Showing posts with label fashion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fashion. Show all posts

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Mode Parade Reviews Canali S/S 2017




   I don’t know about you, but I am getting older

   Tastes shift, body parts misalign, hormones may mellow. The rebel often becomes the classicist. Mick Jagger has a knighthood (and he’s far from the only offbeat example). I don’t dress in the same excitable, though somewhat haphazard fashion I once did in my 20s. Nothing is truly set in stone. Even traditions

   Traditions need to reinvent themselves – where necessary –  to stay relevant; often, someone with a love for such things does this themselves. In this milieu, it was the modernisers, modernists and mods that made suiting a desirable thing to the young in the 1950s and 1960s; the likes of Michael Fish, Tommy Nutter, Edward Sexton and Antony Price in the 1960s and 1970s that catered to a flamboyantly refined rebel; Giorgio Armani imbuing suits with a certain relaxed loucheness in the 1980s and Hedi Slimane veering deftly from luxurious, aristocratic minimalism in the late 1990s to tight insouciance in the ensuing decade. Simply put: suiting always finds a way to stay interesting; often even the most interesting form of menswear available





   Canali, who approached me to review their upcoming spring/summer collection, are normally viewed by the online cognoscenti as stalwart traditionalists, albeit with a signature Italian flair. Message board mavens have mused over their cuts and craft, whilst wondering how many sprezzatura points their patronage will earn them when prepping their next What I’m Wearing Today home shot editorial. I like to think of Canali in the vein of tradition refiners. They don’t seek to reinvent the wheel; rather, they evolve carefully with the times or reprise adventurous ideas that worked and could easily become part of a canon





   One of the best reasons to buy into Italian-made clothing products is the sheer range of great fabrics on offer, an area this collection does very well in. Given its seasonal aims, cotton, linen and lighter woven wool are naturally present and correct; however, in keeping with the Italian bravura approach, standard items are rendered in upscale, inventive versions of stalwart materials. I look to the suits and separates made from malfile cotton, a normally rougher looking material suddenly evolved into a refined, natural graphite version of itself. Or the subtlety of the reversible pique jacket that enables the wearer to hint at the bold geometric print of its cotton-silk side when worn as its leather self. Or the neckscarves that make one want to periodically run their fingers along them

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   And that’s to say nothing of the overall tailoring. Canali can be relied upon to cut clothing and cut it well. And given the season, it’s also cut for comfort, resulting in an appealing paradox of formal looks that are nevertheless aimed at the nearest party (how’s that for an Italian tradition?). Jagger would be very tempted. Perhaps you may be, too



Saturday, 3 January 2015

Mode Parade Patron Saint: Jason King



Author's note: This was originally written in 2012 for the Mode Parade Tumblr; since deactivated

   When it comes to personal style, few today are able to do it as well as the fictional

   Mode Parade Patron Saint Jason King blurred the aesthetic lines between himself and his actor, Peter Wyngarde, to the point that one of the few ways they could be told apart is that King preferred women

   Wyngarde is quite a charismatic fellow, by all accounts, so it is quite sad that the press, the public and his profession would not let his career-damaging homosexual indiscretion slide - precisely the sort of inflexible moralising that can make the world a less engaging place to live in. It’s the calibre of charisma that made him a star and sex symbol, and here makes him the picture of enviableness, inhaling from a Sobranie whilst wearing one of his many Peacock-era matching shirt/tie ensembles, practically baiting the Good Taste Brigade as so he does

   Very much of the moment, in so many ways. But moments are all we ever get, and some last far, far too briefly

Monday, 15 September 2014

Pinterest on (Mode) Parade



   I am now assembling a small collection of boards on design, architecture, photography and style right here:


   The collection of images on my Pinterest boards is presently rather modest, but I anticipate that it will grow in tandem with my developing understanding of it. I've already begun utilising it for my photography efforts, at the very least, and it is a curious way of determining what one finds attractive, even in the face of what seem to be the labile tastes of the rest of the planet. Which reminds me that of the smorgasbord on offer, the pins of most utility appear to be cookery recipes

