TIME beauty

There May Be 50 Shades of Red but Only Marsala is the Color of the Year

“Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal.”

A marsala shade of red will be the in color next year across fashion, makeup and interior design.

So says the design consultancy firm Pantone, which picked Marsala as the Color of the Year.

“Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness,” Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a statement. “This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

Pantone, which is owned by X-Rite, the maker of color-matching products, has named a Color of the Year since 2000. Last year it was radiant orchid, and the year before it was emerald.

TIME fashion

Watch a Century of Hairstyles in Just One Minute

It's like the DeLorean in Back to the Future — but with curlers

A new video by Cut transforms a model through different hairstyles from 1910 to 2010 in just 60 seconds.

The time-lapse clip has quickly gone viral with more than 1 million hits since going live on Nov. 20. And if the comments below the post are anything to go by, we now have definitive proof that hair in the 1980s was a fashion abomination.

Read next: This Woman Can Sing Two Notes at Once and It’s Eerily Beautiful

TIME Style

Sarah Jessica Parker’s Shoe Line to Launch in Dubai

Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker. Nigel Waldron—Getty Images

The "Sex and the City" star is set to appear in the United Arab Emirates promoting her shoe line's international debut

Sarah Jessica Parker is perhaps taking a cue from her Sex and the City alter ego and heading to the United Arab Emirates with her shoe line.

But while Carrie Bradshaw visited Abu Dhabi in the franchise’s second film (which was panned by critics), Parker is preparing to launch her SJP Collection in Dubai, marking the line’s debut in the international market. The collection will be available from Dec. 3 and Parker will be making appearances at Harvey Nichols on Dec. 7 and Bloomingdale’s on Dec. 9 to promote the line.

Parker created the shoe collection with the CEO of Manolo Blahnik, George Malkemus. The shoes, which are already available to buy in the US, are identifiable by the signature strip of grosgrain ribbon on the back of every heel.

[The National]

TIME Opinion

Confessions of a Lumbersexual

Jordan Ruiz—Getty Images

Why plaid yoga mats and beards are the future

Several years ago I was riding in a van with two female friends in the front seats when one of them pointed out the window and yelled “Wait! Slow down…is that him?” We were passing the bar that employed her ex-boyfriend.

“I don’t know,” said her friend who was driving. “A guy in Brooklyn with a beard and a plaid shirt? Could be anyone.”

I looked down over my beard at my shirt and both girls looked at me and we all laughed.

I’ve had a beard most of my adult life and my wardrobe is comprised largely of cowboy cut, plaid shirts and Wrangler blue jeans. On cold days I wear a big Carhartt coat into the office. In my youth in Oklahoma I did cut down some trees and split firewood for use in a house I really did grow up in, but in those days I dressed like a poser gutter punk. I nurture an abiding love for outlaw country and bluegrass, though, again, during my actual lumberjacking days it was all Black Flag, Operation Ivy and an inadvisable amount of The Doors.

After a decade living in urban places likes Brooklyn and Washington, I still keep a fishing rod I haven’t used in years, woodworking tools I shouldn’t be trusted with, and when I drink my voice deepens into a sort of a growl the provenance of which I do not know. I like mason jars, and craft beer and vintage pickup trucks. An old friend visiting me a few years ago commented, as I propped a booted foot against the wall behind me and adjusted the shirt tucked into my blue jeans, that I looked more Oklahoma than I ever did in Oklahoma.

I am a lumbersexual.

The lumbersexual has been the subject of much Internet musing in the last several weeks. The term is a new one on me but it is not a new phenomenon. In 2010 Urban Dictionary defined the lumbersexual as, “A metro-sexual who has the need to hold on to some outdoor based ruggedness, thus opting to keep a finely trimmed beard.” I was never a metrosexual and I’m actually most amused by Urban Dictionary’s earliest entry for lumbersexual, from February 2004: “A male who humps anyone who gives him wood.” But I do think defining the lumbersexual as a metrosexual grasping at masculinity gets at something.

