Category Archives: 2000s

Oscar de la Renta and the Older Woman

The Oscar de la Renta fashion exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco has one unusual element: perhaps half of the clothes on display came from the collections of contemporary women.  A good portion of these were red … Continue reading

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Donna Karan in the Black

I’ve never bought anything by American designer Donna Karan—her clothes are far above my price range.  But after reading her new autobiography, My Journey, I think I might have been influenced by her approach to clothing. In the late eighties, … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, 1990, 2000s, 2010s | Tagged , | 9 Comments

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

Posted in 1970s, 1980s, 1990, 2000s, 2010s, General | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Marion Higa—A Life of Sewing

When some people say that they have been sewing forever, it’s an exaggeration. Not so for Marion Higa, now in her early seventies. She started sewing as a young girl, part of Japanese language and culture classes many Japanese Americans … Continue reading

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Fan Mail for Jhane Barnes

Perhaps you have never heard of Jhane Barnes, born in 1954, but she is one of my very favorite designers. I hunt for her menswear on ebay, primary silk or cotton sweaters, and refashion them to fit me. So far … Continue reading

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Carolyn Boyd—a Woman of Style and Substance

My dear friend Carolyn died last month at the young age of 71. Diagnosed with a serious form of cancer eight years ago, she only began to slow down in the last months of her life. There is so much … 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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B. Smith’s Patterns for Vogue

In 2001, Vogue Patterns launched a line featuring the well known African American restaurateur, home wares designer, and media personality B. Smith. The magazine article in Vogue Patterns, “B. Smith—Sewing with Style,” explains how the collaboration came about. According to … Continue reading

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