TIME fashion

1940s Fashion Tip: Don’t Leave Home Without a Hat

Or a smartly tailored blazer and a prominent brow

For every photograph printed in LIFE Magazine, countless others never made the cut. A set of 5,000 images might be whittled down to 15 in print, and entire assignments were set aside and never revisited. One such assignment was this series of fashion photos from 1941. Any notes, if they existed, have been lost to time, and all that is known is the location (Buenos Aires) and the subjects (models for Saks). But the fashion statements—eye-catching headpieces, expertly tailored outwear and serious brow power—speak for themselves. If today’s designers want to foster a resurgence of early ‘40s sensibilities, they need look no further than LIFE’s cutting room floor.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME fashion

6 Reasons American Women Should Stop Trying to Be Parisian

French actress Catherine Deneuve, circa 1962.
Silver Screen Collection—Getty Images French actress Catherine Deneuve, circa 1962.

Because the Parisian woman is going to make us more unsure about ourselves than when we started

In the vast and ever-changing world of What Is Stylish, there are a few things that seem to be constants: black always works; brows, lips, and lashes if nothing else; and when it comes to effortless chic and undone beauty, no one is more prized or emulated than the Parisian Woman. Here in the States, we’ve raised her to near-mythical status, a cloud of Guerlain and tousled bangs that floats past our un-chic lives, never exceeding a size 4. And, while I admit that I, too, love that image, and a copy of La Parisienne by Inès de la Fressange sits proudly on my desk, I can’t help but feel exhausted at the whole idea sometimes. As a French speaker of Quebecois extraction who lived several years in Paris — but who also has chronic rosacea, frizz-prone hair, and size-8 jeans — few things feel so close, and yet so far away.

No matter how much the dream of the Parisian Woman may frustrate me, though, I cannot deny her immense popularity. She’s her own genre of book, the subject of hundreds of popular blogs, and a mainstay of magazine articles. Even when we analyze her more critically, we can’t deny her influence. People want to talk about her, because on some level, we have come to believe that the Parisian Woman holds all secrets to living well, having great sex, and looking incredible even in a parka in the middle of winter. But, lusting after her imagined life is only, in the end, going to make us more unhappy with our own, and more unsure about ourselves than when we started — not to mention that the entire concept of a homogenous Parisian ideal doesn’t exist in the first place. Here, then, are six reasons why we should really stop putting so much effort into being so effortlessly Parisian, starting today.

MORE 84 Outfit Ideas For Style Extroverts

1. It’s kind of sexist, when you think about it.
The whole “be more like this mythical French woman” trope is sort of an upscale version of those “How To Stay Sexy For Your Man” books. As far as I know, no one’s running around telling American men constantly that they need to look and act like Jean Dujardin in order to be appealing. No one is presenting French men as the one thing American guys should aspire to, thus implying — on some level — that they’re not good enough as they are. The entire idea is gendered in a way that puts yet another form of pressure on us to be something that we may not organically be, or may not even want to be, which is the last thing we need.

2. “Effortless” is all a façade.
In the Sexy Parisian Secrets world, “effortless sexy” implies: being thin; having clear, glowy skin; possessing undone hair that falls perfectly, and wearing expertly cut clothes that hang off you in just the right way (likely because you are so thin). Even if you were physically predisposed to these things, you’d have to put in some effort to pull them all off on a daily basis. And frankly, most of us are not. Me, for example — how exactly do I go about “dewy” and “no-makeup chic” when I am constantly battling adult acne and dry winter skin? I guess I just put a bag over my head and paste Louise Bourgoin’s face on it.

3. For as many women who actually fall into the stereotypes, there are many more who don’t.
Simply wearing makeup or having some color in her closet doesn’t mean a woman’s got nothing to teach us about her culture, that she is an outlier who has no place in the vox populi. It just means her style and success in the various domains of womanhood are more dependent on individual lifestyle choices than country of birth. And, the longer we focus on the idea of the waif-like Gauloise-smoking Parisienne who raises obedient-yet-clever children with ease, the less we understand — and respect — what it really means to be a woman.

