From the Archive: Anarchists of Style: Barbette

In December 2010, Lisa ntroduced us to Barbette, aerialist phenomenon of the 1920s and 1930s famous for his high wire and trapeze stunts dressed as a woman. “He walked with a tightrope high above the audience without falling, above incongruity, death, bad taste, indecency, indignation.” —Jean Cocteau We suspect that Barbette, aerialist phenomenon of the 1920s and 1930s, might disagree with being categorized as an “Anarchist of Style.” …

From the Archive: On Fashion Blogging and Global Style

Originally posted by Lucy Collins in 2009 As Fashion Week begins in NYC, followed by similar festivals of fashion in London and Paris, I’m beginning to wonder about the whole idea of international style centers. Is there really such a thing as a distinctive style that differentiates runway fashion in London from that of New York? When fashion critics and magazine editors write about seasonal …

Guest Post: “Skirting the Issue”

This post is by guest contributor Cary O’Dell. Few wear full skirts anymore. Though they still pop up on the fashion runways–de la Renta’s, Vivienne Westwood’s and Dior’s catwalks come to mind–the traditional ball gown skirt (bell-shaped, Cinderella-esque, Deborah Kerr in “The King and I,” if you will), the type of skirt that sweeps and flows and rustles as the wearer walks, is and has …

From the Archive: Hats of the 1930s

Originally posted by Heather Vaughan, in 2009 . The essential article of the wardrobe I adore from the past is in fact the hat. Not only as a necessity for warmth but for its whimsical sartorial statements. The hats of yesteryear are particularly exciting to review, especially ones from the 1930’s. A month or so ago, the cover of W magazine featured a lovely red straw hat …

From the Archive: Jockey Silks and Spectators

This Tove Hermanson original was posted on May 5, 2009 and  explores the roots of horse racing apparel. With all the excitement of the Kentucky Derby culminating last weekend, I thought I’d take the opportunity to learn about (and share) the roots of horse racing apparel. To begin with the basics, jockey “silks” are comprised of white breeches and a bib, stock or cravat, and …

Monkeys à la mode

This post is by guest contributor Dr. Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell. From medieval manuscripts to modern-day TV commercials, monkeys have served as satirical stand-ins for humans, mocking our fashions and foibles, and especially our tendency to “ape” our betters. The long-held view that man descended from simians, coupled with the monkey’s natural talent for mimicry, make it an ideal vehicle for parodying human behavior. The Monkeys of …

From the Archive: The touch of Vivier

In 2008, Heather looked into the New Yorker September fashion issue which profiles the return of the stiletto, specifically drawing attention to Roger Vivier, French fashion footwear designer who is said to be the creator of the stiletto heel.   The September 1st issue of the New Yorker (the big fashion issue, with the Marc Jacobs interview) did a little profile on the return of …

From the Archive: L’Officiel de la Mode, 1921-2008 online

 Originally posted by Heather Vaughan on November 26th, 2008, this incredible Jalou Gallery resource is a must see! Give this database a try and let us know your thoughts. Jalou Gallery has the entire L’Officiel de la Mode available online for researchers (The searchable database is an excellent resource for Fashion Historians).  While I don’t really read or speak French, I found the site to be …

From the Archive: The Politics of Mannequins, Part III – Mannequins in Art

Originally posted by Tove Hermanson, March 2nd, 2010 this series filled with powerful images looks at Mannequins in art, fashion as well as non-consumerist functions. Until the article I recently read, mannequins in their practical form held little interest for me; however mannequins in art have always attracted me, most likely due to my obsession with fashion coupled with my fascination with unsettling representations of people (and who doesn’t …

CFP: Textiles and Politics

  CFP: Textiles and Politics Textile Society of America 13th Biennial Symposium Sept 19-22, 2012, Washington DC Deadline for submission of abstracts: October 1, 2011 Throughout human history and across the globe, whether as intimate artifacts of interpersonal relations or state-level monumental works, textiles have been imbued with political importance. Textiles can communicate and construct status, ethnicity, gender, power, taste, and wealth, and have functioned …

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