Saturday, February 27, 2010

Defining Fashion of the 1990's

When I think about the 1990's in terms of fashion, I have a hard time defining the fashion of this decade.  Maybe it was because, during this time, several decades' styles influenced the fashion of the 1990's .  That's just my opinion.

In the beginning of the 1990's, fashion took its cue from the 1920's, 1960's and the 1980's.  These decades shaped the style for men, women and children's clothing.  Neon colors were in.  Vests, cardigans, and polo shirts became popular again.  Remember the tight skirts worn with a longer jacket?  I wore those.  Silk tank tops had to be a part of any woman's wardrobe.  I had a few babydoll tank dresses that I wore with or without leggings.  The decade was the lycra and fleece decade.


The 1970's inspired clothing were popular in the mid to end of the 1990's with the return of polyester print shirts for women.  Later, fitted t-shirts started to shrink from the waist up, as jeans shrunk from the waist down (low-rise jeans) to show many teen girls and women's bellies.  Baggy pants and hoodies were popular among the hip hop crowd and the grunge look (dark clothing and skater shoes) was adopted by others.

This is some of what was worn during the 1990's. This explains why I could never identify in one sentence what defined the fashion of this decade.  It was a lot of fun dressing during this period in time, though.

Till next blog!

neon sweater -
capri -
tank top -
leather jacket -

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Two New Pieces from SK Clothes

How was your week?  Mine was busier than usual.   My son helped me make a little video clip for the fall/winter 2009/10 mini collection on Monday.  Wednesday, our computer got a virus and I spent the rest of the week trying to get it in proper working order.  Saturday was an all day trip to purchase a CD album my son has wanted since last year. 

I finished the last two pieces of my very mini fall and winter collection for the  2009/10 season  about two weeks ago.  Here's is hoping the spring/summer mini collection is finished on schedule.  The collection includes one blouse, one shirt, one sweater, and two skirts.  Previously, it was to include a pant, but I didn't have enough fabric, hence the skirt.  The skirt has a partial flared hem and is made of the same fabric as the blouse, a dark brown imitation suede.  The sweater was made from recycled acrylic knit fabric and I love the sleeves' futuristic look.  The sweater was previously a knee length open knit "coat" with a knit tie belt at the waist. 

Here is the collection together, including my daughter's bag design.  Hope you like it.  What took me so long to finish you may ask.  I was waiting to purchase fabric to make the pant and the sweater, which was supposed to be a futuristic inspired turtle/cowlneck sweater.  I decided to use what I had instead of waiting any longer.  I'm pleased with the results.  You can view the video on Youtube at:

 Enjoy the coming week.  Till next blog!

Friday, February 12, 2010

In Honor of Black History Month

February can't go by without me giving homage to Black fashion designers.  Each ethnic group, culture, and race has distinctive styles in food, music, beliefs and clothing styles.  African Americans have contributed a lot towards fashion, whether it be in expressing themselves as individuals or collectively, and also as fashion designers.   We've always had a unique sense of style which others have emulated.

An example of the unique sense of style is the zoot suit.  Popularized in the Harlem jazz culture (in the mid 1930's), this suit was extravagant.  The jacket length ended below the hips, the collar was wide, the shoulders were over padded.  The pants were very wide and baggy with a very narrow hem.  There's a story that the very first zoot suit was purchased by a Black bus worker who, wanting to dress like Rhett Butler in "Gone with the Wind", had it made in a tailor shop in Gainsville, Georgia.  This isn't confirmed to be true, but it's a bit comical.

One of the first successful African American fashion designers was Arthur McGee.  He was born in 1930 in Detroit, Michigan.  His mother was a great sewer, and this influenced him to make clothes as well.  In 1951, at the age of 18, he entered a design contest at the Traphagen School of Design and won a scholarship to attend the same school.  Arthur later studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, worked in the industry and was the first of African American descent to oversee Bobby Brooks (an established Seventh Avenue clothing company).

 Patrick Kelly, a designer from my teen years, was born in 1954 in Vicksburg, Mississippi.  At the age of 6 he showed an interest in fashion.  Patrick taught himself to sew and made dresses for the girls in the neighborhood.  While in high school, he decorated department store windows.  Dropping out of university after two years of studying art history, he moved to Atlanta and worked for the Yves Saint Laurent boutique.  Patrick later ended up in New York, studied at Parson's School of Design, moved to Paris, sold his designs on the street, and his clothing became popular.  A Paris boutique hired him, and one year later, Patrick started his own clothing company.  Sadly, he died in 1990 from AIDS.
The list of African American fashion designers is a long one.  Shaka King, Tracey Reese, B. Michael, Stephen Burrows, Roger Gary, Douglas Says, Sixxfoota, Jeffrey Banks, are just a few of the names.  When you have time, google them to see their particular design esthetic.

Till next blog!
green zoot suit -
Arthur McGee -
Patrick Kelly with models -
lady in dress -

Friday, February 5, 2010

Dresses Throughout The Ages...

Women's dresses have changed so much from the past centuries to now, the 21st century.  Drastic changes were made from the going out of the 19th century and into the 20th century.  I guess the changes were made once women were considered "persons" in the 1920's (which I learned, to my horror, while helping my daughter study for a history test), and they took the opportunity to show their liberation through clothing.  So we weren't human prior to that?

I love period movies.  I love to see what elaborate clothing the middle class and the rich wore in the past centuries.  I love the dresses that made a lady look like a lady.  I'm also very curious as to how long it took to make one of the elaborate dresses with yards of fabric, trim, ruffles, buttons and whatever other details were necessary to complete the elaborate task.  One had to really love designing and sewing then...

There was not too much difference between 18th century and 19th century dresses.  Women were well covered.  I try to imagine wearing such clothing in the summer heat, and I start to hyperventilate.  While I appreciate the work and intricacy of past era dresses,  I appreciate modern dress for women even more; more freedom of movement, more air can circulate, no corsets.

18th century 
19th century
                                      20th century:  1980's

                                           21st century:  2008

I had to add  pictures of one of my favorite decades, the 1980's.   Nothing is as influential as what was heard, what was seen, and what was worn from one's childhood and teen years, at least I think so.  I remember my red denim jacket, an aqua tiered and ruffled mini skirt with white lace at the hem and at each horizontal seam, my grey leather moon boots which reached mid-calf, just to name a few of my valued pieces then.  If there was a time machine that really could transport people back to certain times, I would go back to the 1980's for a week, or two...

Fashion has always been a journey, hasn't it fellow fashionistas?  Till next blog!

18th century dress:
green dress:
black dress: