Skip to content

Category Archives: California & The West

Issey Miyake to Western Wear to Amazons at CSA Western Region Symposium

  The Western Region of the Costume Society of America held their symposium this year at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, OR, on October 11. I was fortunately enough to attend and was treated to seven lovely papers (some works in progress), and two lively discussions with attendees on the papers presented, as […]

The Kimono: Two Exhibits, Two Reviews

* Right now two major museums, on opposite coasts of the United States, both have exhibitions on the Kimono. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has Kimono for a Modern Age (through October 19, 2014) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has Kimono: A Modern History (through January 4, 2015). This […]

Fall Book Notes and Previews (Biba, Art Noveau, and the 19th Century)

The books just keep coming! And not surprisingly, there were many released in time for the new school year. The vast majority of these are museum publications, however, reflecting the ever-increasing popularity of fashion exhibitions in museums. The Biba Years, 1963-1975 By Barbara Hulanicki and Martin Pel (September 23, 2014, V &A Publishing) A revealing […]

“Hips Don’t Lie” at the Asian Art Museum (San Francisco)

“There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.”– Nietzsche

California Fashion History: Davis Schonwasser Co.

I recently received some beautiful vintage baby clothes from a very dear friend, and one piece was a beautifully embroidered silk baby bathrobe bearing the label “Davis Schonwasser Co.” The sales tag suggests that the garment dates to 1910-1920, but I (of course), wanted to know more and couldn’t help diving in head-first to do […]

Shirley Temple (Black) 1928-2014

With the sad news of the passing of Shirley Temple (Black) in today’s New York Times, I thought it would be appropriator to remember some of her contributions to film costume, fashion, and popular culture.

Holiday Book tease: “Hollywood Costume”

My Man Godfrey happens to be one of my favorite movies (hello, William Powell!). The image of this dress is gorgeous in this two-page spread, but seeing all those glass bugle beads in motion in the film is just absolutely stunning.

Fashion Factoid: Veronica Lake’s Hair

Known for her ‘peek-a-book’ hairstyle – it became a bit of a problem during World War II: “In the early 1940s, US government officials asked Lake to wear her hair up for the duration of WWII: it seems that too many women working in factories were imitating her famous “peek-a-boo bang” and getting their hair […]

CSA tour of “Wear to Party” in Ventura, CA

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend the Costume Society of America program including a tour of “Wear to Party” at the Museum of Ventura County, as well as the tour of Lotusland with a lecture on Ganna Walska (the Polish opera singer) and the costumes designed for her by Erte. I’m […]

Weekend Reading: Smithsonian’s 101 Objects that Made America

For a special issue of Smithsonian Magazine, 101 objects were chosen to represent the American History-which includes articles of clothing, accessories, and flat textiles of significance. What did they get right and what did they leave out?