48 posts categorized "Fashion"

STYLEWEEK Northeast Season 17 Spring/Summer 2020 Fashion Show

Styleweek NE SS 20 17th Season theredvelvetshoe (30)

 

Last Thursday evening I was thrilled to be the guest of Christine Francis (Founder of Carmen & Ginger Vintage) and Rosana Ortiz, Founder and CEO of Styleweek NE, for the opening night of the SWNE 17th Season: S/S 2020.  

Founded in 2009, STYLEWEEK Northeast (SWNE) is New England’s premier fashion week held in Providence, RI.  It's one of the only regional fashion weeks that has been visited by the CFDA from NYC.  The venue is dedicated to the growth of designers as artists and, since it's inception, has showcased over 192 designers from all over the U.S.  STYLEWEEK also works with elementary schools, high schools and universities to expose young talent through the “SEED Student Design Challenge”, which is dedicated to the advancement of emerging student designers and their businesses.  The SEED Challenge has had participants from FIT, Parsons, Mass Art and SFD Boston. (Source: STYLEWEEKNE.COM)

I was fortunate to attend the night of the SEED Student Design Challenge.  The participants, from Mass Art in Boston,  were Brick Chapman, Chuxin “Teresa” Shi, Shirley Inocente, Hanfu Xiao, Edna Chery,  Matthew Knight & Jacqueline Mones.  The panel of judges selected Brick Chapman's entry for the win - Congratulations, Brick!

Styleweek NE SS 20 17th Season theredvelvetshoe (11)

Brick Chapman - SEED
Student Design Challenge
Winner

 

Styleweek NE SS 20 17th Season theredvelvetshoe (12)
 
Chuxin “Teresa” Shi

 

 

Styleweek NE SS 20 17th Season theredvelvetshoe (13)

Shirley Inocente 

 

Styleweek NE SS 20 17th Season theredvelvetshoe (14)

Hanfu Xiao 
 
Styleweek NE SS 20 17th Season theredvelvetshoe (15)

Edna Chery 
 
Styleweek NE SS 20 17th Season theredvelvetshoe (16)

Matthew Knight

 

Styleweek NE SS 20 17th Season theredvelvetshoe (24)
 
Jacqueline Mones

 

After a brief intermission, the runway show continued, featuring designers Jeena Ercolini, Tatyana Ayriyan and Mikayla Frick.  Most of my favorite designs were by Tatyana Ayriyan; probably because her work had a very vintage 1930's / 1940's vibe to it.  The quality of her work was exquisite.  

 

(Visit my You Tube Channel for more videos of the other collections.)

It was such a fun and inspiring night out on the town.  Brendan Kirby and Ashley Erling of The Rhode Show emceed the event (he's adorable!) and it was so refreshing to be out and have everyone around you dressed to impress.  (You never know who's going to be in the crowd, right?)  I opted for a strapless floral dress I found in the back of my closet with my favorite 80's vintage Giorgio Sant'Angelo black blazer and a pair of cute but practical heels as I had no idea how far I'd have to walk.  There was a small bar with plenty of top-shelf cocktail options and plenty of standing cocktail tables and various mini-parlor vignettes with gorgeous vintage seating provided by Uniquely Chic Vintage.  

So do yourself a favor and follow STYLEWEEK NE on their Social Media channels to see more fabulous photos from the event and for updates about their next venue.  Here's a few hashtags to help you find more highlights from the show:
                            #swneseason17 #season17 #swnesept2019 #rifashionweek
                            #fashionweek #styleweekne
#styleweeknewengland

Thank you, Christine and Rosana for the invite,
I can't wait for the next one! 

xx ~ Michelle


Vintage Clothing: Repurpose With A Purpose

If you know anything about vintage clothing it's that, for the most part, true vintage clothing runs on the super-small side. Sourcing a vintage dress that would fit a modern size 12 + is pretty much a modern-day miracle. The lack of larger sized authentic vintage clothing has actually created a niche for retailers who focus on reproduction vintage: Unique Vintage, ModCloth, and Hell Bunny to name a few. Some sellers, like BERRIEZ, focus on more modern vintage from the late 80's and 90's, when the plus-size market was finally, after decades of being ignored, embraced by designers & retail giants.

