3 Ekim 2010 Pazar

Sassofono fur vest

I had never heard of the Sassofono brand before, until I saw the above advertisement dominating the entrance to the International Departures terminal of the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. It immediately captured all my attention.
Today, I have made a quick search for it and it turns out that Sassofono is an Istanbul-based Turkish textile/fashion brand. Its website is bilingual in English and Russian, and when you combine this with the information that it has several outlets in the touristic centers of Antalya, its target audience becomes clearer. But I believe they deserve an even wider reach.

And here it is, the outfit I first saw on the billboard and fell in love with! This picture is much clearer and sharper, thankfully, enabling us to enjoy its beauty in full. When I first saw the model, I immediately thought, "Oh my! Is she Marcia Cross, of the Desperate Housewives?!" The red headed model indeed resembles her, but is quite younger than Ms. Cross...

Obviously, what makes this outfit noteworthy is the fur vest. These days, we are celebrating the first anniversary of my Turkish blog, Kürksever and the very first topic I looked in was fur vests. One post had not been enough, and a second post had to follow it up.

The fur vest here is made from red fox fur. Red fox is in fact the original wild fox, all the other colour variations have been the result of years of fur farming, but the red fox here looks too soft, too fluffy, and too "perfect" to have a wild origin. The colour spectrum of the fur is incredibly wide, having all variations and tones from white to yellow, from red to brown, and this makes it a very versatile and flexible garment.

That it is a hooded fur vest is a lovely and important detail. It makes the vest more casual; you can wear this vest to a Sunday walk in the park, to a farmer's market, or to an afternoon tea party. The front ends where the zipper is have leather and this contributes to the casual, informal look of the vest.

Finally, another point worth noting is that in the body of the vest, the fur pieces are used in horizontal strips. There are narrow leather pieces in between. The use of leather between the fur bands reduces the cost of the vest, while giving it a fluffier and attractive look.

Other pieces of the outfit are gorgeous, too. The top under the vest reminds me of the designs of the Spanish brand Desigual on the one hand, and those of Roberto Cavalli on the other. Actually, the title of my next blog post on Sassofono where I take a closer look at their designs is ready:

Sassofono: A Turkish brand that has the POTENTIAL to challenge Roberto Cavalli

30 Mart 2010 Salı

Blue-Brown colour harmony and Karen Mulder in furs

The harmony of feathers in blue and brown tones! If your eyes are stuck at the blue feathers, you may consider the brown-earthy colour-black feathers as the foreground, but if you consider the blue as a backdrop like the sky it could just be the reverse! Here lies the secret of a beautiful combination.
Although I generally talk about women's fashion, with a special emphasis on fur fashion, I am interested in men's fashion, especially the "classical" men's (gentlemen's) style that does not change from season to season. On this topic, I strongly advise you to have a look at Simon Crompton's blog named Permanent Style, from England. I have taken the first photo showing the blue-brown harmony with feathers from Crompton's blog post on "unusual colour combinations", and the photo showing the jacket-shirt-tie-handkerchief harmony from his post on Domenico Vacca. The first post has a few other very nice colour combos, you must check them out!

Last month I gave examples to the fur-blue jean combo that had been so much in vogue in the 90s, in a post titled ""Fur and jeans" or "blue-brown" colour harmony (unfortunately that post does not feature in the English version of my blog, but will hopefully be soon!) and moving from that point forward, I talked about a more general issue, that of the colour harmony between blue and brown. I shall continue with this topic and this time have a look at the outfits modeled by Karen Mulder, who was one of the unforgettable models of the 90s. I have written about Karen Mulder in this blog a few more times, as you might remember from the posts about her "hands on hips" poses and about DIY inspiration examples.

I will be talking about four extraordinarily beautiful photographs, which were featured in an editorial titled "True Colors" that appeared in the August 1991 issue of the US Vogue magazine. Karen was then at the pinnacle of her career. The photographer of this wonderful editorial is Patrick Demarchelier.
The main theme of the editorial is announced in large type under the title as follows: "First it was stuffy, then it went wild-printed, quilted, or dyed. Now fur is showing its natural side, dressed down over jeans and a T-shirt." In this first shot, we see Karen Mulder dressed "casual" with Guess jeans, Gap T-shirt, J Crew baseball cap, and "loafer" shoes. The Chanel belt and necklace, in golden metallic chains remind the legendary rapper of the 90s, MC Hammer. The silk jacket in a natural, earthy colour Karen is wearing is lined with mink fur. This way, we move from the dark mocha brown of the mink to the neutral colours, and then to the light blue of the jeans and finally in the pure white of the T-shirt. The blanket Karen is holding under her arm may not have a function, but it complements the look with its soft texture, tassels, but most importantly, colour.

