Fashion Flashback: Iris Apfel

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What makes a fashion legend? Is it a distinguished career, commercial success, extraordinary collections that stand the test of time? Or is it a combination of those things or the sum of all parts?

Iris Apfel was none of those things. Yet, she achieved legendary status, a status she acquired in her 80s and 90s. In fact, Apfel was the original fashion influencer.

Iris Apfel passed away recently at the age of 102. And lived a very full life that became the subject of a documentary and an art exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Fashion Reverie looks back at the incredible life If Iris Apfel. There will never be another like her!!

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Iris Apfel spent the first 80 years of her long life as a private citizen. Iris always called herself, “just a girl from Astoria, Queens who loved a good bargain.” And loving a good bargain was a way of life for Iris Apfel, which applies to her rather whimsical random shopping for clothing, accessories, and home goods. “In a former life, I must have been a hunter-gatherer,” Apfel wrote in her authorial début, Iris Apfel Accidental Icon

Born in 1921, Iris (Barrel) Apfel’s parents wear both retailers. Her mother ran a small clothing boutique, while her father owned a glass and mirror business. Iris’ love of shopping started very early with her strategically negotiating the price of a brooch at a West Village jewelry store during the Depression.

Iris married her husband Carl Apfel, her husband of nearly years, in 1948. Before marrying Carl Apfel, Iris worked at Women’s Wear Daily, as a copywriter, and for interior designer Elinor Johnson.

Iris In Paris: Exhibition, Paris, March 2, 2016.

In 1950, Carl and Iris created the textile company Old World Weavers which they ran until 1992, selling to Stark, a large fabric firm. Old World Weavers specialized in the reproduction of fabrics from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, and traveled to Europe twice a year in search of textiles they could not source in the United States.

Over the years, Iris Apfel was in involved in several restoration at the White House for US presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton. Through their world travels sourcing interior design items, Apfel began collecting artisanal, Non-Western clothing which she wore to dinner parties, making her a valued guest.

In her mid-80s, Iris became a fashion icon known for her eccentric but fashionable style. In retirement, she drew acclaim for a 2005 show at the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art featuring her collection of costume jewelry and styled with clothes on mannequins as she would wear them. This art exhibit established her as a fashion icon.

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In 2011, Iris Apfel became a visiting professor at the University of Texas in Austin in the university’s division of Textiles and Apparel. In 2014 the Albert Maysies’ documentary “Iris” was released.

In 2018 HarperCollins published her biography Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon in 2018.In 2019 Iris Apfel signed a contract with IMG Models at the age 97.

William S. Gooch

Fashion Flashback: Chloe Sevigny


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Transformation can be difficult for all of us. Especially, when someone in their youth is recognized as having certain characteristics, but as maturity yields more depth and a transition into other things.

Some celebrities are not equipped to move past the perceptions of fans, particularly when the images and style they projected in their youth were positive reflections of bygone times remembered. The annals of Hollywood are overrun with young actors who have not been able to move past the glories of their youth.

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Chloe Sevigny is not one of those actors. And her appearance in Ryan Murphy’s “Feud: Capote vs. The Swans” is evidence of her transition into more mature roles.

An ‘It’ girl of the mid to late 90s, Sevigny has emerged from that downtown girl with a peripatetic, quirky style that appealed to young consumers looking to express themselves through garments that are livable pieces of art to a mature artist that now chooses European luxury brands that can still reflect her fashion-as-art style.

This ‘Edie Sedgwick’ of the 90s is currently seen as style maven whose personal style conjures up images of a now and next fashion sentimentality. Now 49 years of age, Fashion Reverie looks back at this fashion style icon’s transformation from a downtown 90s ‘It’ girl to a red-carpet, go-to fashionista.

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Edie Sedgwick reincarnation

If you are not aware of ‘60s ‘It’ girl and Andy Warhol’s Galatea, Edie Sedgwick, then you should. Sedgwick epitomized that free-spirited downtown girl of the 1960s. We set her own rules and lived by her own standards. Named a fashion revolutionary by Women’s Wear Daily, Sedgwick, both an actor and model, with black stocking, miniskirts, chandelier earrings, short brown hair, and heavy eye makeup, became a controversial, tragic cult figure who broke with tradition. Establishing the clique of rebellious, free-spirited youth.

Like Sedgwick, early in her career Sedgwick was an untraditional model who walked to the beat of her own drum, preferring vintage clothing over fashionable labels. In 1994, Sevigny was called “the coolest girl in the world” by Jay McInernery in the New Yorker. Sevigny idiosyncratic style was aptly expressed in 90s vintage-store style which consisted of jelly shoes, vintage miniskirts, or vintage jackets paired with miniskirts and psychedelic tights.

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Golden girl

By the late 90s and early 2000s, Chloe Sedgwick evolved from an indie film queen to more mainstream films with her fashion sensibilities evolving beyond a downtown free spirit. Sevigny chic style, though still eclectic, included strappy heels, mini pinafores, and sexy cocktail dresses. Sevigny in the early 2000s added noted fashion brands Loewe, MUGLER, Miu Miu, and Jean Paul Gaultier to her lists of favorite brands. But her style was so much more than these esteemed fashion brands. Sevigny’s style is defined by how she mixes and matches these brands with vintage pieces in a way that uniquely her own. And acquiring campaigns with Loewe and Miu Miu helped, as well as being a muse for Marc Jacobs, and collaborations with Opening Ceremony.

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Fashion maven

Like all great harbingers of style, Chloe Sevigny understands how to transform her fashion without losing the style that made us celebrate her. Still employing her fashion-as-art style, Sevigny has matured in her choice of fashion brands and film appearances, with her role as 60s and 70s socialite C. Z. Guest being the most dramatic pivot in her film career.