MORE This Paris Wedding Is What Dreams Are Made Of

4. French women read the How To Be Parisian stuff, too.
The concept of being that perfectly chic girl is just as foreign to many Parisian women as it is to us. When La Parisienne hit shelves a few years ago, every girlfriend I had in Paris bought a copy and consumed it just as naively as their American counterparts, and the latest book on the subject has been selling just as well there. They, too, are eager for the secrets to mastering the messy bun and bold lip, because — get this — they aren’t born knowing.

5. Parisian women are equally obsessed with New Yorkers.
And, they’re constantly talking or reading about NYC (specifically Williamsburg, lately), and dropping English words into French sentences in humble-braggy ways. For a lot of chic young French women, being savvy in a distinctly New York way is incredibly desirable. So, the thirst for cultural copycatting goes both ways, and they are no more in possession of magical information about life than we are. They are looking right back at us for a lot of the answers.

6. Paris is a real city with real diversity.
It’s full of people who are not a singular white, thin woman in a messy topknot and Breton-striped shirt. And yet, this is rarely (if ever) included in the many odes to “French style.”How to be Parisian, for example, doesn’t mention the incredible array of hijab fashion you will see on the street every day in Paris. And, while it would be wrong to imply that France (and Paris in particular) is a bastion of diversity — or that French culture has mastered embracing different backgrounds — the reality is that these outdated notions of What Is Parisian only perpetuate the real problems of representation in the country itself.

As long as we want to imagine that France still looks like a Doisneau photograph, we ignore the very real people who make up the France of today. We don’t acknowledge the many women of color, or the women who can’t afford designer labels, or the women who don’t fit into a sample-size skinny jeans. Those women are French, too. They may not look or shop like Clémence Poésy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn something from them. Even if that something isn’t “use expensive face cream and have lots of sex,” which seems to be all we want to hear.

MORE Hollywood’s Next Favorite Dresses Just Showed In Paris

This article originally appeared on Refinery29.com.

TIME celebrities

Dolce & Gabbana Try to Clarify IVF Remarks That Had Elton John Fuming

Celebrities urged a boycott of Dolce & Gabbana products in response to their comments about "synthetic children"

Italian fashion moguls Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have used an interview with CNN to backtrack slightly on their controversial remarks about in vitro fertilization (IVF) that sparked a public backlash, saying that they don’t judge the lifestyles of others but were simply expressing a private opinion.

“I respect you because you choose what you want. I respect me because I choose what I want … This just my point of private view,” Dolce said in the interview.

The two appeared to disagree over IVF with Gabbana seeming more open to the idea while Dolce explained that his Sicilian background engrained in him a belief in the strong, traditional family.

The original comments, in which Dolce called IVF babes “wombs for rent” and “sperm selected from a catalog,” caused pop icon Elton John to urge a boycott of Dolce & Gabbana products that gained support from many celebrities and the wider public.

Read next: This Is Why Shailene Woodley Eats Clay

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TIME India

India’s Modi Says His Fashion Sense Is a Gift from God

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi with the US President
Prabhat Kumar Verma—Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President Barack Obama at Hyderabad House on Jan. 25, 2015 in New Delhi, India.

He's a fashion icon, according to one author

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said his well-documented fashion sense was a gift given to him by God, according to a new biography of the premier.

“God has gifted me the sense of mixing and matching colours,” Modi said, according to biographer Lance Price. “Since I’m God gifted I fit well in everything. I have no fashion designer but I’m happy to hear that I dress well.”

Price, a onetime adviser to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, takes an entire chapter to report on the ways Modi has built up his brand, and calls the newly elected Prime Minister a “fashion icon.”

The Indian leader regularly sports designer watches and glasses, and he has a pinstripe suit with his name woven into the design of the stripes. He changes his hand-made shirts multiple times a day to match the background of locations where he’s speaking publicly. And his preference for short-sleeve kurtas has been viewed as a symbol for his efforts to modernize the country.

