Scarves: Essential survival tools of a Seattleite

Scarves that keep the neck warmWritten by: Marina Ignatyeva

As another rainy autumn hits Seattle, with the promise of a cold winter after it, most fashion-conscious Seattleites are frantically trying to balance insulation with beauty. How does one manage such a colossal task, especially since the neck area loses the most heat? Most people prefer not to sacrifice their pretty and comfortable clothes and wear turtlenecks. Thankfully, retailers in every major mall have stepped up and delivered only the greatest and most essential invention of any cold season: scarves.

Now, my own recollections of scarves from my childhood had not been positive. They were ugly, bulky, had to always be retied, and worst of all were scratchy. Yes, they kept me warm during the very cold winters in Moscow, Russia, and in the Midwest. That does not mean I appreciated them.

So why do I now approve of these formerly-disliked articles of clothing? Simple: redesign. The scarves sold in my favorite retail stores, such as Nordstrom, are gorgeous, warm and made of the softest materials imaginable. There are wool scarves, cashmere scarves and simple cloth ones. They come in a myriad of colors, from cream and white to bright colors such as turquoise to dark ones like black. The scarves come in solid colors, designs, and multicolor bundles of joy.

The designs of the scarves are made to fit every taste. There are intricately knit scarves that look like a beautiful mesh; there are scarves that are knit so tightly that there are no gaps. Some scarves are sewn together from different patches; some are sewn from one cloth.

Best of all, there are different types of scarves. I, for the life of me, cannot wrap a scarf around my neck and keep it from either falling off or strangling me. That is why the discovery of a scarf that does not need to be tied was so essential to me. This season, I have a beautiful scarf that is sewn together at the ends, forming a giant scarf-y hoop. The scarf can be then wrapped around the neck again, similarly to a giant strand of pearls, forming two fluffy halos around one’s chest and neck. Asphyxiation and heat loss are no longer a concern!

Recap: Scarves are an essential part of any ensemble. They look good with hoodies, trench coats, sweaters and windbreakers, or whatever else people decide to throw on themselves before braving the rain and cold. Scarves can be worn by both genders, making them versatile. Most importantly, they are fluffy, gorgeous pieces of heaven that keep people warm. Use them.

P.S. – Scarves are not just for Seattleites.

Fashion as Art: The Gaultier Exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art

Written By: Allison Hibbs

 

He was responsible for Madonna’s cone bras.
He created the wild outfits used in the wacky future-fiction movie, “The Fifth Element.”
He made bondage chic and brought the British punk rock look of the early eighties to the world’s most exclusive runways.
Even if you don’t know the name Jean Paul Gaultier, you almost certainly know the man.

“The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk,” enthusiastically acclaimed exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art, is scheduled to close next weekend on Feb.12, so you’ve got one last chance to get to know him a little better. From the shockingly sexy Boudoir collection to his fascinating use of industrial materials in the Metropolitan room, this is an exhibit not to miss.

“I’m not such a good speaker,” says the voice of Gaultier himself upon entering the exhibit, his talking face projected onto a mannequin dressed in a sailor ensemble (that he designed for himself to wear in an interview with pop superstar Lady Gaga). He communicates best through his clothing, he tells his visitors. And it’s true. One can only stand there and listen for a short while before being drawn away into the changing landscapes and attitudes of his apparel. The exhibit is set up in six distinct sections, yet certain ideas – like his fascination with S&M – carry through his work like a refrain.

“I respect individualities and I like particularities,” reads a quote attributed to the designer on the wall in the Urban Jungle room. “I mix and match, collect, twist and crossbreed codes. Past, present, here, elsewhere, masculine, feminine, remarkable, humdrum – it all coexists.” A delicate Spanish dress cut through with bondage leather; a pink floating ball gown with the crotch cut out; a full tulle skirt in camouflage coloring next to a glittering plaid mens’ kilt; Gaultier has a knack for making the scandalous seem sumptuous, for turning the gutter into glamour and for creating couture from the least likely corners of human experience.

Alongside the fabulous fabrics and intriguing ensembles worn by talking mannequins are actual sketches by Gaultier, rare prints on loan from renowned photographers and glowing quotes from contemporaries such as Pierre Cardin and Pedro Almodóvar. Scenes from movies for which he designed costumes play on variously sized screens throughout the rooms. Even the designer’s well-worn childhood teddy bear is on display, wearing – you guessed it – a cone bra. He designed it when he was only seven years old.

