The Mad Men world makes a fetish of ornamentation and deifies mysterious artifice. For those of us who grew up in the subsequent era of Gap-sponsored khaki casualness and fast food, Mad Men represents a glamor lacking in our lives today. Let’s bring back some of the flourishes that made the 1960s glamorous: fedoras, supper clubs, red lipstick, and much more. A front page feature.
My front-page article about how style icon Josephine Baker became a post-war savior of the House of Dior, who really invented her deliciously scandalous string of bananas, and how she became a “guest editor” at Vogue (without the in-house editors ever knowing it).
Gazing at the glamorous finery of eras past in the Costume Institute’s new ‘American Woman’ exhibit, as usual I found myself wishing back certain flourishes and trappings, from hand-held fans to white gloves to turbans. So, I decided, why not do a special Let’s Bring Back edition, devoted to the historical fashions showcased in the show?
Tonight Vogue and the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute will co-host their annual gala—this time celebrating their new exhibit “American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity.” In this front-page feature, I celebrate fifteen of my favorite trailblazing ladies, each of whom exudes that quintessentially American sense of strength, resilient spirit, and crossed-frontiers.
Decadent Champage towers, fruit hats, three-martini lunches, and other divine culinary delectables from the past … my latest Let’s Bring Back feature, in honor of The Huffington Post‘s brand-new Food section.
Today’s adrenaline-pumped fashion shows are a relatively recent phenomenon. In eras past, designs were presented to clients at chic poolside presentations or at delightful little department store luncheons (Waldorf salad, rather than global outreach, was the order of the day). This special edition of Let’s Bring Back looks at the fascinating evolution of the American fashion show.
While not exactly a rags-to-riches tale (since no one could ever imagine designers Brian Wolk and Claude Morais in rags, for goodness sake), the story behind the emergence of New York City-based fashion house Ruffian is evidence that the American dream is still alive and kicking.
The death of British designer Alexander McQueen makes me wonder if there simply isn’t a place in contemporary culture for his brand of theatrical creativity anymore—especially in an era in which fashion houses rely on corporate ownership to survive and thrive. A front page feature.
In her new book Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, journalist Lori Gottlieb perpetuates the stereotype that the American woman is really just a brain stem attached to a ticking womb. It’s been a long time since I wanted to jab my eyes out after reading something, but this book has me reaching for the closest pair of scissors. A front page feature.
While most of Salinger’s readers outgrew him upon graduating from high school, I’ve held a candle for his characters well into my thirties. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve also come to realize that the 1950s and 60s New York City portrayed by Salinger—filled with smoky jazz clubs, jumbled classic-eight apartments, Vaudeville veterans, and “Little Shirley Beans” records—epitomizes glamour to me.
Some Hollywood stars seem to shimmer on the horizon forever, and Audrey Hepburn is one of them. Reverence for her style still runs deep, as evidenced by the recent $96,000 auction sale of a black cocktail dress she donned in 1966 film How to Steal a Million. Now a newly-released book showcases rare cover images of the actress, and here are some of the loveliest, most amusing, and insight-giving shots.
Hopefully the recession has immunized us to blowsy marketing, and made us smarter and more thoughtful about the way that we express our holiday appreciation for our loved ones. Last year, we ran a recession-friendly list of holiday gift suggestions. Without further ado, we present the 2009 edition. As usual, it is long on whimsy and easy on the pocketbook.
Christmas goose, ice skating parties, and fur muffs: a Let’s Bring Back list of delightful holiday-season nostalgia.
A special edition of my Let’s Bring Back column, honoring the Obamas’ first state dinner tonight. The Kennedys touted the virtues of aspic, the Franklin Roosevelts scandalized the polite world with an all-American entrée, and George Washington gave new meaning to the phrase “no frills.”
In which Glamour magazine’s “Women of the Year”—including commedienne Amy Poehler, news anchor Katie Couric, Ambassador Susan Rice, California’s First Lady Maria Shriver, designer Diane von Furstenberg, and other luminaries—tell me about their early female role icons and mentors.
While Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour has been making the magazine powerful over the last two decades, Creative Director Grace Coddington has been making it beautiful. Meet the lady with the best job in the fashion industry.
Will Conde Nast keep Vogue’s lavishly creative spreads and more eccentric elements intact as the publisher seeks to make the magazine’s business-model more efficient? Unfortunately, the signs are not encouraging.
In which we discuss the rage and desire that propelled Chanel to the pinnacle of the fashion world, and how long it took the actress to perfect Coco’s famous cigarette dangle.
Fashion Week is underway in New York City, and American designers are showcasing their visions of the future. I’m watching the proceedings with great interest, but also thinking about celebrated designers of bygone eras, whose works once shimmered on runways. In this special edition of Let’s Bring Back ..., let’s wind back the clock and spend some time with Paul Poiret, Elsa Schiaparelli, Oleg Cassini, and six other colorful designers of yesterday.
The designer at Chanel puts his well-clad foot in his mouth when he calls feminists “ugly” in the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar. This “ugly feminist” would expect more from the ambassador of a brand supposedly devoted to elegance.
Two months ago, we ran a feature titled ‘Six of the World’s Most Beautiful Older Women’. To our amazement, nearly 900 comments poured in and the piece went widely viral. Clearly a nerve had been struck. Today we offer up Part II of that series, this time a list chosen by Huffington Post readers.
