Fashion Show 2018 Description


When we think about it, we realize that today’s fashions reflect our past – and how we have moved forward through technology, fabrication, and changing social more’s to reflect today’s modern woman.

Think back to the real early days of clothing that was a necessity for comfort – a hedge against the cold of winter and the heat of summer.  Think back to the days when the ladies would get together in their caves with animal furs that needed to be masticated to soften them so they could be made into garments – we have come a long way from those early days. 

The first outfit that you see is the one I am wearing from Judi’s in Nevada City – you know that delightful shop just across from Friar Tuck’s.  What fun it was to look at the fashions to find this one, the perfect Fashion Forward look for a person my size.  I actually bought an outfit that is getting raves about my new Fashion Forward look!

1. Fran Freedle

Look at this fabulous top – it is a one-piece white net and lace-over motif, blouson style with tiny sparkles scattered all over and short, soft sleeves.  The pants, wow these pants are really comfortable, sand-colored with pull on comfort.  They are made of rayon/nylon/spandex and are available in several colors and 3 lengths.

One of the most significant changes in women’s fashion has been pants.  Before the 20th century, women wore loose pantalettes or drawers under dresses for modesty and warmth. Though actual pants were sometimes seen on women in the late 1800s and in the early part of the 20th century.  Fashion Forward to the 1970’s when the wearing of trousers by women was finally accepted for business and dress occasions and women gained more strength to break the proverbial glass ceiling.

How many of you are wearing pants today?  Do they have a zipper?  Snaps?  Hooks and eyes?  Buttons?  Are you wearing a belt?  If you were wearing pants like mine, and many other models in our show, you would be wearing pants with a little Spandex to give them easy fit, no zipper, just pull them on and you’re done.  By the way they only need a little tiny bit of spandex to do their magic – only about 3-7%.

Now, the phrase “who wears the pants in the family,” no longer refers to masculine power.

Just because we love our pants doesn’t mean we’ve given up our dresses!  Just look at this beautiful dress

2. Doris Balog

Doris is wearing a dress from Judi’s – with a unique flower pattern on white created by an artist for the Simply Art clothing line.  They are committed to using original art in their textiles.  It is sleeveless with a v-neck.  Notice the gathered bodice detail.  The perfect dress for our warming weather.

The craft and skill of producing a design on a textile is as old as the loom itself.  Fashion Forward – textile designs no longer need to be woven into the fabric, designers can use computers and software to create textile designs. 

Remember those corsets and 18-inch waists of the 1800’s?  Girdles?  Fashion Forward – we have elastic waists, or no waists, and can get rid of any undergarments that are uncomfortable?  By the way, one of our models told us that when girdles were common wear, one very warm day she was getting so miserable wearing a panty girdle at the office in the summer heat that she went into the ladies room, took off the girdle, threw it into the trash and never wore a girdle again.  As you watch the show, try to guess who that might be.

3.  Sandy Neal 
Sandy is comfortable wearing a black jumpsuit from Judi’s.  We all know Sandy could wear anything and it would look great.  It is sleeveless, with a gathered and tied waist, collared at neck and full legs.  For further comfort, it is 100% linen. The hat, bag and jewelry add a lot to this Fashion Forward look. 

The most common textile in history is linen that comes from the Flax plant.  With the invention of the cotton gin in the late 1700’s, linen evolved into cotton, making it more efficient and cheaper to make.

Fashion Forward to today where linen is enjoying a renaissance as both a luxury fabric and an everyday fabric.  It’s no longer reserved for undergarments and sleepwear – just look at this great jumpsuit.

4.  Rose Tammi

Rose is wearing another beautiful fashion from Judi’s – a colorful top and eye-catching over-shirt – with ¾ sleeves and cuffs in Tencel – that wonderful modern fabric.  Judi carries these fabulous shirts in many seasonal colors year round.  Right now she has blue, green, pink, red, yellow and white. 

Her t-shirt has a bright, blingy butterfly in multi-colored sequins on mesh on the front – isn’t it fun!  It is made in Italy and has a little 5% Elastane stretch. Everyday bling, like the shirt Rose is wearing is a lasting trend that began in the 1980s.

Here are those fabulous pants again in navy – note the notch at the ankle – available in 3 different lengths.  This is really the layered look, don’t you think?

