Dancing to the tacky notes of Calle Ocho's "Pitbull", designer Alber Elbaz has top models Karen Elson and Raquel Zimmerman, together with the other Lanvin models of AW1112 advertising campaign, perform in an ironic, fun, artsy, viral fashion advertising. Directing them is Steven Meisel, one of the greatest living photographers of the fashion scene. Elbaz succeeds where most designers are showing (still) resistance: viral communication.
The gloomy days of economy (and fashion) we are living find some light here, and again the lightness and fun of a great product of advertising. And how great this is coming from a genius of "traditional" fashion photography and a brand that is a luxury brand, whereas most other luxury brands are still conveying the old, traditional
Great mid-August read from the online edition of Der Spiegel...for those curious about the origins of Made in Italy...Enjoy!
Recent finds from a Roman fort in England have sparked re-examination of common notions about fabric production some 2,000 years ago. German experts believe new evidence indicates the Romans had a surprisingly advanced textile industry -- and possibly a luxury fashion addiction.
When the prefect Flavius Cerialis hosted a banquet at Vindolanda, a Roman fort in what is now northern England, the aroma of grilled chicken, goose and venison, seasoned with pepper from India, filled the air. Plenty of beer was also on hand for the festivities.
The only thing dampening the mood of the occupying forces was the wet weather, and the clammy fort's select guests were forced to bring their foul weather wear to the feast. On such occasions they favored a garment known as the paenula -- a wide, draping mantle made of wool, or sometimes leather or felt -- and wrapped a type of large shawl, called a laena, around their necks. The Romans at Vindolanda compiled lists of the textiles they used, writing in ink on thin wooden tablets, and these descriptions offer insight into their clothing habits. Now, for the first time, experts are taking a closer look at samples of the textiles described in those historical documents, mud-brown scraps of cloth that have surfaced from the swampy ground beneath the ruined fort.
To keep their wooden buildings from sinking into the mire, the legionnaires trampled unneeded household objects and trash into the soggy earth. This practice of fortifying the ground beneath their dwellings now yields a rich source of artifacts for today's excavators.
Archeologists are delighted with their Vindolanda finds. "It's an explosion of sources," exults Michael Tellenbach, director of the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum (Rem) in the southwestern German city of Mannheim. Together with other European researchers, Tellenbach is at work unraveling the world of Roman fashion.
Soft and Comfortable
These textile researchers have been searching museums and gravesites for traces of antique fabrics. Even corroded coins have revealed impressions of textile structures. Rem, the museum complex in Mannheim, has also acquired a scanning electron microscope, which allows researchers to view the fabrics used in the Roman wardrobe with an unprecedented level of detailed accuracy.
These fabric scraps, it turns out, provide evidence that Rome developed an unparalleled textile industry. Romans established factories throughout their empire, having learned effective loom building from the Egyptians. Dyes allowed the creation of riotous color compositions popular with the Roman people. Gradually, these techniques grew into mass production of a type not seen again until the High Middle Ages, a millennium later.
Materials were thoroughly prepared before manufacturing began. Experts combed out sheep's wool to make the fibers more uniform. "Extremely professional production allowed for astonishingly high quality," reports archeologist Annette Schieck. "The fabrics were very soft and comfortable."
Some 1,500 years later, clothes found in the deserts of Egypt and Syria are "still so intact and flexible, some of them could still be worn," Schieck says. As recently as the 18th century, she adds, poor fellahs in Egypt regularly looted Roman graves in search of ancient garb.
New discoveries concerning the cut of these garments may also unseat long-held notions in the field. While examining clothing fragments from the collection at the Roman-German Central Museum in Mainz, Sylvia Mitschke, a restoration expert in Mannheim, discovered pieces of fabric called gussets sewed inside underwear to make them more comfortable.
Yet another fashion blog