Everyone who makes it to see this truly extraordinary exhibit is sure to find at least a few favorites. From the Madonna to the mermaid (and that’s just the first room!), Gaultier manages to pay homage to kink, heritage, culture, counterculture, flora, fauna and fantasy all with a sense of openness, possibility and joy.

After Feb. 12, the collection will travel to San Francisco and then on to Europe.

Gaultier at DMA

Several ensembles and images shown in the exhibit. Photograph by Paolo Roversi.

Fashion Forward: Why Retro Look is Never Out of Style

“Written by Kathleen Mulvihill”

Mom was right. Never throw anything out; eventually your clothes come back in style. That’s why retro fashion is always hot. When designers run short of innovative ideas they can always reach back into the closets of yesteryear and come up with a look with a new twist. Voila – fashion that is both nostalgic and hip. Some examples:

The pencil skirt is the new hobble skirt of the 1920s; bootcut is the new bell-bottom; spandex is the new girdle; ballerina shoes are the new flats; the chunky high-heeled oxford is grandmother’s shoes from the fabulous 40s; capris are the new pedal pushers; and black is, well, the new black. Call it indie, vintage or retro, it all adds up to apparel that is timeless.

Labels by designers such as Marc Jacobs, the master of mash-up fashion, define the retro rack. In a New York Magazine article, Jacobs was quoted on his passion for the past: “I like romantic allusions to the past: what the babysitter wore, what the art teacher wore, what I wore during my experimental days in fashion when I was going to the Mudd Club and wanted to be a new wave kid or a punk kid but was really a poseur. It’s the awkwardness of posing and feeling like I was in but I was never in. Awkwardness gives me great comfort.”

Retro fashion is the brainchild of the “retro chic” concept of the Parisian avante garde. Today it refers to apparel that imitates a previous era associated with a post-modern stylistic trend. While vintage spans the 1920s to 1050s, retro or indie represents the pre- and post-1960s fashion. Look around – it’s everywhere. If not in consignment shops (the new thrift stores), then look for a vintage store in your metropolitan area, even in suburbia. There’s a plethora of sites online, including top20sites.com which offers the top 20 retro fashion sites with popularity ratings.

The fashion truth is: The way we wore is the way we are. Retro is here to stay.  So if you’re feeling the pinch in these troubled economic times, there’s no need to fret when it comes to your closet. Take a close look, visualize that 80s ribbed knit sweater with a long wrap-around scarf, and you just got a new leash on an old look. Dress it up with a piece of glam jewelry from your grandmother, slip into those skinny jeans and any kind of boots and you’re ready to step out on the town. Looking good has never been so easy.

 

 

Hot Fashion Watches by Fruitz

Fruitz- Hot Fashion Watches!
Fruitz – Hot Fashion Watches!

Fruitz Watches, the brand that represent a wonderful, charming array of Fruits Watches, are the hottest craze right now.  Even Twilight star, Dakota Fanning was seen sporting her Fruitz!

There are three types of Fruitz: Fruitz Classic, Sorbet and Happy Hour.  The Fruitz Classic collection features 36 mm adorable sunburst dials, colorful silicon straps which are really comfortable.  Each watch in the collection represents a different fruit, so there’s a Blueberry Fruitz Classic Watch, an Orange Fruitz Classic Watch and so on.

The Sorbet collection conjures up an image of delicious, tasty and sweet.  From the Fruitz Lemon Sorbet Watch to the Fruitz Licorice Sorbet Watch, these watches do look delectable, with their stainless steel expandable bracelet straps, and bright, lively colors!  Dakota Fanning loves her Lemon Sorbet Fruitz watch.  According to Fanning, “”I cannot wait to wear it – what an adorable idea… I am so happy to have one!”

The Happy Hour collection makes you think of good times, and indeed, each watch in this collection represents another fruity cocktail, from Black Russian to Cosmopolitan.  These watches have 43 mm dials, which include day and date functions.

By the way, these fashion watches come with a perk: each watch is embedded with a natural frequency technology disk, which may lead to better sleeping, increased concentration and focus, and an overall sense of wellbeing.