Fashion Jewelry to Jazz Up Your Looks

Fashion Jewelry to Jazz Up Your LooksThere is no doubt in saying that fashion jewelry and women are synonyms to each other. Fashion jewelry is an add on, over clothes to embellish your personality. The sparking and glittering pieces of jewelry are a first choice of every woman, as they make them look absolutely glamorous and sensuous.

Trends in jewelry come and go with time, today's trend is not going to stay forever, this is for sure. But still, precious and fashionable jewelery never fades out of fashion, specially the diamond, gold, pearl, platinum and kundan. But now, lets talk about funky and artificial jewelery, this form of jewelery is one of the perfect ways to jazz up your looks and can be worn with different outfits and in different color combination's. So, there are innumerable choices available for women to add style to their outfit. Whether she wants bracelet or a pair of fashionable jewelry, there are loads of choices in the fashion jewelry world.

There are many reasons behind women loving to wear fashion jewelery, firstly it is not much expensive as compared to the original ones, secondly one gets the huge variety to match them with various outfits. Moreover, they also add a variety and fashion to your outfit.

Also by wearing fashionable earrings and bracelets, woman can best flaunt their beauty and femininity. They can be chosen from different shapes and sizes and believe me, they are one of the amazing sources to captivate the attention of onlookers. Fashionable earrings having high quality stone, sparkles beautifully and appears like an added feather on women's beauty. Button earrings for working women and hanging earrings for youngsters are in swing. Button tops are actually less than an inch across and may have slightly curved edges to help capture the light better. These are also seen in variety of colors and materials, but the most popular one is a simple gold button.

Cootje & Tiemen, Amsterdam

Raquel Gaudard Interviews Me about Fashion as Art in the Museum

Not long ago, Brazillian journalist and editor Racquel Gaudard contacted me for an article she was writing for the publication Duetto. Her article was published last month and can be viewed here. Even if you don't understand Portugese, this publication is filled with beautiful imagery. Racquel also kindly provided me with a translation of the article into English for my blog.

When fashion in the museum became a synonym of art
By Raquel Gaudard

The 2012 calendar is full of great fashion exhibitions not to miss, however, the most awaited are – once again – happening far from Brazil.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) presents in New York, from May 10th to August 19th, “Schiaparelli and Prada – Impossible Conversations”. Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, parted by time and linked by style connections, get an exhibition that shows how both explored different angles of similar issues in their collections.

Heading to the old world, specifically to Paris, the Les Arts Decoratifs is ready to open its doors and face a huge line of fashion lovers, coming from all parts of the world – that´s what the exhibition  “Louis Vuitton - Marc Jacobs” is expecting – from March 9th to September 16th. In view of the extended time, the foresights point to a success as great as Alexander McQueen´s show, last year. Almost 700 thousand people passed by the event, a great amount, specially if we consider the contemporary art audience.

“Fashion exhibitions are in fashion”, says Ingrid Mida, Canadian artist and researcher of the intersection of fashion, art and history. “Fashion attracts young audiences into museums, and savvy curators are aware of the seductive power of staging exhibitions that will bring people into the museum”, she analyses.

Ingrid reminds us that it was Diana Vreeland who first presented, in a museum, the work of an living fashion designer, in 1983, when she showed off an Yves Saint Laurent retrospective, at the MET. “That exhibition generated a lot of controversy, but also set a precedent that others have since followed”. For Mida, fashion shows are more accessible to the mainstream perception than the traditional contemporary art installations, fact that explains – in her point of view – the big audience created by these events.

While abroad, fashion and arts have conversations in many dates spread all over 2012 calendar (check out our highlights for this year in the box, at the end of the report), in Brazil, this kind of production is still restricted to a more historical than artistic speech. The Costume and Textile Museum from the Feminine Institute, at Salvador city (BA), has the largest costume collection of the country, including, sometimes, special guides aimed at the dialogue between fashion and contemporary art – as proposed in the exhibition “Threads, threads, threads”, closed on March 22nd.