With a style that was once the assemblage of a patchwork of varying style and aesthetics, Sevigny has solidified her style choices that can range from red-carpet fashion to luxury streetwear. Sevigny is still a very important fashion icon, and she continues to prove that in her appearances on global red carpets.

William S. Gooch


Fashion Flashback: Ivan Bart

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Fashion Reverie looks back at the career and life of Ivan Bart, president of IMG Models. On October 27, 2023, Ivan Bart died after a brief illness.

Bart first came to IMG Models in 1994 and helped mold the careers of Gigi Hadid, Ashley Graham, Alek Wek, Hari Nef, Precious Lee, Zach Miko, Quannah Chasinghorse, and Paloma Elsesser. And more recently Bart helped mentor and nurture the modeling careers of Hailey Bieber, Alton Mason, Wisdom Kaye, and others.

Under Bart’s leadership IMG Models picked up the inclusion and diversity mantle, expanding its roster of plus-size models. Bart employed Ashley Graham and other plus-size models when Ford Models dropped its plus-size division.

In under 10 years at IMG Models, Bart was promoted to president of the model management agency. In 2012 Bart lead the global relaunch of IMG Models’ men’s division. Under Bart’s leadership IMG acquired The Wall Group, which represents makeup artists, stylists, manicurists, and hairstylists.

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Bart opened an IMG Models office in Sydney, Australia in 2012. And in 2017 Bart opened in IMG Models’ office in Los Angeles, recognized the intersectionality between fashion and Hollywood, an intersectionality that has continued to gain traction. On the heels of opening in office in Los Angeles, IMG Models has signed celebrities Maddie Ziegler, Lori Harvey, Millie Bobby Brown, and Diana Silvers to its active boards. IMG Models has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Milan, and Sydney.

“During the course of three decades at IMG Models, Ivan quite literally changed the shape and face of the modeling industry from within,” Shapiro shared. “His relentless pursuit for diversity and inclusion challenged fashion’s gatekeepers and created household names whose omnipresence has inspired generations. I literally sat beside him at a table with the former management team at Victoria’s Secret while he politely argued that they had to change their annual runway television special and diversify their models—size, age, race, background. He was the voice before there was a voice. He was courageous. He saw beauty in all its forms,” detailed Mark Shapiro, Endeavor president and COO.

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Bart was named by Business of Fashion one of the fashion industry’s top 500 people shaping the fashion industry. Ivan Bart also serves on the boards of Fashion Institute of Technology and the Neuberger Museum of Art.

 Ivan Bart is survived by his husband, cinematographer Grant Greenberg. Ivan Bart was 60 years old.

—William S. Gooch

A Flashback on the Intersectionality of Fashion and Music Throughout the Decades

For the month of June, demonstrates the intersectionality between fashion and music. In chronological order, you’ll find the beautiful journey of both forms of art and the riveting cross pollination of both art forms.

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Hippie Movement

The Hippie Movement, known for its everlasting impact, made hippies abandon the mainstream ideals of that time, embracing a free-spirited, self-affirming, bohemian approach to life. Cruising maxi dresses, bell-bottom pants, tie-dye shirts, peasant blouses, and fringed vests became the norm with this movement.

Hippies also embraced natural fabrics, earthy colors, and handcrafted accessories, echoing their devotion to an alternative and sustainable lifestyle. Their fashion taste symbolized a rejection of societal norms and a celebration of individuality and harmony. Additionally, folk music, psychedelic sounds, and rock evolved into the culture, with artists like Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Grateful Dead paving the way. The music signifies the spirit of rebellion, anti-war sentiments, and a yearning for social shift.

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Black Power Movement

The Black Power Movement gave life to the spirit of black pride and empowerment. This movement highlighted a visual presentation of black heritage and identity. African-inspired clothing, such as dashikis, kente cloth, and traditional head wraps grew into symbols of black pride and resistance against Eurocentric beauty norms. Furthermore, natural hairstyles like Afros and braids surged through the mainstream standards of beauty that had marginalized black beauty standards.

Artists like Nina Simone, James Brown, Gil Scott-Heron, and The Last Poets imbued their music with politically charged lyrics and soulful rhythms, addressing racism, black empowerment, and challenging the norms of that time. The music became a rallying cry for the movement and provided an outlet to rebel against systemic racism and advocate for black pride and liberation. The impact of this movement on our culture spreads far beyond the 60s, still inspiring generations and influencing the ongoing fight against racism.

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Soul Train

Premiering in 1971, this iconic show played a key role in shaping 1970s culture by making  a platform committed to previewing Black music and dance. “Soul Train” created fashion trends with its vibrant and eclectic style that celebrated self-expression with the dancers showcasing a range of distinctive and daring looks. Afro hairstyles, bell-bottom pants, platform shoes, colorful prints, and bold accessories inspired viewers to embrace their individuality and black heritage. “Soul Train” also showcased a variety of musical genres, such as soul, funk, disco, and R&B, giving way to both up and coming talents. A packed catalog of performers by legends like Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Marvin Gaye, enchanted viewers with their phenomenal performances.

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Not just an icon and trailblazer in music, but trendsetter in fashion, Madonna pioneered a way for female stars outside of fashion to demonstrate their own fashion taste and make an impact. Known for her provoking style and fearlessness, Madonna pushed boundaries and challenged the norms through her fashion choice.

Her iconic looks, like the “Boy Toy” belt, lace gloves, cone bras, and layered accessories, became the embodiment of her presence. Her fashion sense merged characteristics of street style, punk, and glamor, and she was constantly evolving and redefining her style with each album and era.

Her music played a pivotal role in shaping the pop landscape that this generation’s artists use as a foundation. With mega hits like “Like a Virgin,” “Material Girl,” and “Vogue,” Madonna continuously pushed the boundaries of pop music, mixing genres, and pushing controversy. She symbolized female empowerment and liberation, contesting traditional concepts of femininity and sexuality.


