Monday, December 28, 2015

When You Are Not Ready to Say: Good-Bye

"Love went with you...
and love waits for you
each day until you're
home again."
(IT, December, 2015)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Runway Models

"Fashion had started to forget women in a way, and concentrate too march on the clothes. For me it made no sense. In fashion the biggest moment was when the models were celebrities - we all remember Naomi, Claudia, Carla, Linda. The woman had to come back; the curved woman, and different kinds of body shapes. I don't like skinny girls. I want to represent a real woman, not just a shadow or a ghost." (Olivier Rousteing of Balmain on the evolution of runway models from The Telegraph)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

On the Future of Fashion

"Today when I see women trying a dress on, the first thing they do is take a picture: they want to see how they look in a photo. This is a phenomenon; I keep asking myself, did the photo replace the mirror? Do women today dress for their body or for the photograph - what is more important to them? Then I start to question the whole world of technology and its rapidity: the fact that you can click and delete, that you can click and appear. This is something about the process, about the workmanship versus technology and the speed of the photo. Is the only way to be heard today to scream on the screen? Is there a place for whispering?" (Alber Elbaz, formerly of Lanvin, on the future of fashion at AnOther, 2015)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Majestic Wonder of Bracelets

 Several lasting innovations in bracelet design occurred in the last decade. Silver became the most common material for link bracelets, cuffs and bangles. This trend started in the 20th century when manufacturers mass-produced silver jewelry, which was less expensive than gold but still had the sparkle of a precious metal that buyers loved. The preference for silver over yellow extended to industrial metals, such as silvery grey steel, titanium and tungsten. Industrial metals are now the dominant material in men's bracelets. As the green-living movement grows, more people are demanding natural materials in their wardrobe; to learn more, read our guide on the best bracelets inspired by nature. Finally, today's young people often wear simple bracelets to support social causes and showcase group identity; their banner can be a colorful rubber band, dangling charm or even a piece of string.
Frequently, it is made in a decorative style, and is worn as jewelry. It may have a supportive function, such as holding a wristwatch or other items of jewelry such as religious symbols or charms. Medical and identity information is marked on some bracelets, such as allergy bracelets, hospital patient-identification tags, and bracelet tags for newborn babies. If a bracelet is a single, inflexible loop, it is often called a bangle. When it is worn around the ankle it is called an ankle bracelet or anklet. A boot bracelet is used to decorate boots. Colloquially, handcuffs are sometimes called bracelets. Bracelets can be manufactured from metal, leather, cloth, plastic or other materials and sometimes contain jewels, rocks, wood, shells, crystals, metal or plastic hoops, pearls and many more materials.

What We Know About Bracelets

During the 20th century, consumers could find bracelets of almost any design imaginable. Bracelets also became more affordable as mass production increased the availability of fashion jewelry. By the 1920s, the ornate designs of the late 19th century gave way to the clean lines of the Art Deco period. Designers added Bakelite and plastics to jewelry in the 1930s and made plastic bangles a wardrobe staple for teen girls. Women and girls adored charm bracelets made of gold-plated brass or sterling silver in the 1950s, but by the 1970s, and until the turn of the century, women wanted variety in their fashion. They wore wide cuffs, slender bangles, beaded strands and thin chains. Men started wearing bracelets again, usually choosing gold or sterling silver link chains.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Season's 'It' Bag

While it's easy to get hung up on the latest trend or the season's 'It' bags, style really isn't something that can be bought. Sure, editors and insiders have their share of chic gear, but the reason why some become inspirational is because of how they put the whole look together. At the end of the day, it's about how you style it — and styling, friends, is free.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hot City

Hot city –

Cool people!

Tell me where and which? –

On the South Beach.

Ellis Perry,

And other art and fashion merry

There are no better times to mate

For Mr. and Mrs. Fahrenheit!

There is the perfect time

“Please taste the berries so kind!”

During the height of picking season

There are nature treats for everyone.

We are making splash

And staying fresh.

Summer party is fun

Without winter vinegar.

Instead, is served cake with marzipan

For your entire family clan.

Impressive fondue

Is not overdue.

Summer roll dough

And heaping flour.




Plus “uno” espresso

For my own “peso.”

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Cache-Coeur translates from French as "hide the heart" and is used in the French dance world to describe the crossover tops ballerinas wear. This romantic term for the short wool vest does both hides and warms the heart. Picture, a knitted bolero in wool.

"I mean that my heart unto yours is knit, so that but one heart we can make of it." (From A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Lace-Edged Pillowcases

"There is nothing like a dream to create the future." (Victor Hugo)

This is a really simple project made by cutting a strip of fabric out of an ordinary pillowcase, then inserting a strip of knitted lace. This easy project makes almost any bed look welcoming. Treat yourself and your guests to the special cases or knit them as a shower, bridal, or housewarming gift.

Photo: Ida Tomshinsky (2015) from Handbags and Purses Series

Monday, October 26, 2015

With No Shoes

Photo: Ida Tomshinsky
Can you finish the story?

He was raised on an island with no shoes on and loved the feelings of both freedom and connection with nature...

Once upon a time it was a small-size young girl, and it was not easy to get shoes in her size. She got the desire to have nice fashionable shoes to dance her life away and to look a little bit taller too. One day, she saw a man without feet, and he did not have the need to use shoes...

The teacher asked the class: "Who does not wear shoes and socks?" The school boy from the back road yelled: "Barefoot!"

Saturday, October 24, 2015

First-Time Tourist in Miami

Hello and welcome! !Ola

Sun is shining: attach your favorite sunglasses, hat, and a
bagpack. Do not forget your comfortable footwear! Take a selfie and go!

