Monday, January 07, 2008

Cash In Hand

What are the odds? Undoubtedly you'll be shocked to find that I do NOT know everything about every fashion designer who ever sketched a dress on a pad of paper (and anyone who claims they do is lying). I do not indeed, and learn every day. Forcing myself to maintain a blog by writing nearly daily about vintage has definitely broadened my horizons....there's a lot to learn out there! But back to the odds.

After watching (albeit before and after, not during, the ending moments.....WHY have live auctions ending in the middle of the night Central Time??) some vintage designer pieces at auction over the weekend I decided to touch on a coat I'd had my eye on by Bonnie Cashin. From the (fantastically done) website the BONNIE CASHIN FOUNDATION a bit about Bonnie....

"One of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful American fashion designers of the twentieth-century, Bonnie Cashin (1908–2000) was revered for her intellectual, opinionated, and independent approach to ready-to-wear. She designed exclusively for herself and appealed to women who shared her nonconformist attitude, such as clients Marlene Dietrich, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Mary Quant. She worked with companies ranging from Herm├Ęs to American Airlines, and was handpicked for projects as diverse as advising the Indian government on export design and launching Coach as a maker of women's accessories. Through her contagious passion for her work, she crafted a life full of storybook tales of discovery and madcap adventure and became a design icon.

A “nomad by nature,” Cashin grew up in a string of California cities, fascinated by the jostling of Asian and Latin American communities. She adored Chinatowns and fairy tales, and dreamt of becoming a dancer, a painter, or a writer. These early passions – for travel, “ethnic” exoticism, dancing, drawing, and storytelling – combined with her extraordinary design talents and modernist spirit to form a series of creative careers on both American coasts. Prior to her mid-century launch as a “name” on Seventh Avenue, Cashin’s credentials included, but were not limited to, a decade of designing costumes for New York’s “Roxyette” chorus girls, an under-cover assignment to design women’s uniforms for World War II, and a stint in Hollywood designing wardrobes for over sixty films at Twentieth Century-Fox."

Much more on the website, fascinating information and so SO much eye candy! What struck me as odd and totally irrelevant was the mention of both Marlene Dietrich AND the Rockettes, both of whom I have blogged about in the last 2 weeks since deciding to take writing more seriously. Kooky, that.

At any rate, this Bonnie Cashin coat was one of a pair recently auctioned by CLARS AUCTION GALLERY on eBay, and the winner is no doubt thrilled....

Both coats were iconic Cashin....modern, simple lines and an unexpected way of making a rather masculine suede appear quite feminine. I've recently aquired for sale my first Cashin, a bright orange-red leather box bag with her trademark striped fabric lining....available at DOROTHEA'S CLOSET VINTAGE WEBSITE or locally in my shop....

More about Cashin at the eVintage Society's DESIGNER DATA BASE

Stylish suede! Lovely leathers! Grab a Cashin coat or bag and add some designer flair to your vintage wardrobe.


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