Let us Start
“The secret of getting started is breaking
your complex, overwhelming tasks into
small manageable tasks, and then
starting on the first one.”
– Mark Twain“The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain
Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear, or accessories. Fashion references to anything that is the current trend in look and dress up of a person. The more technical term, costume, has become so linked in the public eye with the term “fashion” that the more general term “costume” has in popular use mostly been relegated to special senses like fancy dress or masquerade wear, while the term “fashion” means clothing generally, and the study of it. For a broad cross-cultural look at clothing and its place in society, refer to the entries for clothing, costume, and fabrics. The remainder of this article deals with clothing fashions in the Western world.
Early Western travelers, whether to Persia, Turkey or China frequently remark on the absence of changes in fashion there, and observers from these other cultures comment on the unseemly pace of Western fashion, which many felt suggested an instability and lack of order in Western culture. The Japanese Shogun’s secretary boasted (not completely accurately) to a Spanish visitor in 1609 that Japanese clothing had not changed in over a thousand years. However in Ming China, for example, there is considerable evidence for rapidly changing fashions in Chinese clothing. Changes in costume often took place at times of economic or social change (such as in ancient Rome and the medieval Caliphate), but then a long period without major changes followed. This occurred in Moorish Spain during the 8th century, when the famous musician Ziryab introduced sophisticated clothing-styles based on seasonal and daily timings from his native Baghdad and his own inspiration to Córdoba in Al-Andalus. Similar changes in fashion occurred in the Middle East from the 11th century, following the arrival of the Turks, who introduced clothing styles from Central Asia and the Far East.
The beginnings of the habit in Europe of continual and increasingly rapid change in clothing styles can be fairly reliably dated to the middle of the 14th century, to which historians including James Laver and Fernand Braudel date the start of Western fashion in clothing. The most dramatic manifestation was a sudden drastic shortening and tightening of the male over-garment, from calf-length to barely covering the buttocks, sometimes accompanied with stuffing on the chest to look bigger. This created the distinctive Western male outline of a tailored top worn over leggings or trousers.
Marie Antoinette was a fashion icon
The pace of change accelerated considerably in the following century, and women and men’s fashion, especially in the dressing and adorning of the hair, became equally complex and changing. Art historians are therefore able to use fashion in dating images with increasing confidence and precision, often within five years in the case of 15th century images. Initially changes in fashion led to a fragmentation of what had previously been very similar styles of dressing across the upper classes of Europe, and the development of distinctive national styles. These remained very different until a counter-movement in the 17th to 18th centuries imposed similar styles once again, mostly originating from Ancien Régime France. Though the rich usually led fashion, the increasing affluence of early modern Europe led to the bourgeoisie and even peasants following trends at a distance sometimes uncomfortably close for the elites—a factor Braudel regards as one of the main motors of changing fashion.
Albrecht Dürer’s drawing contrasts a well turned out bourgeoise from Nuremberg (left) with her counterpart from Venice. The Venetian lady’s high chopines make her taller
Ten 16th century portraits of German or Italian gentlemen may show ten entirely different hats, and at this period national differences were at their most pronounced, as Albrecht Dürer recorded in his actual or composite contrast of Nuremberg and Venetian fashions at the close of the 15th century (illustration, right). The “Spanish style” of the end of the century began the move back to synchronicity among upper-class Europeans, and after a struggle in the mid 17th century, French styles decisively took over leadership, a process completed in the 18th century.
Though colors and patterns of textiles changed from year to year, the cut of a gentleman’s coat and the length of his waistcoat, or the pattern to which a lady’s dress was cut changed more slowly. Men’s fashions largely derived from military models, and changes in a European male silhouette are galvanized in theatres of European war, where gentleman officers had opportunities to make notes of foreign styles: an example is the “Steinkirk” cravat or necktie.
The pace of change picked up in the 1780s with the increased publication of French engravings that showed the latest Paris styles; though there had been distribution of dressed dolls from France as patterns since the 16th century, and Abraham Bosse had produced engravings of fashion from the 1620s. By 1800, all Western Europeans were dressing alike (or thought they were): local variation became first a sign of provincial culture, and then a badge of the conservative peasant.