   Happy image hunting

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The Mode Parade eBay Clear-out Again




On offer this week: Junya Watanabe MAN/Comme des Garcons, Burberry Prorsum, a Sony NEX E-Mount camera lens and a few vintage Hermes ties. Link below

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Vintage Post

   Today, I'd like to ruminate on "vintage." Currently recognised as a market unto itself, it not only encapsulates clothes, furniture and underthings, but wildly ranges in price, from the cheap yet aesthetic baubles one can dig up at flea markets to the priciest of overly pricey rarities hung on the wall of a "high-end" trove in West London, which is all the more ironic when the best top-range pieces can be found in less saturated or more interesting areas like York, Peterborough or California. You know, the places where the actual makers of taste went to retire and die, leaving their belongings to either be passed down to their scions or absorbed into the dust inhalation-hazard zone that is the thrifting system. The truly fiendish and ingenious, meanwhile, put them up for auction, allowing stories of bitter bidding rivalries with the likes of Hamish Bowles to circulate across the interweb for amusement's posterity

   From the tone of that introduction, I hope you're not expecting me to be kind, dear Paraders

   Originally, this post would have followed its predecessors with recommendations to source nice threads, but other sites are more than capable of providing such information, and I suffer from thrift envy of the Americans, which encourages me to withhold my databank until I'm competing on more level ground. So, what with the slant Mode Parade has towards classicism, old films and the odd Fabulous Dead Designer, I felt that I should write a few words on the use of old things and classic inspiration in the present world. For I have seen many examples of it in the flesh, as well as on the world wide spiderweb, and it is my considered opinion that a great many people, as the kids say, suck at it

 


What of approximations of old styles? The fellow on the left pays homage to the Palm Beach holidaymaker/Go-to-Hell aesthetics once practiced by the likes of W Clifford Klenk, but the necessary colour sense, nonchalance, details and good cut quite obviously elude this evolutionary successor. On the other hand, he may know his way around a good cocktail

His shirt is vintage. As is his toilet paper


   The problem I see is a twofold one. There is an awful and comprehensive amount of total rubbish on sale in most second hand spaces. This is not an idle whine; on the two occasions that I tried vintage shopping in Camden, I wasted an hour touching more polyester than I have ever before done in my life. The second issue is pretty obvious - good taste is very much in its dearth throes and the only thing that separates most latter day, would-be Easter Paraders from the Jersey Shore guidos is that the former actually Mean It

   But then, this is being written by a man who describes himself to other humans as "a museum piece" and hasn't updated his mobile phone in four years

   Despite some previous and scattered thoughts on the topic, I am not disdaining the folks who, as far as I know, indulge in full period dress as a pastime, such as the attendees of the Jazz Age Dance Parties in New York or whichever appealingly decadent and fetishistic shindig the iDandy Andrea Sperelli is attending every other evening (his Marc Guyot-esque regular wardrobe is still fairly contemporary in its way, thanks to good fit). I'm just disdaining everyone else who's at it

Why go to the effort of a cohesive outfit when one can seek refuge in excuses like "Having fun" and "Retro humour"?
Thank you, Sparked. I was trying to keep a spit-free desk
   Gathering my thoughts on this became a chore; consequently, it's no wonder that the prelude to this post was published months ago. But then I was interviewed by a student from the London College of Fashion for an exhibition last month, and suddenly, my vitriol had a release. Naturally, little of that survived the  recipient's subsequent horrified editing, but that's why I hung onto the original

