fashion

It is with trepidation and, I hope, with due humility that I disagree with Jimmy Choo

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1. High heels can lead to heel and ankle pain. (…)

2. High heels alter the electrical activity in your lower back muscles. (…)

3. High heels can shorten your muscle fibers and thicken your tendons. Last year, scientists in Austria reported on their findings on women who, perhaps counter-intuitively, feel pain when walking flat-footed. These women were habitual heel-wearers, and ultrasounds revealed their calf muscle fibers to be 13% shorter than those of women who wear flat shoes. (…)

4. High heels can lead to joint degeneration and osteoarthritis of the knee. (…)

5. High heels can lead to calluses, bunions, and hammertoes.

{ Try Nerdy | Continue reading }

If you dress like Halloween, ghouls will try to get in your pants

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She found that 20 percent of the models on the agency’s books were in debt to the agency. Foreign models, in particular, seem to exist in a kind of indentured servitude, she writes, often owing as much as $10,000 to their agencies for visas, flights, and test shoots, all before they even go on their first casting call. And once a model does nab a job, the pay is often meager. (…)

Why do so many models operate against their own economic interests? Mears details how, in the fashion world, there is typically an inverse relationship between the prestige of a job and how much the model gets paid. A day-long shoot for Vogue pays a paltry $150, for instance, while a shoot for Britain’s influential i-D magazine, which Mears calls “one of the most sought-after editorial clients for a model,” pays absolutely nothing, not even the cost of transportation or a copy of the magazine for the model’s portfolio.

The alternative to high-fashion poverty is to be a “money girl,” working for catalogs and in showroom fittings, jobs that pay well and reliably. The best-paid model at Mears’ agency, for instance, was a 52-year-old showroom model with “the precise size 8 body needed to fit clothing for a major American retailer. She makes $500/hour and works every day.” But the commercial end of modeling is widely derided within the industry as low-rent, as mere work without glamour. Once a model has done too many commercial jobs, she is thought to have cheapened herself, and it’s exceedingly difficult for her to return to high fashion.

{ Slate | Continue reading | Thanks Tim }

photo { Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Untitled (Chicago), 1948 }

It was only a matter of time before the occupying army moved in

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Forever 21 began in 1984 as a single store called Fashion 21 in Los Angeles. After expanding locally, it spread to malls beginning in 1989, but it has only truly proliferated in the last decade. It now has 477 stores in fifteen countries, and projected revenue of more than $2.3 billion in 2010. The worldwide success of Forever 21 and the other even more prominent fast-fashion outlets, like H&M (2,200 stores in thirty-eight countries), Uniqlo (760 stores in six countries), and Zara (more than 4,900 stores in seventy-seven countries) epitomize how the protocols of new capitalism—flexibility, globalization, technology-enabled logistical micromanaging, consumer co-creation—have reshaped the retail world and with it the material culture of consumer societies. (…)

Unlike earlier generations of mass-market retailers, like the Gap’s family of brands (which includes, in ascending order of class cachet, Old Navy, Gap, and Banana Republic), companies like Zara and Forever 21 make no effort to stratify their offerings into class-signifying labels. They also don’t adopt branding strategies to affiliate with particular luxe or ironic lifestyles, à la Urban Outfitters or Abercrombie & Fitch. Instead they flatter consumers in a different way, immersing them in potential trends on a near weekly basis and trusting them to assemble styles in their own images.

{ n+1 | Continue reading }

Like a Finn at a fair. Now for la belle.