There are more than few unique hometown favorites and international fare places to visit that does not matter from what part of the world you are, it will make your flag flying and remind you what a wonderful place Miami is for tourism...

1 "Warm welcome sun and a palm tree;
Blue sky is one, blue water is two."

2. Spanish Monastery
3. Coral Castle
4. Venetian Pool
5. Cape Florida Lighthouse
6. Gold Coast Railroad Museum.

And more: pink flamingo dances, ripe mango juices, dolphin's splashes, and people successes. If you want to know more, come to Florida and explore! Keep your imagination going, putting the energy into the nation's playground, washing up it with Florida orange juice!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


"Simplicity is the glory of expression." (Walt Whitman)

"There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth." (Leo Tolstoy)

"Simplicity is an exact medium between too little and too much." (Sir Joshua Reynolds)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Anya Hindmarch

Anya Hindmarch

Anya Hindmarch began her fashion career aged eighteen in Florence, Italy. After being inspired by a leather duffel bag worn by all the chic Italians, Anya Hindmarch has become renowned for her stylish yet practical designs that really capture what a woman wants in a bag. There are now over 50 Anya Hindmarch stores in 9 countries, including flagships in London, Tokyo and New York. Despite this global success, Anya Hindmarch still retains the appeal and uniqueness of a niche brand.

 Anya also designed gift bags for the Vanity Fair Oscars party and BAFTA’s, and was awarded an MBE in 2009 for services to the fashion industry. She is also non-executive director of the British Fashion Council, a UK Trade Ambassador, and trustee of the Royal Academy of Arts and The Design Museum.

From a third-generation miniaudiere maker to workshops in Florence, the craftsmen are the true heroes of the Anya Hindmarch story. Her team works closely with craftsmen to develop new techniques and finishes, blending the best materials and craftsmanship with a hefty dose of British humor.

In what may be the ultimate example of fashion high-low thinking, Anya Hindmarch, the British luxury handbag maker, is about to unveil a new incarnation of her signature “Walkers Crisps” bag — the evening purse in the shape of a crumpled bag of potato chips that became really famous when Solange Knowles used one to attack her brother-in-law, Jay Z, while in an elevator after the 2014 Met Gala. The bag will be offered in 18-karat yellow gold, as well as in white gold and rose gold. This is not a joke, although Ms. Hindmarch did acknowledge by telephone from London that part of the reason her team decided to make the new styles was they thought “it would be fun.

The 18-karat yellow gold bag, which takes about four months to make, costs 60,000 pounds, or about $95,200. The original styles come in Perspex, copper, the one Ms. Knowles carried. After the elevator attack, Ms. Hindmarch said, the bag became a perennial best seller. (Solange Knowles’s Attack Handbag Now Comes in 18-Karat Gold, 2015)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

October, October...

October. Fall is in its good looks. It is not winter yet.
How mature is nature at all, showing up the brightest colors and accessorizing the land with gifts of Earth.
The Harvest season continues spread around the joy of giving and receiving; just enough to live through winter time till the young beauties of spring will arrive with the powerful sun arrows to warm up the air, the land, and human heart.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Peacock's Feathers

“All that glisters [glitter] is not gold,” said William Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice.

“Things are seldom what they seem,

Skim milk masquerades as cream;

High lows pass as patent leathers;

Jackdaws strut in peacock’s feathers.”

(Gilbert and Sullivan, H.M.S. Pinafore)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Literature Meets Fashion

Mesh Chhibber and his artist friend Sofie C. Guerrero completed ‘a novel idea’ by launching out the Peau de Chagrin, a beautiful accessory that could be passed down through the generations. Their first collection, available on and consists of a single item: a vegetable-tanned leather bag made by a Swiss artisan. Each of the 100 bags comes with a copy of Honoré de Balzac’s La Peau de Chagrin from special edition Chhibber and Guerrero published themselves. Well, here you have a 19th-century Faustian tale about consuming and desiring that spoke to the designers and merged in successful novel idea where literature meets fashion.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Woman's Handbag

The handbag is a rare delight, it's like Aladdin's cave,
All sorts of things are hidden there, that females like to save,
It's black and big and heavy, with a nice long shoulder strap,
Its weighted down with odds and sods and other stuff like that.

But the lady finds just what she wants deep down amongst her treasure,
Of keys and pins and leg hair wax and a metric rule for measure,
The remnants of forgotten ills with aspirins held so dear,
Birth control and other pills with labels quite unclear.

Calorie counters, cotton buds, old lottery tickets too,
Handkerchiefs and white tissues for visiting the loo,
A book of stamps, a tube of glue, letters from I don't know who,
Horoscopes with personal star, petrol vouchers for the car.

Perfume loaded by the box, knitting needles, pairs of socks,
Bank statements and counterfoils, sachet samples, body oils,
Cassette tapes and eye mascara, postcards from old Connemara
Itineraries for keep-fit classes, lipstick and a pair of glasses,

Emery boards, a pot of Vic, silver tweezers, half a brick,
Screwdriver, spanners, ball of wool, ancient notebook partly full,
Bristle brush for long tresses, photographs and addresses,
Polo mints and a mobile phone just in case they stray from home.

Cheque book stubs, leather gloves, insect spray for the shrubs,
Driving licence, bingo card, cuttings from the paper,
Favourite verse, loaded purse and a windscreen scraper,
Credit cards, safety razor, golden buttons off a blazer.

