Debbie Millman
Isaac Mizrahi

To launch the 10th season of Design Matters, Debbie Millman talks to Isaac Mizrahi about why he loves fashion and why he does so many things outside of fashion.

Sandra Nuut
Sandra Nuut on Fashion
John Thackara
Keep Your Stuff Alive
John Foster
Shoe Designs Before 1900

Having never really taken the time to look at ancient shoes (I have only three pair of shoes myself — black, brown and a pair running shoes), I was very impressed with the creativity and design of shoes from centuries ago.

John Thackara
Shoe City vs Sole Rebels

Two radically opposed models of development are being born in Ethiopia at the same time. One is small, local, socially fair, and ecologically respectful. The other takes the globalisation of fashion to a new and more destructive level.

John Thackara
A Whole New Cloth: Politics and the Fashion System

In fashion, despite more than 400 eco labels, an incremental ‘do less harm’ approach has addressed the symptoms, but not the principal cause, of our difficulties: an economy based on perpetual growth in a finite world.

Alexandra Lange
L.A. Loves Deborah Sussman

A Kickstarter for an upcming exhibition on the wotk of Deborah Sussman in Los Angeles.

Francesca Granata
“Women’s Work”: An Interview with Judith Thurman

Francsca Granata interviews Judith Thurman about fashion criticism and her own foray into it for The New Yorker.

Alexandra Lange
Bad Taste True Confessions: Erté

True confessions about my own bad taste. I loved Erté. Did you?

Alexandra Lange
Reintroducing the Tilletts
John Foster
Accidental Mysteries

Motorcycle club cuts (or vests) and their assorted, colorful club colors (or patches) represent a unique form of American folk art embodying the freedom and nonconformity of bikers.

Rob Walker
On Dapper Dan

A look at the spectacular logo-remix aesthetic of rap-culture style pioneer Dapper Dan.

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Michael Bierut
I Love the 80s
Alexandra Lange
Dress Your Family in Formica and Faux Bois
Alexandra Lange
Frank Lloyd Wright + Katniss Everdeen

On photographing architecture as sculpture and telling stories via architecture.

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries

Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is vintage clothing labels.

Alexandra Lange
A Stitch in Time

Sewing for your daughter, circa 1965.

Laura Weiss
What We Can Learn from Project Runway

As 'Project Runway' launches its 9th season, a designer muses on what she's learned.

William Underhill

New women's fashion collection celebrating history of labor

Rob Walker

“Digital goods” are increasingly seen as having real value. Increasingly, though, things from the digital world are crossing over into physical manifestations that can be bought and sold.

An Xiao Mina
The Ultra 10 Challenge

Report on ULTRA, a sustainable fashion company founded in Kuala Lumpur.

Alexandra Lange
Onesies and Crime

Ruffles, butterflies and bows: this is how we ornament our girl babies.

Julie Lasky
Design Indaba 2011

Review of Design Indaba 2011 conference in Cape Town, South Africa

Alexandra Lange
Bring Back Braids

The True Grit of hairstyles: braids.

Alexandra Lange
From the Cabat to the City
Chappell Ellison
How Do I Know It’s Faux?

If you want to go faux, you might have to call in a fur expert.

Alexandra Lange
My Marimekko Uniform
Dana Thomas

The latest material (and sustainability) adventure from the great Japanese fashion designer.

Jessica Helfand
The Real Skinny on the Real Skinny

The is the first of two essays on the visual nature of body image.

Johanna Blakley
The Costs of Ownership: Why Copyright Protection Will Hurt the Fashion Industry

New copyright protection for fashion designs is only going to hurt an already struggling industry.

Mark Lamster
Dandies at the Ballpark

What, you ask, did the well-dressed gentleman wear to the ballpark in 1870? The sartorially inclined team outfitter might have turned to the lovely "New York Fashions" lithograph above for inspiration.

Jessica Helfand
Better Living Through Artistry

SEWA, a cooperative textile manufacturing company in Ahmedebad, India, is a network of self-employed women.

Alexandra Lange
The Extinction of the Unisex

Now I have a toddler of my own, I'm wishing that children's clothes were more simple, without all the trimming.

Ernest Beck
The Cotton Club

Report on the complex, and sometimes muddled, standards for certifying organic cotton.

Eve M. Kahn
Green Sleeves

Review of “Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion” at Pratt Manhattan Gallery, November 20, 2009 - February 20, 2010.

Owen Edwards
Busted by Colombo, or, the Impediments of Style

The restrained high style of the ad men in Mad Men has revived a painful memory of one of my life-changing moments.

Jane Margolies

Report on maternity clothes made in Colombia with local labor. (No seamstresses under the age of 50 need apply.)

Ernest Beck
PACT Underwear

Report on PACT, an underwear company that embraces green manufacturing and donates a portion of its revenue to nonprofits.

Mark Lamster
Michael Jackson, Automotive Designer

I know, Michael Jackson has done some terrible things. Tax evasion. Absconding with the Beatles catalog. Child molestation. We Are the World. But this — is design even the word for it?

Rob Walker
Subconscious Warm-Up

The Speedo LZR Racer suits worn by
Michael Phelps and other world-class swimmers. Promoted as a design breakthrough and worn by the most victorious Olympian in history, it offers a potent blend of functional promise and emotional aspiration.

Creative Opportunities
  • Twitter Facebook Google+
    Tumblr Pinterest RSS

    Design Observer
    social media à la carte
  • Newsletter signup