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{ It looks as if Ruby was a button collector and seamstress, and poor Mr. Kittner was her display model. | Thanks Tim! }

From eighty six to ninety six the game went from sugar to shit

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What is protected in the fashion world via the law and legislation, and what is not? Blakely: The main protection fashion designers have is over their trademark: their logo, their name. Source is protected; that’s why you hear about raids on pirates, who have made copies of Louis Vuitton bags, Canal St. in New York (NYC), Santee Alley in Los Angeles (LA). Have control of their name; have copyright protection of all the two-dimensional designs that go into the production of a garment. Textile design with a certain pattern–automatically qualify for copyright protection of that design. What they don’t own are any of the three-dimensional designs they end up creating. The stuff you see prancing out on a runway are actually up for grabs. Anybody can copy any aspects of any of those designs and get into no trouble with the law. Those designs are not particularly utilitarian–a word that comes up a lot in this industry–utilitarian stuff tends not to be protected legally. Something has to be considered a work of art in order to be considered for copyright protection. The courts decided long ago that they did not want any fashion designers owning such utilitarian designs as shirts, blouses, pants, belts, lapels. Don’t want somebody owning a monopoly–basically what a copyright gives you. (…)

Standard view would be: If I think my design is going to be copied, and copied quickly–which is what has happened to some extent because the copying ability better and the speed faster–then you’d think people would have less incentive to create new and better designs. That does not seem to be the case in the fashion industry. Why? Several reasons. One, from the beginning, copyright has both given artists an advantage and also taken something away. What it takes away from creators is access to other creative designs. Copyright holders may own what they have, but they cannot sample freely from others around them. Huge problem in the film and music industry. The fashion industry doesn’t suffer from this problem because every design that has ever been made is within a type of public domain. It is the raw material they can sample from to make their new work. Rich archive. The history of fashion, every hem length, every curved seam, every style is available to sample from. Not just stealing–sort of a curatorial responsibility. They are curating. Different gestures, different design elements from the past. Inevitably creating something new.

{ Johanna Blakley on Fashion and Intellectual Property | EconTalk | Continue reading }

photo { Bianca Jagger by Andy Warhol }

I’ve been waiting for two hours for an employee to come wash my hands like the sign says

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{ Why Does Paz de la Huerta Always Match Her Lipstick to Her Dress? }

‘I don’t design clothes, I design dreams.’ –Ralph Lauren

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{ Agnes B and Colette vandalized by Kidult }

Winds may come and the winds may flow, but no wind can cool me of my fever, summer fever

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{ martinMARTIN Flower-Draped Tank photographed by China Moss }

Running awage with the use of reason (sics) and ramming amok at the brake of her voice (secs)

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My most useful mental trick involves imagining myself to be far more capable than I am. I do this to reduce the risk that I turn down an opportunity just because I am clearly unqualified.

{ Scott Adams | Continue reading }

photo { Belt by Wayne Lee | Scanned from the DDD }

On a clear day you can see forever

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{ Denise Grunstein }

Ladylike in exquisite contrast

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In her new documentary, Picture Me, Columbia University student Sara Ziff chronicles her 4-year rise and exit through the fashion modeling industry, zooming her personal camcorder onto supposedly systemic abuses—sexual, economic, and emotional—suffered by fashion models. Among the many complaints launched in the film is an aesthetic that prizes uniformly young, white, and extremely thin bodies measuring 34-24-34” (bust-waist-hips) and at least 5’10” in height. It’s an aesthetic that many of the models themselves have a tough time embodying, pushing some into drastic diets of juice-soaked cotton balls, cocaine use, and bulimia—in my own interviews with models I discovered similar, but not very common, practices of Adderall and laxative abuse.

It’s also an aesthetic that has weathered a tough media storm of criticism, set off in 2005 with the anorexia-related deaths of several Latin American models, and which culminated in the 2006 ban of models in Madrid Fashion Week with excessively low Body Mass Indexes (BMI).  And yet, as a cursory glance at the Spring 2011 catwalks will reveal, thin is still in.

In fact, bodies remain as gaunt, young, and pale as they did five years ago, and it’s entirely likely that in another five years models will look more or less the same as they do now.

What’s the appeal of an aesthetic so skinny it’s widely described by the lay public as revolting?

{ Ashley Mears/Savage Minds | Continue reading }

photo { Hedi Slimane }

And leave it to my hands. Try it with the glycerine.

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{ Victorians commonly made jewelry using hair and teeth of the person passed in times of mourning. | Ana Finel Honigman | Continue reading }