Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Blast From The Past

I stuck my hand into my pile of magazines and pulled out British Vogue December 1989. On the cover, Liza Minelli wearing a silver metallic leather coat with fringe all over it and of course massive shoulder pads, a black leather belt with a huge silver U shaped belt buckle, stockings, black thigh high boots, and a black boustier with lots of lace. This cover is so perfectly the last cover for the eighties. The end of the era of excess in fashion. Big everything is hopefully gone forever. Big something might have it's place, not big everything.
Inside there is an article celebrating the design career of Giorgio di Sant'Angelo He passed away at 53 years young. I was lucky to have worked with him during my senior fashion show project at FIT. He was the design critic for our couture class. There is a quote here in the magazine from him, "I'm not a fashion designer, I'm an artist who happens to work in fashion, an engineer of color and form" I think I forgot how much his philosophy influensed me. He goes on to say, " Stretch, for me, is key. It is both contemporary and practical." I do remember him insisting to all of us in this eveningwear/couture class that everything must be able to be rolled up and put into a suitcase, pulled out and able to be worn without a lot of fuss. The funny part was, we had a proffessor who had the exact opposite philosophy about eveningwear. He always told us (and made us practice), an evening gown should have enough stays and foundations built into it, that it will stand in the corner of the room all by itself without a body in it. I wonder where Prof. Contrary is now?
Another tribute in the magazine is for Diana Vreeland. What an amazing person with an influence on the fashion industry that I'm not sure we will see again, not in our life time anyway. She was fashion editor at Harpers Bazaar, when she was woed over to Vogue to be editor-in-chief during the sixties. I think she is most known for how she saw the world and she taught other people how to see the world differently. She says here " I have the kind of eyes that will travel over a magazine page, find a tiny insignificant-looking detail no bigger than your fingernail, and get totally mesmerised. My immediate instinct is to want to blow it up - make it big! I think laying out a beautiful picture in a beautiful way is a bore. You have to blow it right across the page and down the side, crop it, cut it in half, combime it with something else... you see I'm looking for the most far fetched perfection." I think the fashion industry as a whole is missing the influence and presence, that only Diana Vreeland could have.

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