Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Recalling the pasts...of our Industrial Architecture and heritage

Recalling the pasts...
of our Industrial Architecture and heritage

Royal Softdrinks plant during World War II

Well, in fact, this writeup is supposedly made last week on the day this writer went to Echague and sought the old Magnolia ice cream plant. And somehow it is quite reminiscing to see such edifices that perhaps old men ought to understand the classy appearance only to be demolished in pursuit of progress and development.

In fact, the old concrete edifices of San Miguel Brewery shown in these pictures captures the writer's imagination that made the latter think those edifices are somewhat a marriage of civic and industrial architecture, basing on the exterior design and the appearance that some people mistaken it for a campus, office building or a government centre. This writer also drew a scene wherein includes a building based from one of the old San Miguel's edifices.

Strange that even this writer drew something.
Somewhat basing much on this.
Not noticing how important those buildings especially its architectural appearance aside from being remembered as a factory that produced beer, softdrink, ice cream that carries the muy leal Escudo symbol; to think that one of the buildings end up a part of Malacanang for administrative purposes.

The old San Miguel Brewery 
The only remainder of the old San Miguel Brewery buildings
as part of the Malacanang  palace complex
Well, most of the buildings are built during the early days of the American regime; and it carries a neoclassical elegance that often featured in European factories made in the late 19th century. Quite nice though as too see that made Quezon wanting to bought the entire lot, realized by the Marcoses and renovated during the Aquino regime as the "New Administrative Building" despite its controversy involving the enormous amount of money used in spending for rehabilitation.

But still, despite the acquisition and used for development of the complex, some are rather demolished especially the original complex despite its architectural grandeur that perhaps may likely to be given role as offices or something, yet end up became a carpark instead leaving the old administration building as its remainder.

Quite strange though for this writer to made a writeup about San Miguel's old neoclassical industrial architecture that mirrors those from the U.S. and Europe, knowing that in pursuit of modernizing itself as a growing business entity, requiring to replace old, dilapidated wooden edifices with those of stone and concrete with a design that captures both simplicity yet grandeur as "temples of industry"; secondly, how come this writer wrote about old factories? Anyways, it's all about architectural history and ComeporAntiquated heritage as well.

However, not all "old" industrial edifices aren't limited to those from San Miguel's very own factories in Manila, as well as San Miguel itself.

Building of the Japanese-controlled Balintawak Beer Brewery Inc.
Under American control then eventually sequestered by San Miguel Brewery as the "Polo Brewery."
This picture shot during the "Liberation" was the old Balintawak Beer Brewery in Valenzuela, then a part of Bulacan. Known as San Miguel's rival in the beer industry, BBB was also known for being pro-Japanese with its investors coming from "the land of the rising sun." As noticed, the edifice was somehow quite similar to San Miguel's but contemporary unlike the near-classical appearance of the other that would mistaken for what this writer said earlier. After all, they've been built before the war, or rather say before the Commonwealth.

And speaking of industrial edifices made before, whether pre-war or post war, this writer tends to revisit thinking how these edifices should be consider as a legacy of attempts to create a nation that is, progressive in the dreams and aspirations of many; also to think that as most edifices of industry end up left rot and demolished in favor of commercial ones such those from Pasig, made this writer quite lamenting to see old edifices paved way to new ones with different use such as commercial.

Flour silo of Wellington Flour Mills
Flour silo of Morning Star Mills, also used as a billboard
Another old Flour silo in Pasig
This writer perhaps tend to revisit a heritage that few ought to think upon much, yes these are seen as dirty, as strange, but these edifices, in all of its modernity in pursuit of an attempt to stimulate industrialization the Philippines years before these are indeed monuments to thine legacy that is ought to be recognize as such as heritage. 

According to what this writer said months before:

"...dreams of massive National development continues to inspire everyone's mindset, in other words creeping over despite system's means to reinterpret (like favoring tourism over industrialization) the idea of it. But also to think that efforts in undermining Industrialization continues to prevail, this writer would say that it underestimates total National Development through Agricultural and Economic reforms such as these edifices of progress that would utilize labour and material to provide everyone's need." 

