Bandeau

Bandeau. Band of fabric worn on the forehead in order to hold back the hair, and in sports to wipe away sweat. John McEnroe always wears one.

Bandeau. Band of fabric worn on the forehead in order to hold back the hair, and in sports to wipe away sweat. John McEnroe always wears one during his tennis matches, and hippies wore them during the 1960s. The hairdo of the same name, with a part in the middle and smooth bandeau on the sides covering the ears and gathered up at the back of the neck, was made famous by Cléo de Merode. Olivia De Havilland had the same hairdo when playing sweet Melanie in the film Gone With the Wind and also in the film The Heiress, which was based on the novel Washington Square by Henry James.

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Bandana

Bandana

Bandana. Cotton handkerchief in a simple flower pattern on a background of a bold color. The background is usually red, yellow, blue, or violet.

Bandana. Cotton handkerchief in a simple flower pattern on a background of a bold color. The background is usually red, yellow, blue, or violet. It is manufactured based on an ancient technique from India known as “tie-dyeing.” Adopted by the cowboys of the American West, it was worn on the face after being folded in a triangle in order to protect the nose from dust, or on the head, knotted at the back of the neck.

Bandana
A cowboy wearing a bandana.

During the 1960s, hippies made it a characteristic feature of their clothing. It was worn at all times and in all places, knotted at the back of the neck, by the American cult photographer Bruce Weber, by the mythical Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, and by Marco Pantani, the winner of the 1998 Giro d’Italia and Tour de France. It is very often worn in the islands of the Mediterranean. In particular we can find it in Pantelleria, brought back in fashion by Giorgio Armani and his guests.

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Ascot

Bandera

Bandera. Strong cotton twill in ivory or ecru, attributed to a probably mythical Monsù Bandera, but certainly manufactured in Piedmont.

Bandera. Strong cotton twill in ivory or ecru, attributed to a probably mythical Monsù Bandera, but certainly manufactured in Piedmont as early as 1600 and, at that time, used universally.

The ladies of the House of Savoy, awaiting the arrival from Paris of the second Royal Madame, Giovanna Battista di Savoia Nemours, reigning after the death of her husband Carlo Emanuele II, used that cotton twill to cover the chairs, armchairs, sofas, worn-out damasks, and velvets that could not be replaced because the treasury had been “impoverished by many wars….”.

The ladies did even more. Copying designs from the stuccoed walls and the painted flowers in the boudoir, they embroidered a bandera using a herringbone stitch, a stem stitch, and a chain-stitch, thus giving his name to this embroidery that is definitely of Piedmontese origin. Handed down from mother to daughter, and from one lady of the manor to another, the manufacture of this fabric was taught in schools. Moreover it was produced to order in workshops up until the 1930s.

It was later resumed by Consolata Pralormo who, finding herself in difficulty during the restoration of the bandera-embroidered canopy of a four-poster bed in her own castle, first sent some women of the village who knew plain embroidery to learn the bandera technique from the surviving experts. Then, in 1993, she opened a school in Turin. There more than 600 students learned the technique. Bandera also made a début in fashion. Consolata Pralormo created waistcoats. On this she were embroidered small bunches of flowers that seemed to come out of the pockets, as well as shopping bags and elegant clutch bags all in a flourish of small fruits and birds.

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Baguette

Baguette

Baguette. Mini-bag created by Fendi, named after the traditional French bread because it could also be carried leisurely under the arm.

Baguette. Mini-bag created by Fendi. It is named after the traditional French bread. In fact, it can also be carried leisurely under the arm, thanks to a handle 16″ long. It was presented for the first time in Spring 1996 and since then has become a real cult item.

Moreover it is collected by celebrities like Caroline of Monaco, Sharon Stone, Sophia Loren, Madonna, Elizabeth Hurley and Catherine Deneuve. Created by Silvia Venturini Fendi, 37 years old, the daughter of Anna. She was responsible for all the accessory lines at the firm. Furthermore the Baguette goes through a restyling process every season with the selection of new materials and decorations.

