The Vivienne Files. "Timeless, Elegant, Classic, Simple, Unique, Beautiful. Working toward carefully curated and deliberately distilled wardrobes that reflect our personal styles and our distinctive contributions to the world." [more inside]
Historically, the city states of the Malay Peninsula often paid tribute to regional kingdoms such as those of China and Siam. Closer relations with China were established in the early 15th century during the reign of Parameswara, founder of Melaka, when Admiral Zheng He (Cheng Ho) sailed through the Straits of Malacca. Impressed by the tribute, the Yongle Emperor of China is said to have presented Princess Hang Li Po* as a gift to Mansur Shah, then Sultan of Malacca (+/-1459 AD). Tradition claims the courtiers and servants who accompanied the princess settled in Bukit Cina, intermarried with the locals and grew into a community known as the Peranakan. Colloquially known as Baba-Nyonya, the Peranakan or Straits Chinese, they retained many of their ethnic and religious customs, but assimilated the language and clothing of the Malays. They developed a unique culture and distinct foods. Nyonya cuisine is one of the most highly rated in the South East Asian region, considered some of the most difficult to master but very easy to love and enjoy.
Tweedland has some interesting stories and characters. Here's two to get you started:
Robert de Montesquiou - "Tall, black-haired, rouged, Kaiser-moustached, he cackled and screamed in weird attitudes, giggling in high soprano, hiding his little black teeth behind an exquisitely gloved hand – the poseur absolute. He was said to have slept with Sarah Bernhardt and vomited for a week afterwards."
Lord Berners - "As a child, having heard that if you throw a dog into water it will learn how to swim, he threw his mother's canine companion out of the window on the grounds that if one applies the same logic it should learn how to fly. (The dog was unharmed, and he was "thrashed" by his mother.)"
The early '90's t-shirt merchandising hysteria that accompanied The Simpsons' series premiere ignited an even larger bootleg "black Bart" social response that continues to resonate.
72 year-old Liu Xianping becomes an internet sensation after modeling his granddaughter's teen clothing line on her Tmall website.
"It does not give you conspicuous, ephemeral extremes [..] You can absolutely rely on the styles given you in Butterick Patterns"
The New Dressmaker; With complete and fully illustrated instructions on every point connected with sewing, dressmaking and tailoring, from the actual stitches to the cutting, making, altering, mending, and cleaning of clothes for ladies, misses, girls, children, infants, men and boys; The Butterick Publishing Co., 1921; 168 p. illus. [more inside]
A team of Austrian archaeologists has discovered four bras from the 1400s. It reveals that women wore the garment some 500 years before fashion historians thought it was invented.
Chap Magazine (manifesto here) has staged a protest outside the proposed location of an Abercrombie & Fitch store on Savile Row in London. [more inside]
Old Rags is a collection of photographs of beautiful antique, historic and vintage clothing from Europe and North America. A feast of fashion history images from the 17th century to the 1920’s with a brief FAQ page here.
Did you find Heidi Klum's Halloween costume hot? Then these muscle leggings are right up your alley.
The girl with 7 horses – Photographer Ulrika Kestere uses clothing to form images of horses in a lovely photo-essay. [more inside]
Is a tent clothing? Is someone wearing a tent illegally squatting? Is the person recording it all very annoying? (SLYT) There are so many things to think about here. The guy in the background makes it hard to concentrate on those things, but they're there.
"It was Alan Flusser who pointed out, a whole generation of men in the '70s stopped getting dressed, so they didn't teach their children how to get dressed. More and more people have found, 'Oh, I can go read about this stuff.' " The Oral History of Menswear Blogging. With Michael Bastian, Scott Schuman, Michael Williams, Lawrence Schlossman, Jesse Thorn, and others.
lululemon athletica, the "yoga-inspired athletic apparel company", has rapidly become a brand fixture in the Pacific Northwest since its founding by Chip Wilson in 1998. Recently, a strange ode to Ayn Rand appeared on their website, and a "Who Is John Galt?" advertising campaign has adorned company packaging this November. Meanwhile, one of their employees has been convicted in the bizarre murder of a co-worker, in which the employees of a neighbouring Apple Store ignored the victim's cries for help.
What kind of uniform did prisoners transported to Australia in the 19th century wear? How did you keep yourself in underwear despite WWII rationing? Check out the Australian Dress Register--it's more than just dresses!
It's that time of year again, time to witness of the parade of sartorial excess that is The Miss Universe 2011 National Costumes! (previously) (via)
The Man's Suit (p2/p3/p4) has influenced politics, shaped fashion, and signaled everything from stodgy conformity to rock stardom, sex-appeal, power, and success. And yet the man's lounge suit was originally considered the casual option. It is an iconic image of Western (and today, global) masculinity, even when used to question and challenge traditional gender iconography. And where are the finest men's suits in the world made? [more inside]
Fuck Yeah Ugly 90s Clothes A 'celebration' of how dated and strange the 'looks' of twenty years ago seem today.
Attention well-dressed gentlemen: Looking for affordable business attire, suitable for tropical climates, extended bike rides, and living out of a suitcase? Want to buy a high-quality suit for under $200? Looking for wash-and-wear polyester ties? Dress shirts for twenty bucks? Shop at one of the online boutiques that outfit Mormon missionaries and all this can be yours. (Mormon ladies' wear also available.)
