The Cosby Sweater Project
Another day, another amazing new Tumblr: The Cosby Sweater Project has photos of Bill Cosby’s iconic sweater collection and hand-drawn illustrated details of each pattern.
Is Designer Duplication A Fashion Statement?
Nathalie Atkinson confronts the problem that we’ve all noticed in fashion — the “trickle down” effect, high fashion designs showing up in low end mass market stores. How can the courts differentiate between rip-offs and simple coincidences? As Atkinson points out, “Great minds think alike — or sometimes one does, on purpose.” You can read more about the legal implications of fast fashion in Emily Raine’s article featured in the latest issue of WORN.
Clothing The “Terrifying Muslim”: Q&A With Junaid Rana
Why does the media insist on referring to clothes worn by Muslims as “garb”? Mimi Thi Nguyen interviews Junaid Rana about the racist implications of this label. Their Q&A is a truly thought-provoking discussion about how clothes are rarely ever just clothes; instead, they become “a way to racialize and establish social boundaries of who belongs here and who doesn’t.”
The Smart Set: Unfashionable
As Jessa Crispin points out, Vogue‘s lack of awareness and questionable ethics when it comes to politics are nothing new, but they are nothing less than shocking. A particularly oblivious portrait of the first lady of Syria, Asma al-Assad, raved about her chic fashion sense, her thin body, and gentle demeanor, but failed to mention the growing civil unrest in her country. Now the citizens of Syria are calling for a complete removal of President Bashar al-Assad and the profile has mysteriously disappeared from Vogue‘s website. That’s the problem with the Internet, Vogue — there’s always someone with a screenshot.
Savage Beauty: Alexander McQueen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
I’m sure by now some of you have noticed that I am completely and totally obsessed with the McQueen exhibit at the Met, on now until July 31st. Ingrid Mida has a review with pictures that made me drool like so.
- Haley Mlotek
Vintage Pin-Ups Before and After
When people talk about retouched images, its almost always with a scoff and one word dripping with disdain: “Photoshop.” Computers and technology often take the blame for unrealistic depictions of women in the media, but how do you explain the time before everyone starting airbrushing skinny models into oblivion? Sociological Images shows side-by-side the “pre-photoshop examples of the kind of free-reign that artists had in idealizing their subject.”
The Strong, Star-Bright Companions
Ellen Lesperance has a project: she “seeks out women involved in direct-action campaigns who are wearing sweaters that, in some way, reflect their ideological intentions.” I love the idea of strong women literally wearing their hearts on their sleeves.
Fashion Moves Into The Museums
I always look forward to fashion exhibitions in museums, but they are mostly few and far between. The New York Times interviews several curators who are either presently or preparing to stage fashion exhibits at some of the world’s most prestigious museums. Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, wisely points out that these exhibits are “commercially as well as cerebrally motivated.” “‘Most museum administrators are not particularly keen on fashion because it is not generally considered art, and these shows do take place at art museums, but they recognize that they are popular with the public.’” Heck yeah they are popular with the public. How many pretty paintings of Renaissance nudes can I possibly look at? I need some real life McQueens!
Our very own trailblazing former intern is now contributing to the Shameless blog! He’ll be publishing his brilliant thoughts on the intersection between gay rights and feminism. Go read!
- Haley Mlotek
Killer Fashion: An Industry in Denial
The reason anorexia nervosa is so prevalent in fashion all depends on who you ask: Franca Sozzani prefers to blame Facebook, while others point the finger at the new skinny Diet Pepsi can. The death toll is steadily rising, and people are pointing fingers in every direction. Libby Rodenbough from In These Times details how the CFDA is trying to keep that finger from pointing in their direction.
Advanced Style: Age and Beauty
Last week G. Stegelmann (the “G” stands for Genius) wrote one of her trademark brilliant blog posts on style past the age of 29; she concluded that our elders “don’t look good for their age; they look good because of it.” Nowness has an exclusive short film by Lina Plioplyte featuring the hilarious, adorable, and inspiring women of Advanced Style. As Ari Seth Cohen says on his blog, it really is “proof from the wise and silver-haired set that personal style advances with age”.
Elizabeth Taylor and AIDS: A Brief History of the 80s
The sad death of Elizabeth Taylor has resulted in a flood of portraits on the Internet – photos of her as the precocious beauty in National Velvet, the regal queen Cleopatra, the terrifying wife in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and many more – but I particularly enjoyed this written portrait of Elizabeth Taylor, the activist. Brace yourself for a tired (but still true!) cliche: Her commitment to AIDS fund-raising is a testament to real beauty, inside and out.
Tomboy Style Icon: Margaret Trudeau
The federal election is approaching fast, or as I like to call it, Canada’s Next Top Prime Minister (not really). Tomboy Style highlights our most fashionable first lady. Laureen Harper should be taking notes.
The Wornettes got their own Twitter! Follow them for a glimpse inside the WORN office and some really bad puns.
Image: Shirtwaist factory workers preparing for a strike, from the National Women’s History Museum
On March 25, 1911, 146 garment workers working in New York City – most of them young, immigrant women – lost their lives in a deadly fire. The rights of the workers were already undervalued in favour of increased production, and the overcrowded factory, unsanitary conditions and locked exits created a literal and violent death trap. The incident created an uproar concerning the dismal conditions under which these women were forced to work, and raised issues concerning labour and union rights still relevant today.
Cornell University: The Triangle Factory Fire
For those of you wishing to learn the basic facts concerning the fire, this website is an archive containing firsthand testimonials, newspaper articles, resources for further reading, and a detailed timeline of events, from the garment industry strikes of 1909 to the legal aftermath and protests.
The New York Times Tag: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
The Times has been building an excellent database of images, videos, and modern perspectives on lessons learned in the fire’s aftermath – and how far we have to go (see also Nancy Goldstein’s writing at the American Prospect).
American Experience: Triangle Fire
PBS has an hour long documentary that you can view in its entirety on their website. For those of you with access to HBO, they will be airing a documentary of their own several times within the next few weeks.
The Price of Fashion (1910)
While you are on the PBS website, be sure to check out this gallery of images taken in the years surrounding the fire, chronicling the working conditions that went into constructing the clothing seen in fashion magazines.