But best of all it is a friend, that's with them every day,
Slung upon the shoulder in a casual way,
And don't forget it is a club - not of the member kind,
But the bag itself when wielded right could change a mugger's mind.

 (Bridgid Patrick)                  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Facts About Handbags

Did you know that the average woman owns approximately six handbags? The average women’s handbag weights about 5.2 pounds. (What is in there??) The average student carries a book bag weighting 25% of their body weight. The recommended weight by physicians is no more than 15%. Based on a 2007 survey, men are actually more likely to choose a handbag based on its brand than women are. 22% of women said, if they could only splurge on one designed item, it would be a handbag. Only 9% said they would choose shoes.

Handbags are a girls (second) best friend! Men often wonder why we as women cannot go anywhere without our 3 - pound best friend by our side, but as soon as they need a tissue or a dab of hand lotion they are not shy to turn to your new addition to the handbag family.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Top 10 Books on Art and Fashion, and More

Artists have always been inspired to paint, draw, and sculpt beautiful women in the clothes they wore. Many times, fashion designers got inspired by artists' work or artistic movements and incorporated their ideas or their artwork into their designs. Any book on art impact on fashion and fashion on art would be considered as helpful reading for students in Fashion studies:

A. "Addressing the Century: 100 Years of Art and Fashion" by Peter Wollen
"Andy Warhol Fashion" by Simon Doonon
"Art and Fashion: The Impact of Art on Fashion and Fashion on Art" by Alice Mackrell
"Art DECO Fashion" by Susanne Lussier
"Art to Wear" by Julie Schafter Date

C. "Costume in Art" (Fine Art Series) by National Gallery of London
"Couture Culture: Study of Modern Art and Fashion" by Nancy J. Troy
"Crosscurrents: Art, Fashion, Design" by Tony Lewenhampt

D. "Dandies: Fashion and Finesse in Art and Culture" by Susan Fillen-Yeh
"Designing Women: Cinema, Art DECO, and Female Form" by Lucy Fischer

F. "Fashion and Fiction: Dress in Art and Literature in Stuart England" by Aileen Ribeiro
"Fashion and Surrealism" by Francous Baudot
"Fashion and Surrealism" by Richard Martin
"Fashion in Art: The Second Empire and Impressionism" by Marie Simon

K. "Klimt and Fashion" by Cristina Brandstatter

P. "Picturing French Style: Three Hundred Years of Art and Fashion" by Jill Berk Jimenez

R. "Rapture: Art's Seduction by Fashion" by Chris Townsend

Q. "Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd" by Janet Arnold

S. "Shoes, Shoes, Shoes" by Andy Warhol

W. "Wild: Fashion Untamed" (Metropolitan Museum of Art Series) by Andrew Bolton

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Lulu Guinness

Lulu Guinness, Order of the British Empire, has captivated fashion aficionados worldwide with her witty handbags and accessories. Inspired by retro glamour and modern chic, she now is excited to bring her new LULU by LULU GUINNESS collection. I am a very lucky owner of her white and black key-to-my-heart satchel! Chic meets practicality  in the witty handbag with the glamour of retro call from the ‘70s.

Lucinda "Lulu" Jane Guinness, is a British accessories fashion designer. She is the daughter of Sir Miles Rivett-Carnac, 9th Baronet descended from a colonial administrator. In 1986, she married the Honorable Valentine Guinness, a younger son of the 3rd Baron Moyne. She has two daughters, Tara and Madeleine. The couple divorced in 2013.

 Her retro, modern chic accessories with out-of-the-box designs are things to die for! Celebrities like Madonna, Helena Bonham Carter, Rachel Weisz, Florence Welch, Dita Von Teese and the Duchess of York are often seen carrying her handbags and clutches.

 With her greatest inspiration being Elsa Schiaparelli, a famous French couturier back in the 1930s, solely known for her creativity and sense of imagination that made her couture so distinguished and sought after. Lulu follows Schiaparelli’s footsteps when it comes to designing her handbags and clutches with ‘do everything differently’ being her motivation. Lulu’s career started off with a boom when she established her own company in 1989 and soon her unique and unusual designs were so praised that she instantly became a fashion icon. Lulu Bag was her first signature briefcase design and it was only a matter of time before her accessories were showcased seasonally at the London Design Show and The Coterie, New York.

 In 2005, Lulu published a pop-up book titled “Put on Your Pearls, Girls!” with pictures of her handbags featured along with her all-time favorite Diana Vreeland style-fashion aphorisms. It is also interesting to note that Lulu’s bags are collectibles and some of them are permanent fixtures in museums like Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Sotheby’s, London and New York. The self-taught designer, Lulu Guinness has received many accolades such as the Order of British Empire (OBE) that she received from Queen Elizabeth for her outstanding services to the fashion industry on the Queen’s Birthday in 2006. She also received the Independent Handbag Designer Awards for ‘Lifetime Achievement in Handbag Design.’

 Today, Lulu still lives by the motto of her hero, the Surrealist artisan and fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, 'Dare to Be Different' and the women who wear Lulu Guinness do just that.

For the Office Go-Getter

  • Why not the LULU by Lulu Guinness? Sophisticated black and white satchel inspired by retro glamour and modern chic that brings her new LULU to the consumer. Lulu Guinness, Order of the British Empire, has captivated fashion aficionados worldwide with her witty handbags and accessories. The heart of the business woman is locked up by multiplies locks with a chained key on display, at least from 8 to 5 of office hours.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

For the Hippie in Full Bloom

For the hippie in full bloom

v  This is a Reflections’ brand. A handbag that fills each day with love and inspiration. Heartfelt sentiments adore each style in this unique collection. The best part? Their signature style involves a healthy mix of texture, pattern and glam on the go! The handbag has the flirty floral print with blooms across the classic frame of perfect go-to accessory that has features of a double handle design and three divisions. It reminds me of the Patricia Nash’s Collection.

