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©:  Fashion Worlds

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Fashion Worlds: More Articles

Fashion and the 'Cult of Celebrity': Why are we so fascinated by celebrities and their lifestyles? This article suggests how the 'Cult of Celebrity' is implicated in aspects of fashion in contemporary culture.

The Forces of Beauty and Desire in Fashion Imitation: Rene Girard's theory of mimetic desire offers some useful insights into the psychological power of beauty in fashion culture.

Fashion Statements: How do clothes 'talk' to their wearers and viewers? This article investigates the psychology of the fashion language.

Cell Phone Fashion: Personalizing Mass Production by Emily Sims: The rise of the fashion phone is inextricably linked with the consumer's desire to differentiate themselves from other consumers. Once a high-tech tool, the mobile phone is now a designer accessory. This article considers the implications.

Symbols of Radical Change by Kamau Mutunga: The current trend on the local fashion scene is a T-shirt bearing the portrait of Cuban revolutionary leader Ernesto "Che" Guevara. But although his familiar beard and beret are entering our fashion scene 38 years after his death in Bolivia, Guevara has long been a fashion statement and cultural icon in Latin American countries. This article considers how the trademark dressing of past heroes and legends such as Che Guevara, Mao Zedong and Nelson Mandela has dictated fashion trends.

In troubling times, pink is hot hue again by Joyce Gemperlein: It's axiomatic that when the world is at its cruelest, fashion turns to frills, innocence and caprice. But it's somewhat spooky to find out that the industry believes that it knows at least two years ahead of time that the world will be messy enough for us to want to dress like Barbie. This article considers the relations between colour in fashion and the prevailing sociological contexts.

Beneath Historic Fashions by Scott Simon: Some scholars wonder about the place of knickers, bustles and thongs in history, but underwear can tell us much about how people's habits and behaviors change over time.

Do real men wear sandals? by Jessica Jones: Designer flip-flops and open-toed shoes for men are hot this summer -- but research shows most males have a hard time revealing their toes in public.

Temperley, Alice
©:  Fashion Worlds

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Alice Temperley

Alice Temperley was born in England in 1975. Following her studies at the Central Saint Martin’s College of Art in London, she gained a Master’s degree at the Royal College of Art where she specialised in fabric technology and print. As a student, she designed one-off evening dresses for the boutiques of Fred Segal and Giorgio in Los Angeles. She was headhunted during her final year by Ratti, one of the leading Italian fabric companies. Turning down positions in international design in order to start her own label with her husband, Temperley pursued further research into the best silk mills and beading factories in Asia. This characteristic discipline and attention to detail is evident in the exquisite embroidery and traditional beading techniques of her handmade garments. Celebrity clients include Courtney Cox, Emma Thompson, Elizabeth Hurley and Claudia Schiffer. Actresses Sarah Jessica Parker and Kristen Davis wear designs by Temperley in the final episodes of ‘Sex in the City’.

Designed from her studio and showroom in London’s Notting Hill, Temperley’s Autumn/Winter 2004-5 collection is inspired by the gangsters of the early 1900s’ Parisian cabaret scene, the apache. It includes signature silk, empire-lined dresses in vintage prints of plum, navy, apricot and black, and strapless Fifties’ dresses in stripes of chiffon and silk. Glittering beading, pearl detailing, corseted buttons, pale pink piping and prints are featured throughout the collection.

Central Saint Martin’s College of Art: Award for Innovation
1999 English Print Designer of the Year at Indigo, Paris

Antwerp 6
©:  Fashion Worlds

Home > Fashion and the 'Antwerp Six'

Fashion and the ‘Antwerp Six’

An established part of the international fashion scene, Antwerp’s reputation today is closely tied to the impact of the so-called ‘Antwerp Six’. This group of talented designers, graduates of the Antwerp Academy from the years 1980 and 1981, brought the world’s attention to the inventive styles and impeccable craftsmanship of Belgium’s fashion industry. Trained by designer Linda Loppa, the original ‘Six’ are Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk Van Saene, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck and Marina Yee (replacing the almost reclusive Martin Margiela after his brief association with the group). Together, they staged fashion shows and events throughout the mid-80s. Their attempts to capture the attention of the international press and buyers famously included their unprecedented success at the 1988 London Fashion Week. It was this surprising event that placed Antwerp firmly on the map of the international fashion scene.

