fashion through history

features historical costumes from ancient world to modern age.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

The History of Ugg Boots

From Australia's Official Dictionary: The Macquarie Concise Dictionary - ug boot / Australian 100% merino sheepskin lined boot. Also called ugh boot , ugg boot.
Did you know that Australian Sheepskin Ug boots have always been called Ug, Ugh or Ugg boots and have been made in Australia for almost 200 years? "We always called them Uggs, Smith says, "long before it was a trademarked brand." Brian Smith, Founder UGG Holdings, Inc. Los Angeles Magazine October 1st, 2001.

The Ug Boot Story

The original Ug Boot. "Ug," (also spelled "Ugg" and "Ugh" in Australian dictionaries) is not a brand name but an age old generic term for this style of Australian-made sheepskin boot. In Aussie slang, the Ug name is short for "ugly." In terms of comfort, however, the Ug Boot is a thing of beauty. The softness of the Australian Merino sheepskin produces a boot with a snug, cozy, form-fitting feel that’s more like a sock than a shoe, yet it’s rugged enough for outdoor wear. The fleece lining has the astonishing property of providing year-round comfort. In cold weather, the plush fleece provides an insulating layer of warmth by trapping your body heat, much like goose down does. But in the heat of summer, the natural fibers of the fleece actually cool your feet by wicking away perspiration.

Growing Up in Ugs

By the 1970s, in Perth, the largest city on Australia’s West Coast, Ug boots were being manufactured by several small companies in the area. Perth has much the same climate as Southern California and is also a haven for surfers, whom Aussies call "surfies." And it was the community of surfies at the great surfing beaches at Margaret River near Perth who first adopted Ug Boots as their footwear of choice and made them a symbol of the Aussie surfing lifestyle.

Ug Fever Spreads

From the beaches of Western Australia, Ugs were soon seen on the feet of East Coast surfers from Brisbane to Sydney. And it wasn’t long before some of these surfers -- the ones who traded their surfboards for skis in the winter -- found that their Ug Boots were just as at home in the ski resort areas of the Snowy Mountains as they were on the warm sands of Sydney’s Bondi Beach.
It was Aussie surfers, traveling the world in search of the perfect wave, who first introduced their mates in Southern California to the pleasures of the Ug Boot. Ugs soon became a cult fashion among those L.A. surfers who could depend on a buddy ‘down under" to send them a pair of boots.

Ug Essentials

Today the Ug "secret" is out. You’ll find these versatile boots to be in fashion on beaches from San Diego to Santa Cruz and in ski resorts from Tahoe to Vail. And today, you don’t have to "know someone" in Australia who will send you a pair, since there are now a number of companies importing boots of this type. But, if you want the genuine article, you do have to know what you’re looking for because, no matter how they spell it -- Ug, Ugg or Ugh -- there are several importers with look-alike products that fall short of being the real thing.
If you want genuine Ug Boots -- well-made boots with all the qualities that made the original so desirable -- you’ll want to make sure that..... The boots are made from 100% Australian Merino Sheepskin. This will ensure your purchase is made of the finest Sheepskin hide avaliable.

Please Note:

Beware of very cheap imitations... quite a few boots on the market are made of cow suede with sawn on sheepskin inner fleece off cuts.... Don't take the chance and purchase these boots.... the external cow suede does not breath like 100% sheepskin does and will leave you with a smelly sweaty boot... But I must say these boots do look like the real thing but just don't cut the mustard when compared to authentic ugg boots.

by: William Siebler

The Ring - Step Back in History

The popularity of rings increased during the medieval period. People wore rings no matter if they were rich or poor. The most used materials in the making of rings are copper, iron, gold and silver. The class of the person was usually identified by the material the ring was made of.

Faceted jewels began to appear in rings around the 14th century. Some cultures have rings that are usually associated with them. Native Americans are associated with silver and turquoise jewelry. The Greek symbol of the fish, called the Icthus was used by Early Christians. The Irish Claddagh has an interesting story attached to it.

Richard Joyce along with the crew on a fishing boat from the village of Claddagh, Ireland, was captured the same week he was supposed to be married. Goldsmithing was Richard Joyce's trade while he was enslaved. While he was captured, neither married. Richard Joyce made a ring for his beloved that had two hands holding a heart for love and a crown for loyalty.