One of the newest fabrics in the fashion world is lyocell, or more commonly known by the brand name Tencel.

Tencel is made from wood cellulose sourced from eucalyptus trees grown on sustainable plantations and on land unsuitable for agriculture. It is plant-based, organic in nature and completely biodegradable.   In its production, there are no old growth forests, irrigation, pesticides or genetic manipulation involved.  This makes Tencel one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics in the history of fashion.  The comfort, drape and feel of this fabric is perfect for women who want to be fashionable and organic.

5. Jeannie Crawley

Jeannie is wearing a high-low style tunic inspired by athletic wear, with hood and ties, in driftwood color 100% cotton from Judi’s.  Under the tunic she is wearing a white cami.  Her pants are white denim stretch with off-white embroidery detail at the hem.  They are 98% cotton and 2% spandex, just enough to fit comfortably.    Now this is something we could all wear just about anywhere with comfort!

Another style innovation from the 80s was wearing athletic clothing as casual dress.  Remember velour track suits?  Did you own one? 

Hoods have been worn since the time of the Roman Empire to protect the wearer from outdoor elements and it has been a fashion statement since the Middle Ages when having one’s head covered was essential to everyday wear.  Hooded sweatshirts were first produced by Champion in the 1930s and marketed primarily to workers who needed it for warmth. 


The next fashions are from Beautiful in downtown Grass Valley.  It’s obvious that these models had a great time selecting their clothing at this shop!

6 . Maggie Glassoff – our model coordinator for Fashion Forward.

She is wearing one of the biggest fashion comebacks in the fashion world today – Palazzo pants,  from Beautiful.  These black pants have a colorful pattern down the sides of the legs.  They are polyester/spandex and machine washable.  They have great wearability.  Her top is a sleek-sleeve-detailed black tunic with split flutter ruffles on sleeve ends matching the pants.    Do you agree – This just says Fashion Forward in every way!

Originally worn by fearless women like Coco Chanel in the roaring 20s, and later by avant garde actress Katharine Hepburn in the 30s, palazzo pants first became popular in the 60s.

Another aspect of Maggie’s outfit that is making a comeback is the use of polyester.  Invented in 1941, polyester became popular in the 1970s and was advertised as “a miracle fiber that can be worn continuously without ironing, and still look presentable”.

7.  Mary Dodson

Mary is also wearing palazzo pants made from a polyester and spandex blend, also from Beautiful.  Note the handsome arabesque scroll in white on the palazzo pants.  She is wearing a black tunic with a v-neck, asymmetrical also of polyester/spandex.  These tunics are an excellent way to cover all kinds of secrets, and they look good on everybody.

Fortunately, today’s polyester fashions no longer have the bad reputation associated with the leisure suit of the 70’s.  Fashion Forward to today – Polyester is still easy to care for and can be given permanent pleats and is easy to laser-cut.  And it has good moisture-wicking qualities so we find it in workout clothes like yoga pants.

I am reminded that fashion is an art form.  We benefit from notable fashion designers from France, England, Japan, Germany, Italy, Australia, Belgium, who have created the fashions of now.

Each year they “show” in Paris and Milano and their designs trickle down from The Shows to the streets and the sewing machines of young seamstresses, and the machines of large manufacturers to become mass produced, and become available for shopping in our local stores.  Fascinating!

8. Shona Duncan.  We appreciate Shona for all the work she does with Helping Hands Nurturing Center and her coordination with our Christmas Families Project.

She is wearing a 100% silk satin kaftan or kimono flowing in a wash of colors, copper, grey, black and red – like a water-color painting with floral painted overlay on one side – also from Beautiful. Her black leggings are in a fabric that will never pill.  Fashion Forward – today’s silk is hand washable.

Did you know that leggings are often referred to as pants, but are more akin to hose?

Silk is one of the most important fibers known to man.  It has historically influenced economics, international trade and fashion.  Originally reserved for Chinese royalty, the Chinese kept the process of making silk secret for more than 30 centuries.  Most silk came from China via the 4,000 mile-long Silk Road until the 13th century when Italian silk became available to the aristocracy of Europe.  After WWII Japan was the world’s largest producer of raw silk until the 1970s.  Silk is beloved in American fashion and the United States is the largest importer of silk products today.

