Tracy Curtis: Fashion accident reminds me of my own jeanius past

It was reported recently that an Australian woman collapsed and was forced to crawl to seek help after her skinny jeans cut off the blood supply to her calf muscles. She was hospitalized and had to be cut from her jeans.

This crazy story reminds me of two of my own fashion faux pas …

For one, I know what it’s like to be cut out of my clothes. I once had to be cut out of a cocktail dress at Ann Taylor. I honestly don’t know what happened. I got the thing on, then I couldn’t get it off. I guess when I panic I swell, because the more I panicked the tighter it got, and I had to call for help.

The sales lady was very accommodating as she used a giant pair of shears to slice all the way up the side of the dress, while I explored a theory of some sort of chemical reaction – whereby a garment shrinks when met with perspiration, heat and cardiac arrest. “It happens,” she said. I guess so. They didn’t make me pay for the dress.

The second story is my own trouser trauma. Pre-marriage and living in L.A., I was quickly dressing for a date and pulled on the skinny jeans I’d worn the night before. It wasn’t until I got into his car that I realized that I had brought along the undergarment I also had worn the night before – snugly lodged inside my skinny jeans against my calf.

I was pretty sure wherever we were going, I’d be able to scoot from the parking lot to the ladies’ room and still keep my panties in a wad. Unfortunately, we arrived at Universal CityWalk Hollywood – a three-block entertainment, dining, and shopping promenade where we would walk the distance to the amphitheater to see Tears for Fears.

Ironically tearful and fearful myself, I embarked on a walk of shame, where at around the second block, my underwear made its way down around my ankle � and with one quick shake, I shot them out – parting a thousand screaming people behind me like the Red Sea.

Anyway, I’m surprised we don’t see more skinny jeans injuries like the one involving the Australian woman. With so many of us running around in binding britches, I’d think we’d be seeing women lying around everywhere, crawling and begging for help.

In fact, what a great plot for a horror film – “Hallowjean,” about a vicious line of skinny jeans that literally squeezes the life out of unsuspecting fashion femmes, opening this Fashion Week.

Regardless, I’ve learned my lesson on all counts. I’m just buying the next size up.

Tracy Lee Curtis is a humorist, writer and speaker. She writes family humor for the Charlotte Observer.

Meet the 2 year-old besties owning the fashion game

Looking to reinvent your look? These 2 year-old besties, Everleigh Soutas and Ava Foley, who have amassed a following of more than 85K on Instagram can help you there.

The adorable pair, who have never met an accessory they didn’t like, love dressing in matching outfits (who doesn’t!) and are each other’s person.

The mothers of the Insta-famous pair, Savannah Soutas and Michelle Foley,chatted to Buzzfeed about their daughters love for fashion.

“They can’t leave the house without a bow or a piece of jewellery,”says Soutas, who rather helpfully, is a professional photographer.

“Seriously, we have to go back inside to get one if they aren’t already wearing one,” she says.

Though Foley admits that it can take some bribery in the form of ice-cream and lollies to get them to work it for the camera. Guess they’re only 2 and all.

The pair have already modelled for the likes of Guess and Kardashian Kids collection, and judging by their strong sense of style and self, there’s more to come.

We’ve picked a few favourite looks from their Instagram account and the style advice we’ve learned from them.


WIMBLEDON’s young Brit girls Johanna Konta, Naomi Broady and Laura Robson may still be honing their skills alongside the sport’s major stars, but they also have a way to go when it comes to scoring big in the fashion stakes.

Sisters Venus and Serena Williams – along with their tennis contemporaries, if not equals, including Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova, and Caroline Wozniacki (who this year will be sporting Stella McCartney’s newest Adidas kit) – often attract as much attention for their outfits as for their backhands, but standing out sartorially on the tennis court didn’t start with them.

From Chris Evert in delicate white lace, to fellow-American Linda Siegel baring almost all at Wimbledon in the Seventies, women in tennis through the ages have been known for their daring style. Even BBC commentator Sue Barker once sported bunches in her hair and a micro-mini dress. See the most talked-about style stars on-court through the years.

Sewing students model their work at fashion show

Fashion show

BLOOMINGTON — Nicole Megles is your typical 16-year-old student, says her mother, Stephanie. She will be a junior at Normal Community High School and is on the varsity girls soccer team.

“But she’s also creative,” she said Sunday prior to her daughter’s debut in the Elegant Designs N Decor fashion show at the Parke Regency Hotel and Conference Center in Bloomington. “Sewing allows her to bring out her creative side.”

Dressed in a bright yellow dress inspired by Belle from “Beauty and the Beast,” Nicole Megles modeled the outfit she made herself through the help of Lydia Pinto’s sewing class. She has been a student since the fourth grade.

“I really like exploring my creative side,” she said. “And when you make it yourself, you know it’s going to be something you like.”

Sewing has long been a passion for Lydia Pinto, owner of Elegant Designs N Decor in Bloomington. A native of Mumbai, India, she and her husband, Rufus, moved to Bloomington 16 years ago. But the desire to sew never left.

“It’s a lost art and I don’t want to see it go,” she said. “I have been doing this all of my life. As a kid, I used to watch my mom sew.

“When I finished high school, I did my diploma in dressmaking and got a degree in fashion designing in India. When I came here, I still wanted to teach and I still wanted to sew, and I am so grateful for the opportunity because not a lot of people do it anymore.”

