Big, Small, Short and Long: A Brief History of Fashionable Silhouettes

'Fashion consists only in extremes [...] frivolity and death.' 'Does fashion die [...] because it can no longer keep up the tempo?' Walter Benjamin - The Arcades Project The fashion system relies on a never-ending cycle of newness, spectacle, emulation and death. This is how fashion works - without the invention of new, or the recycling … Continue reading Big, Small, Short and Long: A Brief History of Fashionable Silhouettes

The Scent of Surrealism: The Perfumes of Schiaparelli

Fashion designers are no stranger to the profitable world of perfume. Indeed, the couturier Paul Poiret, began producing scents after establishing his own perfumery during the 1910's, aptly naming his side-business and products after his daughter Rosine. Poiret's perfumes were the perfect accompaniment to his Orientalist and avant-garde fashion designs. They often referenced his love for Far … Continue reading The Scent of Surrealism: The Perfumes of Schiaparelli

Charles James: The Art of Fashion

I have asked the question many times before, particularly in regards to the work of Japanese designers. I also think of designers that have placed the structure and composition of garments in the forefront of their design visions, Madeleine Vionnet, Madame Grès ect. But the one designer who stands out, a man who was experimental and innovative, determined to … Continue reading Charles James: The Art of Fashion

Fashion and Film: A Biography of MGM Designer Gilbert Adrian

Films provide escapism for those who watch them. Viewers are transported to a world of glamour, stardom, excitement and fantasy. During the ‘Golden Era’ of film, a time commonly associated with the 1930’s, cinema became an enormous industry in America. With the arrival of the talkies (sound films) during the late 1920’s, by 1930, 80 … Continue reading Fashion and Film: A Biography of MGM Designer Gilbert Adrian

Princesses, Parties and Debutantes: Sir Norman Hartnell – British Couturier

'I despise simplicity. It is the negation of all that is beautiful,' - Norman Hartnell (Source V&A Museum, Norman Hartnell biography). A presentation at court to the royal family was a rite of passage for most upper-class girls during the 1920-30’s. A long lasting tradition of the British establishment, the trip to Buckingham Palace was … Continue reading Princesses, Parties and Debutantes: Sir Norman Hartnell – British Couturier

The Architects at Work: Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto

At times many have asked why fashion continues to be a respectable and relevant choice of career or study. Sceptics have complained that fashion has merely serves to decorate, creating a world of conspicuous consumption and image-orientated offspring. To give one reason of the hundreds that exist in order to destroy these beliefs, is that much … Continue reading The Architects at Work: Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto

Time for Tea: Afternoon Dresses from 1900-15

2009.300.3277. House of Worth Tea Gown. c1910. Silk, rhinestones and metal. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Edwardian era began with the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. With the death of the longest reigning monarch at the time, Britain was at first plunged into full mourning dress. However, after the black clothes … Continue reading Time for Tea: Afternoon Dresses from 1900-15

Elsa Schiaparelli: The Art of Fashion

Elsa Schiaparelli, photographed by Cecil Beaton, c1930: Image Credit: The Red List. The wonderful and eccentric Elsa Schiaparelli was one of the most predominant and successful fashion designers of the 1930's. Her name is no longer recognised within common culture, but throughout the field of fashion history, she is often regarded as an iconoclastic adventurer, who blurred … Continue reading Elsa Schiaparelli: The Art of Fashion