Friday, September 21, 2012

Paris Vs. New York

ACI Nouveau is proud to announce our annual fundraising blowout event!

This year we will be screening Versailles '73, the fabulous film that swept fashion week and the Cannes Film Festival.

Her is some of the fabulous buzz the film has been getting! had this to say!
The also had some great things to say about the film!

In 1973, five American designers took Paris by storm! American modern, ready-to-wear style was pitted against classic French haute couture in the stunning backdrop of the Palace Versailles.

Join ACI Nouveau as we party like it's 1973 for a special advanced screening of the film in a Paris vs. New York themed reception at Phoenix Art Museum on September 29th.

The reception begins at 6:00pm September 29th.
The film screening at 7:00pm followed by a discussion with the director, Deborah Riley Draper

Be sure to dress in your most fabulous Parisian or New York inspired outfit!

Hors d'Oeuvres and Cash-only bar.

Seating is limited so buy your tickets now!

Some Modern Spirits

Greetings Fashionistas!

Sorry for the recent hiatus, we've been busily planning some fabulous upcoming events for the Museum and Nouveau!

First up is the opening reception for Modern Spirit, the Fashion Design Department's latest exhibition TOMORROW NIGHT!

The show features stunning designs from the 1920s and evokes the spirit of a truly modern age. 20s inspired fashion has been all over the runways for the last few seasons which makes this exhibition right on trend!

Reception starts at 6:00 pm with an introduction in Whiteman Hall at 7:00. If you haven't RSPV'd yet contact ACI at (602) 307-2011 or at

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Vogue Archive and the Fashion Design Library

Earlier this summer a great new fashion resource was made available here in Phoenix.  So far it's been a bit of a well-kept secret but it's time to change that!  Thanks to the generosity of the Arizona Costume Institute the Lemon Art Research Library at the Phoenix Art Museum was able to subscribe to the Vogue Archive and the archive is now available on the computers in the library.

This is a fabulous addition to the library and to the community.  Whether your interest is professional, personal, or academic there is something in the archive for you.  So, where do you find it?  What exactly IS it?  How do you use it?   Let me lay it out for you.

Where do you find the Library and the Vogue Archive?

The Lemon Art Research Library is located in the Administration Building on the Museum Campus.  Any staff member would be able to point you in the right direction, so don't be afraid to ask.  They're all really friendly.  (But to give you an idea, the Admin building is located across the garden courtyard from Phoenix Theatre.)  When you go through the front doors, you'll see a reception desk and if you look to the left you'll see a large set of double doors with a sign above, that's it.  I told you I'd lay it out for you.  But if you still get a little turned around, just ask the person sitting at the reception desk, they'll show you, and they're also really friendly.

Once in the library, you'll sign in, and make sure you indicate that you're there for the Vogue Archive, the more people that use it the more likely the subscription will be renewed.  You know what they say, use it or lose it.  From the front desk if you walk straight back you'll see a table with some computers.  The ones with the Vogue Archive have signs next to them.  Like this one:

Again, if you have any trouble, just ask the kind people at the front desk.  They're really friendly too...are you noticing a trend in how friendly and helpful everyone is?

Best part?  It's free and open to the public!

For more information on the Library, including hours see here.

What exactly IS the Vogue Archive?

I'm glad you asked.  The Vogue Archive is an incredible digital project that digitized and organized every issue of Vogue Magazine from it's first issue in 1892 to the current month's issue.  And that's not an exaggeration, it really is EVERY single issue.  Every page, every issue, every picture, article and advertisement, from 1892 to right now.  This is an incredible resource for designers, students, historians, and every lover of fashion.

For a small taste check out this video:

To learn more about the Vogue Archive, click here.

How to you use it?

A very important question indeed.  Once you get to the library, and are in front of the computer, what do you do?  Trust me, if you aren't going in with something specific you're looking up it can be very overwhelming.  I mean, more than 100 years of Vogue to browse through?  That's intense.  When I was playing around with it I definitely got intimidated until I thought to start looking up items that might help my thesis project that I'll be starting this semester.

First things first, when you sit down, go to the desk top screen, if it's not there already.  There will be an icon somewhere on the desktop labeled "Vogue archive".  Once you click that it will launch the archive.

So here's a couple ways you can search/use the archive.

1) Browse an individual issue.  You can look up any of the issues and then browse each page.  This is fun if you just want to see what Vogue was like in the past.  It's also fun to look up particular years and months and see how Vogue was reflecting events and societal issues.  This is also good if you're doing fashion research and simply want to see what the styles and trends were for a particular month or year.  I'll definitely be using it for costume research for the plays I design this season.