Experience Style: The 100 year old Ruth talks about style, fashion, and keeping yourself flexible ( via )
"The march toward gender-specific clothes was neither linear nor rapid. Pink and blue arrived, along with other pastels, as colors for babies in the mid-19th century, yet the two colors were not promoted as gender signifiers until just before World War I—and even then, it took time for popular culture to sort things out."
Of Another Fashion: An alternative archive of the not-quite-hidden but too often ignored fashion histories of U.S. women of color.
I notice a pair of faux-leather lace-up ankle boots that look a lot like the Jeffrey Campbell ones I'm wearing: The style is the same, so are the combination of hooks and holes for the laces and the distinctively shaped heel. Forever 21 sells the boots for $35.80, less than one-quarter the price I paid. I mention them, and Linda says brightly: "You should buy another pair here." An in-depth look at Forever 21 and the family that built the fast-fashion empire. [more inside]
Perhaps you feel like you should, like full-time Fox News analyst Juan Williams, get worried and nervous at the sight of people in Muslim garb, but you aren't sure you can always spot them. Fortunately, a new blog, Pictures of Muslims Wearing Things, is here to help you out.
I'm Remembering has pics of things that people aged 30-40 will remember from their childhood and adolescence. Who could forget Tiger Handheld games, Hypercolor shirts, Paint With Water books, Surge soda, Scholastic Book Club, Slice cola, Madballs, Ring Pops, and, last but not least, Zack Morris's cellphone?
"Keep your man hot. But for when you cannot, Make sure no one else will do it for you. Do not use for birth control!" (Very, very NSFW)
The elegant, understated Clothes On Film features interviews with film costume designers (most recently, an insightful series with the designer for Inception), and fashion analysis of films as diverse as The Big Lebowski and Top Hat. Neatly accessorised with The Costumer’s Guide.
A fresh perspective on the hijab, different from the more common apologist/sexist arguments, the carefully academic expositions, appearances in controversial news, and especially the crassly commercial.
Vogue Italia relaunched their website last week (in Italian and English / pictures on the site may be NSFW,) with three new subsites catering to specific fashion industry demographics: Vogue Curvy (focusing on plus-sized models, actresses and celebrities,) Vogue Black (men and women of color,) and Vogue Talents (veteran and up-and-coming designers. "Talents" also encourages hopeful designers to submit their work for review.) "Curvy" and "Black" in particular have received some positive and negative attention and some wonder whether separating those two fashion categories is truly inclusive. Vogue responds.
"Imagine, amid the grey serge of wartime France, a tribe of youngsters with all the colourful decadence of punks or teddy boys. Wearing zoot suits cut off at the knee (the better to show off their brightly coloured socks), with hair sculpted into grand quiffs, and shoes with triple-height soles - looking like glam-rock footwear 30 years early - these were the kids who would lay the foundations of nightclubbing. Ladies and gentlemen, les Zazous." [more inside]
In a story broken by the New York Times, unsold clothes were found in trash bags outside of H&M and Wal-Mart, apparently cut up so as to be unwearable, in a city with 16,000 homeless people currently in the midst of a recession and a very cold winter. [more inside]
The Considered Ensemble is a platform showcasing meticulous outfit choices from individuals around the world. Describe what you're wearing today, and they may post it on the blog. Detailed descriptions give insight into the creativity, coordination, thought and taste (or lack thereof) behind each unique ensemble.
The Uniform Project - "Starting May 2009, I have pledged to wear one dress for one year as an exercise in sustainable fashion. Here’s how it works: There are 7 identical dresses, one for each day of the week. Every day I will reinvent the dress with layers, accessories and all kinds of accouterments, the majority of which will be vintage, hand-made, or hand-me-down goodies... The Uniform Project is also a year-long fundraiser for the Akanksha Foundation, a grassroots movement that is revolutionizing education in India."
Sunscreen's a pain, but sunburn is worse. UV-protective clothing is expensive and not to everyone's taste. Instead, treat your own cotton, rayon, or silk clothing to make it sun-protective. Some clothing is inherently protective, but you can easily burn right through a new shirt, especially if it gets wet. A couple of boxes of either of two different brands of a wash-in UVA/UVB blocker will invisibly increase the SPF of a whole washer-load of clothing from 5 to 30 (repeat for an SPF of 50). The stuff wears off after a season's worth of launderings, so use a permanent marker to note the year of treatment inside the collars.
The Vélocouture flickr pool. Over 1600 photos of stylish (and, uh, "differently-styled") bike fashion, from the hipster to the formal, the casual, the young, the old old-timey, the new old-timey, and much, much more. There's also a blog.
ROSA LOVES is a non-profit t-shirt company. Their limited edition t-shirts are specifically designed to raise money for individuals in need. Each individual's story is told through a unique design on the front and also by actual text that appears on the inverse of the shirt, directly in line with the heart. They have been featured in GOOD Magazine, and AOL named them one of the top 12 businesses that could be the next big thing. Recently, they introduced a t-shirt to "support the reinforcement and perseverance of a home that nurtures the culture of music in New Orleans". [more inside]
Stylish Gent: Thedaniel provides men with an easy to use shopping blog for fashion with a retroish flair. [via mefi projects]
The cult of fashion; the fashion of cults.
"It's like I used to enjoy firecrackers, but now it takes dynamite to get me high." Brit Eaton takes Outside magazine on a safari for vintage clothing in the wild west. (via)
You can't tase me bro, no, seriously, you can't. The Thor Shield is handy for all your not getting electrocuted needs.
The Solar Bra really doesn't make sense if your undergarments are going to stay under. Adrienne So examines the kinetic angle. Or, maybe this is as simple as breathing.