Photography of Fashion Accessories: Ida Tomshinsky

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

For the Evening Out

For the evening out

v  Black purse in black sequences, matching black shoes, and black gloves from Ralph Laurent to accessories the evening outfit. Perhaps a flower-clip, a hat, or a fascinator will conclude the head to toe appearance. The basic black will go with any color of the evening dress or suite: white, black, red, purple, etc. Every remarkable woman that earns them deserves to be dressed fashionably creative: to surpass own expectations and shine with confidence. The set of accessories is fast and chic tapping into offbeat bourgeois sensibilities of feathered fascinator. Of course, pulling off such madcap style might entail breaking a few fashion rules, but then, it takes a person that has never been known to play it straight: putting up a creative twist of affordability, and the ‘fast and chic’ attitudes.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

GreenLand '14

Photographer: Ida Tomshinsky

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Bags and Women

Observations divide women in two categories. The first one has a lot of handbags, empties them often, and always has a plan which one she would use from half of a dozen handbags, with utility and logic. The other type of woman has a one large bag that she is carrying around for all occasions, except evening parties when she would bring a clutch. The French has a name for such large-size bag, they call it sac. These bags have various archaeological layers, including old concert tickets, half-eaten chocolates, an old lipstick, worthless foreign coins, buttons, aspirins, gum, screw driver, crumbled bills, and even a prize item such as tears-stained and much read dusty letter or a card from long ago with sticky note-pads, hair from the comb, etc.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Fashion Quotation

“Girls do not dress for boys. They dress for themselves and, of course, each other. If girls dressed for boys they’d just walk around naked at all times.” (Betsey Johnson)

Friday, July 31, 2015

One of the Things...

Have you ever wanted to get ideas out of people, but they froze up and couldn't give you something meaty? For instance, perhaps you've just held a training session and you'd like to know what they valued. When you ask, they say “everything.” Or you ask what they would like changed and they say “nothing” or “I don't know” or they don't respond at all.

When you insert the small, but powerful, phrase “one of the things” into your sentences, you are guaranteed to reap many more answers.  The idea of naming one thing gives peoples' brains permission to come up with something concrete.

So instead of “What did you value in class?” you say “What is one thing that you value from the class?” or “What is one of the things you'd like changed in the training?”

Yes, you may want more than one ... and you may very well get more ... but the question phrased as asking for one is the magic for releasing the ideas.  Everyone can come up with a single item.

 And very often, the one thing they tell you, will be the most important

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Give It Some Thought

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." (Mark Twain)

Have you ever met someone who made you feel insignificant or foolish about your dreams or goals? Do you believe in encouraging people even if their ideas seem bound to fail? Where and how do you draw the line between being honest and being encouraging?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Ridicule: Origins and History

Historically, the little beaded bag was called by many names. Summarizing the information, it’s a fashion accessory used by both men and women since the Middle Ages or medieval period, lasted from the 5th to 15th century: the pocketbook, the purse, and the handbag. The French referred to it sarcastically as ‘the ridicule,’ because who in their right minds would walk around with all their possessions in their hands? It comes from the Latin word, reticulum, which refers to the small ladies’ net bags from Roman times. The English called it indispensable. In general, the reticules were made from all kind of textiles, quite often in the home industry, but with big enthusiasm and creativity.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Reveal the Secrets by Unzipping the Mystery

Let’s take off the mask, and reveal the secrets by unzipping the mystery! And please keep your underwear on, and there is no need to remove your make-up. And if you are ready, I will give you the permission to unzip the Retro file. Vintage style and vintage clothing are gaining popularity and for different reasons. Young people obsessed with vintage clothing that offers the unique look for less. On college campuses, student population knows how mix and match affordable vintage retro from thrifts’ store and blend it with new bringing history of fashion design from different level to a new popular phenomenon. Today, many stores sell brand new items that made to have the old look selling the brand and the leverage of timeless classic and dirty denim washed-up and distressed, slim ties, over sized shades, simply because it is “all about being able to look GOOD in a burlap sack.”


In general, despite the hard-work, fashion is enjoyable and entertaining, but not at some dull and tedious moments. During the mid-eighties, people were robbed and killed for Cazal eyeglass frames. The West German imports, made of heavy, dark plastic molded into square lens frames linked by a broad gold nose piece, sold for a high as $200.00 a pair. As fashion frames spread from celebrities to the streets, first in New York and then to Philadelphia, and after to south and west; and as my story goes, in Philadelphia, the frames initiated a crime wave. The desire over Cazal’s causes many young people to arm themselves with handguns whenever they wore their glasses.


The ‘past perfect vintage’ from different era range in quality and price, and are very collectible. The great American dealer, Israel Sack, used to say, “Bargains are expensive,” meaning that experience absent knowledge could be very costly. Collectible antique clothing refers to finely constructed clothing from the past and meets standards of aesthetic quality. For thousands years, fashion statements was a way to demonstrate the social status and the social power. “The living form of art holds power – power to control a part of one’s image,” said British philosopher Francis Bacon. Historically, fashionable clothing has been finely made, distinctive, and expensive. Generally speaking, clothing which was made before 1920s is referred to as antique clothing; and clothing from the 1920s to twenty years before the present day is considered vintage. Fashion is not like technology, yesterday’s transportation and pharmaceuticals in the sense that not everything newer is not necessarily more desirable. Antique clothes owned by Cher or Barbara Streisand, dresses made by Bob Mackie great samples of national memorabilia of the museum quality are very popular among collectors.