Joyce escaped from his captors and returned to Claddagh where he was excited to see his love again and know she had never married. She never gave up hope of his return to her. He gave her the ring that is known as the Claddagh ring. Wearing the Claddagh on your right hand, crown inward means that you are letting people know that you are single.

The person who wears the Claddagh on the right hand with the crown outward is in a committed relationship. Wearing the Claddagh with the crown outward on your left hand says Let our love and friendship reign forever, never to be separated. There are many reasons for wearing rings, one is adornment. Rewards for a job well done include rings such as the one given after the Super Bowl victory.

Rings such as engagement rings and wedding rings symbolize commitment. Women Religious wear rings to show their commitment to God. You can use almost any material to make rings now. Plastic, silver, copper, gold or even wood can be use to make them. Ceramic materials can be used as well.

Rings can be very simple or of something as intricate as filigree. Rings can be plain and simple or be adorned with jewels and/or gemstones, as is the case of birthstone rings. There is a birthstone for each month with its own meaning.

The Garnet is January's stone the gem of faith and truth; it is believed to stop bleeding, to cure sickness of the blood and infections and it is said to protect from poisons. It is believed that February's birthstone the Amethyst helps soldiers in battle, hunters to catch prey, control evil thoughts and help the owner have success in business. In order to prevent seasickness, keep them safe, and gain courage and foresight, sailors use the Aquamarine, the stone for March.

The Diamond is April's stone and is the symbol of strength, courage and invincibility. The diamond is the greatest gift of love. In 1477 Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave a diamond to Mary of Burgundy which started the tradition of engagement rings. The Emerald is the birthstone for May and believed to sharpen the eyesight and mind of the wearer.

As protection against the hazards of long trips travelers used Emeralds. The owner of the Emerald is said to be given the power to predict the future because of its green color. The pearl is the birthstone of June and fresh water pearls are said to give the power of protection, luck, and love.

They provide protection for children from harm and wisdom from experience. The Ruby's (July) red color is related to protection, courage, physical energy, strength, health, sex, and passion. Associated with it are blood, death, and birth. The August birthstone, the Peridot is said to bring the wearer peace, success, and good luck. It is believed it has the powers of health, protection, and sleep.

It is believed that it attracts love, eases anxiety and negative emotions, and calms anger. The powers of the Saphire (July) include inner peace and spiritual enlightenment. It is associated with the power of healing rheumatism, colic and mental illness. The October birthstone is believed to have healing powers that aid inner beauty, eyesight, and faithfulness. It will assist the user in remembering past lives.

The properties of the Yellow Topaz (Sanskrit for fire) are said to heal both mental and physical illnesses and to prevent death. The Citrine that is also for November is believed to have powers to aid the kidneys, the heart, the digestive tract, liver and muscles. Its powers are the elimination of self-destructive tendencies and it promotes creativity and personal clarity.

December's birthstone is the Blue Topaz (Sanskrit for fire) and was believed to heal both mental and physical illnesses, and prevent death in the Middle Ages. The powers of attracting money, success, and love are attributed to the Turquoise another stone for December. It is believed also that it offers protection, healing, courage, friendship and luck.

Mental tension is relieved and the mind is comforted. Among the variety of rings there are mother's rings with birthstones of her kids, friendship rings, engagement rings, wedding rings, and school rings. At the base of the prices for rings is fifty cents (found in toy machines) and at the higher end fifty thousand dollars or more.

by: Martin Smith

Wedding Cake Design through History

wedding cake history
The design of the traditional wedding cake has varied greatly over time. Once a sign of fertility, the wedding cake of the Roman Empire was made of wheat or Barley. The small cake was then broken over the bride's head, celebrating her fertility.

The design of the wedding cake changed and it became a tradition to pile several small cakes on top of each other. The bride and groom then tried kiss over the top of the cakes withowedding cake historyut knocking them down. A successful kiss was a good omen, bringing a lifetime of prosperity to the new couple.

The current traditional design of wedding cakes first appeared in the 1660's. A French Chef visiting London attended a cake piling ceremony. He was shocked at the way the cakes were stacked on top of each other, and how often they fell over, so he created the tiered iced style of wedding cake we know today.

