Source: Pasadena Star News
Window designer Irene Muzzy Smitham has found unique niche, making origami paper skirts, and mannequins for of Koi fashions on Fair Oaks Avenue.
“It’s retail theater,” said Smitham, who, with her background as an actress, set designer/decorator and “closet costume designer,” knows drama.
But now she and others are beginning to think of the Fellini girls and the eight other fantastically paper-dressed mannequins as something more than window dressing.
It’s really “3-D collage,” Smitham said of the dresses and shoes she created from her collection of Chinese, Japanese and vintage papers – including wallpaper. The response has been heartwarming – the customers are really blown away – they’re completely intrigued,” she said. “It’s really fun – and they all think I need a gallery show.”
That could be on the way, she said.
“I’m on the waiting list” at the Mor York Gallery in Los Angeles, she said. “Creatively, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”
The concept of the costumed mannequins was born from the “mad” sales held twice a year at Koi, Smitham said.
“We literally get people anticipating the date and lining up to get in – the store is full of women crazily looking for deals,” she said, laughing.
Owner Linda Davis wanted everything in the sale, including what the window mannequins were wearing, Smitham said.
And what are they wearing? Sometimes barely nothing. Sometimes bags advertising bags wrapped around their torsos. Or plastic bags for hats and funky foil skirts and tops to go with it. There’s no telling what elements she’ll pull out of her own hat to complete the look. But paper now is her happy medium.
“We couldn’t have them nude, and we couldn’t put clothes on them because everything was for sale, so I started dressing them with paper,” she said. “It got more and more over the top, and more refined – it happened gradually, and it was just outrageous fun. It was a lot of work, but it was absolutely a labor of love. I enjoy every minute and I’m happy I was given the playground to create these.”
The mannequins certainly got attention, including from legendary costume designer Bob Mackie.
“It was a really fun thing for me – Bob Mackie is one of my heroes,” she said.
“He came in with a friend, shopping for some things, and took photos – he was charming,” she said. “And later his secretary called and said he blew them up and put them in his office – really a good sign.”
Smitham said she’s always been intrigued with, loved and collected paper.
“I love the recycled paper concept, never throwing anything away because it could be art – I’m a mad collector!”
Two or three women thought the mannequins’ paper dresses and shoes were actually wearable, Smitham said, but only until they got up close.
“I don’t make clothes – the sewing machine is not my best friend,” she joked. “Making them this way satisfies that hunger … but I’d love to see them on live models, on a runway.”
The designs “come alive” as she works directly on the mannequins, drawing her inspiration from ethnic, vintage, high fashion, “trendy concept” and even couture clothing, Smitham said.
Davis said the creations are hard to describe, and just calling them paper dresses doesn’t do them justice.
“You have to see them,” she said. “It’s like trying to describe a Picasso – though I’m not saying they’re like Picassos.”
Davis said the mannequins will stay in the windows at 1001 Fair Oaks Ave. for the rest of this month, but then it’s back to business and they’ll have to go.
“It’s a clothing store,” Davis said, adding that people sometimes confuse it with an art store or gallery. “But it will be a little heartbreaking.”
Not for Smitham – although she said not much of the paper fashions would be salvageable for any future gallery show.
“I’ll have to start from scratch” she said. “But that’s the fun part.”
My Take: Her designs remind me of the Viet Nam protest era, when women and men both stripped naked and draped themselves in the POW MIA flag. I’ve also seen window designs where the mannequins were adorned in Betsy Ross flags, caution tape and other whacky things, with the background smothered in crazy wall letters. Some window designers use Post It notes and vinyl lettering to create some pretty nutty scenes that not only attract attention but often make political and social commentary as well.
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Men in red are more attractive to women and the human eye, a new study suggests.
Women in the United States, England, Germany and China said they found men pictured wearing red, or framed in red, more sexually attractive than in other colors, the research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology showed.
Andrew Elliot, an author of the study from the University of Rochester, said red was thought to be sexy color for women only.
“Our findings suggest that the link between red and sex also applies to men,” Elliot said. “For women, the color made a big difference.”
Despite cultural differences related to the color, the findings of women being attracted to men in red were consistent throughout the countries.
