Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Clothing’

Fashion in literature: When Proust is your advertisement

March 30, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Clothing, History 1 Comment →

Photographs by Pari Dukovic

A number of years ago, a young painting conservator entered a forgotten storeroom in a fifteenth-century Florentine villa and stumbled on a pile of Louis Vuitton steamer trunks. She opened them and discovered a collection of exquisite dresses, the kind usually seen only in movies, or inside protective vitrines in museums. Closer inspection revealed silk labels, hand-woven with the name “Callot Soeurs.”

In the second volume of “Remembrance of Things Past,” the Narrator asks his beloved, Albertine, “Is there a vast difference between a Callot dress and one from any ordinary shop?” Her response: “Why, an enormous difference, my little man!”

A “Callot dress” is one that was made by the Paris haute-couture house Callot Soeurs—Callot Sisters. The sisters are not much remembered now: there has been no monograph on their work, and no retrospective. Yet, not long after Callot Soeurs opened their atelier, in 1895, they became one of the great names in Belle Époque fashion. Madeleine Vionnet, one of the most influential and radical designers of the twentieth century, was the sisters’ head seamstress. She ranked them higher than the self-proclaimed King of Fashion, Paul Poiret. “Without the example of the Callot Soeurs,” Vionnet said, “I would have continued to make Fords. It is because of them that I have been able to make Rolls-Royces.”

Read 21 Dresses in the New Yorker.


The exact quote from Proust:

proust on callot

Kingsman: Mr. Darcy goes berserk and we wonder what took him so long

February 21, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Clothing, Movies 3 Comments →

Eyewear maketh man: Colin Firth and Taron Egerton in Kingsman.

Kingsman: The Secret Service, Matthew Vaughn’s adaptation of the Mark Millar comics, is the most fun we’ve had at the movies this year so far, but then we enjoy onscreen violence because it saves us the mess of perpetrating our own. We are totally the market that thinks Scanners needed more cranial explosions.

Colin Firth is even better-tailored than usual as a member of a super-secret intelligence agency operating out of Savile Row, and Taron Egerton as his downmarket protege is adorable. Initially we were disturbed by the seeming right-wing reactionary thrust of the movie—that it falls to the upper classes to save the world—but this is turned upside-down before long.

Millar’s comics oeuvre resembles a hyperactive 11-year-old’s rewrites of superhero comics (Kick-Ass), and Kingsman is for those who wish the James Bond flicks had more violence. As in Wanted and the Ultimate Avengers, those in power are overthrown and hands that feed are inevitably bitten.

Firth is always charming, even when he’s committing mass murder, and the action sequences are clever and funny. In fact the movie is so kinetic, we regretted having seen it in 4DX because the moving chairs are redundant. Critics are up in arms over a scene in which a woman offers an agent sex if he saves the world—how is this different from every action movie? Oh, and eyeglasses. Rrrrrr, eyeglasses.

On the indigenous-artisanal-organic beat: Limited edition handwoven abel Iloko bags

January 26, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing 1 Comment →


“Limited” meaning there are only 3-6 pieces in existence, 3-5 of which are available because we got one of each nyahaha.


Probability of running into someone with the same bag: Extremely low.


Designed by the BLB to withstand any amount of abuse.


Prices determined by the day’s algorithm, apparently. For inquiries, post a message in Comments.

This week in glasses

January 21, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing No Comments →


The not-understated frames are from Moira’s trip to Bangkok last year. Prescription frames by Nella Sarabia at UP Shopping Center. The hair is uncharacteristically well-behaved because Chus just cut it.

Get your handwoven textiles at the Likhang Habi market fair, 24-26 October at Glorietta

October 19, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing, Design, Shopping No Comments →


Indigenous weaving traditions that have survived the centuries (and the onslaught of cheap factory-produced synthetic textiles that will turn into trapo faster than a naive “idealist” politician) are showcased at the fourth Likhang Habi Bazaar on October 24 to 26 at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati.

drogon abel
Our cats love abel iloko and will spend hours rubbing their faces on it. Exfoliating?

If you’re attending the Philippine LitFest at Raffles, you can just cross the street.


The bazaar will feature fabrics from all over the archipelago, including Inabel from the Ilocos region and La Union, Cordillera weaves from Banaue and Benguet, T’nalak from Lake Sebu, Piña from Aklan and Palawan, Hablon and Patadyong from Iloilo, Mangyan textiles and baskets from Mindoro, Yakan weave from Basilan, and mats from Samar and Bukidnon.


These weaves have been made into clothes, bags, tablecloths, bedcovers,lampshades, scarves and other wearables.

more more banig

Likhang Habi is organized by Habi, the Philippine Textile Council. This year’s bazaar will feature a dazzling array of banig, as well as fabrics from Myanmar.


For information and inquiries, contact Eleanor Moldez,, or post your question in Comments and we’ll forward it to the organizers.

drogon banig
Drogon on a banig

The original vampire, the height of charm, and the emotional support animal con

October 17, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats, Clothing, Current Events 3 Comments →

Links we like:

Lord Byron: Not just Byronic, vampiric

John Polidori was the personal physician to George Gordon, Lord Byron. Byron was often horrible to him. Polidori felt his famous client was sucking the life out of him, so he wrote The Vampyre in 1819 (Dracula by Bram Stoker was published in 1897). Read The Poet, The Physician, and The Birth of the Modern Vampire.

In Italy, people who wear glasses are called quattr’occhi (four eyes). Angelo Flaccavento finds glass-wearing individuals to be the height of elegance and charm. We don’t know how true that is, but we like to think so. Thanks to Lali for the link.


In America, people can take their pets everywhere by flashing a card claiming that they are “emotional support animals”. This is an insult to our cats, who regard us as their emotional support animal. Read the hilarious investigative report by Patricia Marx. In the photo above, she tests the emotional support card by taking an alpaca to the drugstore.