Tracey Ullman to Wear Claire McCardell to CFDA
Diane Von Furstenburg has asked Tracey Ullman to be the host of the annual Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) awards on June 15. It's no wonder DVF chose her. The insanely funny Ullman is often spoofing fashion players as an obvious form of adoration for fashion. The New York Times states" She is a big collector of Claire McCardell, one of the originators of the American fashion industry, and can casually drop into a conversation references to Christian Lacroix's financial troubles, Iris Apfel's eccentric style and the insistence of fashion magazines to churn out issues about how to dress for your age."
Ullman is such a huge Claire McCardell fan and collector, that she might be wearing Claire McCardell to the awards. My esteemed colleague and fellow fellow fashion dealer, Angela of Dorthea's Closet Vintage, recently sold Ms. Ullman a gorgeous Claire McCardell dress in black with bow details.The Vintage Fashion Guild has provided a fantastic biography of Claire McCardell.
I was lucky enough to acquire one Claire McCardell in my vintage fashion career. I hope to score many more. The thing about Claire McCardell, her designs and her philosophy about fashion, is that she would find herself right at home in these tough economic times.
She wanted to design clothes that were practical yet beautiful and also affordable. Fashion for the every day woman. We are bombarded with supposed new looks every season - must haves, trends to wear. But McCardell's designs are so timeless, that the fashion industry in 2009 still finds much inspiration from her work. Diana Vreeland once stated that one of her dresses was "pathetic". She later supported the understated designer.
McCardell was not out to create a "New Look" or a shocking statement through waist lines and crinolines. She wanted to design for real women, with practical needs for fashion. ''We look at her as the founder of democratic American fashion,'' said F.I.T. curator Valerie Steele in a 1998 article in the NY Times.
Given that the honored guest of the evening will be Michelle Obama, a woman who mixes American contemporary designers with mass produced, affordable fashion, I think Claire McCardell would've been proud to have her creation appear on stage for an award ceremony that celebrates the casual elegance of American design.