Behind The Seams

Ramblings of a sewing fanatic

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Location: Fashion Hell, Florida, United States

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Will the real Bobby Breslau please stand up?

Thanks to Pamela, whose comments prompted me to search through my Halston books hoping to find a picture of one of Bobby Breslau's purses. Pamela said...

"I bought the Bobby Breslau Vogue pattern in the 70s when it came out. Vogue had 2 Breslau patterns. Bobby Breslau made handbags for Halston. These were the original bags shown on the runway with Halston fashions. I'm sure I can find a picture or two of the bags in my Halston books. Breslau did the handbags, Elsa Peretti did the jewelry for Halston. To continue Kathleen's point, this bag was not an original design when Michael Kors made it in 2002. I have not yet made the bag ;-) I did just buy some gorgeous red mock croc in leather from an ebay seller, for which I have high hopes. I will be watching your progress!"

I was unable to find any photos of the bags as I quickly thumbed through Halston by Steven Bluttal. As I was nearing the beginning (I tend to thumb through books back to front - weird, I know) of Halston: An American Original by Gross and Rottman, I was feeling a bit discouraged because I couldn't find any bags or even references to Bobby Breslau. Then, I was rewarded with this great photo on the contents page (maybe I should start looking at books front to back for a change):

While I am a great fan of Halston (who truly was an American original!) I somehow did not remember the bags. Perhaps it is because Bobby Breslau did not become as big a Star as Elsa Peretti - a shame, really. I must say I'm a bit disappointed in Michael Kors, though. How can he sit there and criticize Project Runway contestants for allowing themselves to be inspired by other designers when he has blatantly copied them himself? Look at this photo of Michael Kors' bag from Handbags: The Power of the Purse by Anna Johnson. Even the photo styling is reminiscent of Halston! Tsk, tsk.


Blogger Unknown said...

You are so right. I remember in the first season when he critized Kara Saun for her being influenced by Halston and Gucci, but I think all designers draw from different inspirations--whether the streets or other designers. And the fact that top designers have assistant designers who come up with these fashions and they add their name to another's creativity.

I love that bag (both of them).

5:05 PM  
Blogger Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Gigi ~ Michael Kors can say anything he wants...he's already made it and the designers on Project Runway are trying to be where he is! As for copying, to me it seems like alot of the fashion industry copies itself or repeats itself constantly!

5:28 PM  
Blogger Lisa Laree said...

Did anyone else look at that bag and think 'Oh, Santa's Pack!' ? :p

11:04 PM  
Blogger Marietta said...

i completely agree about micheal kors on runway- your designer of influence could be from 5 years ago or 100 years ago - there is always inspiration - and he yes he copies fashion left and right!

12:17 AM  
Blogger .x.Helen.x. said...

There's a fine line between (unavoidable) inspiration and (deliberate)copying. If you can, you should check out a book called "Fashion Babylon" by Imogen Edward-Jones and "Anonymous", a British designer who lifts the lid on fashion industry secrets, including the fact that designers regularly copy designs from other designers. S/he even admits to having bought clothes in vintage stores and simply sewed his/her own label on top of the original before sending it down the catwalk.

4:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gigi, your investigation of this is really interesting to see unfold!

I think your green leather bag will be fab.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I scan from back to front too - a carryover from knitting Continental rather than English.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Olugbemisola (Mrs.Pilkington) said...

wow, you caught him! i agree with rosa's comment.

looking forward to your bag!

5:55 AM  
Blogger angie.a said...

Well then you'd have NO trouble with Japanese crafts books...I had no idea they read from Back to Front til I got one rec'd by my fave stitcher mollychicken. I'm a moron. :D

As for Michael Kors...meh. I was glad he was MIA this week!

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

M K is a total Hack and always has been. Project Runway is as Hokey as heck. You can't tell me those goofy kids are the best thing happening in America right now? Seriously. I know tons of young designers with more talent in their little fingers. It's a TV show.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bobby was one of the first to die of AIDS. He just didn't live long enough to make much of a mark on the word. Too bad, he did leave us some wonderful bags. It would have been fun to see how his career developed.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh I'm so' so sorry to hear this.
I started a little leather business based inspiration from his gorgeous soft bags.
Thank you Bobby.

11:14 AM  

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