But this is an odd case and doesn’t describe the reality of our museums. According to Douglas Negrisolli, brazilian independent curator and art historian, the relation between fashion and visual arts in Brazil is still superficial. “The exclusiveness and the power of a small portion of the society are notorious in our country, and that comes about with much less strength in countries like United States, where the cultural production is extensively supported by both the government and private sector” – he considers.

Douglas also mentions how collections are limited to more regional representative costumes, such as cangaço (symbolical historical way of life from the Brazilian northeastern) and cerrado (typical brazilian vegetation), but, in the long run, “they are ineffective on the process of spreading brazilian costumes main feature, as well as its permanency in presentations”, he thinks.

About the art curator role due to this new work source, Ingrid Mida affirms that this professional acts as a gatekeeper into the museum, once through this selection of which and how objects are supposed to be displayed, he or she can change the public comprehension of art. “Schiaparelli and Prada”, for instance, is directed by no one less but the cineast Baz Luhrmann, who produced a video installation simulating an imaginary dialogue between the fashion designers. 

“Staging effects, such as the use of lighting and sound elements, invisible supports for garments, or animated mannequins, are display techniques for fashion objects that create the aura of an art installation. And, while audiences might read fashion as art because of those choices, it does not mean that what is shown in the context of a museum setting is necessarily art” – she completes.

In Douglas’ opinion, the art curator has the power of highlighting a production, but not raising it to another level. “Just as a physic reaction of an artist/stylist internal desire, in essence, is, on itself, an artwork”, he says. Concluding, he affirms that, in his opinion, “art is the expression of an intimate wish towards to something physical, visual, touchable” – so, clothing would also be, in a way or another, whether valued for installations around or not, included in these words.

Museé des Les Arts Decoratifs – Paris
From March 9th to September 16th 2012

Metropolitan Museum of Arts (MET) – New York
From May 10th to August 19th 2012

Design Museum – London
From March 28th to July 1st 2012

Denver Art Museum – Denver
From March 25th to July 8th 2012

Victorya & Albert Museum – London
From May 19th to January 6th 2013

Palazzo Fortuny – Venice
From March 10th to June 26th 2012

Prinsengracht, Amsterdam

What I'm Reading ....

Summer is my time to read. I love to lay in the backyard on a chaise and catch up on my reading.... Hot off the press from Berg are two new titles that dovetail my research: Fashion and Art as well as Victorian Fashion Accessories.

In Fashion and Art, editors Adam Geczy and Vicki Karaminas have compiled a selection of essays by leading scholars including Valerie Steele, Hazel Clark, Joanne Eicher and Diana Crane on the intersection of fashion and art. To date, papers on the topic were difficult to find and this book provides a comprehensive overview of the state of the discourse thereon. My initial review of this book indicates that Valerie Steele's essay on Fashion and Art in this book mirrors her comments in Milan as well as my interview with her for Fashion Projects. I am looking forward to digging deeper into these essays, especially since this is a topic that I am passionate about. 

In Victorian Fashion Accessories, Ariel Beaujot, who did her graduate studies at the University of Toronto, considers the history of women's fashion accessories such as the parasol, the glove and the fan during the Victorian era. Turning a phd thesis into a book that is accessible and interesting to non-academics is no small feat, and so far this book has been delightful, providing that necessary balance between scholarly research and general interest reading. In my own research on the paintings of James Tissot, I've noted that the glove and parasol figure prominently in his works, and I'm looking forward to understanding the nuances of meaning in the depiction of these accessories with the help of this book. 

Report from Milan Fashion Tales 2012

Dolci is the word I would use to describe my trip to Milan Fashion Tales 2012. It was three days of intense focus on fashion theory and I took it all in like a sponge. Funnily enough, many people said to me "You look familiar" and when I'd admit that I was the author of "Fashion is my Muse!", they would often laugh and said they had visited before. It seems that my slog (scholarly weblog) is a fashion academic's guilty pleasure.....
The Duomo in Milan, Photo by Ingrid Mida 2012
The conference was kicked off by fashion scholar Valerie Steele who gave a talk entitled "Is Fashion Art?". She had given a similar paper last summer but revised this talk to incorporate the quote from Muccia Prada used in the Costume Institute's exhibit on Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Prada said: “Dress designing is creative, but it is not an art…. But to be honest, whether fashion is art or whether even art is art doesn’t really interest me. Maybe nothing is art. Who cares!

