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On returning stuff

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Recently, my roommate starred in a music video of one of her songs (it's great--I'll post it when it's edited). Even though I had been minimally involved in the bureaucracy of staged productions in college, I'd never seen a real stylist in action. I'd never seen a team of people so passionately engaged over which pair of patterned tights would go with which bracelets to effect the ideal tone. When I showed up on set to watch it all go down, I was impressed: yes there somehow was a vast, ineffable chasm of cool between a runner-up outfit and the winning one. These people were slick, and they were good!

Also, I never really considered the reality of a stylist's life: that you have to "pull" a bunch of outfits, and then inevitably return a bunch. Suddenly, I started noticing stylists everywhere—they were impeccably dressed and usually flagged by similarly styled acolytes, and they'd canvass the entire store like they were a SWAT team and this was not a smug Eastside boutique but an obvious front for black market chattel. I stepped wisely aside as they swooped in to indict or acquit an entire fleet of size 2s.

I've never been there for a returns session, but I'd imagine it has a corresponding urgency. The only thing I've ever returned was when I was nine, and supervised by my mother—a Christmas gift that was too small, and needed to be upgraded to be properly and gratefully displayed whenever that relative would next be encountered. What about you? Do you have any qualms about returning stuff you buy? Or any good stories if you've been the one behind the counter"¦

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iStock
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Design
Fabric Maps Highlight the Regional Embroidery Styles of South Asia
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iStock

Fashion in South Asia is known for its brightly-colored fabrics woven with beads and elaborate stitches. Vibrant, handcrafted garments are a common theme throughout Pakistan and India, but if you examine the areas closely you’ll find distinct patterns and styles that are unique to each region. One way to illustrate these nations’ regional textiles is by quilting them into maps.

These maps, spotted by My Modern Met, represent different regions using swaths of the materials that are native to them. In the below map of Pakistan, which comes from the Pakistani fashion company Generation, you can see examples of detailed embroidery techniques from 15 parts of the country.

The second map was published by the Indian clothing retailer Craftsvilla, and it highlights different woven and stitched patterns as well as many of the silks the country is famous for.

South Asia has been influencing global fashion trends for centuries. Paisley, for example, first appeared in India 2000 years ago before spreading to Europe in the 1700s. To learn more about India’s iconic textiles, read Craftsvilla’s breakdown of each style on their blog.

[h/t My Modern Met]

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HBO
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Pop Culture
IKEA Publishes Instructions for Turning Rugs Into Game of Thrones Capes
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HBO

Game of Thrones is one of the most expensive TV shows ever produced, but even the crew of the hit HBO series isn’t above using an humble IKEA hack behind the scenes. According to Mashable, the fur capes won by Jon Snow and other members of the Night’s Watch on the show are actually sheepskin rugs sold by the home goods chain.

The story behind the iconic garment was first revealed by head costume designer Michele Clapton at a presentation at Los Angeles’s Getty Museum in 2016. “[It’s] a bit of a trick,” she said at Designing the Middle Ages: The Costumes of GoT. “We take anything we can.”

Not one to dissuade customers from modifying its products, IKEA recently released a cape-making guide in the style of its visual furniture assembly instructions. To start you’ll need one of their Skold rugs, which can be bought online for $79. Using a pair of scissors cut a slit in the material and make a hole where your head will go. Slip it on and you’ll look ready for your Game of Thrones debut.

The costume team makes a few more changes to the rugs used on screen, like shaving them, adding leather straps, and waxing and “frosting” the fur to give it a weather-worn effect. Modern elements are used to make a variety of the medieval props used in Game of Thrones. The swords, for example, are made from aircraft aluminum, not steel. For more production design insights, check out these behind-the-scenes secrets of Game of Thrones weapons artists.

[h/t Mashable]

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