“Once upon a time the fairy tales begin. But then they end and often you don’t know really what has happened, what was meant to happen, you only know what you’ve been told, what the words suggest,” wrote Joyce Carol Oates. Perhaps it is for this reason, because they are both malleable and imposing, that these old stories have woven themselves thoroughly into our cultures. Again and again, they are revisited and reinterpreted and rewritten to reflect—or rebuke—the present.
Usually we puzzle over their endings; they seem arbitrary and sudden, not at all circumstances conducive to the stability of a Happily Ever After. That end is often where our fantasies begin. In revivals and epilogues—written by great writers like Roald Dahl, Stephen Sondheim and Margaret Atwood—the characters live on to confront new challenges.
Cinderella’s glass slipper, the Mirror on the Wall, Red Riding Hood’s cape: fashion often provides a plot point in fairy tales. Great designers, too, have reinterpreted these tales. The newest exhibit at the Museum at FIT/Fashion Institute of Technology, Fairy Tale Fashion, opening January 15, explores how designers have visited these classic stories in clothes. A peek inside this storybook collection of couture and historical pieces is at the link.
Our favorite nonagenarian style icon, Iris Apfel is making headlines again. The Boston Globe reports that she’s donating over 600 articles of clothing and accessories (we’re talking the likes of Lagerfeld, Dior, McQueen) to the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts.
All 600 enviable pieces were already lent to the museum during its 2009 exhibition, “Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel.” After reading the news of her collection’s permanent return to the museum, we thought it a perfect time to open our treasure chest and relive our interview with Apfel—shot as she as she marked the exhibition’s opening by styling our Nordstrom Northshore windows.
“If you can have one good little black dress and have a lot of accessories, you can change the look of the dress, and you can have umpteen outfits and always look good.”—Iris Apfel
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Aldrich Peck.
*Credit as below.
*Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Purchased with funds provided by Suzanne A. Saperstein and Michael and Ellen Michelson, with additional funding from the Costume Council, the Edgerton Foundation, Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer, Maureen H. Shapiro, Grace Tsao, and Lenore and Richard Wayne
Picture it: 18th-century Paris. It’s the height of the ornate and playful Rococo period and France’s capital is considered the tastemaker of the western world. See it all for yourself. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, mark your calendar and head to the Getty Center’s exhibit, Paris: Life and Luxury, April 26–August 7.
Experience the lifestyle of elite Parisians during the mid-1700s as you wander through thoughtfully curated rooms featuring fashions, paintings, sculptures and the day-to-day objects of Paris’ upper echelon.
Roughly 160 pieces from museums and private collections the world over culminate to bring you into the grand homes and daily life of Europe’s cultural epicenter.