graf…)

        “Fashion collectors are traditionally drawn from a narrow tranche of society—basically: Socialites with gala and luncheon needs. But there’s a new breed around. You won’t find them on the front row at Fashion Week, but rather haunting the salerooms and booths at auctions and shows, stalking the best in vintage fashion. A scene once full of eccentrics and enthusiasts is now full of opportunity, with astonishing price points realized at the couture end. New resources and serious players—plus a series of blockbuster Museum shows spotlighting current designers –mean clothes are (almost) Art…”