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“Coiled Corset,” Shaun Leane for Alexander McQueen, Fall/Winter 1999

Kate Bethune

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The “Coiled Corset” is an example of radical body adornment made by jeweler Shaun Leane for fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s collection “The Overlook” (fall/winter 1999). Leane, who originally trained as a jeweler and goldsmith, first worked with McQueen in 1995, when he made silver watch chains for his “Highland Rape” collection (fall/winter 1995). His creative collaborations with McQueen soon propelled him to work with new materials and on a much larger scale to create elaborate body sculpt

Paco Rabanne

Daphne Stylianou

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

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

Jewelry of Malaysia

Mohammed Kassim Bin Haji Ali

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

Encyclopedia entry

Beads were one of the earliest forms of manufactured body ornaments worn by indigenous groups in Malaysia. Some beads found in Borneo can be dated to the Metal Age. Earlier glass and stone beads that came from as far away as Egypt and Mesopotamia through bartering have become very valuable and are much sought after in the early twenty-first century; in earlier times they were sometimes used as currency. The ancient tradition remains strong, and status and wealth are measured according to the numb

The Miser’s Purse

Laura L. Camerlengo

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Miser’s purses were one of the most popular purse styles in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Crafted in myriad colors and designs, they were made for personal use, as gifts to loved ones, or for commercial sale. These purses were deeply embedded in nineteenth-century popular culture as well. The development of the purse’s form and its social and symbolic roles can be explored by relating references found in nineteenth-century literature and paintings to accounts of these accessories found

Afghan Jewelry

M. Catherine Daly

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Jewelry has long played an important role in Afghan dress. It has a fascinating history that dates back thousands of years and follows the ancient trading routes that wove through Afghanistan. What is considered to be Afghan ethnic or indigenous jewelry at the beginning of the twenty-first century is frequently referred to as nomadic jewelry. As in the case of Afghan dress, Afghan jewelry research is fraught with challenges, since many personally owned pieces were sold during the Soviet occupatio

The Jewelry Industry

Carol Anne Dickson

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

Encyclopedia entry

From early times, men and women have sought to adorn themselves. The desire to adorn the body answered several needs: communication of identity, including status and kinship, as well as symbols of protection and spiritual beliefs. The desire to express beliefs, status, and affiliations grew as the number of family members grew and the number of families who formed groups expanded. It is certain that jewelry antedates clothing. Whether it was worn for artistic display or utility, we do not know fo

Liturgical Robes in New Zealand

Sandra Heffernan

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Liturgical dress worn by members of the Roman Catholic Church played an important part in daily life and religious observances, and rituals from birth to death, in colonial New Zealand. In 1838 Marist Catholic missionaries landed in the north of New Zealand, where most of the twelve Catholic mission stations were established. At this time seventy thousand Māoris were dispersed throughout the country, and there was a small European settlement of approximately twenty thousand, mostly in the ports a

Beads and Beadwork

Sandra Klopper

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Although today most African communities purchase locally manufactured and imported glass beads for daily and ritual use, indigenous communities originally relied on locally available materials such as seeds and ostrich eggshells or marine shells to adorn themselves and their leather garments. Recent discoveries in Morocco indicate that deliberately perforated Nassarius marine shells, some still smeared with red ochre, were manufactured eighty-two thousand years ago. Because some of these marine s

Sámi

Desiree Koslin

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Sápmi, the Subarctic region of North Europe and West Russia, is home to the Sámi people, estimated to be a population of about seventy-five thousand to eighty-five thousand in the early twenty-first century. Distinctive dress is an important marker of Sámi identity. Traditional Sámi dress shares many features with other Arctic and Subarctic peoples. Garments and footwear were made from the furs, skins, sinews, and organs of mammals, birds, and fish. Current Sámi festive dress is a source of pride

Steampunk

Sandra J. Ley

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In the late 1980s, a literary subgenre emerged from science fiction and fantasy. Set in an alternate history of the nineteenth century, this subgenre is described as steampunk, a term coined in 1987 by author K. W. Jeter as a tongue-in-cheek analogy with cyberpunk. Both literary genres turn out cautionary tales of the perils of technology in the hands of the unscrupulous. Yet while cyberpunk looks with trepidation toward a dystopian future dominated by advanced technology, steampunk looks backwar

Jewelry

Gabriele Mentges

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Jewelry, an anglicized version of the old French word jouel, means, in its broadest sense, body adornment. This definition is also valid for clothing, and both make the human body culturally visible. Like dress, jewelry belongs to particular cultural bodily techniques whose interpretation depends on culture, time, and space. However, clothing and jewelry differ profoundly in regard to their practices and meaning. The differences in regard to dress and jewelry concern, first, material and shape; s