9. Alice Ruth Mischke

Alice is wearing an elegant draped dress in eggplant also from Beautiful. This soft flowing look is very flattering to the contour because of the way it drapes the body. There are no fasteners – it’s style is because it is draped – so Fashion Forward!

In fashion, all styles can be put into two categories:  draped or fitted.  Draped styles have been around since ancient civilization and required no sewing; fitted styles are sewn and worn close to the body.  Fashion Forward to appreciate the invention of the eyed needle which allowed garments to be sewn together rather than laced or tied together.

Fashion has always, and will continue, to find inspiration in past trends, even while undergoing radical changes. 

Coco Chanel once said that “fashion is not something that exists in dresses only.  Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”  Isn’t that a great quote from such a memorable fashion icon?


We are now going to see a lot of fresh fashions from  – Fresh Image, next to CVS Pharmacy in the Brunswick Shopping Center.

10. Linda Grevstad

This is a very fresh look with a long, sheer, two-piece top – half light blue and half white with a light blue watery design on the front and sleeve, from Fresh Image.  Soft and flowing.  Notice the button detail at the neckline.  Fresh Image carries a pant line called Slimsation.  Linda is wearing white slim-leg pants made of rayon/nylon/spandex.  You know, the kind you just pull on and they fit like a glove?

One of the features of Linda’s top is the use of buttons for embellishment.

Functional buttons and buttonholes first appeared in Germany in the 13th century and quickly became widespread throughout Europe.  Fashion Forward to today where buttons are used as embellishment like we see on Linda’s top.    It’s interesting that the first button-like objects were found at archaeological sites dating back over 2,000 years, but evidence suggests that these objects were used as decoration on cloth or strung like beads, even though they have the familiar holes through which to pass a thread.  They must have been waiting for the needle to be invented…

11. Shirley Hill

She is wearing an eye-catching outfit from Fresh Image.  Her jacket is white with machine-made lace, zip front and ¾ length sleeves. Her tank is black, sleeveless and polyester. Her pants are black with crystal studs detail down the back of the lower leg.  These comfy pants are Rayon/nylon/spandex.

In Europe, in the 16th century, lace was an expensive luxury item because of its time-consuming process.  It involved the talents of three skilled artisans: the artist who created the designs on paper, the pattern maker who translated the designs onto parchment and the lacemaker who worked directly on the patterns.  Lace has been worn by both men and women through the centuries.  Fortunately, today, lace is affordable, plentiful and still a beautiful embellishment to our clothing.

12. Darlene Riley

Darlene is wearing a laser-cut tunic in white polyester, with a sleeveless turquoise tank in cotton/polyester, and those great white slim-leg pants of rayon/nylon/spandex by Slimsation, also from Fresh Image. Darlene is also wearing lace, this time embellishing a tunic top.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, lace adorned women’s and men’s collars and cuffs, was draped on women’s shoulders, hands and heads, covered entire gowns, and decorated the furniture. By the end of the 19th century machines were producing lace and it was no longer a status symbol for the aristocracy because it was available to the middle class.

The lasting tradition of wearing lace at the bridal altar was established by Queen Victoria when she married Prince Albert in 1840.  Typically, royal brides wore a silver gown but Victoria insisted on a white gown with rich lace and a lace veil.  It instantly became a standard bridal fashion and is still Fashion Forward today.  Lace is also in trendy styles and everyday clothing. 

13. Rebecca Viola

Rebecca is wearing a top with a black and white love/peace/hope graffiti print, also from Fresh Image.  It has yellow piping trim, pocket and asymmetrical ruffle hemline – it is modal/spandex.  Her black leggings have eyelet detail at the leg bottoms. 

Some of us may have fond memories of the hippie era – defined by a laid-back, carefree lifestyle that valued peace, love and equality.  I remember when everything from cars to clothes was splashed with symbols and words reflecting these values.  Hippies incorporated florals, flowing fabrics, fringe, and bell bottoms into fashion. 

Changes to fashion were dramatic; women felt emancipated; they burned their bras and got rid of establishment traditions.  Fashion Forward to today where the influence from the 60s and 70s, referred to as “Hippie Chic”, is now a hot fashion like the top Rebecca is wearing.  Watch for other “Hippie Chic” items in the show.

The following are fashions from Mill Street Clothing in downtown Grass Valley.