The wwedding cake historyedding cake is more than just a desert at your reception. It is a symbol of good fortune and married bliss. Your guests always enjoy admiring the wedding cake and devouring the cake too. Even on a limited budget, you can present a beautiful wedding cake. Low cost options could include buying a stacked cake from your local bakery and dressing it up yourself. Ordering a cake from a pastry class at a culinary school could also be an option. There are also supermarkets and wholesale clubs that may offer bargain priced customized cakes.

by: David Chandler

History Of Wedding Bands

History and Meaning Of Wedding Bands:

The wedding band has been worn as a symbol of marriage for many centuries. Few people know that it wawedding band history s not always a silver or gold wedding band that was worn, the earliest wedding bands were made of the stem from a plant. The Egyptians are credited with creating and wearing the first wedding band and this was cut out from the stem of a plant. The circular shape of the Eyptian wedding band was supposed to represent, never ending love. The Romans gave the same meaning to their wedding bands, but gave it to their lady with the aim of staking their 'claim' or 'ownership' to her. Wedding bands gained popularity in ancient Asia too and in the Middle East, puzzle ring wedding bands were worn by ladies to prove faithfulness to their husband. A puzzle wedding band is actually made up of many rings that, when worn correctly fit together to form a band ring. A lady who wore a wedding band showed to the world, that she was married and would be faithful to her husband. If she ever took the ring off her finger, it would be very difficult for her to get the puzzle rings correctly together again and the husband would know that his wife had been unfaithful. In colonial America, jewelry was considered to have no moral value and was largely prohibited. Ladies wore thimbles as engagement or promise rings, after marriage the bottom portion of the thimble was taken off leaving just the top portion on the finger. This looked quite like a wedding band and the tradition carried on for many years.
Marriage is a solemn commitment between two individuals to stay together in good times and bad. The wedding band has gradually evolved from the original plant stem and people today wear wedding bands made from precious metals like gold, silver and platinum. Extravaganwedding band history t wedding bands studded with precious gemstones and diamonds are now quite common. You could wear a simple wedding band made from gold or silver or go for a stunning diamond set wedding band, but the meaning and significance of your wedding band will remain the same. It requires an earnest commitment from the husband and wife to make a marriage work and the relationhip flourish, a wedding band is a symbol of marriage and just one part of the institution of marriage.

Wedding Band, Gold Options:

The gold option for wedding bands would include the consideration of 14k or 18k gold for your wedding band. Another aspect would be the selection of yellow or white gold for the ring and also include the option for a two tone wedding band that combines white and yellow gold in the same ring. The main difference between 14k and 18k gold is the gold content in the two, 14k gold has around 58% pure gold and 42% of an alloy of other metals. 18K gold has 75% of pure gold and 25% of other metal alloys. From this comparison it would appear that, 18k gold with a higher content of pure gold would always be better for making jewelry. However the important fact is that 14k gold is much harder than 18k gold and hardness is important in many jewels. For example, in the case of men's wedding bands or large rings and even wedding bands witwedding band history h many gemstones or diamonds, good hardness is required to make the wedding band sturdy and also keep the gemstones and diamonds firmly mounted. The choice of a 14k wedding band or an 18k wedding band would depend on the size of the ring, the frequency with which the wedding band would be worn, the number of gems and diamonds in the ring and also the conditions in which the ring would be worn.
The choice of a white gold wedding band or a wedding band in yellow gold would largely depend on personal likes and dislikes. Both yellow and white gold wedding bands will have the same degree of hardness. There is one important consideration when choosing the gold color for your wedding band, a dark colored gemstone would appear even darker when set in white gold. This is because of the stark color contrast between the white gold and the dark colored gemstone.
The two tone wedding band offers an interesting option especially in cases where plain wedding bands are made without gemstones or diamonds. You can choose to have a white gold wedding band with only the edges made in yellow gold or vice versa. Even simple diamond wedding bands can be made with the two tone gold option to add a touch of elegance to the ring.

Choosing The Finishing For Your Wedding Band:

The finishing of wedding bands can change the overall look and feel of your ring. There are three main types of finishing used in rings. The first type is the high polish finish which is also the most common. The second type is a dull or brushed finish that is produced by a process referred to as 'sand blasting'. White gold wedding bands with diamonds are quite often made with the dull finish, as this gives the ring a sophisticated and expensive look. It is also possible to combine finish types in the same wedding band. For example, a two tone wedding band could have the entire ring in a dull finish leaving just the edges with a high polish look. The third type of finish is not very common and provides a hammered look to the wedding band. The outside of the ring is created with an uneven surface and is more suited for a man wedding band.

