Handmade Means Hands-On

Designers What to Wear

When the folks at Hamilton Shirtmaker hear all the current chatter about returning to heritage, artisanal craftsmanship and authenticity, they can just roll their eyes and yawn. They don't have to return to these values because Hamilton never abandoned them. After all, their company has been making bespoke shirts by hand since 1883. Back then, of course,there was no ready-to-wear—going to a tailor or a seamstress to have clothes made was the normal way to buy them.  Back then, too, Hamilton's home city Houston was a roughneck upstart, not the sophisticated dynamo it is today, so the business and the city...

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That's Artisanal

Designers

Meet Monica, Romina and Zora-- the entire production staff for the women's half of Biella Collezioni designed by Maria Luisa Barbera. If you have a favorite garment in your closet from her collection, these ladies probably made it. Talented, highly skilled and hardworking they are the behind-the-scenes heroines who figure out how to make a designer's dreams happen. Without a carefully coordinated team like this one to develop patterns, cut, sew, press and finish garments, and control the quality of every item, a designer can produce ideas, but little else. Now as always people are asking for clothes that are...

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Ultimate Black Dress

Designers What to Wear

Back in 1926, Vogue magazine showed for the first time a little black dress courtesy of Coco Chanel. Her idea was totally modern: she created a relatively affordable dress in a simple style and neutral color that a woman could wear for many social occasions merely by changing her shoes and jewelry.The simple style meant the dress could be worn for several seasons without looking out of date and the black color, heretofore worn primarily by those in mourning, had by then become appropriate everywhere. The idea of creating a dress that could be worn almost anywhere, anytime with merely...

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Alexander Julian

Designers What to Wear

With his signature horn-rim glasses and distinctive redhead look, Alexander Julian is a colorful character. The first time we saw him he was also wearing periwinkle blue, purple, hot pink and apple green in a pattern and fabric of his own design. He was a wonderful jolt of color in the midst of a sea of menswear grays, tans and navys. It was love at first sight. Now with five Coty awards for fashion design and the Pinnacle award for furniture design among his souvenirs, Alex is still fascinated by color.   His latest experiment? A group of extraordinary (yep,...

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Men in Skirts

Designers Miscellaneous

  This Chinese grandfather has created quite a stir recently by modeling his designer granddaughter's collection. What started as a joke-- trying on a few of her designs and vamping about in them-- has turned into a clever marketing scheme. Hardly a new practice, but men in skirts, in public at least, still get noticed right away, and as a result he's become a celebrity and her sales are booming.  We like the fact that he is clearly enjoying this bout of silliness and his 15 minutes of fame, helping his granddaughter and tweaking the nose of fashion in the...

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