Contributor - Katerina

Katerina's recent posts

Paul Poiret, En Habillant l’époque (1930)

Summary  Paul Poiret’s memoirs ‘En Habillant l’époque,’ which literally translates as ‘Dressing the Age,’ were written in 1930, almost two decades after the height of his fame. At the end of his manuscript, Poiret wrote that though he continually felt ideas for new dresses germinating ‘under his skin,’ his glory days had passed. Poiret traced his fascination with dress to his childhood family. He dedicated his memoirs to hisRead more

De Djess: A Cinderella Story for MiuMiu

The Ninth Women’s Tale for MiuMiu’s Spring Summer 2015 collection is told from the perspective of a newborn dress, or ‘djess,’ according to the film’s fictitious gamelot. In Alice Rohrwacher’s film, the dress, animated by stop-motion, is no mere piece of stuff, but a fully sentient being. According to animator Michaelangel Fornaro, being a feminineRead more

Midcentury Modelling Techniques

The model agent Matthew Dessner wrote that modelling had ‘something of the spirit of the dance’ because models could express ‘their personalities in its graceful accentuated steps, its swirling turns and pivots, its musical timing.’ Dessner here attempted to imbue the relatively new and commercial profession of clothes modelling with the artistry of a more historicRead more

A precarious balance: Reflections on ‘The 50s: Fashion in France, 1947- 1957’ at the Palais Galliera, Paris

1950s couture is characterised by its dramatic silhouettes which ranged from the rounded hourglass, to the stark, boxy H shape.  While the exhibition provided a comprehensive showcase of garments of extraordinary proportions alongside vignettes of fifties style icons, the women who wore the clothes remained a mystery. As I studied the well-displayed outfits, I triedRead more

Fashioning the Little Mermaid c. 1935

Hans Christian Andersen’s 1837 fairytale, ‘The Little Mermaid’, is in many respects about a subordinated being who dares to seek a future that defies her society’s expectations. The eponymous protagonist rescues a Prince who falls overboard, and then vows to become human and win his love at great personal cost because the sea-witch who transformsRead more

SENSATION AND COSTUME IN SWIMMING STUDIES BY LEANNE SHAPTON

Fashion-orientated depictions of swimming primarily focus on appearance. Swimwear histories and the annual beachwear magazine features alike, discuss the shapes of swimming garments and how the exposed body should look or has looked over time. Appearing before strangers wearing nothing but a few choicely-positioned fig-leaves is certainly an important aspect of the swimming experience, butRead more

Style and Substance: Thinking about Fashion

What follows are my musings on what happened in the last week of June. On June 25th I co-organised a symposium called Fashioning the Archive at the Royal College of Art. My friend, Camelia Dewan, a social anthropology and history PhD student at Birkbeck and SOAS presented her research on the demise of the textile tradeRead more

5 Minutes With… Syed Ahsan Abbas

What are you wearing today? Yohji Yamamoto coat and trousers, a black Comme des Garçons t-shirt, a white Ann Demeulemeester shirt, and black Converse. Most of my wardrobe is Yohji Yamamoto, when I first tried it on, it just felt right. Like Wim Wenders says in his documentary, it’s as if he knew me. HisRead more

Chris Marker: Visualising women post-war, post-apocalypse

The French documentary filmmaker Chris Marker wrote of the women he photographed on his travels: ‘I stare at them, but not enough, not long enough’. Paraphrasing the poet Valery Larbaud he mused: ‘perhaps, if I could catch up with them [his female subjects]… perhaps I could conquer a world. Or rather they would conquer aRead more