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  ORANGE.  IT IS HALF WAY  between red and yellow and it is a dynamite color right now!  Many say it is not as intense as red.  But you can use red in large quantities in many places, and it will work just fine.  Try doing the same with orange and you could be totally overwhelmed!  So, you might say orange is deceptively strong.  It is also bold, and often riveting. 

Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren are just two designers who have used orange for years now, frequently letting it identify them in fashion lines, simply by its presence. Orange is preppy.  It is also a holy color.  Orange has been the color of Himalayan Tibetan monks’ robes for centuries.

ORANGE IS SHOWING up more and more throughout our culture. It is an ideal color for accessories, but it also is being used in unexpected ways, too. For example, the exterior of a recently renovated Taco Bell restaurant near me is orange and quirky and suddenly drawing in a large number of customers.  Yesterday, an orange SUV was sitting in front of the place, for a double whammy!

Of course, not everything is what it seems to be.  Oranges, you might be surprised to learn aren’t really orange.  They’re green, and dyed oranges.  If they were allowed to ripen naturally to orange, they’d go bad by the time they reached the supermarket shelves.

YOU CAN FIND ORANGE USED IN MORE AND MORE EXCITING AND FASHIONABLE WAYS THIS YEAR.  LOOK HERE FOR SOME EXAMPLES:

 

 

                                             Metaphysical Cure

ORANGE IS A WARM COLOR.  It is a stimulant, especially for the emotions and appetite.  If you want to lose weight, keep it out of the kitchen!  Metaphysicians say if any area of your life needs healing, burn an orange candle for 7 days.  (We’ll have to get back to you on the validity of that one.)

In Irish culture, the color orange represents Protestant supporters of the British and the division of the island nation in two parts.  It dates back to the time when King William of Orange reclaimed the North of Ireland from the insurgent Irish.

Orange is the color of the second chakra (one of the seven spiritual energy centers of the body), known as Svadhisthana, which can be found in the lower abdomen just below the navel.  Its element is water and it is aligned with the planet Mars and the Sun. 

 

                                  The Color of Creativity

ORANGE IS THE COLOR of creativity and sexuality.  It is also the color of joy, enthusiasm and creativity.  When out of balance, orange blocks the chakra and causes the individual to feel guilt, stiff  lower back, restlessness, and lack of sexual desire.  

Back in Elizabethan times, not everybody was allowed to wear the color of their choice. Garment colors were more often than not dictated by the English legal system, in what was called the Sumptuary Laws.  The color of clothing provided information about  one’s wealth, religion, and  social standing.

Because the color orange was frequently produced by using cheap dyes from the madder root – dyes that were not colorfast – the color orange was often worn by the lower classes.  However, in a strange twist on the cast system, upper classes were also allowed to wear it!

Today, everybody wears orange, but none so much as the wealthy.  Why?   Because the most expensive haute couturiers have fallen in love with the color, and are using it incessantly.  Just look at the fashion in the fashion capitals of the world!

                                        On the Runways

CHRISTIAN DIOR SENT OUT a fabulous looking bright blue evening dress on the runway for Spring, accessorized with a very large statement necklace of beads and feathers, almost African-looking, and all very orange.  Eddie Borgo designed a collection of new looking rings, one that looks like a bullet belt wrapped for the finger, in orange-gold.  It is tough, but classy.

Pierre Hardy has a super high heeled platform shoe on the market, all in orange, while Kenneth Cole offers an orange print dress that just skims the body and ends in what might be called a long mini.  Everywhere you look, you’ll see orange.  In Ts, in sweaters, in blouses, in scarves.

Orange handbags in leather and fabric are hot.  Orange framed sunglasses are very IN.  Orange belts give dresses and pant an updated, different look.  Orange beaded earrings are kinky. 

TO BE SAFE, DON’T OVERDO ORANGE.  YOU’LL SET OFF TOO MANY VIBRATIONS!  BUT DO ADD IT TO YOUR WARDROBE AND PRODUCT MIX.  THIS IS THE QUINTESSENTIAL 2011 COLOR!  CHECK IT OUT HERE:

 

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Filed under Fashion History, Fashion Trends, Uncategorized
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  THE MARVELOUS COSTUMES in the new HBO hit, BOARDWALK EMPIRE, were brilliantly designed by John Dunn, who brings the early twenties era of prohibition in Atlantic City to vivid life.  Mob boss Nucky Thompson’s manner of dress was fashioned on the Prince of Wales, “who was like the David Beckham of the early Twenties,” Dunn said.  Nucky’s lover, Lucy Danziger, played by Paz de la Huerta, appears in the lavish style of the day, complete with furs and brocades and exquisite lingerie.