14. Katy McKay

She is wearing a white peasant blouse in the cold-shoulder style with lace, from Mill Street Clothing.  Her tank is grey 100% polyester stretch – one size fits all.  The jeans are grey, ankle length in cotton polyester 3% stretch that helps them fit comfortably.  Note that jeans come in a variety of colors, textures, and designs.  By the way, Mill Street is one of those stores that can help you with the perfect fit for your jeans.

One look from the 70s that stands out, and that has been revisited by designers time and time again, is the Bohemian Look.

The stylized simplicity of the peasant blouse reflects the popularity of “back to nature” and romantic themes. These blouses have historically featured a drawstring, or elasticized, neckline so it can be worn off one, or both, shoulders hence the Fashion Forward cold shoulder look.  And it’s comfortable and easy flowing.

15. Joyce Pierce

Joyce is wearing another Mill Street ensemble – a peasant style flowing top, floral print with ruffled hem and embroidery detail and cut-outs on the sleeves 100% rayon, also from Mill Street Clothing.  Her jeans are white with fringe and crocheted hem detail.  Another Fashion Forward jean.

The Romanian Blouse, noted for its intricate embroidery, influenced Yves Saint Laurent’s 1981 collection.  He observed the timelessness of the style stating, “the Romanian blouse does not belong to any period.  All the peasant clothes are passed down from century to century without going out of fashion”.

The Mexican peasant blouse became popular in the US after WWII when wartime shortages led to an increase of garments imported from Mexico. 

16. Cathy Tardif

Cathy is wearing a tunic top in hi-lo knit in pink and coral.  It is a comfy rayon polyester blend.  She is also wearing Hippie Chic denim pants from Mill Street Clothing.  Her jeans are the Jag brand denim pants in medium blue with fringe at the hem and a full waistband, comfy and made of cotton/polyester/spandex for a fabulous fit. 

Let’s talk about denim and its influence on fashion.

It all began with Levi Strauss who immigrated to the United States from Bavaria, Germany in 1845.  In 1853 when he was but 24-years old, the California Gold Rush beckoned him, so he left New York City and headed out to San Francisco to open a small branch of his brother’s New York City dry goods company to sell goods to the thriving mining trade. 

Shortly after his arrival, a prospector wanted to know what Levi was selling.  When he said he had rough canvas to use for tents and wagon covers, the prospector said “You should have brought pants” saying he couldn’t find a pair of pants strong enough to last.  Levi had the canvas made into waist overalls but the miners complained that they chaffed.  So, Levi substituted a twilled cotton cloth from France called “serge de Nimes” and the fabric later became known as denim and the pants were called Levis. It wasn’t until 1960 that Levi Straus and Company officially labeled their denim work pants jeans.

Today, what we often called denim can be anything from 100% cotton (as it originally was), to a blend of cotton, nylon and spandex.  And, it’s no longer just for pants, and it’s certainly not just for work anymore.  We wear denim everywhere and (almost) to any occasion. Denim is pervasive.  We probably all have denim of some sort in our closets today, I know I do.

17.  Ann Barbaro – our Membership Chairman

Ann is wearing a soft green and white striped top in crisp linen, also from Mill Street Clothing.  It is a swing top with button down collar.  She is wearing a white, sleeveless cami of rayon/nylon/spandex.  Her pants are white spandex. Note the lacing embellishment on the pants.  Lacing emerged in the 1300s and has been called one of the “most potent weapons” of fashion through the ages.

After the social tensions of the 70s and the economic divide of the 80s, the 90s were a bit calmer, we saw stability reflected in self-awareness, introspection and being comfortable with oneself.  It was all about Girl Power – from the Spice Girls to Sex and the City.  Fashion on the street also reflected a certain element of comfort.  That comfort is reflected in Ann’s ensemble.

Ladies, we are on the move.  Today’s woman travels more but is challenged to fit all she plans to wear into a small airline suitcase, and we don’t want any wrinkles.  Fabrics of today lend themselves to being stuffed into these suitcases and coming out looking as if they have just been professionally pressed.  We have wrinkle free everything in contrast to the earliest fabric.

The next fashions are from Marilyn’s in Auburn – from this store we will see embellishments, beads, rhinestones, and lots of glamour.