Unless there are others who are willing to save for the sake of preserving heritage other than churches and hispanic-era houses and commercial establishments, thinking how Pillsbury's plant in Michigan end up as a museum.

"Then what about us?"

The hypocrisy of the edifices

The hypocrisy of the edifices

Regarding Marcos-era policies 
involving art and architecture as propaganda

"The intersection of power and architecture along the grids of Philippine architectural history finds form at the CCP complex."

These are the opening words of an article entitled "Imelda Marcos and the Romantic Nationalist Architecture" made by Gerard Rey Lico (vol.6, Bluprint magazine, 2000) that features how the Marcos regime used the showcase of architecture, literature, and art as part of its cultural policy, that is, a means to hod the dubious problems like poverty and repression.

Obviously, such showcase reflects the means not just to involve cultural awakening, but to invoke fear as it fearures grand and monumental edifices as a hallmark of greatness made by a regime, and somehow the edifices, such as the Cultural Centre and the Manila Film Centre corresponds with the Arrest and Siezure Orders and Enforced Disappearances of those hard times.

This writer didn't made this study to undermine entirely the edifices made during those decades, but rather to analyze the Marcoses' "Social Art" as a tool of state-sponsored escapism, escapism that somehow to others tend to be called "optimistic" enough reflecting the dreams and aspirations of a "New Society" envisioned.

As the Marcos regime made those edifices, especially situated in a reclaimed land in Manila bay, the policy of creating, of fixation with modern, monumental imagery and traditional designs made the means of "modernizing" the society, if not a showcase of setting up an "industrialized" society or mimics those from developed countries to cover up issues especially widespread poverty.

Yes, this meant a chance for a "National Rebirth", a cultural renaissance the way how Imelda Marcos tend to call such ideals as "the True, Good and Beautiful". In the same way of building modern-syle architecture, it also includes ideas that seemingly "backward looking" yet a means to recover "lost ideas" such as reviving folkloric iconography such as the Salakot, Nipa hut, Kalasag, Kris, Kampilan, Sarimanok and the use of Baybayin. The somehow were "Revived" as part of the "New Society" the Marcoses envisioned. However, some are earlier used by the militant movement, especially the use of Baybayin such as the letter "K" used by the left-wing group Kabataang Makabayan, only to be countered by the Marcoses's own Kabataang Barangay whose logo also includes Baybayin.

Well, the edifices and symbols related to the dictatorship rather means not entirely to cover the obvious socio-economic crisis: like setting, invoking utopianism, but also to substantiate Nationalist fantasies whilst trying to accomodate foreign investment and suppressing radical sentiment including those of National minorities.

Of spending loans for different stones

Sorry for the title, but obviously,  as noticed, having bigger monumental edifices meant spending millions to the extent of beinging controversy unto it; as part of assertinh a policy of cultural renaissance and to prove that the Philippines as a "progressive" amongst the third world countries.

From the inital reclamation of 28 hectares from the sea in 1966 paving way to the creation of the Cultural Centre and other related buildings made during the early days of the regime, most of it were loans coming from the International Monetary Fund-World Bank that supposdly used for mass housinh and rural development projects, such priorites that somehow helpful to avert the growing socio-economic crisis.

The newly-created complex created prestiege as one of the features of the "New Society", however the debt behind those edifices were not been fully Aid, especially from the IMF-WB as well as the United States, that also received enormous financial aid to the Philippines over extended periods. It somehow became controversial when the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. called the edifices a mockery of progress in midst of growing poverty hidden with Imelda's aloof and disgust over mass housing and prioritizing rather the creation of edifices and other related buildings using foreign credit.

And in midst of the controversies involving the edifices built in CCP complex, the regime also include desperate "urban cosmetology" for the envisioned "City of Man" such as Metropolitan Manila. According to Lico, it includes planting of banana trees, spraying dried grass and brown coconut leaves green, as well as tying coconut fruit around the fruitless ones and setting up high walls in pursuit of keeping "squatters" at bay from the eyes of the "tourists" as well as "investors" and "dignitaries". Such "makeover"  showed the desparacy and hypocrisy made by a regime trying to keep in power in midst of the growing tension between them and the people.
The Cultural Centre, Film Centre, Folk Arts Theatre, being an examples of landmarks of art in pursuit of a "Modern Filipino Identity" was intended much to act as an "Icing" trying to cover what was different from what was seen such as shantytowns and "squatters".

