Archive for the ‘fashion’ tag
We’ve all bought that item of clothing that we couldn’t quite afford or was a bit of a stretch for the image of ourselves that we usually present. It is our prerogative as women to take fashion risks and to treat ourselves to the latest looks.
But imagine a time when stepping out of the house in the wrong garment for your station in life could –quite literally –bring down the fashion police.
In Elizabethan England, extensive Sumptuary Laws were put in place banning “excess of apparel and the superfluity of unnecessary foreign wares.” Such “great abuses” of fashion threatened to “so manifest a decay of the wealth of the realm and to the ruin of a multitude of serviceable young men and gentlemen and of many good families.”
The laws purported to protect family fortunes and to curb extravagant spending of money that could be put to better use within the country, such as acquiring horses. But the laws also served to keep commoners from attempting to look like nobility and to keep everyone easily identifiable. The idea was that if you couldn’t tell a farmer from a count at a glance, the very fabric of society was weakened.
Clauses within the Sumptuary Laws (outlined here circa 1574) go into great detail as to what men and women of different social strata could and couldn’t wear.
For example, no one below the degree of vicountess or baroness or similar rank could wear “cloth of gold, silver, tinseled satin, silk, or cloth mixed or embroidered with gold or silver or pearl, saving silk mixed with gold or silver in linings of cowls, partlets, and sleeves.” But the laws expanded to include “wives of barons and knights of the order” for the wearing of “velvet, tufted taffeta, satin, or gold or silver in any cloak or safeguard.”
For both men and women, the laws also stipulated which servants could wear which items of clothing as would be appropriate for their stations in relation to nobility. As a result, “caps, hats, hatbands, capbands, garters, or boothose trimmed with gold or silver or pearl; silk netherstocks; enameled chains, buttons, aglets” were allowable by nobility as well as “the gentlemen attending upon the Queen’s person in her highness’s Privy chamber or in the office of cupbearer, carver, sewer [server], esquire for the body, gentlemen ushers, or esquires of the stable.”
There was one small note of mercy in all this though, as the laws allowed, “that her majesty’s meaning is not, by this order, to forbid in any person the wearing of silk buttons, the facing of coats, cloaks, hats and caps, for comeliness only, with taffeta, velvet, or other silk, as is commonly used.”
So, the next time you go out on a limb with your outfit, think of what those poor Elizabethan women would have given to walk in your Manolos.
Ever wonder why pink is for girls and blue for boys? It wasn’t always so. In her new book, Pink and Blue: Telling the Girls From the Boys in America, Jo B. Paoletti, an historian at the University of Maryland, explores the cultural shift away from gender-neutral children’s clothing.
For centuries, boys and girls in Western culture both wore little white cotton dresses because they were easy to bleach.
Pastels came into vogue as baby colours after World War I, but up until World War II, Paoletti cites numerous popular culture sources which initially advocated pink for boys and blue for girls. However, by the 1940s, a collective decision and push on the part of manufacturers and retailers set the standard of pink for girls and blue for boys. It was really the Baby Boomers who were first raised in gender-specific clothing.
The women’s liberation movement of the mid-1960s created a bit of a backlash against pink for girls that lasted through the 70s; but, by the 1980s, gender-specific clothing was back in full swing. Paoletti attributes this to advances in antenatal testing that allowed expectant parents to know the sex of their unborn child, and to begin establishing his or her identity right away.
Another reason that girls have continued to be attached to pink and boys to blue, says Paoletti, is that children themselves have become active consumers. Children are the targets of pervasive advertising campaigns and imagery that tend to reinforce social convention. Kids absorb from an early age how “society” thinks a girl or a boy should look.
Paoletti feels that currently there is a rising demand for gender-neutral clothing for children and toddlers, that many parents would like their children to have more options for expressing themselves. The pink and blue divide is becoming less black and white.
To read more about this book and see more photos, visit Smithsonian.com
The German website, Navabi, has done a knock-out job of styling Anna’s current collection on their site.
We always like to see how our stockists envision the collections, and the varied ways they present the pieces. We thought you’d enjoy seeing different women modeling the collection too…oh, and maybe doing a little shopping!
I am amazed and inspired by this website, True American Dog. These art creations are witty, modern and surreal– all at the same time!
It looks like anyone can just send in a photo (preferably of dogs, tigers, bears, scorpions, horses or bald eagles) and a special, crazy newspaper headline scenario might be created from your submission.
Here are a few of my favourites.
Just thought we’d share this lovely photo of the shop window of Emma Plus in Brighton. Looking very chic and summery indeed!
P.S. How much is that doggy in the window….? (sorry, had to be done!)
The flagship annascholz shop in Berlin got a nice mention in the Berlin edition of Shop Magazine.
Click here to read more about Berlin Fashion Week and numerous lovely stores throughout the city.
California-based denim designer Jessica Svoboda is loved by women worldwide for her amazing jeans for the curvier figure. She and Anna Scholz have collaborated on jeans designs in the past, and she runs her own popular website, svobodastyle.com.