It doesn’t take a lot of deep self-reflection to see that my lumbersexuality is, in part, a response to the easing of gender identities in society at large over the last few decades. Writing for The New Republic nearly 15 years ago, Andrew Sullivan observed “many areas of life that were once ‘gentlemanly’ have simply been opened to women and thus effectively demasculinized.” The flipside of this happy consequence of social progress is a generation of men left a bit rudderless. “Take their exclusive vocations away, remove their institutions, de-gender their clubs and schools and workplaces, and you leave men with more than a little cultural bewilderment,” writes Sullivan.

If not a breadwinner, not ogreishly aggressive, and not a senior member in good standing at a stuffy old real-life boy’s club, what is a man to be?

On the other hand, the upending of gender norms frees men in mainstream culture to do things verboten by a retrograde man-code once enforced by the most insecure and doltish among us. We carry purses now (and call them murses, or satchels, but don’t kid yourselves fellas). We do yoga. That the ancient core workout is so associated with femininity the pop culture has invented the term “broga” only goes to show what a sorry state masculinity is in. The lumbersexual is merely a healthier expression of the same identity crisis.

Which is, I think (?), why I dress like a lumberjack (and a lumberjack from like 100 years ago, mind you; real lumberjacks today, orange-clad in helmets and ear protection, do not dress like lumbersexuals). As a 21st-century man who does not identify with the pickup artist thing or the boobs/cars/abs triad of masculinity on display in most 21st-century men’s magazines (Maxim et al), is not particularly fastidious or a member of any clearly identifiable subculture and who is as attracted to notions of old-timey authenticity as anyone else in my 20s-30s hipster cohort (all of you are hipsters get over it), I guess this is just the fashion sense that felt most natural. I am actually fairly outdoorsy, in a redneck car-camping kind of way. Lumbersexuality just fit right, like an axe handle smoothed out by years of palm grease or an iPhone case weathered in all the right places to the shape of my hand.

There is a dark side to this lumbersexual moment however. It’s an impulse evident in Tim Allen’s new show Last Man Standing. Whereas in the 1990s, Tim the Tool-Man Taylor from Home Improvement was a confident and self-effacing parody on the Man Cave, complete with silly dude-grunting and fetishizing of tools, Mike Baxter, played by Tim Allen in Last Man Standing, is an entirely un-self-aware, willfully ignorant reactionary. The central theme of the show is Baxter in a household full of women struggling to retain his masculinity, which is presumed to be under assault because of all the estrogen around. He does this through all manner of posturing, complaining and at times being outright weird. In an early episode, Baxter waltzes into the back office at his job in a big box store modeled off Bass Pro Shops and relishes in the fact that it “smells like balls in here.” The joke is a crude attempt at celebrating maleness but it rings distressingly hollow to anyone who has spent any time in rooms redolent with the scent of actual balls. In later seasons the show softened but the central concern of a man whose masculinity is under assault because he is surrounded by women speaks to this moment in our popular culture.

If my beard is a trend-inspired attempt to reclaim a semblance of masculinity in a world gone mad then so be it. Beats scrotum jokes.

TIME russia

The Words and Wisdom of Former Russian Agent Anna Chapman

Former Russian spy Anna Chapman presents her own clothing line composed of 100 pieces at 17th Dosso Dossi Fashion Show on Jan. 11, 2014 in Antalya, Turkey.
Former Russian spy Anna Chapman presents her own clothing line composed of 100 pieces at 17th Dosso Dossi Fashion Show on Jan. 11, 2014 in Antalya, Turkey. Suleyman Elcin—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

From undercover to Twitter

Anna Chapman, the former Russian spy who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was deported to Russia as part of a prisoner swap, refuses to fade into obscurity.