[WSJ]

 

TIME fashion

Rihanna Is the First Black Woman to be the Face of Christian Dior

Rihanna promotes her new animated feature "Home" in New York City on March 15, 2015.
Neilson Barnard—Getty Images Rihanna promotes her new animated feature "Home" in New York City on March 15, 2015.

It was just a matter of time

Rihanna has big news: She is the new face of Christian Dior’s Secret Garden video campaign.

The “Take a Bow” singer will star in the brand’s fourth video in the series, Christian Dior confirmed to WWD, and she joins the ranks of Marion Cotillard and Jennifer Lawrence as a face for the French company. The campaign has been shot by Steven Klein in Versailles, France, and Rihanna’s film is set for release later this year and will continue from the third chapter, which boasts more than 9 million views on YouTube. We have little doubt that Rihanna will have trouble smashing those figures with her performance.

Given that she’s a regular fixture in the Christian Dior front row and wore the brand for a recent performance of “FourFiveSeconds,” some may have seen the announcement coming. By fronting the campaign, Rihanna is also making history since she’s the first black woman to be a brand ambassador for Dior.

Not only is her role great news for diversity within the fashion industry, but it’s also further proof that 2015 belongs to Rihanna. She stars in her first animation, Home, this month, has recorded the soundtrack to accompany it, and is releasing her eighth studio album this year.

This article originally appeared on InStyle.com.

TIME Apple

Apple Is Turning Itself into a Fashion Company

New Product Announcements At The Apple Inc. Spring Forward Event
David Paul Morris—Bloomberg/Getty Images Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, speaks during the Apple Inc. Spring Forward event in San Francisco, Calif. on March 9, 2015.

That's the real meaning of "more personal" technology

So much of Apple’s “Spring Forward” event last week has been analyzed to death, but I’d like to focus for a moment on the outfit that CEO Tim Cook wore. Yes, I know, such trivial considerations like executive fashion are inane when discussing a company like Apple–or at least they used to be–but bear with me.

The costumes CEOs wear during keynote events have become a part of the marketing message, especially when they involve multibillionaires slumming in something you could buy for $100 at Ross. For years, Steve Jobs wore rumpled, fading 501s, New Balance sneakers and the now-iconic black mock turtleneck. Early on in his keynotes, Tim Cook wore an untucked button-down shirt over nondescript jeans. (Fashion writers sniped that he had “no fashion.”)

That changed this week. Cook announced the sale of the Apple Watch not only with his shirt tucked in, but enveloped by a dark zip cardigan. The jeans looked to be upgraded to selvage denim. The message–coming during a week when Apple’s stock entered the blue-chip Dow Industrials and the company itself started pushing $17,000 gold watches–was clear, if fitting: Fashion now matters at Apple. I’m talking about, of course, much more than Tim Cook’s jeans.

None of this is much of a surprise. In fact, it’s been a long time coming. After Steve Jobs died, Cook’s Apple began caving to shareholder demands to offer dividends and split its stock–moves that Jobs vocally opposed during his tenure. And under Jobs, Apple products were high-end devices to give consumers the highest-quality personal computers available, not to become luxury fashions.

But if the change has been gradual and low key, Apple under Tim Cook is beginning to make some radical breaks with the Apple according to Jobs. For decades, Apple fanboys fought against the Microsoft hegemony of the PC industry and for the purity of Apple’s vision for personal computing. To be an Apple fanboy in 2015, however, is to be a fan of The Man. The ultimate corporate outsider is, under Cook, becoming the consummate insider.

There is of course much that remains unchanged under Cook. The corporate culture is largely intact despite a sixfold increase in headcount. Design is as paramount a factor as ever in both hardware and software. (Perhaps even more so than before as some of Jobs’ whimsy has been thankfully abandoned.) Above all, the user remains the focus of all products, which are never released until fully baked. Cook called the Watch “the most personal device we’ve ever created”—and that’s all Apple has really done: make personal computing as personal as possible.