Sequins (Spangles, Paillettes)

Nan H. Mutnick

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Cultures all around the world, throughout time, have been attracted to the dazzle and shine of metals and have attached small pieces of them to their clothing and accessories. Different cultures often assigned various meanings to the metals they wore, according their beliefs. These included fertility and protection. Coins sewn on clothing served the double purpose of adding sparkle as well as providing the wearer with easily detachable currency. Identifying the attraction of the shiny, iridescent

Ghana

Doran H. Ross

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Modern Ghana (to be distinguished from the medieval kingdom of Ghana in Mali) is centered on the Atlantic coast of West Africa and is firmly within the tropics with its shoreline about five degrees north of the equator. The country is bordered by Togo on the east, Burkina Faso on the north, and Côte d’Ivoire on the west, and, like all countries in Africa, it shares a history of dress with its neighbors. The contemporary peoples of Ghana may be conveniently divided between the largely Muslim north

Geography and Climate: East Central Europe, the Baltic Countries, Russia, and the Caucasus

Pamela Smith

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Central and East Europe extend from northern Germany to Russia’s Pacific coast. The expanse occupied today by Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia is punctuated only by the Ural Mountains. A wooded upland landscape covers the Czech Republic, rising eastward into the Carpathian Mountains. Much further east lie the Caucasus Mountains. For centuries the great plains offered easy access; evidence of Scythian dress has been found in southern Siberia, including shirts of Sib

Côte d’Ivoire

Barbara Sumberg and Remi Douah

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Côte d’Ivoire, on the Gulf of Guinea, has more than sixty ethnic groups that make up the approximate population of seventeen million. The geography ranges from humid equatorial forest in the south to dry and sparsely treed savanna in the north, which has influenced the development of cloth production and dress. Iron, brass, and gold are used for jewelry. Glass beads, imported from Europe and from other places in West Africa, decorate the body as waist beads, armlets, and necklaces. Paint made fro

Dress from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan

Christina Sumner

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Geographically, the Central Asian region is generally very dry, with two large river systems, the Amu Dar’ya and Syr Dar’ya, which flow westward from the mountains of Tajikistan across Uzbekistan and empty into the Aral Sea. Occasional oases along these river systems offered fertile environments for settlement, agriculture, and trade; cotton and silk, both vital for clothing and textiles, were essential products.

Bedouin Jewelry

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

For thousands of years, jewelry has been an essential part of dress throughout the Arab world. No matter what their age, occupation, or status, people have worn jewelry of some kind. Jewelry, however, should not be seen only as a means of personal adornment. It has other essential functions within Arab life as well. It is, for instance, important for showing gender and social and economic status; in particular, jewelry is seen as a means of giving a woman financial security for the future. These

Miao/Hmong in Australia

Maria Wronska-Friend

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

Encyclopedia entry

The study of dress of the Hmong, or Miao as known in China, who have resettled in Australia, represents an interesting case study of the transformation of tribal garments placed in the context of an industrialized society. The Hmong, whose original homelands are situated in Southeast Asia, arrived in Australia in the late 1970s and 1980s as political immigrants, following the Indo-Chinese War. Festive dress for the Hmong has always been the major form of artistic expression, and although in Austr

Ancient Peruvian Gold and Silver Jewelry: Fashion and Religion

Carole Fraresso

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

Gold metalworking is a human activity that dates back to antiquity. Mining and refining gold, combining it with other metals to obtain harder or colored alloys, melting it, and forming it into outstanding objects—knowledge of these techniques contributed to increasing the value of gold and justified its use in all ancient hierarchical societies.Worldwide, gold has fascinated human beings. From Mesopotamia to Europe, to the Middle East, ancient Egypt, India, China, and Mexico, gold has been the su

To Ward Off Evil: Metal on Norwegian Folk Dress

Laurann Gilbertson

Source: Folk Dress in Europe and Anatolia. Beliefs about Protection and Fertility 1999

Book chapter

Most Norwegian jewelry is made from an alloy containing 843 out of 1000 parts fine silver (Fossberg 1991: 190). Occasionally the silver was gilded, but gold jewelry was rarely worn by rural people. Filigree, a decorative technique used on many brooches, is a Norwegian specialty. The technique originated in the Far East and came through Europe, first appearing in Norway in the fourteenth century. Filigree eventually fell out of use, but became popular again in the eighteenth century. Rural Norwegi

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