Schiaparelli's hand
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Elsa Schiaparelli was one of the world's leading fashion designers in the 1920s and ‘30s.

Born in Rome in 1890, she lived in London & NY and moved to Paris after her divorce, where she continued her work in the fashion industry. She soon began designing clothes of her own, and in 1927, opened her own business.

She befriended artists from the Surrealist movement and launched in 1934 a collection inspired by their ideals. She presented an embroidered design on a jacket taken from one of Jean Cocteau’s drawings. With her accessories the hand pattern was used in belts, bags, jackets & capes. She collaborated with Dali on fabric design and her interest in trompe l'oeil and the subjects of surrealism continued throughout her work until she closed her eponymous house in 1954. 

The hand was seen in many Surrealist artworks, such as those by Man Ray, and Schiaparelli used it in remarkable ways to accent her clothing designs. The wearer is literally embraced around the waist by the belt, an image echoed in the well-known jacket from the fall 1937 collection, featuring a woman with her golden sequined hair draped down one arm and her arm and hand wrapped across the body and waist, again embracing the wearer. The design was inspired by a drawing by Jean Cocteau for Schiaparelli. Millicent Rogers, the previous owner of this belt, was an avid supporter of Schiaparelli's work, especially her more unorthodox creations.

Schiaparelli died on November 13, 1973, in Paris, France. She has continued to be regarded as a giant in the fashion world. In 2012, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art featured her work, along with that of Italian designer Miuccia Prada, in a major exhibition.

HOLD MY HAND
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The hand expresses what the heart already knows.” – Samuel Mockbee

I don’t remember his nice words or the compliments he gave me, nor do I remember his flirty texts, his Instagram likes or the roses he sent. But, I do remember the first time his hand brushed my cheek, the first time our hands touched ; the first time he held my hand through my pain. I also remember the first time his hands yelled at me ; the first time his hands cheated on me ; and, the first time his hands stopped loving me. His hands, unlike his words, never deceived me. They were always truthful to what he was and what he felt.  

Truthfulness. What I aspire to every single day. And yet…

In today’s world, where texts have replaced hand-in-hand walks in the park and where social media “likes” have replaced kisses, there is little place for genuineness. How many times did we write a comforting message to a friend, instead of holding such friend’s hand? How many times have we looked at our phones while walking next to a person we love, instead of holding this person’s hand? How many times?

Not to say I haven’t myself been a victim of such a phenomenon, but I always wonder how different my life would be without a screen separating me, my life, and my feelings from reality. Is it that our generation has become lazier? Or is it that we are afraid to put ourselves out there and really feel. Yes, I do remember the time his hands stopped loving me. But, what I remember most is the time he combed my hair with his hands while I was laying on a hospital bed. And that, is worth everything. 

I know, I know, how hypocritical, you’re thinking. You’re even thinking “she probably has no time to meet her friends, has 13k followers on Instagram and likes every dog picture her best friend posts on Facebook”.  Yes, you’re maybe right (although I promise you, my Instagram is not full of selfies taken in front of my bathroom mirror). But, I never said I was an example to follow. I want to change.

I want to use my hands to share a handshake with a stranger, to cook a meal to a friend, to hold my newborn baby, to give food to the homeless, to play music to sick children, to go through his hair while watching a movie, to love him, all of him, to wipe his tears, to laugh, to cry, to live. I want my hands to express to the world what my heart already knows

by Diala Abouchalache

HANDS IN FASHION
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Hands seem to inevitably appear as elements of garments in the world of fashion. Either delicately as a highlight or hauntingly as in the maison martin margiela 1988 bustier constructed from gloves. the hand is a regular feature in many collections. 

Take jean-charles de castelbajac who has clearly been inspired by the hand the motif of hand silhouettes has been present throughout his career. he not only created his incredible hand-shaped bags but later dressed lady gaga for her 2013 video in which she wears a piece of his A/W 2011 collection. 

ANOTHER renOWNED AND INNOVATIVE BRAND, comME DES GARÇONS, HAS ALSO USED THE HAND AS A HIGHLIGHT. thE 2007 collection SHOWED 3D HANDS THAT APPEARED TO BE CLUTCHING THE CHESTS OF MODELS. 

THE FRENCH designer jACQUEMUS EMPLOYED HAND SHAPED silhouettes IN 2015, WHERE THEY ENCIRCLED THE necks AND covered THE BREASTS OF models. 

THE NEW  generation OF rising TALENTS SEEMS ALSO attracted BY HAND-SHAPED PATTERNS. XENIA LUCIE LAFFELY, YOUNG GRADUATE FROM geneva university OF ARTS AND design JUST RECENTLY CREATED A SMALL collection OF ACCESSORIES IN THE SHAPE OF THE HAND. SHE WAS PART OF THE finalist PARTICIPATING IN THE RED CROSS artistIC AWARD WHICH TOOK PLACE LAST MONTH.