These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday Trivia

Spring brings thoughts of renewal, and for many of us, as we are beginning to take the lighter clothes and pack away the heavy winter ones, we think of .... fashion. So today is fashion, style, and things related there to. Prepare to be informed and wiser!

The term “haute couture” is French. Haute means “high” or “elegant.” Couture literally means “sewing,” but has come to indicate the business of designing, creating, and selling custom-made, high fashion women's clothes.

To be called a haute couture house, a business must belong to the Syndical Chamber for Haute Couture in Paris, which is regulated by the French Department of Industry. Members must employ 15 or more people and present their collections twice a year. Each presentation must include at least 35 separate outfits for day and evening wear.

The syndicate has about 18 members, including such fashion giants as Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, and Pierre Cardin. The houses generate more than $1 billion in annual sales and employ close to 5,000 people, including 2,200 seamstresses. Workers often specialize in one area, such as feathers, fabric, buttons, shoes, etc.

Made from scratch for each customer, haute couture clothing typically requires three fittings. It usually takes from 100 to 400 hours to make one dress, costing from $26,000 to over $100,000. A tailored suit starts at $16,000, an evening gown at $60,000.

Today only 2,000 women in the world buy couture clothes; 60% are American. Only 200 are regular customers. Often, designers will loan clothes to movie stars or other public figures for publicity.

During fashion's “golden age,” after World War II, some 15,000 women wore couture. Socialites such as the Duchess of Windsor, Babe Paley, and Gloria Guiness would order whole collections at a time.
So .......... What’s the most you’ve paid for an outfit? I'm not confessin'!

Long tops over leggings - This popular women's wear of the '80s was worn in the fifteenth century by men as a tunic over tights, like Robin Hood and his band of merry men.

Platform shoes - The ancient Romans wore platform shoes to keep their feet out of the mud and water. Platform shoes were revived in the '30s, the '70s, and again in the '90s in the U.S.

Shaved Heads - Both Egyptian women and men shaved their heads. Unlike today, the ancients covered their shaved heads with wigs.

Body Piercing - From earliest times, piercing the ears, nose, and bellybutton has been a superstitious practice: the holes were thought to release demons from the body. In Europe during the Renaissance, wearing one earring was the fashion.

Stick-on adornments - Known as beauty patches, stick-ons date back to ancient Rome. Women wore small patches of adhesive cloth cut into the shapes of stars, crescent moons, and hearts on their cheeks, foreheads, and throats. During the Middle Ages, beauty patches were used to cover smallpox scars.

Pea coats - Navy pea coats first appeared in Army-Navy stores after World War II. Since then they have had periodic revivals, including a period in the 1960s when they were worn by hippies. Pea coats resurfaced yet again in the winter of 1994.

What won't we do for the sake of beauty...
Ambergris - Waxy and flammable, this substance with a sweet, earthy scent comes from the intestines of whales and is used in perfume manufacturing. Both men and women used to mold ambergris into beads so they could be worn as aromatic necklaces. Nowadays, synthetic ambergris is made so that whales are not slaughtered for this smelly product.

Wax - Although wax may not seem like an unusual ingredient in beauty products, it was odd the way men and women of ancient Egypt used this substance. They would stick a cone of pomade, or scented ointment, on the top of their head, and over time, their body heat would melt the wax and give off a pleasant aroma.

Carmine - Cochineal bugs, common in places such as Peru, Chile, Mexico, and the Canary Islands, are crushed for the carminic acid they produce, which is used to make a bright red dye called carmine. Carmine is a common ingredient in lipsticks, rouges and eye shadows, but is often produced synthetically today.

Guanine - Although it doesn't sound too appealing, crystals of guanine, a compound made from fish scales and guano (the excrement of bats and sea birds), refract light in a lovely, pearly way. Next time you notice the shiny appearance of your shampoo or nail polish, you'll know what is actually giving it that luminous glow!

Chitosan - Ever wondered what helps keep the moisture in facial cleansers and creams? Well, the answer is chitin, a starch found in the skeletons of shrimp, crabs, and other shellfish. Not only does it keep the stuff in the tube damp, this substance keeps skin moisturized, too.

Civet - Closely related to the mongoose, the civet has sacs near its anus that create secretions harvested for perfume. However, getting this stuff is painful for civets, so animal rights activists have succeeded in reducing this practice. Fortunately, synthetic materials provide the same stuff without harming the animals.

Participants in the Miss Drumsticks contest in Yellville, Arkansas, better be ready to show some leg. Every October, contestants are judged on their legs ONLY to win the Miss Drumsticks title. Their legs and bodies are hidden behind a picture of a turkey so as to not influence the judges.

Star Trek fans will be pleased to know that there's a Miss Klingon Empire beauty pageant held every year in September at the Star Trek Convention at Dragon*Con in Atlanta. Contestants dress as a female Klingon character from any Star Trek TV series or movie, and they are judged on beauty, personality, and talent. Winners receive a trophy, a tiara, and a satin sash outlined in the official colors of the Klingon Empire, blue and green.

Guys and gals with skinny legs have the chance to be crowned Mr. or Mrs. Mosquito Legs in Clute, Texas. The pageant is part of the Great Texas Mosquito Festival, which is held in July. Anyone attending the festival is eligible to strut their skinny legs in short shorts for the honor of being named Mr. or Ms. Mosquito Legs.

In order to win the title of Miss Sweet Corn Queen, competitors better know how to butter their sweet corn. That is the task for participants to complete during the Miss Sweet Corn Queen pageant held each August in Mendota, Illinois. Local high-school girls compete for the title and a spot in the parade held at one of the largest harvest festivals in the Midwest.

Striptease dancers flock to the annual Miss Exotic World Pageant held at the Exotic World Burlesque Museum and Striptease Hall of Fame in Las Vegas every Memorial Day weekend. Ranging in age from 18 to 80, these burlesque beauties flirt with the judges with smiles, winks, and teases. The winner of the Miss Exotic World pageant gets a trophy and the right to be called the Miss America of Burlesque.

Humorist Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post once dubbed Battle Mountain, Nevada "the armpit of America" for its "lack of character and charm." Ever since, the residents of the town turned the joke into a celebration of "all things smelly" every August. Winners of the Armpit Beauty Pageant are determined by sweaty t-shirt contests, deodorant throws, and a "quick-draw" antiperspirant contest.

And a quote:

"Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time.
Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time."

~~Jean Cocteau, (1889-1963),
French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, boxing manager, playwright and filmmaker.



  1. very interesting trivia, I dont know how much I have spent on an outfit probably more then Mike would like lol

  2. do you copy and paste this into your blog post or retype the info? cuz if you are retyping it, you must have carpal tunnel from all the typing.

  3. Bobbie, the only time I bought a full outfit, it was purchased by my hub, and he never went light on that kind of spending. If I actually remembered, it would stun me now!

    (M)ary, C & P, baby, C & P!!!!!

  4. I could win some type of farm title..I have large calves..hahaha

  5. Well, MJ, isn't there a song about that? "I love big calves ..." Oh, wait, that was "I love big butts." Never mind.



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