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Les Incroyables after the French revolution

They were the children of the wealthy elite, the deposed aristocrats swept away with the revolution. In French, this generation became known as­ “the golden youth.” The Incroyables were royalist rather than republican, using their clothes as an advertisement for political beliefs that ran counter to the status quo. In itself, that was a dangerous statement. During the immediate aftermath of the revolution and the execution of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, the Committee of Public Safety attempted to use the guillotine to shape what member Maximilien Robespierre dubbed “a republic of virtue.” It resulted in the death of 17,000 at the blade, dubbed the “national razor.” Executable offenses were broad: Any individual whose actions “show(ed) themselves to be supporters of tyranny and federalism and enemies of freedom” was in danger. Offenses included dress: Infractions like displaying royalist insignia or colors (the fleur-­de-­lis, white, green or any indication of mourning), or refusal to sport the cockade, that symbolically ­loaded knot of tricolor ribbons, were, in some cases, enough to send someone to the tumbrils. The Incroyables were born out of that crucible. They willfully flouted the rules, even going so far as to affect a form of speech where the letter “r,” being too reminiscent of the revolution, was omitted. The thus­ pronounced “Inc’oyables” had a healthy gallows humor. Frequently, hair was brushed forward and shaved at the nape of the neck, as if a guillotine blade were about to fall. It is said that bals des victimes (victims’ balls) were staged, where the Incroyables’ female equivalents, Les Merveilleuses (loosely translated as “the Marvelous Ones”), wore transparent dresses reminiscent of underwear and tied red ribbons around their throats, suggesting decapitation. Photo A look from John Galliano’s Maison Margiela “Artisanal” show. Credit Pierre Le-Tan As those fashions indicate, the Incroyables and Merveilleuses were interested in altering perceptions of the body through the clothing they wore. The Incroyables tugged their cravats up high, swaddling their throats in goiters of cloth: The collar generally ended around the ears, entirely hiding the chin and jaw. Their tailcoats were creased and muddied, tailored short and tight in front, with pleats in the rear creating a hunchback effect; Heyl, the most famous tailor in Paris at that time, specialized in this intentionally bizarre shape. The most fashionable shade was couleur de crottin (horse­-manure brown), although ashen gray and muddy shades of blue also appeared. On men, nankeen or doeskin breeches, ­which, in 1794, were contentious enough to lead to imprisonment, were drawn tight against the body, delineating every nuance of the anatomy. Their hair was cut à la chien, dangling down in side whiskers like spaniel ears. The Incroyables were pilloried, parodied, emulated, reviled, attacked and much discussed. By 1799, when troubled times calmed and Napoleon ascended to power, their movement had died out.

Nice Cargo Shorts! You’re Sleeping on the Sofa - WSJ

Fashion guru Tim Gunn said in a 2007 interview with Reuters that cargo shorts were the least fashionable item of clothing in his closet. British tabloid Daily Express called cargo shorts “a humiliation for any man over 21 and should be sold only after proof of age has been presented.”

The Office Workers Left Behind by the Casual Dress Revolution

Just before Thanksgiving, Chicago-based accounting firm Crowe Horwath put out a video instructing employees on what to wear and what not to. In it, company executives are wearing bad outfits that land them on the company's dress code "Most Wanted List." Violators stand in a mock police lineup in ripped jeans and wrinkled shirts. The video ends with Chief Executive Officer Jim Powers demonstrating shorts that are "too casual for the office," a "C-E-No." It's exactly as cheesy as it sounds. The video was an introduction to Crowe's new "Dress for your Day" policy, a daily extension of a casual Friday experiment that started a few months earlier. The video was a lighthearted, albeit nerdy attempt to emphasize that some outfits are still too casual for work. No hoodies, gym shoes, or leggings, for example. "Just look in the mirror before you walk out the door, and make sure you look appropriate," said Wendy Cama, office managing partner at Crowe. "You don't look like you're going out to the bars. You're going to work." The policy isn't a wholesale relaxation of the company dress code. When meeting with clients, the firm's accountants, across its 31 offices, can't wear jeans.

Nudie and the Cosmic American

In the late 1960s, Nudie’s son-in-law and head tailor Manuel Cuevas met Parsons and enticed him into Nudie’s shop. In addition to working for Nudie, Manuel, who goes by his first name professionally, was working on crafting the Grateful Dead’s skeleton-and-roses insignia and designing the suits for the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album. Soon after, Parsons began sporting Nudie’s outlandish creations as the visual corollary to his unique sound. Nudie would hop in his custom Western-themed Cadillac convertible, with pistols for door handles, a hand-tooled leather dashboard covered in silver dollars, horseshoe hood ornaments, and steer horns jutting forth from the front grill, and drive to the clubs to hear the band play. Parsons had started a new band called the Flying Burrito Brothers with Chris Hillman, another ex-Byrd. “Nudie loved seeing Gram up on the stage, sparkling and looking so beautiful in his designs,” said photographer Raeanne Rubenstein. When it came time for the Burritos to record their debut album, The Gilded Palace of Sin, Nudie was the obvious choice to help put together their look.

July 9, 1968 - Jogging: The Newest Road to Fitness | Chicago Tribune Archive

Probably the only disadvantage to jogging is the feeling of looking ridiculous. Rieben gets over this by running at an early hour when few people are on the streets.

Fashionably fascist

Documents recently declassified by French intelligence services make it clear that the famous fashion designer Coco Chanel was a diehard Nazi true believer and a spy involved in a plot that led her to Madrid to serve the Third Reich.

Math model: in seeking to differentiate themselves, hipsters look alike

Indeed, a random imbalance will be detected after some time and all anticonformist individuals will tend to disalign to this trend, regardless of the fact that an increasing proportion of them do and therefore yield a clear bias towards the opposite trend. This will be detected at later times, leading to a reciprocal switch, and these oscillations will periodically repeat. Despite their efforts, at all times, anticonformists fail being disaligned with the majority.

The mistake that led to purple dye

In ancient times, purple chairs were virtually priceless. […]But that all changed in 1856, with a discovery by an 18-year-old English chemist named William Henry Perkin. Tinkering in his home laboratory, Perkin was trying to synthesize an artificial form of quinine, an antimalarial agent. Although he botched his experiments, he happened to notice that one substance maintained a bright and unexpected purple color that didn’t run or fade. […]He patented his invention — the first synthetic dye — created a company and sold shares to raise capital for a factory. Eventually his dye, and generations of dye that followed, so thoroughly democratized the color purple that it became the emblematic color of cheesy English rock bands, Prince albums and office chairs for those willing to dare a hue slightly more bold than black.
Editd has 22 employees at its office in the Silicon Roundabout, an area of East London now known as a hub for tech innovation. Each work day Editd’s software gathers online information for a huge variety of garments and accessories and amasses 300,000 comments from social media ranging from what’s on store racks to indications about how long the passion for leopard print will last. The information is transformed into data, compiled and repackaged into analyses that illustrate competitors’ product assortments, pricing, consumer mood and emerging trends for clients that include Asos, Gap and Target. (Editd’s fees begin at $2,500 a month for a small retailer in a single market, but rise sharply for larger clients who want more complex services.)