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Yuppie Culture

Embodying the materialistic and affluent aura of the era, this culture welcomed a polished and well-groomed tone that reflected the ‘Greed is Good’ 80s. Power suits, luxury designer brands and watches, tailored blazers, and pinstriped shirts became the sartorial emblems of success and high status, evidenced in luxury brands like Thierry Mugler, Chanel, and Donna Karan.  Musically, the Yuppie culture fell for upbeat vibes of genres like pop, glam rock, and new wave. Artists like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Culture Club, and Duran Duran dominated the charts with their catchy tunes and flamboyant fashion choices were just the right taste for what The Yuppies were craving.

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Rise of Hip Hop

Starting out as a polarizing genre and a form of art with a raw feel for African American people to express themselves that has now grown to be the most dominating music genre. It’s no surprise fashion ended up in the mix of Hip Hop. From oversized clothes to the combination of streetwear and designer brands, the range of styles were endless. Being the top music genre to complement fashion, we’ve seen hip hop musicians like Kanye, Pharrell, A$AP Rocky, and many more rappers dive into careers in fashion at top luxury brands.

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Grunge Movement

This movement challenged the lustrous aesthetics of prior decades, opening doors to an authentic and disheveled style. Ripped jeans, flannel shirts, oversized sweaters, and combat boots were symbols of expression when it came to this movement, symbolizing anti-establishment and non-conformity.

With high-end brands taking notice and integrating the grunge elements into their collections, the look quickly spread like wildfire as the grunge music took over with force. Distinguished by its distorted guitar riffs, anguished lyrics, and raw, gritty sound, grunge contested the glossy and artificial pop music dominating music at the time. Bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jams, and many more became synonymous with the genre.

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M.I.A – Paper Planes

Starting the career of an artist who broke boundaries in music, Paper Planes not only paved the way for M.I.A’s music career, also sending  powerful message to the world. Dialing in themes of the struggles and prejudice that immigrants face when trying to travel, this song allowed immigrants around the world to relate to M.I.A when she endured hardship getting a work visa because she matched the profile of a terrorist.

With her story about her childhood living in Sri Lanka at the height of their civil war and moving to London for a better future yet struggling to enter the states, there was no better messenger for immigrant and inclusion than M.I.A. These musical and lyrical themes paved the way for M.I.A to take a polarizing route with a fashion style boasting her love for fluorescent colors, oversized clothes, and graphic prints. M.I.A took hardship and war and turned them into a musical expression.

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Black Lives Matter

Stemming from a tragic event, Americans of all backgrounds came together to protest the inequality that black people face today in this country. This blossomed a cultural, impacting social constructs.

Dominating the charts and the music industry, Lil Baby stepped out of his comfort zone dropping a song with a theme augmenting the BLM movement called “The Bigger Picture.” With more than 183 million views on youtube and 2 times platinum, this song charted everyone’s playlists and gave a deeper meaning to their protest. To add a cherry on top, the NBA showing support via BLM shirts made waves throughout the country, followed by a myriad of major brands donating to the movement.

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Gender-Neutral Fashion Trends

When the world looked for something new in the world of fashion, musicians were up for the challenge and revitalized gender-bending outfits. From Jaden Smith to Harry Styles and Bad Bunny, and many other musical icons, gender fluidity has become popular in fashion.

With some of the pioneers of genderbending fashion like Elton John, Grace Jones, and David Bowie, it’s a full circle moment seeing icons of this generation bringing non-binary style back to life. Ranging from Harry Style gracing the cover of Vogue with a dress, to Bad Bunny breaking gender norms at the MET Gala, fashion continues to evolve.

—Lauren Pierre-Louis

Fashion Flashback: We Miss You Dear Friends

The fashion industry experienced huge losses in 2022. From Andre Leon Talley to Issey Miyake to Vivienne Westwood, 2022 was a year that several fashion luminaries transitioned to another spiritual plane. These fashion luminaries helped change the industry.

Fashion Reverie understands and puts into practice honoring those fashion groundbreakers who have paved the way for many of us. This roundup celebrates those fashion luminaries who have given so much to the fashion industry. May their memory forever burn bright!!

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Andre Leon Talley

No fashion personality has caused consumers to stop, listen, and consider their personal style more than Andre Leon Talley. From his fashion commentary to his wit and personality on “America’s Next Top Model” to his unique analogy of haute couture fashion, fashion editor extraordinaire Andre Leon Talley proved that aspirational fashion could be accessible. His extensive fashion knowledge served the publications that employed him well, from his early career at Warhol’s Interview magazine to his tenure at French Vogue to his last posts at Vogue stateside. Talley’s witty repartee and animated commentary is missed.

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Vivienne Westwood

When fashion designers of her ilk were beginning to bow to corporate entities, Vivienne Westwood remained an independent entity inspired by Great Britain’s rebellious youth culture of the 1970’s. For five decades Westwood merged what was going on in the street (new wave and punk fashion) with aspirational fashion. And she was one of the few popular fashion designers that understood that fashion has a voice and can be a commentary on political and social movements.

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Issey Miyake

From starting his own fashion company in Japan in 1970 to continuing in the fashion industry in his 80s, Issey Miyake has continuously combined technology with innovative, fashion-forward designs. Known for geometric and architectural collections, Miyake in the 80s began to experiment with pleating.

In the 90s, Miyake was one of the first fashion designers to collaborate with artists. His Guest Artists series created an interactive relationship between fashion and people who love art. These collaborations produced what came to be known as wearable art.

Issey Miyake died from cancer in August of 2022.

