Lottie Vee

Mesopotamian Fashion

 

Cuneiform tablet
the exaltation of Inana

 

In the light of my creative collection entitled “Atonal Rhythm”, inspired on Ancient Mesopotamia, I couldn’t resist on writing about the fashion scene of the ancient Near East. Having studied cuneiform texts for some years, I want to share my passion for ancient civilisations and fashion with my online community.

 

 

Mesopotamia

The civilizations that developed in Mesopotamia near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers between 3000 and 300 B.C.E. developed impressive skills for fashioning clothing. The evidence of these civilizations’ clothing remains on sculptures, pottery, and in writings left on tablets and  in the Royal Tombs of Ur. It indicates that a thriving textile or fabric industry existed in the early civilizations of Mesopotamia, which included the Sumerians (3000–2000 B.C.E.), the Akkadians (2350–2218 B.C.E.), the Babylonians (1894–1595 B.C.E.), the Assyrians (1380–612 B.C.E.), and the Persians (550–330 B.C.E.). Textiles were used for trade purposes and were also given as gifts to kings and queens.

Fabrics

Although the earliest civilizations used animal skins to protect themselves from the environment, people soon learned how to pound wool and goat hair into felt or weave it into cloth. Wool was the most common fabric used to make clothing in Mesopotamia and utilised for practically every type of garment from cloaks to shoes.Looms for weaving fabric were in use as early as 3000 B.C.E. The skill of early weavers is extraordinary. Some fragments of linen discovered in royal tombs are almost as finely woven as modern-day linen fabric. Linen was a more luxurious fabric and was woven for the clothing of the wealthy, priests, and to adorn statues of gods. Other finely woven fabrics also became available for the wealthiest in Mesopotamia. Soft cotton appears in Assyria around 700 B.C.E., and silk became available later.

Elamite bitumen relief from Susa

 

Colours

Queen Puabi’s Headdress and Beaded Cape

The surviving evidence does not show the colours of clothing made in Mesopotamia, but archeologists, scientists who study past civilizations,have discovered letters that describe how dyes, appliqués, embroidery, and beads were used to beautify garments. As early as 1200 B.C.E. a type of shell known as Maoris produced a highly prized dye called Tyrian purple. Artifacts found in royal tombs provide evidence of fitted sewn garments, gold appliqués, and elaborately decorated clothes.

Civilizations

Sumerian man wearing a typical “kaunakes” skirt

The earliest evidence of civilization in Mesopotamia is identified as Sumerian. Early Sumerian men typically wore waist strings or small loincloths that provided barely any coverage. However, later the wraparound skirt was introduced, which hung to the knee or lower and was held up by a thick, rounded belt that tied in the back. These skirts were typically decorated with fringe or pieces of fabric cut in a petal shape. All classes of men seem to have worn these skirts. Early Sumerian women seem to have worn only a shawl wrapped around their bodies. These shawls were often decorated with simple border patterns or allover patterns. Later Sumerian women typically wore sewn outfits covered with tiers of fringe. These included skirts much like those worn by men and shawls or tops that were also fringed. By the end of Sumerian rule around 2000 B.C.E. both men and women wore skirts and shawls

There is less evidence about what men and women wore during Babylonian rule from 1894 to 1595 B.C.E. The scant evidence available suggests that Babylonians wore skirts and shawls very similar to the Sumerians, although some men during Babylonian rule did wear loin skirts with a hemline that slanted from the upper knee in the front to the calf in the back. Evidence does suggest that the fringe on garments became more elaborate during this time. One painting discovered shows a king wearing a skirt with tiered fringe that is alternately colored red, gray, gold, and white. No evidence of female attire exists except for pictures that depict goddesses. In these illustrations, goddesses are shown wearing sleeved dresses with fitted bodices, V necks, and straight skirts.