Gemstone Wedding Bands:

Wedding bands with gemstones are getting to be quite popular and the design selectionwedding band history s are huge. However, you need to select the right type of gemstone depending on the design of your wedding band. A large gemstone wedding band will make it necessary to create a large band width for the ring and this might not be to your liking. You can also increase the meaning and significance of a wedding band by setting a birthstone in the ring. Some gemstones need special care when jewelry is worn or stored so make sure that your jeweller keeps you well informed. Another important thing about a gem stone wedding band is the way the gem stone is set in the ring. Prong type of settings tend to stick in pockets and other places, this causes the gemstone to loosen as the prongs gradually open up. Thin prongs can also poke or scratch delicate skin. A good option for setting the gemstone in your gem stone wedding band is to border the entire gemstone with gold. If the design of your wedding band requires the gem stone to be set using prongs, ensure that the prongs are sturdy and do not include any sharp edges.

Diamond Wedding Band:

Wedding bands with diamonds can be made with a diamond as the main stone of the ring or with diamonds as the side stones. Diamonds are quite expensive especially in larger sizes and this cawedding band history uses the price tag of a diamond wedding band to be quite stiff. There is one important aspect that you should know before buying diamond wedding bands and that is about the appearance of the diamonds. Cheap quality diamonds are available but look awful, these diamonds will be opaque and have a powdery look. When you think of a diamond wedding band you will imagine the glitter and glamour of diamonds on your finger, so make sure that the diamonds in the ring will look gorgeous at least to the naked eye. Such diamonds will not be the best quality but a wedding band with these would look awesome and yet not cost you a fortune. Most jewellers will not want to tell you this as, all they wait want is to push the best diamond at a massive price and reap huge profit margins from a single sale! Diamond wedding bands are generally made in white gold and combined with a dull finish look simply stunning.
Round diamonds are the most common shape and wedding bands with round diamonds are therefore very popular. Next is the square or princess cut diamond that is a good choice for a diamond wedding band. Fancy shaped diamonds include heart shape diamonds, pear shaped diamonds and even trillion shaped diamonds. A wedding band with a fancy shape diamond would carry a premium price tag as fancy shaped diamonds are quite rare and therefore quite expensive.
Most diamonds that we talk of are white diamonds which are actually colorless. You will however notice that quite a few diamond wedding bands have diamonds that are yellow, blue, green or a few other colors. For colored diamonds you have two options, the first option is to use natural colored diamonds which are terribly expensive. The next option is more affordable as, white diamonds are treated to enhance and change color and then available as colored diamonds. You should remember that a diamond that is color enhanced has the same hardness as compared to a naturally white diamond. Colored diamonds are a good choice for wedding bands where diamonds are used as side stones to add accent to the center gem stone. For example, a blue sapphire wedding band could havwedding band history e a prominent blue sapphire in the center with small blue diamonds on either side.

Wedding Band Pair:

Since marriage is a commitment of two individuals staying together for the rest of their lives, a pair of wedding bands symbolises the feeling of togetherness and unity. A wedding band pair is basically two wedding bands with a similar design, one for the bride and the other for the bridegroom. The difference between the rings could be just the size of the wedding band or a difference in gemstones set in the pair of wedding bands. In general, it is expected that, the men's wedding band would have a slightly wider band width as compared to the wedding band worn by the lady. In cases where a wedding band pair is made with birthstones, each ring could have the birthstone of the person wearing the ring. It is now becoming a popular trend to wear wedding band pairs where, the husband and wife exchange their birthstone in each others rings. These rings can be worn as white gold wedding band pairs or as as a pair of wedding bands in yellow gold.

Wedding Bands and Long Term Durability:

This is perhaps the most important issue concerning wedding bands, it is also the issue that is down played the most by sellers and jewellers. As a symbol of life long commitment for two individuals to live together forever, a wedding band should be strong and long lasting. This would mean that wedding bands would be made with good gold weight, good design and gemstones that are durable and well mounted. As expected, buyers are impressed by the design of wedding bands and the price tag! Sellers are aware of this and flood markets with merchandise that is light and flimsy and bearing a 'friendly' price tag. The main point to understand is that these low priced wedding bands are cheap only in the short term. In the long run, you will end up paying expensive repairs and modification costs and this will add up to the final cost of owning the wedding band. In some cases, low gold weight could also mean badly mounted gemstones and diamonds, this could result in the stones dropping off! For stones like diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds and even tanzanite, the cost of gemstone could easily exceed the value of the gold in your wedding band. Replacing such a stone would burn ! a deep hole in your wallet.

