31 Dec 2014

The philosopher's Black jumper

Since 1953 (when the German philosopher Martin Heidegger bought an example in a shop in Hamburg), it has been more or less impossible to claim to be a serious, thoughtful and sincere person of the mind without owning at least one black jumper.

British Author and philosoper Iris Murdoch

The black jumper has taken a price of place in the wardrobes of philosophical figures like Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, or Martha Nussbaum.
Under their influence, the jumper has spread beyound philosophers to inspire artists more generally (Mark Rothko, Milan Kundera or Samuel Beckett) as well as anyone wishing to signal a commintment to intellectual life (Audrey Herpburn, Jackie Kennedy or Jimmy Carter).

Samuel Beckett: novelist, poet, theatre director, playwriter, essayist.

A key function of clothes is show that one belongs to a particular tribe. This comes out most clearly in the case of military or work uniforms, but all clothes are, in fact, uniforms of varying kinds. They take their place alongside language as a key tool of self-communication.

James Dean

The philosopher's black jumper has a clear identity: it signals a commintment to simplicity and thoughtfulness. Here nothing is superfluos, things are reduced to their essence.

Marilyn Monroe

 The black jumper seeks reason and timelessness, and it argues that minimalism is a key concern in a crowded and busy world: it means efficiency without loss of grace.
The jumper believes it is possible to embrace the elegance of a pared-down life, without being dour or puritanical.

Andy Warhol

Audrey Hepburn

Czech writer Milan Kundera

29 Aug 2014


Originally, models were pretty girls used to show clothes, and not generally known or promoted by name. The swedish model Lisa Fonssagrives, who rose to fame in the 1940s, changed all this. she was a modest girl which the highest wave of her era and appeared on more than 200 cover magazines.

Other regard 1960s model Lesley Hornby -better known as Twiggy on account of her diminutive stature- as the first supermodel. She became a prominent british teenage model of the swinging sixties London.

During the 1970s, the American models were the big star, and their modelling careers often led them into acting roles. Lauren Hutton negotiated a vast contract with the cosmetics company Revlon - the most lucrative secured by a model at the time- paving the way for future contracts in the industry. 

In the 80s, with the increase of fashion and fragance advertising on television and large billboards, the public simply could not miss the airbrushed faces of the supermodels. 

However, the true decade of the supermodels was the 1990s. 
models as Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista, Kate Moss, ect, became household names. They Comanded  vast fees, signed contracts with cosmetics giants, frequented chat shows and were routinely mentioned in gissips colums - just like the movie stars. 

Now, however, the true age of supermodels has passed. Actresses are likely to be used for brand endorsement, specially for cosmetics companies, and a few models today are household names.

Actresses covering fashion magazines, Jennifer Lawrence.

one of the most prevail models of the world, Kate Moss

the French actress Marion Cotillard was the face for a french brand, Dior.

28 Jul 2014

Yes, I do.

Wedding Dresses

Today, brides of many faiths and nationalities wears white dresses to celebrate their marriages.
The globalization of fashion and the strenght of the wedding dress industry have contributed to this phenomenon and the white dress has become a universal symbol of the bride.

18th Century. Britain.
Royals and Aristocracy brides favoured silks woven with gold and silver colours. Some brides used often pattern of flowers.

Block printed cotton Wedding Dress, 1841
Robe a la Francaise, British. 1780

19th century.
White dress become more fashionable, Queen Victoria's decision to wear White when she married Prince Albert on 10 february 1840 was a signifcant public moment in the history of the wedding dress.
Queen Victoria Wedding Dress, 1840.
Marketing Wedding fashion

The methods used by dressmakers and retailers to show potential clients images of wedding dress changed as technology did. 
In the early 1800's, fashions plates were published in magazines alongside leghthy descriptions of the latest styles from Paris and London.

Edwardian era Bride, Fashion plate. 1902

20th Century
During the Edwardian period (1901-1911) bridal style began to take their inspiration from the cut, fabric and decoration of evening wear. 

Charles Frederick Worth was Paris's leading dressmaker in the mid-to-late 1800s. His international clientele included wealthy Americans like Clara Mathews, who chose this dress when she married in 1880. Artificial pearls were a newly fashionable trimming for wedding gowns.
This trend became more pronounced after the First World War, when daywear became practical and informal. wedding dresses in shade of white and cream remainded very popular, but pastel and metallic colours became fashionables alternatives.

Velvet for winter
In  the 1920's,   Metallic lames, lace, and a pale gold and shell -pink fabrics were fashionable for bridal and evening dress.
Maud Cecil's Wedding Gown for her marriage to Greville Steel, Nov. 1927.

