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On April 21 In Fashion History Roundup

(A random gathering of neat things that happened On This Day In Fashion…)

…in 1927, Mae West begins the first day of a 10-day prison sentence, and complains to warden that her coarse blue cotton workdress and heavy cotton stockings and underwear are “uncomfortable.” West was serving time for her Broadway show, “Sex,” which the courts deemed obscene. Although West’s work clothes “are coarse, faded and Read More »

Great Magazine Covers: Sonia Delaunay


This illustration from January 1926 is one of my favorite vintage Vogue covers, mostly because it features one of my favorite overlooked artists, Sonia Delaunay. (I’m also especially fond of the charmingly awkward style of famed illustrator Georges Lepape.) This isn’t to say Delaunay was ignored during her lifetime; she had a solo exhibition at the Louvre in 1964, a first for a living female artist, and here she is on the cover of Vogue. She was included in numerous group exhibitions, contributed to fashion, film and theater, and—along with her husband—founded Orphism, the art movement that seeks to depict simultaneous expressions of modern life, energy and movement through color. So as far as female artists go, now or then, Delaunay is certainly one of the more celebrated. And yet she is still unknown to most people. Go figure.

Read More »

Your Stylescope for December 26, 2010

Find out who in the fashion world shares a birthday with you and learn your destiny for the year. Guaranteed.

People in fashion born on December 16:
Russell Patterson, American designer and illustrator; 1893
Carlo Benetton, Italian executive; 1943
Luke Worrall, English model; 1989

Happy birthday, December 26ian! This next little tidbit has not much to do with your Stylescope for the year ahead but, of note, today marks the first time that a list of people in fashion born on a particular day has been entirely composed of men. Interesting! So if you are a woman and reading this, I think you can find inspiration in that fact: Today is begging for a famed woman in fashion! So if the fashion world is your dream, hop on it; the universe will support you for the sake of cosmic balance. For all the rest of us, I’d Read More »

Fashion Statement: Erté

“It’s almost a duty to keep your body svelte—for other people’s sake.”
Erté, a Russian artist who illustrated 250 covers for Harper’s Bazaar magazine from 1915 to 1936, and designed sets and costumes for Hollywood films and movie stars, and was born on this day in 1892. The artist lived to be 97 years old and exercised every day without fail: 15 minutes after he woke up and five minutes before dinnertime. In his 1975 biography, Things I Remember, he wrote that he believed it was the duty of every person to “make himself as attractive as possible,” and that while “not many of us are born beautiful,” clothing could transform people into “things of beauty or ugliness.”

The quote above comes from an interview in a 1982 issue of Time magazine. To read more fabulous Fashion Statements, click here. Read More »

July Fashion Flashback


Anyone with access to a large stash of vintage fashion magazines (thanks, public library system!) can imagine how difficult it would be to pick just one cover to highlight each month. But that’s our plan with monthly fashion flashbacks, posted on or around the first of the month. For July, this was especially challenging: Have you seen the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar for the month of July just through the 1960s? Nearly every one of them is by Richard Avedon and seems to be competing against the other to be more gorgeous than the one before and after. It’s an impossible task; across the boards they’re all mired in a dead heat of fabulousness.

So we went in another direction, a little further back to 1956, when Alexey Brodovitch was the art director at Harper’s Bazaar. With his Read More »

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