Custom Wedding Band:

It is not very difficult to find readymade wedding bands as most jewellers would stock a selection of these rings. However, given the meaning and significance of a wedding band, most buyers would like to have a wedding band that is personalized to their liking and preference. You might come across a wedding band history wedding band with a stunning design, but the gemstone might not be what you wanted. The gemstone that you prefer may be set in a wedding band that has a lousy design! A custom wedding band can be made with a design of your choice and include the gemstone or diamond that you need. The gold color, ring size, finish type can all be handled as you please. Another important thing to note is that, most readymade wedding bands would be made with the intention of attracting mass markets. This also means that they will compromise on gold weight and also gemstone quality inorder to keep the price tag attractive. For a ring that is as important as a wedding band, you will be better off ordering a custom wedding band where you are not expected to compromise on anything.

Cosmopolitan Magazine Subscriptions, The History

It's interesting to look back at the origins of Cosmopolitan Magazine, seeing their first subscription numbers (in the 25,000) range, into what it has become now--a modern day success. Its almost amazing how the content has evolved over the years--from a one-time family magazine back in the late 19th century--to what is now a demographic exclusive to females. Just look at the cover art:

Before cosmopolitan magazine experienced world wide success, the initial founders and editors (Schlicht & Field) went out of business only 2 years after the company's launch. Only after E.D. Walker, an ex editor for Harper's Monthly purchased the rights to Cosmopolitan magazine did the business really take off. He didn't settle for the old way of doing things, with an innovative sense he introduced book reviews, serial fiction, and color illustrations to the magazine.

Only 1 year later after Cosmopolitans booming popularity, E.D. Walker sold the company to John Brisben Walker, who quickly employed some of the nation's top writers. He went on to open a free correspondence school, which he had to retract almost immediately after only 2 weeks more then 20,000 people signed up.
cosmopolitan history
Cosmopolitan magazine was later sold to William Randolph Hearst in 1905. He began to expand the magazine by employing top writers, and investigative journalists. Some of the best articles written came from the recruiting sense of William Hearst, he employed Alfred Henry Lewis, David Graham Philips, Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair, Sinclair Lewis and George Bernard Shaw, all who went on to write some of the most famous articles for their time.

As decades past, the magazine changed from strictly articles to short novels and stories,cosmopolitan 1980 sales soared (1.7 Million copies in circulation) and over 5 million in advertising revenues in 1930. Cosmopolitan magazine proved to be an unbelievable success, after the Second World War magazine sales topped the 2 million mark. Unfortunately demand for the magazines content decreased in the 50s, circulation numbers crippled to just over a million, despite the reduced revenue cosmopolitan magazine subscriptions were still a profitable venture, even today Cosmopolitan is one of the most subscribed to magazines in the world.

by: David Chase

Elle Magazine, The History

One of the planet’s most famous womens’ fashion magazines is, undoubtedly, Elle Magazine, which was created in France in the 1940’s (and is still owned by the Lagardere Group of France, but is being published by Hachette Filipacchi Media US to this day). Not only does Elle focus on women’s fashions, it also publishes articles on the beauty, health and entertainment inspired by today’s modern woman.

Elle Magazine is most definitely the largest fashion magazine in the world with thirty-six editions on six continents throughout the world. The magazine also has offshoot companies such as Elle DÉCOR (with nineteen editions), Elle girl (nine editions), Elle Cuisine (five editions), (sixteen websites) and high quality products such as books, footwear, eyewear and other fashion related accessories. The U.S. edition alone reaches an audience of almost five million women who find in Elle Magazine a sharp style and substance with a more independent point of view than other magazines of its genre.

The innovators behind Elle Magazine are now located in New York where its main focus is on “fashion, beauty and style – with a brain.” One of the best creations of the ELLE staff was the online version which has benefited with archival articles from the previous year along with sections on fashion (well, of course!); catwalk trends (“runway”); beauty; and style. Also included and quite popular with the readers is the discussion forum and the opportunity to subscribe to an e-mail newsletter. This site is an amazing insider’s style guide with a worldly outlook which provides both leisurely convenience and an addictive high-end inspiration to boot. Not bad, huh?