In the 1920's and 1930's, Britain benefited from the presence of young designers such as Norman Hartnell, who established couture houses in London using french and british staff.

After the First World War, the composition of british high society changed. Family connections and wealth remainded importance. In the 1930's, gossips columnists and news photographers played important roles in creating and sustainting the images of socialites. 

High Society beauty Margareth Whigham wore this magnigicent  Hartnell-dress when she married Charles Sweeney  in 1933.

In September 1939, Britain declared war on Germany. As the WWII advanced, commodity shortages and the rising cost of clothes led to rationing in June 1941, So designers were keep prices down and ensure a fair distribution on clothing.

Brides had to be practical. Some married in white by borrowing or hiring dress. Other made dress from unrationed materials such as upholstery fabrics, net curtains, ect.

The British fashion industry hoped that the war would reduce Paris's dominance of the international fashion market, but Christian Dior's debut collection in 1947 dashed their hopes.

Christian Dior's model and muse Kouka shows off the Hymenee wedding dress during a presentation, 1952

1960-1970 innovation & inviduality.
After WWII, the quality ready-to-wear clothing challenged couturier's dominance of the high fashion market.
In the 60's, A wave of young British designers with new ideas. Bridal wear retained a degree of formality. Wedding dresses drew on day and evening fashions and were offered in a range of legths, acording to fashion. In the 70's, Hats were promoted as a youthful alternative to the traditional veil and wreath.

For her second marriage to Andrea Dotti, Audrey Hepburn wore a hot pink mini dress with maching head scarf.

1970/80 "Nostalgia, romance and modern age"
In the 70's, most bridal wear designers took their cue from vogue romantic dresses inspired by every era from the Victorian period to the 1940's.
By the 1980's, it led to designs based more on fantasy than fashion, dresses that had little use after the ceremony. Lady Diana spencer fairy tale wedding dress, designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel for her wedding in 1981 to the price of Wales, encouraged this vogue and inspired many copies.

Farrah Fawcett and her husband Lee Majors on their wedding day in 1973.

A fresh approach.
In the 1990's, the American designer Vera wang helped to revitalised the link between mainstream bridal wear and fashion.

Carolyn Bessette asked close friend (and then-unknown designer) Narciso Rodriguez to design the gown she wore to marry John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1996. The resulting simple bias cut silk dress launched his career and cemented her status as a new style icon.

2000/2014 new century.
While many wedding continue to follow tradition, another couples today often create their own ceremonies. This reflects the secularisation of western society, the relevance of second marriages, cultural mix of countries, same-sex couples ceremonies, etc.

Ellen DeGeneres & Portia de Rossi were married in the backyard of their Beverly Hills home, 2008.

The celebrities wedding.
Interest in celebrities weddings has soared since the 1990's encouraged by popular magazines such as Ok!! Bridal magazines regularly feature high profile weddings, alongside advice to woman on how to organise their own.

Gold embrodered Gown by John Galliano, worn by Kate Moss for her marriage to Jamie Hince, 2011

Wedding Dresses 1775 - 2014 Exhibition
3 may 2014 - 15 March 2015
V&A Museum - London

18 Jun 2014

Teens Idols

Music for teens became a focus o record companies in the early post-World war II years. Frank Sinatra was the first singing teen idol, the heaththrob of countles American Bobby sowers during the phrase of Sinatramania in the 1940's.

 Teenage bobby sowers wore a uniform of Shetland sweater, poodle Skirt and thick white socks rolled  down to the ankle. In that time, Teens used their money on entertainment, notably films and music.

Teens Idols like Sinatra sold well because they commodified sexuality for these girls in a way that, with some deliberately provocative exceptions- such as scrotch-swivelling Elvis Presley.

Certainly some early acts appealed more for their imagen and looks than their talents (and still today), often carefully selected so as to be not much older than their audience.

Style was as important as content, from Gene Vincent's leather jacket and trousers to Elvis's adoption of denied, even though he was said to hate wearing them because their blue-collar utility reminded him of his poverty-stricken background.

      There are Beliebers, One Directioners, Miley Cyrus's smilers, but there will never, ever be any group of fans as legendary and sweetly original as The Beatles most devoted admirers.
Teen idols weren't permitted to date. they liked boys but boys were still a bit less madure than girls.
They were adorable, they were different, they were irreverent and their parents didn't approved of them. Boys tended not to like them as much.

By the 1980's, new media - and the manufacture of product for them - came to define the teen idol. Overnight global stardom was made possible by MTV and, later, the internet. Teen idols included Michael Jackson, New Kids on the Block, 'N Sync and Justin Bierer, each shaping their own fan Fashion in turn.