Old Babylonian seal depicting a goddess wearing the typical Syrian top hat stands on a platform

The Assyrians, who ruled from 1380 to 612 B.C.E., continued to wear fringed garments. Both men and women wrapped fringed shawls over their shoulders and around their waists to cover themselves from their shoulders to nearly their ankles. These were held in place by belts. Around 1000 B.C.E. Assyrian men began wearing belted knee-length tunics with short sleeves. Men of high status, such as kings and military officers, also wore woolen cloaks dyed blue, red, purple, or white. After the Assyrians were conquered in 612 B.C.E., the Persian Empire began to prosper and people in Mesopotamia adopted Persian trousers into their wardrobes.

 

Atonal Rhythm – study collection in creative fashion design

Lottie Vee proudly present a study collection based on the inspiring world of Ancient Mesopotamia, entitled “Atonal Rhythm”.

Creative fashion Lottie Vee - Atonal Rhythm - Study collection creative fashion - Syntra 2017

Atonal

Structural Anarchy. Wild Yarns sprout on classic wefts, floating effortlessly and without restraint…sometimes interwoven, procreating new structures.

Rhythm

Rhythmic sound fabrics. Fabrics fluttering in a coordinate way the Cartesian movments, generating an intense and clean sound. Nearly compulsive choruses identify with optical graphics, arraying thousands of stripes. Crossing lines, geometric forms, a peacock touch.

 


 

 

Six  models dancing on the oriental tones of “Le Trio Joubran”, will show the collection  @ Opera Ballet Vlaanderen (Frankrijklei, Antwerp), June 10th – 19h.

Tickets via:  Syntra AB, Posthofbrug, Berchem. 

VVK: € 12 (cat. 3-4), – € 15 (cat. 2) – € 18 (cat. 1)

ADK: €15 – €18 – €21

 

 

Celebrate in Style – Season’s Greetings

Wishing you …

a season of gladness,

a season of cheer  and to top it all off

a wonderful year


Enjoy the holidays and don’t forget to catch a glimpse on the wonderful illustrations of Koen Aelterman, who created our beautiful card inspired by my models during a recent photoshoot in Borgerhout, Antwerpen.

Are you interested to model for Lottie Vee in 2017? Please send me an email via the contact form and I’ll come back to you after the holiday season.


Lottie Vee – “Ik koop Belgisch”

Terwijl we volop aan de slag zijn met het finaliseren van een paar leuke kledingstukken, de nieuwe collectie voorbereiden en eveneens de webshop verder uitbouwen, maken we toch even tijd voor een korte blogpost.

Vanaf vandaag maakt het label “Lottie Vee” officieel deel uit van het “Ik koop Belgisch” label. Naast het creatieve proces en de vestiging van het bedrijf, zijn ook alle kledingstukken vervaardigd in België. Daarenboven is het merendeel van het door ons gebruikte textiel geproduceerd in de EU. Zo proberen we op onze manier eens steentje bij te dragen aan een meer “sustainable fashion”.

Wil je op de hoogte blijven van alle Lottie Vee nieuwtjes? Vergeet je dan niet in de schrijven en ontvang onze nieuwsbrief!

High Tea Blitz & Glitz

 

High Tea Blitz & Glitz

Dit was het thema van mijn mini-collectie die vorig jaar op een modeshow in zaal Trix te bewonderen viel.Twee creatieve silhouetten die opgebouwd zijn uit diverse materialen, behalve stof en/of textiel.

De eclectische Art Deco stijlbeweging met zijn rijke kleuren en geometrische motieven, vormt het fundament van mijn collectie. De vormentaal van deze kunststroming kan terugge
vonden worden in talrijke gebruiksvoorwerpen, zoals mijn grootmoeders theeservies waardoor ik van kindsbeen af gefascineerd was. Het ritueel van thee schenken en thee drinken bracht me bij het populaire Engelse  “high tea” ritueel. Het (industriële) proces van theeblaadje tot consumptie zit verweven in de geometrische/organische ontwerpen.

