As days grow shorter and temperatures subside, it’s time to consider the winter wardrobe — especially if you spent the summer naked.
For the cavewoman 28,000 years ago the selection was limited: skins, furs, perhaps something woven from the tall grass.
Stone Age clothing, if it can be called that, most likely served only to trap body heat. There probably wasn’t much intended to make a fashion statement beyond body paint.
But what if the thoroughly modern designers of the hit television show Project Runway could conjure up a range of outfits for the on-the-move woman with the hunter-gatherer lifestyle? What would they do with the available materials?
Sketch by Blayne Walsh, Project Runway
National Geographic’s Pop Omnivore editor Marc Silver decided to find out.
The model for the exercise was none other than Wilma, the lifesize reconstruction of a Neanderthal woman made for this month’s National Geographic magazine cover story on our nearest human relatives. You met her on this blog three weeks ago.
Paleo-artists used the latest fossil and DNA evidence to produce Wilma. National Geographic staffers named her after the wife of the cartoon character Fred Flintstone.
Because scientists believe that Neanderthals most likely went about naked in the European summer, she did not get clothes.
Designers from both Project Runway and National Geographic sketched outfits for Wilma, although not all of them seemed to reproduce her thick, muscular build.
Sketch by Mollie Bates, National Geographic magazine
View all the sketches on Marc Silver’s Pop Omnivore. Let him know which ones you like best.