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Elsa Klensch

If you are old enough to remember CNN’s “Style with Elsa Klensch,” you look forward to Klensch distillation on fashion every Saturday morning for more than 20 years. Klensch produced and hosted the 30-minute show, and “Style with Elsa Klensch” was broadcast into 142 countries with 2.5 million viewing households in the US.

Based in New York City, Klensch traveled to the major fashion capitals of the world, reporting on fashion weeks, and style in all the major global fashion centers. It was estimated that the show had 200 million viewers worldwide.

Klensch chose to leave CNN in 2001, two years before the end of her contract. In later years she wrote mystery novels. Klensch died on March 4, at the age of 92.

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Patrick Demarchelier

“Call Patrick.” Do you remember Miranda Priestly yelling that instruction in “Devil Wears Prada”? Of course, you do!

Though born in France, Patrick Demarchelier started his fashion career in New York City in 1975. And though he is best known for his photographic portraits of Princess Diana, Demarchelier was a highly respected fashion photographer working for Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Vogue, Mademoiselle, and Glamour.

Demarchelier has shot fashion campaigns for Dior, Tommy Hilfiger, TAG Heuer, Chanel, Donna Karan, Yves Saint Laurent, Carolina Herrera, Vera Wang, Zara, Louis Vuitton, Celine, Lacoste, Calvin Klein, Moschino, Blumarine, Longchamps, Ralph Lauren, and many others. In 2007 he was made an Officer of the Arts and Literature by the French Minister of Culture.

Demarchelier died in March 2022. He was 78.

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Thierry Mugler

When sexy, vixen, in-your-face fashion comes to mind, constructed to show off feminine curves, there I no need to look any further than Thierry Mugler. With the advent of era of supermodels, no other luxury designers showed off their skill in the runway than Thierry Mugler.

Mugler originally started his professional life as a ballet dancer, soon after he designed clothing for London boutiques and the French fashion house Karim. Mugler designed his first collection, “Café de Paris” in 1973 and in 1978 he opened his first boutique at the Place de Victoires.

In the 1980s and 90s, Mugler was known for his very structured women’s suits. His collections were a commercial success. However, by 2003, Mugler’s company was having significant financial losses.

Mugler left the fashion industry in the early 2000s while keeping his fragrance brands on the market. “Fashion is beautiful, 3-D art on a human being. But it wasn’t enough, which is why I went on to create in other ways. For me, it wasn’t the right tool anymore. But perfume still interests me,” explained Mugler.

Though Mugler’s fashion brand continues under various creative directors, Mugler moved on to other creative ventures including creating stage costumes for Beyonce’s “I am … World Tour.” Mugler died of natural causes on January 23, 2022.

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Roxanne Lowit

After a successful career working as a textile designer in the early 1970s, working with Donna Karan, Lowit began photographing the backstage goings on at New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week with her 110 Instamatic camera.  “I paint and there were people who I wanted to sit for me but had no time, so I started taking pictures of them. I liked the gratification of getting the instant image, so I traded in my paintbrushes for a camera,” detailed Lowit.

Lowit was one of the first photographer to photograph Yves Saint Laurent’s backstage and have the images published. Because of this Lowit formed a lasting relationship with Yves Saint Laurent. “I think the most memorable for me was when I was his photographer for 25 Years [of Design] at the Met,” she told W at the time. “It was the first time anybody did something for a living designer, and I was his personal, private photographer for the whole thing. My feet didn’t touch the ground the whole two weeks. We just had this wonderful rapport together, we liked being in each other’s company and we liked each other. From day one it was like that.”

Lowit popularized backstage images from the global era of Fashion Week. And her images of supermodels for the golden age of fashion will never be forgotten.

Lowit died on September 13, 2022. Roxanne Lowit was 80 years old.

William S. Gooch





Fashion Flashback: Seven Memorable Red-Carpet Looks from Recent Met Galas

Beauty in in the eye of the beholder, or so the adage goes. And if you are not sure you are making a statement about beauty, why not aspire to leave a lasting impression.

With the 2022 Met Gala only one day away, Fashion Reverie has rounded up some of the more recent red-carpet looks that made a lasting impression. And the means, red-carpet appearances that contain a lot of extra!!

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No one can debate that Billy Porter’s entrance and extravagant presentation at the 2019 Met Gala left an impression that is still talked about in fashion circles. Carried aloft by six muscular in the style of Cleopatra’s triumphant entrance into Rome, Porter donned a bejeweled catsuit by The Blonds, outfitted with 10-foot wings, a 24-karat gold headpiece, as well as custom gold-leaf Giuseppe Zanotti shoes and fine jewels by Andreoli, John Hardy, and Oscar Heyman. This extravagant presentation fit in wonderfully with the 2019 Met Gala’s “Camp” theme.

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In homage to the theme “China Through the Looking Glass” at the 2015 Met Gala, Rihanna made all heads turn and pulses beat in little faster in Chinese couturier Guo Pei’s yellow embroidered cape dress. The heavily embroidered ensemble was trimmed in yellow fur and weighed a hefty 25kg. Rihanna stole the show!!

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Who can forget Katy Perry stepping out as a human chandelier at the 2019 Met Gala? This spectacular look was designed by Moschino and fit in perfectly the “camp” theme of the 2019 Met Gala.

Talk about showing it all without showing it all. Beyonce gave a new name to the word revealing when she wore a revealing, embellished in all the right places Givenchy gown to the 2015 Met Gala. And she had plenty of company in the almost-naked category with Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian following suit. It was a va va voom moment!!

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Not to be left out of the mix, at the 2021 Met Gala, Lil Nas X stole the show in three bold, dramatic outfits. Fashion Reverie’s favorite was the gold body armor Versace creation that reminded us of an updated golden Tin Man from “The Wizard of Oz.”

