Fashion Statement: Naomi Sims

“It’s ‘in’ to use me, and maybe some people do it when they don’t really like me. But even if they are prejudiced, they have to be tactful if they want a good picture.” —Naomi Sims, American model (1948–2009). On this day in 1969, Read More »

Bill Blass Gets Guns a’Blazing Angry about Fashion Piracy

Here’s a pretty cool follow up to Katrina’s history of fashion piracy from last week: A Bill Blass ad published on this day in 1964 that warns counterfitters just what they are up against if they try and knock off big, bad Bill Blass!

In the ad, two machine-gun toting models face the reader, while Blass stands in the background, Don Corleone–style. (And, um, this photo looks eerily similar to another image we’ve seen on this site.) The text underneath the image (you have to read it in Marlon Brando’s Sicilian accent for full effect) warns:

They can’t knock off Bill Blass.

Seventh Avenue gets away with murder. Somebody creates a hot design and bang, before he even gets it in the stores they knock it off. That’s why Bill Blass got himself some protection. The protection of exclusive fabrics nobody else can have. Of subtle Read More »

Four Fashion Designers Make their Mark with Designer Cars

Picture the scene: It was the bicentennial, the year 1976. Ninety percent of clothes worn in the U.S. were made in the U.S., and Detroit was still the car capital of the world. If you were rich, or wanted to look like you were, a two-ton behemoth of an American-made luxury car was the must-have accessory. Sure, the new Japanese cars got better mileage, but they were dinky and, besides, only hippies, draft-dodgers and the (then-thriving) middle-class drove those. But that year, as had been the case for many years before, the Cadillac was the preferred status symbol of choice. And so on this day in 1976, the Ford Motor Company strived to one-up Cadillac-maker General Motors, and introduced its Lincoln-Mercury Mark V Designer Series, a car-couture collaboration with four luxury fashion design houses: Cartier, Givenchy, Bill Blass and Pucci. (Though it is strange that Ford didn’t partner with four American designers. Perhaps Charles James, Oscar de la Renta, Arnold Scaasi and James Galanos preferred Toyota?)

“Designer cars” were not a new idea: Since 1968, Cartier chronometers had been a standard feature (and posh selling point) on instrument panels in Mark III editions of Lincoln Continental sedans. In 1972, both Pierre Cardin and Levi’s designed sporty Javelins for American Motors Corporation, in an effort, apparently, to appeal to Read More »

Your Stylescope for June 22, 2010

Find out who in the fashion world shares a birthday with you and learn your destiny for the year. Guaranteed.

Born on June 22:

Madeleine Vionnet, French couturier; 1876
Bill Blass, American couturier; 1922
Joyce Michel, American designer; 1951
Cyndi Lauper, American musician and style icon; 1953
Ágatha Ruíz de la Prada Spanish designer; 1960
Jessica White, American model; 1984
Linda Vojtova, Czech model; 1985

A most joyous birthday wish for you! You might not have sampled this tasty little nugget of trivial goodness, but during World War II, Bill Blass served in a special U.S. Army unit that specialized in camouflage. By all accounts, Blass was a wonderful soldier, with a friend saying, “If it was cleaning trash cans, he was right there with a smile and beautiful teeth.” And that, my birthday pal, is how I want people to describe you during this next year. Because believe me, if you are willing to do the proverbial and literal dirty work with a light heart, you’re going to have a fantastically funtastic year (Yes, I did just use the word “funtastic.” It’s really the way to sum up your immediate future). Just make sure to wash up when you’re done.

Did we miss anyone? Drop us a line and let us know. Image: caricature of soldier/designer Bill Blass, drawn by fellow recruit Jack Masey.

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