The choice has gone from the waterproof fabric Dreso to crocodile skin, with other variations on the theme such as hand-painted leather, cashmere, and flowered brocade copied from Botticelli’s painting Primavera and manufactured by the Fondazione Lisio of Florence by means of a technique dating back to 1770. The production of this cloth amounts to only 5 cm per day, and as the Baguette’s dimensions are approximately 10″ x 6″ without counting the handle, the Primavera model is a limited edition. Some of the models are one-of-a-kind pieces, decorated with real semi-precious stones, pearls and precious crystals. As a substitute, one can aspire to a multi-colored micro-bag that Fendi calls Croissant.

Baguette
The typical baguette by Fendi.

Fendi’s baguette recently

In 2007 Fendi celebrates ten years of its unmistakable Baguette bag with a collection called “Anniversary” where color in bright shades triumphs over everything. In particular, in addition to a special Baguette and a very exclusive limited edition of only forty pieces, for the occasion Silvia Venturini Fendi presented a special version of the Baguette bag, in white canvas, auctioned at the Amfar event presented by Sharon Stone during the Rome Film Fest.

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Balenciaga

Baggy

Baggy: oversized trousers, full of pockets and to be worn without a belt. They are back in fashion with the triumph of comfortable oversize.

Baggy. Style of oversize trousers with many pockets and meant to be worn without a belt. It came back in fashion with the triumph of the “comfortable oversize,” which had to allow freedom of movement and, above, all, be practical.

The Baggy are inspired by the most classic work clothes, as seen in the abundance of pockets, by the rehearsal clothing of dancers, for the freedom of movement they allow, and by the uniforms of prisoners, because they don’t need a belt. But, for recent generations, they are above all the symbol of a way of dressing that is rebellious and very trendy. Also influenced by techno-trend, they are worn very low on the hips in order to allow glimpses of underwear.

Baggy
P. Diddy.

Furthermore, the baggy trousers are the symbolic garment of hip-hop culture. Expression of a rebellious generation that, in the 2000s, used clothing as a means of expressing strong dissent against the consumer society.

The third millennium, in fact, drags worries about the Millennium bug and the new economy. The Internet spreads rapidly and allows for greater aggregation among young people. The distances are narrowing and the first social communities are growing (Facebook, 2004).

Furthermore are rappers like Eminem, Missy Elliott, 50 Cent, P. Diddy, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre to give new life to the musical genre.

Baggy
Emilio Tadini.

Furthermore, baggies are also worn by street gangs. Groups of young people in disarray who live in the slums of metropolitan cities. Generations of revolutionaries or graffiti artists who denounce a precarious social state through murals even outside the “hall of fame”.

Even the noble art of painting is influenced by the baggy pants.

Moreover the Milanese painter-writer Emilio Tadini, who was their forerunner since the 1970s, kept them alive.

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Jeans

Baiadera

Baiadera. Printed fabric with parallel and contrasting multicolored bands. Originally it was only in silk, then in other yarns.

Baiadera. A printed fabric with multi-color parallel and contrasting stripes. It was first manufactured only in silk, then later with other yarns such as cotton and rayon.

It is also the name of the traditional costume of an Indian temple dancer, which goes from the hips to the ground with large skirts open in front and wide draping trousers tied around the ankles.

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Baguette

Babouche

Babouche. Moroccan-style house of slippers founded in 2000 by Patrizio Miceli, Cyril Saulnier and Pierre Jacquet with the help of Marrakech’s shoemakers.

Babouche. Manufacturer of Morocco-style slippers. Founded in 2000 by Patrizio Miceli, Cyril Saulnier and Pierre Jacquet. These three men, with the help of the shoemakers of Marrakech, created these babouches by adjusting them to an urban, western style. Some of them, in fact, have a slight heel. They can be striped or with flowers, and made of leather, denim, snakeskin, silk, or tweed, even in a camouflage pattern.

Babouche
Gold babouche.

Sold in France in fifty points-of-sale, Babouche slippers have been quite successful, and are by now on sale in twelve other countries.

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Bally

Baby Doll

Baby Doll. A symbol of feminine seduction par excellence, worn by film stars since the 1950s, but also sketched on the silhouettes of cartoon heroines.