“The fashion in ‘Empire’ was significant,” Dunn says.  “In 1920, the corset had almost disappeared.  Women had just started wearing bras and panties for the first time. It was when Chanel started designing.  It was the birthplace of modern clothing.”    

Jewelry wasn’t forgotten in the exciting costume plan.  One of the outstanding pieces was a pair of hanging white shell earrings.  Another interesting design featured a pair of medium sized ball earrings swinging off little thin chains.  Victorian Era was over; these were conservative, if a bit glitzy.

Playing a major role in one of the early series was a necklace once owned by the mother of Jimmie Darmody, Nucky’s protégé.  It was given to her by Jimmie’s father, who abandoned them both shortly thereafter, causing his mother to sell it just to keep a roof over their heads. The necklace was a fine gold chain with a large filigree pendant. 

Now, years later, Jimmie spots an almost identical necklace in a jewelry display window.  And, he happens to be flush, since he has just recently pulled off a liquor hijacking with a very young Al Capone. Jimmie uses the ill-gotten money to buy the new necklace, which he presents to his now-stripper mother.  She is thrilled, and says it is worth at least $1,000, no small amount back in the 20s.  But…that’s not the end!  She doesn’t have the necklace long before Jimmie steals it back to pay off a debt to Nucky!  And on it goes…

Oh, the fashion, fun, frivolity and violence of yesteryear on the Boardwalk!  This is gangsta’ land at its best, expensive clothing, jewelry and all. Ya gotta see it!

 

IN THE MEANTIME, YOU MIGHT LOOK OVER SOME GREAT LOOKING VINTAGE-LIKE JEWELRY.  YOU’LL HAVE ALL THE BRAVADO AND ELEGANCE OF THE 20S IN YOUR OWN STORE:

 

 

                    SPRING PRADA-STYLE IS BOLD AND URBAN

THE LOOK PUT FORTH by Prada for Spring is surprisingly assertive, and remarkably urban.  Sizzling colors give a tropical heat flavor to a collection that literally vibrates with excitement and   refinement.  Overall, this is a bold introduction to Spring, trendy and classic, simultaneously.

Orange is an unusually strong color in the Prada collection, along with green and royal blue. Not that black is absent:  The little black dress is here with ruffles and fun furry wraps in black and white stripes. A dynamite effect! 

Following the direction expressed by designers in New York, skirts are tight, with hemlines generally to the knee.  Miuccia Prada combines them with loose jackets and tops and plenty of frills for a romantic, feminine allure.  Dresses, from gay sun dresses to more sophisticated evening styles, are tight fitted. 
                                                      Patterns

Almost everything has a structured look, giving a finished appeal to the defined cuts and patterns.   Patterns are pandemic, with stripes a major design factor.  Monkeys likewise play happily over several outfits.

Accessories are equally outspoken.  Sunglasses are big, bold, colorful, and often silly, like a huge pair of orange framed glasses that look like water goggles.  Handbags are small, clutch-like, and also crafted in bright color, such as that big-time orange.  One of the most charming looks is a very long black ribbon tied around the neck and made into a big bow with streamers hanging down to the waist.  Wow!

HERE ARE SOME GREAT ACCESSORIES TO PAIR WITH THE PRADA LOOK FOR SPRING:

 

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, November 1st, 2010

Filed under Fashion History
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DID YOU KNOW that Irving Berlin wrote The Easter Parade?  He also wrote White Christmas.  And, he was Jewish. Well, that’s not so unusual when you realize that Leonard Bernstein, former director of the New York Philharmonic, wrote his own Mass!  Of course, it was widely criticized when it was first introduced but then, recognizing its inspiring beauty, it was embraced by the Catholic Church and even celebrated at the Vatican.  

     All of which adds up to a simple fact:  It is good to see people of such remarkable talent ready to share their creativity with others, even those outside of their own faith.