Meantime, fashion trends are come and go. To follow the fashion trend devotedly and be in fashion is smart, but as one of my fashion-savvy friends said, the recycling of fashion trends has been speed up. In our contemporary culture, influential individuals, celebrities, and professional models are the powerful beautiful ‘tips of the iceberg’ associated with social stratification. You can be wrapped in the best covers, but behind each masked person is the personal style. Viva personal style, individualism, chic, practicality and elegance! “A blue hat is just a blue hat, until Kate Middleton puts it on – then fashion is born.” (The Logic of Fashion Cycles, 2012) All clothes protect the human body from natural elements, but dressing with flair and personal style is a way of announcing one’s taste and standing in society. As Charles Dickens once said, “any man may be in good spirits and good temper when he’s well dressed.”


As history is always divided by time frames, the inside out style has acceptable guidelines of fashion studies:


Fashion fads: last 3-12 months

Fashion trends: last 1-5 years

Fashion classics: last 5-10 years

Fashion cycle: about 20 years until a trend will return.


We cannot physically return in the past time, as progress with each step back makes a step forward as well. Fashion always returns in a slightly different way.

There is something that has to be said about celebrating fashion points with historical pride. The fashion literacy is far more then glamour and style. The so-called fashion science does not have a science fiction approach to the matter. Plato writes in the The Republic about economic necessity, the origin of the State, the divisions of wants – food [restaurant industry], shelter [real estate industry], and clothes [apparel manufacturing and fashion industry]. Each “profession needs its tool-its manufacturer, and the merchant to keep up the exchange. In some sense, the individual is a complete man only in the State, therefore, certain necessities of his own being that cannot supply him without fulfilling his own capacity” is the fundamental position of entire Republic. The method to discover that capacity is education.


A fast glimpse around the library shelves or bookshelves in the bookstore provides the observation evidence that word “fashion” is in bound up with almost everything. Fashion studies include sociological aspects, psychological explanations, historical approach, and a wide aspect of business management for one and shopping till you drop for others, let say, somewhere on the fashionable Fauborg St. Honore or at Bal Harbour Shops on Miami Beach.


I hope you enjoy the deep water diving under the tip of the iceberg, and after you will come back to the dry land and remove the mask and the diving costume, you will continue your business tomorrow by putting on your best shoes, the hat …simply because “the hat on your head will keep you warm, with the hat on your head you will be a little bit taller, with the hat on your head, you’ll acknowledge the elegancy, a little bit sophistication, with the hat on your head you will get protected and shielded from rattle of wind and rain. With the hat on your head, you will be tied to strangeness of secrecy, and a little bit of unexpected mystery. When you wear the hat on your head, you will refine to natural earthy simplicity, and a little bit of naivety. When you are wearing the hat on the head, you are a different person; very confident, between us two, everybody will study and learn your face – who are you? When you are wearing the hat on your head, you will treasure the thoughts under one shell, under one dome; the entire world, to undiscovered humanity and femininity. When you wear the hat, you are a little bit stronger, sharper and hard-minded. When you have a hat on your head, you feel a little bit noble, precious, and edel – queenly generous and a little bit gorgeous, also sensitive and giving. You are wearing the world on your neck; come, take a look! You need more than a shoulder to keep you head up, you need more than a hat to keep up your head right: complexity and opportunity, chaos of unfinished symphony, dynamics of the tropical rain, rattle of the waterfall, and the tomb of your arm. A little bit of anatomical elements embracing your brain and mind, highlighting your eyes and the mouth. When you are wear the hat, you are headlining you, carrying the aura of the materialistic hat as a crown above; the wreath of success – just one flower will make fairy-like-flower-head wreath to come back in your past, a little bit of catching your dream, when you are wear the hat on your head. (Tomshinsky, 2013)

Art and Fashion

The National Portrait Gallery collection at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC includes more than hundred thousands of portrait records. Long-time ago before the narcissist’ ‘selfies’ were taken with one press of the button on the mobile phone and cameras were invented, upper class citizens requested to make a portrait to preserve the image of the notable Americans, notable American subjects, and also made by notable American artists. The significance of the assessment of importance of portraiture is in the great value of the images that able to bring alive the expressions of identity, the detail-oriented costumes of the historical period, with such amazing quality that unfolds every piece of fabric, the purple velvet of the rich businessman’s jacket, and the blue and red with golden décor of generals’ uniforms, and the softness of lace and shines of the ribbons, skilled needlework, etc.

Paint and the needle; artist always have been inspired to paint, draw and sculpt beautiful women in the clothes they wore. Many times, fashion designers got inspiration from artists’ work or artistic movements and incorporated their artwork ideas into their fashion designs. Women were looking at themselves at the mirrors, with other mirror behind to reflect the back of her head to demonstrate to us the 3-D image of great natural expressions, full wardrobe, jewelry and the fashion accessories of the historic period. There is an ancient belief that mirrors cannot lie: “Looking-glass upon the wall, who is fairest of us all?” (Grimm & Grimm, 1882) The mirror is the antipode of the musk, because mirrors accurately reflect the truth, the beauty, and our morality.

