Saturday, October 3, 2009

Everybody Flora Kung Tonight . . .





Remember that song?! This editorial in Vogue reminds me of clothing by the 80s designer Flora Kung, known for her ruching and intense floral prints. (And shoulders.)







But even more they remind me of poring over Vogue in the 1980s, that decade when I finished boarding school and began university (and promptly left to work in fashion in Montreal).




I loved looking at Ralph Lauren ads with Clotilde, a vision in conch belts, Native American weavings and eyelet petticoats (above). And Karen Graham for Estee Lauder (till 1985) was enigmatic: too static to be attractive, she nevertheless held my eye with her almost alien clear looks (below).




But the ads I recall perhaps both the least and the most were for Lillie Rubin, the Florida boutique, begun in 1964, and which featured Flora Kung dresses as well as ads featuring Ms. Rubin and her daughter (named Lynn?), if I remember correctly. (Please do fill in any gaps if you can; I haven’t been able to locate any of those ads on the internet.)

While a few savvy bloggers are wearing vintage Kung, it appears that her influence is in the air for fall 2010. And I even read (on the internet, so it must be reliable!) that Ms. Kung, who left for Paris and gave up design when she turned 30, may be staging a comeback. I’d be interested to see how she interprets the decade to come.

14 comments:

Imelda Matt - The Despotic Queen of Shoes said...

Is it me or does that last ad have a 'Mommie Dearest' feel to it?

Maybe it's me...I should get out more often!

LPC said...

Wang Chung. Oh great. Now I am never going to get that out of my mind...

wild thyme flowers said...

Dear Miss Cavendish, love this post! How wonderful.
The dresses are gorgeous!

WendyB said...

Imelda Matt is so right!

Make Do Style said...

Glorious dresses - I'm smitten I need one!

Couture Cookie said...

I can't stop looking at the last ad. Perfection!

I also enjoyed the dresses in Vogue, even though they were a little overshadowed by the lovely Karlie Kloss editorial in the same issue...

Belle de Ville said...

OMG...I really am old. I don't remember Flora Kung.
But I do remember those gorgeous Estee Lauder ads. Didn't Victor Skrebneski shoot them?

Angie Muresan said...

Oh, I sure love wearing dresses. I had a period in high school where I only wore dresses. These are my favorite, ultra feminine and ladylike.
I don't recall Ms. Kung, though.

La Belette Rouge said...

I worked at Lily Rubin for about 15 minutes. My time in retail is what made me go to grad school.

I do remember every ad you featured. I remember loving that Ralph Lauren on the prairie look.

enc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
enc said...

Though I've been an avid reader of fashion magazines since the late '70s, I don't remember Kung. I do remember that Wang Chung song, however. I'm not sure what any of this says about me.

Liberty London Girl said...

oh God - I remember that Ralph campaign! Granted I was knee high to a grasshopper, but still...LLGxx

Jewellery Gossip said...

Stunning dresses! your site is just fabulous :)

scarlet bella said...

I think Flora Kung is easily one of the best dress designers on the planet! My aunt had a bunch of her dresses and tops in the 80's and they still look very cool but they are all 2 sizes too big so it takes some effort to wear them right :-(((( I also heard she's back with a new line but haven't seen her in any store yet...