Perception---you have that power.

There is purpose in design. There is information in a setting. There is truth in your environment. Fake or real, it's there.

All images are copyrighted by Heidi Hoffer unless otherwise indicated. Your courtesy in using my photographs must include crediting me as the photographer. You must tell me when and where you've used them and send the link to me showing your use of them.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Colored Money: An Element of Culture

Mixtures or cross-cultural authentication occur when one culture uses elements of another culture’s such as dress. One culture uses elements of another culture’s dress, but does not wholesale start wearing the other’s dress per se. Usually the original is changed to reflect the second culture’s values etc. The user has inadvertently “authenticated” the foreign mode of dress by selecting it or part of it for transfer to their culture. Take a look in the book, The Visible Self: Global Perspectives on Dress, Culture, and Society by Joanne B. Eischer, Sandra Lee Evenson, and Hazel A. Lutz, or the book, Survey of Historic Costume by Phyllis G. Tortora and Keith Eubank. 

This “authentication” through use holds true for all history of décor, dress, architecture and more. For example, the United States now uses colored paper money.

The $20.00 has green and peach on both sides of President Jackson’s portrait. Where the United States used to be well known for its single color bills (green-backs), our $5, $10, $20, and $50 notes now have color. Which countries influenced our monetary icon’s change? China? Egypt? France? What about the Euro? Although the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing made the color changes part of many other security changes to prevent forgeries, the colors alone are cultural authentication of other cultures that use colorful money. Perhaps in this case the designers have not used only one culture’s element of design but several. For a really good look at the paper bills of the United States, go to You'll see that the paper money of the United States is still very sedate compared to the colored money of other countries. The calm colors reflect our values.
And to tie it all together in the realm of fashion, Christian Francis Roth (who provided the money dress image) wrote about several money dresses in his blog on August 12  In this, he also refers to the money dresses blogged by blogger Couture Carrie. . Both are interesting blogs!


  1. I just llove the many-headed hydra of research.
    The design is still a dress!

  2. Hey, I wore the CFR dress recently:

    I wrote the blog for Christian and it has since been discontinued but you can read an edited version of my original post on my blog:

  3. WendyB,
    Thank you for the update. I love the dress and you look great in it.