Category Archives: 1990

Koko Beall—A Life in Fashion Design

When I wrote about a favorite Vogue Pattern designer Koko Beall in 2014, I didn’t know whether or not she was still alive. Through the magic of the internet, her daughter Victoria Beall found my post. She sent the happy … Continue reading

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Claire Shaeffer: Collector, Teacher, Writer

Claire Shaeffer and her husband Charlie are collectors. When you enter their spacious Palm Springs home, their many passions are everywhere on display. The walls are filled bits and pieces they have collected through the years. When you look more … Continue reading

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The Stretch & Sew Empire

Ann Person of Stretch & Sew was a brilliant business woman. Her franchises were a self-contained sewing empire, offering patterns, fabric, notions, and classes. On the women’s pages of local newspapers, she gained notoriety as a hugely successful entrepreneur. One … Continue reading

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Ann Person of Stretch & Sew

Every avocation has its celebrities, and Ann Person, the founder of Stretch & Sew, was a star in the world of home sewing in the seventies and eighties. As knit clothing hit the market in a big way, she devised … Continue reading

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Searching for Koko Beall

Some of my very favorite sewing patterns are by Koko Beall from the Very Easy Vogue series. Recently I came across a short feature about her in an 1981 issue of Vogue Pattern Book that peaked my curiosity. Here’s what … Continue reading

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The Lace Collar Revisted—A View from the Supreme Court

I’ve never given much thought to the look of Supreme Court justices—you’ve seen one black robe, you’ve seen them all, right? That’s why I was surprised by Ruth Bader Ginzburg’s lace collar, added to her robe. She’s sported this addition … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, 1990, 2000s, 2010s | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Sylvia–Forever Fifty

Have you noticed how most cartoon character never age? How Dennis the Menace, for example, has been a preschooler forever? Well, the fifty-ish Sylvia never aged either. Here’s what her creator, Nicole Hollander, wrote about her: “As I noticed the … Continue reading

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The Rise and Fall of Mirabella Magazine

To hear Grace Mirabella tell the story, the magazine that bore her name was done in by the fashion establishment. In her memoir In and Out of Vogue (1995), she includes a final chapter about her magazine, which had just … Continue reading

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Grace Mirabella and her Magazine

Grace Mirabella, Diana Vreeland’s right hand woman, became Vogue editor when her boss was ousted in 1971. She remained in the job until 1988 and is credited with boosting readership, acknowledging women entering the workforce in droves, and promoting clothes … Continue reading

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Bonnie Cashin in her own Words

In 1995, the short-lived magazine Mirabella ran a feature story called “Natural History” on the great American designer Bonnie Cashin. The author, June Weir, focused on Cashin’s love of natural fabrics and gave her credit for inventing the layered look, … Continue reading

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