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And what would a Met Gala be without Lady Gaga? She has donned several eye-catching looks in the past. Still, Fashion Reverie’s favorite is Gaga’s four reveal outfits at 2019 Met Gala. No one does camp better than Gaga, and this Brandon Maxwell four outfit reveal demonstrates why she is the Queen Mother of Camp.

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Last, but not least, Fashion Reverie’s favorite Sarah Jessica Parker look is her “Heavenly Bodies” ensemble for the 2018 Met Gala.She walked the red carpet in a standout piece by Dolce & Gabbana‘s Alta Moda, which draws inspiration from the Renaissance. The gilded gown featured red hearts, precious stones, and a massive train. The standout item of the Dolce look was a crown with a full nativity scene perched on top of Parker’s head. 

—William S. Gooch

We Heart Kitsch Valentine’s Day Fashion

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Dopamine dressing, which often involves wearing bright colors and bold designs, has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Fashion has always been used to make people feel happier and more confident, but dopamine dressing specifically equates fashion with feeling through colors, textures, and design. “Kitsch” fashion is a subset of dopamine dressing in its excessive adornments and sentimental focus, with Moschino leading the kitsch agenda in the luxury fashion sphere. According to CR Fashion Book, kitsch has gained a huge amount of popularity in large part due to TikTok Gen Z culture. Michelle Lee in her article “Kitsch Is In According to Fashion Week,” writes “The sweater vests of ’90s sitcoms’ past were reintroduced as TikTok’s fashion emblem; clunky acrylic rings turned into joyous and nostalgic must-haves; and cardigans crocheted in a puzzle of color (much like the J.W. Anderson one iconized by Harry Styles) brought a sense of comfortability and wholesomeness to trends.” While “kitsch” used to carry a negative connotation, this genre of dopamine dressing is no longer viewed as garish, but rather artistic.

There is no better fit for Valentine’s Day than sentimental kitsch fashion. Fashion pieces with heart cutouts and patterns in bright reds and pinks can be found at all price levels. One of Rihanna’s most iconic fashion looks was that of a bright red $22,000 Saint Laurent fur jacket in the shape of a heart which is just one very luxurious example of kitsch fashion. Fashion Reverie has decided to channel mom-to-be Rihanna this Valentine’s Day to create a swoon-worthy, luxury-focused fashion guide reflective of the top kitsch trend right now— heart cutouts and rhinestones from head to toe!

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AREA: High Fashion Luxury Kitsch

AREA is known for high fashion pieces often seen on models in editorial covers or on prominent celebrities like Beyonce and Cardi B. The brand is described as “witty, inherently glamorous, playfully decadent and injected with a pop energy,” and “shares its name and spirit with the iconic 80s Manhattan nightclub, known for its fusion of art and performance in conceptually themed nights.” The brand is also well-known for its crystal pieces and cut-outs. For a luxurious Valentine’s Day outfit, AREA has a plethora of crystal embellished heart cut-out items from denim overalls, jeans, and a denim jacket to a tee shirt and blazer featuring this design. Fashion Reverie recommends the Heart Cutout Men’s Blazer for a kitschy twist on a classic piece that can be layered over a simple black dress for an intimate dinner!

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Lirika Matoshi: Romantic Kitsch

Lirika Matoshi is a New York City-based fashion brand with femininity at its tulle covered heart. The brand is made up of a team of all women, with the designs showcasing a uniquely feminine lens. This, however, does not mean that only women wear the brand. In fact, the brand became increasingly popular when Harry Styles famously wore the signature strawberry embroidered dress. Each piece is feminine and romantic, which makes them a perfect choice for a Valentine’s Day outfit. Fashion Reverie envisions a woman wearing their most kitschy heart themed piece, the Rainbow Heart Dress of technicolor tulle, to a Galentine’s Day celebration! Another kitschy party look is their Heart Pink Satin Top and Skirt featuring a corseted waist, bow shoulder ties, and pearl embellishments. For a more casual Galentine’s Day outfit, the brand’s most popular item at the moment is the Radiant Heart Knit Sweater, worn by Emma Chamberlain among many other influencers. YesStyle makes an affordable dupe for under $30 as well that can be shopped here!

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For the risk-averse fashion lover, MANIERE DE VOIR pieces can be kitschy but are ultimately more chic than kitsch. Many pieces on the website are bold and make a statement which contributes to dopamine dressing; however, they are also all tailored and classic looking. For a look that can easily transition from day to night, from a walk around New York City to a skyline dinner at night, Fashion Reverie recommends their Heart Vegan Leather and Denim Trousers. This can be paired with the Vegan Heart Croc Bag for a look that is a bit more kitschy but still effortlessly chic.

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POSTER GIRL: Sexy Kitsch

POSTER GIRL has been worn by notable pop culture figures like Dua Lipa, Kylie Jenner, Selena Gomez, Doja Cat, Rita Ora, and Winnie Harlow. The brand’s pieces are sultry, featuring cutouts, lace, and sheer fabrics. POSTER GIRL recently dropped their Valentine’s Collection, with the Kylie Set being custom made for Kylie Jenner. The collection looks nostalgic almost as if it is in reference to Betty Boop’s iconic heart emblem outfits. The collection is made almost entirely from red and pink lace and is garnished with delicate crystal rhinestone hearts. Fashion Reverie recommends POSTER GIRL for a particularly sultry date with your significant other!

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My Beachy Side x Emily in Paris: Resort Kitsch

My Beachy Side is a sustainable beach brand focused on supporting disadvantaged women by providing them with income for hand-crafting the brand’s pieces. The brand is recognized for its signature intricate crochet beachwear. My Beachy Side created a collaboration collection alongside Emily in Paris, which often showcases outfits that are more Parisian kitsch than Parisian chic. For a Valentine’s weekend resort getaway, Fashion Reverie recommends the Pop the Top Exclusive Emily Top and Mini Skirt composed of gorgeous hanging hand-crocheted hearts. This outfit was worn on season 2 episode 8 which makes it even more of a special look!

