ESOTERIC (?) KNOWLEDGE USEFUL IN STUDYING FASHION

by admin on August 29, 2011

clothing brand XCVI

aventures des toiles (esme's french skirt)

esme is taking a new fashion class at the local junior college–introduction to fashion.  she should have taken this BEFORE taking history of fashion, but it was not offered at the time.  she hopes to review her fashion history knowledge, as well as learn about marketing, merchandising, production, and all sorts of topics not covered under history.

esme had to miss the first class (mr. noir was having a tooth pulled and needed nursing care).  the second class was rather an eye-opener.  most of the kids appear to be freshman, and esme is certainly the only gray-hair in the bunch.  even the teacher is nowhere near 30.  part of the class was structured by the students taking turns reading out loud from the text (FASHION:  FROM CONCEPT TO CONSUMER, by gini stephens frings).  esme rather enjoys reading out loud; nevertheless she found this approach surprising.

another thing esme found surprising is that few of the students were able to read roman numerals (as in louis iv).  esme started trying to recall when she had learned this skill, but was unable to place it.  by contrast, she remembers distinctly learning to swim the breast stroke at the hands of her handsome hawaiin swimming teacher.  esme rushed to text christophe to see if he had learned this skill (translating roman numerals that is) and was very relieved to learn that he had.  however, he opined something to the effect of oh nobody uses roman numerals these days.  hmmm….how do they read watches and clocks? (they don’t).  what about the popes?  french and british royalty??

speaking of french, not surprisingly i suppose, it turns out that some knowledge of french is also useful in studying fashion, as many of the names and terms are in french.  i know that spanish is considered much more useful (especially in california), but let’s hear it for the old-fashioned idea that an educated person should have a basic knowledge of the french language!

esme was discussing all of the above with mr. noir at dinner that night when she realized that she herself was vague as to the translation of roman numerals after xx.  what about those c’s, l’s, m’s and d’s?  really, you can see how mr. noir did well in medical school, as he knew all of that stuff:  (c=100, as in century…well esme knew that); (l=50); (d=500); (m=1000, as in mille).  this reminded esme of learning to swim:  she learned free-style, back, and breast, but stopped just short of learning the butterfly (a stroke you can pretty much forget about learning after the age of 12).

btw, i hope you are all aware that there is a clothing brand whose name is a roman numeral:  XCVI (or 96).  pacific rim, stephan cori, b real and a few other boutiques carry this brand.  as to what it means, gotta google that one!

smugly,

esme

 

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