Otherwise, projects being "funded" by loans rather fuel ridicule than prestiege as critics think of those funds from IMF-WB or from the US ought tobbe allocated before to mass housing and rural development. In fact, Imelda's aloof with mass housinh with the alibi of creating mendicants didn't help further in alleviating despite the creation of BLISS, Lungsod Silangan, Kapitbahayan and Dagat-Dagatan housing projects built with the reason of "curbing" the "Squatter" issue. It somehow also became a part of so-called "Development" especially those coinceded with major festivities and events such as the IMF conference, UNCTAD, Miss Universe, and even the visit of Pope John Paul II that made the Marcoses compel to build more edifices, spending loans all for the sake of completing, even commission murals to suppliment grandiose project that "supports" the need for advancing the identity of the "New Filipino" and the "New Society."

Well, as noticed, comes with a simple quote related:

"What mrs. Marcos wants, mrs. Marcos gets."

This summared reason behind the edifices and related projects that brough both prestiege and ridicule, involving Architects and Design professionals trying to work in numerous, time critical projects coinceded with international events and festivities employing Filipino creativity and perhaps, greatness regardless of the spending and indebtedness that hath created.

 Building "Identities" and "Pseudo-mythologies"

"To assert this obsession with identity andnto promote the image of a nation as the progressive economy in the third world, mrs. Marcos built the Cultural Centre, and was the first effort of the Marcos regime to create a physical and cultural setting that bespoke of state authority."

As expected,the building of those edifices, especially situated in the CCP complex were rather simply showed an arduous effort to create an "identity" of the "New Filipino." That somehow also meant a desparacy trying to hid ugliness with beauty, regardless of such controversial means like those of foreign loans, spending, and even cronyism.

Thinking that those buildings invoking utopianism, of palingenesis and stressinh reconnection with the past, this writer thinking that despite the use of native materials, of inspired by native symbols and beliefs, it simply tries to create a 'pseudo'-mythos that perhapsmtries to revive, renew the Filipino spirit.

Also to think how Hitler and his followers tend to create a myth at deserved to be fulfilled, as to their ideal that emphasises blood over soil, so were their edifices that carries the soul of the Aryan race that according to theirs as strong and youthful. From the wall, pillar, statues, and paintings shown, all invoking pride, fear, and glory as well as an idealized future of a nation
-that somehow the Marcoses and other similar rulers tend to invoke upon to.

In an instance, building a new identity requires a mythology. As Hitler, through Goering, Goebbels and Rosenberg tend to 'Mythologize' events such as the Beer hall putsch and the brawls, individuals such as Horst Wessel, even relievinh the 'magic' of Norse myths immortalized in Wagner's music, so was the Marcoses.

As Imelda Marcos said in creating a new "Filipino identity":

"When history and circumstances cause a blurring of the past, the result is confusion of tradition and values. A people with National amnesia suffer a lack of balance and sense of direction. Rootless and purposeless, they must find firm traditions or ideals,mand grasp the solid sedimenaion of ancestral aspirations or they will wither and die..."

It was even furthered by Ferdinand Marcos, as asserted:

"Faceless for centuries, the Filipino has worn a succession of masks imposed on him by alien intruders. No one really knows the dephts of his confusion and bewilderment; no one can truly measure the intensity of his hurt and shame. A moving shadow, he drifts aimlessly, feeling unworthy of his own true self, he embres other people's values and claims it to be his own.
To be a dynamic instrument of nation building and social reconstruction, he therefore seeks to recuperate his identity. He must get back to his roots, his culture. Necessarily, he must, for the culture of a people is their covenant. It is the distinguishing mark, the source of identity that sets them apart from other peoples. It provides them inner strength that shales he collective will of their body politic and the structure of their national society."