The research consisted of seven experiments, some split into two parts, each with a group of between 20 and 57 people aged 19 to 22 years old. Women participated in all the experiments, while men were included as a control group in one.
Women also associated red with higher status, a trend Elliot said is analogous with other primates.
“In chimpanzees, the highest-ranking male turns more red quite dramatically during a competition for primacy,” he explained. “It’s a clear status indicator. Females view that, and they go out of their way to mate with the highest ranking male available.”
The researchers suggested that for men wearing the color may trigger a change in behavior and that something as simple as wearing a red tie could give a more confident business presentation.
My Take: I’m actually going to have to disagree here. Red doesn’t do it for me. I’m not a fan of flashy. You’ll never see me renting from a Las Vegas limo company or in rushing out to buy the latest designer wear. I like guys in work shirts and Mek denim jeans with a great smile and a friendly way about them. Red is a turnoff to me. It reminds me of phony Las Vegas bachelor parties where everyone looks 18 and like they’ve just come from a Pilates workout. Not that Pilates exercise is bad, some of us out here are real women with down-to-earth values and body images. Give me a guy in a pair of Mek jeans and a simple shirt with nothing too fancy on it, and I’ll look twice.
Cited: Fashion Newspaper
In September, Quick-Med Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB:QMDT) announced the development of a proprietary Stay Fresh™ technology and they are seeking partners to commercialize this revolutionary new technology in the textile market. Stay Fresh, apparently, is very effective in controlling odor causing bacteria as well as preventing associated stains of sweating. The technology is supposed to be extremely durable and effective for the lifetime of the treated fabric through 75 washing cycles, which overcomes the major shortcomings of many leading antimicrobial technologies
“Stay Fresh is a very exciting addition to our Company’s technology portfolio,” said J. Ladd Greeno, CEO of Quick-Med Technologies. “We believe that the unprecedented sustained performance of Stay Fresh will provide apparel and other textile manufacturers an important new way to differentiate and add value to their products.”
Stay Fresh technology has been designed to cost-effectively enhance a wide variety of textile applications including essential apparel, work wear, active wear, bedding and health care textiles. With the basic technology development complete, the Company will now focus on identifying commercialization partners with the interest and resources to bring this technology to key market segments. Quick-Med has initiated EPA registration which, when achieved, will allow its customers to make “treated article” claims and market the antimicrobial features of Stay Fresh technology. Additionally, the Company plans to pursue FDA clearance for select medical textile applications.
“Stay Fresh will provide efficacy and durability that is far superior to any other product on the market at a very attractive cost,” said Dr. Jerry Olderman, VP of Research & Development at Quick-Med. “Our research team has developed a high performance textile treatment that overcomes the key shortcomings of currently available technologies.”
Stay Fresh can be used with a broad range of fiber types and blends on whites and colored fabrics. The patent-pending technology employs a safe, eco-friendly active agent that remains in full concentration on any of several fabric types and compositions. It controls a broad range of both Gram-positive and Gram negative bacteria throughout the life of the product. Stay Fresh finish is not depleted during repeated laundering in hot or cold water. This extraordinary durability protects against the development of resistance by bacteria and the sustained bond means that there’s no environmental impact of the wash water.
Quick-Med’s newest platform technology, Stay Fresh., joins NIMBUS® just cleared by the FDA and is a non-leaching antimicrobial technology that is initially being utilized in wound care products like NimbuDerm™, which is a novel skin-sanitizer whose technology provides comfortable, ongoing protection for 6 or more hours. And MultiStat®, a family of patented compounds that have been shown to have significant benefit in promoting the maintenance, healing as well as repair of skin and eye tissue.
My Take: People have been trying to avoid the odor and stains of sweat for generations! Now, they come up with something that makes it easy. Does this mean we can do away with deodorant? I doubt that very much! I just want to know whether it will be in both shirt and pants material.
If it is, that means that men who have to wear lined work pants for work will not stink as much at work. It also means that other flame resistant clothing will not have to be cleaned as often, which will save a lot of money. One thing is for sure, college students are going to love Stay Fresh. Their Greek clothing will stay fresh into the evening hours with no stains showing. This one point will be even more important for those who have custom apparel.