Most of us wear gloves for warmth and protection against the elements but wearing gloves as a fashion statement is much less the norm. Like everything else, gloves have their fashion moment in the sun. Today might be one of those moments.
Zoe Kravitz arrived at the SAG Awards on Sunday, January 19th, wearing a minimal Oscar de la Renta peach gown accessorized with long white gloves reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn. It had people talking. Zoe is young, beautiful, and preternaturally cool. She makes everything she wears look hip and edgy, even long white gloves, which are more commonly associated with Queen Elizabeth, state dinners, and debutantes.
And wouldn’t you know it, gloves appeared on several Spring 2020 couture runways last week. Many of the extravagant evening ensembles at Valentino, including the first one out, was accessorized with gloves. Pierpaolo Piccioli knows that gloves add a glamorous finishing touch.
Ronald van der Kemp’s “sexy and exhilarating” upcycled collection featured several knockout gowns and evening separates accessorized with long gloves.
John Galliano, another couture ‘up cycler’, made effective use of colorful wrist length kid gloves. John showed them for both day and evening on the runway of his Maison Margiela collection that was a mix of Old World and New Age.
At Jean Paul Gaultier’s farewell runway show extravaganza, long and short black leather gloves imbued a feeling that was very much in keeping with the designers’ theatrical aesthetic.
Last Sunday evening, 18-year-old singing sensation Billie Eilish swept all four major honors at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards. She won album, record, and song of the year as well as the best new artist – the first person to do so since Christopher Cross in 1981. For the occasion, Billie dressed in a green and black Gucci pants ensemble imprinted with the GG logo. The matching finger-less gloves were a perfect way to show off her long green talons (statement manicures were a big trend of the night).
Ariana Grande was snubbed by the Grammys this year, but she stole the show with her voluminous entrance making gray tulle Giambattista Valli gown, which boasted a 20-foot skirt and matching gray satin long gloves. It was hard not to notice that it looked almost exactly like an Oscar de la Renta ensemble Jean Shafiroff wore to an event this past March. Ms. Shafiroff is no stranger to ‘Cinderella Moments’ and she is certainly no stranger to long gloves. They have become a signature.
One person who is always happy to see a glove revival is Daniel Storto, America’s Master Glovemaker. The accomplished Italian-American craftsman comes from a line of artisans and designs haute couture and ready-to-wear gloves.
Mr. Storto lives in the historic upstate New York town of Gloversville, the former capital of glove-making in the United States. Daniel opened a store on Main Street in Gloversville, where he hand stitches each pair of gloves he sells. He recently established The Glove Museum, located in Dorloo, New York.
In a phone interview, Storto recounted that he began as a swimwear designer. He created the term “evening swimwear” with his glamorous lycra swimsuits and 60 inch gathered gloves, which he still makes. In the ’80s, WWD’s Bobbie Queen featured one in WWD, and while Vogue wouldn’t “touch him,” Harper’s Bazaar’s Nonnie Moore and Sheila Sullivan began calling them in for shootings. They were featured in many prominent editorials, and Storto credits the magazine with putting him on the map. Daniel eventually tired of swimwear but was still taken with gloves, and he saw women loved them as well.
Storto has collaborated with many fashion designers. They include Geoffrey Beene, Ralph Rucci, Thom Browne, Alexander McQueen, Dries Van Noten, Isaac Mizrahi, Givenchy, Derek Lam, Oscar de la Renta, Bob Mackie, Perry Ellis, Vera Wang, Proenza Schouler, and Daniel Lee. Most recently, he created the gloves for Emilia Wickstead’s spring 2020 collection in London.
I asked the master glove-maker if he was doing any gloves for the upcoming fall 2020 collections, and he said he is once again working with Emilia Wickstead. She just sent him a selection of fabulous textiles, including re-embroidered heavy lace.
The Anna Wintour Costume Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto have made his work a part of their permanent collection. Daniel is currently selling a collection of limited edition gloves, priced from $25 – $150 on Etsy.