Such sentiment the Marcoses said tend to insist that was, carrying contradictions in the supposed idea of forging a "New Filipino" that leans to a dynamic future instead of an antiquated past. Marcos once said that "Juan Tamad is dead" and urging everyone to contribute with sheer creativity and artistry in developing the "New Filipino" to replace an old one, a futur-utopian so to speak, but why and seek to the past entirely despite looking new creative means in building a new identity? Which is which as others may ought to think of?

Well, to others, its more about using culture for a convenience such as tourism; using the pretext of creating or unearthing the Filipino identity, lies currying favour with other countries for tourists rather than seriously stressing the need of cultivating a cultural climate for flourishing a patriotic, progressive, value in the "New Society." the promotion of myths and legends like the creation myth of "Malakas" and "Maganda" during the regime tends to support the "Cult of personality" Marcos ought to set regarless of rampant  poverty, insufficient distribution of social services, corruption, debt servicinh and reliance on American aid that undermines patriotic appeals the way edifieces and works of art tend to show; that once Benigno Aquino Jr. directly criticize the Cultural Centre due to 50 million spending in building without passing to the legislature for questioning and assessment.

But, to those symoathetic to the idea, or perhaps to the dictatorship, it rather emohasises National rebirth as it creates an identity despite using modern means and having costly consequences, in other words: synthesis of indigenous and cosmopolitan aspirations of modernity.

According to Juico, as elaborated:

1.) Identity as a derivative of primal ancestry
2.) Identity as evidence of human progress, made possible through art.

Such contradictions made during the regime as evidenced by:

1.) Cult of personality (the first couple as Malakas and Maganda, as father and mother of the nation of Barangays)
2.) Use of force (Militarism and state sponsored terrorism)
3.) Invocation of the past (mythologies, ethnic ideas, traditions, arts and literature)

And reinforced by using modern media and technology through:

1.) Modern 'ethnic inspired' architecture and art
2.) Utilization of places for tourism purposes
3.) State-owned and controlled media institutions

Such actions taken in oursuit of reinforcing the regime were developmental, envelopmental, as well as destructive as 'superficial' national development coexists (sorry for the term) with financial supports (legal and illegal), personal-political connections supporting present and future projects that can be detrimental to the environment such as the Chico dam in Kalinga-Apayao that foster Cordilleran identity and consciousness being victims of state-sponsored terrorism guised as "development".

Again, the projects as well as the edifices obviously tend to consolidate Martial rule as to hid rather than alleviate social problems like poverty. Despite the creation of "Mass housing" projects using IMF-WB funds as support, rather served as primarily to appease, if not to control once-illegal settlers trying to adjust their lives in the urban landscape.

This writer, been a resident of a predominantly lower-class municipality for years, simply assess that most "squatters" were originally once farmers or fisherfolk trying to earn living by agriculture or fishery. In fact, that town tends to be a marina one emohasising on fishing, small-scale shipbuilding and food industry, yet due to the commercialization and influx of once-squatters from Tondo and other surrounding areas, laid problems that includes housing and distribution of social services.

And as noticed, programs rather primarily acted as "Propaganda" simply negates its essecne of reducing poverty all on favor of a "cosmetic" one, to think that Imelda Marcos had a disdain for mass housing that perhaps resulted to those projects with little successes and more backlogs comparing to the grandiose ones showcasing greatness over priorities such as addressing major issues.

As Paulo Alcazaren said:

"While these programs served innovative enough, the performance of these agencies (NHA) reflected a government that was more concerned with appearances than with truly addressing the issue of housing (as well as social services, employment) for the poor."

To think that these actions taken primarily made in response to building identites and 'seasoned' with pseudo-mythological sentiment, rath catersnto the privileged than the masses and to some extent, the petit-bourgeoisie. How wonder the late senator Aquino directly criticize the Cultural Centre for its spending of 50 million without undergoing Senate hearing related to the matter. For sure during those decades that million would had been used for housing, employment, rural development instead of greatness.

Furthermore, in oursuit of countering subversion as everyone looked uoon, the use of patriotic sentiment, whether purely indigenous (like the Baybayin) or neo-indigenous (like the CCP complex and Batasang Pambansa) as well as reformism captures people's "heart and mind" the way it tries to preesent the Philippines as a progressive society. To sum it all, a propaganda in its existence and essence.