 

Much of this became apparent recently when Public Television aired its momentous documentary, American Songbook, covering American music, from about 1890 through 1965.  Oh, this was an event to remember, and if you haven’t seen it, look up your television listings and see if it will be played again soon. 

 

This is history at its best, showing not only the music of the times, but the events, the participants, the fashion, the incredible melting pot of people from all over the world.  What entertainment!

 

Here was George M. Cohan, the Ziegfeld Follies, the music of World Wars I and II. Kate Smith sang God Bless America.  Songs from the greatest theatrical productions of American history, such as Showboat, and the classic, Porgy and Bess, thrilled audiences.  It was moving, it was sad, it was joyful, it was intriguing.  Even more fascinating, it was the story of the American people, vividly expressed in music, lifestyles, wardrobes, and even expressions. 

 

“Over There.” “The Last Time I saw Paris.”  “I’ll be Home for Christmas.”  These are just a quick sampling of the war songs that helped boost morale during so many of the nation’s fighting years.

 

                                           The Dark Years

 

SO MUCH WAS ALIKE, but much was also different. The glorious Ziegfeld Follies girls had small breasts and sometimes slightly rounded bellies. Men were shorter.  We all were much younger, if we were on the scene at all. Costume jewelry still hadn’t come into its own during the early years covered by the film, so jewelry worn by the average woman was often small, inconspicuous, real. 

   –But hats?  That was something else again!  Big brimmed hats were high fashion, and absolutely required wearing for any dressup occasion, especially something like Easter.

 

YOU CAN HAVE FUN WITH THE MEMORIES OF EASTERS PAST, AND STILL BE IN FASHION NOW!  HERE ARE SOME MARVELOUS HATS FOR THE BIG DAY:

  • Stunning ladies’ dress hat with gorgeous, trendy bow trim.
  • Organza ladies’ hat with floral lace pattern.

 

Mickey Rooney as a young man: wasn’t he delightful?  And Lena Horne, oh…she was so beautiful! A quick clip of Ronald Regan in a Grade B movie was entertaining; could he ever have imagined back then that he would one day be President of the United States?  Judy Garland sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow, modestly attired as few present day gals would be. 

 

Benny Goodman played to packed audiences and dancing devotees in the spectacular Big Band Era. Ira Gershwin shared his musical genius with the world, Rogers and Hammerstein wrote America into world musical history with their remarkable South Pacific (to name just one of their Broadway musicals), with its Some Enchanted Evening, Bali H’ai, and Younger than Springtime.  The musical genius here was breathtaking!

 

                                   Long Strands of Pearls

 

Then the times changed, radically.  At the turn of the century, well-dressed ladies wore long dresses and piled on jewelry, Victorian style, and not so different from the way it is worn today.  The Twenties brought in truly radical short skirts, bobbed hair, plenty of fringe, and long strands of beads and pearls dropping below the waist and swinging with every movement. Doesn’t this sound like today?  It was fun seeing the likenesses and differences.

 

The Thirties opened with seductive dresses, major movie stars, and the tragedy of a deep Depression that was to last ten years.  Things were hard, clothing was anything but fashionable in most hometowns.  Paul Robeson sang Old Man River, and touched the souls of everyone who heard him.  “I gets weary, and sick of trying, I’m tired of living and feared of dying, But old man river, he just keeps rolling along….”     

 

                                             The New Deal

 

Happy Days are Here Again, the song declared as Delano Roosevelt came into office with fierce determination.  The New Deal was on, and prohibition was off, relegated to the past.  Things got better.  Smiles returned. 

 

But then…Pearl Harbor shook up the nation, and another war was on.  Over There was sung, once again.  God Bless America took on new meaning, once again.

 

After World War II, music helped a nation grapple with myriad changes and chores, bringing light to everyone.  Fashion, too, did its part, with classy long skirts and large shoulder pads, an unmistakable Forties look.  Fabulous brooches made an appearance.  The waistline was defined with belts.  Practical handle bags appeared.  Holidays could once again be celebrated with ease and lightheartedness.

 

HERE ARE SOME MEANINGFUL FASHION ACCESSORIES TO HELP YOU CELEBRATE YOUR HOLIDAYS AS WELL:

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, April 26th, 2010