18. Jill Thompson

Jill is wearing a swing coat with a stand up over-sized collar, from Marilyn’s.  It even has pockets.  It is both beautiful and dramatic.  It is made using a modern technique by machine to burn out the design. She is wearing a black Tencel cami and slim pants of polyester/spandex.

One of the very first fashion statements in history was in the Elizabethan Era when women and men both wore a ruff (think of ruffle).  These were large, pleated neck bands attached to the neckline of a shirt.  Today they are called collars, of course, but it was not until the 1930s that collars attached to the shirt and of the same material as the shirt became the norm. Fashion Forward – we have dozens of collar styles (Peter Pan, Shawl, Mandarin, Sailor, Pilgrim, Tuxedo, Polo) and one of the most striking is the stand-up collar.

19. Penny Bess

Penny is wearing a beautiful Kimono Jacket from Marilyn’s – pink, black and silver abstract Asian-style design with black banding on the Kibuki-styled sleeves and around the neckline.  It is embellished with delicate black bugle beads along the edge of the black banding and is made of silk/rayon.  She is wearing a soft pink cami of polyester.  Her ankle pants are black with lots of bling – they are polyester/spandex. 

During the Crusades in the 13th century, Europe was introduced to Asian materials, cuts and styles called Orientalism.  It has remained a central influence in western fashion.  In the 1920’s designs textiles, silhouettes and even makeup were borrowed from Japan, China, Russia, India and the Middle East.  Many garments we use every day have origins in the ancient far eastern world and many of our most favorite fabrics, such as silk and cotton originate in Asia.  Fashion Forward – kimono jackets remain popular reflecting the continuing oriental influence on fashion.

20. Stacey Nicolai

Stacey is wearing a fabulous dress from Marilyn’s that incorporates many historical themes.  It is below-knee length in the very striking color – black, red and black with black lace ruffle asymmetrically bisecting the two colors – it is polyester/spandex.  A really fun dress!

After WWI and the women’s suffrage movement, women’s fashions took a drastic turn.  Frowned upon for wearing makeup, chopping off their hair, smoking, and drinking, “flappers” abandoned their female form and wore straight-cut dresses that were hiked above their knees and bras made specifically to flatten their chests.  This look, created by Coco Chanel and termed “garconne”  was also about both comfort and fashion, no more corsets or other uncomfortable undergarments – in order to move more freely during the jazz age..

The 50s saw a return to dresses with full skirts, cinched waists and restricting underwear.  Styles were very feminine and ruffles were the norm.  During the women’s liberation movement in the 60s and 70s, ruffles all but disappeared.  Fashion Forward – ruffles are back in style and there are some beautiful iterations, such as the one in Stacey’s dress.

21.  Nancy Morehouse, our beloved president, is our closing model.

How beautiful Nancy looks in this glamorous fashion from Marilyn’s.  She is very Fashion Forward in this layered look.

She is wearing a swing jacket in sheer black mesh with bell sleeves, accented with a lush scattering of multi-colored flowers along the bottom border with silver and gold metallic threads throughout.  Her tunic is sleeveless, in a coral color called “lipstick” that can be reversed front to back giving a choice of v-neck or jewel neck style.  It is polyester/spandex.  The capri pants are simple, classic black made of rayon/spandex.

In the 50s a “New Look” emerged.  It was mature, glamorous and very put-together.  One style often associated with the 50s was the swing coat.  The idea was to mimic the dress that was worn underneath but it was actually an idea borrowed from Victorian ice skating coats.  Fashion Forward to this timeless style that is still worn today.

Take your wardrobe and look at it with a different Fashion Forward eye – pants – look at wearability – possibly combine parts of your collection with a new vision  – all styles are “in” – think about what is good for you – the Fashion Forward way.

The top 10 fashion companies are well recognized by many of us.  They set the fashion trend, they have the Fashion Forward designers who populate the Paris and international fashion shows.  Just like the printing press to our industrial revolution, the sewing machine revolutionized fashion.  It brought great change to fashion. 

Fashion is a Big Industry bringing $335 billion into our economy annually. Fashion begins on the runways of Paris and Milan each Fall and Spring.  It trickles down through the of seamstresses all over the world and the sewing machines of Manufacturers where it is mass produced and brought to you by our store owners.  We can do our part by shopping in our local shops and stimulating our own economy.