Combine that with the fact that few today know how to thread a needle, never mind use a sewing machine. I was in Junior High when "Home-Ec" was taken out of the curriculum "for lack of interest". Without giving away my age, that was c.1979. Thankfully, my grandmother was an amazing seamstress (that's her and my grandfather in the picture below a year before they wed) and did her best to teach me how to make simple alterations and repairs to clothing to both accommodate my changing form and extend life due to wear and tear. She was born in 1914 and lived through some of the leanest days of American history, so nothing was thrown away.  Ever. It was repaired, repurposed, given to a friend or neighbor once no-one in the family could make use of it, and last but not least, went into the rag pile where it would be used for cleaning, polishing, and sometimes wiping down a new-born calf in the dairy barn. Like I said: no waste.  Ever.

 

1936 Gram & Gramp year before wedding
My grandparents in 1936, a year before they wed.

 

I have to admit that, at times, this miserly outlook was a bit embarrassing. I practically grew up on the farm, I knew the hard work and diligence it took to run a dairy in a dying farming economy. I knew that, even though our family owned a lot of land and a lot of livestock, the stress of staying afloat outweighed what appeared to others as a very successful family business. But I was coming of age in the 1980's, an era of crazy indulgence and excess. More was MORE. New was BETTER. Excess was COOL. Waste was EXPECTED.  I can't tell you how many times during my waitress years I would find expensive bottles of champagne practically full after a lavish party of four moved onto their next party. (Thus, my exquisite taste for fine champagne.) I was fighting an inner battle between the standards and ideals I was raised by with the modern world of luxurious excess that seemed so inviting. I'm certain my grandmother sensed it. It wasn't until after she passed and I inherited her vintage clothing and jewelry that I realized she, too, had felt trapped between two worlds. She fell in love with a tall, quiet Swedish man who was a dairy farmer. I'm certain she knew that didn't translate to a life full of elegant parties, dinner and dancing to live orchestras and extravagant shopping sprees in the best fashion houses. But she had a wardrobe that would have said otherwise. Thus began my love affair with vintage clothing.

 

1937
My grandmother on her honeymoon in 1937.

 

It didn't take long for me to regain my senses. In 1988 I sent a letter to the editor of Elle Magazine, outraged over the placement of an Hermès ad followed by a story about the homeless in their March issue; it was published  I suddenly had clarity of mind about issues that a decade of excess had attempted to cloud. My foundation held and my adulthood became grounded in the ethics and standards of my childhood training. I reconnected with my grandmother on an even deeper level; one of the greatest gifts I've ever been given.

Years later, my aunt sent me my grandmother's sewing machine. I set it up and just stared at it for a long time. So many memories. So much I didn't know. I felt polarized by my lack of know-how and the potential I knew it held. I dreamed of my grandmother that night. I could smell her Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream, feel her arthritic hands in mine, hear her contagious laugh. I didn't want it to end. But the next day, I threaded that machine and started practicing on scrap pieces of fabric. And slowly, I relearned how to do the things my grandmother had taught me so many years before. I mended, darned, hemmed, let out seams and took them in. And finally, on one brave day, I altered the waistband on a skirt from one of her vintage suits and wore it later that summer.

Grammy's vintage seersucker suit
The author in her grandmother's repurposed vintage seersucker suit.

As we approach 2020, there's a lot of talk in the industry about "slow fashion" (vs. "fast fashion"), "circular fashion" and "sustainable fashion" - all the tenets of my grandmother's generation coming back full circle. It's like going home again. What's old is new again. Or, can be "like new" again, with a little bit of TLC.  Repurpose with a purpose.

 

Visit this page for a Tutorial on a Vintage Skirt Waistband Alteration that was inspired by my grandmother's suit project.

#slowfashion #circularfashion #sustainablefashion #recommerce #repurpose #sewing #homeeconomics #retail #shopping #clothing #vintageclothing #1980s #secondhand #family #values #ethics #legacy #tribute #fashionblogger

 

xx ~ Michelle


Elizabeth Arden, The Designer

Elizabeth Arden Vintage 1960s black boucle suit (5)

This rare & lovely 1960s suit hails from the design house of Elizabeth Arden, New York.  Among highly noted designers associated with Elizabeth Arden were Charles James, Ferdinando Sarmi & during the 1960s, Oscar de la Renta, renowned for dressing style icon Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy during the "Camelot" years in the White House. 

Now available at The Red Velvet Shoe.

 

xx ~ Michelle


Raindate is May 3rd! Urban Vintage Bazaar Spring Fashion Event 2014 (Fashion at Brown)

 

Carmen & Ginger Opens Shop at The Arcade Providence RI

It's that time of year again!  
Carmen & Ginger 
is hosting 
The Urban Vintage Bazaar

Saturday 3 May 2014*

Brown University Campus
Multipurpose Room, Lower Level, 75 Waterman Street
10 - 6 pm
18 Vendors
in collaboration with 
Fashion at Brown Fashion Week Spring 2014 

Click on the following link for directions & additional information:

Urban Vintage Bazaar SPRING FASHION EVENT 2014

*due to rain in the forecast the event was moved to the scheduled rain date of May 3, 2014 

xx ~ Michelle


Vintage Elizabeth Arden, Anyone?

