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Archive for May, 2017

The Intersection of Art and Fashion

Posted on: May 23rd, 2017 by Leah No Comments

The Met Gala is fashion’s most important party and fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art benefiting the Costume Institute and the launch of the new spring exhibit on the first Monday in May each year.  The red-carpet portion of the event is a stunner, turning out A-list celebrities, models and musicians; fashion designers; and invited patrons spending upwards of $30,000 for a ticket.

Rihanna at the Met Gala in a wildly scuptural design from Comme des Garcon

The reason this gala is a must-see is because it provides a bevy of superstars dressed in the theme of the Costume Institute’s newest exhibit and this year’s theme did not disappoint.  The new spring 2017 exhibit, called Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between, is a retrospective dedicated to 74-year-old Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo.  In 1969, she founded the avant-garde modernism label Comme des Garcons – French for “like some boys”.  For more than 40 years, the brand has attracted a global following and her designs have inspired other creators, artists and designers alike.

Cara Delevingne in avant-garde at the Met Gala in a silver Chanel suit

While in New York this past week, I visited this new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, open May 1 through September 4, 2017. The exhibit features 140 womenswear ensembles dating from the 1980s to her most recent designs.  The collection depicts how Rei Kawakubo challenged the conventional notions of beauty and fashion.  Her designs conversely feminine and masculine, highly eccentric, and radically chic create the perfect blend of art and fashion.  It’s easy to understand why she is known as one of fashions most revered creative visionaries.

Form / Function

Each gallery within the exhibit illustrates the “in-betweenness” or the space between boundaries of Rei Kawakubo’s designs exploring themes including: absence/presence, design/not design, fashion/anti-fashion, model/multiple, the/now, high/low, self/other, object/subject and clothes/not clothes.  The design/not design gallery explores Kawakubo’s intuitive approach to garment making.  Having received no formal fashion training, Kawakubo’s creative process, experimental techniques and method of construction culminate in original art-as-fashion creations.

Harley-Davidson Loves Margot Fonteyn

Some of my favorite examples from the exhibit were from Kawakubo’s Motorbike Ballerina collection from 2005.  These ensembles combined leather jackets and tutus which Kawakubo described as “Harley-Davidson loves Margot Fonteyn” in reference to the American motorcycle manufacturer and the British ballerina. The ensembles are meant to blend the “high” culture of ballet with the “low” subculture of bikers.

Object / Subject

Similarly, her collection from Spring/Summer in 1997 “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body” was a series of body-con dresses stuffed with padded lumps that many fashion critics compared to tumors.  The silhouette was not popular at the time but the designs were about her vision for the future of female silhouettes.

Absence / Presence

If you equate fashion to wearability, then Rei Kawakubo’s designs are not fashion.  As she says, “When I hear ‘where could you wear that?’ or ‘it’s not very wearable,’ or ‘who would wear that?’ to me it’s just a sign that someone missed the point.” But if you understand that fashion is art, then Rei Kawakubo is the master artist whose originality is meant to defy the norms about what clothing and the body should look like.

Fashion has no limits.  Fashion is over the top.  Fashion is provocative. Fashion is art. And in this case, fashion is truly in the eye of the beholder.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Posted on: May 5th, 2017 by Leah No Comments

It’s time to celebrate all the special mom’s in your life on Mother’s Day Sunday, May 14.  Finding the perfect gift for the most important women in your life can be a difficult feat.  It’s a gift that should portray your thanks, love and appreciation for all that they do.   Show your mom, mother-in-law and wife how much you appreciate them on Mother’s Day with a thoughtful gift that will tell them just how important they are.

Here are some gift ideas to make Mother’s Day extra special this year.

Thoughtful Card

The simplest form of gratitude comes straight from the heart.   A handmade card with a heartfelt message is easily the best gift any mother could receive.  And the only thing it will cost you is a little time.  By including the kids in the design and message, this card will be a gift she will treasure for years to come.

Cabana Life Women's Rashguard from Wear With All Boutique in Key Largo

Cabana Life Women’s Rashguard from Wear With All Boutique in Key Largo

Dress Her Up

Easy-to-wear clothing that is both chic and practical is hard to find.  The brand Cabana Life makes swimwear, rash guards, pants and dresses in bright patterns and colors that mom will love.  Not only are they great for keeping her cool in our warm Florida Keys weather but their high-quality SPF 50 fabric will also protect her from the sun.  Whether she’s lounging, paddle boarding or going out for a night on the town, Cabana Life clothing has something for everyone.  Starting at just $80, this great brand of clothing can be found at Wear With All Boutique in Key Largo in the Publix Tradewinds Plaza at 101487 Overseas Highway in Key Largo.

