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Gianfranco Ferré

Giulia Bussinello

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Early Orientalism and the Barbaresque

Adam Geczy

Source: Fashion and Orientalism. Dress, Textiles and Culture from the 17th to the 21st Century 2013

Book chapter

Just to what extent Justinian was instrumental in the demystification of silk within Europe is debatable, because the fibres of the highest quality still emanated from elsewhere: the Middle East and Cathay. Silks had always been the commodity of choice for the Roman citizenry and aristocracy. Although the earliest dates of trade with Asia and the Middle East are uncertain, they can be traced to as far back as the fourth century bc, when the commerce was predominately with India and Persia. China

Introduction

Adam Geczy

Source: Fashion and Orientalism. Dress, Textiles and Culture from the 17th to the 21st Century 2013

Book chapter

We arrived at the opulent bazaars that form the centre of Istanbul, a solidly constructed stone labyrinth in the Byzantine style which served as a vast shelter from the daytime heat. Its huge galleries of arched and vaulted ceilings supported by sculpted pillars were in colonnades, each dedicated to particular kinds of merchandise. Most remarkable were the clothes and the female slippers [babouches], fabrics embroidered or in lamé, cashmeres, carpets, gold, silver or opal-encrusted furniture, the

The Limits of Jeans in Kannur, Kerala

Daniel Miller

Source: Global Denim 2011

Book chapter

Within the context of a study of global denim, South Asia is significant in representing perhaps the only remaining major region of the world where the wearing of jeans remains relatively uncommon. No one place can stand for South Asia, but an advantage of Kannur, a town in northern Kerala, is that at least for that state, it represents in the minds of its inhabitants, a clear position midway between the cosmopolitanism of the metropolis and the conservatism of the countryside. As such, many peop

Diverting Denim: Screening Jeans in Bollywood

Clare M. Wilkinson-Weber

Source: Global Denim 2011

Book chapter

During a research visit to Bombay in 2008, I asked a young costume assistant, as we sat talking in a suburban Bombay coffee house, how often she had sourced jeans for films. She replied: ‘Denim is big in films. Our actors are wearing denim throughout the film. They have to have jeans, unless they are wearing a suit. I cannot think of a film where we haven’t used jeans, even actresses.’

Ladakh

Monisha Ahmed

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Situated in the upper reaches of the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges, Ladakh is India’s high-altitude border region, characterized by an extraordinary desertlike landscape where barren mountains thrust toward an intensely blue sky, punctuated by green oases that reveal human habitation. Living in extreme weather conditions where temperatures drop to minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 50 degrees Celsius) in winter and rise to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius)in summer, Ladakh’s i

Himalayan Buddhist Communities

Monisha Ahmed

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Dress among the Himalayan Buddhist communities of India reflects the physical, socioeconomic and cultural environment prevalent there. The fabrics used for clothing extend from elaborately patterned silk brocade garments to simple homespun materials. Tibetan styles have predominantly influenced the dress worn in these areas. The men of Lahaul, Spiti, and Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh wear woolen caps and coats, cotton shirts, and trousers. In Kinnaur female dress comprises Tibetan-style robes with

Jewelry of Indo-Pakistan and Bangladesh

Usha Bala

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The vibrant tradition of Indian jewelry spans five thousand continuous years. Ancient Indians wore jewels of natural materials like shells and tusks, thought to have magical properties. Precious metals were coveted. Gold was regarded as a symbol of the sun; chandi, the term for silver, came from the Sanskrit chandra, meaning moon. Metals were regularly melted. Remarkably well-preserved gold and silver items excavated at Taxila, in modern-day Pakistan, constitute the largest cache of jewelry survi

Sari

Mukulika Banerjee and Daniel Miller

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Explore
Fashion and the Garment Industry in South Asia

Vandana Bhandari

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Fashion in South Asia is shaped by varying influences; defining this phenomenon in such a diverse region is challenging. In India, particularly, people coexist at opposite ends of the economic spectrum. While economic reform and social changes have affected the upper and middle classes, the rural people and migrant poor appear almost completely left behind. Fashion, accommodating this diversity, exhibits hugely varied styles. Throughout history, traders, travelers, migrants, and invaders have con

The Turban: India and Pakistan

Vandana Bhandari

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Since ancient times the turban has constituted an important part of male dress on the Indian Subcontinent. Its basic form is a wrapped headdress made from a length of fabric that is coiled or pleated and wound around the head. The type of fabric, its dimensions, color, ornament, and style of wrapping may vary, but the essential concept, purpose, and mode of construction remain the same throughout the different regions where it is worn. The turban was known by several Sanskrit names in antiquity—u

Bollywood Fashion

Vandana Bhandari

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In its early years, Indian cinema showcased the culture and traditions of the country, with mythology, religion, and history providing the predominant themes. The custom of wandering minstrels who would narrate legends and stories from the epics in villages, fairs, and marketplaces was an integral part of Indian culture. Dance and drama were a necessary component of the storytelling tradition, and the roots of Indian cinema go back to this. One of cinema’s earliest exponents was Dada Saheb Phalke

Ethnic Groups of Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India

Sucheta Sen Chaudhuri and Sarit Kumar Chaudhuri

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Arunachal Pradesh, “land of the dawn-lit mountains,” is India’s easternmost state. It shares a border with Assam to the south and Nagaland to the southeast; Bhutan lies to the west, Myanmar to the east, and Tibet to the north. Briefly designated as the North East Frontier Agency (1954–1972), this area has remained, culturally and geographically, a meeting point of civilizations: Chinese, Central Asian, Southeast Asian, and Indian.