Window of Alan Journo in Milan, Photo by Ingrid Mida 2012
Other highlights of the conference included featured papers by Sophie Woodward on "The Intersecting Narratives in Clothing", Peter McNeil on "Post colonial fashion: Easton Pearson", and Chris Breward on "Music, Image and Style: David Bowie". During the parallel sessions, my favourite papers included: Jeffrey Horsley from London on "Presenting the Body in the Fashion Museum" and Alexandra Cabral from Lisbon on "Art and Fashion". No doubt there were other fabulous papers in other parallel sessions, butI focussed on my interest in fashion and art.

Blumarine Window Milan, Photo by Ingrid Mida 2012
I'm pleased to say that my paper "The Metaphysics of Blogging" was received well to a standing room only crowd. I quoted Agnes Rocamora from the University of the Arts in London and she just happened to be the next speaker on my panel and spoke on "Instant Fashion, Time and Acceleration in the Fashion Blogosphere". Marco Pedroni presented "Fashion Blogs, A New Way of Telling Fashion" and it was suggested that these three papers be published together since they reflect the past, present and future of the blog.

Window of Valentino in Milan, Photo by Ingrid Mida 2012
Milan turned out to be a beautiful city that combines fashion, art and history in its own unique way, and although I seemed to get lost at least once every day, there was always something beautiful around the next corner. The  theme of the city as it relates to fashion came up throughout the conference and there were speakers from countries all over the world including such faraway places as Brazil, South Korea, New Zealand, and Saudia Arabia. The conference organizers are already planning ahead to Milan Fashion Tales 2014.

I "heart" Milan. Photo by Ingrid Mida 2012

On The Way To University, Amsterdam

Fashion Jobs and Fashion Career Advice

Fashion Jobs and Fashion Career AdvicePicking one out of many fashion jobs generally is an overwhelming challenge. There are several different opportunities in the fashion industry that you might not be sure which one is best for you. With the high demand for fashion jobs, you need to be sure of what it is that you want to do so you can get started on pursuing your dream in this competitive industry. Below you will find descriptions for several fashion jobs and, subsequently, be one step closer to establishing your career in the fashion industry.

1. Fashion Designer

Thanks to shows like Project Runway, there are many people whose curiosity has been rose towards the fashion industry, exclusively, fashion design. A career as a fashion designer seems extravagant and rewarding but it takes a whole lot of work. A fashion designer must be well-informed of the latest trends (and sometimes even be ahead of them) and have the creativity to conceptualize new designs. A fashion designer creates sketches, whether by hand or with computer-aided design (CAD) software, of their designs and must be familiar with fabrics and materials in order to create samples that show what the final product would look like. As a fashion designer you can specialize in clothing design, footwear or accessories. Fashion jobr like that of a fashion designer are prolonged with grueling hours of intensive work and lots of traveling if you want to promote your designs. Fashion designers work under pressure to meet deadlines and make an impression on fashion buyers and other potential clients. As a fashion designer you would need not only talent and creativity but also thick skin and dedication.

2. Fashion Merchandising

Fashion jobs in merchandising can be very challenging. A fashion merchandiser must know what consumers really want, how to present it to them, what they want to pay for it and how to lure them to purchase. A fashion merchandiser is not just an expert in fashion but must also have strong business, financial and advertising skills. As a fashion designer you might find yourself creating budgets, tracking profits and losses, tracking inventory, developing marketing strategies and even putting together creative visual displays to draw in consumers. It's a career that entails many different roles but also has many opportunities to grow and advance in.

