Posts tagged: Costume Design

Color Recycling In Art and Life…

By , November 30, 2011 8:00 am


As I now believe that I am moving to Santa Fe on Dec. 14, after a whole life and career in NYC, I think of one of my favorite exhibits taking place at the privately run, not-for profit Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe.

What do you do when your traditional raw materials are no longer available and you are a skilled and talented craftsperson with years of experience and surrounded by continuing traditions? You reinvent your materials by recycling “junk” and possessions surrounding you.

This is what the jewelry designers at Santa Domingo Pueblo (Kewa) created between 1920’s to the 1950’s in New Mexico. They reinvented their craft and made it more “contemporary”. The Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe, NM explores their jewelry in their current exhibit curated by J. Roderick Moore called – Thunderbird Jewelry of Santa Domingo Pueblo.

The scarcity of materials was caused by turquoise mines taken over by American companies, the turquoise was replaced by mosaics of inlaid and appliquéd inexpensive plastics (multicolored), bones of animals (off-white), LP’s (browns), celluloid (monotone) combs and battery casings (black). The pieces were sold as cheap trinkets for tourists visiting the Southwest. Today, they are collector’s items and worth hundreds of dollars.

The SMARTER* Clothing Project: BYOF Workshop

By , November 13, 2011 12:00 pm

SMARTER clothing project

(Bring Your Old Fabric or
Old Favorites)

Perhaps you are a person who collects ill-fitting garments that you never get around to altering or you have a closet full of “I’m sure I will wear it agains”. Maybe you are a designer looking to join the “green” brigade but not quite sure how. Or possibly you just want to know exactly what sustainable is and how you go about starting the journey.

Come join us for the SMARTER workshop where fun meets facts. This workshop will show you just what to do with that sweater you don’t want to get rid of but will never wear, or show you what you can make from that scrap of fabric that you just can’t bear to throw out all the while learning what makes sustainable design sustainable.

On Sunday, December 11, 2011
from 12 – 3pm
learn how to fashionably reduce waste with the SMARTER* Clothing Project team; Bridgett Artise, Iliana Quander and Trudy Miller. Bring your choice of Old Fabric or Old Favorites for the first of many BYO Workshops —  come with something old and leave with something new!

Materials needed: Old fabric or Old Favorites (sweaters, hand me downs, vintage finds, can’t throw outs, etc)

Location: FIT’s Seminar Room 9 (SR9)



By , November 9, 2011 8:32 am

THE COLOR CORNEROn view at Bard Graduate Center Gallery at 18 West 86th Street, in collaboration with the Victoria & Albert Museum in London is an exhibition called Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones. It is a celebration of color, shapes, engineering and humor. On display are hats worn by movie stars, society woman and royalty that include turbans, berets, helmets, top hats, and  work by contemporary milliners. Jones was responsible for the revival of British millinery in the 1980’s using daring colors and unique fabrics, feathers and leathers in collaboration with famous fashion designers and hats for the cinema. Jones combined exciting colors and unusual palettes that complimented the famous person he “hatted”.

Barbara Arlen teaches SXC 100: Color Theory and Culture and  SXC 260:Color Painting Studio.

Feathers of All Colors & All Varieties

By , October 19, 2011 11:49 am


Marchesa and Ralph Lauren use subtlety soft colored feathers for Spring 2012 (along with many other international designers). Feathers from the Pre-Columbian period in Peru and Mexico were certainly not subtle, but brilliant and dazzling. Take a look at these textile panels that go back to 700 AD to the 16th Century. The figure or “Pechera” was used as a ceremonial crest in bright orange, blue, green and white with black feathers. Checkerboard patterns were very popular at this time. These “modern” designs include this dazzling green, red, blue and white quetzal feathers feathered in Montezuma’s headdress with long iridescent green tail feathers radiate from a headband. This headdress was given to Hernan Cortes in 1519. Cortes then gave it to Hapsburg Emperor Charles V. It is a fabulous example of feather work in fashion. The miniature men’s tunic on the upper right hand side was from the Wari or Inca period from Coastal Peru.

The piece on the lower left is by Kesh-Ko- Sa – a Native American feather artist from Prairie Band Potawatomi.

Barbara Arlen teaches SXC 100: Color Theory and Culture and  SXC 260:Color Painting Studio.

Jewelry is Getting More Colorful!

By , October 12, 2011 10:10 am


Precious and semi-precious colored stones galore in jewelry, the more colorful the better!
Strange and exotic mixtures in multi-colors using fuchsia stones mixed with turquoise and coral.
Asymmetrical jewelry in precious stones that are ombre and mixed and matched.
Different colored metals mixed together with stones.
Great pieces coming from Erickson Beamon, Chrishabana, Lulu Frost, Amanda Pearl Dannijo Jewels, Kara Ross, etc.
Great contemporary uses of materials. Crochet, macramé, rope, knotting along with diamonds gold and silver.

Barbara Arlen teaches SXC 100: Color Theory and Culture, SXC 110: Color Discovery Interactive Workshop, SXC 260:Color Painting Studio, and SXF 840: Career Opportunities for Working with Color.

Henri Bendel: Open-See for New Designers!!

By , October 3, 2011 11:58 am


By , September 7, 2011 12:30 pm


The Native American Clothing Contest took place on the Plaza in Santa Fe on Aug 21 on the last day of SWAIA’s famous 90 year old Indian Art Market. One of the judges was Tom Ford (who lives in Santa Fe) and it was a very high profile event. Ford said in the New Mexican Newspaper that “color, composition and creativity are all essential to good design…..but the energy and effort put into each piece of clothing….creates the winning style”.  Some of the outstanding pieces of clothing had deep meanings to the many tribal designers who created them. Against the cityscape of Santa Fe’s Plaza, the light and color made the event irresistible. These photos taken by me, include many of the winners along with street wear on ordinary people. It is a must-see for 2012.

Barbara Arlen teaches SXC 100: Color Theory and Culture, SXC 110: Color Discovery Interactive Workshop, SXC 260:Color Painting Studio, and SXF 840: Career Opportunities for Working with Color.

Will Work for Shoes

By , September 5, 2011 6:00 am

Meet Susan J. Ashbrook, the author of
Will Work for Shoes: The Business Behind Red Carpet Product Placement
on Wednesday, September 7th at 5pm.

227 West 27th Street (Bet. ‘A’ & ‘B’ Buildings)
Call 212-217-5690 for more info.

Get huge, powerful, cheap exposure for your brand by harnessing the star power of celebrities.If you want your product to be a household name, look no further than the so-called Rich and Famous, who, as Susan Ashbrook shows in this practical, star-studded guide, wield potent influence over the buying public. Through colorful stories straight from the red carpet, hard-won lessons taken from years in the industry, and interviews with the top names in celebrity marketing, Ashbrook shows you how to:
  • get your product on the body or in the hands of a celebrity
  • connect with stylists, publicists, and other handlers who have access to the star
  • avoid awkward product-celebrity match-ups and find the perfect person for your brand
  • execute a celebrity marketing campaign for next to nothing
  • get valuable loaned product back from sticky-fingered stars
  • prepare for the attention and increased demand when you have a celebrity hit

Though focused on fashion, Ashbrook’s advice is applicable to almost any type of product, and she makes a brilliant case for why placing products with celebrities can increase sales more successfully and economically than traditional advertising.

Susan J. Ashbrook has been involved in celebrity product placement for twenty years. She founded and pioneered Film Fashion, the first fashion product placement company in Los Angeles. Her first client was Ralph Lauren, and she went on to match top celebrities with a roster of clients that included Lanvin, Chopard, Swarovski, Escada, Isaac Mizrahi, and many more. She has also consulted for non-fashion brands like Nikon, Hasbro, and MasterCard. Ashbrook sold Film Fashion to the PR powerhouse Rogers & Cowan in 2008.

The Iconic Shirtwaist Dress

By , July 13, 2011 2:23 pm

1950s Jonathan Logan Summer Plaid Day Dress

This summer, the dress is the way to go for comfort and style. Be it long or short, the simplicity of a one piece dress allows you to spend more time thinking of your accessories. And isn’t that easier then figuring out what top or bottom to wear together. The right shoe, jewelry or belt will add just the right finishing touch. So stay cool this summer by perhaps choosing the iconic shirt waist dress which has come a real long way just like women have.

Vintage Colorful Plaid Shirtwaist Dress

The concept of the shirt waist dress originated from a man’s shirt and was seen as early as the 1900s. Although it has a menswear influence, it’s anything but masculine. The 1950s iconic shirtwaist dress, as seen in movies like Pleasantville, emphasized the female waist and the bust and was very feminine. Casual and dressy versions of the shirtwaist dress were staples in a woman’s closet from the time Dior introduced the “New Look” silhouette in 1947. These dresses were worn with petticoats underneath to increase the skirt’s volume and create a more festive look, and girdles to make the waist smaller, creating a very flattering silhouette. They could also be worn casually without a petticoat and were then referred to as house dresses.

So cheers to the shirtwaist dress, you’ve come a long way baby! Try one on!

1950s Cotton Shirt Waist Dress in Olive Green with Orange Floral Print

Emma Sosa teaches SXF 300: Secrets from a Professional Shopper, SXS 100: Introduction to Fashion Styling, SXT 500: Star-Quality Vintage Shopping.

It’s All About Holding Hands and Stitching Hems

By , July 8, 2011 2:58 pm

Found an interesting article!

Read the article –

Julien Havard, right, and Sutton Foster, seated, in Ms. Foster’s dressing room at the Stephen Sondheim Theater where Ms. Foster stars in the Broadway revival of “Anything Goes.”

It’s All About Holding Hands and Stitching Hems
Published: June 24, 2011

Broadway stars like Sutton Foster, Patti LuPone and Victoria Clark depend on their dressers to get them through more than costume changes. Read the article –

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