Fashion

Good Gig: Denim Historian Tracey Panek

Feb 26, 2015
Photo: Levi Strauss & Co. Archives

The Levi Strauss & Co. is an American icon dating back to the gold rush days in California. Today's Good Gig is Tracey Panek, denim historian for Levi Strauss.

Today would have been the 186th birthday of Levi Strauss, born Loeb Strauss in Bavaria. He came to the US to find his fortune, and made his mark on fashion and history when he patented the now iconic Levi's jeans.

Tracey told us about Levi Strauss and Co.’s New Hampshire connection:

VCU Tompkins-McCaw Library Special Collections / flic.kr/p/27bFm2

  Malaria threatens more than half the world’s people. Yet there is still no way to immunize against it. On today’s show, why a promising vaccine developed by an upstart in the biotech scene is not getting funded. 

Plus, Levi Strauss started making jeans during the gold rush, introducing the  most iconic symbol of American style. Today’s Good Gig profiles the Levi’s in-house historian who sifts through mine shafts and dusty attics to find the stories behind every crease. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

1.15.15: The Invisible Primary and Authentic Brands

Jan 15, 2015
cmh2315fl via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/neZUmD

New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary may be a year away, but presidential hopefuls are already jockeying for position. Today,we’ll talk about why you should forget election fatigue and start paying attention to the race now – and we'll talk about signs that a politician is considering a run at the presidency.

And we'll continue our series on offbeat college courses, the Uncommon Core, with Beauty Pageants 101.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

The Bad Impressions Show

Dec 31, 2014

We’ve all fumbled a first impression at some point or another. Look no further than Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Before it was published in 1814, its working title was First Impressions which probably referred to protagonist Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy’s very first encounter – which as initial impressions go, was pretty abysmal.

But who knew getting off on the wrong foot was so easy?

This show is all about bad impressions. From bungling a business meeting, to what not to wear on a first date.

Plus, a comic tells us what happens when his go-to impression loses its appeal.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.

The Modern Bra Turns 100

Nov 19, 2014
Via Wikimedia commons

Over the last 100 years they’ve been bought, sold, cherished, and burned. When Caresse Crosby filed a patent application for a "backless brassiere" in 1914, she likely never thought she'd see a day when a diamond encrusted bra worn by a super model would make headlines. From ancient Roman mosaics to Gautier's designs that Madonna famously wore, the bra has gone through a lot of changes over the years.

100 years ago this month, a young socialite decided to ditch her corset and slipped into a little something more comfortable. On today’s show, a retrospective of the modern bra, from Jane Russell to Victoria’s Secret. 

Plus, Cory Doctorow shares his thoughts on creativity and profit in the digital age. And we return with a plea from a Chicago Tribune columnist who believes it’s high-time journalists stop overusing the word “reform” in their reporting.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

A Luminous Dress Inspired By The Firefly

Nov 13, 2014
Charlie Lemay

Biologists call it “signaling”, traits and behaviors that evolved because recipients respond to them in ways that benefit the signaler. Among humans, signals may not be quite as overt as the peacock fanning its tail:

or fireflies courting and sparking on a summer night:

nshepherd via flickr Creative Commons

When an unrecognizable number shows up on your phone during election season, chances are pretty good that the caller is someone taking a poll. On today’s show, turning the tables on pollsters. We’ll find out how they view polling accuracy and ethics for Election 2012.

Also today, the aging bunnies –  a group of Playboy centerfold models now in their 60s and 70s, reject the idea that they victimized, and remember a more tasteful time for the men’s magazine.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Good Gig: Color Expert Lee Eiseman

Oct 22, 2014

Good Gig is a series of conversations with individuals who have landed their dream job.

thebrainsell.com, Jason Burrows via flickr Creative Commons, Sandra Bernhardvia plymouth.edu & Aubrey Nelson / NHPR

Big congratulations to Word of Mouth's own Zach Nugent for his Murrow Award! Hear an encore of Zach's adorable story, plus so much more on today's show. We explore The Brain Sell, a new book about how our consumption decisions are influenced by retailers. Then, the safety pin is more than a mundane fastener - it's a staple in punk fashion and history. Sandra Bernhard joins us to talk about her show Sandyland. Finally, NHPR's Sam Evans-Brown takes into the world of New Hampshire's wolf dogs, blurring the line between domestic and wild.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments

veiled lady Flickr Creative Commons

Bathing suit anxiety takes on a whole new dimension for Muslim women…so do skinny jeans and other body-conscious fashion trends.  A spate of blogs and podcasts aimed at Muslim women have grown along with the fashion blog trend. Blogs like Hijab Trendz, Dianrainbow and Slice of Lemon feature tips and creative approaches to dressing with style as well as modesty.