De oriëntaals aandoende combinatie van zwart met goudkleurige details creëert enerzijds een sfeer van glitter & glamour, maar anderzijds is het een terugblik naar een vervlogen tijd. De toenmalige avant-garde stroming schept vandaag een sfeer van saudade en melancholie. Het roept gelaagde emoties op, creëert een associatie met verval en schaduwen. Een donkere maar gesofisticeerde sfeer, met dramatische contrasten en dissonante elementen.

De concrete elementen die die inspiratie vormden voor bovenstaande ontwerpen, kan je via deze link terugvinden: Moodboard High Tea A3 – met uitzondering van de goudkleurige en zwarte glitters die niet in InDesign weergegeven konden worden.

Om het gevoel van saudade kracht bij te zetten, kozen we om onze modellen een masker op te zetten/voor te houden, geïnspireerd op de klassieke jaren ’20 Art Deco make-up. Voor de uitvoering kon ik gelukkig rekenen op Joke Berton/ Isra Visagie, met een prachtig resultaat als gevolg. Ook het haar van de modellen was helemaal in stijl, dankzij Annick van Maison Retro. Bedankt aan iedereen die zijn steentje bijdroeg om de silhouetten te concretiseren!

 

Our Gallery has opened!

Good news for the curious people out there! Our brand-new gallery is opened and online from today – the place to find out more about custom made dresses by Lottie Vee. You can find the link in the menu above or here.

In the themed folders, you find out all about the dress code of certain era’s as well as some of my more creative work. Some more pictures will be uploaded during the coming weeks, but let this not stop you from having a look.

Ps: don’t forget to use the slide-show option to browse through the pictures!

Inspired by Mme. Grès

“For a dress to survive from one era to the next, it must be marked with an extreme purity.” ~ Madame Grès (Alix Barton)

Mme Gres

A great rarity is the couturier who can remain true to a personal vision, ignoring outside influences. Rare still is the couturier who sustains such aesthetic integrity and clarify for more than half a century while carrying on a business of international proportion. Mme. Grès (nee Germaine Émilie Krebs) is such a couturière, who steadfastly refused to make clothes for Everywoman and concentrated instead on designing clothes for a select and extremely appreciative clientele. So timeless are here designs that clients treasure wearing a favourite Grès from even twenty years ago, flaunting their vintage.

She first gained attention by designing the costumes for Jean Giraudoux’s play The Trojan War Will Not Take Place, and quickly became a leading designer of the day, whose clients included everything from duchesses to movie stars (Grace Kelly, Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich are a few of her more famous clients). In 1942 she created the name Grès, a partial anagram of the first name of her husband at the time, Serge Czerefkov. The New York Times called her couture house “the most intellectual place in Europe to buy clothes”.

While Grès is most known for her draped Grecianesque gowns, she also showed talent in less formal designs. Her every day wear showed the same attention to detail and impeccable tailoring that her gowns did.

mme-gres-exposition

After visiting an exposition exposing over eighty of her garments in Musee Bourdelle in Paris in 2011, I got deeply interested in her technique of creating and manufacturing dresses. Therefore, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to be able to participated in a workshop at the Paris American Academy, where I was introduced to Grès’ draping by Madame Pico. She spent her life working for different couture houses: three years working for Balmain, 24 years working for Madame Grès and 11 years working for Nina Ricci.

We also had the opportunity to study some original unfinished couture pieces in order to study and analyse the used techniques. Madame Gres had two ways of doing pleats. As you can see, this was done by sewing along the whole edge of the pleat.The other way was to tack down just the edge of the pleat for something like a skirt.

mme-gres-foto-3

mme-gres-foto-2

An entire dress made using this technique took professional sewers an average of 300 hours to complete, and would cost about as much as a new car. Through pleating she reduced yards and yards of specially produced silk jersey to mere inches.  The leaf I created took me up to 6 hours of sewing…

mme-gres-leaf

More about Mme. Grès at:  * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madame_Grès

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