   We began with the obvious:
Why do you wear vintage?
BON: Primarily, for reasons of aesthetic tastes, quality and, if I’m lucky, rarity – a way of “waking the dead,” I suppose. Where a great many people take refuge in a specious sort of nostalgia, a rejection of the era they live in and/or simply want to be different (to varying degrees of success), I try utilising older stuff to supplement what I think are the best looks I can devise. I like the notion of re-incorporating past styles in order to refresh and juxtapose them with the times we live in, rather than simply donning a pastiche to signpost my “wicked free-thinking” and “seditious" ways; some of my favourite pieces are cut subtly enough to hint at the era they’re from, such as my father’s old suits, rather than advertise it
   Why didn't I tell the truth - that there was a burning envy that stirred within me when I started seeing photographs of Peter Wyngarde in his nut-hugging suits during the Jason King days? That I merely wished to take things back to the days when one could dress like a devout homosexual (or appear to be dressed by one) and still get women?

Wyngarde and his bulge accept the Male Personality of the Year Award from 1969's winner Barry Gibb, London, 15th August 1970
   Like two people hitting their teeth together during a premature bout of kissing, we then segued awkwardly into the philosophical:
What does vintage mean to you?
BON: A catchy label that goes better with alcohol and fragrances. But then, “antique clothing” has more of a fusty and inelegant flavour to it, so I can’t win
When did you first start wearing vintage?
BON: I’ve been wearing various pieces that were my dad’s since I was a teenager, but as I don’t consider post-1990 clothing to be vintage, I’d say since my early 20s
What piece means the most to you?
BON: The stuff that is genuinely irreplaceable, naturally. In this case, my Tommy Nutter leather duster, along with my Deborah & Clare shirts and Mr. Fish kippers from the 1960s-‘70s
We continued with the prosaic:
How far does vintage style extend into your daily life?
BON: A lot of my stuff is old, it’s true, and consequently, there will be at least one outfit component that’s lasted a while, usually before my birth. On a daily basis, I actually tend towards more modern clean-cut looks and tend to save my Peacock-era and old school politician references for my off-duty mode
And finally, we concluded with the depressing:

What is your perspective on the London vintage scene?
BON: Frankly, most of the good stuff, especially where men are concerned, is either online, in another town or in America. And, of course, prices are another issue; the confluence of all these factors does little to recommend London as a hunting ground. Moreover, interest seems concentrated on the first four or so decades of the 20th century, which weren't the most interesting for young people who actually lived through them anyway, and the scene, which I’ve always found fun in places, but narrow in others, tends to present as a costume-fest. There’s too much calculation, not enough spontaneity and I sometimes detect a clique-like mentality of broad, cheap shots being taken at different dressers. On the other hand, a number of the ladies look very good
Fin


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Notes on The Second Modecast


   Discussions of dandyism, dilettantism, drinks and death were just some of the features of last Sunday's Modecast as Danielle of Final Fashion and I dived once more into the digital dead pool:


Watch live streaming video from modecast at livestream.com


   Here be cliff notes:

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

"Lose Your Way and Find Yourself"



   There are some occasions that inform me that the Parade is appreciated by more than four humans at a time, every once in a while. Thus, I was most touched that talented artist Nina Meledandri, daughter of the late haberdasher and arbiter elegantiarum Roland, wrote in after stumbling across my prolix piece on him, "Homme Couture"

   I was so touched that I requested to reprint Nina's e-mail, to which she kindly consented. But then again, she provided 70% of that article's material. This is as much to thank her as it is to be thanked. And please remember to visit her interweb space, as linked above:
Hi Barima,
One of the most wonderful things about the internet is that sometimes you lose your way and find yourself
I just came across the post you made about my dad and it was really wonderful to find
I am glad that my reminiscences had an impact and of course it is a comfort that my father's legacy lives on
Thank you for posting that piece,
Nina

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Neo-Edwardiana, African Style/Negritude ala Senghor



A seasonal inspiration that I could not post to the Tumblr alone. Merry New Year, Paraders

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Peculiar Parade of Mr. Fish (1969)