2) Search for a specific person or item.  You can search terms or people and the archive will pull up any instance in the archive where that term or person is mentioned.  You can do an advanced search to filter and refine your search further.  If you just want to look up every time your favorite designer or actor was featured, a general search is fine, but if you're doing more detailed research the advanced search is great.  Within the advanced search you can specify a date range, limit the search to advertisements, photo shoots, articles, etc, and search multiple terms/people to help find exactly what you want.  It's definitely worth it to play around with the search feature.

The most important thing is to have fun with it, it can get a bit addictive with so much material to look through and you'll probably find yourself wanting to come back again.  I certainly did.

Once you've overloaded your brain and can't stare at the screen any longer, step away from the computer and step into the Fashion Design Library.  It will be to the left hand side as you're facing back to the front doors of the main library.

Inside this room is every fashion design and history book you could ever want.  There are also some vintage Vogue magazines.  So if looking at the digitized scans made you want to hold the real thing, here's your chance!

Between the Vogue Archive and the Fashion Design Library, the Lemon Art Research Library has a multitude of research resources for every design student and professional.  And again, it's completely free and open to the public!  You can't beat that.  Please stop by for a visit and let us know what you think.


Film Screening at Film Bar and shopping at Mercantile

On July 18th ACI Nouveau gathered for a wonderful night of film, fashion, and fun.  The evening started at the Film Bar in downtown Phoenix to watch a screening of Blow-Up (1966), the story of a London photographer who knows too much.  After the film the party headed to Mercantile for some treats and great vintage shopping.

For everyone who came out, it was great to see you as always and thanks for coming.  For those who may have missed us this time, take a look below at pictures captured on the event.  And for more pics, check out Avant-Girl's coverage of the event here.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

A View To Die For!

As Promised if not a bit delayed, I wanted to share a little more on the fabulous fashion I encountered in Italy.

One of the amazing things about traveling in Italy if you ever get the chance to visit is the fashion! As the home to some of the world’s greatest designers, Italians take almost as much pride in their fashion as they do their food.

Simply getting myself to Italy nearly broke the bank enough at it is so shopping in all the fabulous designer stores was out of the question but that didn’t stop me from doing an amazing amount of window shopping and stopping in every H & M from Bologna to Rome!

Some fabulous gowns at the Florence H & M!

The most exciting fashion moment I had had to be in Venice. As a traveler on a budget hostels are the name of the game and often when hunting for one that doesn’t look too shady you’re at the mercy of internet reviews and ratings. I took a chance on one called Silk Road Hostel and I couldn’t have been luckier! The fact that it was clean and secure and I didn’t have to sleep on a bunk bed were more than enough for me, but the real kicker was the view from our window!
Located on the Giudecca Canal which is a bit of a hike from the train station and the popular sights of Venice like the Rialto and St. Marks, it was well worth the distance. Our window looked out on the beautiful water and across the way I spotted something only a true fashion nerd would find exciting…I could see the Fortuny Factory from my window!

A View to die for!

I got to sleep across from Fortuny and see their boutique amongst all the shops on the Rialto! I felt so lucky and of course took a ton of pictures to prove I was there!

The Fortuny boutique near The Rialto in Venice

Gucci, Chanel and Missoni, oh my!

Gucci Museum in Florence
Chanel boutique in Florence
Missoni boutique in Venice

I hope these pictures make you feel like you're in Italy doing some window shopping of your own!


Fantastic vintage jewelry in Rome

"European Man Satchels" at the world famous Florene Leather Market

Stunning coral jewelry on the Ponte Vecchio

Friday, July 6, 2012


Please join ACI Nouveau for a fabulous night of Fashion and Film!

We will be screening the movie Blow-Up, Wednesday July 18th at Filmbar.

Blow-Up is the fabulous story of a mod London photographer who knows too much!

Doors will open at 7:00 pm, film will start at 7:30 pm. General admission is only $7.00! Tell me where you're going to find a better deal than that!

Hope to see you all there!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Seaside Dreamin'

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of attending the lecture at Phoenix Art Museum presented by Caroline Milbank, author of the new book Resort Fashion: Style in Sun-DrenchedClimates.

