March 14, 2007

"Chic is where you find it."

I have been thinking a lot about the designer Bonnie Cashin recently, and was so happy when I stumbled across two incredible websites dedicated to her fashion designs from the 30s through the 70s: the Bonnie Cashin Foundation and the UCLA Library Dept. of Special Collections. Both sites document her entire design history, including her remarkable line of handbags for Coach and her "Seven Easy Pieces" concept of dressing, which I love.

I saw an amazing exhibit of her work at FIT in New York a couple years ago and completely fell in love with her designs and her theories about designing. She created utilitarian clothing and accessories that were fashionable and chic at the same time by mixing industrial hardware with leather and suede and beautiful woven textiles in simple, geometric shapes. So many of today's designers are still embracing those concepts. (The thing that got me thinking about Bonnie Cashin again was a wallet I recently purchased from Hobo that reminds me so much of something she would have done.)

In addition to the quote I mentioned above, I love that this quote by Bonnie: "Wouldn't it be nice if I could get a tweed by spinning together a bird's nest and a spider's web?" I couldn't have said it better.

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