The Peacock King of Clifford Street, Michael Fish, is seen here presenting his then-latest collection in 1969 via a report from London Aktuell, narrated by Eddi Arent with original music. It's one engaging hell of a carnival; a veritable fiesta of pastels, kipper ties, myriad materials and caftans that proudly exemplifies Fish's particular feeling for fabrics


Dead days of dandyism don't come much livelier

Monday, 5 September 2011

Multicultural


   Some may recognise the drapey Neo-Edwardian on the far left from last year's post on Bunny Roger. The forward thinking Continental and the wide shouldered metro boulevardier  bring up the middle, whilst the far right demonstrates the sturdy aesthetic values of the people

   Myself, I am more of a mix-and-matcher, but if there's anything that can be taken from this, it is the variety of ideas for accessorising or the counter argument for minimalism that this little guide presents

   But for the love of God, please let's keep the dog out of this - the Frenchman might be capable of retaining a certain poise even as he thinks about how to clean the fur from his fibres, though that should only serve to remind mere mortals how far beyond them he operates

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Leather Lust Object No.12 - Isaac Sellam


Leather craftsman Isaac Sellam works out of a Paris-based studio - what he calls his "leather research laboratory" - having spent 15 years honing his abilities before debuting his creations under the Isaac Sellam Experience label in 2002. He focuses primarily on handmade, exquisitely pricey jackets and coats, as well as particularly relaxed knitwear that looks as if it may disintegrate one day. This 'animal 2' crocodile skin biker-style jacket, somewhat redolent of Loewe in the 1980s for some reason, is available at Farfetch.com; Londoners such as I can see his work at Brompton Road's emporium of directional menswear, The Library

Friday, 2 September 2011

The Vintage Prelude (Fashion for Women)



   I am in the midst of slapping together my general thoughts on the state of the vintage clothing, as seen through the eyes of an overdressed, bi-cultural West African in late 2011 London; as such, the article is guaranteed to be impractical to all that are interested in quality guides, reputable dealers and low grade polyester

   Fortunately for everyone else, there are enterprises such as Devoted 2 Vintage that care for the practical side of informed decisions. As such, when I received an e-mail this morning offering '5 Tips to Identify Real Vintage,' I saw no reason not to disseminate it in the column. It concerns women's vintage entirely, which is perfect for my purposes - my eventual article will have a decidedly XY slant:

5 Top Tips to Identifying Vintage Clothing

Have you ever bought a "vintage" dress or shirt only to find out later that it is actually a modern reproduction? Well you are not alone, we see modern clothing everywhere you go purporting  to be vintage either because the seller doesn't have the experience or are simply trying to cash.
We would like to share some of our experience with 5 Top Tips to help you avoid making this mistake and maybe find that hidden vintage gem. There are always exceptions but by following these simple checks you should be able to avoid many mistakes.

Indicator 1 - Look at the Zip! 
 Does the dress have a metal or vinyl zip? Vinyl zips were not widely used on dresses until mid-late 1960's so the presence of a metal zip could indicate a pre-1970's dress. The location of the zip is also a key indicator. Also the location of the zip is important. Up to the 1950s the zips were often placed at the side of the dress, moving to the back during the 1950s and 1960s.


Indicator 2 - Look at the labels.  
There are three types of labels to look for; the makers label, the size label and care label. There is an excellent vintage label resource on the Vintage Fashion Guild web page were you can look up most important vintage labels. If you can't find your label here look at the other labels. Before the 1960's the size labels typically indicated the hip size in inches, after this sizes such as 12, 14 etc. were more commonly used. These standard sizes have change over the years so a 14 in the 1960s is equivalent to a 1970's size 12 and modern size 10 so check the bust measurement. Care labels are also a good indicator; they were only introduced in the mid 1960's and only became widely used in the 1970s. The Pure New Wool symbol was only introduced in the 1970s. The absence of any labels would normally indicate that the dress was home made and very common before the 1970's


Indicator 3 - Look at the Garment Construction.  
Vintage dresses are more likely to be hand made with details like hook and eye fasteners and poppers to secure the garments. Also, internal bra straps were common in the 1950s. Underskirts were common in the 1950's; look for net and muslin underskirts, often with metal hoops sewn in the hem to give the skirts more volume.
 

