The Art of Bob Mackie 

What does Marilyn Monroe’s iconic “Happy Birthday Mr. President” gown, Carol Burnett’s “Went with the Wind” curtain-rod dress and Cher’s show stopping 1986 Oscars look have in common?  They’ve all been designed by the one and only Bob Mackie.

Mackie, the true fashion visionary and icon himself was in Palm Springs (actually he lives here) in person for his latest book signing…a first-ever comprehensive and authorized showcase of the legendary designer’s life and work featuring more than 1,500 photos and sketches – many from Mackie’s personal collection.

Duh; of course I was there!  I was one of the first to buy his latest book appropriately titled “The Art of Bob Mackie” as soon as I was alerted about it via bookstore email.  It’s a fashion lover’s dream book.

It’s just Fabulous!  The book signing was at “Just Fabulous” – a suitably named store here in Palm Springs (link below) specializing in extraordinary books, cards for all occasions and other fun items you won’t see anywhere else.  I dare you to walk in and come out empty handed – won’t happen!

I also bought a Christmas tree ornament and I don’t even have a tree.  You’ll see!  Maybe I’ll get a tree just to buy more ornaments.  Post to come…for me it’s still too early to be shopping and/or posting stuff to do with Christmas.

But getting back to Bob. Guess I’m not exactly on a first name basis with him after meeting him only once. But I feel like I know him. What I mean by that is I remember watching almost every episode of the Carol Burnett Show in my grandparents’ living room on almost every Saturday night for years.  And I remember watching the Sonny and Cher show with my parents. What does this have to do with Bob Mackie? Everything!  He was responsible for every costume for the entire production of the Carol Burnett Show and made all of the costumes for Cher after meeting both Sonny and Cher on the Carol Burnett Show.  And of course it doesn’t end there. From Broadway to Burlesque, his  wide ranging repertoire includes dressing every famous glamour girl and some of the guys for stage, TV, movies and concerts with unique, incomparably stunning and sometimes hilarious creations.

I missed meeting Bob Mackie at the vintage market even though he was there on his own and it wasn’t announced.  He was there and I was there but I really wasn’t there because it was after a pride party the night before so don’t ask so I missed meeting him then.  But I got to tell him at the book signing that I unexpectedly and surprisingly came across a few of his designs at the market (which has expanded since the last time I was here) which I had never seen before.  And to my disbelief, he was completely unaware of that fact.  So I felt like we had a “moment.” A Mackie moment that I’ll remember for the obvious, but also for the fun outside the shop while waiting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the Outside looking Instyle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://bjustfabulous.com/

Vintage Fundraising Fashion

SHOP LOCAL.  SHOP VINTAGE.

Everyone I know has been busy cleaning out their closets lately.  Not necessarily to make way for more clothes/shoes/accessories although  but because we women have become to realize that we don’t need so much stuff.

Ethical and sustainable fashion is a growing movement worldwide.  Fashion blogs are talking about affordable fashion and  more conscious style minimalism.  Here in Vancouver we have a gently used boutique that fundraises for the Vancouver Hospice Society.  The Vancouver Hospice is where my late husband spent his remaining days four years ago.  Believe me when I say that this topic is not at the top of my list of things to talk about, however it was the most caring place to be for end of life care.  They have an amazing staff and a support system that continues after your loved one has passed.

Vancouver Hospice Society (VHS) was incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization in 2003 by a group of dedicated individuals who recognized the need for a society that could advocate for people and families facing end-of-life issues.

A few years later, volunteers Dell Whelan and Jenny Shaw spearheaded the concept of a charity shop as a fundraising arm of VHS. The first HOB (Hospice Opportunity Boutique) opened its doors in 2006 selling quality gently used women’s clothing. HOB Too followed later, selling vintage treasures, housewares and furniture.

Vancouver Hospice  – located in the residential neighbourhood of Shaughnessy.

Both stores rely solely on items donated from the community.

They are volunteer operated by two separate committees with over 140 volunteers in total. All funds raised go directly to VHS’s 8 bed hospice home on Granville Street.

 

 

If you’re in Vancouver check them out:

VISIT: The HOB Thrift Boutique

2236 West 41st Ave

 

 

 

 

 

On the Runway: Vintage Vibe

What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  Watching a runway show of the finest vintage apparel with friends. And with a few friends in the show too!  Hosted at Temple Isaiah, a midcentury building during Modernism Week here in Palm Springs with renowned Fashion Icon Patrick McDonald as our M/C.  Music was from Studio 54 days.  Loved it!

Showcasing Emilio Pucci ,Givenchy, Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent, and Halston.

Individual Photos: Kathy Wright

Compiled Photos: d. king

With Tammy (L) and Kathy (R).

We were greeted and escorted to the stunning Warsaw ballroom to enjoy a glass of wine, bubbly or beverage and an assortment of lite bites.  We were also able to shop before and after the show at the Mitchells Palm Springs & Candice Held Pop Up Shops.

A portion of proceeds from this event were donated back to Temple Isaiah.

