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Olive Look: Pretty Vintage

My dears, today I am feeling sexy secretary or sophisticated boss lady, ready to file those papers, take on the boardroom and whip you all into ship shape.

What better ensemble for a day like today then this sweet and smart combo of a lacy vintage shirt, a delicate and flirty, with a jet black skirt and vibrant red and white scarf that say ‘kicking butt and taking names”!

Add a pair of simple, classic black ballet flats and you’ve got the ultimate, at work 9-5 and beyond combo.  Time to ask for that raise!

Olive Goil: Alexandra Valenti

These days everyone is a photographer, right? Instagramming, blogging, and smart phone documenting our lives, with an array of apps and filters at our disposal and in the palm of our hand.

But my dears, let us not forget that photography is an art. There are vibrant, imaginative folks who devote all of their time and talents to creating enduring, moving, poignant imagery for the rest of us to enjoy.

So let’s tip our hats and give a sweet curtsey to those who do their thing and do it well. Respect, my dears, it is all about respect.

That is why today’s Olive Goil is the absolutely stunningly talented Alexandra Valenti, an East Coast gal who moved to Austin, Texas, picked up a camera and some paints… and let her mind open wide.

Her photography, blasted, blown-out and beautiful, captures a place and time that seems to exist in a dream – gorgeous landscapes, striking models, vintage clothes…it’s a world I’d love to step right into… and never leave.

Miss Valenti does high fashion shoots with the eye of a country girl, bringing all that high falootin’ fashion swagger – straight back down to earth. Clothes and jewelry seem all the more wearable and more lovely in her photographs, shot in what you can imagine must be an atmosphere of adventure and fun.

And when Miss Alexandra adds her paints to the prints, something thrilling and magical happens. Her bright patterns and illustrated embellishments serve to transform a mere photo of a woman in a dress – to the level of fine and lovely art.

Respect my dears. Respect to Miss Valenti and to all the other photographers, musicians, writers and artists, etc etc… who remind us of the importance of authenticity and true talent… in this crazy, mixed up digital world.

Live Olive: Save The Garment Center

I know at this point you must think all I have been doing here at Fashion Week NYC is gallivanting around rubbing shoulders with fabulous people and looking pretty.

But, really, that’s not all folks, I swear!

The fashion industry is built on much hard work and creativity and love and sweat and tears. Designers have to be committed to succeed and a huge part of why they are able to produce such well crafted and stunning pieces has much to do with the sewers and suppliers who help make their visions reality.

You’ve heard me talk quite a bit this week about Save The Garment Center, but really, I can’t say enough about the importance of this organization!

I am so very pleased to introduce a lovely lady who can tell us all a much, much more about SGC,  than I. Ladies and gents, introducing Erica Wolf, Executive Director of Save The Garment Center.

Can you tell us a bit about the history of the Garment Center?

West 35th Street to West 41st Street, and Fifth Avenue to Ninth Avenue today roughly bind The Garment Center.  This area has played a vital role in New York City’s fashion industry and economic history over the last 100 years.

In the late 1800s, an influx of immigrants came to New York and many worked in the apparel industry.  The industry took advantage of the local seaports by bringing in supplies such as fabrics from European and New England mills, and accessing major markets overseas.  As Manhattan’s Lower East Side drew the majority of early immigrants, the neighborhood subsequently became an early center of garment production.  The city’s garment industry continued to grow rapidly, expanding from 562 manufacturing firms in 1880 to over 1,800 firms in 1900, effectively establishing New York City as the hub of the nation’s ready-to-wear industry.  Over the next few decades labor movements and government action pushed garment production out of the cramped working conditions of the Lower East Side.  Residential and retail developments lead the factories further uptown, and the industry ultimately settled in what we know today as NYC’s Garment Center. (Source: Municipal Arts Society)

What factors have contributed to the potential loss of the Garment Center?

For the past several decades a decline in domestic manufacturing has lead to a great loss of businesses and jobs in New York City’s Garment Center.  Designers began producing clothing overseas at a much lower cost, and garment industry jobs have continued to move overseas at an alarming rate until recently.

Real Estate pressures also contributed to the loss of jobs in the Garment Center, and a 1987 zoning law was put into place to combat these development forces.  Over the past few decades, factories have begun to feel the real estate pressures once again with landlords harassing them in their place of work, and cutting short their leases.  Landlords have been complaining that the zoning is outdated and the regulations need to be changed.  A change in the zoning would be the complete loss of the Garment District as we know it.

 Why is important to save the Garment Center?

The Garment Center is a research, development, and production hub.

Emerging designers come from all over the world to take advantage of this district.  Its 10 block radius is a cluster of factories, fabric and trim suppliers, showrooms, and countless other resources.

The local factories afford emerging designers the ability to start small and grow their production as orders increase. Domestic production allows for more thorough quality control, easier management of inventory, and a quicker turnaround time to fill orders and meet spur-of-the-moment trends.

If we lose our manufacturing infrastructure, we risk losing future generations of emerging designers, and losing our status as a leader in the world of fashion. The newness of these designers is what draws the buyers and press from all over to come for markets and fashion week.

We can only sustain a future for American fashion by supporting the American manufacturing base, and fully utilizing its potential. Consumers have enormous power to signal their desire for more Made in America garments with their purchases. We need to encourage established American designers to bring some manufacturing back from overseas. By buying American and asking your favorite brands to manufacture more in the USA, and New York City, you can help ensure a future for jobs in American fashion.

 

Olive Loves: Bonkuk Koo

There are times, my dears, when fashion moves far beyond the runaway or the street and becomes something much more like high art.

Seoul Korea-born and Fashion Institute of NYC educated Bonkuk Koo is one of those designers. His is the kind of creative mind whose imagination stretches past the confines of the ordinary.

“I want to make a dress which can be exhibited in her living-room rather than kept in her closet, “ say Koo on his blog. And boy, does he deliver!

Bonkuk Koo makes dresses inspired by the storm-tossed waves of the Hudson river, the intricate detailing of an antique guitar, by leaves in the wind, flower petals or geometric patterns.

These dresses that look more like sculpture and make the ladies wearing them – look as if they stepped from a dream.

Oh Bonkuk Koo, Olive loves you!

Hand-cut, crafted with care, each of his fantastical pieces is stunning look at what miracles can be achieved with mere scissor, thread and fabric. This young fella is a talent on the rise, my darlings! So keep your eyes open wide for his utterly unbelievable creations!

I attended his show this morning at New York Fashion Week – A total breath-taker! Here are a couple pics from Stoli. More pics to come soon XOXO

 

 

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