3. Fashion Buyer

Fashion buyers are among the most crucial people for brands and companies. They must have good communication skills, be aggressive, organized and driven. As a fashion buyer you work hand in hand with designers, merchandisers and other key people to select what pieces to present to consumers and ensure that best-sellers are continually available. Buyers must be mindful of both current and future trends so they can make the right choices of clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. to ensure high profits. Working with suppliers to negotiate prices suggests that a fashion buyer must have good interpersonal skills, be educated in market costs and also in consumer demands. Fashion buyers must be ready to work under pressure, travel and research and analyze in order to make practical decisions on what products to offer their target customer base.

4. Fashion Director

Fashion directors, also known as creative directors or fashion coordinators, are in charge of the image and look of a store, magazine or a fashion house. They are accountable for that first impression given when people look at ad campaigns, shoots and even fashion films. A fashion director must make sure that the models, photographers, location and concepts characterize the store, brand, or magazine in the best and most genuine way. One of the most well known creative directors in the industry is Grace Coddington who, alongside Anna Wintour and other industry professionals, are a part of American Vogue. In the documentary "The September Issue" we are able to see Coddington showing us her best work and the steps she takes to produce the magnificent spreads in Vogue. Now, don't think it will be a snap landing one of these fashion jobs. Be prepared for long hours of work, creative stumps, frequent traveling, crazy deadlines, and being willing to go back to the drawing board time and time again. Remember, as a fashion director you are responsible for the image of a brand; you produce something that the whole world will see. People will base their opinions on what you present to them. As one of the top fashion jobs in the industry, the pressure is on!

Fashion Jobs - The List Goes On

5. Fashion Forecaster

Probably one of the highest ranking careers in the fashion industry, fashion forecasters do just that, forecast the future trends and styles. This is much more sophisticated than forecasting the weather. Not only does a fashion forecaster need to have in depth knowledge of fashion but he or she must also be creative and surely have the skills necessary to research and analyze potential trends, colors, fabrics and patterns. Fashion forecasters seek inspiration in everything from movies, music, even science and technology. Getting a position as a fashion forecaster is one of the most prestigious of all fashion jobs you could aspire to.

6. Fashion Stylist

A fashion stylist has the easy (or is it?) task of making someone look good. A stylist must be familiar with what colors, fabrics and styles work best to flatter someone's shape while also knowing ways to accessorize and finish the perfect outfit. Fashion stylists are responsible for picking the best pieces for photoshoots, events, etc. and putting them together for the final product. A stylist's reputation lies on how good the client looks and, in the case of ad campaigns, whether or not the stylist can communicate the image and vision of a product. Don't be surprised if, as a fashion stylist, you find yourself traveling for motivation or shopping for clothing, or even spending a day (or a few) revamping a client's closet. Finding fashion jobs for stylists can be as uncomplicated as working as a personal shopper or styling photo shoots for websites or local magazines or newspapers.

7. Fashion Photographer

It's not just about knowing just how to take a good picture. Fashion photographers basically have two fields to be good at: fashion and photography. The photography part consists of knowing what angles, lighting, etc. As far as the fashion, photographers really need to be experts in that as well. A fashion photographer should always know what the best trends are, top designers, top fashion events and any other heavy hitter aspects of the industry. Fashion jobs in this field can consist of taking pictures for model portfolios, ad campaigns, and fashion shows. Fashion photographers are responsible for producing a shot that requires excellent technical skills and extensive fashion knowledge. For example, when a fashion photographer goes to shoot at a fashion show he or she must know exactly when to snap the shot of that model wearing the flowing dress. The picture must showcase how the fabric moves and flows instead of displaying a dress that falls limp and drags on the floor. A fashion photographer works hand in hand with stylists, makeup artists and models to ensure that the final product is efficient in sending a visual message.

8. Fashion Editor

Fashion editors supervise the direction of a fashion publication, website and other media. They are in charge for editing a fashion writer's work, making suggestions, and researching the possibilities of future stories. Fashion writers must be aware of trends and classics to assure that coverage is provided for the target audience. A fashion editor works under the pressure of meeting deadlines, supervising writers, discovering features and fresh ideas all while staying current on the industry and scanning the levels of competition. Some of the qualities necessary for one of these fashion jobs are being organized, punctual, able to communicate verbally and have impeccable writing and journalistic skills. Being one of the most competitive fashion jobs in the industry, a fashion editor should be ready to put some hard work in and spend long nights brewing up excellent, creative content.