Almost hundred years ago, Ethel Traphagen, one of the first American female fashion designer and the 1911th New York Times first-prize evening dress winner, got inspired from an American painter, James Whistler. James Whistler originally was trained in Paris and later lived in London. He was influenced by the work of French Impressionists by the Japanese woodblock prints. He used smoky colors in night-time scenes to create the mysterious effects in his Nocturne paintings. Ethel Traphagen had been motivated and stimulated by one of these scenes and used the image to design a dress of blue chiffon layered over putty hue colored silk. Elizabeth Hawes was another well-known figure in the fashion industry in the 1930s. She traveled to Paris and lived above the Shakespeare and Company bookstore, a place where many talented people such as Ernest Hemingway and George Gershwin borrowed books and mingled and met other people. Elizabeth Hawes wanted her clothes to move as three-dimensional mobiles that her friend and artist Alexander Calder created. She was not shy to incorporate the abstract elements from Spanish artist Joan Miro used in his paintings in her capes and vests. O’ yes, these ladies knew how manipulate the data, and create the compositional interpretation from one media into another.


The fashion industry is almost like the iceberg as we can see on the runways as the above the water the strong, confident and beautiful part of it to pleasure our eye-view. But beneath the iceberg is hidden underwater world the hard-work of sketching the ideas, drawing and cutting patterns to create sample garments, select fabrics and trimmings, dressmaking and  tailoring principles, fitting and modifying the finished garment, teamwork, communication, marketing and more. People say it is only in the dictionary, the word ‘success’ comes before the word ‘work.’ Beneath the industry iceberg standing influential individuals that are ready to change characteristics and preferences, create new styles and trends of chic and practicality by attracting consumers to buy their outfits, and matching accessories.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The First Fifteen Years of the the 21 Century in Fashion Industry

The new and emerging technologies of the sweet fifteen years of the 21st century brought on the ch-ch-change to the structure and role within the fashion industry. Cable and digital networks providing increasing amount of consumer information on fashion trends. After authoritative peer reviewed digital newsletters and ‘street’ blogs, came narrative tweeter with 140 characters of text, and finality the Pinterest replaced text with the visual information. Today, contemporary creative micro-businesses are using the new approach of open sourcing or crowd fitting sourcing where we all are now both consumers and designers.

We only can see the tip of the iceberg, because only 1/7 t 1/8 of an iceberg can be seen above the water and easily observed. The rest of the significant mass of ice is hidden below the surface. Majority of people are very much as icebergs, the individual skills, talents, and true identity are hidden behind the mask. Using the international cultural anthology, the talented young people followed the imaginary dream, “the yellow brick road” from Wizard of Oz entering the Fashion Art Institutes and Fashion Institutes of Science and Technology. The young generation, the generation C, where ‘C’ stands for communication, used their enthusiasm, creativity, and individual talents to acquire professional skills for the betterment of our society and dedicated their careers and lives to serve the great Greek God Apollo, the God of sun, light, art, science and healing. The Fashion education brought, respectfully, brain, heart, and courage to expand the A to Z list of fashion designers and join the competition from the fashion leadership and elite.

The pathway to the knowledge requires to evaluation of information at the interpretation stage and together with critical thinking the researcher develops the personal meaning and in the process – the knowledge of learning. In fashion, the visual literacy skills the same as textual information skills, equip the learners to understand and analyzed the unknown from contextual, cultural, ethical, aesthetic, intellectual, and technical components involved in the production and use of the visual sources. The visual literate individual comprehends both the consumerism of the visual media and the body of knowledge and cultural traditions. The visual literacy defines the ability to understand and convey through various media, visible images and actions. Since 2011, Association of College Research Libraries (ACRL) recognized the need and launched out the Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. The core of it based on the philosophical belief that any artwork can be taught to be understand in today’s image-saturated culture the same way as the traditional text.

Teaching visual literacy throughout art empowers students of fashion art sciences; as they learn critically analyze their own creative work, and manipulate the data of visual culture for consumers. The John Berger’s Ways of Seeing continues to be on the list of reading for the students in humanities disciplines as young and talented study and learn how art and culture embodies the individuals’ intellectual liberations while establishing themselves in the place of the world around them, because “seeing comes before words.” As “the child looks and recognizes before it can speak,” (Berger,1990) observation, another great research method, comes one of the primary research tool for any fashion-trend-watcher. The observer always had a great sharp eye for the CEO ‘design for success’ look, the street casual look, the perfect fashion tips for the curvy girls, and the endless fashion guideline possibilities for petite, or not, girls.

The fashion infusions come from many sources, the researcher with use of instrumental tools such as observation and trend-watching, uses the data, statistical and factual, historical and geographical, etc. The best way to obtain it, beside research, is on the go in our own neighborhood and local communities, by traveling the world or attending a fashion show. The inspiration can come from various places, facts, and events, but the only compositional interpretation of the data and events, will bring us to the ‘ah-ha moment’ to create the new with creativity, confidence, and hard work.  

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Mystery of the Unkown

Beneath the iceberg and behind the mask is the mystery of the unknown. Our society continues to pay more attention to science and technology, and we are paying more and more attention to fashion studies. What is Fashion? Is it an obsession and body admiration? Is it a story of cloth and the industry’s broth? Is it a body ministry or a simple little paltry? Is it an occupation with a style demonstration? Is it an operation, an opinion or presentation? All above is about number one occupation of fashion – the in- and-out of profession in higher education. An American designer, Claire McCardell, once said that people without a sense of fun, of dash, of whim, might misunderstand fashion. For scholars, for students and educators who are involved in the teaching-learning body of knowledge in the academic process of fashion studies is a serious business.