With Tammy, Kiki, Mitchell (of Mitchells Palm Springs), Claudia Ried (of PSPOV – Palm Springs Point of View), Candy (wearing California Caftans), Kathy and M/C Patrick McDonald.

Good Time Girls. This was taken at Tracy’s Tiki Party. Kiki (L) and Candy (R).  Because these women are the embodiment of Vintage Chic and/or Fun Style.  They’ve brought color back into my life.

Helen Rose Vintage Runway Show

Designing Woman Helen Rose

Helen Rose (February 2, 1904 – November 9, 1985) – Photo courtesy of © 2018 Palm Springs Historical Society 

Though Helen Rose may not be a household name like her contemporary Edith Head, she was a costume design legend in her own right.

Lena Horne, Cyd Charisse, Deborah Kerr, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall , Esther Williams, Lana Turner, Judy Garland – They all loved to be dressed by Helen Rose.

She Made Them Beautiful

Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF MARGARET HERRICK LIBRARY, ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES, WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC.

Photo: Tammy Preast. Elizabeth Taylor’s dress in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”

Palm Springs Life presented a runway production of the Palm Springs Historical Society’s Helen Rose Collection donated by Barbara Marx (Mrs. Frank Sinatra) on Monday, February 25th.

I was among those who were lucky enough to have a ticket to her glamorous sold-out show.  Held behind the gates of the stunning private Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, we sipped on champagne and ate a delicious lunch while waiting for her creations from classic films to come to life on the runway.

A brief history – La Vie en Rose:

A resident of Palm Springs, Rose won two Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, for The Bad and the Beautiful in 1952 and for I’ll Cry Tomorrow in 1955.  She was nominated a further eight times and was also very well known for designing famous wedding dresses of the era. She designed the famous wedding dress for Grace Kelly when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956. She also designed clothing for Elizabeth Taylor in the movies Father of the Bride and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as well as Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding dress when she married Conrad “Nicky” Hilton. The show did not disappoint.  Susan Stein, fashion editor for Palm Springs Life Magazine, did a wonderful job as MC for this event. The models were as gorgeous as the gowns and outfits. Simply stunning afternoon.

Photo: d. king – Carol Channing’s dress and mink stole from Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.

Photo: d. king – Grace Kelly dress

Rose stepped in to do Lena Horne’s hair on set of the 1943 film Stormy Weather when the studio hairdresser refused to work on a black woman, and the star became her lifelong friend thereafter.

Photo: d. king – Audrey Hepburn’s dress from My Fair Lady.

Photo: Tammy Preast. Black strapless: Lana Turner’s ensemble from The Merry Widow

helenrosekathy2
Photo: Kathy Wright

 

Photo: Kathy Wright

Photos: d. king

These images are just a sampling of some of my favorites.   I met some very interesting women in that room.  Some I will see again for sure. In the meantime…

FASHION WEEK

takes place March 16-23rd – held at The Gardens on El Paseo in Palm Desert.  Tickets are on sale now https://fashionweekelpaseo.com/

MC Susan Stein, fashion editor of Palm Springs Life Magazine. Photo: Tammy Preast

Friend Tammy Preast. Dress by London designer, Karen Mullen. Shoes, Vince Camuto

Me with friend Kathy Wright

Personally speaking, what could be better than combining Art with Fashion?

making the best impression
making the best impression

Moving forward as we look back

Combining art & fashion with ‘Dior Impressions’ – a new design book about the ‘Master.’

Another fabulous coffee table book.  Whether cut with ballooning bustles or embroidered with a multitude of chiffon petals, Christian Dior’s dresses evoked the light, color and fluidity in the work of the French Impressionists.  And it wasn’t by chance.  A lover of both art and flowers, Dior found tremendous inspiration in the plein air paintings of Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.  ‘Dior (Rizzoli), a new book published to accompany an exhibition at the Musee Christian Dior in Granville, France, explores the 19th-century art movement’s role in shaping the fashion house – from Dior’s very first designs to a Raf Simons (the current designer) 2012 couture gown, the pastel colors of which recall a Monet canvas.  K.N. for W Magazine.

Natalie Portman models for Dior
Natalie Portman models for Dior

A little bit of fashion history: “The future has arrived and it’s all about dreaming of the past” the essayist and novelist Kurt Anderson once wrote.  This was true of the 2013 Fall shows.  Ideas from decades old collections showed up on the runways and felt entirely au courant.  This was particularly central to Raf Simon’s second ready-to-wear collection for Dior.  With a passion for art similar to Monsieur Dior, Simons embroidered early Warhol fashion illustrations onto dresses and embossed them onto clutches.

Charlize Theron wears Dior
Charlize Theron wears Dior

It doesn’t take a student of fashion history to understand the allure of a coquettishly punk cocktail number, nipped in at the waist in the most feminine, flattering way.  Fashion’s tendency to sample and recycle is certainly nothing new.  So, when it comes to reinterpreting sartorial history, Simons says “it’s important to think of fashion as part of life. The past can inform, but nostalgia should not be a part of it.

Taken from an article written by Karin Nelson – This Old Thing?