This is one of two extant dresses bearing a Mme. Olympe label. Olympe Boisse was a French-born New Orleans dressmaker who regularly traveled to Paris to keep abreast of trend-setting French fashions of the time.such as those by Charles Frederick Worth and Emile Pingat. Mme. Olympe, as she was professionally known, initially was an importer of French goods but in time designed and sold her own garments. Her claim to fame is that, considering the date of this dress, she was one of the first, if not the first, American dressmakers to label her gowns, a practice intiated by Worth et Bobergh in the early 1860s.
THE DEADLY COST OF FASHION: RANA PLAZA
This devastating video, produced by Ismail Ferdous and Nathan Fitch, takes us through the deadly narrative of the Rana Plaza incident last year, the largest disaster in the history of the garment factory industry.
Ismail speaks candidly about photographing the collapse, and the effect our shopping choices have on garment industries in places like Bangladesh.
He poses a powerful and uncomfortable question:
It’s a question we’ve heard before and knowingly dismissed. I know I have. Turning a blind eye is easy, and eventually means we reach for bargains and cheap clothes without considering the bigger picture.
By boycotting certain shops and labels, we can stop being active participants in these incidents that are becoming frighteningly common. Okay…so we may not be directly solving the problem of exploitation yet, but being more aware and questioning our choices is definitely a first step.
I hope this five minute documentary can serve to educate us so we can make informed decisions about the labels we’re buying.
Watch, and share.
- A x
Evening Ensemble (Detail)
House of Worth
This is truly an attention getting gown with fantastical themes. The fantasy here is depicted in the bodice which imitates a peasant’s cotton blouse and is played against the traditional 18th century and neoclassical motifs in the skirt embroidery.