Wednesday
Mar212012

DAILY D's

 

"Si, si! No pants for our covergirl!", cried some stylists for Harper's Bazaar Espana. The magazine cover makes a visual headline around the world. Tom Ford is also crying somewhere, as his Fall Collection leaks the internet. It's ok Tom, the Oscar column dress on Gwenyth looked spectacular. The CFDA finally protects fashion designers from copy cats (ahem, Ivanka Trump) and the rest is for you to divulge....

Take a look inside the home of Italian designer, Fabrio Novembre. Here are a few of his favorite things.  Nowness

Ted Baker opens up shop in Asia and expands in U.S. Reuters

Yuki Katutska explains Uniqlo's sucess while remembering the first time he felt "American" after wearing L.L Bean.  WSJ

In Israel, models must meet 18.5 BMI or they're off the catwalk. NY Mag 

The CFDA and AAFA collaborate to protect designer copyright.  WWD

Tom Ford's Fall Collection 2012 has leaked on the Internet.  Grazia

 Fashion's new It Girl? Grazia

 The American Flag is SXSW's biggest street trend. NYTimes

Tuesday
Mar202012

Daily D's

Today, beauty finds different roots with a star wig artist and a new make up artist from England to rival our Mac and Clinique regulars. Again, Karl Lagerfeld makes our round up as he rants about his obsession with Diet Coke. Thanks for relating, Karl.  In other news, Alexander Wang is violently served raw eggs, Vogue meets das Netherlands, the First Lady dishes her style tips, and Mila Kunis keeps us envious. More after the jump....

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Tuesday
Mar202012

Spring Commandments

Spring has sprung and while that brings a lot of great things to the city, it also means a lot of sartorial sins have been brought upon Boston like a plague. Meggie and Sean took on the daunting task of splitting some style guidelines into categories and giving us their honest opinions regarding some of the looks they have noted floating around the streets of Boston these past few nice days (for instance, barely there sundresses, cowboy boots, flip flops).

So whether you're victim or witness, we have a bit of wrath to impart on the style sins already in observance. Sean and Meggie share some of their most important nuggets of wisdom with you. On some issues they agreed, others the views differed - weigh on in on the argument after the jump.

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Monday
Mar192012

DAILY D's

Spring fashion and parallel new developments are in full swing. K. Lagerfeld starts anew with his own blog full of musings and desires that we can't relate to completely, but we'll pretend. Kate Middleton does an "Anna Wintour" by re-wearing. Alexander Wang is in deep...danger with a lawsuit that has moved to the federal court. Lastly, my personal favorite from the weekend, Liu Wen, China's first supermodel humbly revisits her hometown in China. But, wait there's more...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar192012

Getting To Know: Pam Parmal of MFA Boston

It's a rare opportunity that you find yourself able to travel not only to Asia, but with some of the most respected curators in the museum world. Having a tendency to intellectualize fashion, I was beyond thrilled to join the Museum of Fine Art's Textile and Fashion Arts and Asian Arts departments to tour Japan. I've known Department Head and Curator, Pam Parmal for a few years now from Fashion Council events and strangely, my bridal shower (which my beloved mother-in-law and current travel companion hosted at the MFA and Pam was kind enough to host a private tour of the Textile and Fashion Arts archives).

To say that I admire Pam is an understatement. She's a role model for me, proving that fashion is more than superficial trends and reality television personalities. It was an honor and a privelege to talk with Pam and get to know more about how she came into the fashion/museum world and the perspective of her department within Boston and beyond as we traveled from Tokyo to Nagoya for the opening of the department's "Icons of Fashion" exhibit at the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts (post to come!).

Liana Krupp: How did you begin your journey into textiles and fashion?

Pam Parmal: My mother was a seamstress and my father is an artist, so I developed an early appreciation for textile crafts. After a few years of trying out different majors in college, I persued Art History & French for my undergraduate. I then went to FIT for my master's in Museum Studies with a concentration in textile conservation.

In my last semester at FIT, I secured a position as an assistant curator at the RISD Museum's Costume and Textiles department. I spent the next 12 years at RISD before moving to the MFA.

