Tag Archives: designers

Carolyn Schnurer’s Flight to India

If you like to travel, envy the life of mid century American designer Carolyn Schnurer (1908-1998). During World War Two, she convinced the British Overseas Air Company, the department store Peck and Peck, and a number of American textile manufacturers … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Lillian Russell–An Older Icon for the 1910s

Although she all but is forgotten today, Lillian Russell was a big star of the American stage, music hall, and vaudeville circuit at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Called “America’s Beauty” for decades of … Continue reading

Posted in 1910s | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Teddi Winograd and Teddi of California

Just when I think that I have a basic knowledge of California sportswear, I discover something new. The brand Teddi of California, started in 1962, was featured in the June 1966 issue of California Stylist.  It was already doing big … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s, 1970s, 1980s | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Bonnie Cashin’s Timeless Style

Some designers change their source of inspiration all the time, looking to Russia one year and Africa the next.  Others spend their lives refining basic shapes. The American designer Bonnie Cashin (1908-2000) belonged to the latter camp.  Sometimes is it … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged | 3 Comments

Book Review: The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane von Furstenberg

Back in the days when I wore dresses, I didn’t find the wrap dress very practical. When I wore it, the style was given to constant wardrobe malfunctions both on the top and the bottom. Since Diane von Furstenberg’s career … Continue reading

Posted in 1970s, 1980s, 1990, 2000s, 2010s | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

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

Posted in 2000s, 2010s | Tagged | 7 Comments

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

Ceil Chapman Sells Washing Machines

You would think that automatic washing machines would be an easy sell, since they saved so much work.  However, if the ads I saw in four issues of Better Homes and Gardens from 1956 were any indication, women took a … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Dorothy Liebes—Celebrity Weaver

It isn’t often that the terms “celebrity” and “weaver” are combined these days, but in mid-century America Dorothy Wright Liebes achieved this status. A 1947 Life magazine feature called her “one of the most all-pervasive but least known influences in … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, General | Tagged , , | 4 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

Posted in 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990, 2000s, 2010s | Tagged , | 8 Comments