Baby Doll. A symbol of feminine seduction par excellence, worn by film stars since the 1950s, but also sketched on the silhouettes of cartoon heroines like Betty Boop.

Its name comes from the title of a 1956 film directed by Elia Kazan. In the movie, starring Carrol Baker in the role of a baby-wife wore a short nightgown and sucked her thumb. At the time the film caused a great scandal. It also provoked the terrible anger of Cardinal Spellman and stirring up the Legion of Decency.

Baby Doll
Baby doll by Intimissimi.

Short length and transparency were the key attributes of this garment born in the 1950s at a historical moment in which women again felt the desire to be attractive at any time of day. Half-way between underwear and sleepwear, of a charmingly childish shape, it consists of a sleeveless low-necked blouse short enough to allow a glimpse of panties decorated with bows and lace also used to embellish the neckline and hem of the blouse itself.

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Agent Provocateur

Astrakan

Astrakan. Fur made of Persian lamb. Can also be called astracan. Carlo Tivoli declared it to be “necessary, the non-superfluous fur”.

Astrakan. Fur made of Persian lamb. Can also be called astracan. On July 17th 1971, at a fashion show in Rome’s Grand Hotel, Carlo Tivoli, who had suddenly become famous for his red and blue Persian lamb furs, declared it to be “necessary, the non-superfluous fur”. And, to judge only by the fashions of the 1900s, which saw it as something important in every decade, though with many ups and downs and in different ways, one couldn’t say that he was wrong.

Astrakan
Carlo Tivoli.

Many faces and many names

Many faces and many names were given to this kind of fur. It was easy to work with and so chic.  Tivioli said that “it confers class and distinction as nothing else can. Additionally creates a strong sense of success because it can be shaped and is easy to use, and allows almost any kind of processing, just like a textile.”

If it took its French name from Astrakhan, the ancient capital of Turkestan. Turkestan is near present-day Bukhara. It has been called Persian lamb in English, Persianer in German, and persiano in Italian.

Origins of the name Astrakan

Astrakan
Astrakan or Karakul lamb.

But the original name of this lamb (Ovis aries platyura) was karakul. In the Uzbek language it meant black lake or black rose. Additionally, even before defining a breed of sheep, it was a lake in the Pamir region as well as a city in Uzbekistan located south-west of Bukhara. The origin of the karakul was here. Even if it might evoke for us the curled petals of a black rose or the mirror of a lake around which the sheep grazed, it was certainly valued since ancient times.

Astrakan in the past

The people of of Syria and Mesopotamia used it. Additionally karakul caps with feathers and precious stones were part of the wardrobe of the Shah of Persia and of the Russian princes. In the early 1900s, attempts were made to introduce it to lands far away from the place of origin. This meant the nearby regions of Afghanistan, Crimea, and Persia. However, these attempts in the U.S., Canada and Poland failed. Just as all the attempts by Germans in their colonies failed, with the exception of South-West Africa.

Under the burning heat of the southern sun in what is now Namibia, karakul found the ideal conditions of a dry climate and arid environment to grow even more beautiful and became famous under the name of Swakara. It name is from the initials of South West Africa.

Breitschwanz

Astrakan
Fur in Astrakan.

Splendid, with its light leather and silk-like moiré look, and fine, extremely fine, with its flat fleece, is the Breitschwanz, the aborted or stillborn or newborn lamb. In a variety of patterns, with plays of light and natural colors (black above all, but also white, grey, and various shades of brown), the astrakhan can be dyed in the most vivid colors and can be made into the most daring creations, either a witty pair of bell-bottom trousers or a romantic frock-coat all lace and open-work.

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Acne Studios

Attaché Case

Attaché Case. Rigid valise, usually used by diplomat, businessmen, couriers, or for quick plane trips as carry-on luggage.

Attaché Case. Rigid valise, usually used by diplomat, businessmen, couriers, or for quick plane trips as carry-on luggage. It was considered indestructible because before being sold, it had to survive the “chute-choc” test, being dropped and pounded.

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Neck bag