Archive | December, 2010

A Furry Comeback

28 Dec

I have fantastic news: MUFFS ARE BACK!  How old school is that?  And I hope you are just as excited as I am.

Muffs have been around for centuries, used by both women and men at points.  Here’s a description of their usefulness from the 1912 edition of Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia:

A fur muff is one of the delights of existence. A woman often has cold hands, and a muff will save her positive suffering. And since the study of hygiene has increased our medical knowledge, we are aware of the dangers of cold extremities. Chilly hands and feet are apt to show a weak heart and a poor circulation. At any rate, they prove a want of vital power, and of that perfect health which is a modern desideratum. To warm one’s freezing fingers at the fire may mean chilblains, or, at the best, only a moment’s alleviation. A soft nest for one’s hands is a far better arrangement. So to every woman, whether rich or poor, a good muff has become a necessity.

I also love this guidance to help you choose your muff:

A stout woman should, on no account, select the same style of muff as would suit her slender and graceful sister. She must never use a big pillow of a muff, made of a fluffy, long-haired fur, such as skunk, bear, and opossum. As a rule, she will look her best with a moderate-sized muff of the square shape in one of the smooth, silky furs, such as sable, mink, or sealskin, or – if economy is necessary – in the ever-useful musquash.

As regards colour, ermine and white fox are furs quite unsuited to a woman of ample proportions. Chinchilla, too, is only one degree less objectionable.

A pretty woman can wear well-nigh everything, but even she should avoid what is merely fantastic. The huge muffs that have been used in recent winters are in nine cases out of ten grotesque. When a petite person of dainty proportions carries a muff the size of a bed-pillow the effect is nothing short of ludicrous. Even in the matter of her muff a woman should cultivate that triple blessing – a sense of proportion.

Muffs are still a lovely way to stay warm.  So many fabrics and patterns to chose from!  And thank goodness they come in faux fur these days.  You will most certainly stand out in a crowd.  Unfortunately, they are also extremely impractical for modern city living.  And any sort of public transportation.  But if you are on a date, walking through Boston Common…

Even Rihanna wears them, though apparently not for warmth…

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I Did It!

26 Dec

Nose is pierced!  Thank you for your encouragement!

New things for the new year!

Holiday Sweaters

22 Dec

Merry Christmas, folks!  Enjoy these wonderful people and their wonderful sweaters.

And in 3-D!

Catches of Christmas

20 Dec

I love wandering around town during the holiday season!  Here are some glimpses of joy I’ve run across.

Costuming Gamma Rays

17 Dec

In the first week of January, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-on-the-Moon Marigolds is going up at the Factory Theatre.  I am costume designing the show, which is set in the 50s.  (Sadly, 50s couture is not appropriate for the show or I would be in heaven.)

Costuming a show with a very small budget is very different than whatever you did in college.  Plus I’m not really a seamstress, so creating clothing from scratch isn’t an option.  In a nutshell, a designer working on a fringe production has to find items in closets and Goodwill, and use whatever connections she has to theatres with costume storage.  And spend under $100 on the whole thing.

This particular show was cast in November.  Before the director made any casting decisions, I presented her with a costume plot of what I was envisioning the five characters would wear.  She made edits, I made changes, and by the time the actresses got to their first rehearsal, I had individual pages for each character with a complete breakdown of each item they would wear.  With pictures.

Since then, I’ve met the cast and any potential costume piece they might own.  Now it’s time for my search!  I’m shopping at a theatre this weekend, where I can hopefully borrow everything I need.  After that, I have to purchase small items and make sure everything fits each actor.  Fingers crossed!

The Houndstooth War

15 Dec

I was sitting in a meeting this morning with a large number of staff, and I noticed a fellow young coworker was wearing a houndstooth blazer.  Normally I really like houndstooth, but this blazer was cut in a pretty boring, old lady kind of way, with heavy piping along the edges and one button at the throat.

Is houndstooth cool?  I thought it was, but now I’m wondering if it’s been taken over and claimed by conservative fashion.

For instance, this cut is dowdy:

But this blazer is interesting:

Houndstooth has been around for centuries, most likely originating in Scotland.  It’s had peaks in popularity, most recently the 1930s, 1960s-1970s and 2000s.

How does it fit now?  Can it straddle two worlds and work in both?  Or is the pattern going to eventually be claimed by one fashion aesthetic?  I really hope it can live in both worlds, because this shoe is magnificent.

A Stylin’ White Christmas

10 Dec

Tis the season, as you know, so I thought I would devote a blog or five to some of my favorite, most stylish Christmas movies.  And at the top of my list, without any real competition, is White Christmas.

While you can’t beat men in drag, there is that GORGEOUS Rosemary Clooney dress for Love, You Didn’t Do Right by Me.

And then there’s Vera-Ellen with her turtlenecks (and those legs!).  What a clever way to hide her eating disorder.

And Danny Kaye’s socks and shoes matching his pants.

How badly do you want to wear (faux) fur right now?!

Thank you, Edith Head!