Friday File

I’ve got good news to report — my strep throat is gone! And it’s the weekend, and I’m looking forward to celebrating my birthday (belatedly) with friends. Hope everyone has a great weekend too.

And now some links:


I feel strongly about overhead lights (ask my husband how much I dislike them). It delights me that David Sedaris feels the same. Seriously, this short story is lovely. I love how he describes his mother in candle light. Also, if you’ve heard Sedaris’ voice, is it possible to read a Sedaris piece in any other voice than Sedaris’? I think not.

In The Business of Fashion, Mark C. Oflaherty wonders if camera phones are killing fashion. I have to say, I agree with him mostly. I hate the crappy shots of fashion shows that appeared in my Instagram feed throughout the past month. Sure, every once in a while there’s a good image. But for the most part, the editors who attend them need a HUGE lesson in editing. Don’t post everything! And stop posting so many pictures of yourself. Seriously. It’s not just the fashion hanger-ons. Editors at major publications are just as guilty of terrible camera phone images and narcissistic selfies.

Robin Givhan examines how McQueen and Valentino have evolved since their founders left both fashion houses.

Oscar red-carpet fashion has a big economic impact on the brands who appear (or don’t appear) on celebrities. Vanessa Friedman and Elizabeth Paton break down who “won” Sunday evening. P.S. You need a subscription to read the article, but it’s free and totally worth it. Friedman is a really great critic, and I always love her analysis.

I never knew that arm knitting was a thing, but I totally want one of these “arm cowls.” They look so cozy, and who knows if winter will ever end in Chicago.

Friday File

This was a busy week because the students are back on campus. Spring semester started, and despite the cold, we plunged right ahead with regularly scheduled classes aside from Monday night. I’m excited to get back into the groove of class visits to the fashion collection and storage upgrade projects. But I will miss the quiet days of spending time by myself in the collection.

In a couple weeks, I’m hosting an event featuring lingerie from the collection, and I’m having a good time discovering some very beautiful and feminine pieces in it. You can see a lovely detail of a nightgown from the 1920s I’m planning to include below.

Here are this week’s links:

This great post on Unmaking Things shows us how one could take a new perspective on museum artifacts that are never on display.

There’s a Marie Antoinette Diet? Is it crazy to want to try it?

I love this essay from a Washington Post journalist on his love of figure skating despite being an untraditional fan.

Did you know that designers leave show notes on the audience’s seats during a fashion show? I have never seen any in person, but Erin Hazelton transcribed Maison Martin Margiela’s most recent couture show notes. When I read that the first two looks contained scraps of Mariano Fortuny fabric, I got really excited.

Friday File – Weird Week

This week turned out to be very weird to me, and everyone at work agrees. Tuesday, we had both a false emergency alarm go off across the entire campus and a snow storm that shut down the school. We are approaching mid semester, which is always a busy time, so the unexpected disruptions did nothing for productiveness.

But I’m hoping to shake it off with my best friends this weekend. They are coming to Chicago for a ladies’ weekend, and I can’t wait!

Here are the most interesting things I found online during this peculiar week:

These photos don’t picture cutting-edge historical fashion, but they show life inside a castings factory in Derby, England during the 1920s and 1930s. I think it’s just as valuable to learn about what the working class wore as the elite.

Ever wonder how museums mount garments so beautifully during exhibitions? The best shows require custom mannequins for each dress. Often this is achieved by building out the form on an existing mannequin. Here’s a peek of my friend Emma Denny at work behind the scenes at the Chicago History Museum.

Christina Brinkley of the Wall Street Journal cuts through the fat to break down the Fall 2013 fashion shows.

Is Vogue kidding with this article? “How to Not-Wear a Jacket” is practically Diana Vreeland-esque. But apparently Fashionista agrees that this is the cool way to dress for winter. Personally, I think this is just a way for fashion insiders to one up the masses who are edging into their territory. The wannabes don’t have the financial resources, but you can bet these women pictured are taking cabs so they don’t need coats anyway.

New Balance is exploring the use of 3-D printing to customize shoes for pro athletes. Sensors track each foot’s motion and how much pressure is created at different points in order to print a plate for the shoe’s sole. This is expected to enhance performance. Eventually New Balance anticipates this will end up at the consumer level.

Athletic shoes seem perfectly matched to 3-D printing, but can you imagine other possibilities in footwear? I’m thinking of a high-heel sole created specifically for your foot! 3-D printing could reduce painful pressure points and make heels safer and more comfortable to wear — customized to each person’s feet!