9. Fashion Writer

Being a fashion writer is not as easy as picking up a pen and paper (or laptop, tablet, etc.) but includes extensive amounts of research. Fashion writers must be current on their knowledge of fashion and creative when drumming up writing ideas. Of course, outstanding writing skills are a must and meeting deadlines are also fundamental in this career. Fashion writers can execute interviews, cover fashion events and supply reviews of products. You have a choice of working as a freelance writer, with television shows, websites, blogs, smaller publications like local magazines and newspapers or with major publications such as Vogue or Elle, among others. This is one of those fashion jobs where you can find many opportunities and can be fairly simple to get started.

10. Fashion PR (Fashion Public Relations)

Creating a good consumer opinion is of the utmost importance for this fashion job. Where advertising and marketing can create a consumer desire to purchase a certain fashion item, public relations handles the image in its relation to the public eye. Public opinion can gauge the success and longevity of a company. Out of all the fashion jobs mentioned, fashion pr is the piece that ties it all together.

Fashion Jobs that Require WORK!

Whatever one of these fashion jobs you determine to make your career, remember that in such a reasonably competitive industry it's important to put in a lot of hard work and to be determined. All employers look for something that make their next hire special and capable of making their publication, line, show, or website shine amongst the rest. What is it that you have to offer that others don't have? How motivated are you? Tell us, which one of these fashion jobs appeal to you the most?

Fashion Tales 2012 Milan

This afternoon I will present my paper The Metaphysics of Fashion Blogging in Milan at the Fashion Tales 2012 conference. Of course, I wanted to wear something out of the ordinary and I asked a talented friend - Anna Zygowski - to create a dress for me. She first created a digitally printed silk fabric from photos of distressed lace and then copied a style of sheath dress that I often wear. The fabric presented its own challenges for Anna, but I think the result is fabulous. Even if my paper doesn't get rave reviews, no doubt the dress will!

The abstract of my paper is:

The emergence of the fashion blog is an aspect of culture that has gone largely unexamined. Although fashion blogs seem to be a relatively recent phenomenon, the drive to document aspects of one’s life goes back many centuries. Journals, diaries, sketchbooks and albums are evidence of the urge to memorialize and share ideas, events, activities, and accomplishments. For example, Barbara Johnson, a well-to-do Englishwoman from a clerical family, made detailed notes about her wardrobe for the period 1760-1823. Her album, which is now in the archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum, includes a detailed description of each garment, fabric swatches, information about cost and trimmings as well as clipped pocketbook engravings with the styles of the day. Drawing on historic precedents and the author’s experience as a blogger, blogs are reconsidered in the context of theorist Michel Foucault’s theories on the aesthetics of existence as creative portals for identity construction. In equating bloggers to Walter Benjamin and Charles Baudelaire’s concept of the flâneur, this social media tool is also recast as a forum in which the ephemeral and transitory processes of fashion can be captured. 

What is on the Fashion Calendar in June 2012

June seems relatively quiet compared to this past month! Some of the ongoing shows and events that I would recommend include:

Cristobal Balenciaga: Collectionneur de modes (Gallery Installation Shot by Ingrid Mida 2012)
Cristobal Balenciaga: Collectionneur de modes at the Musee Galliera in Paris
Balenciaga collected garments, accessories, and books from the 18th and 19th century as part of his personal archive. The juxtaposition of these items alongside the contemporary designs created by the Spanish designer show the links between the inspiration provided by history and the end result. This exhibition was so innovative in presentation that I think it is worth a closer look. The curators were creative in their display of items that could only be shown flat due to conservation issues, as well as innovative use of relatively inexpensive design modules. 