Despite their shared background in the fashion department of Antwerp’s Royal Academy, the styles of the six designers are distinctly varied. Whilst Van Noten’s scarves of exotic fabrics, beaded saris and dyed skirts are inspired by the traditional practices of countries such as India, Morocco and Egypt, Van Beirendonck’s bold graphics and daring designs are rooted in a futuristic concept of fashion that is both theatrical and challenging.

It is notable that the ‘Antwerp Six’ have largely chosen to remain in their hometown. Together with the next wave of innovative designers from the city’s Royal Academy, their work is located in Antwerp’s south and city centre rather than in the fashion scenes of Paris and New York. Anne Demeulemeester’s first freestanding boutique is found on the corner of Leopold de Waelplats, opposite the Museum of Fine Arts. It is a stark white shopping space in which mannequins are suspended from the ceiling on steel cables. Linking the city centre and the south, the Nationalestraat houses the his-and-her collections of Dries Van Noten, the designs of Dirk Van Saene, Bernhard Willhelm and Kostas Murkudis, and the avant-garde fashion of Mici de Merode. The up-and-coming designers Stephan Scneider and Anna Heylen are also within walking distance, at Reyndersstraat 53 and Lombardenvest 44 respectively.

The striking reputation of the ‘Antwerp Six’ is pivotal to the attention received each year by the graduation show of the fashion department of the Royal Academy. Held each year in June, the city welcomes a flock of international reporters, magazine editors and photographers expecting to find promising new talent. For many in the fashion world, Antwerp has become a strong rival to Brussels as Belgium’s capital city.

Marshall, Hannah
©:  Fashion Worlds

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Hannah Marshall

Hannah Marshall is an up-and-coming innovative designer from Colchester in the UK. Born in 1982, she was selected to show her designs on Channel 4 in 2002, whilst still a BA (Hons) student in Fashion and Textile Design at the Colchester Institute. She was subsequently awarded a place at the 'Graduate Pioneer Programme' run by NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts), an organisation that invests in UK creativity and innovation. Her autumn/winter 2005 collection, 'Altered Beauty' explores both visual and tactile elements of communication through the incorporation of Braille into the fabric of her tailored garments. She has a signature style of clean and simple garments, yet modern and wearable, with fine attention to detail.

Recent Exhibitions and Awards
July 2003 - 'New Designers', Business Design Centre, London
June 2003 - Received the 'Franklins Needlecraft' award
June 2003 - Graduate Fashion Week, London
2001, 2002 - Alternative Fashion Week, London

Contact Information
Web Link:

Photos courtesy Hannah Marshall. Copyright (c) 2004 David Lam, Photographer

Stretton, Annah
©:  Fashion Worlds

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Annah Stretton

Annah Stretton is a designer from New Zealand, based in Morrinsville. She was best known for the label Annah.S. with which she opened her stores in 1992, before rebranding to her full name of 'Annah Stretton' in 2003. Her 2003 designer T-shirt promoted awareness of Breast Cancer and 100% of the profits of every sale were donated to The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation. Finding inspiration from vintage clothing, she designed clothes for her collection, Time Pirates, which showed at L'Oréal Fashion week 2003. Her interest in the styles of many different eras is expressed in a rich combination of fabrics and accessories including safety pins, jewels, pearls and luxurious embroideries.

Prairie Girl, Annah S 

Highlander, Annah S 

Photos courtesy of Annah Stretton

Lindbergh, Peter
©:  Fashion Worlds

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Peter Lindbergh: Photographer

Peter Lindbergh was born on the Polish border of East Germany in 1944. His childhood background of stark industrial greyness in the West German town of Duisburg is an influential theme running through his work. A renowned master of black and white photography, Lindbergh typically uses mechanical, industrial scenery that lends a contrasting trademark directness and honesty to models in his fashion photography. Working with supermodels Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford, Lindbergh's photographs have appeared in every major fashion magazine and been commissioned for advertising campaigns by leading international fashion designers.

