Halston remembers the time at the Met when he made ballet costumes that didn't work . . . "Suddenly the dancers looked like a big blob." So only when he sees the dancers rehearse in his costumes is he sure they really are right. "You need an understanding of the movement. With Martha Graham, some leaps and lifts are incredible and the costumes must go around the movement."
He has seen the dancers rehearse in his costumes for "Acts of Light," the new work choreographed by Martha Graham which will have its world debut at the Kennedy Center Feb. 26, and he is more than satisfied his clean and simple costumes function well.
"With Martha's movements it is so important to see the structure of the body so you don't want to see too much fabric," he says. For one dancer he has done a costume like second skin, he says, in jersey that "stretches and moves like living sculpture. For another the costume is more "shockingly revealing" than he has done for ballet before. Another engulfs the dancer like a white cocoon of silk and cashmere jersey.
Halston has used natural fabrics to create the costumes. "Synthetics can be dead and don't have movement the way natural fibers do," says Halston. "Silk, after it comes from the worm, still has a life of its own," he says.
Dance clothes relate to our clothing choices for every day, says Halston, since we are all so body-conscious. While he has never danced, he does balance exercises and works with rings, which gives him some idea of the needs of a dancer.
Halston is just back from filming a sequence of "The Love Boat" showcased as a fashion show in Acapulco. "It will be the most widely reviewed fashion show," says Halston who expects 65 million television viewers will see his (and the other designers') fashion show.
It started with a Sting-like operation in New Orleans with a federal agent posing as an ivory buyer. Then 10 days ago five federal agents and a photographer approached a trailer outpost in Anchorage, Alaska, one of several raids carried out simultaneously in five states. Nicole Duplaix, the director of TRAFFIC (U.S.) a scientific data gathering group funded by World Wildlife Fund who photographed the raid said, "I only got nervous when I saw the arsenal of guns and a human skull."
In her raid more than 1,000 pounds of raw ivory was siezed as well as an oil drum of walrus teeth. From all the raids that day about five tons of walrus ivory worth about $450,000 was hauled in.
Walrus tusks as raw ivory sell for $25 a pound; resale brings $60 a pound; once cut and worked the price jumps to $40 to $50 an ounce. Duplaix figures that one walrus tusk worked into trinkets could bring $2,000 to $3,000.
Almost totally wiped out by 1930, the walrus population had reached 225,000 two years ago. Then last year 5,000 to 6,000 were killed; this year the number is expected to be 10,000 killed. Curtis Bohlen of the World Wildlife Fund pegs the increase to decline of availability of elephant ivory. w
Alaskans can kill polar bears or walruses for subsistence or to make artifacts and must hunt with bow and arrow or spears. But, says Duplaix, a biologist with a specialty in otters, so many walruses are being killed by elephant rifles and butchered on the spot that Soviets have lodged official complaints about tuskless carcasses washed up on Russian shores.
Duplaix puts the blame on the consumer. "If there wasn't any consumer demand the trade wouldn't exist," she says.
It isn't easy to tell if you are getting illegal walrus ivory except with heat. Synthetic ivory will melt.
Now there are born-again designer jeans. They are called "Morgies" and the label, created by graphic designer Joseph Selame, has been sewn on Goodwill Industries second-hand jeans sold in the Boston area. To date, Goodwill has sold over 29,000 pairs of Morgies at less than $5.
It was a storybook wedding with a storybook wardrobe. For the wedding of Crown Prince Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg to Maria-Teresa de Mestre in the Cathedral of Notre Dame on Valentine's Day, the bride chose an ivory satin gown edged in white mink with a long court train of the same satin by Pierre Balmain. The family veil of Belgian lace was held in place by a diamond tiara. The entire wedding party was dressed in shades of off-white, a pet color in Balmain's couture collection shown just two weeks earlier.
Sometimes doing nothing is far better than reaching for the accepted homecare remedy when treating spots, warns Edward Boorstein, of Parkway Custom Cleaning in Chevy Chase. The folk remedies he cautions about particularly are: water (which may flush out drinks and juices), club soda (which contains sugar and may later cause a stain in dry cleaning), lemon juice (which may disturb the base dye) and milk (which will not remove the spot but rather may make it harder to remove).
The silk fan with a pansy design and wood trim owned by Edith Bolling Wilson, second wife of President Woodrow Wilson, has inspired a silk-screened scarf being sold in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History Shop. To see how good the reproduction is you can check the scarf against the fan which is in the First Ladies Collection in the same museum.
Melvin Alonzo West, graphic arts director at Hecht's, is off to Italy this week to design shoes for Carrano. West says he remembers making shoe designs twisting multicolor rubber bands like Roman sandals on his hands when he was a kid, and doodling with shoe shapes when he was at McKinley Technical High School. West presented a portfolio of sketches to Andrea Carrano who was convinced he had a great feeling for shoes even though he didn't know the first thing about their construction.So first step for West will be learning to make shoes as Carrano's apprentice in Milan.