She sends regular tweets to her 17,000 followers ranging from the US author Max Lucado: “You change your life by changing your heart” to the Greek philosopher Aristotle: “The roots of education are bitter but the fruit is sweet”.

Chapman, 31, the daughter of an alleged KGB officer was arrested by New York police in 2010 and accused of being part of a network of sleeper agents. She was deported in a spy swap with nine others, and welcomed back to Russia by Vladimir Putin.

She has maintained a robust Twitter presence in recent years, posting aphorisms by a wide range of variably inspiring individuals from Socrates to Bruce Lee to Napoleon Bonaparte. Here are some of her tweets.

This maxim is good advice… for a spy.

This one, not so much.

And this one is an Anna glamour shot.

Earlier this year, Chapman started her own fashion brand of “casual clothes” at the Turkish resort of Antalya, hiring young designers from Russian fashion colleges. Launching the line at the Dosso Dossi Fashion show 2014, Chapman is said to have wanted to produce clothes “you could wear anywhere, form a big city to a backwater village.”

The fashion line includes women’s handbags that look like books by radical Russian writers of the 19th century, including Alexander Herzen and Nikolay Nekrasov.

 

 

TIME Style

The 100-Year History of the Modern Bra Is Also the History of Taking Off Bras

Brassiere Patent
3rd November 1914: A copy of the first patent for the brassiere Hulton Archive—Getty Images

The first modern bra was patented on Nov. 3, 1914

One hundred years ago today, on Nov. 3, 1914, the United States issued a patent for the first modern bra. But when observing this milestone, perhaps we should instead celebrate the greatest perk (pun intended) that bras provide: For 100 years, women have been able to experience the joy of taking off the constricting garment after a long day. And celebrating in this manner is actually in line with 19-year-old socialite Mary Phelps Jacob’s intention when she first created the “Backless Brassiere” a century ago.

As the story goes, Jacob created a bra as a means to avoid wearing her corset — which she affectionately referred to as a stiff, “boxlike armour of whalebone and pink cordage,” according to a Telegraph report on her life — to a debutant ball.

“[The first bra] was basically just two handkerchiefs sewn together, and the bias of the fabric created sort of cups,” says Lynn Boorady, fashion and textile technology chair and associate professor at Buffalo State University. “But it was lightweight [and you would] tie it around your neck. It looks like a halter top bikini, I guess, but not quite so conforming.”

And compared to the restrictive, metal corsets that women were used to jamming their bodies into, the bra was the epitome of relief.

However, although Jacob wore her newfangled bra to the ball (and was complimented for her ability to do things like, well, move), Boorady says that women at the time probably didn’t wear them out of the house much. “I do know that they certainly would have worn them inside the house,” she says, “because most women loosened their corsets at home just to be comfortable.”

So really, the equivalent of coming home and taking off your bra before setting in on a West Wing marathon on Netflix was coming home and swapping your corset for a Backless Brassiere before setting in on a needlepoint marathon.

It wasn’t until World War I, when the metal used in corsets was needed for war efforts, that the bra really began to take off (in the other sense of the phrase). But Jacob, who changed her name to Caresse Crosby, never did turn her creation into a profit. She sold the patent to The Warner Brothers Corset Company in Bridgeport, Conn., for the modern equivalent of $21,000.

Warner got the better end of the deal, but Jacob will always have the glory.

“I can’t say the brassiere will ever take as great a place in history as the steamboat,” she was once quoted as saying, “but I did invent it.”

Read a 1934 account of a fashion show of corset manufacturers, here in TIME’s archives: Snug Corsets

TIME Style

The War That Shaped Women’s Legs

Nylon Stockings
A woman puts on nylon stockings, circa 1940 Gamma-Keystone / Getty Images

The answer to 'a maiden's prayers,' nylon stockings first went on sale 75 years ago today

In early 1940, TIME reported that something strange was going on in Wilmington, Del.: every Wednesday, women would wait for the stores that sold lingerie to open and then rush in, ready to offer proof that they were Wilmington residents.

