While fashion has existed as long as recorded history, the extreme popularity of widely available fashion, the super model, the runway, magazines and departments stores all become prominent in the mid-century. The super model was a woman, she was strong, classic, feminine and poised. Editorials were filled with the glamour of Paris, silk stockings, hats and gloves, Dior's New Look, and scenes set with careful composition printed in crisp black and white. By the 1980s and 90s, an even more powerful women strutted and stomped the runway in a style that really demanded a high level of practiced athleticism cloaked in fluid grace. Editorials were vibrant, photographers were pushing horizons and designers created dreams full of shoulder pads, pumps and lipstick, draped gowns, sequins and the avant garde.
Today they say that fashion is at a point of less interest. Makeup on the runways a few seasons ago was even non-existent. Editorials are filled with yoga pants and gym clothes. The models are childlike teenagers, as uninspired as another black cotton jersey t-shirt dress. The runway drones on with a boredom walked in sneakers.
However, this most recent season, especially with the cruise shows, there has been an increase in the creativity of the makeup and the locations, inspiring exclusive getaways and a look into fantastical worlds of luxury and travel. Models have seen an increase in the range of age and dress size over the past few years. There is new interest in film photography and reinvention of the creative process popular among new photographers. I believe that the internet, bloggers and instagram will also contribute to ushering in a new era adding more diversity to the fashion world. Once again, we are at the beginning of something new.
For this post I was inspired by the powerful image of the woman in the 90s with a feeling of futuristic that also felt vintage. It came out as a sort silver samurai woman fit for the Fifth Element.
Ready or Not, Summer is just around the corner. Every year in New York City Memorial Day heralds the official summer weekly weekend exodus to the beach and its only one week away. Pack your sunscreen, paint your toenails, dust off the sunnies and pick your swimsuit!
I really cant get enough of the 1950s swim suit. The shape and colors, prints and fabrics are so iconic. I found a few of my favorite and put them together... trying to control my urge to purchase them all!
The above and below suits are new vintage inspired swimsuits. Made in multiple sizes and prints and new, so perfect to wear to the pool or beach everyday this summer.
The next set of swimsuits are genuine vintage. These are perfect for pictures or pairing with a summer skirt or even showing off at the big pool party of the summer with your hair pinned up and makeup done to perfection.
Spring and Fall are my favorite times of the year. After a long winter of snow everyday, this Spring has been really nice with only a bit of rain so far, allowing the flowering trees to keep their blossoms and the long missed sun to shine.
It is April in New York City and Spring is making its way around the island and throughout the boroughs. Tree branches heavy with flowers sway delicately in the breeze, dancing in full bloom, others make us wait in weary anticipation for their pastel petals to show. The air is filled with the perfume of perennial blossoms, and down Bowery Street it mixes with the scent of fresh coffee and baking bread. The Bowery is one of my favorite parts of the city to take a quiet weekend stroll, full of shops and restaurants, but more quiet than neighboring Soho or the LES.
I finally have had the chance to wear this long sleeved print dress that I found in a vintage store in Japan. Its one of those pieces that after Easter you only get a two or three week window to wear before it gets too hot. In that sense it reminds me of the fleeting blossoms, only here for a short time and then gone again until next year. The print reminds me of the Prada collection in 2013, so I thought a little vintage Prada hair would go well with it. The necklace was gifted from Amarcord Vintage.
Before I would move to New York City, before starting a blog and before I would meet one extraordinarily talented jewelry designer, I was an Anthropology student at the University of Colorado. What exactly is Anthropology? Its what people do and why they do it in the context of ceremony, beliefs, relationships and the material culture created in response to these practices. It can range form subjects related to language, religion or even daily activities, but what separates it from other social and human studies is the connection to the materials created in these contexts. The desire for art and expression, adornment and fashion is a uniquely human trait that can be found in every culture both past and present.
The jewelry made by Makoto Chiba resonates with the very essence of our human need to create and to wear things with which we may express our culture and our identities of self. It feeds our insatiable need for stories, inspires creatures, suggests a realm of the fantastic, moving the imagination to new places once forgotten. Each collection transports us to a world suspended in time, linked to the ancient past of Japan, yet infused with the ornate decor of Baroque Europe.
I met Makoto, the designer of Makoto Jewelry about 4 years ago and was given the opportunity to model for his second collection "The Chronicle". This Spring I again had an opportunity to meet, this time for an interview about the process and inspirations behind the collections.
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Makoto Chiba originally began making Jewelry in Japan. His collections were featured in shops in New York, and Seven years ago, he moved to New York where he is currently based.
Makoto hand-makes all of his jewelry and accessories. First a design is hand carved in wax for each component of the item. Next, molds for the castings are made. Once the castings are all finished, he assembles the final pieces together. I asked him how long it takes from start to finish; he said it depends on the size and complexity, but it could take anywhere from 5 hours to 1 week to make a piece.
He primarily designs for men, but does make pieces for women, although I feel that a lot of the men's pieces are so stunning and unique that they could easily be borrowed by women too. He uses precious gemstones and metal materials for the collections including silver and gold, rubies and diamonds.
The inspiration for his designs is one of my favorite parts. You can find Japanese mythological creatures, Tibetan symbols and western legends all intricately detailed in the style of baroque art and architecture. Many of his inspirations come from his travels throughout Europe. His most recent collection Dance of Death was inspired by "Momento Mori", a trend popular in the 14th to 15th Century.
Makoto Jewelry specializes in hand made custom pieces and also collaborates with the brand including Ruffian.
A comparison of a Japanese inspired wax mock up with finished silver lighter