So I just had to take another look at all of the beautiful fashion on display at Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day ceremony. Michelle Obama looks absolutely amazing in Sergio Hudson, a Black designer from South Carolina. Dr. Jill Biden wore an ocean-blue wool tweed coat over a dress by American designer Alexandra O’Neill of the Markarian label. And, Vice President Kamala Harris wore a purple outfit by a young black designer Christopher John Rogers.
Jennifer Lopez sang in a Chanel number and Lady Gaga stunned in a gorgeous Schiaparelli design. Lastly, a young poet laureate Amanda Gorman wore a yellow Prada coat. It was a moment that will go down in history. Congratulations to Vice President Kamala Harris and President Biden!
Malinda F. Knowles
Happy New Year! Hope you had a great holiday. So believe it or not, the temperature can drop in Florida. LOL It gets into the 50s sometimes. Now I know what you’re thinking. That’s nothing. But this wool yellow Tibi assymetric skirt (similar here) and black cashmere sweater (similar here and on sale) are just the thing for those winter days in Florida. There’s not that many winter days in Florida but you get the point!
I paired the outfit with my classic vintage Prada booties and loved it. This is actually an outfit you can take to the office and out for drinks at happy hour if you so please. And if you’re up north, yellow will definitely give you a little energy in the midst of all that grey and snow.
Anyway, happy 2019! Check out more photos below!
Photo Credit: Sergey Yusin
Malinda F. Knowles
I was doing some research for a project on Twiggy and came across an amazing Prada advertisement in which she posed upside down in what was at that time, a brand new television (and probably a fascination). I started to think about the speed of production and delivery in this digital age and began to think back to the time when ready-to-wear was not as popular. My grandmother was a master seamstress and knew how to make gorgeous garments because back in those days, they would teach women “Home Economics” at school. The topics? Manners, sewing, cooking, and cleaning. We just might need a class like this again! But in any case, I thought to myself why didn’t I spend more time watching and learning from my grandmother in the sewing room?
And then I remembered. As a child, I was absolutely afraid of the needles that would pop out of her “strawberry” cushion and the speed to which the needle would pound the fabric on the sewing machine. Yes, I remember, I was terrified as a child! Now I look back and say, yes it could be very painful if you slip up with the needle but sewing is absolutely worth it. Why? Well, you can control your fabric choices, cost of production, quality and if you’re creative, you can design your own masterpiece.
That’s all well and good but let’s get real. How many of us have time in our daily lives to sew our own clothes for ourselves and our families? It’s so easy to shop ready-to-wear online, run to the store or buy off the street if you live in New York, so why sew? As I do all my homework in preparation for producing some of my own product, I ask myself if anyone will ever really sew again in the United States? And that, my friends, in the wake of an ever increasingly interdependent global economy, will remain a question to be answered.
I personally like shoulder pads in women’s clothing. Know they were big in the 1980s, I hardly ever saw my mom walk out to work without them in a fancy suit. They have recently made a come back but, are they here to stay?
I was sitting in textile class talking about how different fabric does different things for women’s wear and shoulder pads came up. We started chatting about if in ten years, we’ll look back and say absolutely not. I know that mohawks and shaving half of your head will definitely be a thing of the 2010’s but shoulder pads, I don’t know.
Elsa Schiaparelli, an Italian designer of the 1930s and 1940s inspired by Surrealists like Dali, is noted to have introduced shoulder pads in women’s clothing. She seemed to be into form and structure like what we are seeing in some of the newer designs today. Like, for instance, this skeleton dress with shoulder pads below.
Check out the detail on the shoulders of this dress worn by Mrs. Reginald Fellowes in 1933. Schiaparelli and Prada were featured and compared at The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) last year for their spring exhibition.
Schiaparelli had some great vision for her time. I think there might be periods when the shoulder pad will be more prevalent in fashion than others, like the 1940s and 1980s. But, my prediction is that the shoulder pad is here to stay.