Style in Film: Ali MacGraw in The Getaway

Style in Film: Ali MacGraw in The Getaway

The most notable 70’s-style look in The Getaway.

 
American actress Ali MacGraw had a career in fashion before becoming an actress. She worked for Harper’s Bazaar as assistant to Diana Vreeland for $54 a week before fashion photographer Melvin Sokolsky stopped by the magazine and hired her right away, raising her salary. “Diana Vreeland had this beautiful girl for her secretary, who had legs that didn’t stop and a way-ahead intelligence and presence.” Art director and graphic designer Ruth Ansel recalls her as Sokolsky’s “muse and schlepper.” She stayed for six years, and in addition, she did stints at Vogue, as a model and a stylist, before going into cinema.
 
Style in film Ali MacGraw in The Getaway-1

Style in film Ali MacGraw in The Getaway-2

Style in film Ali MacGraw in The Getaway-8
.The suede trench coat is not only a staple for this spring, but can very well stand alone as a wardrobe essential.
 
 
 
When she did get her movie break, it was Ali’s own personal style that was central to her characters and turned out to be one of the defining fashion moments of the decade. Calvin Klein described her to Vanity Fair as someone who “exemplified the great American style”. “In the beginning, there was that rich-hippie period. But it went beyond that, and her style put her among the greats: Katharine Hepburn, Jackie Onassis, C. Z. Guest, Babe Paley.” It’s exactly that all-American ease, natural and undone stance, not the hippie looks, that I like about her. In the ’60s and ’70s she was among the very few trendsetting cinema stars who influenced movie-goers and the fashion world alike, along with Audrey Hepburn and Faye Dunaway.

The unbuttoned blouses, utilitarian jackets and skirt suits, the gold accessories, even if scarce, the suede trench, the browns and earth tones, and the most notable look, the dress with generous cleavage, that Ali wears in The Getaway, 1972 (costume designer: Barbara Siebert), along her then future-to-be husband, Steve McQueen, are very ’70s indeed, bearing the liberation spirit of the period (less structure and tailoring and being provocative enough), but staying on the minimalist side, thus having the potential to be easily adapted to the modern wardrobe. Because Ali MacGraw’s style still serves as a blue print for brands such as Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger, as well as Frida Gianinni’s noteworthy last collection for Gucci, Spring/Summer 2015 (I already miss her at Gucci).
 
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Vivienne Westwood: The Book

Vivienne Westwood by Ian Kelly and Vivienne Westwood 
“The first impact you should have in fashion is about making beauty, it’s about the beautiful woman. It’s about clothes that suit. That’s what chic means. It’s you. You can tell without the signature that it’s right… My work is rooted in English tailoring…and in the past. When you look to the past you start to see standards of excellence, the good taste on the way things are done and put together, formed. By trying to copy technique, you build your own technique.” Vivienne Westwood, from the book Vivienne Westwood, by Ian Kelly and Vivienne Westwood
 
Vivienne Wetswood by Ian Kelly and Vivienne Westwood 

I could barely put down this book once I started reading it. It’s that good! And this, as you may very well know, is hardly a common thing when it comes to books about fashion. But Vivienne Westwood’s is the kind of fashion that changed the course of the modern world when it emerged in the 1970s as part of the youth cult co-created and styled by her and which brought so many changes on the cultural, musical and political scenes. Neither memoir nor critical biography, the book was written by Ian Kelly, interlinked with Westwood’s own voice through her numerous quotes included, who nicely balances and aptly examines the professional and private life of the British designer. But of course it’s not just the writing that makes the book good, but Vivienne’s own extraordinary story, from the non-conformist child born in a working class family from Derbyshire, to the co-creator of the British punk movement and then the founder of a global luxury brand and the outspoken activist and climate revolutionary that she is today.

This is a revelatory book – painting a complex picture of the designer’s path and place in fashion, her hardwork and dedication playing the biggest role in that – and a very honest book – it sets the record straight when it comes to Westwood’s tumultuous relationship and creative partnership with Malcolm McLaren (and she does it by respecting his memory and giving him the credit he was due), which has always been a subject of interest and controversy to many. It’s pretty much what I was hoping for.

I think it’s the author who sums up best Vivienne Westwood’s designs: “Vivienne’s fusion of inventiveness and practicality, her fascination with silhouette, historical cuts and with fabrics, often British – tweeds, tartans, silk taffeta – combine the fearless unconformity of her punk years with a sense of tradition and with the verve and wit-in-sexuality that is pure British.”

photos by me

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Spring 2015 Trends I Can Work: Suede

Spring 2015 trends: suede 
From dresses and trench coats, to bags and boots, suede reigns high this season. Lighter, more elegant and more subtle than the pervasive leather, it is a rich as well as a sensual and feminine fabric, and it is a great way to make the transition from winter to spring. What I liked the most about the myriad of interpretations on the runway (from Loewe’s honey-toned beautiful long trench and patchwork totes, to Altuzarra’s caramel sheath dresses and shirts, and Jason Wu’s wrap coats and thigh-high slit dresses in shades of green) were the clean, modern, structured silhouettes, which steer away from the overly retro, 70’s style the look is often associated with. A quiet kind of luxury.
 
