August 8, 2014 |
In one gray box is a 1778 letter written by George Washington at Valley Forge. The flowing cursive wasn't particularly eloquent, but showed the minutia he tackled during the Revolution. Washington asked the New York governor for help tracking down an American officer who had confiscated a money box from the British at Princeton, then apparently converted it "to his own use. " In another box is a 1865 letter written by Abraham Lincoln to a woman who asked the president to send her a portion of his second inaugural address - in his own hand.
March 29, 1998 |
Stan Maslowski slid from behind the counter and quickly maneuvered through dozens of teens who were busy zipping and tugging, discussing and fussing over dresses - a dreamy pink ball gown, the sexy blue beaded number, a short white satin getup. Sure to keep his head down to avoid eye contact with demanding customers, Stan darted up some stairs leading to a private office, plopped down behind a desk and sighed heavily. A stolen moment is nothing more than a treasured minute for the owner of a dress shop during prom season.
November 18, 1990 |
Elegant evening wear is like a work of art. From bolts of fabric, designers create beauty in the same way that a painter touches brush to canvas or a sculptor molds clay or chisels stone. All are driven by the same passion, the same creative urges. "In life, to do something very well, you have to have passion," Oscar de la Renta said in a recent interview. Like many designers, de la Renta studied art before embarking on a fashion career. This season, the Rembrandts and the Rodins of the fashion world, such as Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Gianni Versace and Yves Saint Laurent, present conversation-stopping, sensual evening wear that whispers for attention.
March 15, 1988 |
"Cher will still look like Cher," reports designer Bob Mackie of the gown he's whipping up for the actress to wear at the April 11 Academy Awards. He promises, however, "she's not going to look like she did a couple of years ago" - when she showed up at the Academy Awards in a see-through harem outfit that was barely there. Mackie pleads guilty to having designed the outrageous outfit that set eyes to popping, but he assures us, "I didn't recommend it; it was her idea. " This year Mackie is not only designing the gowns Cher and producer Sherry Lansing will wear to the Awards, but is creating all the Oscar show costumes as well.
June 10, 2007 |
My eldest daughter has picked out her wedding dress, and I have to say it's a big load off my mind. You never want to delay such an important decision until the last minute. Sure, she probably could have waited for, say, 20 years - she's 6 - but when the perfect dress comes along, a girl doesn't dare miss it. Other pesky wedding-day details, such as choosing a groom, have to take a backseat. Jin Yu's choice is a creamy off-the-shoulder number called Cinderella - it looks like it sounds.
April 12, 1992 |
Jennifer Anastasio, 18, was sitting on the living-room couch in her South Philadelphia rowhouse, willing herself not to fidget. She was anxious to get going, but her parents and grandmother refused to stop talking. Tonight was the night she was going to pick up her dress - not any old dress from any old store, but a prom dress from Sarah's, a South Philadelphia landmark. In only a few weeks Jennifer would be making that large, symbolic leap from girl to young woman. At 5-foot-7, she was tall and curvy, one of those kids who looks like a little girl one moment and the woman she'd soon become the next.
March 22, 1999 |
Thanks to the 71st Academy Awards, we know the answer to the universe's most searing question: Gwyneth Paltrow is incapable of looking bad. "I was sent quite a few dresses, and this was the sweetest," she said of her utterly becoming Ralph Lauren petal-pink dress with spaghetti straps, fitted bodice, full skirt and matching chiffon stole. Around her endless neck was a Harry Winston diamond choker, and diamond flowers adorned her lobes. She wore her long, thin tresses parted on the right and coiled in a tight bun. Paltrow is the first lady of Miramax, many a designer's muse, and clearly put on this earth to shame the rest of us. She is magnificent, beyond supermodel, and perhaps not human.
February 28, 2005 |
Oscar's problem is that all that good taste threatens to turn a unique evening into a dull affair. There's none of the Golden Globes boozy intimacy or the Grammys bling-bling bluster. This is a night for grown-ups and coached elegance. Gwen Stefani isn't going to show up in lacy Pampers. Since stylists seized the event, homogenizing appearance to whatever is current and right, the Academy Awards has become a night when the planet's most indulged brats act like staid members of high society.
February 26, 2007 |
Best-actress winner Helen Mirren, at age 61, showed Hollywood - and the millions of mere mortals who take their cues from there - that it is possible to have gotten past the age of, say, 30 and still look beautiful and glamorous. Mirren's champagne Christian Lacroix gown with an exquisite, encrusted bodice and full chiffon skirt was dazzling, as were her white-haired bob and lived-in face, perhaps the bravest fashion statements of the evening. A veteran actress of four decades, Mirren seemed so at home on the stage, as she does in the world, while many of the younger actresses seemed like exceptionally well-groomed yet undernourished deer caught in headlights.