Indicator 4 - Feel The fabric.  
This is a skill that will be developed by handing vintage clothes. Modern mass produced fabrics are rarely the same quality as vintage fabrics. So it is worth spending time in a reputable vintage shop feeling the fabrics, when you then compare this with a modern dress the differences are apparent. The type of fabric used is also a good way of dating dresses. Rayon and taffeta were widely used in the 1950's and in the 1960's polyester; nylon and Crimpolene were commonly used. Lycra was only introduced in the 1980's.


Indicator 5 - Look at the Style of the Dress.  
This alone is not an accurate indicator because there are many vintage styles have been reproduced over the years. The 1940's shoulder pads were widely used but were also popular in the 1980's. The two most popular styles in the 1950's were the shirtwaist dress, with buttons to the front, a nipped in waist and full pleated skirt and the wiggle dress with lovely fitted hourglass shape. The 1960's saw the introduction of the classic mini skirt and simple shift dress. The maxi dress became more popular in the late 1960's and into the 1970's. The more flamboyant 1970s demanded more fitted styles with plunging necklines and angel sleeves.


Using all these key indicators should lead you through the minefield of buying vintage and help to prevent you from making mistakes. As your collection grows so will your experience and confidence but as long as you buy items that you love then even the mistakes don't matter too much.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Autumn Astaire

There should always be praise for Fred Astaire's mastery of playfulness and propriety, for how else could he have played the 1960s young man's game of the similar/same coloured necktie-and-shirt so well?

Friday, 26 August 2011

FRAPBOIS 2011-2012 AW Collection "EL Quijote" feat. Plus-Tech Squeeze Box


   Ahead of the next brace of Fashion Weeks, an engaging presentation from Japanese streetwear label FRAPBOIS. Since I have been making noises here and there about wanting to explore a different personal aesthetic one day, some of this might prove inspirational in time, although I draw the line at drop crotch trousers

   This is also a good reason to finally post music from the Japanese duo Plus-Tech Squeeze Box, who have produced a considerable amount of my favourite records, remixes and one-offs over the past 10 years. Paradoxically accessible yet provocatively an acquired taste, they have only given the world two albums, yet pack fifty times that amount into every piece they make. All hail the sampler:




Thursday, 4 August 2011

White Suit Addendum


Here's one I missed from my favourites: fashion designer Christopher McDonnell, as featured in The Telegraph Magazine in 1973, via Flickr. It strikes me that the magazine seemed to attract more cream-of-the-crop fashion coverage and photography than did its closest competitors, judging by the references I've seen in recent tomes like the indispensable Day of the Peacock, published this year by the V&A

McDonnell's ensemble is extremely well considered, dynamically cut and well-fitting. His judiciousness is particularly borne out by the thinking man's approach to boldly printed neckties - leave much of it to the imagination - and he crowns this by balancing this bombast with the ready-made ostentation of the suit, achieving this through the complementary hue of the shirt

I'd replicate this outfit in a heartbeat. I'd certainly appreciate the model


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Not Only For Southern Boys

   I want a white suit

  Yes, that's correct. I want to look like a plantation owner. Actually, I want to own a plantation. That's exactly why I want a white suit. My superiority complex must be indulged in the face of racial sensitivity, the stares of children and dry cleaning bills

   Speaking of children, for a great many of us growing up in Britain of the 1980s and early 1990s, this venerable institution below was our initiation into the intractable allure that a white suit holds. I write of course, of The Man From Del Monte, a tastemaker so prepotent that he could even subjugate Doctor Who 's definitive leading man into performing his narration:



   Of course, I'm quite willing to settle for off white or that light shade of beige that old people favour for upholstery

   Now, I've thought about styling one in a variety of forms. I've even considered ensembles in a Tony Montana or Miami Vice-like vein; utterly germane when matching the large quantities of Bolivian Marching Powder that line one's drawing room. And therein lies a decent line of approach - pastel shirting is an easy gateway to the fun of sporting white suiting - The King of Pop, for one, wrung an enduring image out of royal blue silk and barely-noticeable pinstripes. I do, however, recommend practically any colour other than darker purple - it's a touch too hard on the eyes, really:

Frankly, Mr. Jagger, this is not one of my favourites. But then, Mr. Watts has been consistently putting you to shame since the 1970s hit their middle period

   Nevertheless, Jagger has hit on another interesting aspect - bold shirts and white suits do not necessarily require neckwear; the tropical mode the look connotes makes for a particularly dégagé air; nothing speaks of summer's bright delights like a shirt that brings to mind the concentrated colouring of a particularly punchy cocktail. It's the dressing incarnation of optimism

   If one is particularly insensible or talented, a print shirt, worn in the Tynan fashion, is a step in a similar direction, and these are widely available, from H&M and Topman to Holliday & Brown, Gucci and Prada. The neckwear possibilities for these are a little looser than their pastel cousins - where the latter works best with plain or subtly patterned neckties and bow ties in both contrasting and similar shades, the former allows one to fool around with clashing prints or adventurous textures like raised ribbing and dupioni (both types may also support a neckscarf, where bravery permits). Worn at a function, it's an aesthetic that suggests one has brought all of the fun pills to the party. In the best potential interpretation of that hypothesis, of course

   So, how about a fellow who dons them habitually? Someone who did not earn the word "iconic" by making himself unavoidable via Jersey Shore, perhaps. A fellow who has been renowned for almost 40 years, who has designed garments of exquisite grace and idiosyncrasy, who challenges the Beastie Boys' Mike D for the sobriquet, "Man of Leather"

   Behold, The Last Emperor himself, Valentino Garavani:


   In contrast to rock'n'roll theatricality and dandyish offhandedness, Signor Garavani hews to the side of propriety and age-appropriate formality through simple, sedate accessorising to go with his uniquely Continental manner of quiet authority. Soporific to write about this may be, but for some, the mere act of donning a white suit is a statement in itself. Indeed, this approach makes the suit particularly safe for the city, whereas the playful version has a wider, wilder adaptability. Do not ever let it be said that I cannot cater for more conservative approaches

   Seemingly every neo-haberdashery, designer shop and department store proffer white suits each spring and summer, be it Banana Republic, Hackett, Zara or Ralph Lauren. The choice is very much the preserve of the buyer; my tastes are fairly easygoing and also dependent on fabrics,with one or two caveats - some enticing takes by Tom Ford in his Gucci days aside, I would preferably wear a double breasted version if it were silk. And in the discussion of linen vs. cotton, I'm with cotton - with less of a propensity to wrinkle heavily, it tends to suit three buttons and three pieces more neatly

   Did I mention that they go very well with Panama hats? In this case, I do recommend any hatband colour for one's straw, as long as it is not black

   Here are my three favourite white/light suit examples:

Barry Sainsbury, former director of the iconic Mr. Fish design boutique, in a summer ensemble complete with Fish's signature same fabric shirt and tie

James Salter, novelist and writer, posing for Jill Krementz. Imagine, if you will, that his shirt is either a leafy green, a rich tan or a pale orange and it still would tastefully complement his paradoxically stern yet relaxed demeanour

Speaking of the 1990s, being a Britisher, my first introduction to the American basketball legend Walt 'Clyde' Frazier came from a line in 1992's Beastie Boys song, 'Pass The Mic.' Here, he models a combination that, due to the red shirt and the high contrast, is potentially overpowering on much lighter complexions. The off white colouring is certainly a wiser choice over the purer shade; it prevents Mr. Frazier from resembling a European flag, for one thing