Magazine showcases some of the most affordable designer clothing along with top quality articles that are quite informative (and actually quite interesting!). There are also updated CD, art and book reviews in each and every issue. Subscribers exclaim about the magazine layout and even the quality of both the cover and paper stock are raved about in the forums. Ell Magazine is wonderful for giving its large readership information on the latest pop culture trends both in the United States and abroad while roaming away from what is presented in our present day mainstream culture.

by: David Chase


The History of Necklaces

Archeologists believe the necklace was born during the stone age about 40,000 years before than previously believed. April 2004, scientists were excavating a cave in South Africa discovered forty-one mollusks that may have been strung as neck jewelry about 75,000 years ago.

Before this discovery the oldest known necklace to have been found about 30,000 B.C. They are made mostly of shells, bones, stones, animal teeth or claws, strung on a thread. Basically the same concept is used today though there are some variations

In 2500 B.C. gold was starting to be used in neck jewelry. Gold neck adornments and chokers have been discovered at the Royal Grave of Ur. They are in what is now known as Iraq. 2000 B.C. was when Sumerian bead neck jewelry started to use alternating patterns of colored stones and gemstones and metals such as copper or silver.

Ancient Egyptian neck jewelry evolved from simple stringed beads to complicated patterns and include the ‘broad collar’ and pectoral type. They were worn by both sexes, mostly royals and wealthy citizens. They were often buried with their dead owners.

During the Classical Greek period from about 480 to 300 B.C. most necklaces were three dimensional pendants. They were mostly in the form of heads, seeds, or acorns. They were suspended from a row of flat elements usually some type of rosettes.

Alexander the Great in 356 - 323 B.C. conquered the Orient. Gold was plentiful throughout the Greek Empire. It was often used on making in necklaces and other types of jewelry for several centuries.

In Ancient Rome the wearing of jewelry was frowned upon. Laws regulated how much gold could be worn by women or buried along with the dead. From about the first century on, Roman Jewelry began to distinguish itself. Gemstones came into use and were usually cut in circles or rectangular shapes.

In the end of the second century gold piercing techniques were invented. It produced a lace like quality in gold neck jewelry. The favored style of the time was a chain of differently colored gemstones connected by gold links.

In the second and third century it became popular to wear multiple necklaces all at the same time. The types of neck jewelry sometimes indicated the level of wealth or class of the wearer. Necklaces were very popular in whatever form could be made. Over the next few centuries the popularity of wearing of necklaces waned significantly. In the late 14th century necklaces started to regain their popularity due to fashions décolletage.

Since then however, necklaces are very popular among all the classes. A favorite gift of children to their mothers is the famed or infamous macaroni necklace. What mother doesn’t love such a gift from the heart? They are precious not in gemstones or gold but in sentiment and heart value.

Necklaces are worn now for a variety of reasons not the least of which personal adornment. Many people wear medals that are religiously significant such as those with images of the Saints or Jesus Christ. Many wear a plain cross while still others will wear a Crucifix which is a cross on which the image of the body of Christ is fastened. It stands to reason that it can be said that necklaces have been and will remain a piece of jewelry that is completely versatile in its design and the intent of the wearer.

by: Martin Smith

Brief history of Italian Fashion

Italy and Fashion have a very unique and special relationship, and when you consider such names as Dolce&Gabbana, Versace and Armani, to name but a few, it's not difficult to see why. But if we look back into the history of Italian Fashion, (e.g. see also the article on Nina Ricci) we start to understand what gave Italy such a status in the Fashion World.

Count Giorgini started the 'Italian Fashion' craze in 1951, when he organised a fashion show to be presented to an International audience in Florence. He then continued to present other fashion shows at his palace, presenting new collections modelled by nobilty against a backdrop of fine arts and scenery. Nobilty would also model new collections at museums or exhibitions next to famous pieces of fine art. This all contributed to elevating the status of Italian fashion, and implanting in everyone's minds that Italian fashion gives you status, is very rich in quality,and almost 'fairytale' like.

In the 1970s and 1980s Milan made its mark as being the Fashion Capital of Italy, and the phrase Made in Italy became universally recognised as meaning 'high quality', and 'high fashion'. Many trade fairs are regularly held in Milan, and it regarded by many as the 'Fashion Capital' of the World.

by: Juliana de Angelis

Corsets in Modern History

Fashionable from 1908 to 1920, the pipe-shape gave the wearer a slender and straight shape, a reaction to the earlier exaggerated shapes of the s-curve. The pipe-stem aimed for an overall straight look, as opposed to the pipe-stem waist of the hourglass corset.

