Archive for March, 2013
A fun photo from our archives: Liz, Kate and Stefanie enjoy the “spot”light in their Anna Scholz leopard spotted ponte jersey pieces.
This is the photograph of curvier mannequins in a shop in Sweden that has gone viral over the past few weeks. The full story of the wrongful attribution of this photo to H&M is interesting. Apparently, this photo is actually several years old and came from a display in the Swedish shop Åhléns. Despite all of the mis-information spread about this photo online, the positive reaction to a curvier mannequin was nearly unanimous in web readers.
Shops and shoppers are also keen for a change in the female figure represented by the average mannequin. For the past few years,mannequin manufacturer Displaysense has seen orders for size 12-14 fashion mannequins soar by 16% as shops ditch size zero in favour of a more hourglass figure. Contributing factors include the trend for embracing Forties and Fifties glamour in fashion and stars like Adele and Christina Hendricks making curves sexy again. Displaysense spokesman Jim Moody said: “Lagerfeld may want size zero on his catwalk but the commercial viability of the growing plus-size clothing market is being seized by high street chains and independent retailers alike.”
Displaysense believe “Staying relevant to your audience is essential and our order books show that sales of larger sized and bigger breasted mannequins…are undoubtedly on the rise…”.
The fashion industry in communist Romania was a far cry from the glamour, artistic freedom and creativity we associate with the biz. Like all under businesses in communist Romania, the fashion industry was run by the state. Clothes were sold at one store, Romarta, which only stocked clothes made by craftsmen’s unions such as UCECOM (The National Union of Craftsmen’s Cooperatives) and UCMB (the Bucharest Union of Craftsmen’s Cooperatives). And these unions only sourced used materials from one state-owned supplier.
Still, a core of government-employed models and a few designers managed to carve a memorable niche for themselves in very forbidding circumstances. In a fascinating interview with Vice magazine reporter Lorena Lupu, model Romaniţa Iovan shared her experiences during the 80s under the Ceaușescu regime. Here are a few snippets from the interview (photos by Dinu Lazăr).
Getting hired as a model was a rather subjective selection process by a jury consisting of the committee’s chief accountant, its economic manager, and the editor-in-chief of Moda magazine, who was the only person who had anything to do with fashion.
They were interested in your social status and your relation with the state security—you could only travel abroad if you had a clean file. We were part of an international Socialist system and we worked a lot in former commie countries, like the Democratic Republic of Germany, the Soviet Union, and Czechoslovakia.
ON THE SELECTION OF DESIGNERS:
Even if there was a selection scheme, it was never applied. As far as I know, the designers were the same throughout the Communist years. They launched two collections annually, made from fabrics produced exclusively by Romanian suppliers. The clothes were not meant for consumption; they were samples made to promote next year’s trends to cooperatives that were then free to select what they wanted to produce for the mass market, which would then be sold at Romarta.
No one acknowledged a specific designer. A cooperative team included several designers and the fashion show was presented by the union, which placed no importance whatsoever upon the individuality of the designer. They all had precise roles: some only designed garments, others designed knitwear and others focused on shoes.
ON BEING A MODEL:
As there were only 25 of us throughout the country, there was no modeling school. We were basically self-taught. We practiced the runway walk, learned how to style our hair and do our own makeup and smuggled in professional products from abroad through someone who knew someone who had a relative who had an arrangement somewhere. But it was a real profession; my union card said “Model—fashion presenter.”
ON FASHION SHOWS:
They lasted for three days and were held at Bucharest’s only luxury hotel, the Intercontinental Hotel. It was the only hotel that accommodated international tourists. There were morning shows for fashion experts and then evening shows for special guests. The shows lasted for over an hour and always started with folklore-inspired stuff. Foreign music was prohibited; they mainly played Aura Urziceanu.
Read the full interview here!
OK, so we know that you can’t really see it, but we’re still very proud that Dawn French is wearing an Anna Scholz top in her new television ads with Churchill the dog for Churchill Insurance.
Here is a still from the ad in which you can just about see Anna’s lovely georgette lace-up kaftan! We’ll keep you posted if there are any other Anna sightings in the upcoming ad spots.