Those who would not chance a pair of correspondent shoes can still rely on stalwart footwear accoutrements in brown, black, tan and blue (thought those two may be best in suede) and oxblood. We cannot all be Clydes

   If a summer stand-out is required, backless chaps and string vests aside, I can think of few better aesthetic responses to the brilliance that this season brings. As long as one doesn't rub up against any surfaces

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Trigère’s Grace

 Via Vegas Laveau Vintage on Flickr
''Fashion is what people tell you to wear. Style is what comes from your own inner thing.''
  Thus spake Pauline Trigère (1908 - 2002), grande dame de la mode:



   Possessor of intrinsic fashion talent:



   And bouillabaisse connoisseur cum stove saleswoman:



(Of note for the the first video: Ms. Trigère was also known for having said, “When you’re feeling blue, wear red”)

   Of course, her meteoric rise from French birth to American success began with all the right ingredients: progeny of a tailor and a seamstress, a close escape from the Nazi regime (continued survival is the best sort of insurance for future success, I feel) thanks to her husband that she described with signature brevity (“Hitler — need I say more?”), leading to her New York incarnation as divorced single mother turned arbiter of feminine glamour. Also of note; she was, in 1961, first of the famous designers to utilise an African-American model to walk for her and also had a proclivity to take to the runway and discuss each of her designs as it was sent down. Rare is the catwalk that actually finds a micro-managing aesthete delivering real-time analyses. Perhaps such a technique could be employed to liven up Bloomberg

The preceding from Trigère's Autumn/Winter 1972 presentation, via WWD


Trigère's thrice deployed rhinestone bra, as first introduced in 1967

   Semi-regular readers may be aware that I've a fondness for the outspoken. And it's satiating to know that if there's one thing Pauline Trigère was not fond of, it was being reserved. Here are some highlights from the obituary:
On occasion a prima donna, a description she never challenged (she once told an assistant ''There is room for only one prima donna around here, and that's me''), she was often impatient. But her displays of temper were brief. She admitted that she was outspoken to a fault, but seemed to revel in that image. A woman meeting her at a social event once gushed, ''Oh, Miss Trigère, I have a dress of yours that I've worn for 25 years.'' The designer fixed her with an icy glance and said, ''Just what am I to do with that piece of information?''
Once, when she was approached by two retailers while dining in a restaurant after one of her shows, she asked them, ''Did you come to copy or to buy?''
   Of course, when one is an innovator (she lays claim to introducing the jumpsuit to the wardrobes of many a woman), I suppose that there is a degree of latitude with which to be offhand, forceful and yet measured with it. Take Trigère's personal mode. Its basal approach was rooted in professional, expensive-looking dresses and suits, whose severity or simplicity could be offset or upended by a forceful colour choice or a print shirt; habitually, she accessorised carefully and tastefully with jewellery, adding the intelligent touch of signature eyeframes. For the big finish, she utilised a factor that only a handful possess anyway: great poise

   I am no costume historian, but even I find much to appreciate about her work. Collectors from the four billion corners of the internet rhapsodise about her garments and the applications of her taste, and it must be said that the archive photography bears that out. Of particular interest is the lineage of tailoring that remained discernible in the pleats, drape and forms of her creations, bearing out her long-nurtured passion and her training:


   For all the success that Trigère's product enjoyed, I actually think it for the best if the house never revives. Some things need to be unearthed and admired for how intrinsically driven they were by a singular personality, particular one such as Pauline's, with her fondness for elegance, yoga and turtles - the sort of idiosyncrasies that make legends out of fashionable people. Besides, as one who got to do it her way for so long, I would hazard that where the clothes bearing her name are concerned, as it was in the beginning, it should always remain Pauline's path to tread


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