Fonssagrives, Lisa
©:  Fashion Worlds

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Lisa Fonssagrives: Personality

Lisa Fonssagrives (1911-1992) was perhaps the first 'supermodel'. She was described as 'the highest paid, highest praised, high fashion model in the business'. Born in Sweden, she moved to Paris in the 1930s. Whilst training for the ballet, she met her first husband, the Parisian photographer Fernand Fonssagrives. Photographs of her subsequently appeared in publications, including Town and Country, Life, Vogue and the original Vanity Fair. Her background in ballet was evident in the grace and poise for which she became famous as a model. Although she described herself as no more than 'The clothes hanger', she became one of the most highly sought-after models in both Paris and New York. She posed for the photographers George Hoyningen-Huene, Man Ray, Horst, Erwin Blumenfeld, George Platt-Lynes, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Norman Parkinson, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn (her second husband). Her image appeared regularly on fashion magazine covers during the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

Kobayashi, Yukio
©:  Fashion Worlds

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Yukio Kobayashi: Designer

Yukio Kobayashi was born in 1951 in Niigata Prefecture. He entered the Matsuda (Nicole in Japan) menswear line in 1976 and began his career as a chief designer in 1983. In 1995, he took on the role of chief designer of womenswear. His work with the photographer Nan Goldin is published in photo collection books and exhibitions, including the New York: The Art Director's Club award-winning book of the autumn/winter 1996 Matsuda collection, Nan Goldin meets Yukio Kobayashi. His own design company, Kobayashi Design Office, follows his mission to create 'liberating' and 'genderless' clothes. Interested in ecological and environmental issues, Kobayashi ignores conventional brand-marketing strategies. He believes that fashion should be fun and 'synonomous to play'. His designs typically use sewing and decorative techniques such as needle punch and quilting.

Fashion in Weimar Germany
©:  Fashion Worlds

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Fashion in Weimar Germany

Leave your troubles outside!
So- life is disappointing? Forget it!
We have no troubles here! Here life is beautiful...
The girls are beautiful...
Even the orchestra is beautiful!

It is Germany, 1928. Raucous laughter from the cabaret seeps outside as Lotte passes in the shadows of the cold Berlin night. The streets are sexually charged, lined with a heady concoction of prostitution, homosexuality, transvestism and drugs. Still spinning from the collective lust roaring unashamedly through the theatre that evening, Lotte heads now for the café bar at the Eden Hotel where she lives. Jostling with leggy glamour girls as she takes her drink, Lotte pushes a straying strand of short hair behind her ear, settles her slender trouser-suited body into the deep folds of an armchair and smiles provocatively as she lights a cigarette.

Berlin's interwar reputation of hedonistic decadence and debauchery is familiar through scenes from Metropolis by Fritz Lang, images of Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel by Josef von Sternberg and stage productions of The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht. A ferment of artistic and sexual experimentation, the Weimar Republic (1918-1933) privileged an outpouring of cultural creativity in the Bauhaus movement of modern art and the development of the International Style in modern architecture. Against a background of inflation and depression, Berlin drew the talent and energies of the rest of Germany towards its glittering cabaret performances and burgeoning sex tourism industry. From within this hotbed of frenzied immorality, supposedly constitutional sexual equality worked to create the myth of the sexually liberated and financially independent 'New Woman' in Weimar German society.

Born out of Germany's disastrous defeat in World War I, the Weimar Republic exercised democracy amidst continuing chaos and political upheaval. Economic crisis followed the devaluation of the German Mark in wake of the undermining of payments demanded in the Versailles reparations clause imposed on Germany at the end of World War I. The political and economic collapse resulted in the "destruction of the inherited framework of beliefs and certainties which had given Germany its particular reassurance" (2). Unable to maintain the image of a strong, victorious Reichswehr, or Reich Defence, former Imperialistic values of hard work and national pride were subsumed in the emergence of a new decadence and urban proclivity.

The socially correct role of women was similarly transformed in face of the erosion of old traditions and moral principles. In the 19th century, Kaiser Wilhelm II had defined women's position in society as centering on the 'Kirche, Kueche, Kinder', or church, kitchen and children. After the adoption of the Weimar Constitution in 1919, women were guaranteed a new status of equality with men in terms of their enfranchisement and legal and economic standing. However, these advances were little more than token gestures of appeasement. The 1919 Constitution was never enforced through legislation, and the Kaiser's restrictive Civil Code of 1900 continued to control the legal and financial rights of women. As the historian Claudia Koonz states, "[the] Weimar leaders grafted a democratic state onto a traditionalist and conservative social structure and a thoroughly capitalist economy" (3).

