Jacki Lyden can tell a book by its cover
Food, Clothing, Shelter. Think about it. Every stitch you wear is like a syllable, forming the narrative of the story you will tell to the world. Sometimes, people pretend that fashion is inconsequential, or elitist, or frivolous. Those people would be misinformed in our fast-paced, connected, digital universe. As the daughter of a one-time model, whose own budget scarcely runs to haute couture, (unless it's 25 or more years old!) I'm fascinated by the narratives clothing tells, from Trayvon Martin's hoodie to the Pope's Mitre. I've donned burqas in Afghanistan, worn chador in Iraq, and interviewed blank-faced models at the premiere of "Fashion Week" in New York in 1995. (And THAT was in the middle of an Iran assignment.) "Why don't you cover one of the biggest industries in the world," I remember the principal organizer asking me. And I had no good answer, because to me, dress is as integral as oxygen, and as descriptive as "so much depends upon a wet black bough." It's poetry, it's history, it's signature, identity, form, culture, resonance. Pivot and turn, girls, my mother used to tell me, convinced that department store runways were her ticket out of the mundane. About that, she was right.
We are debuting The SEAMS on NPR on May 8 because we believe these stories are under-represented and need to be heard, seen, and written about. We'll explore our credo, "Spinning the stories of human experience through fashion," and I KNOW that the audience will want to participate in stories that need to be told. We have SO many stories to tell.
We begin the formal debut of The SEAMS on NPR with the story of the Met's newly reconfigured fashion galleries (The Anna Wintour Costume Institute. Wintour has raised 125 million dollars for the CI) and the story of Charles James, America's first couturier. I felt like an anthropologist on the trail of one of the most genius, mercurial personalities I had ever encountered in pursuit of James. James sacrificed everything to his art: family, fame, money, comfort. And now, 26 years after his death, he is having his moment. Please send encouraging words about how The SEAMS might persist.. we need you to stitch us to sustenance. And now, please, enjoy!
The Seams: Spinning the Stories of Human Experience Through the Clothes We Wear
Fashion as Art: Vogue's Anna Wintour, American's first couturier, Charles James, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new Costume Center debut.
When Jane met Andy: A Superstar is Born
Jane Holzer was the most photographed woman in America in 1964. She had the look; a sort of Blonde Amy Winehouse. She was photographed by Horst, David Bailey, and Irving Penn. Diana Vreeland, editor of Vogue, called her "The Most Contemporary...
Women of Vision: National Geographics' Amy Toensing and Maggie Steber talk to Jacki Lyden.
I'm married to a brilliant storytelling photographer, William (Bill) O'Leary, of the Washington Post. ( Facebook/BillO'Leary) I've loved documentary photography since college, studied under Lynn Sloan and Charles Traub (Now head of the School of...
Ebony Fashion Fair-Changing History on the Catwalk
I loved this story. It began with a tip by two NPR colleagues, Walter Ray Watson and Carline Windall Watson of Tell Me More. They'd visited the show put together by the Chicago History Museum and curator Joy Bivens was incredible, and that led...
Hat-Maker Philip Treacy's Favorite Hat, And Many More
I love millinery. Philip Treacy would appear to have Madonna, Lady Gaga and Kate Middleton on speed dial. He's from County Galway, Ireland-- and could not have been more charming. He's an artist, and this is a wonderful artist's conversation...