Tag Archives | Clothing

The Terrifying Beaked Plague Mask Of Historical Europe

plague mask

The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice on the disturbing origins of raven-nosed masks, which were worn by so-called “plague doctors” during times of mass death in Early Modern Europe:

The earliest textual description of the mask dates from the 17th century. Charles de Lorme, chief physician to Louis XIII and likely inventor behind the design, wrote:

The nose [is] half a foot long, shaped like a beak, filled with perfume with one [hole] on each side near the nostrils, but that can suffice to breathe and carry along the impression of the [herbs] enclosed further along in the beak.

A coherent germ theory did not emerge until the mid-19th century – de Lorme was trying to protect himself miasma, or poisonous vapours associated with decomposition and foul air.

It is difficult to know how ubiquitous the plague mask was in the 17th and 18th centuries. Most physicians fled the city during outbreaks, leaving the dying to fend for themselves.

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Gazing Into Police Culture Through Cop T-Shirts

Cop t-shirts: For when merely acting like an abusive asshole doesn’t send a strong enough message. Via the Huffington Post, Radley Balko runs down a litany of disturbing examples of custom t-shirts enjoyed by cops which hint at a problematic dynamic in law enforcement culture:

Earlier this week, an anonymous public defender sent Gothamist a photo of an NYPD warrant squad officer wearing a t-shirt with a pretty disturbing quote from Ernest Hemingway [below]. There have been a number of other incidents over the years in which cops have donned t-shirts that reflect a mentality somewhat less lofty than “protect and serve.”

The Village Voice reports that the quote was also printed on t-shirts worn by NYPD’s infamous Street Crimes Unit, which was disbanded after shooting unarmed immigrant Amadou Diallo 41 times in 1999 as Diallo reached for his wallet.

cop t-shirts

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Saudi Arabian Cleric Calls For Babies To Wear Burqas

I suppose the idea is that we are born sinners. The Telegraph reports:

A Saudi cleric’s declaration that babies should wear burkas to protect them from sexual attacks has drawn widespread criticism.

Sheikh Abdullah Daoud said all female newborns should wear a full face veil in an interview with an Islamic television station. He told al-Majd TV that wearing a burka would stop incidents of sexual attacks on babies, and tried to support his claim by quoting unnamed medical and security sources.

Sheikh Mohammad al-Jzlana, a former judge at the Saudi Board of Grievances, urged Muslims to ignore “unregulated” fatwas and said the ruling was “denigrating to Islam and Shariah and made Islam look bad”.

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Stealth Wear: Drone Proof Counter-Surveillance Fashions

Stock up for the future? Artist Adam Harvey, previously noted for his CV Dazzle project revealing how to style hair and makeup to avoid detection by facial recognition software, has developed a Stealth Wear clothing line, including a hoodie to evade drones’ infrared heat sensors:

Stealth Wear continues to explore the aesthetics of privacy and the potential for fashion to challenge authoritarian surveillance. Made in collaboration with NYC fashion designer Johanna Bloomfield, a suite of new designs tackle some of the most pressing and sophisticated forms of surveillance today. Including:

The anti-drone hoodie and anti-drone scarf. Garments designed to thwart thermal imaging, a technology used widely by UAVs.

The XX-shirt. A x-ray shielding print in the shape of a heart, that protects your heart from x-ray radiation

And the Off Pocket. An anti-phone accessory that allows you to instantly zero out your phone’s signal.

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A DIY Hat To Prevent Your Visibility On Cameras And Video

Via Quora, how, with a couple dollars and a few spare minutes, to make yourself invisible to Big Brother:

Most cameras (especially black and white security cameras) will see low levels of infrared light. This helps them video at dusk/dawn and in lower levels of light. To test this theory turn on your video camera and point your TV remote control at it. Change a few channels and you will see a pulse of light flash that the naked eye obviously can’t see.

With that said you can easily make an infrared hat with cheap $1 infrared LEDs stitched into the front of the hat, the more the better… Attach a 9 volt battery to the LEDS and bam you are now a giant LED flash light. People will see nothing out of the ordinary, but CCTV cameras will only see a large flash of infrared light coming from your head, hiding your face.

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Mayor Of Reykjavík Dons Balaclava And Dress In Support Of Pussy Riot

Has the “Pussy Riot ski mask” supplanted the Trayvon hoodie as the political protest fashion piece of the moment? Somehow I’m unable to envision NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg doing this. Reports the Iceland Review:

Reykjavík Mayor Jón Gnarr dressed as members of the Russian girl punk band Pussy Riot, who are currently on trial in Moscow for public protest, in this year’s Gay Pride parade. A banner with the words “Free Pussy Riot” hung from his float.

The Gay Pride parade is considered by many to be an opportunity for the general public and visitors to both show solidarity with the gay community and come together in celebration and support of human rights for all.

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A Non-Muslim Spends The Day In A Burqa

Looking for an easy way to make people treat you differently? Via Vice, Annette Lamothe-Ramos conducts a social experiment by wearing Saudi-style burqa in New York City for a day:

I figured that the only way I’d really know what life was like for women who have been consigned to wear the least-revealing piece of clothing of all time was to dress up as one of them.

We hopped on a train uptown to pretend we were tourists. No one really paid much attention to me except the woman on the bench behind me who was sitting with her children. She dragged them to the other end of the platform when she saw me step onto the train. What a bitch!

When we got out of the subway it started to rain really hard. Lucky for me, I didn’t need an umbrella—one of the few pluses of wearing a burqa.

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Why Couldn’t Congressman Bobby Rush Wear a Hoodie in Congress? (Video)

Bobby Rush HoodieThe ONLY person to beat Barack Obama in an election. Reports Peter Grier in Christian Science Monitor:

Hoodies on the House floor are verboten, apparently. Rep. Bobby Rush (D) of Illinois was scolded and escorted from the chamber of the House of Representatives on Wednesday morning, when he attempted to give a speech on the need for a full investigation of the Trayvon Martin shooting while wearing sunglasses and a gray hooded sweat shirt. “Racial profiling has to stop, Mr. Speaker,” said Representative Rush while doffing his suit jacket to reveal his hoodie garb. “Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.”

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Mushroom Death Suit

5934717321_bb03e77a6d_bSomeday the lifeless bodies of all of us may be laid into the cold earth zipped snugly in the outfit at right. Artist Jae Rhim Lee designed her mushroom burial suit to address how we part with the dead — “By trying to preserve the body we poison the living.” The garment is embedded with spores of toxin-cleaning, flesh-eating mushrooms that will consume the corpse wearing it, leaving the earth cleansed and renewed as we make our exit:

The first prototype of the Infinity Burial Suit is a body suit embroidered with thread infused with mushroom spores. The embroidery pattern resembles the dendritic growth of mushroom mycelium. The Suit is accompanied by an Alternative Embalming Fluid, a liquid spore slurry, and Decompiculture Makeup, a two-part makeup consisting of a mixture of dry mineral makeup and dried mushroom spores and a separate liquid culture medium. Combining the two parts and applying them to the body activates the mushroom spores to develop and grow.

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