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Betsey Johnson: Kitschy Accessories

Betsey Johnson has long been the queen of kitsch. There is even an entire section of the brand’s website dedicated to the kitsch trend featuring peppermint heart necklaces, champagne bucket bags, and rhinestone bows. Betsey Johnson recently released a “Red Hot” Valentine’s Jewelry Collection of pearls, heart cherries, xoxo beads, and rhinestone bows and butterflies. Fashion Reverie recommends the Red Hot Hearts Cherry Necklace to be worn with a more casual outfit for a daytime Valentine’s date.

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Yume Yume: A Kitschy Statement Shoe

Yume Yume focuses on offering unique one-of-a-kind fashion pieces. On the brand’s website, Yume Yume asks buyers to “consider our collection an ode to those who have a nature for sparking interest and curiosity. An act of love for originality.” Their footwear has a pillowy signature look for comfort and style. For a kitschy Valentine’s Day shoe, Fashion Reverie recommends the Love Heel featuring a pink heart heel, wool lined sole, and thick vegan suede straps making it a perfect winter heel. For a less expensive heart emblem shoe option, we recommend ASOS Lamoda Knee High Platform Boots with Pink Hearts!

—Tessa Swantek




Lady Gaga Fashion Flashback

With “The House of Gucci” movie coming out next week there is much buzz about the infamous Patrizia Reggiani, the Gucci fashion brand and “The House of Gucci” red carpet premieres around the world. Of course, the person everyone talks about the most, besides the star-studded cast, is Lady Gaga. Expectations are high since she has publicly detailed how hard she has worked on this role—practicing authentic Italian accent for years and attempting to channel Patrizia Reggiani.

We don’t know quite yet if Lady Gaga’s performance will live up to all the media hype. However, while we anticipate the opening of “House of Gucci,” Fashion Reverie can look back at Lady Gaga’s fashion over the years

Monster mama always had a unique style and has always managed to shock us in some way; however, her style has evolved and seems to be more sophisticated and grown up today. Fashion Reverie look back at Lady Gaga’s style evolution. 


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Lady Gaga on Good Day New York City in 2008

This look goes back to when Lady Gaga’s career just gathering steam and obviously designers didn’t really throw outfits on her. At that time, her costumes were often handmade.

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Sunglasses and Eye Make Up

In the beginning of her career, Lady Gaga often wore platinum hair, platform shoes, and would often pay tribute to David Bowie. Gaga had loads of fun with accessories and cut up jeans.

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The Video Music Awards (VMA) are a great place to experiment with style. Lady Gaga never missed that kind of opportunity. We loved her 2013 look wearing just shells to cover the main body parts. An appearance fit for a painting masterpiece.

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The Meat Dress 

Lady Gaga accepting Video of the Year award left us feeling hungry well unless you are a vegetarian. She absolutely outdid herself when she came out in a “meat set.” it was meant to send a message that she is not a piece of meat; however, PETA was not pleased.

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2019 Met Gala 

In 2019 Lady Gaga was one of the co-chairs of the 2019 Met Gaga. She put on quite a performance by transforming her outfit into four different looks. It was a historic fashion moment. 


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With Her Majesty 

This Gaga look doesn’t seem like a look most people go for when meeting The Queen. She did look like a renaissance character, but in red latex with dramatic eye makeup. Yet somehow, Lady Gaga pulled it off smoothly. 

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A Star Is Born 

For her film debut in “A Star Is Born,” Lady Gaga transformed herself yet again. She truly expresses herself through fashion and when she walked the red carpet for “A Star Is Born” premiere in Italy she looked stunning and very feminine. The dress was very old Hollywood glamour. 

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House of Gucci 

It is only natural for Gaga’s movie star career to continue and this time she is playing a role not even connected to a music performance.  But, fashion topics are right where she belongs and she channels that confidence on all red carpets we have recently seen her on. In New York she wore a custom Armani Privé. Classic but Gaga Style. 

 —Tijana Ibrahimovic

Vogue Paris Becomes Vogue France: How Fashion Print’s Newest Change Reflects Industry Trends

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French philosopher Michael Focoult has famously said, “where there is power there is resistance,” and in the fashion editorial industry, Vogue reigns supreme. Helming the most famous fashion magazine in the world, Anna Wintour, Vogue US Editor in Chief/Conde Nast Global Chief Content Officer, has the ability to dictate how we dress with one blacked-out. Sunglass-covered glare. The coveted front row center seat reserved exclusively for her presence acts as her throne that quite literally signifies her position of power. In a pivotal New York Times piece by Edmund Lee, published December 2020, titled “The White Issue: Has Anna Wintour’s Diversity Push Come Too Late,” Lee details the history of racism and lack of inclusivity at Vogue fostered by Wintour following Vogue’s September “Hope” issue featuring a majority of Black artists, models, and photographers with the prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement. Lee quotes a former Black staff member from Vogue who stated, “Fashion is bitchy. It’s hard. This is the way it’s supposed to be. But at Vogue, when we’d evaluate a shoot or a look, we’d say, ‘That’s Vogue,’ or, ‘That’s not Vogue,’ and what that really meant was ‘thin, rich and white.’ How do you work in that environment?” It is abundantly clear that whiteness and high social class has been entwined tightly with “Vogue” by the strings of Wintour’s pearl necklace. The way in which Wintour has attempted to unravel this multi-decade knot has several implications for the current state and future of fashion print publishing as a whole.

