“This… stuff? Oh… ok. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don’t know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean. You’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St. Laurent, wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets? And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it’s sort of comical to me how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff.” Continue reading Editors Letter
By Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.
Most Oaxacan merchants, including craftspeople, seem to transact business differently from Americans and Canadians; except of course those who have had significant exposure to Western modes of marketing. The rug weavers of Teotitlán del Valle are no exception. Stock rotation and promoting clearance items do not appear to be normative practices, at least judging from my experience dealing with the town’s producers of hand-woven, wool rugs; dyed with natural substances which include pomegranate, pecan, mosses, seeds, añil (the plant yielding indigo), and of course cochinilla (or cochineal, the insect which infests the nopal cactus and is capable of being transformed into reds, oranges, purples and more). Continue reading Tapetes Priced to Sell in Teotitlán de Valle, Oaxaca
By Erin Vig
My husband is a very kind and generous man. He treats me well and has always made up for his long absences by buying me gifts in fabulous places like London, Frankfurt and Vienna. I have never expected or asked for the gifts and I appreciate the thought behind each and every one of them. I count my blessings that he thinks of me on his travels, even though I often tease that the shopping is just a good way to waste some time in airports. Continue reading The Purse
By Brooke Gazer
During the opening credits of the series “Downton Abbey”, Carson is seen measuring the distance of each place setting from the edge of the table. All that perfectly aligned silver, sparkling crystal and glistening china makes me think, “Those were the days” – at least if you lived “above stairs”. This kind of opulence might be out of place in Huatulco, but setting the table here can still demonstrate elegance and your own personal flair. Continue reading Dressing a Table
By Deborah Van Hoewyk
Remember “la Malinche”? The Nahua woman from the Isthmus who aided and abetted Hernán Cortés in the conquest of Mexico? She’s responsible for the word malinchismo, the preference for all things foreign—an apt characterization of the state of Mexicanfashion. Until very recently, it was definitely not chido (cool) to buy your clothes “hecho en Mexico.” Continue reading From Culture to Catwalk Couture: Roots and Ripoffs in Mexican Fashion
By Julie Etra
I must admit, and my friends and family will confirm, that I am not one for accessorizing. Somehow the genes of my stylish, fashion-conscious parents were not passed down to me and jewelry has never been important. So when I am at the beach at San Augustin (we rarely go to Maguey or Entrega) I don’t peruse the beach wraps, the temporary tattoos, or have my hair braided (ugh), and the girls and young women selling collares (not collars, although one might presume so) were for me initially uninteresting. These days, however, I can hardly resist and now possess four sets of bracelets, earrings, and necklaces, in various combinations and condition. Continue reading Shopping for Jewelry at the Beach
By Renee Ciringione Biernacki
“Naturism is a way of life in harmony with nature, characterized by the practice of communal nudity with the intention of encouraging self-respect, respect for others, and for the environment.” International Naturist Federation Continue reading Playa Zipolite: Undressed
By Kary Vannice
What little girl doesn’t love to rummage around in the bottom of her mother’s closet for those elusive “high fashion” high heels? As a young fashionista in the making, at the age of 5, one of my favorite things to do was play “dress up”. I’ll never forget the day I found my mother’s snakeskin heels! Continue reading Rattle Snakes and Scorpions
By Leigh Morrow
The $4.00 T-Shirt. The $7.00 jeans. These are examples of low cost clothing that are swimming in the closets of North Americans, obsessed with cheap chic. Fast fashion is the industry’s term for the speed at which trendy styles move from the catwalks to the stores. Continue reading Fast Fashion – Are We Wearing Out the World?
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