During the 1920’s, the corset fell from favour, in America and Europe, to be replaced by girdles and elasticised brassieres. Initially regarded as lingerie, the corset is now regarded as outerwear amongst devotees of the fetish, BDSM and goth subcultures.

With the late 1940’s and early 1950’s came the New Look created by Christian Dior and it’s hourglass figure. This saw a revival of the corset in the form of the ‘waist cincher, but because of its haute couture nature, most women continued to use girdles. The revival was short-lived, the New Look giving way to less dramatic shapes.

The corset has experienced several periodic revivals since the 1980’s, influenced by haute couture and trickling down to mainstream style. Seen as a pastiche of former ages, the corset has often become in this sense outer rather than underwear. Notable was the revival of 2001, when the fashion collections of the day coincided with the release of the successful film Moulin Rouge! And its evocative use of corsetry. Kylie Minogue placed corsets firmly on the world stage when she wore one on her 2005 tour.

Whilst many corsets sold today may look like corsets, even featuring lacing and boning to mimic earlier style, they have little effect on the body. Please be assured that this is not the case with the genuine Vollers corsets that we stock.

by: Davina Vincentes

A History Of Heels

High heels have been around for a very long time. Though they are not the epitome of sophistication and womanly sexiness, they have been serving similar purposed for men and for women for a long time. High heeled shoes are depicted in ancient Egyptian art in murals but the first history of heels goes back even further. The Egyptian depictions took place around 4000 BC and showed images of people wearing high heels in murals on the walls of ancient tombs and temples. The shoes depicted were flexible pieces of leather held on the foot with leather lacings. The next incarnation was a sort of platform sandal in 200 BC. These platform sandals were called kothorni. They had high wood soles and were used predominantly by tragic Roman actors. The kothorni were utilized mostly to give the advantage of height. Next, in 1000 CE the tradition came into play that the father of the bride in a Saxon wedding would give one of the bride’s shoes to the groom in order to symbolize the passing of authority from one man to another.

Shoes were not always simply for the purpose off beauty nor were they always simply functional. In 1154 King Henry II of England began to wear a shoe with narrow and pointed toes. This started a trend among the courtiers even though it was rumored that Henry wore these shoes in order to hide a deformation of his toes. In the 12th century CE, knights began to wear shoes with downward curving toes in order to keep their feet in the stirrups of their horses. Shoe toes were a big point of contention. It came to a point in the early thirteenth century where the length and pointed extremes of one’s shoes were directly indicative of rank and prowess within a community. Kings and princes would wear shoes with toes up to 30 inches long!

The women’s’ obsession with shoes doesn’t begin in any modern form until the mid 18th century with Madame de Pompadour and Marie Antoinette who start trends in their courts regarding footwear. Madame de Pompadour made popular shoes that were named after her “Pompadour”. Unfortunately these shoes were very high and very narrow and too many ladies fainted at court because they tried to reduce the apparent size of their feet. Marie Antoinette went to her death in two inch heels less than 50 years later.

by: Dana Bradley

Historical Tribute to Exotic Lingerie

Want to know why we think of certain lingerie as exotic? The idea of lingerie and what has made it what it is today can be traced through several centuries of history. Through the history of exotic lingerie, women have not necessarily changed the focus of what lingerie should do for them, but instead, have focused on the best way to expose what they want and hide what they don’t want. For those interested in knowing why lingerie is like it is today, they can look into how it was.

The first style of lingerie has been traced back to ancient Rome and Greece. This type of lingerie was seen as a corset. However, the corset was used only to push up the women’s breasts so that they could be seen outside of their dresses completely. After this particular stage of lingerie faded out as a fashion, lingerie became a focus of support.

The two main areas that lingerie focused on for support is the bust and the buttocks. The silhouette was one of the fashions that were used in order to expose both of these areas to the fullest by adding support. Corsets and bells were used to define and bring out these specific areas of a woman’s figure, especially during the Middle Ages. The evolution of this continued into the Renaissance, where things such as padded silhouettes for support and cones to shape the breasts came into style. It was during this time that the corset became popular to make the abdomen flat and the busts big. Women began to use whale bone in order to make the corset tighter around their abdomen. This was to the point of breaking ribs in their body.

