Saturday, March 10, 2012

Style Illustrated : Jolain Bowen, the new girl in class!

Let's face it. The blogosphere is a very crowded corner with everybody and his mother fighting for a shred of space to spill their guts. Too often there's little worth listening to and even less worth looking at. So imagine my surprise when I came upon a fantastic new addition to the fashion blogging world (for lack of a better description) with Style Illustrated. Jolain Bowen is that rare creature who is a world class designer having had her own eponymous collection for several years before working alongside Calvin Klein, Carolyne Roehm, Joseph Abboud and Oscar de La Renta.The evocative illustration she creates to head her stories just begins to give you an idea of her talent. Her eye for the telling detail, gesture and subtlety of nuance is such a pleasure to behold. I, for one, will anxiously await her stories. There's something great to be learned in the art of connecting dots in this confusing game. Below, you'll see the second of her posts with one of my favorite subjects in fashion and social history who has shaped so much of what we see today. Wallis, Duchess of Windsor was one hell of a gal with whom the world never tires. Bravo Jolain!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dark Duchess

Illustration by Jolain

Couture fittings, daily manicures and appointments with Alexandre, her coiffeur for twenty years, filled the Duchess of Windsor’s days. High style was her lifestyle. Though rigid by today’s standard, her aesthetic was apparent in the fall collections, most notably when imbued with a subversive edge hinting at a dark side.

Here’s what I deem Dark Duchess worthy.

Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta

Aquilano Rimondi

Aquilano Rimondi

Nina Ricci

Nina Ricci Pre-fall

Nina Ricci Pre-fall

Nina Ricci Pre-fall

Stella McCartney


Alberta Ferretti

Chado Ralph Rucci

Carolina Herrera

Above images from

Michael Volbracht (1989) Acrylic painting
Available now at


Jolain Bowen said...

Thank you Fluff, What a darling kitty you are. I'm so flattered that you like my little blog. You know I live for your blog!

Anonymous said...

Woohoo! Thank you for leading us to this great new blog. Yours and Jolain's will be daily Must Reads.

One picky point: When will models take a good long look at their photos, if not in the mirror before they hit the runway, and realize that chilly-looking pink bare knees do nothing for elegant clothes?

And when did some designer decide that crumpled pant socks enhanced anything but pant ensembles - and never crumpled.

Elegance must be understood to be successfully executed. Wearing hosiery should be a small price to pay for showing these clothes the way they should be worn.


Anonymous said...

Nice! The Nina Ricci and the Stella McC. Appreciate this out here in flatlands. My mom says it isn't flat, it is "rolling".

She is 95 and still lives alone and I give her a manicure every Saturday with Revlon Red. She still dresses up....and would appreciate your blog if only she knew the internet.

Have a great week; enjoy the weather.

Josephine M said...

It is so very refreshing to discover what hidden gems lay buried beneath the banality of some fashion blogs! I applaud this and Jolain's blog for both richness of voice and keenness of perspective. I am delighted to have found such inspirational works of journalistic writing with fashionable underlings. I must thank you immensely for quelling the internal conflict I have been having with myself whether to pursue my dream in fashion writing or to tread safely along the safest route of practicality. I have long admired the scintillating blogging world--would you happen to have any advice for the aspiring few (I being one of them)? I apologize in advanced if I decide to further crowd the small corner that is the blogosphere, as you mentioned. Thank you for your unintentional help!