Spring 2015 Trends I Can Work-Suede-Altuzarra

Spring 2015 Trends I Can Work: Suede-Loewe

Spring 2015 Trends I Can Work: Suede-Loewe 
Spring 2015 Trends I Can Work: Suede-Altuzarra
 

The sleek suede shirt is the most

unexpected and appealing approach.

Spring 2015 Trends I Can Work-Suede-Jason Wu

photos: 1-Stockholm StreetStyle / 2,5-Altuzarra SS 2015 / 3,4-Loewe SS 2015 / 6-Jason Wu SS 2015, collection images via Style.com

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Interview Road Twenty-Two: Style with A Good Cause

Interview Fif Ghobadian and Alice Cahan Road Twenty Two

Fif Ghobadian (right) and Alice Cahan, the co-founders of Road 22

 
The t-shirt is not only one of the simplest and coolest items in one’s wardrobe, women’s and men’s alike, it’s also one of the most powerful – a black canvas for style statement, art or social comment. Both concepts are at the core of Road Twenty-Two, the socially conscious premium t-shirts brand launched in the autumn of last year, which promises to stay style-driven, as well as style-conscious, a union not many brands with similar missions succeed to achieve. Road 22 breaks through employment road blocks for women who were formerly incarcerated, homeless or suffering from substance abuse by hiring them and giving them a chance to succeed at life.
At Road 22, made in the U.S. with natural fabrics, they believe that what you do matters and what you wear matters. And what they do does make a difference, and by wearing their clothes you show not only that you are embracing an assured style, but that style comes from substance. It is an honour to introduce you to the two incredible and inspiring women behind the San Francisco-based brand, Fif Ghobadian and Alice Larkin Cahan.

Fif, your family had to flee Iran when you were 15, when the Revolution broke, and relocate to California, where they encountered culture, language and unemployment barriers, which ultimately turned their lives forever. Your personal experience is clearly one of the channeling factors which led to starting Road Twenty-Two and giving women in need a second chance when nobody else would. But why have you chosen fashion, having a different background (in finance), to make a difference?
Fashion is a powerful form of expression. Fashion has become a vehicle for change. It seemed worth a shot to use fashion as a means to bring awareness to the need to give women chance.

A year ago I had about 100 t-shirts in my closet and remained on a quest for the perfect fitting t-shirt. Creating a perfect fitting t-shirt seemed like an opportunity! I’ve since paired down the number of t-shirts in my closet as I continually just reach for my Road 22 shirts! Fortunately, I was introduced to Alice who has a background in fashion as a designer and stylist.

Alice, you studied fashion at F.I.T., New York City, then pursued a career in fashion, including styling private clients in San Francisco. Has your perception towards fashion changed since you co-founded Road Twenty-Two? Does your work feel more rewarding now? Can fashion make the world a better place?
I will always have a love of fashion. Road 22 has given me a forum to combine my sense of aesthetics with my desire to give back. At Road 22 we are striving to make the world a better place by giving opportunities to women who would normally face great barriers to employment. We are making a difference. We have changed the trajectory of a few lives forever. We will continue to change more.
 
Road Twenty Two

Road Twenty Two 
Road Twenty-Two admirably uses fashion to generate jobs and open doors to women and reintegrate them in society. You also manufacture locally, with natural fabrics, in California. I think that’s admirable and I also believe that such strong values set a brand apart and that customers have come to appreciate that and will continue to do even more so in the future. What are the perks and challenges of being a socially conscious brand?
With our mission, we are making a difference. We are changing lives.. We are giving women a deserved chance. We are reducing poverty. Also, in keeping manufacturing local we are helping our local economy.

Our greatest challenge: It requires a lot of patience to mentor, train and retain women who are working for the first time.

How do customers feel about something that has some good attached to it? Are they becoming more socially conscious, too, or do they still respond to product first?
Consumers like the idea of buying a product that does good and is ethically manufactured. That doesn’t necessarily sell a product. The product must still be perfect and meet a market need. We have a high repeat purchase rate (13%) which makes us feel really good about our shirts. The more shirts we sell, the more women we can help.

You are an inspiration for design with a purpose. But who and/or what inspires you? Is there anyone in particular who has influenced your life and work?
Alice: I am inspired by good design and beauty. I like the unique style from the streets of Europe and am influenced by fashion icons from the 70s. Lauren Hutton is my ultimate.
 