Fashion Reverie has covered Anna Wintour’s recent decision to change “Vogue Paris” to “Vogue France” in our fashion news section. In a Vogue piece written by Eugénie Trochu, Editorial Content Head at Vogue France, she justifies the name change by stating, “creativity, culture, art and fashion are everywhere. They are the greatest vectors of inclusiveness and diversity. Our identity is not born from a single place and Vogue represents the best of emerging talents and voices. We’ll build on a hundred years of defining cultural history but meet the moment we’re in now and most importantly, reflect the France we live in today.” Again, where there is power, there is resistance, and many took issue with this move. Most notably, Le Figaro, the French daily morning newspaper, argued that the decision reflects Anna Wintour’s pushing American “woke” values onto other countries, writing “The colossal losses of the publisher Condé Nast in recent years against a backdrop of digital transformation in the sector have led it to a new strategy of ‘sharing of content’ for all its newspapers international. In summary, each title is now coordinated by a single head linked to a country, under the leadership of the indestructible Anna Wintour.”

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 It is certainly true that consolidation in fashion print publishing is a recent trend; notably, on November 2, Lady Gaga graced the covers of both Vogue Italia and British Vogue, and Adele covered British and American Vogue in October. Outside of Vogue, musician The Weeknd appeared on almost all covers of GQ globally and Glamour released a Camila Cabello cover story across eight markers, according to Chantal Fernandez for The Business of Fashion. While shared content could put Vogue France at risk of losing a much-loved identity, it is very controversial for Le Figaro to refer to a push for inclusivity and diversity as a distinctly American cultural agenda.

It is important to note that Paris as a city has without a doubt impacted fashion in a plethora of beautiful ways. It is a completely valid point to argue that there is so much rich history attached to Vogue Paris, so a name change seems like an erasure. However, it is just as important to note an element of Vogue Paris that has long been tied to a certain identity that excludes others. In a piece for The Guardian, Jess Cartner-Morley writes of Vogue Paris’ identity at its 95th anniversary at the time; “All manner of diverse, inclusive body shapes and aesthetics are celebrated. Jokes. The look is: very thin, very hot, wearing a lot of eyeliner and not much else, lying in a hotel bed having shagged someone famous and probably married.” Vogue Paris has not been known for its inclusivity during much of its existence and is often celebrated for an image that actively excludes and denies others a seat at fashion’s front row. Equating diversity and inclusion to American culture is a poor attempt to position France away from principles that should be celebrated and enforced across an entire brand’s portfolio. Le Figaro’s statement in a sense seems to be an admission that Vogue Paris’ identity was tied to a lack of diversity. More important than a simple name change is action to promote inclusivity to foster a renewed French narrative which had been promised starting with the first Vogue France edition.

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To understand a perspective of a professional close to the topic, Fashion Reverie spoke with Angelika Pokovba, journalist who has lived in Paris and has written for Vogue Mexico, L’Officiel, Essential Homme, and Coveteur among others, about her recent writing for Frenchly entitled “Vogue Paris Survived WWII, But Not 2021.” She tells us, “Encompassing all of France into the name is indeed a politically correct decision that will hopefully elicit social change in the industry, but it is a stretch to equate a name change to a social movement that the magazine should have been implementing all along anyway. Like Shakespeare said, ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.’ Vogue, the French edition, will continue being just that, the media helm of the fashion world (even with another name.)” Pokovba goes on to comment on the name change being viewed as a distinctly American action pushed by Wintour as she states, “I think it would have been more French to accept the discrepancy between Paris and France but keep the name as part of history and a namesake that has quite a lot of value.” So, while Pokovba hopes for change, she agrees that the name change should not be the center of debate, rather the industry should be focusing on whether we see actual change in upcoming issues.

The first Vogue France edition came out on November 4, 2021, and features Aya Nakamura, a French-Malian singer. Vogue France wrote on Instagram, “This very first issue pays tribute to and celebrates individuality. Vogue France creates an access to more talents, more voices, more singularity and a collective creativity which resonates internationally.” While Le Figaro is right that Vogue’s goal, along with many other magazines, is to streamline publications internationally, the first Vogue France issue does not seem to eliminate a uniquely French identity, it just creates a fresh narrative focused on representing France in its entirety. Vogue Paris, before becoming Vogue France, recently celebrated its centennial anniversary through an archive centric issue “100 ans.” The issue states that “The cover, an April 1979 Guy Bourdin photograph featuring a bold red heart with Vogue Paris and ‘100 ans’ in gold foil, was chosen as an echo of the issue’s central idea that ‘archives [are] the heart of a magazine, its spine, its words that remain for eternity. They are its voice, its confidences, its deep secrets that they share with you.” Vogue Paris lives on through archives, which may hold even more value now that it is no longer circulated. A name change then, is not really an erasure, it is an attempt at redefining what is meant by “Vogue” from a lens that is not just white, thin, rich or all of the above.

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Like “100 Ans,” many fashion print publishers are creating higher quality issues that function as editorial books that showcase the publication’s identity and influence on fashion in a way that glorifies archives. This trend aligns with the current vintage craze in fashion, particularly among Gen Z. The turn towards higher quality print publishing has also grown in recent years, particularly during the pandemic. According to Pierre De Villiers for upmpaper, “Magazines born during [COVID} offer just that [diversions from reality], not just with its escapist content, but through its high production values. With covers becoming thicker and paper quality improving, new titles feel like luxury items and it’s an indulgence many are happy to pay a bit more for.” Publications, like Marie Claire, have also recently announced a decision to focus on growing a digital presence while releasing special, more high quality, issues irregularly. Essentially, fashion print publications are consolidating and sharing content to grow their digital strategies, while print content is becoming more luxurious, rare, and archive focused to attract younger, wider audiences through legacy branding.

