The first book of its kind to cover the complete history of fashion and power, from the first civilisations to the modern day. From the advent of the first civilisations along the Euphrates, Indus and Nile rivers, as well as in China, clothing has not only offered protection from the elements, but has served as an expression of political power and its allocation throughout society. From tribes to royalty, dictatorships to democracies, one's manner of dressing reveals as much about a society's structure as about the different identities and communities that it encompasses.
From ceremonial dress to fur coats, tribal paint, feather headdresses or even elaborate loincloths, finery conveys the power of its wearer. While so-called 'naked' societies use ochre, feathers, Tapa cloth, or shells to demonstrate social standing, elsewhere gold, pearls, and other precious materials may be used to show an individual's importance.
By studying the evolution of costume throughout history, we gain insight into the changes at the heart of communities, from East to West, starting with the first peoples of Africa and the Amazon basin. Whether the desire be to dazzle and differentiate oneself via excessive luxury and adornment, or conversely to conform, one's regalia says as much about an individual as about the society in which they live as leader, king or ruler.
TheChicGeek says "When you initially see the book and title, you just imagine it's yet another history into Savile Row and its military tailors. This book starts at the very beginning of mankind and brings you bang-up-to-date, looking at the key influencers and influences throughout history.
"There is a lot of French history here, due to the nationality of the authors, and being a true Englishman I only really know the bits where the English are involved! So that made interesting reading. It's interesting to be reminded that there are societies that still don't wear clothes and also the subtle signals and hierarchy that our clothes say about us and our place in society. As I hope we have moved to a more meritocratic society, it's interesting to understand and document, that as certain items or looks breakdown and lose their 'power' connotations, others emerge to replace them."
POWER AND STYLE - A World History of Politics and Dress by Dominique Gaulme & Francois Gaulme - Flammarion - £50.00
More images below
We knew American retailer J.Crew was coming soon, but, for those who can't wait, they are giving London a taste of things to come with a temporary concept store in King's Cross and a scholarship program with Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design.
Introducing the UK to its Fall 2013 Collection and special cashmere boutique in advance of November's Regent Street flagship launch, J.Crew, is opening of a concept store in the Western Transit Shed, located at King's Cross Central, situated next to the new University of Arts London building, home to Central Saint Martins College. The temporary space will provide Londoners with special access to the Summer '13 women's, men's and children's (crewcuts) collections as well as a preview of the Fall '13 J.Crew women's, men's and crewcuts collections. The collections will be presented alongside a selection of Italian cashmere pieces that the public will be able to purchase on the day.
Above & Right - Not long to go, guys! J Crew is coming
In addition to the Cashmere Shop, J.Crew will be offering monogramming, a quintessentially J.Crew signature service, on the day of purchase. J.Crew will also announce a special design project and scholarship program with Central Saint Martins MA Fashion students. This program underscores the brand's commitment to nurture up and coming design talent.
J.Crew Concept Store Information - Opening Times: Friday 24th May 10am - 8pm, Saturday 25th May 10am - 7pm
American men's accessories and apparel brand Jack Spade has launched its first watch collection. The 37-piece collection is comprised of five categories: sport, dress, pillow tank, dual time zone and an irreverent graphic series that nods to the brand's satirical undertone.
Left - Jack Spade - Cortlandt Dual Time Watch - £425
"Designing the watches felt like a natural next step for the brand," explains Cuan Hanly, VP & Brand Director of Jack Spade. "We are a team of watch fanatics, so it was fun bouncing ideas around during the development process."
The more refined watch categories - sport, dress, pillow tank and dual time zone - showcase Swiss movements and sapphire crystal, and are priced from £260 to £450. The dual time zone variations feature a movement developed specifically for Jack Spade, and can tell an alternative time zone with its fourth sweep hand. The graphic watches are priced at £90, feature a Japanese quartz movement, and in typical Jack Spade humor, announce on the dial that they have 'no jewels' and are 'not Swiss' made.
"We picked two aesthetic directions for the watches - one which is more elevated and influenced by sophisticated army officer and early 1970's sports watches. The other is our graphic entry-level watches, which allow us to have fun with colour combinations and pattern. As with the rest of our design ethos, form and function play a big part in the timepieces, and frivolous elements are not present."
Nudie Jeans have opened their first UK store in London and the first official 'Global Repair Station'. Setting the tone for Nudie Jean’s premium organic denim, the concept store in Soho, represents the true essence of the brand and its sustainable qualities aligning itself with those already launched around the world.
“We are very excited to be opening our first UK store, which will give us the opportunity to really tell our unique concept. The UK is one of our biggest profile markets and our store will meet the demands we have seen for our brand globally,” says Andreas Arhman, Sales & Marketing Director.
The store is set on a prominent location on the corner of Berwick Street and D’Arblay Street. Inside, the shop boasts 100sq metres of retail space distributed on the ground floor and basement with a 40sq metre showroom on the first floor.
The new store houses the Nudie Repair Station where customers have the option of having their old Nudie Jeans altered and repaired for free by the Nudie Denim Specialist. The repair programme fits into the brand's strive for healthier and more sustainable consumption patterns. The interior features raw and rustic vintage furniture set against a clean backdrop, giving the store a bright and open feel.