Hugh Jackman in a Road 22 Burke t-shirt

Hugh Jackman in a Road 22 Burke t-shirt

Road Twenty Two
Road Twenty Two  
Road 22 is a brand with a mission, but what I also like is that it’s style-driven as well, and you want your t-shirts to stand alone as wardrobe staples. A symbol of timeless, effortless American style and California cool, is the t-shirt one of the essential pieces every woman should own, and why?
Fif: The t-shirt is essential. It is the foundation of a wardrobe.

Alice: Road Twenty-Two shirts have the right amount of edge, yet are classic enough to stand the test of time! By focusing on the basics, I’m able to express my own personal style.

Describe the Road 22 aesthetic.
The Road 22 aesthetic is classically chic with a downtown cool edge. It’s effortless style.

What makes a perfect t-shirt? Why is it so hard to find a perfect-fitting basic item such as a tee? How are you addressing this at Road Twenty-Two?
There is a constant quest for the perfect t-shirt. It takes a lot of reworking which costs money to make the perfect fitting t-shirt. We focus on fit. Just as one would tailor a jacket, we are tailoring a t-shirt. We make sure our shirts work well on our team members of various shapes and sizes. Also, the draping of fabric is important. It has to feel good. We wash our fabrics several times before sewing to make sure it doesn’t change when you take it home.

What is next for Road 22?
We are currently working on sweatshirts, more t-shirt styles for summer, and a number of limited addition graphics. We are also collaborating with other women-run brands who share a similar aesthetic to enhance our product offering. We are about to launch a line of jewelry. Further down the road we will do cashmeres and button down shirts.
 
Interview Road Twenty Two

Interview Road Twenty Two

Interview Road Twenty Two 
What does style mean to you? Describe your own personal style.
Fif: I like the crafty messy casual look. It looks like you just threw it together and it’s relaxed and edgy, but it took time to put it together.

Alice: Style is an expression of one’s personality. My style is classic. Polished but undone. I grew up in London and that comes through in my style.

What is your favourite thing to do in San Francisco and which you would miss if you lived anywhere else in the world?
Fif: Running in the trails and walking over all city!

Alice: I would miss the ability of having the beach and the city within walking distance. I would miss the mild weather. I can wear a Road 22 shirt every day!
Favorite thing to do in SF: walk, walk. Drink wine.

You wish people appreciated more:
Fif: Life offers many challenges and rewards. I wish people appreciated the rewards most of us have been given and were content and happy. In interviewing staff members for Road 22, I got a lot of exposures to those in our world who have been offered so little and are content with a little. Yet there are those who have so much and it’s never enough.

Alice: I wish more people appreciated how hard it is for some people to turn their life around. Giving these women a chance and seeing them run with the opportunity has been beyond rewarding.

What makes you happy at the end of the day?
Fif: Relaxing with my family!

Alice: At the end of the day obviously my family makes me most happy. Seeing how transformative employment can be for the women Road 22 helps is extremely gratifying.
 
Road Twenty Two-beautiful t-shirts with a good cause  
photos: courtesy of Road Twenty-Two
Where you can find them: official website and online store Road Twenty-Two / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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Easy Elegance at NYFW

J Crew Fall Gabriella Hearst Fall 2015-1

Gabriella Hearst Fall 2015J Crew Fall 2015
 
If there is one thing that I know for sure that New York Fashion Week will deliver season after season, then that’s the generous array of practical, yet well-thought-out collections or looks. Relaxed, easy to wear, natural, but not too casual or tomboyish. I am leaving the big names and usual favourites of mine (Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Jason Wu) out for the moment and showcasing instead a few others that more unexpectedly stood out for me, like Elizabeth and James (the more accessible line of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen), one of the most beautiful surprises from the entire NYFW. Minimalist, yet going for a more feminine and sensual approach – the understated, laid-back and modern kind.

And there were also J. Crew’s all-grey wide-legged trousers looks (don’t you love those knitted blazer sleeves and the scarf worn as top underneath?), as well as Gabriela Hearst’s subtly luxurious, flawless classics (clothes that have “that feeling of things that are well made and long lasting”, in the designer’s own words). An early spring day is just as good a time to start channelling any of these looks, they are too good to wait for fall.
 
Elizabeth and James Fall 2015

Elizabeth and James Fall 2015

Elizabeth and James Fall 2015Elizabeth and James Fall 2015 
Elizabeth and James Fall 2015

photos: 1,4-J.Crew Fall 2015 / 2,3-Gabriela Hearst Fall 2015 / 4-9: Elizabeth and James Fall 2015, via Style.com and wwd.com

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