Nevertheless, the myth arose of a 'New Woman' challenging men in the realms of politics and economics. Mass advertising in the Popular Press capitalized on the power of this image in selling branded products and promoting specific lifestyle choices. A magazine article from the period described the new generation of women, claiming "They go to the cinema in the evenings, wear skirts that end above the knees, buy 'Elegant World' and the film magazines" (4). Portrayed in films, newspapers and Pulp fiction, the 'New Woman' was typically depicted as a sexual object for the satisfaction of male desire. Sexually predatory and educated, she achieved financial independence through employment and spent her earnings on fashion and fun. She had short bobbed hair, wore relaxed masculine clothes, smoked cigarettes and enjoyed the globally notorious nightlife of Berlin's theatres, cinemas, cafes and bars. According to the historian Ute Frevert, the Weimar women were "children of the new age who were variously celebrated or accursed" (5).

Despite their apparent emancipation from oppressive tradition, they were feared by the older generation for their individualism and selfishness. Much of this fear lay in the promulgation of a childbearing strike by the Syndikalistische Frauenbund or SFB (Syndicalist Women's Union), established in 1920. An article written in 1921 stated that "the advancement in the intellectual development of women [could] not be possible without the liberation from the slavery of childbearing" (6). Accordingly, many young women campaigned at public rallies, calling for the criminalization of contraception (paragraph 184.3 of the Constitution) and the prohibition of abortion (paragraph 218) to be revoked. However, these moves towards allowing women the possibility of legitimate birth control were deemed inherently selfish rather than sexually liberating in light of the falling birth rate and depleted population at the end of World War I.

In general therefore, the 'New Woman' was represented negatively and blamed for the degeneration of Weimar society and culture. However, the reality of life for the majority of women in the Weimar Republic was vastly different from that of the 'New Woman' they avidly desired to emulate. Confronted by exploitation and underpromotion in the workplace, many women continued to embrace the 'Kinder, Kueche, Kirche' ideal of the former monarchy. Notions of political liberation were also tenuous. Despite enfranchisement in 1918, their representation at all levels of Weimar German political party leadership was minimal. It is therefore an inescapable conclusion that depictions of the 'New Woman' were media-generated and founded in male constructions of sexuality that reflected the underlying social, economic and political insecurities and anxieties of the era. Indeed, the very popularity of misogynistic and distorted images of the 'New Woman' among women themselves reveals the impossibility of their liberation at even the level of being able to reject their own stereotypical depiction.


(1) From Cabaret, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb. Carlin Music Corp., 1967.
(2) de Jonge, A. (1978) Weimar Chronicles, New York, Paddington Press Ltd., p. 13.
(3) Koonz, C. (1987) Mothers in the Fatherland: Women, the Family and Nazi Politics, New York, St. Martin's Press.
(4) Wehrling, T. (1920) 'Berlin is becoming a whore' in Das Tage-Buch.
(5) Frevert, U. (1989) Women in German History: from Bourgeois Emancipation to Sexual Liberation, New York, Berg.
(6) Wittkop-Rocker, M. (1921) 'Frauenarbeit Frauenorganisationen' in Der Frauenbund, Monatsbeilage des Syndikalist , 1, October.

Onassis, Jacqueline
©:  Fashion Worlds

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Jacqueline Onassis: Personality

Born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier in East Hampton, New York, Jacqueline Onassis (1929-94) became First Lady in 1961 through her marriage to the President of the USA, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Her stylistic mixture of ladylike formality with a youthful spirit was widely copied. Characteristically timeless and elegant, trademarks of the 'Jackie' style included simple coats, white gloves, round or bateau necklines, court shoes and slim-line, A-shaped skirts that grazed the knee. Designed by Oleg Cassini from 1961, her clothes were typically unpatterned and unexaggerated. Although she rarely wore jewellery, her gilt-chain handbag, bouffant hairstyle by Kenneth and pillbox hats by Halston were popularised and widely imitated.

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