Here she gives us the skinny on the woman behind the perfect plus-size jeans.
What is your favourite part of your body?
What superpower would you like to possess?
I know it doesn’t sound very exciting, but I really wish I was a whiz at math. Does that count?
Jessica Oscars : favourite male actor / favourite female actress?
To be honest, I am tired talking about actors & actresses. There are amazing men and women doing things we never get to hear about – men and women who are creating, thinking, and making advances far more important to the world and its future than entertaining the masses. But we don’t have the pleasure of being exposed to or inspired by these men and women, because the press is too busy covering the latest celebrity divorce, breakdown, etc. I think it is time they focus on the real life stories, real people, and not just regurgitate the stars’ press releases.
Which living person do you most admire and why?
Oprah. I think “why” is self-explanatory.
Where will you be in 5 years?
I’d love to say that I have a 5-year plan; but 5 years ago I couldn’t have planned where I was going to be today, and I don’t think I should put a limit on what the next 5 years will bring.
Who is your favourite designer?
Probably you! It is very hard for me to choose a designer outside the plus-size realm, because it is all I get to really experience.
What is your favourite movie?
Dances with Wolves
What is your favourite restaurant?
This is a hard one, there are so many. Urth Café in West Hollywood – I frequent it often enough.
What is your favourite song?
I love indie music. I tend to prefer smooth female voices or solo male guitarists. Right now, I am listening to: “I’m Gone” by Sumter Pendergrast and “Star Fucker” by Ninja Betty and the Nunchix (a group headed by my friend Natalie Ferraro).
What trait do you most dislike/ like about yourself?
These two go hand and hand. What I dislike about myself is that I am a slight procrastinator. The thing I most like about myself is that once I have committed, I am able to pull off, in short time, what others could never with a ton of planning.
What has been your greatest achievement?
I would hope I haven’t achieved it, yet.
What is your greatest fear?
Most fears are irrational, but death (of yourself or your loved ones) can only be delayed (not eliminated entirely) – so why fear it, right?
What makes you sad?
A person with without hope, dreams or a life to truly call their own. i.e., children sold into slavery, women married off to old men when they hit puberty.
Heels or flats?
Heels on everyone else. Flats on me. Is that fair to say? Visually, I love the concept of heels, but there came a point in my early 30s when I could no longer stand to wear heels. In fact, I simply refuse.
Black or white?
Shades of ivory, grey and brown – in clothing, and in life – because it is in these colors where everything is possible and nothing is absolute.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
That no one is ever defined by or limited to our past. In this global, digital world, absolutely anything can happen. You can reinvent yourself or be obsolete in less than 3 months.
How would you like to be remembered?
An imperfect person with perfect intentions.
How do you relax?
A $125 aroma therapy scrub massage from my favorite Korean Spa!
What has been your biggest disappointment? Your happiest moment?
It is a funny thing. I don’t really remember the lows or highs. To be honest, I can’t think of one – either way.
Have you ever said ‘I love you’ and not meant it?
No. It may be that I say “I love you” often and to many people, but love is something I give away pretty freely – so, in that very moment, if even only for a fleeing second, my love is true; it’s mine to give and I am giving it to the person with whom I am offering those three words.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
The freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want.
Where would you like to be right now?
I guess where I am.
What do you appreciate most in your friends?
Intense intelligence. Brutal honesty. The ability to share and listen openly, in a non-judgmental way. Loyalty. Affection.
What is your idea of happiness?
A quiet evening on the patio of my parents’ lakefront home in Minnesota. Great food, wine and conversation surrounded by the sunset, my parents, my husband, my siblings and the ones we love. Absolute bliss are the nights when dinner is followed by songs and s’mores around a beach bonfire.
If not yourself who would you like to be?
I would love to be someone brilliant like Bill Gates. Someone influential like Oprah. I also think I would have found being Condoleezza Rice or Hillary Clinton (during their time as the Secretary of State) pretty damn interesting.
We’re loving the brand new publication SLiINK magazine, which caters to fashionable women sized 14 and up. The premiere issue’s cover features Anna’s hot coral crepe jersey one-shouldered dress. A number of other pieces from Anna’s Spring-Summer 2011 collection are also styled nicely throughout the magazine.
“SLiNK is a forward thinking plus size magazine that offers the same aspirational elements of the main glossies” says Editor-in-Chief, Rivkie Baum. “I became aware that lots of plus size women didn’t even pay attention to trends,” Baum adds, “as there was no media format that showed it to them in an obtainable yet aspirational format.”
There are some wicked fashion spreads in SLiNK, showcasing high-end, web and high street clothing for all budgets…and LOTS of fabulous styles from Anna. Brands included in the magazine must run up to at least a size 22.
Readers also will enjoy the article written by Anna about the process of designing a collection. Beauty and home decorating tips, recipes and film and book reviews also keep the pages up-to-date and informative.
Check out SLiNK and tell us what you THiNK!