Three Days of the Condor

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetWhat luck to turn the channel and find one of my all-time favorite movies, Three Days of the Condor, a 1975 thriller starring Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway! This movie is a must-see for the story, the acting, the NYC backdrop, and of course, the fashion. Redford plays a member of the CIA who finds himself in grave danger without a sense of whom he can trust. He meets stranger Dunaway, who becomes involved in his dangerous plight. I have seen it a few times and each time I relive the thrills and chills. It is a movie easy to absorb and what you also notice – are the clothes. Redford in a black pea coat with the collar pulled up and Dunaway in that 70s style that is so effortlessly chic. In one scene she wears a long skirt, boots, jacket, and winter hat. You can imagine my joy when I was able to recreate this look myself, the very next day. Continue reading

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The King of Branding, Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren ad campaign

Ralph Lauren ad campaign

Since hearing the news earlier this week that Ralph Lauren is stepping down from his post as CEO of his company, I am pondering his legacy in the world of fashion. I think it comes down to his ability to feed our imaginations. Today we hear so much about branding and developing one’s brand, but the truth is that Ralph Lauren did that better than anyone and before it became “a thing.” What comes to mind most about Ralph Lauren are the iconic images he created that made you want to jump into the pages of every photo. Said that his style is modeled after the clothing worn at America’s Ivy League colleges, he became known for classics like collared shirts and colorful sweaters. In his biography Ralph Lauren wrote: “I loved the oldness, the custom mood of navy blazers, school crests, rep ties, flannels, and saddle shoes.” It may come as no surprise, then, that Ralph Lauren designed the clothes for the classic 1974 movie, The Great Gatsby.

When I was in my teens and early 20s there was one Ralph Lauren model, simply known as Clotilde, who captured the Ralph Lauren brand perfectly. I wanted to be Clotilde – she was strong and noble and fierce, and yet soft; I wanted to dress like her and look like her and step into that make-believe world of Ralph Lauren. Clean. Crisp. Beautiful.

That is what I think about Ralph Lauren. What he did for a young girl trying to find herself and create the life she wanted. It was so much more than clothing. It was imagination. And dreams.

Clotilde in a Ralph Lauren campaign

Clotilde in a Ralph Lauren campaign

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Cally: Fine and Dandy

cally

Cally is a fashion designer with purpose and a point of view. We met because she happens to have graduated from my Alma Mater, though I am older, but that doesn’t matter, right?! What strikes me most about Cally is not just her warmth and spirit, but also her commitment to her designs and the message she wishes to convey: That women can be every bit as pulled together as a man, and that we can make choices in our wardrobe that empower us and help us stand strong. Cally calls upon the image of a classic male dandy (definition: man devoted to style and fashion) to inspire her collection. In fact, every season she has a dandy inspiration to keep her designs focused. This year’s dandy impetus is the main female character in the classic movie, In the Mood for Love. I sat down with Cally to hear more about her extraordinary story …

Mel:   When did you launch your company?

Cally: I launched Kal Rieman in 2009. My first delivery was Fall 2010.

Mel:   Did you always know that you wanted to be a fashion designer?

Cally: No. I was going in to the business study program and became an East Asian Studies major. I wasn’t raised in the arts. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and was one of five kids. We were into sports and my fashion look growing up was preppy American – Ralph Lauren sportswear. Before J. Crew and Banana Republic modernized their lines, the big store for me was The Limited. It was a cool place to shop! Continue reading

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