Read more about the campaign and see the full advert here!
On behalf of the online gallery Orso Major, the artwork of our very own sales and production manager, Darren Monaghan, will be on display at this weekend’s Startup Showcase at Somerset House (23rd and 24th March, 2013).
Sponsored by Doug Richard’s School for Creative Startups, this showcase is a two-day celebration of creative entrepreneurship in the UK. It includes a curated Marketplace featuring work from over 100 rising star startups in creative sectors from fashion and design to craft and fine art. Visitors will have the opportunity to shop and attend lectures and workshops.
Orso Major is an online gallery, which strives to bring affordable art by up-and-coming artists to one’s home or business. The Gallery offers limited edition photographs and prints, and a series of original charcoal drawings. “While we are an online gallery,” says Director, Gita Joshi, “we have plans for 2013 to mount exhibitions at various locations around London.”
Read more about the upcoming Startup Showcase here!
The next time you’re adjusting your fascinator to attend Cousin Trudie’s wedding, you may think, why am I doing this? Not in the sense of why am I supporting this wedding which I know is a sham because he’s intellectually inferior to her, he’s a cat person and he’s a Scorpio, so it’ll never work…but more in terms of why the urge to pin feathers to your hair? Well, according to recent studies, you are responding to an ancient urge for feather adornment that goes back as far as Neandertal civilization.
A recent article in Scientific American magazine described how new evidence suggests that Neadertals used bird feathers as adornment. This flies in the face of previous theories that Neanderthals were not advanced enough to exploit smaller prey, such as birds, and that they did not yet express themselves through symbolic behaviours. Such shortcomings, according to previous theories, put Neandertals at a disadvantage when more modern humans with more skills invaded Europe.
Paleontologist Clive Finlayson and zooarchaeologist Jordi Rosell and colleagues recently reported their analyses of animal remains at 1,699 fossil sites in Eurasia and North Africa spanning the Pleistocene epoch. Their findings indicate that Neandertals were strongly associated with corvids (ravens and the like) and raptors (eagles and their relatives).
The evidence gathered from these bird remains suggests that they were not eaten for food (people do not eat corvids or raptors today), but that the beautiful flight feathers were used as adornment. Further, cut marks were found on wing bones—not the meatiest part of the bird. Additionally, according to archaeologist John Shea, the Neandertals’ preference for dark-feathered birds mirrors their preference for black manganese pigment, which is known from a few sites. Finlayson believes the Neadertals may have used flint tools to separate the plumage from the wing bones still attached to the skin to create a kind of cape or headpiece.
Though Neandertals may not have had the most sophisticated tools, Rosell points out that many of these birds would have been easy to capture by hand. Vultures, for example, often hang out in tree branches waiting for a current to carry them. Gibraltar—where many cutmarked bones have been discovered– is on a major migratory route for many species, and the birds often arrive tired from the shifting winds and easier to catch.
Previous findings of cut bird bones from Neandertal levels in Fumane Cave in northern Italy were dismissed as an isolated event. But Finlayson and Rosell’s study indicates that feathers were almost definitely a kind of fashion statement for thousands of years, possibly across Eurasia, and indicative of a certain level of sophisticated, symbolic behaviour. “A purely utilitarian kind of person does not put on a feathered headdress,” says paleoanthropologist John Hawkes.
Indeed—on the heels of tools follow feathered headdresses…followed by heels!
Just a pretty picture of Anna (and Frida!) that we wanted to share. On Anna: the chocolate paisley print jersey wrap dress from the Autumn-Winter 2013 Black Label collection. On Frida: fur coat, model’s own.
“Spring flowers in the garden!” Nicole wrote to us. “I love this dress; it fits perfectly and makes me feel that spring is here.”
The latest issue of Vol.Up.2 magazine is now online, marking the publication’s one-year anniversary. This issue is called Simplicity and contains around 23 different editorials as well as original artwork and loads of other treats! It is produced by the talented Velvet d’Amour, who also takes most of the photos in the magazine.
Click here for a teaser of the latest issue (you can download the full magazine from there).