It wasn’t until the eighteenth century that the flattery of the corset became something that wasn’t as harsh to a woman’s body. Instead of focusing on the corset for breasts, exotic lingerie began to focus on hoops that would go over the waist in order to make it smaller. The S-silhouette also came into play, which allowed women to have an exaggerated buttocks, small waist and large breasts.

The end of the nineteenth century divided exotic lingerie into two categories. One held corsets in order to support the figure of the breasts while stockings, held up by garters and suspenders helped to create a different look for the buttocks. It was the beginning of the twentieth century when industrialization became more popular that corsets began to go completely out of style. In 1913, the first bra was invented by Mary Phelps Jacob by tying two handkerchiefs together with a string. This was softer and more comfortable than a corset and allowed for women to be comfortable while working in factories.

The Roaring Twenties twisted the entire figure of women, moving to an attractive look by having a flat chest and straight hips. Chemise and bloomers were invented in order to stay light and loose-fitting on women, allowing them to look small and flat. However, it was only one decade later that the figure was back in style. In the 1930s, the first form of elastic was also invented, making it easier for women to keep a sexier look with exotic lingerie, while not having to suffer from things such as tight fitting corsets.

In the 1970s, women began to wear less and expose more. The mini-skirts were a popular way to do this. It was with this change in fashion that it was also required to change what women were wearing underneath, which pulled for the invention of the bikini strap underwear, and eventually led to the wearing of thongs. Today, lingerie is a popular and comfortable way of achieving the look that is desired with the breasts and the buttocks. New inventions and ways for the right support are continuously coming into style to help women achieve the best look.

From corsets to thongs, under garments for the looks have developed and evolved for the benefit of both men and women. Knowing where lingerie has come from and what it has allowed women to expose through their bodies allows you to find what you want when learning how to shape your body with lingerie.

by: Rick Freedom

Cosmetic Tips And Tricks - With A Little History

Women have been wearing cosmetics for thousands of years. Archaeologists have evidence of men and women using cosmetics in Egypt over 6000 years ago! Wealthy Egyptian women would paint their nails, massage their faces with creams and oils, apply lipstick and eyeliner, and even color their hair. Obviously, things haven’t changed that much over the last few centuries!

How Do You Put Cosmetics On?

The most important thing you can do when applying makeup is to start with a clean face. A clean face gives you the perfect palate for applying the rest of your cosmetics. A dirty face, on the other hand, will make it much more difficult. A clean face will also help keep your skin look clear and healthy.
After you have thoroughly cleaned your face, apply foundation smoothly and evenly. When applied correctly, it should not look like you’re wearing foundation. The purpose of foundation is to smooth out your skin colors to cover up any blemishes and to help you put your cosmetics on better. Your face should feel light and natural. If it is obvious that you’re wearing foundation, or if your face feels like it’s covered with guck, then you’ve put too much on. Also consider if you have the right type of foundation. To work properly, the foundation has to match your skin tone as closely as possible. If you are having trouble picking the right color of foundation, talk to a cosmetics consultant at one of the cosmetics counters at your local department store. If you’ve only put a bit too much foundation on, you can blot at your skin with some toilet paper to remove the excess foundation without having to start from scratch.
If required, you can then apply some concealer to your face with your fingers. Concealer can be particularly useful around your eyes so any dark circles don’t have you confused for a racoon! No matter where you use concealer, always remember to blend, blend, blend. If the concealer is not blended into the rest of your face, it will only draw attention to the spots your are attempting to cover up.
It is only after you’ve washed your face and applied foundation and concealer that you’re ready to move on to the more noticeable cosmetics such as eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, blush and lipstick.

What are Cosmetics Made Of?

The ancient Egyptians mainly made their cosmetics from clay and oils (with the occasional dash of mercury). Modern cosmetics are made from an unbelievable array of products. Lipstick often contains fish by-products and blush can contain mica, a translucent mineral! While the Food and Drug Administration controls what can be used in cosmetics, the precise ingredients are often protected as trade secrets.
If you really want to know what’s going on your face, you can chose to buy organic cosmetics that will make their makeup from simple, natural materials. This can also be a useful strategy if you are concerns about animal testing. If you only want to buy cosmetics that have not been tested on animals, make sure to inquire whether the cosmetics you are purchasing were tested on animals or not.

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