Friday File

One of the cool parts of my job is going to vintage fashion auctions. A few weeks ago I bid at Augusta Auctions in New York by telephone and won a stunning 1916 dress for my fashion study collection. My heart was beating so hard and fast, especially when my telephone proxy said I won. It’s a euphoric high. Yesterday, I went to a local auction, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, and was not as lucky. You win some, you lose some I guess.

Here’s a few links from the week:

Did you hear that Pantone’s 2014 “Color of the Year” is radiant orchid? Christina Brinkley of The Wall Street Journal explains how Pantone comes up with their color of the year.

Fall in love with a Charles James’ Hipster dress in the Met’s preview video for the Costume Institute exhibition this summer.

Do you know when to use historic vs. historical? I’ll be honest, I didn’t know there was a difference until I read this.

I can’t wait to read this biography/memoir of Vivienne Westwood. “Vivienne is wonderfully candid. I sat there with my jaw on the table for a lot of it. Especially about what went on in the 1970s, ” Ian Kelly, the book’s co-author, said.

Have a great weekend! And don’t forget to enter my Laurel Denise 2014 planner giveaway!

Friday File

Whew, that was another long week. It was great to have the students back on campus. I’ve started training new student workers and volunteers. It’s nice to work with a fresh group that have no hands-on experience working with historic clothing so that I can train them from scratch. We start with the basics of handling garments and build upon that. They will learn the skills to deal with everything from the most delicate silks to 20th-century plastics. They are curious and eager to learn, which are ideal qualities for museum workers.

Now, let’s check out the cool stuff I found online this week:


Pantone's forecast for spring 2014, from Women's Wear Daily

This week Pantone announced its top colors for Spring 2014. At the top of the chart is Dazzling Blue, number 18-3949, in the upper left corner. The thing that struck me most about Pantone’s forecast is that the colors are more muted than past spring seasons.

Lots of myths abound regarding the corset. In 1908, Dr. Ludovic O’Followell of France x-rayed women in their corsets to see what exactly the undergarments did to the body. Take a look for yourself and see how the ribcage is modified after the laces are tightened.

Check out this slideshow of 10 buildings that survived the Great Fire of London in 1666. First, it’s incredible just to see buildings that old. Second, the luck that they survived to this day is pretty cool.

Designer Maria Pinto is back. The Chicagoan has turned to Kickstarter to launch a new line called M2057.

I love Garance Doré’s candor on her blog. She handles issues like femininity, weight, and the fashion industry with honesty. It’s entirely refreshing.

Absurdity of Nude

The fashion industry loves to herald the color nude, but it doesn’t sit right with me. The color nude they are referring to only pertains to white skin tones.

Now I like the online retailer Ssense. Not that I can afford anything they sell, but they use models with diverse racial backgrounds, which is very unusual in the industry.

But when I saw this marketing email from Ssense, I could only laugh. Using the term nude to refer to that color on a black model is just absurd.

Can’t we just call it beige? Oh, wait, that’s probably not sexy enough.

Emerald for 2013

The big news in the design and fashion world yesterday was that Pantone announced its color of the year. According to Pantone’s forecasting department, emerald will be the color of 2013.

Clockwise from top left:
dress by Ellie Saab, Spring 2012, photo by Juju Ivanyuk, from Style.com
dress by Charles James, 1954, from Metropolitan Museum of Art
Juliet, Daughter of Richard H. Fox of Surrey, by Alfred Lambart, 1931, from BBC Your Paintings
sketch, by Dior, from FIT Library Department of Special Collections Flickr photostream
detail of man’s ensemble, 1810-20, from Kerry Taylor Auctions

Pantone is best known for its Pantone Matching System, a standardized color reproduction system. This is the 14th year it has declared a “Color of the Year” for the upcoming year.

Is it possible Pantone is secretly tracking my movements? I just bought a vintage, ultra-suede dress in emerald two evenings ago! Just kidding, but it’s cool to be a fraction ahead of the trend.