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In a growing digital landscape, consolidation and inclusivity is simply progression that reflects globalization and the need to reach a wider audience. Fashion magazine lines are being blurred because borders are being blurred. As for the future of fashion print publishing, many magazines will likely also glorify archives to retain a unique culture that is becoming more blurred in a digital landscape. Special print issues will likely become more niche, higher quality, rare, and luxurious. In these editions, identity, culture, and luxury will thrive, yet a digital backing is needed and will likely continue to be accompanied by shared cover stars and consolidation. Pokovba, when asked what she believes to be the future of fashion print publishing, told us “Fashion is a niche that touches just about every area of life and I do think that it has a significant social and cultural impact. I think the future of glossy fashion magazines is a socially righteous one, on a fashionable basis.” Fashion Reverie certainly hopes so!

—Tessa Swantek

Fashion Flashback: The 10 Most Memorable Olympic Fashion Moments

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Every other year, sports fans the world over eagerly await the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. Spectators are riveted to every aspect of the Games, from where the Olympic Games will be held to the athletes participating, and of course, how many medals their country takes home.

While the main focus is on the participants’ phenomenal athletic prowess, sometimes the outfits worn are just as memorable as the performances. Fashion Reverie enlisted some Olympic fan friends to help curate a list of the 10 most memorable outfits worn for competition and an honorable mention for a standout opening ceremony. We’ve listed our entries in chronological order to not play any favorites.

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The Summer 1988 Games in Seoul, South Korea

 The Track and Field category was dominated by Florence Griffith Joyner aka “Flo-Jo,” who still holds the record for “fastest woman alive” in the 100 and 200 meters. Flo-Jo was also fiercely fashionable, delighting fashionistas who couldn’t wait to see her next signature hooded, superhero competition look. Flo-Jo was a woman who understood the power of the accessory, most especially long acrylic nails. Her gold acrylics even matched the three gold medals she took home. Over twenty years later, Flo-Jo has served as inspiration for another track and field star, Sha’Carri Richardson.

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The 1988 Winter Games, Calgary

Great Britain’s ski jumping Michael Edwards aka “Eddie the Eagle” was a phenomenon because he was the antithesis of the sleekly confident Norwegian jumpers he competed against. He was the first Brit to compete in the sport since 1928. What made Eddie a media and fan favorite however, was his hutzpah, cartoonish pink and white bottle rim glasses, and bizarre outfits that glorified Britannia. Every time he stuck a landing, the announcers screamed, “The Eagle has Landed!” Eddie got a whole new generation of fans after the film “Eddie the Eagle” came out in 2016.

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More from the 1988 winter games in Calgary. While putting this list together, it was impossible not to think of figure skating outfits. Katarina Witt skated out on the ice as a blinged-out risqué Heidi in 1984, but she was even more memorable in 1988 at the Calgary Winter Games, when she channeled Cruella De Vil in a blue getup while skating her way to a gold medal. Her skirt-less outfit upset the International Skating Union so much that they instituted “The Katarina Rule,” henceforth requiring female skaters to wear skirts while competing on the ice. 

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1992 Winter Games, Albertville

No one can pull off a glitzy, over-embellished skating outfit better than Surya Bonaly.  At the Albertville Olympics, with her huge braided hair extensions, the five-time European champion wore a green puffy skating dress designed by Christian Lacroix in the short program. And in the long program, Bonaly skated in a matador’s costume with padded shoulders, also designed by Lacroix.

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The 1992 Summer Olympics, Barcelona

At the 1992 Summer Olympics, Oscar de la Hoya showed his love for Team USA with his performance in the ring, taking a gold medal in the lightweight boxing division. His Stars and Stripes entrance outfit made this tiny champ a walking statement for Team USA.  

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1994 Winter Games, Lillehammer

The 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer Norway showed the world that fashion designer Vera Wang could do more than design a beautiful wedding dress. Vera’s designs for Nancy Kerrigan were far removed from the usual Vegas showgirl style ice dancing dresses. Nancy looked every bit the Ice Princess in a tasteful cream and gold sequined halter dress before she was struck down by Tonya Harding. 

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2004 Summer Games, Athens

The 2004 Summer Games in Athens treated audiences to dazzling performances by Canadian synchronized swimmers. Fanny Letourneau and Courtenay Stewart didn’t take home medals, but they got high scores with the fashion police for their glitzy Queen of Hearts swimsuits and matching makeup.

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The 2012 London Summer Olympic Games

Rhythmic gymnasts perform on the floor using apparatus such as hoops, balls, and ribbons. Flashy outfits are an integral part of the performance, but Russian-Azerbaijani Aliya Garayevan outdid herself when it came to her competition outfit.  She wowed spectators in a neon yellow, green and orange leotard accessorized with silver lame thunderbolt detailing and flame print on her illusion bodice. Marching wristbands, bright red lips and cheeks rounded out her superhero-ninja look.

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The 2018 Winter Olympics  Pyeongchang, South Korea

Yun Sung-bin aka “South Korea’s Iron Man” wore a helmet inspired by Marvel’s superhero Iron Man, which may have helped him become the first South Korean athlete to win the gold in skeleton racing. Post-race, Sung-bin told CNN, “He’s my favorite movie character and when I first saw myself going down the track, it looked like Iron Man flying with his suit, that’s why I got the helmet.”

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More from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The Norwegian curling team riffed off artist Keith Haring’s iconic zigzag canvases as they maneuvered on ice to shoot granite stones into the “house” aka goal circle. Curling is an inclusive but relatively obscure sport. The Norwegians’ zany outfits have helped it gain more attention.

Our Olympic fan friends also pointed out a number of notable team looks at more than one opening ceremony. Top contenders over the years include Germany and Japan for honorable mentions but the top spot goes to the sign holders at the Albertville opening ceremony who posed as walking snow globes in the March of Nations. Opening ceremony looks provide enough material for a whole other article.


—Vivian Kelly

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