Asian American

Usha Chowdhary

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In 2004, Asian Americans represented 33 percent of the total immigrants in the United States and 50 percent in Canada. Even though previous studies show that immigrants acculturate over time and are assimilated to the new cultural values, their ethnic identity continues to be important for selected parts of their everyday life. Ethnic identity allows association between and among people based on their shared worldviews, social practices, and commonality of past experiences and helps with giving a

The Shawl and the Head Cover

Rosemary Crill

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

A draped, uncut length of cloth has been the basis of Indian male and female dress since the earliest times. This draped cloth has taken many forms, with the turban, sari, and dhoti having been the major components of dress across India for centuries. The focus on wrapped, untailored lengths of cloth altered with the arrival of the Kushans in the second century b.c.e. and in the wake of closer contacts with Central Asia through migrations and trade. Later, under the influence of Muslim culture fr

Introduction to South Asia

Jasleen Dhamija

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

South Asia possesses a wide range of terrain. The northern area has high mountain ranges in Nepal along with the high-altitude plateaus of Ladakh and Bhutan, while eastern India and Bangladesh have tropical areas with high rainfall. There is the Thar Desert, which extends from Pakistan, Rajasthan, and Haryana to Delhi. The fertile Punjab, watered by five rivers, has since ancient times attracted migrations from Central Asia. The ancient riverine culture of the Indus, Saraswati, and Ganges nurture

India

Jasleen Dhamija

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The different geoclimatic conditions and rich ethnic mix in India have led to various dress styles, stemming from migrations of peoples from Central Asia and China, and possibly the Goths. The strongest clothing tradition for women is draping, unstitched cloth being considered sacred. Although India absorbed various cultures, external factors did not impact greatly on it until incursions by Mahmud of Gazna (997 c.e.). Influence from Afghans, Turks, and Arabs heralded the introduction of Islam, br

Rites of Passage and Rituals in India

Jasleen Dhamija

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Indians are conscious of a deep connection between woven fabrics and their inner lives, viewing textiles as a second skin through which socio-religious and cultural history is absorbed into the wearer’s psyche. Weaving is one of the oldest technologies, and the terminology associated with it has been used to express philosophical concepts that are equally ancient. For example, the word sutra, originating from sut (thread) and meaning “to string together,” is used for the stringing together of the

The Erotic in Indian Dress

Jasleen Dhamija

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Studies of Indian dress seldom address the topic of its inherent erotic quality, particularly in women’s dress. In fact, for Indian women the notion of being well dressed means dressing in a pleasing manner—a manner that will give pleasure. This aim guides their aesthetic choices: their selection of fabrics and the way in which they are draped; the addition of details, such as jewelry or fragrant flowers; and other means of embellishment, such as painting the body with henna, the red pigment call

The Sash, Patka, or Kamarband

B. N. Goswamy

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The patka—known in its many variations by other names: kamarband, cummerbund, sash, waistband, girdle, phenta, and the like—is the long, elegant textile strip that once adorned nearly every noble waist in India and South Asia. The patka may have found its finest, most sumptuous expression in the Mughal period, but its history is long. The word itself, for all the medieval associations it carries, seems to go back to early Sanskrit and is probably derived from patta—defined in Monier Monier-Willia

South Asian Footwear: History, Tradition, and Contemporary Trends

Jutta Jain-Neubauer

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

It was, and still is, a common practice to walk barefoot in rural India, a frequent form of adornment being anklets. Traditionally, shoes were worn for protection against severe climatic or topographic conditions. That the aristocracy may have developed a taste for footwear in the early centuries c.e. is evident from sculptural representations. It is conceivable that the various styles of footwear evolved through a fusion of indigenous traditions with Greco-Roman and Kushan influences. The use of

Colonial Influence on Dress in the Indian Subcontinent

Donald Clay Johnson

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Queen Elizabeth I issued a royal charter to the Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies (commonly known as the East India Company) on the last day of 1600. Thus began the official interactions between England and India, which two centuries later resulted in British political domination of the Indian Subcontinent. What the British wore in India overwhelmingly reflected London fashion rather than incorporating approaches to clothing that had evolved over millennia in India. This

Nagaland and Nagas of Manipur

Vibha Joshi

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The generic label Naga includes a number of ethnic groups, speaking a variety of Tibeto-Burman languages, who live in the lower ranges of the eastern Himalayas in northeastern India and northwestern Myanmar. The everyday and ceremonial dress worn by the various Naga groups is an intrinsic part of the environment in which they live and the economic and sociocultural practices they follow. Traditional and modern aspects permeate the way of living of the Naga, especially those in India.

The Sari

Aarti Kawlra

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The word sari refers to the unstitched length of cloth that serves as the principal component of a clothing ensemble that most often includes a bodice and a petticoat. Known widely as the national dress of the Indian woman, the sari is a draped item of clothing whose contemporary sartorial expression has evolved over centuries of exchange between indigenous cultures and foreign influence. Historical records of the textile trade from India include mention of saris woven in special designs and tech

Stitched and Shaped Garments

Kalyan Krishna

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Sewn garments are rarely seen in early Indian sculptures, although they were worn by attendants or foreigners. Stitched garments were allegedly introduced in India in the early Christian era, when tribes migrated from Central Asia, or through the coming of Islam. Early Buddhist literature, however, contains several references to stitched clothing. During the Gupta period (approximately 280 to 550 c.e.), fully tailored, partly stitched, and unstitched costumes were fashionable. By the late twelfth

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