Pamper Mom

Pamper mom on her day by giving her a trip to the spa to get a manicure, pedicure, massage, facial or a new cut and color. A gift certificate to her favorite salon and spa is always a nice treat.  But, if you want to make it extra special, schedule a spa day with her for some quality time.  At Blu Bamboo Salon and Spa in Islamorada, manicures start $20 and are offered with a glass of wine.  In addition, the week before Mother’s Day, Blu Bamboo Salon and Spa is offering 20% off all products in their shop with free gift wrapping available.  Stop into Blu Bamboo at 82205 Overseas Highway for bubble bath and gift certificates to pamper your mom for Mother’s Day.

Posh Naturals Skin Care Resveratrol Peptide 2 in 1 Complex

Posh Her Skin

Give mom a gift that will make her feel and look even more beautiful.  Posh Naturals Skin Care is a natural and organic skin care company based in the Florida Keys that has created an amazing skin care line perfect for all the women in your life.  Their Resveratrol Peptide 2 in 1 Cream acts as a light everyday moisture with anti-oxidant and anti-aging benefits that stimulate collagen production and alleviate fine lines.  Resveratrol Peptide 2 in 1 Cream is available for $80 at Key Largo Salon and Spa in the Pink Plaza at 103400 Overseas Highway.  Go to PoshNaturalsSkinCare.com to preview their entire skin care line.

Custom Orchid Arrangements by Banyan Tree in Islamorada

Flowers

Flowers are a wonderful way to tell your mother how special she is.  A bouquet of roses, tulips or lilies are perfect for Mother’s Day and the fragrant spring-like aroma will be sure to make her smile.  But if you’re looking for something more one-of-a-kind, opt for a potted orchid that will last longer and let mom know just how unique she is.  A custom arrangement of these exotic blooms starts at just $25 and are made to order at any price range at the Banyan Tree Garden and Boutique.  Call 305.664.3433 to order or stop by their location at 81197 Overseas Highway in Islamorada.

Wishing you all a Happy Mother’s Day!

 

The Popularity of Seersucker

Posted on: May 3rd, 2017 by Leah No Comments

If you’re not southern, Seersucker may be a foreign word to you.  But since we’re officially in Seersucker season with the Kentucky Derby commencing on May 6 and many hot and humid months ahead, Seersucker is a fabric to get familiar with.

Best Dressed Couple Laura and Eric Ciampa from last years Kentucky Derby

Seersucker is made of linen, cotton, silk or synthetic fibers woven on twin-beam looms that give it a textured striped look.  The reason for the fabric’s popularity is its lightweight and breathable keeping the wearer cool in warm climates.  Also, the puckered look of the fabric means it can be worn straight out of the laundry with no ironing required.

The traditional seersucker fabric is blue and white and was used primarily for men’s suits but today you will find the fabric used for shorts, pants, shirts, skirts and dresses in a variety of pastel colors.

The fabric came to the U.S. from England after being discovered in the 1600s while trading in India.  The name stems from the Persian word for “milk and sugar” likely comparing the smooth and rough stripes of the fabric to the smooth and rough texture of milk and sugar.

The fabric didn’t start as the preppy man’s summer suit.  It was worn primarily by employees of gasoline companies, butchers and train engineers and railroad workers – which is wear the term “railroad stripes” originated.  Likewise, hospital volunteers wore uniforms made of a red and white seersucker fabric giving them the name “candy stripers” because of the similarities of the uniform and a candy cane.

It wasn’t until after the 1920’s that the fabric gained popularity with preppy undergraduates and Southern professional men.  Southerners needed a lightweight fabric for summer that would withstand the heat and humidity and keep them looking proper.  The blue and white fabric was perfect for the Southern gentleman’s suit to replace their wool suits worn in the winter.  Seersucker was primarily worn as a full suit or as a blazer paired with khaki trousers.

The suits also became popular in Washington D.C.  Politicians and government officials who were suffocating in wool suits during summers in the Capital opted for suits made of seersucker for the warmer months.  In 1996, Senator Trent Lott made seersucker famous by starting a tradition called “Seersucker Thursday”.  Unfortunately, this tradition was discontinued in 2012.

With the Kentucky Derby approaching May 6, it’s time to dust off your hats and your seersucker apparel to watch the best two minutes in sports while drinking mint juleps.  Oo-tray in Islamorada will be hosting the festivities including live music, themed food and drinks, and prizes for best dressed and best hat.  In addition, there will be a 50/50 raffle for betting on horses with proceeds benefiting the Autism Society in the Florida Keys. Hope you can join us for bourbon and fun.  See you at the races!