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.
April 3, 2014 |
The metallic Geoffrey Beene mini in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's exhibit "Silver and Gold Fashions Since 1960" is the sartorial standout of this glitzy gallery show. The dress is just beautiful: Beene scattered shiny hot-pink, orange, and green blossoms throughout its bodice, and he planted a garden of the neon blooms along the collar and hemline. "The year was 1967, and Beene had declared the ball gown passé," said Kristina Haugland, who plucked all of the show's shiny showstoppers from the museum's 30,000-piece costume collection.
January 29, 2014 |
From Grammy winner Jill Scott's elegant black taffeta two-piece to Philadelphia Orchestra president Allison Vulgamore's satin gown in the deepest of teals, doyennes blanketed Saturday's 157th Anniversary Concert and Ball in shades of velvety midnight. But in every nighttime sky, there are stars that burst with color. It was a pretty high-fashion sight at the Academy of Music: Within the chic crowd of black and navy mermaid silhouettes and one-shouldered ensembles in eggplants and emeralds, there were pops of corals, swaths of reds, and a few flashes of pinky-purple, also known as Pantone's color of the year, radiant orchid.
January 15, 2014 |
Fashion on the Golden Globes red carpet was, finally, different. It wasn't a parade of pastels or plunging necklines, nor did the "Hollywood glam" look, with starlets overdoing marcels and red lips, dominate the landscape. Celebs, including hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, it seemed, reclaimed their individuality with vintage touches that were refreshing. Stylists tinkered, yes, but in the end, whether we liked or hated what the stars wore, we were forced to sit up in our couches and take notice.
October 28, 2013 |
Grace Kelly's aquamarine Academy Award gown beckons visitors into the James A. Michener Art Museum exhibition honoring Philadelphia's most fashionable daughter. Just past the 8-foot-tall case - where Kelly's gleaming Oscar statuette also rests - are rooms full of her Chanel jackets, Givenchy suits, and Yves St. Laurent shirtwaist dresses. It's enough to make a fashionista's heart flutter right . . . out . . . of . . . her . . . chest. And that's just the clothes. From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly Beyond the Icon also features the accessories that turned East Falls' favorite girl-next-door into a fashion plate.
July 3, 2013 |
How I loved my lavender maternity dress. I bought it when I was 22 years old, newly pregnant, and breathless to let the world know. The fabric was nubby, and the cut was what the fashion mavens called "trapeze. " I couldn't wait to wear it. Why did I keep that lavender maternity dress long after there would be no more babies in my life? Because of an emotional pull that's easier felt than explained. Because certain clothes in a woman's life reach way beyond reason, all the way to love.
June 12, 2013
Creativity blossomed larger than a white water lily at this spring's end-of-year student fashion shows, where young designers sent versions of thrift-store chic and 1960s mod looks down their runways. Moore College of Art & Design senior Amanda Davis showed two collections, among the evening's highlights. Davis' urban-prep women's wear featured lettered sweaters and knee-length pleated skirts; it was voted most saleable. Her out-of-this-world evening wear, inspired by outer space, featured a bell-sleeved electric sheer gown that could outdo J.Lo.
February 27, 2013 |
Can someone please tell me what happened to E! Entertainment's red-carpet coverage Sunday night? Not only was Ryan Seacrest's hair too high, he all but disappeared during the last 45 minutes of red-carpet time. We were left with a photo montage of celebrities with much information missing, like who designed their dresses. Poor purple-haired Kelly Osbourne, diva has-been Kimora Lee Simmons, and the likable Giuliana Rancic were left filling the dead air with not much to go on. Maybe Seacrest got in trouble?
January 25, 2013
FOR NEARLY half a century, the signature sequined gowns and other lavish stage costumes belonging to 1960s Motown superstars the Supremes lay forgotten, boxed up and stacked in founding member Mary Wilson's various garages and storage spaces. Many were in excellent shape, though some outfits were deteriorating and others had gone missing. In hindsight, it's jaw-dropping that nobody had bothered to catalog and preserve it all, a situation that's been remedied in "Come See About Me: The Mary Wilson Supremes Collection," opening Friday and continuing through July at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.
October 9, 2012 |
To know Brenda Jones is to get hugged by her. What happens next, often, is you want to send her some fabric. She's the breast-cancer battler I wrote about three years ago whose anger at getting sick found a juicy target in those hideous, backless Johnny coats that hospitals make their patients wear. As she was recovering from radiation treatment, she learned to sew, well enough to start producing fanciful flannel gowns she calls Hug Wraps. She'd given away about 150 of them to fellow cancer patients when I first visited her home in Southampton, N.J., on the edge of the Pine Barrens.