In recent years, many women will have noticed new articles insisting that most of us wear bras that don't fit and that women should measure themselves in a new way. But the sizes that are easily and cheaply available to women are nowhere near the sizes that these experts insist women should be wearing. How did this state of affairs come to be? It turns out the answer lies in the history of bra manufacture. [more inside]
In Cut.com's new video series, a model runs through iconic makeup and hairstyle looks of her country for each decade from 1910 to 2010. This is an ongoing series, but there are now four videos up: one each for Anglo-American and African-American women, one for Iranian women, and one for Korean women. [more inside]
There is little trace of the presence of the South Asians who lived and worked in Mexico during the colonial period except for one woman whose legend lives on even today. She was purportedly born Mira in the kingdom of the Gran Mogol, or the Great Mughals, where she was captured by the Portuguese who eventually sold her to the Spanish at the port of Manila.The 'Mughal Princess' of Mexico: At the South Asian American Digital Archive, Meha Priyadarshini briefly explores the myths and realities of Catarina de San Juan (1606-1688), a religious mystic/visionary who sailed on the Manila galleon to Mexico nearly four hundred years ago and over time became associated in popular legend with a well-known style of dress. The etymological complexity of one keyword involved should not be underestimated and itself tells another story about the history of colonialism.
"In reconsidering the metrosexual, we must first distinguish between the metrosexual’s imagined and actual properties. Like hipsterism, metrosexuality is an insult more readily slung than substantiated. According to canon, David Beckham is the ur-metro. Although Beckham initially goes unmentioned in the word’s first printing (in 1994), the word’s progenitor, Mark Simpson, introduced American readers to metrosexuality through the British football star in 2002, when he called Beckham a "screaming, shrieking, flaming, freaking metrosexual…famous for wearing sarongs and pink nail polish and panties…and posing naked and oiled up on the cover of Esquire." " - Johannah King-Slutzky for The Awl on the 'Metrosexual' situation a decade later
Did Hollywood Give the 1920s a Boob Job? 'Gatsby' Costume Designer Tells All
Breasts are everywhere in 2013’s new "Gatsby"… They’re pushed up to create cleavage, peeping out of frocks and fringed flapper dresses, and hugged tightly by clothes cut to show off curves. As Daisy Buchanan, Carey Mulligan is clearly wearing some sort of shapewear or bra under even her most modest clothes, to make her breasts seem perfectly perky.[more inside]
Catherine Martin, the producer, production designer, and costume designer of "The Great Gatsby," says that she simply took the styles of the 1920s and amped up the sexy quotient—and made the dresses fit more like the designers intended.…
"Frankly, I am a bit shocked by Martin’s quotes regarding the 1920s—that she considers the clothes frumpy looking," [co-founder of the Fashion History Museum Jonathan] Walford says. "She was the wrong costumer to get the job if she can’t see the beauty in the real 1920s silhouette."
Retail Therapy: What Mannequins Say About Us
Like the larger fashion industry, mannequin design echoes seasonal styles that come and go, both in regard to technological improvements and the way we view our bodies. “It’s often the body attitudes and facial expressions that reflect what’s going on socially,” says Hale. Accordingly, the stiff, unnatural bodies of early mannequins were well-matched for the Victorian Era‘s restrictive ideas about women’s rights and fashions, which dictated they wear many layers of heavy fabric over tight-fitting corsets.[more inside]
In the early 20th century, the men of Princeton came up with a way to protect their two or three nice suits worn daily on campus from spilled beer (and the more likely vomit): The Beer Suit. Originally worn only by seniors and as white denim overalls, shirt and tie, with a white denim jacket over the top, future classes began decorating their jackets with slogans and designs of the day with current classes often going for black and orange jackets with tiger elements. You can see some of the original Beer suits at the Fashion Institute's Ivy Style exhibit in NYC, going through January 2013, or catch a Princeton class reunion where the beer jackets must be worn (unwashed) until your 25th reunion, when you can don a proper alumni blazer.
Rio Wang has posted a fantastic 1892 photo album of Russian army fashions.
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.
Ana Lee's fashion blog is in Russian but with its insane number of HQ photographs [don't forget to click the "далее"], you won't care. For example, her two posts about Carol Alt almost certainly comprise the greatest documentation of that model's career to be found anywhere in the world.
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth
Style Like U features an exhaustive video archive of people talking about their clothes and history and what personal style means to them and the power of self transformation. [more inside]
In the seven years since its last* appearance in the blue, Cliff Muskiet's Stewardess Uniform Collection has grown to more than 1,000 different uniforms from more than 400 different airlines. [more inside]
Of Another Fashion: An alternative archive of the not-quite-hidden but too often ignored fashion histories of U.S. women of color.