I just saw a recent picture of comedienne Joan Rivers that made me want to throw up. With so many ghoulish post-plastic surgery results on display these days, I decided to seek out examples of natural-looking, beautiful women of a certain age. Helen Mirren, Sophia Loren, Gloria Steinem: a shortlist of some of the world’s loveliest older women. A front page feature.
Since moving into the White House, the Obamas have thrown poetry slams, hosted glittering galas, and planted a First Vegetable Garden. Michelle Obama in particular has ushered in new era of style and entertaining – and she’s chosen to include us in the fun. This special edition of Let’s Bring Back celebrates several of the White House’s most inclusive hostesses, including Lucy Hayes, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Being a “smart-value shopper” is the new chic, according to luxury goods brands. When the Louis Vuittons of the world co-opt the lingo of Walmart, you know you’re in the middle of a business-culture shake-up. A front page feature.
This special edition of Let’s Bring Back—my recurring column that celebrates personae and rituals from past eras—looks at some of the twentieth century’s most prominent models, from Lisa Fonssagrives to Twiggy to Iman.
The Gilt Groupe, an online designer discount site with daily sales at noon, has a million members and caused an epic shopping craze – even in a recession. Why are women so obsessed? A three-day front page feature.
The media business has always been a deeply competitive bastion of ambition. Yet today’s journalists—including both those sidelined by layoffs and those still clinging desperately their workplace desks—have been left to wonder whether ambition makes sense anymore. How do you get ahead in an industry that can’t see its own future? A front page feature.
Americans have always had a tenuous relationship with the idea of eccentricity. With a new Grey Gardens film premiering tonight, will this generation hold Little Edie and Big Edie up as objects of fascination – or ridicule?
In a front-page piece from the Huffington Post, overnight sensation designer Jason Wu talks about America’s new first lady, his favorite Old Hollywood stars, and the item of clothing that no woman should go without.
What happens when magazines are no longer profitable, and publications companies haven’t built a bridge to a new medium? You get to where the music industry is: billion-dollar companies trying to figure out a model in a free fall. A front page feature. (Reprised and updated on January 26, 2009, under the title “Is CondeNet Dead?”)
Penury is the new glamour. Squirrel-hide stoles and wonderbread-bag-bustiers are the new emblems of chic. A satirical slideshow of Depression-friendly fashion. Illustrations by Maddy Simpson.
No anniversary should have to endure the saccharine waft of Hallmark cards and roses. Let’s bring back and reinvent traditional anniversary gifts. Here are some whimsical and unlikely suggestions, from cotton teepees to red silk parachutes.
For fifteen years, rival pianists Cassie Yukawa and Rosey Chan competed against each other but never exchanged a single word. But then they shocked the classical musical world by becoming its most astonishing new piano duo.
In which Bushnell orders a hamburger and coke, dodges the Sarah Palin bullet, and tells women to make their own damn money. Let’s face it: she’s not giving advice that she hasn’t followed herself.
Those phonebook-sized September issues of Vogue and Elle scare the hell out of me. So to learn more about what the fashion world has dished up for us this fall, I took the easy way out and called up A-list stylist Kate Schelter. Prepare to feel fat—very fat.
On why American men hate fashion. Barney’s Creative Director Simon Doonan, designer John Varvatos, and Men’s Vogue editor Jay Fielden weigh in on the thorny psychology behind male adornment.
How to conquer the following:
* Fat Days
* Bad-Hair Days
* Airport-Counter traumas
… and many other daily catastrophies.
Ms. Price discusses the childlike genius of Marc Jacobs, compliments Michelle Obama’s style, and uses the words “glamour” and “whole-roasted chicken” in the same sentence.
Everyone claims to be going green these days. But for the few fashion houses and designers who are truly dedicated to environmentally and socially responsible principles, it’s a huge commitment that requires tremendous dedication and patience.
Things would be so much lovelier if powder puffs, old theater marquees, and Surrealist fashion were still a part of our lives. Because nothing makes a lady of fashion stand out more than a lobster-shaped hat perched on top of her head.
The dollar’s down, the Euro is king. An article about the pain of watching foreigners buy up Manhattan—should we feel bitter or grateful?
These days, litigation is too bloody cost-prohibitive, and it takes so long. So let’s bring back duels, and get things done quickly and with great fanfare. Also due for a comeback: honeybees, elevator operators, and eloping.
If the television series was label-heavy, Sex and the City the movie is positively heaving. But the zeitgeist has moved on, taking consumers with it.
The frivolity of fashion may die hard in a recession. Today’s top editors and buyers discuss how jewelry, separates, and aggressive sales may carry the industry through choppy waters.
This week, I’m wishing back hourglass figures, charm schools (because we all know someone who needs some education in this regard), and the Roman Gods (they were just so damn entertaining).
A lovely slideshow: this is the third installment of my series showcasing and celebrating women who embody individualistic style, boldness, and creativity.
Photographed by Stephan Wurth.
Many Americans are in a palpable frenzy to revive Camelot and cast Obama as a JFK reincarnate. But substance—not charisma—should determine how we vote in the upcoming election.
Who wouldn’t want to receive a telegram, bearing the news of an unexpected inheritance or some such? Let’s bring ’em back, I say — along with live-in butlers, subversive pamphlets, and curvacious fashion models.
It’s been a long time since I wanted to jab my eyes out after reading an article, but Lori Gottlieb’s creepy feature “Marry Him! The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough” had me reaching for the closest pair of scissors.
Slideshow: The second installment of my series showcasing and celebrating women who embody individualistic style, boldness, and creativity.
Photographed by Stephan Wurth.