Friday File

Happy Friday! I signed up for a week of unlimited pilates this week at a little local studio, and I am definitely feeling it today. But I need the push because I haven’t gotten much exercise in the last couple months because of life’s various detours. I’ve been sampling all the different options the studio offers. So far the barre class is my favorite. This weekend I’ll try out two more types of classes, and then relax at the beach. What are you up to?

Here are some great links to check out:

Lou Stoppard analyzes fun fur and its contradictions between fad, luxury, throwaway, and timelessness.

This is an interesting story of one woman’s quest to find Bing Crosby’s Levi’s denim tuxedo.

Before her death last week, the Museum at FIT was developing an exhibition of Lauren Bacall’s wardrobe. This week the museum announced that the show will open next spring.

Ok, so yesterday I mentioned that I didn’t want to start thinking about fall fashion yet. But, I admit, there is some cute stuff coming in Asos’ holiday collection.

Even though this is a few weeks old, this tell-all by Alexander McQueen’s long-time partner is a must read. Don’t miss it if you haven’t already read it.

Have a great weekend!

Hoping for an Endless Summer


Modes à Bagatelle, 1919, from National Library of France

Oh the late days of summer. I’m in denial that school begins in less than two weeks, and that there will soon be a nip in the air. Right now I’m trying to soak in as much sun and heat as I can as the summer days begin to wane.

I have no interest in checking out fall clothing yet which is quite unusual. Bring on more summery clothes and start hoping that Mother Nature misses the memo that fall is coming.

Making Chanel’s Couture Sneakers

I’m not one to fall in love with “It” accessories or shoes. Most I could take it or leave it.

But have you seen Chanel’s couture sneakers? These might be the first It shoes that I really wish I could own. See how the Fusion Sneakers are made below, and be amazed.

Friday File

Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? We are moving tomorrow, and I can’t wait. We’ve been living among boxes for the past week, which has not been easy. The movers are coming in the late afternoon. Wish us luck!

And now some interesting links.

I need to add this book on the history of manicures to my bookshelf.

The August cover of Marie Claire is too cool. I kind of want to get my hands on an issue.

Some Ikea stores are advertising rescue dogs throughout their showrooms with life-size cardboard models. Such a cute idea.

This survey of scientists, most of whom work in the field, shows a high percentage of sexual abuse, especially for female students or postdocs. #yesallwomen

Back in the 19th century, doctors warned women about the dangers of “bicycle face.” Seriously.

I’m looking forward to exploring The Museum at FIT’s new website for its current exhibition Exposed: A History of Lingerie.

An 18th Century Period Play

This weekend I’m going to see the play Urania – The Life of Émilie Du Châtelet. Émilie Du Châtelet was a physicist, mathematician, and author who lived in France during the first half of the 18th century. She became a friend, lover, and collaborator with Voltaire. I know very little about Émilie, but that is not surprising. Few women from this period ever received recognition for their achievements and contributions.

My friend Katy Werlin is one of the actresses in Urania (seen in the first photo on the far left), so I am excited to see her performance. She’s a fashion historian, and she designed the costumes for the show. Katy is an incredible dressmaker. She makes 18th century dresses using period techniques in her spare time. I asked her to send over some images from Tuesday’s dress rehearsal, because I knew the costumes were going to be good.

The light blue robe à la française that the character Émilie wears is from Katy’s personal wardrobe. It was sewn almost entirely by hand. The rest of the costumes were made specifically for the show. Katy was assisted by Andrea Young, who plays Marguerite.

Urania was written by Jyl Bonaguro, is based on a biography by Judith P. Zinsser, and is directed by Eileen Tull. It runs this Friday and Saturday at 7:30 at the Hilton Asmus Contemporary. Unfortunately the show is currently sold out, but there is a wait list in case you want to try to see it for yourself.

Aren’t the costumes great? I can’t wait!

photos by Eileen Tull, director

Project Runway 13

I was a huge Project Runway fan before the show moved from Bravo to Lifetime. Early seasons were exciting when design skill and talent was prized higher than interpersonal drama. It exposed millions of people to a sliver of the fashion industry. No, it’s not a true representative of the industry, but there are nuggets of truth within it — like how designers depend on their models to be uniform because fitting to various shapes and sizes is not something that is easy to do in such a short amount of time.

I’ve met a couple of the contestants in random circumstances including Rami Kashou and Stephen Rosengard from season 4. When Project Runway moved to Lifetime I stopped watching, but made an exception for the All Stars season. I was rooting for Rami.

Well I’m making another exception for the new season that starts tomorrow evening, July 24 at 9/8c. Season 13 features one of my former student workers, Alexander Knox! Alex is a talented designer and was a great employee in the Fashion Study Collection. I think Alex has the potential to do really well even though he’s fresh out of school — he graduated this May. He has a great grasp of fashion history, is skilled at fabric manipulation, and experiments with silhouette.

Check out Alexander’s profile on the Project Runway website. I think you’ll be impressed by his work. Go Alex!

Friday File

Happy Friday! I have the day off and am starting to packing up our apartment in anticipation of our move next weekend. Packing is far from my favorite thing, so please wish me luck.