Mariam Sobh is a Chicago-based journalist and public radio colleague from WBEZ in Chicago. She created Hijab Trendz in 2007, which averages 2 million page views a month.

Pimp My Cane

May 2, 2013
Rusty Clark via flickr Creative Commons

We may associate canes with old age and physical decline, but 150 years ago the cane held a much more dashing and flamboyant place among the fashionable elite. Wildly decorated and splendidly diverse, canes were associated with prestige, power, and youth, and were extremely trendy. The demand for canes made of allspice wood nearly drove the West Indian trees into extinction. Here to discuss the 19th century version of twenty-two inch rims is Wayne Curtis, a freelance journalist who has written for The Atlantic, Preservation, and Down East magazines. We found his recent article, “Pimp My Walk” on The Smart Set blog.

High Heels Are Sexy and Other "No Duh" Research

Jan 7, 2013
pixieclipx via Flickr Creative Commons

The high heel—ever the fashion accessory—has always attracted attention. Turns out (insert astonishment here) that they make the wearer more attractive and more feminine. 

In honor of this not quite surprising research, here are our top scientific no-brainers inspired by the Ig Nobel prizes for thoughtful, humorous and sometimes absurd research.

Tysh / Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: The Awesomeness of Procrastination/Fashion Trucks

Britta Conroy-Randall

The fashion world runs on new trends and we discovered one that’s  a little more practical than 5-inch heels – fashion trucks. Like the fleets of food trucks now selling everything from gourmet tacos to artisanal soft serve, ‘fashion trucks’ capitalize on the ability to move to where their customers are. Producer Britta Conroy-Randall visited a mobile boutique for a peek  at what could be the next big thing in the fast-moving fashion industry.

Today's Hunters of Tomorrow's Cool

Jun 18, 2012
(Photo by Mandiberg via Flickr Creative Commons)

Have you ever suspected that your taste and style decisions are being manipulated without you even realizing it? Turns out that the trends all around us are the result of lots of money and research aimed at molding our opinions and desires. It’s called trend forecasting, and it’s a multi billion dollar industry. Reporter Britta Conroy-Randall visited some trend forecasters and found out about the mysterious world of cool hunting.

 

 

Photo Credit Mag3737, via Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: Trophy Wives/Old Lady Style

In those gin-soaked days of yesteryear, a beautiful woman on the arm was an executive’s secret weapon for landing the deal.  A young knock-out by your side signaled power, style, and proof that you had it all. Just ask all those Mad Men...That was then.

Not everybody can make white hair and over large glasses look fashionable – but then few carry have the flair of 90-year old socialite and now makeup mogul, Iris Apfel. One of the striking subjects of a new book by Ari Seth Cohen called Advanced Style. The book, like the blog which inspired it, puts New York City’s stylish woman past a certain age on parade.

New York Fashion Week may be coming to a close on Thursday, but a cycle of fashion shows in cities around the world is just about to begin. Fashion editors and store buyers will descend upon London, Milan and Paris to inspect clothes that may appear in stores next fall. Sally Singer — editor-in-chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine — is one of those tastemaking jet-setters, and she joins NPR's Renee Montagne to talk about 2012's trends.

Cheap Chic: Couture Comes To Discount Retailers

Feb 3, 2012

On Feb. 5, fashion designer Jason Wu is launching a limited-edition line for Target. Wu became famous for designing Michelle Obama's inaugural gown. He's the latest high-end designer to partner with a mainstream retailer and offer his chic couture at cheap prices for the masses.

On a bitterly cold morning in Washington, D.C., last November, hundreds of fashionistas flooded the street in front of the low-priced fashion chain H&M. Italian luxury label Versace was launching a collection there, and customers were waiting for the doors to open.

Eco Fashion

Sep 4, 2009