Although tailors and dressmakers were no doubt responsible for many innovations before, and the textile industry certainly led many trends, the history of fashion design is normally takento date from 1858, when the English-born Charles Frederick Worth opened the first true haute couture house in Paris. Since then the professional designer has become a progressively more dominant figure, despite the origins of many fashions in street fashion. For women the flapper styles of the 1920s marked the most major alteration in styles for several centuries, with a drastic shortening of skirt lengths, and much looser-fitting clothes; with occasional revivals of long skirts forms of the shorter length have remained dominant ever since. The four major current fashion capitals are acknowledged to be Milan, New York City, Paris, and London. Fashion weeks are held in these cities, where designers exhibit their new clothing collections to audiences, and which are all headquarters to the greatest fashion companies and are renowned for their major influence on global fashion.
Modern Westerners have a wide choice available in the selection of their clothes. What a person chooses to wear can reflect that person’s personality or likes. When people who have cultural status start to wear new or different clothes a fashion trend may start. People who like or respect them may start to wear clothes of a similar style.
Fashions may vary considerably within a society according to age, social class, generation, occupation, and geography as well as over time. If, for example, an older person dresses according to the fashion of young people, he or she may look ridiculous in the eyes of both young and older people. The terms fashionista and fashion victim refer to someone who slavishly follows current fashions.
One can regard the system of sporting various fashions as a fashion language incorporating various fashion statements using a grammar of fashion. (Compare some of the work of Roland Barthes.)
(source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fashion)Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear, or accessories. Fashion references to anything that is the current trend in look and dress up of a person. The more technical term, costume, has become so linked in the public eye with the term “fashion” that the more ...
Param Vir Chakra –India’s highest gallantry award.
Ask any aspirant, serving or a retired personal of Indian Defence Services, these three words “Param Veer Chakra” mean more than their life to them. Many who have attained Martyrdom while fighting for the nation with extreme courage have been honoured by this medal, for every other young man who stands at the Line of Action it is the ultimate dream & honour.Have you ever thought about what does the design on that medal mean or who designed it?? Let me tell you about it.
Savitri Khanolkar is the designer of India’s highest gallantry award, the Param Vir Chakra.
Savitri Khanolkar, born Eve Yvonne Maday de Maros, on July 20, 1913 – 1990 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, to a Hungarian father André de Maday, professor of sociology at Geneva University and President of the Société de Sociologie de Genève, and Russian mother Marthe Hentzelt, who taught at the Institut Jean-Jacques Rousseau. She later was known as Savitri Bai, the name she was given after she married an Indian, became a Hindu and took Indian nationality.
She spent her early childhood in Geneva, where she grew to be a compassionate girl with a love of nature and the outdoors. In 1929, when she was still a teenager, she met Vikram Khanolkar, who born in Marathi family, a young Indian Army officer undergoing training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in the United Kingdom, who was holidaying in Europe. Although he was many years older than she was, Eve fell in love with him. Her father however, did not agree to let her go away to a faraway country like India but Eve was a determined young woman, and her love was strong. She followed Vikram to India a few years later, and in 1932, she married him at Mumbai. She began her new life adapting to Indian culture as Mrs. Savitribai Khanolkar.
Despite coming (or maybe because of coming) from a European background, Savitri Bai identified so closely with Indian traditions and ideals, that her integration into Indian society was smooth and effortless. She was a vegetarian, learnt to speak fluent Marathi, Sanskrit and Hindi and learnt Indian music, dance and painting. She always claimed that she had been “born in Europe by mistake” as she was Indian soul, & woe unto him who dared to call her a “foreigner”! She was so fascinated with Hindu mythology that she read extensively from Hindu scriptures and had a deep knowledge of India’s ancient history and legends. It was this knowledge that led Major General Hira Lal Atal, the creator of the Param Vir Chakra, to ask for Savitri Bai’s help in designing a medal that would truly symbolize the highest bravery.
Soon after Indian independence, she was asked by the Adjutant General Major General Hira Lal Atal to design India’s highest award for bravery in combat, the Param Vir Chakra.
Major General Hira Lal Atal was given the responsibility for creating and naming independent India’s new military decorations. His reasons for choosing Mrs.Khanolkar were her deep and intimate knowledge of Indian mythology, Sanskrit and Vedas, which he hoped would give the design a truly Indian ethos. She was a painter and an artist, and wife of Captain (later Major General) Vikram Ramji Khanolkar, a serving officer with the Sikh Regiment, at the time of the request.