Its legacy and near-infallibility

Again, sorry for the title, but in fact the legacy of the Marcos-era projects, as well as the edifices in particular, left a legacy that is making leaders as if "infallible" to the eyes and minds of everyone.

Like Spain's Franco or Paraguay's Stroessner, Marcos tend to continue the legacy of strssing an orderly society using Presidential decrees as its thrusts, and most of it remained used regardless of  its insignificance to the present situation,  that somehow some constituents trying to replace Martial law era ones with another.
So are the edifices as succeeding leaders tend to showcase one by one of their works as its legacies, oftentimes trying to exceed as what former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo tried to instil upon.

And somehow it showedj most leaders of the post-Marcos era as trying to be "Infallible" the way the once-strongman and his wife had. How wonder Ferdinand and Imelda be described as a "Father and mother of a nation of Barangays" that somehow reminding of leaders trying to call themselves as "State" and "Infallible". Louis XIV of France tend to be so, as evidenced by his actions and of course the culture being shown such those of him: self presenting as Apollo or the Sun King; while Imelda Marcos, with her contributions such as the Cultural Centre, Heart and Lung Centre, tend to be described as "mother country", "Nefertiti", a descendant of the"Mayors of Rome" using her maiden surname as its evidence, and even presented as "Maganda", the first woman in Philippine mythology.

This writer somewhat thinks that since succeeding leaders tried to act "infallible" regardless of their controversial acts, including those  of projects using overpriced materials, and using old and new laws and decrees, its real objective is not entirely to push social chanhe, but to keep social order intect by hook or by crook, carrot and stick. CCP complex, BLISS, Windbmiss in Ilocos, Expo Filipino, Megadike to lowly farm-to-market roads and relocation sites in Molntalban aren't just simply made to justify countering homelessness, need for greatness, electrification, and modernization of communities but also in "keeping everyone at bay" especially in midst of the growing crisis that was and is, difficult to resolve and further worsen by current procedures such as foreign loans, and dependence on illusions such as the need for foreign investment as emphasised over domestic ones, a dilapidated system trying to survive so to speak as it showed.

After all, to the government, it's all about the economy that matter nowadays to deal it yet in actial it is more of political matters being discussed upon. So are the edifices, all invoking modernity, order, fear, presenting patriotic sentiment or hiding the stench that is, continue polluting all over like controversies behind every wall, steel, step, garden, and floor that comprises the so-called showcases of the society being presented off to the world.


*Bluprint; vol.8, 2000
*Lico, Gerard Rey A; Edifice Complex: Power, myth and Marcos state architecture, Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2003
*Jose Maria Sison & Julieta de Lima; Philippine economy and Politics, Aklatang Bayan
*Alcazaren, Ferrer, Icamina; Lungsod Iskwater, Anvil Publishing inc. 2010
*Guerrero; Philippine Society and Revolution, Pulang Tala
*Manapat, Ricado; Some are better than others: The history of Marcos crony capitalism, New York; Aletheia Publications. 1991

Sunday, 24 June 2012

THE OTHER SIDE OF ECHAGUE: worth remembering but often forgotten

worth remembering but often forgotten


It was a wednesday afternoon when this writer, along with a friend, walked into the streets of Quiapo to buy something for the latter. In fact, that time was not really more into buying something, but rather a visit in one of the streets in Quiapo district: Echague.

Now known as Carlos Palanca st, Echague is simply two kilometers long, and stretched from the foot of MacArthur Bridge to Ayala Bridge where many financial establishments have branches as well as commercial ones. It was also named after Rafael Echague y Bermingham, lieutenant general and previously governor of Puerto Rico who served as the country’s governor general from July 9, 1862 to March 24,1865.

Quite nice though to see old buildings and establishments on one of the old business lanes in Quiapo,  to think that it was and is known for a den of merchants, especially situated near Quiapo church and Carriedo; however, the other side, leading towards San Miguel district seemed to be silent unlike its past days as a bustling area in Manila wherein some industries situated.