And yet it’s hard to ignore the subtle but significant ways Apple is changing. The old Apple disdained the idea of giving billions of dollars to investors when it could be stockpiled for innovation. The Dow was closer to a cabal of incumbents to be disrupted and not a place for rebel companies. And the idea of splitting Apple’s shares to fit into an anachronistic, price-weighted stock index conceived in the 19th Century would have seemed silly.

These changes at Apple are understandable. With $178 billion in cash (mostly overseas), Apple would be facing intense shareholder pressure not to distribute some of that largesse. But the old Apple took a cavalier attitude about investors. They weren’t just sitting in the back seat, they were put in the back-back seat of a station wagon, and should consider themselves lucky to be along for the ride. Growth was the goal Apple strove for. Dividends were paid by sissies.

The sale of expensive gold Apple Watches is also logical. There is no killer app, or even a killer function, for the smartwatch yet. But there won’t be until a lot of people start using them regularly. But they won’t wear one until there’s a killer app, and so on. To break this catch-22, Apple is pitching the watch as a luxury fashion item. Wear it because it makes you look good–because it’s fashion–and then Apple can tweak the technology inside once it figures out what features are most popular.

So the fashion factor of the Watch is enmeshed with the same goal Apple has for every product: a more personal technology. But even the idea that fashion is a goal that Apple should be pursuing at all marks a departure. iPods were once a cool, coveted gadget, and that image was played up in memorable TV ads. But in the end fashion was simply a byproduct of the design Apple used to make the iPod more personal.

Later, when Jobs unveiled the iPhone in 2007, he would have laughed at the idea it was a fashion accessory. Its purpose was to let you carry the Web itself around in your pocket. The sleek design on the outside told you about all the smart design inside.

With the smartwatch, Apple–along with everyone else – is still working on how to make what’s inside as compelling and intuitive as the iPhone. And so to many, its primary allure is as a status symbol. That notion strikes a lot of longtime Apple users as kind of odd, with many people joking that the $17,000 gold Watch has displaced Google Glass as the new gold standard for douchebags.

Cook and Apple will be able to brush off such jokes. The more expensive watches are not immediately visible on Apple’s site, and retail shoppers need to seek them out. It’s the same with the other changes Cook is making. They aren’t immediately visible, but they add up to a new Apple that’s very different from the company that Steve Jobs built.

Apple still thinks like a startup but, in many ways, it’s acting more and more like a blue-chip giant. It still clings to counterculture ideals and yet it’s become the company that, more than any other, defines cultural norms. A big, interesting question facing Tim Cook’s Apple is, how long can it continue to straddle such contradictions?

TIME fashion

How to Gain More Closet Space Without Renovating

messy-closet
Getty Images

Here are the secrets to creating the ultimate storage unit, no power tools required

We consulted with closet-design pros from across the country to learn the secrets to creating the ultimate storage unit, no power tools required.

Double Up

You need to dedicate only two-thirds of your closet to hanging rods. To maximize that space, mount two of them—one well above eye level for longer garments and one a little more than 3 feet off the ground for shorter (or foldable) ones. Position both at least 1 foot from the back wall.

Put Small Items in Their Place

Designate a container (a bowl or bin on a shelf, or a pouch that hangs on the inside of the door) to serve as a catchall for loose change, receipts, or other items that accumulate in your pockets.

Add Guiding Lights

Closets should be wired for lighting. If yours isn’t, use battery-powered stick-up LED pucks, such as Sylvania’s Dot-its along the top and under shelves so that you can find what you’re looking for.

About $12 for three; lowes.com

Divide and Conquer

Avoid jumbled piles of folded clothes by limiting shelf stacks to a height of 10 inches and partitioning them with thin bookends, like Highsmith’s steel versions.

About $9 each; highsmith.com

Raise It Up

Only things that can be easily lifted or rolled away, such as suitcases, should be stored directly on the floor; everything else should sit at least 1 inch off the ground to allow for regular vacuuming.

