The news of Prince’s passing last week brought images of him to the forefront of our minds. The Washington Post described this one-of-a-kind person and performer and his striking looks: “Prince was pretty — with his coiffed curls, magnificent afro, blow-outs and shag. He was not a performer who wore his clothes like armor. He didn’t hide behind them. Instead, no matter if he was slipping into a chiffon shirt, a fringed jacket or a purple metallic redingote, he was stripping himself bare. He expanded the language of menswear. It didn’t have to be stoic, he-mannish or boho. A man could be raunchy, beautiful and divine.” Prince took the color purple and owned it – he wore high heels often. He fearlessly wore elements considered the ultimate in femininity and turned them into maximum masculine sex appeal. Prince challenged the ideas of gender with attitude and bravado. His purple reign was epic and will live on …
“The passion for fashion comes from the Missoni women.” ~ Angela Missoni
It was the second time I had spent an evening at the 92nd Street Y in NY, in the audience of Fern Mallis’s Fashion Icon Series (the first conversation was an interview with Barney’s Creative Ambassador at Large, Simon Doonan). Last night, I witnessed a warm and wonderful conversation with the two powerhouse women behind the Italian brand, Missoni: matriarch Rosita, and her daughter, Angela. A fashion icon herself, Fern Mallis, knew what to ask of these remarkable women, in order to tell the true story of Missoni. Here is what I now know:
Rosita Missoni is now 84, born under the sign Scorpio. Rosita met Ottavio Missoni when she was just 16 years old (he was 27) in London; he was an Olympic athlete – track and field. Then, and now, Rosita Missoni follows the signs and is somewhat superstitious. When she saw Ottavia’s number (3-3-1) on his track uniform she knew it was a good sign – 7 was her lucky number. She fell in love with him at Picadilly Circus in London, under the Statue of Eros (cupid) and to this day she wears a cupid necklace around her neck. Rosita grew up reading fashion magazines and says she learned a lot about patterns and style from those magazines.
Angela Missoni is 57, the youngest child of Rosita and Ottavio, and the only girl. She was there for the very first Missoni fashion show in 1965 and has been to every fashion show since. She describes herself as late bloomer and a silent observer, and says that it took her a while to find her path. She always knew she wanted to be a mother at a young age, and had her three children: Margherita, Francesco, and Teresa, before she seriously contemplated joining the family business. Continue reading
Today is the perfect day to pull out my black turtleneck; I was reminded of something I wrote just a year ago. This New York Times’ article inspired me to find my own black turtleneck and bring me closer to my fashion icon, Audrey Hepburn. Here is the piece …
Reading “The Turtleneck’s Comeback” in the New York Times by Erica M. Blumenthal inspired me to seek out a classic black turtleneck – one with a modern, playful edge. Blumenthal’s news that the commanding black turtleneck is making a fashion statement, and is far from basic black, was enough to push me out the door to find one of my own. Says Blumenthal: “Not for nothing did Audrey Hepburn and Diana Vreeland make the black turtleneck a signature look. It lends the wearer an air of discipline, of authority. But it doesn’t have to be sexless or strict. This fall, the style is back with a vengeance, and the new crop, far from being stern, is built for fun.”
I love that fashion reinvents itself to fit the times while understanding that what makes a classic, a classic, is at the heart of fine dressing. A turtleneck surely fits that bill. And who doesn’t want to capture the iconic look of Audrey Hepburn for herself?
“Featuring gorgeous, never-before-seen photos from Johnson’s childhood and modeling days, The Face That Changed It All gives a no-holds-barred look at the lives of the rich, fabulous, and famous. It is also a story of failure and success in the upper echelons of the fashion world, and how Beverly Johnson emerged from her struggles smarter, happier, and stronger than ever.” Beverly Johnson website
Iconinc supermodel Beverly Johnson has a new memoir: The Face That Changed It All. Ms. Johnson, 62, was one of the original 1970s supermodels, becoming the first black model to appear on the cover of Vogue in 1974. She then made fashion history with a successful 3-decade modeling career. The Face That Changed It All appears to be an honest and thoughtful look at Johnson’s life, and an opportunity for us all to feel inspired and energized to be our best. I’m buying it!
Yesterday, August 16th, was Madonna’s 57th birthday. To honor the day, Harper’s Bazaar highlighted her most iconic fashion moments. Of course there are many because Madonna is a fearless fashion risk-taker and the queen of reinvention. Certain images come to mind immediately: her 80’s bridal “Like a Virgin” look and her 90’s Blonde Ambition World Tour with the Jean Paul Gaultier-designed cone bra. But there is one look that I love more than any other: the red outfit she wore at the premier of her movie, Evita. When Madonna made the movie Evita she was pregnant with her first child, who was born in 1996 – as was my own son. I have heard that Madonna was truly happy making the movie and at that time in her life. I think it shows in this outfit. It is a reminder that clothing is so much more than our outer covering; it reveals the inner emotion, as well. Madonna. Still Style Star.