Absence makes the heart grow fonder...and I return with three beautiful treasures to show off and hopefully make up for my lack of posts about vintage as of late.

Elizabeth Arden 1950s 60s Black Boucle Suit

This rather amazing late 1950s/early 60s Elizabeth Arden New York suit will be availabe soon...Arden spent a rather limited time in the fashion world compared to many designers, but her work and that of her designers is considered to be among the finest.  

1950s vintage Teena Paige Black Velvet & Ivory Lace Bodice Dress

We also found this sweet Teena Paige 1950s Vintage ivory lace bodice & black velvet cocktail dress...my daughter has put her claim on it, but I told her we'll see...so if you have to have it, speak now or forever hold your peace....which, ironically leads me to:

Kenneth Cole ivory satin bridal pumps floral detail

this beautiful pair of Kenneth Cole ivory bridal satin pumps with floral garland detail...size 8.  My size, but since I've already walked down that long aisle twice, I'm going to let them go to another bride to be.

SAVE THE DATE:  21 April 2013 we'll be setting up shop once again at The Urban Vintage Bazaar in Providence, RI ....more details to follow.

 

xx ~ Michelle


Grand Opening: The Vintage Menswear Floor at The Red Velvet Shoe

It's been suggested enough times over (that to ignore it would be bad) that The Red Velvet Shoe should have a floor of treasures entirely for men.   I've found some really great things over the years (those vintage ascots among my favorites) and when I do throw them out there, they usually go like hotcakes.  So, why not?  To be honest, I don't know very much about vintage menswear.  I tend to spend most of my time "researching" everything so I can properly present it, which makes me weary & confused and, worst of all, extremely slow about adding new merchandise to any floor, never mind one for Vintage Menswear.

Digging through my inventory this weekend I decided to bite the bullet and just do it.  As I type I am awaiting replies from Pratt Institute Libraries & an assistant curator at RISD, not to mention the now-famous editor of M:  The Civilized Man, my go-to guy for anything menswear related.  In the meantime, without giving you too many erroneous details, here are a few of the treasures that will debut on the "Vintage Menswear" Floor of The Shoe. 

Vintage British Accent Tailored by Tiger GULINS khaki blazer (2)

Vintage "British Accent -Tailored by Tiger of Sweden - GULINS" cavalry twill riding jacket with hacking pockets & fabulous silk print lining...c1970s.    (See, I told you he was the best!) 

Men's Vintage Navy Blue Silk Dressing Gown from Shepard's Men's Store Providence RI (4)

Vintage navy blue silk jacquard dressing gown from Shepard's Men's Store (old-world Providence, RI)...this beauty is the equivalent of champagne, dark chocolate & pom frites with lots of salt, vinegar & ketchup with far less calories and much more sharing ability...I already want to keep it.

Deux Coups de Chapeau  Costume, et Pardessus, de Lus et Befve by Pierre Mourgue

"Deux Coups de Chapeau" / Costume, et Pardessus, de Lus et Befve
Illustrator:  Mourgue, Pierre
Designer:  Lus et Befve
Date:  1922

My 10 years as Administrating Assistant of a Fine Art & Picture Framing Gallery paid off...it's an original plate and in excellent condition..not to mention the mat colors & frame, although modern, were well chosen and have an air of antiquity to them.

"Original, well chosen, with an air of antiquity"...that has a certain ring to it. 

The Vintage Menswear Floor
Now Open
at
The Red Velvet Shoe

(updated 4 June 2012 to announce Grand Opening)

 

 




 

 

 

xx ~ Michelle


The Ivy Style (Preppy) Collection

Vintage Foster Grant sunglasses (16)

Vintage Foster Grants

Vintage filene's navy blue pink white equine preppy wallet made in italy (11)

Vintage Navy Blue, Pink & White Leather Wallet Horse Bit Buckle Closure

Vintage preppy pink blue white lime green scarf

Mid-Century Aqua, Pink, Olive & White Twill Striped Scarf

70s Roxanne pink & green floral vintage bathing suit (2)

Vintage Bullet Bra Pink & Green Floral Swimsuit

Introducing "The Ivy Style (aka Preppy) Collection" at The Red Velvet Shoe on Etsy.  Hey, everyone else is jumping on the bandwagon, so why not? 




 

 

xx ~ Michelle