the black allure by emma summerton vogue italia

Why Fashion Keeps Tripping Over Race

The guests at the Lanvin show in Paris had all been waiting more than an hour for the presentation to begin, and they were getting restless. This tardiness was out of character for Alber Elbaz, widely considered to be one of the most talented designers around—as well as among the most hospitable. He refrains from trussing models into unforgiving silhouettes that prohibit walking and make the consumption of anything more caloric than Saltines a wild-eyed risk.

It would turn out that the reason for the delay of his spring 2011 show was a matter of shoes. Elbaz’s original choreography had the models sashaying down a concrete walkway, about the length of a New York City block, wearing perilous stilettos. Apparently, during rehearsals, the skyscraper heels brought some of the models to tears. So Elbaz dispatched staff to retrieve kinder footwear. The result was a tardy show, but a beautiful one, with virtually half the models—an ethnically diverse lot—in flats.

William Fan

The Power of Fashion

When William Fan designs a collection, he thinks in terms of material and silhouettes. Of a combination of fine materials such as silk and wool and of the cuts of functional workwear. What he does not think about are men and women. Because Fan’s style knows no gender—he designs classic shirts, casual trousers, jackets and coats. The single concession he makes: all his clothing comes in the sizes XS to XL, because people’s bodies after all have different heights and widths.

Apollo 11: Buzz Aldrin on the Moon

How the Spacesuit Was Designed?

Nicholas de Monchaux is an architect, historian, and educator based in Berkeley, California. His work spans a huge range of topics and scales, as his new and utterly fascinating book, Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo, makes clear.

From the fashionable worlds of Christian Dior and Playtex to the military-industrial complex working overtime on efforts to create a protective suit for U.S. exploration of the moon, and from early computerized analyses of urban management to an “android” history of the French court, all by way of long chapters on the experimental high-flyers and military theorists who collaborated to push human beings further and further above the weather—and eventually off the planet itself—de Monchaux’s book shows the often shocking juxtapositions that give such rich texture and detail to the invention of the spacesuit: pressurized clothing for human survival in space.

jaden smith gender fluid

How Gender Nonconforming People Approach Fashion

“Excuse me, sir? I found a couple pairs in the size you were looking for,” the saleswoman at a well-known shoe warehouse told me recently. “They’re pumps, not ankle boots, though.” She held out a pair of glossy teal heels with a sharp toe, having scoured the shelves and storeroom for any shoe that might fit me, period. When I tried them on, I felt like a caricature of a high-powered businesswoman—they fit my narrow feet, but they were a far cry from the taupe-colored low-heeled ankle boots l was looking for.

“Sir,” though, fit even less comfortably than the pumps. What was it about my eye makeup, leggings, and thigh-length sweater that said I wanted to be called “Sir”?

Art as expression of human freedom

Art as Expression of Human Freedom

The metaphysical and ethical dimensions of human freedom are intimately related. This is the most significant difference between the existentialists and Husserlian phenomenology: the existentialists link the power to disclose the world to the necessity of human beings to decide who they should be, in terms of the fundamental values directing a person’s life.

The concept of “existence” designates precisely this ethical dimension of human life. The existentialists argue that, of all the beings existing in the world, the human being is the only one that can decide what it should be; indeed, it is forced to do so since it has no fixed nature. As the existentialist motto goes, “man is condemned to be free.”

artificial intelligence predictive fashion

Artificial Intelligence Envisions Predictive Fashion in Future

Artificial intelligence might just spawn a whole new style trend: call it “predictive fashion.” In a paper published on the ArXiv, researchers from the University of California, San Diego, and Adobe have outlined a way for AI to not only learn a person’s style but create computer-generated images of items that match that style. The system could let retailers create personalized pieces of clothing, or could even be used to help predict broader fashion trends.

Princess Leia Organa

Who Is the Galaxy’s Best Dressed

The Star Wars saga covers a huge cross section of the beings of the galaxy, from those in the upper strata of society, the nobility and political elites, all the way to the folks scraping by on the bottom, and nearly all these people wear clothes that tell their story. From scavengers and farmers dressed in simple homemade clothes of reused and mended material to the luxurious outfits a queen might wear for a single occasion and the significance (or cost) of a single ornament might be discussed across star systems, garments help mark one’s place in the galaxy. But when it comes to best dressed in the galaxy, there’s really only one person that deserves the title. Or two.