Merci Beaucoup

It has been about a week since Thanksgiving, but that's no reason to stop being thankful. Rather than limit my awareness of all that I have to be thankful for to a single day or time of year, I am embracing the concept of Thanksliving.

Everyday there is something to take notice of, appreciate and add to the list of blessings. So as I step forward with my new Thanksliving mentality, I want to begin with five things that may fall a bit outside of the traditional list. I am of course thankful for my family, friends, health, etc...but also these five wonderful things that affect all of us.

1. I am thankful that the Greeks not only provided an abundance of art and architectural advancements, but also introduced the classic garment that continues to thrive today...the toga. The style of draping, accentuating the body's natural beauty and simplicity of design remains relevant.
Ancient Greek Nike (Victory) Statue

2. I am thankful that Queen Elizabeth championed the concept of Girl Power before the term even existed. She built an empire that surpassed any man's and did so while leading the way as the Queen of Fashion. All the women wanted her red locks, porcelain skin and high forehead (achieved through meticulous plucking). Her corseted form with a flattened chest (to mimic a man's broad, flat chest), neck ruff and layers of clothing helped underscore her "can't touch this" approach to royal position.
Queen Elizabeth Ditchley Portrait, 1592

3. I am thankful that Madame Pompadour won over France's King Louis XV and became a key player in the court so she could give her gift of Rococo style to the world. The feminine decor of pastels, luscious fabrics, flying cherubs, ribbons and bows continues to inspire.
Madame Pompadour by Francois Boucher, early 1700s

4. I am thankful that Coco Chanel broke the rules and freed women from the confines of pre-existing concepts in fashion. Boundaries were crossed as she encouraged a style using menswear inspiration, casual fabrics and costume jewelry.
5. I am thankful that fashion is a wearable art form that underscores history as designers return to the stories and people of the past as they create their collections.

The soft flowing lines of the Greek toga:

Badgeley Mischka Fall 2007

Jean Paul Gaultier Fall 2005

Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2006

The frills and thrills that Madame Pompadour would have surely loved:
Dior Couture Spring 2007

John Galliano Spring 2008

Ralph Lauren Spring 2008

Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2008

Alexander McQueen Spring 2007

The many varieties of Girl Power that come through what we wear:
Alexander McQueen Fall 2007

A fitted form (like a corset), strong color palette and kick-butt boots.

Dior Couture Fall 2006
Armor-esque beauty.

Balenciaga Spring 2008
The seams alter the form so the top resembles the strength and rigidity of a corset. Gladiator boots emphasize the strength of the look.

Chanel Spring 2008
A neck ruff, padded shoulders and menswear style come together in this modern take on Queen Elizabeth meets Chanel.

To all these designers and inspirational women of the past,
Merci Beaucoup

Happy Thanksliving.

Runway photos: