The Empowerment Plan is a Detroit-based organization that creates manufacturing jobs making EMPWR coats that double as sleeping bags:
the empowerment plan is a detroit-based, nonprofit organization focused on permanently elevating families from the generational cycle of homelessness. it hires single parents from local shelters and provide them with training and full-time employment as seamstresses so that they can earn a stable income, find secure housing, and regain their independence. the individuals it hires manufacture a coat designed to meet the needs of those in the homeless community. the durable ‘EMPWR coat’ can transform into a sleeping bag at night or an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use. since 2012, it has provided employment to 34 homeless individuals—all of whom have now secured permanent housing for themselves and their families—and distributed over 15,000 coats to those in need across the US and canada.
• REDFworkshop.org (Vimeo / The Empowerment Plan via designboom) Read the rest
Technically, cloth is a "deforming non-rigid surface," so projecting a stable image onto clothes is a big technological challenge. To solve it, Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory combined two new techniques that allow stable projection of an image onto clothes even as they move. Read the rest
One interesting annoyance of my gender transition was the surprise that many jackets and pants for women do not have functional pockets. Chelsea Summers delves into the politicized history of this phenomenon: Read the rest
Albert Einstein's very cool leather jacket sold at auction today for £110,500 ($144,424). The coat came complete with the pungent odor of the scientist's pipe. Also on the block were Einstein's pocket watch and toy blocks from his childhood. From Christie's:
‘The jacket first appears in a number of photographs of Einstein, taken at the height of his fame in the mid-1930s,’ (said Christie's specialist Thomas Venning). A shot from 1935 shows the scientist wearing it upon his arrival for a holiday in the Bahamas — ‘improbably paired,’ adds Venning, ‘with a rather natty wing collar’...
Over several years, the jacket aged visibly. ‘Einstein wore it all the time — a fact mentioned in the memoirs of fellow scientist Leopold Infeld, who worked with him at Princeton. Infeld explained that Einstein tried to keep material restrictions to a minimum. Long hair reduced the need for a barber and, he wrote, “one leather jacket solved the coat problem for years.”’
"5 minutes with… Einstein’s leather jacket" (Christie's)
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Pioneering underground filmmaker and occultist Kenneth Anger has launched a killer apparel line. Dig this magnificent "Lucifer Rising" satin bomber jacket, the perfect look, he says, "for a midsummer night's sorceries." The jacket is a collaboration with LA artist Brian Butler's Lucifer Brothers Workshop:
Although the satin ‘souvenir’ bomber has come into vogue recently with labels such as Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Saint Laurent, Kenneth Anger’s original design tops them all. Featuring a palette known locally as Hodos Chamelionis, or the Path of the Chameleon—the colors of the forces which lie beyond the physical universe, happens to be the Lucifer Brothers Workshop’s house mascot. Here, they are flitted over gold and black satin in a limited edition of 333 with labels signed by Kenneth Anger himself.
Lucifer Rising jacket, deluxe "Golden Scarab Edition" (via Dangerous Minds)
Kenneth Anger's "Lucifer Rising" (1972):
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Epic Sky is a new fashion brand and Web site launching today that's all about empowering young teen and tween girls! Rather than just trying to guess what young people want in clothes, Epic Sky is working with hypertalented teenage designers to develop the collections and a wide network of teens and tweens to vet the products and contribute content to the site, from DIY projects to photos to op/eds. Monika Rose and Marian Kwon founded the company last year and my wife Kelly Sparks joined in January as design director! I've never seen Kelly more energized by a brand's vision and the creativity of all the people involved, especially her teenage collaborators. Congratulations to everyone at Epic Sky! From the Epic Sky site:
We believe in supporting girls and encouraging them to share their voices. We invite girls everywhere to participate in building this platform with us; a next generation brand crafted to share girl experiences and empower girls all over the world.
Moreover, we work with teens to create the clothes they love, and invite them to have a say in what they want. We work with girl designers to develop collections that we manufacture and sell on the site. In addition, we sell on-trend fashion essentials approved by our advisory board of 50 teens + tweens.
We bring it all together here at our one-of-a-kind online destination where girls can shop, read, get inspired, and experience a community which values their stories and passions.
Epic Sky bathing suit designs by Antje Worring, 17:
Meet Epic Sky jewelry designer Ellie Toole, 16:
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US Representative Mark Takai, a Democrat from Hawaii, formally requested that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan permit the wearing of Aloha shirts on the House floor on Fridays. The longstanding House dress code is "business attire." Aloha Friday has been a custom in Takai's native state since the 1960s.
"The Aloha shirt is a tangible symbol of the Aloha Spirit - it embraces diversity, inclusion and friendliness that pervades throughout the State of Hawaii," Takai wrote in his letter to Ryan. "Embracing the Aloha shirt will allow members to embrace the Aloha Spirit - something that Washington could use a little more of."
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From Champion's creation of the hooded sweatshirt in the 1930s through Rocky Balboa to today's high-end cashmere designs to Trayvon Martin, writer Gary Warnett explores the cultural history of the hoodie.
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Over at eBay, fashion designer/stylist Kelly Sparks, who moonlights as my wife, wrote about how to bring the trends seen in the crazy couture of fashion show runways into a woman's everyday wardrobe: "Five Fall Fashion Trends That Aren't Just for Supermodels" Read the rest
Do you dig women's vintage clothes? My wife Kelly Sparks is a fashion designer and stylist who has been a hardcore vintage and thrift treasure hunter since she was in high school. Kelly was asked to write a series of shopping guides on eBay and her first one, no surprise, is "The Thrill of the Hunt: A Personal Stylist's Guide to 10 Vintage Items Every Woman Needs In Her Closet." Read the rest
To my eye, more is frequently less. Bonus finale with plus-size model Germaine Nichols, cancer survivor Danielle Orner, and androgynous model/activist Rain Dove.
(Mode via Laughing Squid)
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Collectors Weekly's Ben Marks says, "Schiffer Publishing has just released 'Doll Junk: Collectible & Crazy Fashions from the ’70s & ’80s,' by Carmen Varricchio, who fills almost 200 pages with images of Barbie and Ken knockoffs and the campy fashions that manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe thought would appeal to little girls. Read the rest
Online clothing boutique Shinesty wants you to Shine On. Their mission is "to bring you the most outlandish collection of clothing the world has ever seen", and they deliver. Read the rest
The US Patent and Trademark Office denied a Norwegian underwear manufacturer's application to register the brand name Comfyballs, explaining that it was too "vulgar" to trademark. Please post alternate names in the BBS. [via] Read the rest
Our thanks to our sponsors at Betabrand, who sent us these items to play with. Read the rest
Archie McPhee & Co. offers this Edgar Allan Poe intarsia sweater for $42.50, "one size fits most." (via Dangerous Minds) Read the rest
Our friends at crowdfunded clothier Betabrand held a hack day to design a line of space-themed streetwear called Mission Control! A slew of space enthusiasts participated, including BB contributor Ariel "Spacehack" Waldman. The crowdfundable prototypes include the Voyager Gold Record Tee above, Galactic Carry-On and Dopp Kit, a sweatshirt with the Arecibo message (which would be a great complement to our own Boing Boing Areciboing t-shirt), and other far out designs! Betabrand Mission Control Read the rest