What makes me an eternal fan of Karen Mulder is her incredibly confident looks and stance, just as she displays in this picture...

We see that Karen graced the cover of that Vogue issue in this outfit.
Now, regarding the image above, if you are asking yourself, "I remember this from somewhere, but from where?" look no further, and simply direct your attention to the logo of this blog, "Fur and Fashion" above. Indeed, this is it, and it is this pic! Karen Mulder's outfit is an immaculate combination of colour harmony. The colour blue is supplied by her blue jeans, her cap, the blanket she is carrying under her arm, even the collar of her anorak. Her magnificent fur coat, designed by Valentino from Alaskan sable is gorgeous, with its rich colours including every shade of brown, its texture, its collar and turned-back cuffs.
Here is another shot in which Karen Mulder shines brilliantly with her makeup, hair style, and black sunglasses. This is an über elegant combination, which is casual at the same time, consisting of light blue jeans, white T-shirt, coffee latte coloured cashmere cardigan, and finally, a reversible Fendi coat in sable and cashmere.

In the meantime, we observe the skills of the photographer in highlighting the colours of the editorial in his selection of the backgrounds. Here, if you look at the collage above, in the zoomed section at the top right, the browns of the coat are emphasized thanks to the saturated and out-of-focus blue of the foreground.
Pay special attention to the texture of the fur in this photograph, which consists of short haired and dense furs. This fur is known as sheared beaver. The natural form of beaver fur has a characteristic appearance that is a bit rough. The long guard hairs of beaver are trimmed, or "sheared" and then the shorter underfur is left, which are very soft and dense. This way, a wholly different appearance is obtained. Nowadays, similar processes are applied to mink, resulting in "sheared mink" or "plucked mink." About five to six years ago, a certain type of faux fur, especially in black and brown colour, was very popular, and they were frequently called as "plush" fur. Those faux furs were trying to imitate this sheared beaver look and texture.

Karen Mulder laughs in such a wholehearted way that she is radiating liveliness! Her makeup and hair style are perfect. The use of leather and fur together is noteworthy, and the belt she is wearing is just beatiful, with its black leather and shiny golden metallic parts. I especially love the way the belt is tied around her waist twice.

15 Mart 2010 Pazartesi

A romantic gown from Oscar de la Renta and further reminiscences

I would like to begin this post by talking about a dress in Oscar de la Renta's 2010-2011 fall-winter collection, presented during the last New York fashion week.
On the one hand the dress is adorned with golden embrodiery and beads, but on the other hand it carries a very different kind of purity and simplicity in itself. Though I have shown the details of the embrodiery at the right, but when we look at the dress as a whole, the embrodiery looks like leaves falling off a tree or butterflies flying towards sunlight with their wings open. The sable fur that covers the breast suits the dress elegantly. The way the fur makes a slight curve from the left to the right, the satin bow tie, and its colour harmony with the dress... These are the details that carries the outfit towards perfection. The model's hair and makeup, her pose, and the purity afforded by the lack of accessories (except the fur), all are lovely.

Yes, Cameron Diaz wore this dress a few days ago at the Oscars, but I would love to see it on Keira Knightley, as the model in the Oscar de la Renta show reminded me of her. Keira pulls off elegance in simplicity perfectly and I am sure she would shine in this dress. Cameron Diaz's hair simply got drowned in the golden glitter of the dress. I think her hair must have been a tad darker, like the model above. She made the right choice by not using conspicuous accessories, but of course I would prefer if she kept the fur.... I have arranged a few more images of Cameron below, to show you the beauty of this dress better.
This Oscar de la Renta dress reminded me of another dress Britney Spears wore years ago. Britney was on the cover of October 2000 issue of the US Elle and she was also the subject of a detailed editorial in that issue. Of course, I am talking about a period before her marriage, her children, her disastrous divorce-a time before her painful disintegration that happened under immense paparazzi scrutiny. It was a period when she tried to move from adolescence to adulthood. In fact, the question in capital letters accompanying Britney's photo is: How does a pop star who is marketed as the epitome of virginal teenhood become a woman without alienating her fans? We have all watched how Britney failed to give a decent answer to this question
Although Britney's style sank into the abyss of bad taste and extravagancy, the outfits she wore in the Elle editorial were all very fashionable and elegant. Speaking of this dress, while its fabric covered with light green-pink coloured roses give it youthfulness and romanticism, the sable fur trim at the hem and the shoulders contribute towards formality and elegance.