The reason for the rush? Wilmington was the home of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., the chemical company better known as DuPont, and was the only city in America where nylon stockings could be purchased, for between $1.15 and $1.35 a pair (and only by residents of Wilmington). By the end of each Wednesday, the stores would be nearly sold out. Even though silk stockings were cheaper — about $1 a pair, by TIME’s reckoning — the nylons sold out for months after their debut on this day 75 years ago, Oct. 24, 1939.

Shortly after the discovery of nylon — which DuPont still touts as the first-ever “true synthetic textile fiber” — was announced in 1938, a TIME reader summed up the reasons behind the excitement. In a letter printed in the June 5, 1939, issue, she captured the feeling that it was a patriotic duty to boycott items coming from Japan, which happened to be the nation’s main source of silk:

Sirs:

In TIME, May 8, under People you noted that General Motors’ president had presented Princess Ingrid of Denmark with a pair of synthetic silk stockings. Since the Japanese sacked Nanking in 1937, I have worn no silk at all—and the substituted lisle & rayon hosiery are hateful to me. Those synthetic silk stockings sound like the answer to a maiden’s prayer. Are they on the market as yet? If so, where, please? If not—who is making them? Surely not General Motors? Whoever is making them can probably use another experimenter to test their wearability as a new product—so if you can give me any information, I will be more than grateful.

MARION LEVINE New York City

> Du Pont’s synthetic silk, said to have the elasticity that rayon lacks, is a synthesis of coal, air and water called Nylon, or Fibre 66. Nylon is not yet on the market, but Du Pont has given three girls at the New York World’s Fair a pair of Nylon stockings apiece which they have been wearing steadily for the past three weeks. Celanese Corp. of America is also working on a synthetic silk fibre, as yet unnamed. —ED.

A follow-up in the letters section two weeks later noted that readers could take comfort in the fact that “the Nylon girls” at the World’s Fair did wash their stockings every night — and it turned out that the Nylon girls did more than demonstrate the new product. Though much was made of the idea that imports from Japan might be as much as halved when national sales of Nylon began in May of 1940, the marketing certainly didn’t hurt. When that day came, TIME reported that the 6,000-dozen pairs that had been sent to New York City stores were almost all gone at the end of the first day, despite a two-pairs-a-person limit, setting hosiery sales records for many stores.

In 1941, silk imports from Japan were discontinued altogether, affecting stocking-wearers among many others. Since production of nylon was still ramping up, women mobbed stores to get new nylons before supplies ran out. “In Denver, women bought $125,000 worth of stockings in two days—enough to provide every woman over 14 in Denver with a pair, at 92¢ apiece,” TIME reported that August.

But the craze couldn’t last too long: the next year, DuPont announced that their supplies of nylon would go to military purposes (like parachutes) rather than garment manufacturers; throughout the rest of the war, nylon hose was in short supply. When it did return to the market, so did silk from Japan and other synthetic materials, though nylon was still preferred by many. These days, however, all that fuss over stockings seems pretty silly: it doesn’t matter so much what the stockings are made of when lots of women don’t wear them at all.

TIME Style

The Bizarre History of Women’s Clothing Sizes

"All dresses shall consist only of cloth sufficient for the body basic and the trimming allowance. The trimming allowance for non-transparent materials shall be limited to 700 square inches for all sizes, in excess of that required for the basic," reads WPB (War Production Board) order L-85 as amended Library of Congress

A look back at the start of arbitrary sizing

In the world of women’s clothing, a 4 is a 2 is a 6. Everything is relative — unless, of course, you’re shopping in Brandy Melville’s teen-“friendly” SoHo store, where the only size is small. (“One-size” reads labels that don’t even bother with the usual “fits all” addendum.)