Especially during the times then Soriano-controlled San Miguel dominated a part of the lane with its old Magnolia ice cream plant being built in 1926 and rebuilt after the war, yet nowadays inactive and perhaps owned by another company after seeing the old building had no traces of Magnolia nor the old Escudo in the edifice.



Aside from San Miguel,  the first Shoemart (SM) Mall was also situated in Echague. However, the original Shoemart store is just nearby on R. Hidalgo Street; and unlike its Hidalgo counterpart, as well as its modern day malls owned by Henry Sy, it seems that the one in Echague is left abandoned, noticing the old logo of Shoemart that was, painted alongside other ones that made this writer think that SM occupied a building that was then, a showroom for agricultural machinery.

Other establishments, such as the La Tondena Inc. also had a property same as the one in Velasquez, Tondo; as well as the Ayalas before moving to its very own property named San Pedro Macati, that nowadays called as Makati.


There was even an old building that perhaps owned by the Balintawak Beer Brewery due to its abbreviation inscribed at the top, quite nice in its exterior to be described as a commercial building made pre-war, however it looked abandoned and needs rehabilitation same as the old Shoemart building that is now in ruins; sensing how development created its permanent waste left forgotten yet needs improvement.


Anyways, thinking about those edifices said in this writeup rather showed a degree of contemporary heritage few perhaps dared to think upon, and obviously, these are rather liable to be condemned then demolished paving way for edifices devoid of idea and more of consumption; with alibis such as "they are unfit for rebuilding" or "easier to create something new" in pursuit of the challenging days of the modern times as this writer also looked at lots that perhaps once had establishments being built then demolished decades after.

Quite strange isnt it for this writer to visit the other part of Echague. In fact, during his childhood days, he was with his mother going to Excellente ham for its tasty Quekiam as well as Killion for its imported merchandise such as Hamburgers and french fries to be cooked at home.  And speaking of Killion it is situated near an old warehouse that left abandoned; and in it there are also small-scale sausage factories beside it, that perhaps others may say that is, looked dirty in its appearance.

Well, this writer somehow tends to think how contemproary heritage is been tackled upon in this writeup; to think that as most emphasise the pre-war or rather, the hispanic days in regards to edifices, then how about the contemporary post-war ones that some of it carries a trace of significance that today's edifices tried to emulate yet failed to have except descibing its own as "modern"; also to think that in seeing the old SM building in Echague how come of all the buildings Henry Sy had built most and maintained the other one left for nothing? Quite strange to think of as the other side of the road, unlike the other one bustling with people and businesses, is rather left for destitutes and be assailed by some with less or no suggestions in rehabilitating.


After all, it is a mere street where jeeps and cars crossed over in it; "who cares about it?" As others may think of with their sheer sense of apathy.

Friday, 22 June 2012

"BRIGADA KULTURA" and the showcase of the artistically-inclined antinorms

and the showcase of the artistically-inclined antinorms

It was yesterday, last night when this writer attended a concert made by the Silangan Artist Collective and Perigdana Productions in Freedom Bar, Quezon City.

The said event, known as Brigada Kultura, is one of the first projects undertaken by the by said collective from its foundation last May.

Featuring bands and musicians from the progressive and alternative music scenes, "Brigada Kultura" is a showcase of music that is, made based from and for the aspirations of the people.

As according to the organizers from the Silangan Artist Collective, the said event was made for the benefit of the residents of Welfareville village and its surrounding villages in Mandaluyong City, the said village, once a home for juvenile delinquents and urban poor settlers, was said to be threatened by demolition in pursuit of developers seeking the said property.

And aside from music featured by the bands, the said event also had a showcase of visual art, especially paintings coming from artists using Agitprop and Social Realism. Obviously, others may tend to call it as subversive and yet it mirrors the social realities and counterculture expressed into art.

The said event is successful though despite having started a bit late due to the artists as well as the audience's attendance in Freedom bar, as well as quite enjoyable especially with Axel Pinpin and the Propaganda machine unleashed his AgitPop forte same as other bands.

Supposedly this writer ought to participate in a poetry recital on that event but sadly, he had to go home since he's newly recovered from fever as well as tomorrow's work. 

Here are the pictures shot during that said event. Some were quite dark though, as this writer used a digital camera.