LK: What were the highlights of your time at the RISD Museum?

PP: Working with the Asian textile collections, particularly the Noh costumes. Working with designer Geoffrey Beene on a retrospect of his work. Being invited to go through Anna and Laura Tirrocchi's Providence home. These two Italian immigrant sisters were renowned dressmakers in Providence and it was an incredible portal into what dressmaking was like in the early 20th century as dressmaking evolved into ready-to-wear. It took 2 years to inventory everything in the house!

LK: How did the Textile and Fashion Arts department at the MFA start?

PP: It was founded in 1930 and was one of the first museum departments of it's kind in the US. Textile and fashion arts are often percieved as frivilous, and often are at the bottom of the art museum heirarchy. It's not an easy perception to change. In 2006, we established the Fashion Council and published our first Highlights book to give more attention to the department and raise funds for acquisitions. 2006's "Fashion Show" was the sort of the Fashion Council's coming out party.

LK: What does your position at the museum entail?

PP: From the administrative side, I run the department. On the curatorial side, we create one big exhibit each year. I dialogue with the textile conservators in the lab about how the best approach to restore textiles and garments coming in to the collection - I did more hands-on conservation at RISD. I visit and work with donors and dealers, create public educational programs and manage the process of preserving, storing and cataloging the archive. I work on publications with the museum's publication department and propose major exhibitions and related published works. 

LK: What's your favorite part of your job?

PP: The research. I love to focus on an object and learn as much as possible about it. There are two different experiences that I've had recently that are prime examples of the research process.

The first is the Scaasi exhibit: we had a vast amount of garments and information that came directly from Scassi. We processed the garments, went through collection books for references and press books for stand-out pieces. 

The second is the Embroideries of Colonial Boston exhibit: this is the final in a series of three that is up now. It's been a 10 year project. The names and dates of who created these samplers and embroideries were often included and from that we wanted to learn as much as possible about who made it. Each piece has a story that relates to the geography and genealogy of the girls who created them that plays a large part in the history of colonial Boston.

LK: How has the internet changed the way you do research?

PP: Internet research has been so beneficial. It saves so much time. Where an exhibit may have taken 2 years to research, it now takes 6 months.

LK: What are your feelings about these huge exhibits like the Met's McQueen show that have put fashion on a pedestal in museums across the world?

PP: The post-McQueen museum world is not a bad thing. People can appreciate beautiful work from a fashion POV. The McQueen show set the bar high and no exhibit will probably ever get such a response. Something like that exhibit wouldn't work in Boston. A conservatisim in Boston occured in the 1920's, most likely because of the war and Depression, and Boston culture became anti-fashion [ed. note: Pam mentions that this is proven in the gaps in the dept's 20th Century archives as Bostonians stopped donating significant fashions]. This anti-fashion attitude was reflected in the criticisms of Fashion Show but fashion exhibits help bring in a new audience to any museum, including the MFA.

LK: With the advent of fashion blogs, how do you feel about citizen critics and what I call "armchair commentary"?

PP: It's tricky. Anyone can comment on fashion, but so many don't understand how good design works. 

LK: What's your favorite exhibit you've worked on so far for the MFA?

PP: Fashion Show. I loved working directly with the design houses involved. They were very receptive, excited and supportive.

LK: What is your dream exhibit that you'd like to do?

PP: Late 18th Century dress, mostly French. It was the time of Marie Antoinette and it was a critical phase in women's fashion. At that time, it was all about the textiles. At the end of the 18th century, the cut of the dress changed because of that. I would include portraits from that period as well, they're such an accurate representation of the fashion of the time.

LK: What do you see in the future for the Textiles & Fashion Arts department?

PP: Continue to buuild the Fashion Council. Build up the 20th and 21st Century collections [ed. note: Pam has been working directly with brands like Rodarte to do this]. Create something to feature contemporary design in the Linde Wing. Continue to persue historic textiles. Upcoming shows we're working on include Indonesian textiles and a retrospect of Boston's Yolanda this fall.

LK: What's your ultimate goal with your work?

PP: Expose people to good design.

Above images from MFA.org.

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