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Vestibulum massa cursus at in ut dui massa et semper justo.

Academic dress is the formal attire worn by students and officials at a commencement or graduation ceremony. The most common styles emulate the everyday clothing worn by scholars at the first universities in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Typically, this included a flowing gown, a hood or cape, and some sort of head wear; the contemporary form of this ensemble depends on the rules dictated by the institution with which the student or official is associated. Continue reading
Adinkra cloth is the traditional funerary dress of the Asante peoples of Ghana as well as many of their neighbors. Funerals are among the most lavish of all Asante ritual occasions and are clearly part of their still strong commitment to venerating their ancestors. The scholar J. B. Danquah defines the meaning of adinkra as, "to part, be separated, to leave one another, to say good-bye." Adinkra cloths are distinguished by designs applied with carved gourd stamps and a black dye placed within a rectilinear grid whose divisions are created by a three or four tine comb brushed in measured segments across the length and width of the cloth. Some cloths may feature a single stamped design while others may have over twenty different motifs applied to the surface. Continue reading
Adire is a resist-dyed cloth produced and worn by the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria in West Africa. The Yoruba label adire, which means "tied and dyed," was first applied to indigo-dyed cloth decorated with resist patterns around the turn of the twentieth century. With the introduction of a broader color palette of imported synthetic dyes in the second half of the twentieth century, the label "adire" was expanded to include a variety of hand-dyed textiles using wax resist batik methods to produce patterned cloth in a dazzling array of dye tints and hues. Continue reading
In 1851, London celebrated the Great Exhibition, showcasing the latest innovations in manufacture and design. Its warm reception by the public and the media confirmed, in many people's eyes,the triumph of increased industrialization and mass production. However, some, who found this way of life increasingly abhorrent, sought an alternative lifestyle by looking to the past. Continue reading
African American dress intertwines with the history of Africans, who arrived in the Virginia colony in 1619. Within that century, southern codes forced the children of any enslaved woman to remain enslaved for life. West Africans continued to come unwillingly until the 1830s. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the emancipation of all enslaved peoples in 1863; but after the Civil War, African Americans lived on the margins of American society with poor jobs, substandard living and educational conditions, disenfranchisement, and public segregation. Nearly one hundred years later, in 1954, a Supreme Court decision began the desegregation process and in the 1960s, Federal legislation gave equal rights to African Americans. Continue reading
At the end of the 1950s, a small number of young black female dancers and jazz singers broke with prevailing black community norms and wore unstraightened hair. The hairstyle they wore had no name and when noticed by the black press, was commonly referred to as wearing hair "close-cropped." These dancers and musicians were sympathetic to or involved with the civil rights movement and felt that unstraightened hair expressed their feelings of racial pride. Continue reading
The way that black people use apparel in personal representations of self may differ and be dependent upon location and perspective. Afrocentric fashion is analogous to Western fashion. Both appropriate much from oppositional fashion expressions; consequently both expressions are fragmented and perennially incomplete. Avid Afrocentrists reject the idea that Afrocentricism might be influenced or contain traces of Western culture, though it is perceptible that Afrocentric fashion is less absolute than other expressive forms, such as music and art. Continue reading
Agbada is a four-piece male attire found among the Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria and the Republic of Benin, West Africa. It consists of a large, freeflowing outer robe (awosoke), an undervest (awotele), a pair of long trousers (sokoto), and a hat (fìla). The outer robe from which the entire outfit derives the name agbada, meaning "voluminous attire"—is a big, loose-fitting, ankle-length garment. It has three sections: a rectangular centerpiece, flanked by wide sleeves. The centerpiece—usually covered front and back with elaborate embroidery—has a neck hole (orun) and big pocket (apo) on the left side. The density and extent of the embroidery vary considerably, depending on how much a patron can afford. There are two types of undervest: the buba, a loose, round-neck shirt with elbow-length sleeves; and dansiki, a loose, round-neck, sleeveless smock. Continue reading
Walter Albini (1941–1983) was born Gualtiero Angleo Albini in Busto Arsizio, Lombardy, in northern Italy. In 1957 he interrupted his study of the classics, which his family had encouraged him to pursue, and enrolled in the Istituto d'Arte, Disegno e Moda in Turin, the only male student admitted to the all-girls school. A gifted student, Albini studied drawing and specialized in ink and tempera, at which he excelled. He took a degree in fashion design in 1960. Continue reading
Cultural artifacts such as clothing and cloth also serve as signs that communicate visually in a silent language. This communication is a kind of visual literacy: becoming familiar with the language of textiles is similar to learning how to read, only it means learning how to read cloth, clothing, and how it is worn. To the untrained eye, traditional clothing worn by indigenous people of Mexico and Central America may impress and startle. It may be embroidered or handwoven in rainbow colors with geometric, floral, animal, or human images, or elaborated with commercial trims. Clothing may convey categories relating to rank, class, status, region or town, religion, or age (Schevill 1986). Continue reading