"Young Bert Stern was already one of the leading fashion photographers of the 1950's when he resolved to shoot his first film before he was thirty. He made it, with two years to spare. The result, Jazz on a Summer's Day, is a luminously breezy film that brings the rich color palette of Vogue or Harper's Bazaar of those years into the world of the documentary cinema." [more inside]
John Jannuzzi of Textbook pulls together fresh-off-the-runway, high-fashion looks for fictional characters and historical figures, answering that eternal question: What Would Holden Caulfield Wear? Or Eleanor of Aquitaine? Or Zelda? Or Rasputin? Or an assortment of Pokemon?
"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]
The cult of fashion; the fashion of cults.
Forty years ago, Swinging London was yet to swing. Everything was in black and white and, in class-bound Britain, fashion photographers were trades-men – polite, smart, seen but not heard. A new breed of snappers changed all that – Terry O’Neill, Brian Duffy, David Bailey and Terence Donovan. Bailey and Donovan started their careers in the West End studio of the doyen of fashion photographers – John French. [more inside]
Puzzled about what to get the history buff, throwback or Luddite on your holiday shopping list? Explore the sutler's wares in the world of historic reproduction clothing! Strut your eighteenth-century style with Jas. Townsend & Son, or dress for the Lewis & Clark expedition with Smoke & Fire. USHist.com provides the finest in Mexican War and Cavalry/Indian War apparel, as well as fashion to end all wars in theWWI collection. Don't forget the ladies (and weak-minded gents) left at home - Blockade Runner offers fine Civil War civvies. [more inside]
"While we live, let us LIVE." A History of Social Dance in America, complete with vintage cheat sheets, a look at the perils of crinoline and lots of other period detail. Naturally, there were those who objected to this scandalous practice. See also the Library of Congress' An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals 1490-1920, especially here and here. [via BibliOdyssey]
The Rålamb Costume Book. Illustrations of Turkish officials, various important occupations and just plain folks, obtained by Claes Rålamb, Swedish ambassador to the Ottoman Court, in 1657. More about Rålamb and Sultan Mehmet IV.
Body, volume, style and shine with long-lasting power. Clonycavan Styling Gel, along with mummification in Irish peat, works together with your freshly disemboweled corpse to protect hair from the disruptive power of 2000 years of rigor-mortis.
Mind Your Manners! Put your knowledge of excruciatingly correct behavior to the test: "Adopt the role of a late 19th century character and try to earn your place in a world where every move is governed by the rules of etiquette." Certainly antiquated but amusing nonetheless.
A Loosening of Ties by Willy J Spat. "For over two thousand years... the necktie... has been the most widely used, and the most multicultural of all phallic symbols." Neckties throughout the ages from invention to rebellion.
A history of UK Punk Rock from 1976-79. "Featuring an A-Z of punk bands from Adam and The Ants to The Sex Pistols to X Ray Spex, fanzines, punk girls, rare record sleeves, audio clips, fashion, punk rock lyrics, interviews and loads of pictures." It's not all about the Sex Pistols.
Morbid Outlook is a polished, eclectic Goth magazine with a killer design and content to die for. With hundreds of articles and images in the categories of Art, Music, Fashion, Lifestyle, Fiction and Nonfiction, this is one of the very best online zines I've seen yet. Go to any feature, and you will find a list of related-interest articles accompanying the story, and, usually, a listing of online resources or suggestions for reading as well.
Shiseido Women. 'In Japan, womens fashion, like makeup, continues to evolve, reflecting the moods and mores of the times. The following photographs of women provide tantalizing glimpses into some of the radical changes that have marked the past century. '
Related interest :- An American Visit to Japan, 1923.
Related interest :- An American Visit to Japan, 1923.
Everybody has a hobby. Mine is collecting images of pantyhose packages, as well as pantyhose ads from magazines and catalogs. (geocities, NSFW? Guess.) We've previously discussed vintage skivvies for men here, but the gallery of packages is kind of interesting. Or maybe you just Hate Pantyhose.
The shoestring (string and shoe holes) was first invented in England in 1790. But there is nothing so simple that man cannot complicate, and so some calculate the optimal way to tie a shoe, some seek zen enlightenment through shoe-tying, and others craft Shoelace Parables to improve psychological health. Contrarians find their peace by eschewing the tying altogether.
Are you a snob? When was the last time you judged someone on their shoes?