Prada and Schiaparelli: Impossible Conversations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
The imaginary conversation of two women designers -- Muicca Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli -- from different decades celebrates the power of ugly chic as well as the connection between fashion and art. Read my review on Fashion Projects here:

Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection (Gallery Installation Shot by Ingrid Mida 2012)
Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto
The delicate jewel-like creations of Roger Vivier remind me of candy. Exquisitely crafted with beadwork and other embellishments, Vivier shoes are truly wearable works of art.

Fashion Tales 2012 in Milan (June 7-9)
If you happen to be in Milan next week, please join me at the Fashion Tales conference at the Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. I will be speaking on the Metaphysics of Fashion Blogging on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 2:30-4 pm.

Constructions of Femininity Q&A at loop Gallery (June 17, 2012 at 3 pm)
On the last day of my show at loop, there will be a question and answer period moderated by Peter Legris. I know it is Father's Day, but since most guys will be out golfing, why not get a dose of art?

European Fashions News and Trends

European Fashions News and TrendsEuropean Fashions News and Trends

Traditionally, they have said that fashion trends began in Europe. The rest of the world may be catching up in shared ingenuity, but there is definitely something in the art and movement in places like Milan and Paris that make women succumb to the scrumptious temptation of the masterpieces born there.

Recent European fashion trends deem that color is in. Vibrant colors of greens, crimsons, yellows and blues worn snug to the body, yet paired with layers upon layers are in. There is no rule about what colors are in and how exactly they're worn. Although, the colors are used sparingly and are used for the purposes of making a loud expression against a "blank" backdrop of blacks, browns and whites.

The recent trends tend to be one of seeming contradiction; however, the opposition in colors, patterns and styles work well together. As of late, we have seen plain colors of cream worn all over paired with deep azure boots or scarf. Likewise, other vibrant colors worn to give a "pop" of color here and there work well with the plain backdrop.

Also, there is a recent trend in the combination of knee-high socks with high heels. While yesteryear may have said this is a definite "no," it is now a hot look. In conjunction with this look, anything worn up to the knee is a must. The reason this look works well has to do with its streamlined appearance, which is what ties all of the looks in together with contrasting colors and patterns. As with anything, fun and individual artistic flair is a must in the creation of the next masterpiece

From hats and pants suits to lingerie, Boyish looks dominate Paris' fashion week. Designer Fatima Lopes kicked off the trend, debuting her fall-winter 2012 line that draws inspiration from the war museum Invalides. The designer found it was important to mix the looks with enough women's flesh showing for a sensual look.

Julien David continued the trend of European women fashion, finding inspiration with men's clothing on women as well. The knitwear is dark, neutral colors paired with thick hats and scarves. For Corrado de Biase, the Italian designer felt it was important to mix feminine silhouettes with men's clothing that hangs just right over all the right curves. Bloggers feel the trends shadow Coco mixed with 1970s trends.

This fall, fashionistas can expect no shortage of tweed and plaid prints that are paired with khakis and earth tones. High wasted shorts and sporty boots will also make a big impact on the streets of all major fashion capitols. On the lingerie runways, models sported a variety of sexy, but boyish samples as well. Boy cut shorts with lifted cups are sure to set a mood in your bedroom. Don't forget the first step to being a fashionista is feeling great with the perfect lingerie.

Photos from the Opening of Constructions of Femininity by Ingrid Mida at loop Gallery

Installation Shot, Constructions of Femininity by Ingrid Mida
Photo by Patricia Njovu 
Ingrid Mida at Opening Reception Loop Gallery, May 26, 2012
Photo by Patricia Njovu

An important visitor at the Opening Reception Loop Gallery, May 26, 2012
Photo by Patricia Njovu
Ingrid Mida and visitors at the Opening Reception Loop Gallery, May 26, 2012
Photo by Patricia Njovu
Contemplating the history of women's hockey at the opening reception Loop Gallery, May 26, 2012
Photo by Patricia Njovu

Studying a sculpture  at the Opening Reception Loop Gallery, May 26, 2012
Photo by Patricia Njovu
Guests at the opening reception Loop Gallery, May 26, 2012
Photo by Patricia Njovu
The show runs until June 17, 2012 at loop Gallery, 1274 Dundas Street West, Toronto.

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