As fashion trends are taking over the planet, and, historically, the role of fashion studies interferes with basic understanding of the nature of wearing clothes in appropriated style is the common core of information process and preparation to research. To get informed and be able to transfer and deliver the pieces of information and visual literacy into fashion craftsmanship and in the creative skills with unlimited offers of the talented individuals and their intellectual liberations and self-expressions is the driving forth of handling the "mystery of the unknown.”

Contemporary urban legends in popular culture, traditional folktales always gave up the common core of extensive overviews on the breath of multicultural traditions, revealing the historic characters of the countries and its people as well as their time-honored values and costumes. The familiar fictional tales provide in-depth materials for popular culture products in songs, craft, and images accompanied by historical and geographical backgrounds of research exploration.

I live and work in Miami, and Southeast part of Florida has a special visible place in American popular culture. In the 21st century, fashion together with arts, design, and entertaining associates in people’s mind with chic, style, luxury, and shopping. Consumerism is an economic expression of American socio-economical American Revolution. Adam Smith recognized it and wrote in the Wealth of Nations, “Consumers are to economics what voters are to politics.”

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Beneath the Iceberg and Behind the Mask

Beneath the iceberg is the power of invisible beauty and wealth of compositional interpretation. Behind the masquerade mask is a mystery of the unknown of the fashion infusion of history, chic and practicality. And all the factors above contribute not only to information literacy, but to the visual literacy as well. Beneath of the smooth surface and clean canvas spurs attached layers of visual history and culture, visual pleasure and disruption bringing the creative individual infusions into the process. In the way of the process the compositional interpretations giving birth to manufacture quality.  

Fashionable always connected to new knowledge and interpretation of visual information. We have to look for it, locate, evaluate; and in the end, we create the new understanding and comprehension. It was, is, and always will be various ways of seeing, saying, and creating.

No secret, that fashion itself as a subject of matter is in the category of fine arts. The mystery of fashion can only be compared to the mystery of poetry, another subject of creative arts. The same as creative writing process, fashion sciences studies include fashion research, body and mind communication; and, in 21st century, the availability of modern technology.

Human history of fashion perhaps started thousand years ago with the humble apron worn by men. These words are written in the 3rd Chapter of Genesis: “…they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” (Genesis 3:7) Saying this, we just acknowledge Adam and Eve as the first fashion designers’ duo tailoring the first garment with chic and practicality, and affordable sustainability.

Fashion attire and fashion accessories that we wear and carry infused with elements of rich history of costumes and textiles, cultural aesthetics and traditions, and socio-economical conditions that drive the progress of the functionality with chic and style in mode.

The 21st century fashion design continues evolved around visual observations and creative desires of leaders of the industry that not afraid to take risk management and create luxury items with six figures behind the price tag. And every year, more and more students are entering the Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising educational programs in London, Milan, New York, Miami and Los Angeles. The new generation prove themselves and convinced us that it is “all about looking GOOD in the burlap sack.” (Tomshinsky, 2013)

Fashion Tales, 2015. Draft program, February 4, 2015.(Tomshinsky, 2015.) Theorizing Fashion: Beneath the Iceberg, Behind the Mask, Milan, Italy, Friday, June 19, 14.30-16.00, p.7.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Florida Grows

Beyond the beaches, theme parks, and condo enclaves are the farms, ranches, and greenhouses. Florida is more famous for tourism, but its number-two industry is agriculture. It is the nation's top producer of oranges, sugar cane, sweet corn, and watermelons - and a major producer of tomatoes and other vegetables, strawberries, peanuts, and variety of other crops. (Forum, Spring 2014)

Photographer: Ida Tomshinsky

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Beginning of Baskets

The weaving of baskets is as old as the history of men. Traces of baskets have been found in Egyptian pyramids . Woven baskets liners have left their impressions inside the fragments of ancient pottery. As soon as men (and women!) were able to plait fibers together, they began to experiment with structures for woven containers.

Baskets were needed as containers for everything imaginable - food, clothing, seeds, storage, and transport. (Hebert, 2001)

The word "basket" is delivered from the Greek word kophinos, which is a basket woven of plaited branches and twigs. As early as 4,000 BC, Sumerians used baskets to bury their dead. (Polaski, n.d.)

Monday, June 29, 2015

New Day

"With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts."

(Eleanor Roosevelt)


Friday, June 26, 2015

Logic: Common Pitfall in Arguing

Perhaps you've participated in these situations in the past: raised voices, insist by repetition, and got to the off-topic distractions.

Please give it some thought: if a statement made in a loud voice, will it make more or less true? What if the argument is repeated by using different words? What if a person says "trust me" before making a statement. Does it affect the truth of the statement? If someone makes a statement that they feel strongly about, does it affect the truth? Does it matter how upset you are? How angry you are? How often the person argues about the same topic? Why the emotional context so common in arguments, if it doesn't impact the truth in any way?

Perhaps the greatest difficulty in logical arguments is detecting non-relevant factors. Many arguments would be pointless without any emotional displays. There are some practical tips for logical arguments:
  • Be willing and motivate to argue logically
  • Be capable intellectually to take on a logical argument
  • Have the time and patience to see the argument through logically
  • Be prepared with the body of knowledge in the process of logical argumentation
Conclusion: There are no assumptions, because if contradictions are found in at least one of the assumptions, it is possible that one of the steps in the argument, must be incorrect.
Weinberg, Arnon. (2012) How to Have a Logical Argument in Real Life. - 10 pages.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Black Swan Theory

What it means? What is the definition behind this theory? It was popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book entitled "The Black Swan." It is assumed that all swans are white. So the black swans, which do in fact exist in nature, are very rare, unique, and extraordinary.