The Artworks featured:

And here are the pictures from the Silangan Artist Collective (feat. Axel Pinpin):

Admittingly speaking, this writer preferred gigs than going to parties in supperclubs the way he loves going outside, taking pictures for a hobby and making writeups and critiques for a time. The said event in Freedom Bar was in fact also supported by this writer despite focusing entirely in his writing job as well as his work in the cooperative, thinking that will there be people trying to appreciate these bands like those in the 90s? 

Unless the supperclubs paved way to moshpits.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Recalling the "attempted" fashion and designs of the contemporantiquated past

Recalling the "attempted" fashion 
and designs of the ContemporAntiquated past

Well, it seemed to be strange to see formal attires such as these although the left one seemed to be quite nice though as made by an Italian during Mussolini's regime.

Upon looking at these pictures, this writer seemed to be enticing to design gowns or any attires nearly similar to these; not to say that he loves history and art, he loves to draw as to recall some of the drawings being posted in this site months ago.

In fact, in recalling these strange attires, the picture from above somehow tends to recreate the Roman past with some modern appearance, a "ContemporAntiquated" one that tries to bind the contemporary and the antiquated, especially the one that seemed fitting and suitable to so-called "modern living" based from the attempts made years ago.

Quite weird so to speak to see such these deemed as strange and unfit in everybody's eyes. To think that gowns like what the picture shown are oftentimes shown during formal events or in movies, this writer rather say that it was an attempt, yes some similar to that are worn by personalities in a formal event especially actresses during a film festival.

Perhaps, just getting inspired by modernism of the past that made this writer write this post. To think that Italy before seemed to be trying enough to replicate the past and at the same time create modern ones as Mussolini intended, this writer isn't even a Fascist sympathizer to admire some modernist idea to think that even the Soviet union also do so before the war and after Stalin's death.

And least better than how people thinks about the fashion of the past before and during World War II entirely consist of military uniforms. Italy's attempt rather tries to create a showcase that made this writer think that Italy was much enjoyable in making good architecture and fashion than getting ready for war. In fact, Mussolini was fond of monumentalism same as Hitler's and tell to the world about their nation's rebirth emphasising greatness than uplifting the people.

...that made this writer reminds of a motley group of teenagers and young adults trying hard to emulate their idols out of playing video games.

In fact, speaking of uniforms and war-inspired clothing, there are certain individuals and groups fond of uniform-inspired attires as fashion. In Croatia, some tend to replicate the getups of the notorious Ustase movement (known for killing Serbs brutally) especially its headgear and even t-shirts featuring the Ustase symbol.

At first, quite nice yet to think that the Ustase was a notorious organization, to others it is simply a sense of patriotism, right or wrong in its ideals and aspirations as to think about reviving patriotic fervor by replicating historical ones and be pressed into contemporary setting.

However, not all attires this writer had sought are costumy in its appearance.

To think that the only reminder of thine past being used still is the Empire Silhouette, closely inspired by the Greek Peplos during the early 19th century, that example somehow showed the idea of looking at the classical past and reviving it by making it applicable to contemporary setting; quite strange to think of how come Empire Silhouette women wore today is based from the Ancient Greek Peplos  most seen in statues and Amphorae, least that the style is quite nice for curvaceous women to wear the modern Peplos that is the Empire Silhouette.

So much for the so-called "Republican values" that popularize Greek and Roman-inspired art, including fashion such as this picture shown. Strange to see an attempt to replicate the Antiquated, and making it ContemporAntiquated.

Being a lover of history and art made this writer quite thinking how people who loves fashion design are often focusing much in experimenting for the sake of popularizing "high culture." Some of the dresses inspired by the Antiquated past are being resurrected for quite some time and given new life by modifying it, and be worn whether as casual or as formal.

to think that some are wearing empire-waist dresses that is a legacy of the past, especially that seeing ContemporAntiquated designs such as clothing and interiors tend to revive classical ones for modern day living. 

Just like in Architecture, some tend to revisit the past and be inspired by its grandeur and monumentalism the way Hitler tried to in his Germania as well as Mussolini's; but then choosing marble, granite over concrete and other projects deemed as ambitious end up wasted due to the duration of the war.