If you are looking for something cool to do this weekend in Chicago, check out the exhibition “Field Works Gallery Extravaganza.” The show is this weekend only and features 18 emerging artists who were inspired by the Natural History Collection at the Field Museum. Tonight is the opening at Ian Sherwin Gallery from 7-11 p.m.

Hope you have a great weekend!

The Dolce & Gabbana fall 2014 Alta Moda show sounds like the most luxury fashion show possible. Christina Binkley takes us along to Capri for an insider’s look at the exclusive weekend in Capri.

Mad Men is known for being fastidious about its attention to period detail, and of course the furniture is no exception.

I have no idea if this story is true, but this craigslist post about a NYC restaurant’s turnaround issue makes you think about the effect our cell phones have on our culture.

Miss Idaho wore her insulin pump visible on her bikini during the swimsuit portion of the competition.

All about women’s knickers in the 1920s.

Vintage Bathing Caps

Bathing caps in the 1950s could be pretty whimsical, and this video clip of a swimming cap fashion show from the British Pathe is pretty amusing. Enjoy!

Friday File

It’s been quite a week. My dziadzia (Polish for grandfather) fell on Wednesday and needed surgery yesterday. If you are inclined to say prayers or keep people in your thoughts, I would be grateful for good thoughts for him.

At work I continued the inventory project this week and also tried to catch up on some cataloging that I had fallen behind on. It’s turning out to be a very productive summer.

I’ll leave you with a slightly longer link roundup this week to make up for fewer Friday posts lately. Hope you have a great weekend!

nude shoes by Christian Louboutin, photo from Victoria and Albert Museum via NY Times

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is challenging collecting norms with a new rapid-response collecting strategy which aims to bring contemporary issues in design, including mass-produced clothing, into the museum’s permanent collection. An exhibition of these contemporary artifacts will challenge visitors to rethink their relationship to these objects.

Designer Martin Margiela was notoriously known for not appearing in public. Since he left his namesake house, the brand has cultivated an image of an anonymous design team despite the fact that they do have a current head designer.

Check out the lingerie companies that are challenging Victoria Secret’s dominance in the market.

Ever wonder what happens to artifacts and artwork after an exhibition is deinstalled? The Smithsonian’s blog tries to illuminate the process.

Vanessa Friedman questions why more designers haven’t gotten into the game of tennis.

A little historical look at caftans with fashion historian Valerie Steele.

A new social and cultural phenomenon in China has taken hold — female college graduates donning white wedding gowns in group photo shoots.

Ira Glass of This American Life is brilliant but also possibly a little crazy. And it only makes me love him and his risk taking more.

I laughed at these Google Street View selfies in museums and art galleries.

Introducing Our Rescue Beagle

Almost two months ago we added a new member to our family — our little Dakota beagle. She is a rescue from BREW Midwest. She was living with a foster family in Ohio following time on the street and in a shelter.

BREW throws Beaglefest every May, which was where we met her and fell in love. She was running around among 100+ beagles in a suburban dog park with a yellow bandana that said her foster name and indicated that she was available for adoption. I bent down to pet her, and she started licking me. She was so friendly and loving that we knew she was the pup for us. She came home with us that afternoon and became Dakota beagle.

When we adopted her, we were told Dakota was between 5-7 years old. But our vet revealed that she is probably closer to 9-10 based on the greying in her eyes. Also, it is highly likely that she has given birth.

Dakota is a blue-tick beagle, which refers to her coloring. Her grey hairs are not from old age, they are her “ticking.”

On the Fourth of July, we took Dakota out to a dog park and let her run around for 1 ½ hours. Travis brought his camera along and snapped these great photos. At first she was a little unsure of what to do and kept to the fence, perhaps checking it for weaknesses. But then she figured out that she could go wherever she wanted and started running around.

She keeps us on our toes. She is 100% a scent hound. There are so many smells outdoors, and Dakota must smell of all the smells. Chasing squirrels is so much fun, and she loses her mind barking at bunnies. In fact, she tries to wake me up earlier and earlier because she knows the neighborhood critters are most active in the morning.

Indoors Dakota is very, very quiet and sleeps most of the day. Sometimes she snuggles, and she prefers to stretch out her legs when she sleeps. She cocks her head at funny beeping or squeaking sounds and twitches her paws in her sleep (we imagine she is squirrel chasing even in her dreams). Dakota loves bacon and peanut butter treats, but isn’t interested in toys. She’s pretty little — the American Kennel Club puts her in the 13-inch variety.

It’s clear that someone long ago taught her some basic obedience skills, but after her time on the street, Dakota is rusty. We are gradually uncovering and reinforcing them.

My husband Travis had a beagle when he was very little but I’ve never owned a dog. So we are learning too. After we move at the end of the month, we’ll hire a trainer to help brush up her obedience skills and give us a lot of pointers. But if you have any advice on dogs and training, we would love to hear. Know of any great resources online or dog blogs? Lay them on us!

photos by Travis Haughton of Wasabi Photography