Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fashion Tips From L.A.'s Most Informed Dressers

Most Informed DressersLos Angeles may be known more for its celebrity than its couture, but at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), curators Sharon S. Takeda and Kaye D. Spilker have been quietly building a collection that highlights today's most creative couturiers, from Christian Lacroix to Alexander McQueen.

In their just-released book Breaking the Mode, Takeda and Spilker present photographs, sketches, drawings and computer renderings that showcase the contributions of these talents. Issey Miyake's pleats, Martin Margiela's split-toe boots and Jean Paul Gaultier's reversible jacket all make an appearance.

When it comes to their own wardrobes, both Takeda and Spilker consider quality of material and construction before examining the name on the tag.

"I favor interesting styles that suit my body type rather than what name is on the label," says Takeda. However, the senior curator and department head of costumes and textiles will admit to preferring designers Miyake and Junya Watanabe over others. Spilker--a curator in Takeda's department--likes Margiela, citing his work as "brilliant," along with Yohji Yamamoto, Gaultier and Miyake.

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But practicality is important in a professional atmosphere. That's why both women generally wear pantsuits to work.

"In a suit, I'm ready to meet anyone, yet I'm comfortable for a long workday," says Spilker. Takeda seconds that notion: "I never know when a donor may stop by or if I will be called into a meeting with the director."

And while their occupations require pouring over thousands of historic fashion and textile designs in order to create a distinct collection for LACMA, they spent significantly less time curating their own wardrobes.

"Personal style is important, but not inordinately so," says Spilker. "I used to care about it more when I was younger, but now I'm too busy! I dress according to the event or how I feel in the morning."

Source @ Forbes

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