Coincidentally, the first PVC was awarded to her elder daughter’s brother-in-law Major Som Nath Sharma from 4 Kumaon Regiment who was posthumously awarded for his valour of November 3, 1947 during the 1947-48 Indo-Pak war in Kashmir.
The design of Param Vir Chakra :
Savitribai thought of the sage Dadhichi – a vedic rishi who made the ultimate sacrifice to the Gods. He gave up his body so that the Gods could fashion a deadly weapon – a Vajra, or thunderbolt, from his thigh bone. Savitribai gave Major General Hira Lal Atal, the design of the double Vajra, common in Tibet. Its a myth that the medal also carries images of the fearless warrior king Shivaji’s sword Bhavani but this is a popular perpetuated myth. The Indian General Service Medal (1947) which contained the Bhavani sword was withdrawn later.
The medal itself is a small one. It is cast in bronze, and has a radius of 13/8 inch. In the centre, on a raised circle, is the state emblem, surrounded by four replicas of Indra’s Vajra, flanked by the sword of Shivaji. The decoration is suspended from a straight swiveling suspension bar, and is held by a 32 mm purple ribbon.
Savitri Bai had always done a lot a social work which she continued in her later years, working with soldiers and their families and refugees who had been displaced during the Partition. After her husband’s death in 1952, she found refuge in spirituality, and retired to the Ramakrishna Math. She wrote a book on the Saints of Maharashtra that is popular even today.
Mrs. Savitri Bai Khanolkar died in 1990, but her memory lives on in the great award that she designed. It is fitting that a remarkable lady who truly loved India and was intensely proud of being an Indian designed an award that is given to soldiers who love their country so much that they are ready to die for it.
(Contributed by : Amr on 29.09.2012)Param Vir Chakra –India’s highest gallantry award. Ask any aspirant, serving or a retired personal of Indian Defence Services, these three words “Param Veer Chakra” mean more than their life to them. Many who have attained Martyrdom while fighting for the nation with extreme courage have been honoured by this medal, for every other young ...
NEW DELHI: The aliens have landed. They look strange, talk gibberish, and eat just about anything. And no, they are not Chinese.
These strange exotic creatures landed in the middle of Delhi’s India Gate and demanded to be taken to the king. Some folks immediately tried to book an appointment with Shah Rukh Khan but Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi namumkin hain.
One citizen approached the aliens and informed him that we only have a Queen of Italian origin. Perhaps they could speak to our PM provided they speak in sign language as our PM is a man of few words. Also, he is not fluent in Alien.
The aliens agreed and an entourage headed for the PM’s residence. It took them a while to reach due to traffic jams as some minister’s convoy was passing through. The PM welcomed them with folded hands and immediately asked them to push some FDI into the country.
The government tried to accord them a red carpet welcome but the plan was scrapped due to opposition from Mamata Banerjee who doesn’t like the colour red.
On being asked for the purpose of their visit, the alien spokesperson (or spokesalien if you prefer) said their choice of food was coal and they had heard the resource was freely available in India.
The PM appeared shocked at first. But showing remarkable composure and presence of mind he handled it the only way he could. He ordered an auction.
Meanwhile, the aliens were taken on a tour of the country. Like all foreign visitors, they made a beeline for the slums and snapped lots of pictures. One of them even wanted to book a plot in the area. Another person wanted to know what Rahul Gandhi was doing there.
They were also shown statues of Behen Mayawati. They recoiled with horror and some of them shielded their children’s eyes and later lodged a protest claiming India had violated the Geneva convention by subjecting them to such cruelty.
The leader of the entourage also had a meeting with the opposition leaders. He is said to have marveled at the posture of the species despite missing a spine.
They concluded the visit by praising Indian ministers’ love for coal and cash and showed a desire to replicate the famed Indian ability to reproduce at such an astounding rate.
(Contributed by : SN on 04.10.2012)NEW DELHI: The aliens have landed. They look strange, talk gibberish, and eat just about anything. And no, they are not Chinese. These strange exotic creatures landed in the middle of Delhi’s India Gate and demanded to be taken to the king. Some folks immediately tried to book an appointment with Shah Rukh Khan but Don ...