Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Geneology of a Garment - Power Suit

"The Power Suit connotes authority, strength, and leadership. Yet the term also implies that power -- especially for women -- is not a birthright as it is for men. It is something that can be acquired and put on. And something that can be stripped away. The power suit is akin to armor, outfitting a woman to do battle in a predominantly male world."

- International Museum of Women

1473-1458 b.c. -
Hatshepsut, one of several female rulers of Egypt. This is an indurated limestone statue of her wearing Egyptian pharaoh attire traditionally for men; most likely the pharaoh attire was to display power and enforce her rule.

"In spite of the masculine dress, the statue has a distinctly feminine air, unlike most other representations of Hatshepsut as pharaoh. Even the kingly titles on the sides of the throne are feminized to read "Daughter of Re [the sun god]" and "Lady of the Two Lands [Upper and Lower Egypt]."" - The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1548 - Armors for Man and Horse by Kunz Lochner from Nuremberg Germany. This armor is composed of etched steel and leather; the lion mark is Lochner's signature.

"Duke Johann Ernst (1521–1553) may have commissioned the horse armor for his attendance at the Diet of Augsburg, a political assembly of the German nobility called in 1548 by Charles V to deal with the crisis of the Reformation." - The Metropolitan Museum of Art

*That is me in the pink :)

1808-11 - Tapestry: Potrait of Napoleon I was a woven copy from the work of French painter Baron François-Pascal-Simon Gérard. The painting shows Napoleon in imperial robes in the Throne Room of Tuileries Palace, the royal residence.

"A painted replica could have been produced quickly and with little expense, but tapestry was much more time-consuming and costly, and therefore considerably more precious. Eight weavers worked for three full years to make this tour de force. It was presented to the arch-chancellor of the empire, Jean-Jacques Régis de Cambacérès, four days after it was completed on March 7, 1811." - The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1854 - Painting titled "Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charles VII in Reims Cathedral" by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres; Joan of Arc wore armor, to enforce her power coming from divine guidance. Also known as Jeanne d'Arc or the Maid of Orléans, she was was born in 1412 and died May 30th, 1431. At the age of 19, she claimed to have heard divine voices telling her to lead the French army to victory. She joined the army and led the French army in a momentous victory at Orléans during the Hundred Years’ War.

January 20, 2009 - to display victory and his new power at the inaugural ball, President Barack Obama wears a tuxedo by Hart Schaffner Marx.

"The Chicago-based men’s wear firm, founded in 1883, was one of the first clothing companies to enter into a collective bargaining agreement with a union in 1911." - WWD Fashion

Alinda Norasing

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