More than a dozen students presented clothes they made in Pinto’s classes during Sunday’s show. The girls chose a pattern, selected the fabric, sewed the outfit, picked accessories, selected the music and practiced the runway walk. About 100 people attended the show.

“This gives them a chance to show off the hard work they have put into this,” Pinto said.

Not only is sewing a way to make new or save old clothing, but there also are other advantages, too, Pinto said.

“Kids are under a lot of stress these days,” she said. “They have sports practices and schoolwork. It’s tough just growing up.

“Our classes are two hours long and when their mothers show to pick them up, I hear them complaining about having to go back home,” she said. “That tells me they really love it and it’s a rewarding experience.”

Annie Blair, a 10-year-old from Bloomington, plays soccer, softball and basketball and dances. But Sunday was the chance for her to show off her 1950s poodle skirt made from scratch with Pinto’s help.

“I like how I feel in it and it makes me feel good,” she said. “My great-grandmother was really interested in sewing and so my mom just talked about that a lot and that is how I got interested in it.

“I really like it because I can make anything I want.”

Donna Karan, fashion’s greatest champion of women, steps down

Donna Karan at her Fall 2015 runway show in New York. Karan will step down from daily duties as chief designer of her namesake company to devote more time to her foundation. (Kathy Willens/AP)
Donna Karan is leaving women on their own — to fend for themselves in a fashion industry that all too often does not have their best interest at heart.

Seventh Avenue’s greatest advocate for professional women announced Tuesday that she is leaving her signature collection to focus on philanthropy, health care and cultural awareness through her Urban Zen Company and Foundation. The fall 2015 and resort 2016 collections will be the company’s last under Karan’s creative direction. It is, by at least one measure, bittersweet timing. Fall is her best collection in recent years, in which she celebrates a sophisticated and confident woman in an urban landscape dominated by black and gold.

Karan will have no successor. The Collection will be suspended while the company reorganizes.
Models walk the runway during the presentation of the Donna Karan New York Fall 2015 collection in New York, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
“I have made this decision after much soul-searching,” said Karan, 66, in a statement. “I have arrived at a point in my life where I need to spend more time to pursue my Urban Zen commitment to its fullest potential.” Urban Zen has Karan frequently traveling abroad, particularly to Haiti where she has worked to help artisans there build self-sustaining businesses beyond their borders.

A generation of young designers who aspire to dress women of substance owe a debt to Karan. Men such as Joseph Altuzarra and Jason Wu borrow from her lean, office-ready tailoring. The Row’s Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen use similarly lush and tactile fabrics in which to swaddle the body. Her point of view will endure.

But with Karan’s departure, there is no other American woman of such stature to fill her place in the Seventh Avenue triumvirate known as Ralph, Calvin and Donna. There is no woman whose work is so firmly grounded in luxury sportswear. There is no woman who aims to speak so directly to professionals, 9 to 5’ers and those whose lives are a busy, wonderful mess of children, board meetings, yoga and a great martini. There is no other woman.
And while there is nothing that says men cannot speak just as intimately and profoundly to their female customers on matters of aesthetics, they do not know what it is like to have size 12 hips in an industry that calls them plus-size. They cannot serve as reassurance that, in fashion at least, the glass ceiling has been shattered.

When Karan launched her fashion brand in 1984, the industry was at odds with the needs of professional women. Designers spent a great deal of time creating clothes for the cocktail hour, for partying at night clubs and for formal galas. They offered up simple separates for career women, but those tended to require that women banish their femininity and sensuality from the executive suite.

Karan wasn’t a problem-solver because she didn’t see women’s hips as something that needed to be fixed, only flattered. She was a niche-filler. What do women need? In her no nonsense conversations with customers, she developed a rapport with them, a girlfriend-to-girlfriend relationship. She excelled at personal appearances and trunk shows because she could be down-to-earth and blunt. She was not an elongated, sparrow of a woman. She was a Long Island girl with qualms about her own hips and she had no hesitation in sharing that with her customers.
A model presents a creation from the Donna Karan New York Fall/Winter 2015 collection at New York Fashion Week. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)
Karan began her career at Anne Klein, where she was the sportswear designer’s young assistant, pregnant and questioning whether the fashion industry was for her. Klein schooled her in the beauty of American style and the expanding role of women in the corporate world. When Klein died in 1974, Karan was asked to lead the company. “I didn’t choose to be a designer. I was born a designer,” Karan once told the Washington Post. It was the family business: Her father was a garmento; her mother, a showroom model.

“I wanted to stay home and be a mom,” she said. “But that’s not what the world served me.”

She had not wanted to hang out her own shingle; she didn’t want to leave Anne Klein. But Karan was nudged along by her original investors, Frank Mori and Tomio Taki, who believed that she had something important to say to modern women, something that was both unique and universal.
Karan debuted her signature collection with her acclaimed Seven Easy Pieces. It wasn’t merely a modern mix-and-match system of dressing — a way of getting out the door in a flash. It was much more. Using yards of cashmere and jersey, Karan acknowledged women’s curves; she celebrated femininity. Her clothes were sexy but always powerful. There was nothing else like them. And over the years, through financial ups and downs, the essence of the brand remained true.

“I don’t think I have ever, ever left who I am. I know what it is that makes a Donna Karan garment different from everyone else’s. It is about the body,” Karan said in a 2003 interview with the Washington Post. “That is always a signature I try to stand by.”