Wearable? Art

“Front heel” shoes created by South African artist Leanie van der Vyver (who is also modelling the shoes) and Dutch shoe designer René van den Berg. Mmmmmm so comfy looking… There is footage of her walking in the shoes that can be found here. Thanks Lizzie!

Women in advertising – literally

From the website Luminous Lint comes these photographs of women dressed in the paraphernalia of products offered by the company they are representing. It seems to have been a popular advertising idea for local parades in the late 1880s and early 1890s.

As Seen In – 1967 Paper Dress by Ruth Dukas

Paper evening gown made by Toronto fashion designer Ruth Dukas in 1967 for a gala event in support of the National Ballet of Canada.

Right: The dress now resides in the Royal Ontario Museum’s collection.

Left: A black and white photo of a model wearing the dress appeared in the Toronto Telegram November 16, 1967.

A zesty dress…

This photo from a 1939 National Geographic shows a young woman dressed in a gown made from grapefruit peels, apparently woven together, although exactly how it was made is not known. The dress was made to celebrate Rio Grande Delta’s harvest season, Rio Grande Delta is the southernmost tip of Texas, bordering the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the country of Mexico, and is a large producer of citrus fruit, with grapefruit making up the bulk of the crop.

If you are keeping tally, there have been food dresses made from meat, gummy bears, corn husks, chocolate, licorice all sorts, and artist Sung Yeonju has created dresses from everything from Lotus root to shrimp.

Bear hunter’s outfit?

In case you haven’t seen this image (it has been going viral the last week), it is apparently a 19th century Siberian bear hunter’s outfit. Okay, I could see that, I guess… but if anyone knows the source of this image let me know. I assume its probably from a a 19th century museum catalogue. It consists of leather pants and jacket (and an iron helmet) studded all over with 1-inch iron nails. The nails are held in place by a second layer of leather lining the whole thing and quilted into place between the nails.

Ethafoam Baroque

Remember Nina Katchadourian? She was the artist who took self portraits, in airplane bathrooms during oversea flights to kill time, using toilet seat covers and head rests to recreate Flemish style portraits. Well, a friend recently sent me a link to Suzanne Jongmans website. She is a Dutch artist who does a similar up-styling of everyday materials, this time ethafoam sheets, to recreate historic 17th century portraits.

Hoofing It…

A friend sent me a link to Boingboing that featured an image of a moonshiner’s shoe from 1922. The May 27, 1922 issue of The Evening Independent had a story about moonshiners wearing shoes designed to leave cow hoof tracks rather than footprints to trick police from finding where they had stashed their stills. This isn’t the first time such shoes were made. I have seen Dutch clogs with heels carved at the toe so they leave backwards prints, and shoes with horseshoes on the soles, made for the intention of deceiving followers.

Airplane bathroom self portraits in the Flemish style…

This is a little off-beat from my usual posts, but this is too good not to share and fits in with the idea of fancy dress and paper fashion. The image you see is one of many that were the result of putting an artist with a strong art history background into an airplane bathroom on a long international flight, with a camera phone, inflatable neck rest, T-shirt, and toilet seat cover…

For more creative toilet paper fashions in the Flemish style – check out her site.

Remember Farb?

A while ago I blogged about the word farb, which is a term used by re-enactors and costumers who recreate historic fashions. It’s an insult to be a farb, because it means you didn’t do much research into the garment you recreated and that you relied upon cliches and misconceptions of what was worn, or purposefully adapted an historic style using modern materials and findings (back zips are typical farb mistakes.) Today I stumbled across some great examples! So, without further ado… here are some classic ‘farbs’:

Life in the Past Lane

I learned a new word today – ‘Farb’ (aka ‘polyester soldier’) – someone who spends little time or money in achieving authenticity in historical clothes. If this is the case then I think its safe to say many antique car collectors, most costumed museum guides and all Hollywood Westerns made before 1970 are farbs.

Johanna Ost, a Swedish 18th century enthusiast whose perfect recreation is anything but farb - she maintains 18thcenturyblog.com

The word ‘farb’ appears to have been coined in about 1961, during American Civil War centennial reenactments. The word has been said to mean everything from an acronym for ‘Fast And Researchless Buying’, to a derivative of the German word ‘Farbe’ meaning colour, because of the inappropriate blues and greys chosen for making reproduction American Civil War soldier’s uniforms during the centennial.

In 1966, the Society for Creative Anachronism was founded in Berkley California. This was a group that explored pre 17th century European history by dressing up in medieval fashions and holding annual tournaments. I knew several members in the late 1970s – early 1980s, and while there was definitely a high geek-element (not dissimilar to Trekkies), many members were so keenly immersed in the minutia of history that their study was more academic than any scholar’s.

Max Raabe and his orchestra recreate the music of 1920s and early 1930s Weimar Republic

Over the years interest in history has expanded to include everything from Dita Von Teese’s retro Burlesque routines, Jane Austen enthusiast Regency balls, and several television shows that place participants into a setting that simulates the past for several months (eg. 1940s house), to the more perverse habit of re-enacting bloodless battles as Confederate or Nazi soldiers. I can’t say I get that type of war history buff – I am more inclined towards the historical dance, fashion, and food side of time travel. However, whatever your interest, the field is expanding, and rapidly, and the farb is becoming a thing of the past.

Robert Szabo’s recreated photographs of 1860s America