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A quick take on a hot mess

I saw that response from Dona Sarkar, who I’m following on Twitter. Since I’ve been following her, from what she shares I could have guessed her response. Dona leads advocacy on Microsoft’s Power Platform, while also running her own fashion house – PrimaDonaStudios.

My own first response was, “wow, talk about a horrible take”.

The thread because of Jack Forge’s post refused to quietly exit my mind. It wasn’t a massive controversy or anything but there was something more.

Then I remembered the 99 Percent Invisible podcast had a series of episodes looking at the history of design in fashion, clothing and textile. And in the very first episode, they identified the relationship between garment construction and engineering.

That’s a tweet I shared about it sometime ago.

That first episode reveals punch cards, among the earliest storage media for computing were used for – get this – design patterns, in making clothes.

A snippet from 99Pi’s “Articles of Interest”, episode 1.

I remember driving to the office listening to that episode and doing everything I could to not pull over and call my wife – she’s a costume designer to say, “AYE!” for no reason at all.

So, when Jack came online to forge a post that revealed ignorance about the history of Jacquard Looms, I felt I had to help untangle the truth.

Fashion and code share a history so closely that even if you don’t personally care about what you wear, their relationship cannot be ignored. How those actual clothing articles are made and why they look & feel like they do are precisely why one might even say fashion is a form of output written in a programming language used by designers around the world.

One more snippet. Programming owes a debt to the fashion industry. We shouldn’t forget it.

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