The book is pretty self explanatory; it’s all about the emergence of resort fashion and the lifestyle that accompanies it. Divided up into categories like Breton stripes, “beach pajamas,” whites, and many more, Ms. Milbank explores the history of resort fashion beginning in the 19th c. and its rise as its own runway season.
You can tribute your Breton stripes to Coco Chanel

The book is like a stay-cation for the eyes. Ms. Milbank says she wrote it for the recession. She thought a book all about vacation might make all of us tightening our wallets feel like we’re on vacation on a beautiful beach. Jokingly she stated the original working title was “everything I learned while writing about summer vacation.”

Two of the many bathing suits freatured in The Sea exhibition

Growing up in Arizona almost my entire wardrobe can be described as “resort wear” so I have a special appreciation for this book.

If you’re looking for an escape from the summertime blues, are curious about where your trendy midriff-dress came from or maybe you’re looking for a great gift for your stylish friend's coffee table, I highly recommend this book!


Some fabulous "beach pajamas"

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Italians Don't Wear Color

Sorry for my recent hiatus, I’ve been globe trotting but it is great to be home. I spent a few weeks traveling around Italy and I figured for my first post back I would say a few words on the fashion I encountered. My few word are: Italians don’t wear color.

Wearing black is the go to for the “most fashionable” people who want to look chic and sophisticated at the drop of a hat. For years I’ve heard people say that “red is the new black” or blue or pink or even brown (gross) but if you ask Italian women they’ll say “nero e il nuovo nero.”

Call me a philistine or a hippy-flower-child or just too American but I just can’t wear all black all the time. I crave color and light and vibrancy!

My summer wardrobe is packed with colored jeans, cobalt blue sandals, and shirts in nearly every shade of the rainbow; not to mention bright red hair and purple nail polish.

I may have stuck out like a sore thumb in Italy but I looked darn good doing it and I plan to keep it up for the rest of the summer.

I’ll be sure to post again soon about all fabulous designers I saw and fun Museum activities!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Nouveau event at Madewell!

After tea at the Ritz (more about that here) I headed over to Scottsdale Fashion Square to attend the ACI Nouveau event at the new Madewell store.  So much fun!  Lots of fun people, yummy cupcakes, and fabulous summer fashion ideas and inspiration from Courtney McEntire of Madewell and Nouveau's own Casey Hagerty and Celine Hacche.  Seeing their fabulous picks almost makes me ready for summer!...Almost.  A special thanks to all those who came out for the event and to Courtney and the whole Madewell team for making us feel so welcome.

Here are some of the pictures I took at the event.  Enjoy!


Courtney gives us her pics and tips.

Then it's Celine's turn.

And finally Casey shares her favorites.
(For more pics by Casey, see her blog Avant Girl here.)

Out with a bang! ACI 2nd Wednesday Finale "Tea at the Ritz"

This year has been an amazing year for programming with the ACI and we've had some incredible speakers come to give lectures as part of the 2nd Wednesday series at the museum.  However, every year for the last 2nd Wednesday we like to shake things up and take the party offsite.  This year we descended on the Tea Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix.  Members and guests in their finest and smartest suits and dresses (and fabulous hats!) arrived for the Royal Tea service at the Ritz, presented by none other than the tea master himself, Jeffrey Hattrick.  Champagne and tea flowed freely as the ladies and gentlemen present sat back for more than two hours of chatting and watching a fabulous informal fashion show presented by Neiman Marcus.

The event was a fabulous, sold-out success and as one of the organizers and ACI Programming Co-Chair I would like to add a personal thank you to ACI President Natalie Kaan, ACI Programming Co-Chair Helen Bobince, Jeffrey Hattrick and the Ritz-Carlton, and Neiman Marcus and Lisa Pagel for their help and support in putting together this fabulous event.

For those who weren't able to attend, I hope you enjoy these pictures.


President Natalie Kaan welcoming the guests

Jeffrey Hattrick getting the tea service started.

The fashion show was fabulous and so much fun!

Loving the poppy print on this dress.

Does it get any better than scones with Devonshire cream?  I think not.

From mini fruit tarts to Scottish shortbread, the Ritz has it all!

I've always loved carousels, so I fell in LOVE with this Judith Leiber bag! 

Posing with the incoming 2012-2013 ACI President Gail Adams.

2011-2012 ACI Programming Co-Chairs. Helen Bobince (left) and I!  Job done, we were happy to sit back and enjoy the tea.

Not to sound like I'm imitating Rachel Zoe, but I die for this dress.  Seriously.

Lois Alberts thanks Natalie for all her hard work this year as President of ACI. Thanks Natalie!  From all of us.

Jeffrey concludes the event by honoring and delighting us all with a song.