The concept is astonishingly simple and deliciously complex: a book about our relationship to clothes, as experienced by 642 women, including Lena Dunham, Cindy Sherman, Tavi Gevinson, and two FIT faculty members, Sara Freeman and Dale Megan Healey. In the hands of editors Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton, the result is Women in Clothes, a clever, surprising, encyclopedic portrait of beauty, insecurity, and family. And it reads like the most delicious issue of O magazine.
On October 23, the English and Speech Department invited Julavits and Shapton to read from and discuss the book. Julavits read about accompanying a smell scientist to the coatroom of a New York restaurant to judge the wearers of the coats. (“It’s a very nice scent,” the scientist said after sniffing the armpit of one coat. “I think she’s with the wrong guy.”) Shapton read a first-person account from a garment worker in Cambodia who sews bras too expensive for her to afford.
No detail of the book’s design was overlooked. Shapton wanted it to be softcover to be more welcoming. They didn’t want pictures of the women so that readers wouldn’t form judgments based on their looks. They wanted a gridlike design, broken up by images every few pages. They went back and forth about which cover to use.
Toward the end, someone asked them whether the book had made them more conscious about what they put on each morning. “I think, ‘What am I feeling inside, and how do I want to express that in some manner?’” Julavits said, then amended her answer slightly. “Today I’m wearing this book. That’s what you should be looking at to understand me, not what I’m wearing right now.”
Hue thinks she wears it well.
Leanne Shapton and Heidi Julavits discuss “Women in Clothes.”
Hue loves a good Halloween scare. But even more than that, we love design-competition reality TV. And Martha Stewart delivered.
Shriek or Chic, a Halloween-themed web miniseries, is a competition to craft Martha’s Halloween costume this year. Miraculously, all three contestants–Joelle Samaha, Taylor Ormond, and Gabrielle Ruffino–went to, or are enrolled at, FIT!
The show is delicious–and if it’s not quite as dramatic or catty as Project Runway, it’s still impossible to stop watching. And if you’re game for the insanely work-intensive decorations Martha Stewart is famous for, then you might get some pointers on sewing your own costume. Or you could just go to FIT.
So skip the Halloween party and check it out.
Did you know? Halloween is Martha Stewart’s favorite holiday. Photo courtesy marthastewart.com.
We at Hue have our favorite fashion weirdnesses. We love bustles, of course, and those super-bizarro horned headdresses that women wore in the 15th century.
But the codpiece takes the cake. What was it about? Can it really be as obvious as it seems?
Fortunately, we now have a video, created and narrated by FIT faculty member Chloe Chapin, to explain it all: history, significance, even a bit of theory.
Chapin made the film on an artist’s residency at The MacDowell Colony. Her work there eventually led to a Fulbright grant in which she did research on the history of men’s suits. She now uses it in her Fashion Design courses at the college.
In the Blink-And-You’ll-Miss-It category, a display of Wizard of Oz dolls wearing character-appropriate couture made a weeklong appearance in the lobby of The Museum at FIT earlier this month.
Dorothy Gale is looking very on trend in her gingham Reem Acra (Fashion Design ’86) gown.
To commemorate the classic film’s 75th anniversary, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and the Tonner Doll Company collaborated with a dozen name designers to create hot outfits for Oz characters. They were on display at The Museum at FIT for a week, during which anyone could bid on them, with all proceeds going to Habitat For Humanity’s (wait for it…) “There’s No Place Like Home” campaign.
In the foreground, a red-headed Glinda by Ruth Myers. In the background, Betsey Johnson’s Glinda in fabulous fuchsia.
The Wicked Witches commanded the premier prices. Donna Karan’s witch, seemingly inspired by Morticia Addams, went for $1,205. A Marc Jacobs fishnet witch fetched $1,525. And a Scandal-ous black-and-white Wicked Witch ensemble by Lyn Paolo (costume designer for the popular show) with Kerry Washington brought in a whopping $2,125! The Glindas weren’t far behind.
Erickson Beamon’s disco glam Glinda earned $1,600 for Habitat For Humanity.
Hue is glad all these witches and Dorothys found homes–and that they helped people in need find homes of their own.
We at Hue are nothing if not serious, academic, and scholarly. We routinely pepper our conversation with high-minded references to modernist works of art and literature. Nothing we ever do is the least bit trashy. OK, maybe a little. Maybe sometimes.
Anyway, this morning Hue happened to come across the most astonishing video of FIT alumnus Michael Kors. It strings together a miraculous volley of quips–“disses,” or, as they are called in some quarters, “shade”–from Project Runway. We happen to adore Mr. Kors, as can be seen in the profile we wrote about him last summer.
Weirdly enough, Hue finds Mr. Kors’s quips more affectionate than venomous. Maybe we’re blinded by our own affection for Mr. Kors. Or maybe we’re just amused:
(Brought to you by the film review duo MovieBitches. Thanks, you two.)