This article originally appeared on This Old House.

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TIME movies

Watch Derek Zoolander Walk the Runway at Paris Fashion Week

To get us pumped for Zoolander 2, coming in 2016

Fourteen years after Zoolander came out, the beloved male model is back — and this time, he’s strutting his stuff on an actual catwalk.

Yes, for real. Ben Stiller reprised his role as Derek Zoolander and walked the Valentino runway at Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday. In the middle of the show, he made a surprise appearance set to the song “Don’t You Want Me.” Behold:

Oh, and Owen Wilson was there too, to reprise his role as Zoolander’s frenemy Hansel:

DOES THIS @VALENTINO FINALE MEAN ZOOLANDER 2 IS COMING!?!?!?!?!?!?

A video posted by Man Repeller (@manrepeller) on

This wasn’t just a random gag, though. Turns out Zoolander 2 is actually happening. Paramount shared the news on Twitter Tuesday:

TIME Opinion

The Problem With Dolce and Gabbana’s Motherhood-Themed Runway Show

Dolce & Gabbana - Runway RTW - Fall 2015 - Milan Fashion Week
Catwalking/Getty Images Models walk the runway at the Dolce & Gabbana Autumn Winter 2015 fashion show during Milan Fashion Week on March 1, 2015 in Milan, Italy.

The designers' Milan Fashion Week show celebrated mothers — but not in the way our culture needs

Mother’s Day arrived early this year in Italy, where Milan Fashion Week is currently taking place. Sunday’s Dolce and Gabbana show, named “Viva la mamma!,” was entirely dedicated to celebrating motherhood. A handful of models walked the runway with their children and babies, while “Mama” by the Spice Girls played. Model Bianca Balti, heavily pregnant with her second child, even walked in the show. Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have said the show was an homage to their own mothers.

The collection on display matched the mother-loving theme: ultra-feminine shapes — think full skirts and cinched waists — with loads of lace and florals. Many of the garments were emblazoned with the word “Mamma” or had children’s drawings printed across them, in the same vein as Angelina Jolie’s wedding veil.

It’s hard to deny the actual collection is stunning, but the idea of the show itself left me cold. Celebrating motherhood is all well and good, but this display was an entirely shallow endorsement of women that smacks of a gimmick. The theme might be sweet and largely inoffensive — after all, who doesn’t love moms? — but it also stuck to a particularly narrow definition of mothers. In D&G’s world, motherhood is the most limiting archetype of all, where women are radiant and impossibly beautiful, but not truly sexual.

Of course, it was nice to see a shape on the runway that falls outside the runway norm and isn’t pin-thin. One of the most justified and enduring criticisms of the fashion world is its reliance on ultra thin and, in some cases, unhealthy bodies. So props to Dolce and Gabbana, who asked Balti, clad in a form-fitting pink dress, to walk the runway. Alas, Balti was the only one on the runway who offered anything different, size-wise. (And, as others have pointed out, the models were mostly caucasian.) The rest of the models — even the new mothers — shared the typical model dimensions we’ve come to expect from fashion week.

But there’s a destructive side to flashily incorporating mothers-to-be and new mothers in a fashion show. In many ways our culture fetishizes mothers — and pregnancy — and the fashion and beauty industries are no different. Many women’s magazines and fashion websites have dedicated plenty of space to cataloging pregnant celebrities and their growing “bumps.” The very same publications devote even more attention to those women’s bodies after they give birth, either celebrating the return of a “pre-baby body” or tracking the struggle to bounce back to a so-called ideal.

Unfortunately, much of our culture’s focus on new motherhood and pregnancy ends up revolving around women’s bodies and how they look. That context is hard to separate in a fashion show — which displays women’s clothing on women’s bodies — that also tries to honor motherhood, no matter how well-intentioned.

Read next: World’s Most Famous Baby Photographer on the Power of Motherhood

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