Romantic ball gowns, luxurious fabrics with embrodiery or flower designs, fur trims... Let us have a look at a few more examples carrying this general theme.
Yasmeen Ghauri and Karen Mulder, in two dresses from Valentino's 1991 haute couture collection. The contrast between the plain skirt of Yasmeen's dress and its crinkled, crossed body is completed with the bow tie. If it appeared at a show today, no one would call it out of fashion, a testament to the classic beauty of Valentino's design. The dark burgundy velvet of Karen's dress is glamorous. The fur trims in both dresses are very attractive. The makeups of both models are extraordinarily beautiful, especially Karen's red lips!
Finally, I would like to present you Priscila de Gustin in two outfits from Balmain haute couture. The one on the left is from 2001, and the one on the right is from 2002. The glittering golden threads, pink-fuchsia-burgundy colours, the browns of sable fur offer a wide ranging and luxurious colour palette. Although the floral patterned fabric of the coat on the left reminds me of Britney's dress, these two Balmain designs emphasize luxurious splendor over romanticism.

10 Ocak 2010 Pazar

A Vintage Hunter: Couture Allure

There are many places on the internet where you can buy vintage clothes, but there is one among those that has received my attention and I would like to share it with you. The real allure of Couture Allure' for me is, before the clothes it sells, its blog section which includes enjoyable posts on designer labels, periods, fashion history and vintage clothes. I especially like that for the items under discussion, both their original prices and what they translate to in today's prices are given.

Among the many posts that I found noteworthy in the Couture Allure Blog, I would like to mention the following, from which I learnt so much: A post series about the coat fashions of the decades, starting with 1930s and through 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s; on "foundation garments" which are essential for the proper fit of the vintage clothes and the secret behind their form hugging cuts and alternative foundation garments that can be bought today to wear with vintage clothes, the disco craze fashion of 1978, the fast changing skirt fashions of 1950s (1951, 1954 and 1959), the blog author's predictions on which clothes were to be used in the second season of the popular TV series, Mad Men and her self review at season's end (first and second parts), "Furrier Extraordinaire" Emeric Partos, jewelry designs from 1957, 1966 and 1975...

Now, let us have a look at some of the vintage clothes Couture Allure has found in her hunts and is offering at her shop. Let's begin with an embroidered mini dress from 1980s by Fabrice Simon.

While thousands of tiny black beads embrodiered on black silk organza fabric covers the whole dress, the skirt's hem is adorned with pink, green and black flowers, again made with embrodiery. Can you believe this mini dress weighs more than 3 kilos?!

Now, let us have a look at another fantastic dress from 1970s, which carries, besides the Goldworm label, all the colours of the rainbow in all its vividness. A silk chiffon cape/shawl in the same colour and pattern accompanies the dress.

The final outfit I would like to show you from the Couture Allure collection is a genuine vintage treasure. It is a night gown and matching coat which had been specially ordered by Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York in 1968 to the designer house Oscar de la Renta for a customer.


Bergdorf Goodman is one of the oldest and most luxurious examples of the "department store" concept and it is still in business in Manhattan, New York. Hardcore enthusiasts of the TV series Sex and the City shall immediately remember it as Carrie Bradshaw's favorite shopping place.

I can count Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's in the US, Selfridges, Harrods in the UK among the high end department stores. These department stores are still very important for big fashion brands, for example some designer houses offer certain special products exclusively in some department stores, however, with so many different channels available to reach to the customer base directly today, it seems to me that the balance has shifted in favour of designers who are not as dependent as they were on the department stores. The story of this outfit shows us how influential the department stores  had been on the designer labels back then.

The dress and the coat are made from a brocade fabric in pink, brown and white colours. Besides, the fabric has golden coloured metallic embrodiery in it. The fabric's unique print with flowers and geometric patterns makes it look like a handcrafted fabric. The dress features a gorgeous golden coloured metallic braid circling the neckline, the center front bodice, and the waist seam. The coat's collar and cuffs are made from deep brown mink fur.

Every part of this outfit is radiating elegance, beauty, luxury and opulence. Imagine Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly wearing this dress and coat with white satin gloves reaching their elbows, waltzing into a ballroom. That's the allure that Couture Allure promises.