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July 31 2014

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3 posts tagged "Katharine Hepburn"

Smythson Celebrates the Art of the Panama

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Smythson Quentin Jones GIF

Smythson’s Panama diary has some seriously impressive cred. Launched in 1908, it’s been used by everyone from Sigmund Freud and Katharine Hepburn to Jonathan Saunders and Dita Von Teese. For Spring ’14, Smythson is releasing a full-on Panama collection, comprising diaries, address books, manuscript books, and beyond. In celebration of the new range, the brand has called in young British artist Quentin Jones to create a series of pretty wild works. The set of ten pieces will feature the aforementioned influencers, as well as Hardy Amies, Waris Ahluwalia, Erdem Moralioglu, Bryan Ferry, Kylie Minogue, and Laura Bailey. The works—done in Jones’ signature, surreal style of mixed media—will explore the subjects’ relationships with their Panamas. An exhibition of the art, as well as the new Panama line, will be unveiled during a special event at Smythson’s New Bond Street store today, and the show will be open to the public from Monday. In the meantime, get your Smythson x Jones fix with a gif teasing the star-studded artworks, which debuts exclusively here.

Operations’ Benefit Package

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Short of calling a collection “Markets and Consumers Alike Take Wait-and-See Approach to Stimulus,” it’s hard to see how the guys behind Operations could have fixed on a better theme for Fall ’09 than “Payday.” “I ran across these photos from the thirties and early forties, of factory workers waiting in line to pick up their checks at the end of the week,” explains Matteo Gottardi, who heads up the design of Operations’ collections for men and women. “Their uniforms are a little undone, and they’ve got their own hats and jackets on. I liked the idea that payday was that moment where individuality begins to reassert itself.” Gottardi also liked those Depression-era silhouettes, which he’s given a Katharine Hepburn-ish spin in Operations’ womenswear this season. Tomboy fabrics like tweed and wool in checks and plaids gird the collection, which is the most rounded Operations has shown yet. Gottardi and partners Michael Leen and Johannes Mahmood have tightened their selection of outerwear styles, leaving room for more nubby knits and jackets (including one standout version in leather-esque waxed and brushed cotton). “We’ve also introduced new categories this season, such as blazers and skirts,” Gottardi notes, pointing out one of his favorite pieces from Fall, a plaid skirt with a fishtail hem. “It’s more of a complete wardrobe, with more of a woman’s point-of-view.” It’s true: We girls like to get paid, too.

Photo: Courtesy of Operations

Recession-Dressing Tips From A Depression-Era Designer

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Muriel King’s admitted inability to drape, cut, or sew didn’t preclude her from a successful career in fashion. A classically trained painter, King employed tailors and sewers to construct bespoke silk gowns and wool and cotton separates according to her watercolor sketches, an arrangement that kept King in business over the course of her 30-year-plus reign in the industry. Opening today through April 4 at the Museum at FIT, Muriel King: Artist of Fashion chronicles the designer’s course from fashion illustrator for Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily to Hollywood costumer and couturiere. Beyond a fan base that included Katharine Hepburn and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, King also found customers in average, cash-strapped Americans. Hence, in part, her choice to close shop at the beginning of World War II. “She wanted to reach out to more people. She was aware of this idea of elitism,” exhibit curator April Calahan explained of King’s decision. “From that point on, she focused on department stores, ready-to-wear, and patterns.” Pattern-making, along with the seven-piece, interchangeable wardrobe she created for Boeing employees, endeared King to the legion of working women still wanting a fashionable look without the astronomical price tag. The ethos behind her elegant yet sensible designs remains particularly relevant today. “Beauty, economy, and usefulness are the best rules for the well-dressed woman,” King declared, circa the Great Depression. Amen, sister.

Photo: Courtesy of the Museum at FIT