Fashion Meets Music: An Interview with Triangle Shirtwaist Commemorator, Musician Jim Kuemmerle

Salt Lake City–based musician Jim Kuemmerle makes music with social justice at its heart. The jazz composer, pianist and accordion player has spent the past year composing and recording a 10-track album to honor and commemorate the events of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire—a tragedy on March 25, 1911, that claimed the lives of 146 workers in the garment district of New York City and led to an uprising in the workers’ rights movement in the United States—and raise awareness of the unacceptable conditions still in existence today. Kuemmerle’s Triangle Shirtwaist Jazz Project, an instrumental jazz album, stems from an interest in the larger story of the victims and heroes of the tragedy that had been lying dormant since he was in Read More »

Industry Insiders: Hope Misterek, Stylist and founder of Ajentse

One of the benefits of working in the fashion industry is discovering all of the creative and cool people you get to collaborate with and befriend. Hope Misterek, fashion, prop and set stylist, is one of ’em. I first worked with Hope about 10 years ago when she styled a shoot for one of the magazines I edited, and since then we’ve worked together on dozens more. Since then, Hope founded her talent agency, Ajentse, has traveled the globe styling shoots for clients such as Tommy Hilfiger, Nordstrom and Report Shoes, covered fashion shows for Supermodels Unlimited and now divides her time between Seattle, New York and the world beyond. She is the Style Editor for Seattle Magazine, and her work also appears in national magazines such as Vogue, In Style, Lucky, Gourmet, Shape and More. On February 26, Hope and her work will be celebrated at The Dozen, an exhibition and party highlighting 12 years of her work in the fashion industry. She chatted with On This Day In Fashion about what it takes to be a stylist, her most fabulous career highlights and the best—and worst—thing about working in fashion.

On This Day In Fashion: How did you get started as a stylist?
Hope Misterek: It was a combination of things. Officially, I went back to school at Read More »

Rediscovering Beauty: A Conversation with Designer Brunello Cucinelli

On this day in fashion, designer Brunello Cucinelli will be awarded an honorary degree in Philosophy and Human Ethics from the University of Perugia, one of the oldest universities in Europe. The honor is fitting, because for Cucinelli, no line exists between fashion design and philosophy. He is so dedicated to producing clothing in a way that improves and enhances humanity, that in 1985 he began restoring a crumbling 14th-century castle in Solomeo, the struggling Umbrian village where his wife grew up, as his company headquarters. In the 25 years since, he has not only grown his one-man cashmere company into a multi-million dollar business with employees and boutiques located around the world, but helped evolve Solomeo into a thriving, cultural community. His workers—Cucinelli employs most of the townspeople—seemingly live a utopian ideal. Every employee has a key to the factory, no one punches in or out, and 90-minute lunch breaks, almost entirely subsidized by the gourmet commissary, are mandatory. Most recently, Cucinelli completed construction on a soccer pitch and theater there.

The seasonal collections of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories are the realization of Cucinelli’s efforts: Extremely flattering, artisanal luxury products beautifully constructed entirely in Italy. Individual pieces are expensive, but one can take comfort in knowing that when they buy a Brunello Cucinelli, they are not just getting a beautiful garment but are subsidizing an Umbrian lifestyle. (Although much convincing is usually not too necessary.)

On October 30, Cucinelli was in town for a trunk show at Mario’s, an excellent designer clothing store in Seattle, and I managed to sit down with him for a few minutes Read More »

Q&A with Rebel Without a Cause Screenwriter Stewart Stern

Back in 1999 at the beginning of my magazine career, I interviewed Rebel without a Cause screenwriter Stewart Stern for Seattle magazine, where I was an editor. In the spirit of today’s Cinemode, Rebel without a Cause, I thought it would be fun to dig up this lost interview after all these years and post it on On This Day In Fashion. The short Q&A with Stern centers around the fact that I’d recently discovered that the author—the nephew of Paramount Pictures founder Adoph Zukor and actress Mary Pickford, and first cousins to the Loews, who ruled MGM—had traded in the jungles of Hollywood for the wilds of Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, where he was a hiding out as a docent with the gorillas. Stewart was nothing less than a peach, and we talked in his garden and living room for about three hours. I didn’t ask him about fashion or anything stylewise, of course, but he told me about James Dean and surprised me with a cool story about Jim Morrison and another about his aunt, the legendary actress and “It” girl, Mary Pickford.

It took me hours to find this little gem—probably the fourth or fifth story I ever published—on an old disk, and now I’m determined to find the mini-cassette tape I recorded the whole thing on. I don’t remember exactly what was on that tape (lots of family bits and a conversation about the homosexual undertones of Rebel comes to mind), I only remember that as a young writer I was devastated at all the words I had to cut. When (if) I ever find that tape, I’ll maybe transcribe it and post the whole long-lost interview. In the meantime, this conversation is what made the cut for publication: Read More »

OTDIF chats with Geoffrey Beene Collector and Blogger, Patsy Tarr

Patsy Tarr at a 2009 Geoffrey Beene exhibition.

On This Day In Fashion readers have already been properly introduced to Geoffrey Beene, but no tribute can compare to collecting the designer’s clothes, vowing to wear one of his garments every day for a year and documenting it all on a blog. Patsy Tarr is the founder of 2wice Dance Foundation in New York, the publisher of Geoffrey Beene: A Design Tribute and the blogger behind Beene-iana, her journey of a year in Beene launched nearly one year ago today. OTDIF chats with Tarr about knowing Beene, collecting high fashion and the daunting task of wearing one designer for a year.

On This Day In Fashion: What inspired you to start Beene-iana?
Patsy Tarr: I went to see Julie and Julia and thought it was so much fun. I started to think about what I could do every day that would be interesting, and the one thing I could very easily do every day would be to wear something designed by Geoffrey Beene, because I have such a large collection. And that’s what I did.

OTDIF: How many pieces are in your collection?
PT: I am going to guess in the vicinity of 350.

OTDIF: When did you realize that you were amassing a collection?
PT: There was no conscious decision; I just gravitated toward his clothes. I figured, ‘my daughter is going to wear this when I’m done with it,’ so I never threw his stuff out and after many years I had a collection. Read More »

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