According to Taleb, the "black swan events" have three major characteristics:
a. It is a surprise
b. It has a major impact
c. "Black swan events" are very powerful and may change the course of history, science, art, and technology.

Taking risk, thinking 'outside the box' may be occur by high-level leadership contributing to the natural phenomenon. The new era of freedom and creativity is an inspiration for young talented people that always helped to nourish a new generation of poets and artists - an adventurous generation steeped in the world of culture..

"Black swan events" open the new avenue to be engage in free and open dialogue with writers, artists, and scholars from North to South, from East to West - shaping the transformational effect on the work of these individual artists.

So, when you have the next black swan accouter, in culture or in the society, you will be able to recognized the contributions made to the contemporary culture, and to invigorate from it, in the words of Mandelstam, by a "longing for world culture."

Saturday, June 20, 2015


People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse of selfish, ulterior motives'
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you'
Be honest and frank anyway.
When you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
Read by Ida Tomshinsky at IFAC Reunion: 50th Anniversary
at The Porter's Mansion in Miami Beach, FL
on June 20, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Heart Knows and Feels

The heart knows and feels
What you need to prosper -

To gain knowledge and skills,
Why not to enter ITT to succeed?!

Information literacy prerequisites,
The LRC study and learning for tests

Are the future career fundamentals,
Considered worthwhile investments!

Planting wildflowers,
Letting them grow into
Student success and nation's leaders
Producing butterfly's habitat
Of education and professionalism!

Text and photo: Ms. Ida Tomshinsky

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Reticules: Beginning of the Handbag

During the eighteenth century, most accessories had some practical function, but their precise form was dictated by fashion and so sometimes their design detracted from their usefulness.

Until the late eighteenth century, pockets attached to tapes tied at the waist were worn under the pannier and underskirt, reached through slits in the overskirt. Handbags, called reticules, became necessary at the end of the century when dresses had no room for pockets underneath.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

"Old Goriot" by Honore de Balzac

"Old Goriot" was written in 1834, when Balzac was thirty-five and at height of his powers. The story is about Eugene de Rastignac the young provincial who came to Paris to make a career for himself. The talented Rastignac, confused and ambitious law student from the country, was making his way in Paris against odds.

The character of Old Goriot gave the author a chance to mount the rostrum and vent his ideas on the differences in the social structure. Goriot himself, who grew rich out of the French Revolution, never understood or cared for what it represented. He represents the power of money, and his possessive greed too, in the hands of the rising new middle class.

This novel may be compare to Shakespeare's "King Lear" and Turgenev's novelette entitled "A Lear of the Steppes." All three tell the story of a sacrificing father and ungrateful daughters. If Balzac and Turgenev borrowed their ideas, their borrowing was from the common pool of human experience into which great artists must always dip.

Honore de Balzac had two great gifts: observation and imagination, always inextricably blended. When he was about twenty years old, he gave up the study of law for literature. He literally killed himself by overwork, dying at the age of fifty-one, with more than forty books as his gift to posterity.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Personalized Education

Personalized learning is proving to be a key aspect in student success, and learning analytics are helping educators provide individualized instruction by leveraging the power of data.
  • Adapting testing, tracking, and reporting
  • Early alerts, intervention, and collaboration
  • Analytics of efficiency and effectiveness

Friday, May 15, 2015



When I am watching the ants,

The analogy with teamwork of do and don’ts

Comes to my re-constructed visions –

That came with my new glasses

And transitional lens

Letting me see from sunlight to indoors.

Wow, changed mission and vision statements?!

What it has to do with ants?

Ants, ants, ants:

Social interacts.

Ants, ants, ants

Always around, so focuses and organized,

Very talented arcane brigade

That was made

Of amazing insects, wingless,

From a different time -frame, and fearless.

Adapted survivors of cold and hot,

Could be the messengers of God.

Personal characteristics –

Detailed oriented, check;

Extremely organized, check;

Affable, easy to get to know, check;

Action-oriented, again a check!

So, who they are hiring?

Customer service representatives

Dedicated to accomplish the organization’s

Mission and goals.

O, my God, they are looking for ancient ants,

The social interacts,

Talented arcane brigade,

The amazing wingless insects,

Endless ants,

Ants, ants, and more of ants.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Things are seldom what they seam

"Things are seldom what they seam,
Skim milk masquerades as cream;
High-lows pass as patent leather,
Jackdaws strut in peacock's feathers."

(Gilbert and Sullivan, H.M.S. Pinafore)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

What is Life?

What is life?
Nothing more than a mere tragedy making a life of its own.
Should we just accept it
Or should we just fall into the deception that everything has fair win?

Love that vanishes
Even when you try your best to hold on tight.
A love that can break by just stepping on a crack

What is the reason of this?
Continuing on and on throughout the mess of our fathers.
Where is the change that can bind us?
Where is the change that can really change us?

Seeing that the sky is blue and
Knowing the sky is blue are two separate things
Our eyes in our perception are what blind us.
They blind us from the truth that our mind is at rage about.

What is life?
We cannot let the opportunity go to waste.
To change the world is what we need.
To let everything else non-important wait.

Ospino, Cristina (2015) "What is Life"

Who I Am? [Part 2]

I am human
Trying to find purpose
I am a hero
Trying to hide my wounds
I am free
Trying to break free of my chains
I am perfect
Trying to find some inner peace
I am me
Trying to find
Who I am.
(Fraga, Melisa (2015) Who I Am?"

Photography: Ida Tomshinsky, 2013