One of the most infuriating American pastimes occurs within the confines of a dressing room. But where do these seemingly arbitrary sizes come from? Sit down, unbutton your pants and enjoy a condensed briefing on women’s clothing measurements:

“True sizing standards didn’t develop until the 1940’s,” says Lynn Boorady, fashion and textile technology chair and associate professor at Buffalo State University. “Before then sizes for young ladies and children were all based on age — so a size 16 would be for a 16-year-old — and for women it was about bust measurement.”

Suffice it to say, assuming all 13-year-old girls and 36-in.-bust women were created equal proved problematic. “Mostly it was assumed that the women in the house would know how to sew,” Boorady says.

But consumers — and the booming catalog industry, which proliferated as Americans moved to more rural areas — were ready for change. In a 1939 article titled “No Boondoggling,” TIME explored the Department of Agriculture’s effort to standardize women’s clothes, an effort that had been inspired by the fact that U.S. manufacturers guessed it was costing them $10 million a year not to have set sizes. “Each subject — matron, maid, scrubwoman, show girl — will be [measured] in 59 different places,” the article read.

The data of 15,000 women was collected by Ruth O’Brien and William Shelton, and while the project was impressive — “especially considering they didn’t have computers to analyze the data,” Boorady says — it didn’t exactly solve the problem.

“It was flawed for many reasons,” agrees Parsons School of Fashion professor Beth Dincuff Charleston. “They didn’t really get a cross-section of American women… It was smaller than what the national average should be.”

Since the survey was done on a volunteer basis, it was largely made up of women of a lower socioeconomic status who needed the participation fee. It was also primarily white women. And the measurements still primarily relied on bust size, assuming women had an hourglass figure.

Then in the late 1940s, the Mail-Order Association of America, representing catalog businesses including Sears Roebuck, enlisted the help of the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) to reanalyze the sizing — often using the measurements of women who had served in the air force, some of the most fit people in the country — creating a 1958 standard that was largely arbitrary. Sizes ranged from 8 to 38 with height indications of tall (T), regular (R), and short (S), and a plus or minus sign when referring to girth.

There was no size zero, let alone the triple zeroes that sometimes are displayed in stores today.

As American girth increased, so did egos. And thus began the practice of vanity sizing. Over the decades, government size guidelines were heeded less and less, items of clothing began getting marked with lower numbers and eventually, in 1983, the Department of Commerce withdrew its commercial women’s clothing size standard altogether. A private organization called ASTM International began publishing its own sizing tables in 1995.

According to Slate:

In 1958, for example, a size 8 corresponded with a bust of 31 inches, a waist of 23.5 inches and a hip girth of 32.5 inches. In ASTM’s 2008 standards, a size 8 had increased by five to six inches in each of those three measurements, becoming the rough equivalent of a size 14 or 16 in 1958. We can see size inflation happening over shorter time spans as well; a size 2 in the 2011 ASTM standard falls between a 1995 standard size 4 and 6.

That means that ideals are changing too, Boorady adds: “We went from size 16 being a model in the ’40s to 12 in the ’60s. Marilyn Monroe was a 12 in the ’60s, which would now be a size 6.”

Now, stores often size based on their own preferences, which can make for frustrating online shopping experiences — modern-day catalog browsing — unless you already know your exact size.

But are we doomed to a future of sizing confusion? Maybe not. Parsons’ Dincuff Charleston notes that new technologies might be welcoming a new era of customized clothing. “Body measurements are so advanced now — with 3-D scanning, digital changing rooms — I think that people will have options for better fitting clothing,” she says. “And with 3-D printers, maybe you’ll be printing your own clothing.”

Read next: 6 Items You Should Wear To Achieve World Domination

TIME Style

‘Oscar’s Hairdo’: How to Create de la Renta’s Signature 1969 Updo

Society Ball New York
The society ball at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on Jan. 19, 1970. A woman wears "Oscar's Hairdo." Ron Frehm—AP

Get a TIME tutorial on the vintage style named after the late, great designer

Oscar de la Renta, the acclaimed fashion designer who died Monday at 82, will likely be best remembered for providing dresses for First Ladies and movie stars alike. In the late 1960s, however, he was also famous for something that was a lot less complicated than a couture gown: a messy hairdo.

