Originally published in the November 1995 issue of Internet World

Fashion: A despot who the wise ridicule and obey.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

Everyone makes a fashion statement, either by commission or omission. The Internet, meanwhile, has become very fashionable. So take this opportunity to blend both worlds. As the temperature goes down and the Paris and Milan runways heat up, let’s examine the world of fashion on the Internet.

Mailing Lists

Sometimes, as I took upon the new creations from the best haute couture houses in Paris, I am left to wonder whether they are art. The Wearable Art Clothing List, available by sending e-mail to the human administrator at [email protected], can only help in deciding.

But if new designs don’t suit you, you can always revel in the Vintage Clothing List. Its participants discuss clothing and costume jewelry of all ages, with an emphasis on the Victorian and ’60s eras. It is available by sending e-mail to [email protected].

The Fantasy Costume List, which is available by sending a message to [email protected] concentrates on the design of fantasy clothing from all eras: past, present, and future. While talk usually centers around the creation of special events costumes (such as the ones you would see at sci-fi conventions), it is the perfect mailing list for Halloween ideas.

If the historical aspect of clothing interests you, you might want to subscribe to the Historic Costume Mailing List (send a note to the administrator at [email protected]). This list concentrates on recreating period costume, from the Bronze age to the mid-20th Century. It is also the perfect place to get patterns and information about the kind of fabric used in a certain period.

Usenet News

For a more general look at the fashion scene, check out alf.fashion, where conversation runs from what are the latest styles to where to find the best outlets (and get clothes at discount prices).

If, however, you are more interested in the craft than in the finished product, move on to rec.crafts.textiles.sewing, where you can discuss the latest sewing technique and gloat over your latest sewing machine.

Because style changes often, there also is a newsgroup devoted to bringing you the latest in fashion news: clari.living.

The World Wide Web

To live fashion to the fullest you have to see images. As a result, the Web is the perfect medium for fashion sites. For example, the Fashion Page, available at http://www.charm.net/~jakec/, offers complete reviews of Fashion TV (a television show on the cable channel VH-1), shopping tips, and a look at the current season. And Fashion TV itself has a page at http://www.citytv.com/citytv/fashiontv.html with updates on the latest collections.

For a more serious look at fashion, the industry now has its own Web pages, appropriately named Fashion Net, at . The site offers Yellow Pages for the fashion industry and is starting to offer selected fashion links.

From Armani to Wrangler, the Fashion Mall at http://www.fashionmall.com covers a wide array of designer runways and allows users to question the experts on a wide range of fashion-related issues, from what to wear to how to wear it.

Also try N-Touch Magazine at . It offers a lot in the way of content, from beauty tips to what’s up on the London fashion runways.

Of course, what would fashion be without Italian designers? Someone else must have asked himself the same question, and the result was the Made in Italy Fashion Page, located at .

While the Italian designers are already known worldwide, upcoming ones are competing in the Golden Shears awards, the first Internet-based fashion-award show. Check it out at .

Looking at pictures is nice, but being able to buy what’s on them can be better. Spiegel, the upscale magazine, created Dot Spiegel at hitp://cybermart.com/Spiegel/ to sell some of its wares. It is clearly going for the blue jeans and T-shirt crowd, offering Converse All Star sneakers for $29.90 and Guess Jeans for $59, among other items.

But no Net fashion list would be complete without Net-related fashion. To fill this void, enter Joel Furr, who created a T-shirt after the famous Canter & Siegel Green Card incident. To peruse his latest achievements, point your browser toward the Net Stuff page at http://www.best.com/~jfurr/netstuff.html.

Joel’s success encouraged others to follow suit. Some of the best efforts are the Net Nation T-shirts, available at http://sashimi.wwa.com/-notime/mdd/www_shirt.html and the Net Threads T-shirts, which you can visually sample at http://www.mindspring.com/net-head/ctees.html.

If you like to dress economically, clothes from natural materials can be found at Wired Fashion at or Sculptro at hitp://www.xs4all.nl/~sculpfro/.