South African photographer Paul Shiakallis produced a series of photos, "Leathered Skins, Unchained Hearts," of the "queens" of Botswana's heavy metal "Marok" scene, mostly in their homes. Read the rest
Greg Maletic scanned the 1977 Sears Christmas Wishbook, "Amazon, printed out." He presents a guided tour of its highlights, starting with the nascent console game and handheld electronic game industry's top offerings, which, when converted to 2015 dollars, are scorchingly expensive. Read the rest
If you have to travel with a suit and don't fancy ironing it when you arrive, you can use one of two methods (depending on the size of your suitcase) to pack it so that it unpacks ready to wear. Read the rest
Eric Lafforgue is a prolific, talented photographer who's travelled the world, living among people in many hard-to-reach places and telling their stories with his camera. Among the most striking sets of images in his deep portfolio is his 2013 portraits of Daasanach people in Ethiopia, who have created exuberant wigs and hats from mass-produced consumer goods, both new and discarded, that have recently reached their part of the world. Read the rest
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In 1951, the world famous American crooner Bing Crosby was denied entrance into a Canadian hotel because he and his friend were dressed completely in denim. Although the Hotel management eventually recognized Bing and made an exception because of who he was, the story of the incident traveled fast. Friends of his back home contacted Levi Strauss and Co. and the designers immediately developed a custom denim tuxedo jacket for Bing so that he would never have problems wearing Levi’s Jeans, even in fancy establishments. It was made of the sturdy denim used for 501 Jeans, and decorated with a lovely corsage of Red Tabs, held onto the lapel with a cluster of shiny copper rivets.
Inside the jacket was a huge leather patch printed with a “Notice to All Hotel Men” stating that denim is a perfectly appropriate fabric and anyone wearing it should be allowed entrance into the finest hotels.
LS&Co presented the jacket to Bing at the 1951 Silver State Stampede in Elko, Nevada where he was honorary mayor. He was so tickled with the tux that he wore it to many press appearances for his next film, “Here Comes the Groom.” The original jacket, as well as one made for the town’s mayor, is in the Northeastern Nevada Museum in Elko.
I like it when Jason comes to LA and takes me to the Magic Castle for dinner. I don't enjoy putting on my old suit and digging around for my necktie to comply with the Magic Castle's strict dress code. But I wear the suit because it's worth watching the magicians in the Close Up Room do card tricks.
In the cyberdelic daze of 1995, I was part of a group of San Francisco riot nrrrds and fashion designers, including my now wife Kelly Sparks, who staged what was likely the first fashion show transmitted over the Internet. My dear friend Ani Phyo produced the whole shebang, called Fiber, with experimental video house Dimension7 at their SoMa warehouse space. Eric Paulos streamed the show onto the Internet in real-time via CU-See-Me over the Mbone. Michael Dates made some deeply weird installation art. See the full list of credits here. As it was San Francisco in the early 1990s, the entire thing was woven into a ravey multimedia trip with DJs, live psychedelic video mixing, and plenty of, er, entheogenic energy. Above, a news report from the scene directed by Jennifer Paige.
From the original press release penned by yours truly:
On Saturday, October 14, 1995, a party called Fiber will weave together the digital technology of today with the fashion designs of tomorrow in a presentation of new work by Bay Area artists. Fiber shifts away from the traditional fashion show paradigm by showcasing the garments in the sensory-overloading environment they were created to be worn in. Models are replaced with dancers, runways with podiums. Transmedia artists, laser technicians, DJs, and musicians are working with the fashion designers to create a pure thoughtspace celebrating creativity, collaboration and global communication via the Internet. A team of videographers will shoot the festivities, mix the images with surreal prerecorded footage, textual messages, and computer animation produced on-the-fly, and project the visual blends as hypnotic electric wallpaper.Read the rest
In 1965 Yves Saint Laurent introduced the cocoon bridal dress. Said to be inspired by Russian nesting dolls, it makes me think of a different kind of red wedding. Read the rest
In China, teens and twentysomethings are wearing little plastic accessories on their heads in the shape of tiny little sprouts, fruit, or flowers. Nobody's exactly sure where or how the trend started, but it's... growing.