As according to Wikipedia:

"The fascist style of architecture was very similar to the ancient Roman style. Fascist buildings were generally very large and symmetric with sharp non-rounded edges. The buildings purposefully conveyed a sense of awe and intimidation through their size, and were made of limestone and other durable stones in order to last the entirety of the fascist era. The buildings were also very plain with little or no decoration and lacked any complexity in design."

But on the other hand, to think that the Fascist style of architecture tries to emulate the Roman past, it tries to make it modern and rational, as also stated in Wikipedia:

"Fascist styled architecture is a branch of modernist architecture which became popular in the early 20th century. The fascist style was also greatly influenced by the rationalist movement in Italy in the 1920s. Rationalist architecture, with the help of Italian government support, celebrated the new fascist age of culture and government in Italy."

This edifice, made by Marcello Piacentini, tends to recreate a Romanic past by making it applicable to then present condition, however its neoclassical theme dominates over futurism, to think that Piacentini was also a futurist.

Just like this edifice also made by Piacentini, made in commemoration of the dead during the First World War, that arch tries to replicate the Roman past despite stressing futuristic design as well as the use of limestone to create a lasting, monumental edifice contrary to the use of Concrete and other modern materials that obviously tries to create the vision of the future.

In fact, the idea what Piacentini or Speer had tried to tries to bridge the past and the present by fusing the antiquated and the contemporary, but in looking at these monumental edifices, it was more of creating a stage that stresses racial purity and national greatness over supposed functions. To think that the Nazis saw architecture as a method of producing buildings that had a function, but also served a larger purpose. (citing Wikipedia) For example, the House of German Art had the function of housing art, but through its form, style and design it had the purpose of being a community structure built using an Aryan style, which acted as a kind of temple to acceptable German art. 

After all, it is neoclassicism in a modernist and futurist garb, that tries to look at the past than looking at the future, as well as the predominancy of idealism over reality through edifices, art, and perhaps fashion. As a writer, it is quite admiring to see monumental feats such as what Piacentini done, as well as the use of Greek and Roman fashion as idea for a female clothing inspired by Republican values; compared to the ones made in the United States whose architecture carries purpose over form such as this picture below, the building stresses the purpose as an administration office of the Federal Reserve.

Or even the skyscrapers and high-rise buildings that stresses purpose (such as offices, banks, hotels, residential complexes) other than reaching the skies in midst of the growing population in the urban areas. Some took inspiration from the past though, but it became depending on the school being lean upon thinking about the future come compared to the idea that looked entirely on the past and trying to preserve an idea that is monumental in appearance.

But then, sometimes the skyscrapers became often disastrous and devoid of meaning as edifices of commercialism. The original purpose had been negated in favor of creating for the nouveau riche and the trying hard ones in the city to the extent of ruining the image of cities and promoting uncontrolled development. That made this writer think how old houses, and old yet purpose-made classy edifices are being destroyed in favor of building edifices devoid of meaning and purpose other than "simply built" for sake such as commercial purposes. Such as this:

Made to tower Rizal's grave, quite disastrous so to see this.

Anyways, such ContemporAntiquated legacies like those from Europe tries to keep living and youthful by everyone's eyes. It's just that some tend to exaggerate something that end up lessen its purpose other than intimidation, that creating mass housing should be temple-like than utilitarian as it stresses symbolism. Remembering that those who look entirely at the past as basis for the future, such as Mussolini or Hitler often viewed as anti-modern and romantic or having a pragmatic willingness to use modern means in pursuit of anti-modern purposes. As according to Wikipedia:

"This confuses the Nazi's dislike of certain styles like the Bauhaus with a blanket dislike of all modern styles. This was based mainly on what the Bauhaus and others were seen as representing, like foreign influences or the decadence of the Weimar Republic."

Quite strange so to speak, to see such legacies as merely product of parochialism, tradition and a reaction from modernity; but then to this writer, such designs like those pictures shown rather tries to bridge everything that is in pursuit of preserving identity and heritage, that perhaps few ought to understand for the only culture they know is to consume.