The style — what might be called a “messy bun” in today’s YouTube hair tutorial lingo — was known in the U.S. as “Oscar’s hairdo” because, in November 1969, he had every model in his spring collection wear the style. The look, which TIME described as “skillfully composed to look as if it had been dragged through a thornbush backward” was alternately known as Belle Époque (because it resembled ‘dos of that era), the Onion (for British fashionistas), the Char (because it made you look like a charwoman, or cleaning lady), Concierge (in France) or Goulue (after the can-can dancer). LIFE Magazine even added it could be called “The Washerwoman.” It was originally conceived by Paris coiffeur Christophe Carita in 1968, perhaps inspired by Brigitte Bardot, and New York hairdresser Kenneth told TIME that its sex appeal may have come from the idea that if you could find the hairpin that’s holding it up “in a matter of seconds it will all be out on the pillow.”

Here’s how you create the look, as per TIME:

The front is pulled loosely up and back into a topknot. Underneath, along with the remainder of the hair, can generally be found several ounces of wool twine or a nylon mesh cushion, the better to swell the structure to second-head proportions. Hanging down at strategic intervals (at the temples, around the ears, and down the back of the neck), are separate, curling tendrils of hair. The whole thing may look like the work of a bird who flunked nest building.

Despite the many ironic names for the style, and this magazine’s implication that it was a ridiculous idea to pay to end up with messy hair — $17.50 at a Manhattan salon, a price that might cause today’s New Yorkers to faint in gratitude — Oscar’s Hairdo has proved to have staying power: Glamour has declared that the “coming-undone style” will be one of next spring’s hottest looks.

Read TIME’s review of Oscar de la Renta’s 1993 debut as the first American designer to head a Paris couture house, here in the archives: Mais Oui, Oscar!

TIME fashion

‘Death Becomes Her:’ 100 Years of Exquisite Mourning Dresses

Widow's wear was once a rigidly codified corner of the fashion world

“Widows are all much in demand,” sings the titular character in an English-language translation of The Merry Widow. “And if the poor things should be rich / Then there’s no end to the suitors at hand!”

And with so many gawkers gawking, a widow ought to be well dressed.

Mourning attire from 1815 to 1915 is the subject of a new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire,” opening Tuesday in New York. And though Harper’s Bazaar urged “nun-like simplicity” of widow’s weeds in 1868, many of the frocks on display are very grand, embellished with lace, fringe and beads.

The period’s dichotomy of dress reflects the opposing aspects of widowhood: on one hand, a widow’s two years of wearing black reflected her chaste sadness. On the other, it signaled that she was sexually experienced, maritally unattached and possibly endowed with a new fortune of her own.

Some also found all-black attire to be quite fetching. After Queen Victoria’s death, Consuelo Vanderbilt’s husband observed her in her mourning outfit and paid her a “rare compliment:” “If I die, I see you will not remain a widow long.”

Upper-class women like Vanderbilt could afford to have black gowns made in the contemporary fashion, reflecting current trends in all but color. If one could not afford a new wardrobe of mourning clothes, one might apply some advice from the Rolling Stones to their existing wardrobe and “Paint It Black” (or dye it, anyway).

Different expectations of attire were in place depending on what family member a woman lost — a husband’s death required the most, a parent or sibling’s a bit less. As they moved into later mourning periods, they might incorporate white or gray stripes, checks and accents and even mauve was considered acceptable.

The strict codification of mourning attire only eased up during and after World War I, when so many lost husbands, fathers and sons. As Vogue noted in 1918, “Women felt, and rightly, that the indulgence of personal grief, even to the extent of wearing mourning, was incompatible with their duty to themselves, to their country, and to the men who cheerfully laid down their lives.”

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