Archives for posts with tag: Vogue USA

vogue swimwear bathingsuit 1941

Vogue USA, 1941

The first official summer weekend is round the corner and I want to celebrate it in true fashionarchaeology.com style:

Summer associations: water, beach, sun, sea, swimming

G.Barbier, il bagno, 1925-6

 

George Barbier, 1925

The elegance of Barbier’s work is always breath-taking, but it’s not just his artistic talent, it’s the overall stylishness of the age he lived and worked in. One of the men in the image above is naked.  Male nudity for swimming had, of course, been the tradition in England until women started frequenting beaches and pools in the second half of the nineteenth century. British men put up  great resistance to swimwear,  demanding instead that beaches be sectioned off, with screens behind which women were segregated. By the first world war they had to give up their demand to the right to nakedness in public – women had actually taken up swimming , not just bathing. One question remains: why is the man naked but wearing a red, probably rubber, swimming cap on his head?

These are the grandparents  of a friend on the italian Riviera back in the 1920s-30s. All three figures are inherently stylish – it’s the toned bodies, the elegant poses, the latest hairstyles and of course the newest trend for unisex swimwear.

 

For the ladies who did not fancy the clinging and revealing  knitted swimwear, Parisian fashion houses were offering cotton fabric alternatives too

giornale Art Gout Beauté, costumi mare,1927

Art Gout Beauté, swimming fashions, 1927

bikini, 1945

Bikini, 1945, USA

Jentzen bikin,1953,mus of lon

 

Jentzen cotton bikini, 1953

and even a playsuit!

vintage swimwear bathing suit Vogue  1952

Vogue USA, 1954

Cotton fabric swimwear continued to be ‘the’ fashion, until lycra and other wonder fibres  offered acceptable, stylish alternatives. But that’s another story. Best beach wishes to you all!

 

alberto Vargas, Esquire Magazine

Alberto Vargas, 1940s, Esquire magazine, USA

GARDEN DRESSING is a new pet project I am working on with Italian garden historian and architect Filippo Pizzoni. In 2014, after asking me to give a talk on “plants and flowers in Italian fashion of the 20th century” at the yearly conference he organizes for prestigious Orticola in Milan, my love for the subject has literally bloomed.

I am now researching for a publication on the theme of gardens and clothes – in its widest possible interpretation. From what to wear while gardening, to fashions inspired by gardens. Obviously from a historical  perspective – in true fashionarchaeology.com style.

So today I have decided to share some images: some beautiful, some curious and some just plain fun. I will return to this topic as research develops.

enjoy!

Nathaniel Dance, Pybus family,1769c,NGVictoria

N.Dance, the Pybus family, 1769, CNG Victoria

By the mid 1700s images of individuals enjoying the open space, and more specifically their custom designed gardens (note the beautifully trimmed grass), become quite common. The English had already established their ‘garden culture’ which swept across Europe and the world by the end of the 18th century. The children here seem to be the ‘sensible’ ones with their broad brimmed straw hats. Suntans were not acceptable in good society and hats were essential to protect fair skin and indeed light-coloured eyes.

straw hat, diameter 35.6 cm, met ny

Straw hat, mid 1700s, Metropolitan Museum of Art New York USA

Into the 20th century, when representations of women in gardens turn from passive to active. Although sometimes their clothing is totally unsuitable for this outdoor pass-time.

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This young lady from a 1923 american gardening catalogue has her straw hat but wears dress, stockings and high heeled shoes in immaculate white. From the start of the century we are fed paradoxical images like these. One way to interpret them is by understanding that the lady is only actively undertaking the final phase of gardening – she is picking the flowers for her arrangements within the home. The ‘dirty’ work is left to the paid (male) gardener through hot summers and chilling winters.

Vogue 1948, Elisabeth taylor in a garden

Elisabeth Taylor in the garden, 1948, Vogue USA

Here the beautiful garden becomes synonymous with the beautiful celebrity, actress Liz Taylor posing in a secret garden holding a fresh bloom. An easy association typical of fashion magazine dialectics.

But at the same time another eye catching image of women (and gardens) is appearing in adverts and the media

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It takes the notorious admen of 1950s America to come up with associations like this one!

 

 

 

 

 

Picture 29107

La Gazette du Bon Ton, cover by George Lepape, cape by J. Lanvin, 1923

No_61_Mark_Rothko

Mark Rothko

Blue goes well with more blue….different shades together are intense, sensual and powerful.

Horst P. Horst Vogue USA,fashion ed Babe Paley,1946

Horst P. Horst, Babe Paley, 1946

Horst P. Horst is here using tones of blue to give depth and a sense of intrigue to his portrait of one of the most powerful women in New York just after the second World War, Babe Paley, Vogue USA’s feared fashion editor.

But blue works well with a number of colours (see my previous post on blue and red), in some cases muted shades such as green, give a light spring/summer feel to an outfit

Derwent Lees,girl in black hat,1912,NGVictoria

Derwent Lees, Girl in black hat, 1912, National Gallery of Victoria , Australia

Electric blue and grey are dynamic and work well for this child’s dress from 1918, but this colour combination would not be out-of-place on today’s catwalk

Bernard Meninsky,child in blue,1918,pc

Bernard Meninsky, Child in blue, 1918, pc

Blue and any acid colour has a stunningly fresh effect, catching our attention every time

Blue and orange:

beckmann-autoritratto-in-giacca-blu-1950,St Louis Art mus

Beckmann, self-portrait in blue jacket, 1950, St Louis Art museum, USA

Or blue and yellow:

Ethel Spowers, skaters, 1931 Bonhams

Ethel Spowers, skaters, 1931 (Bonham’s, London, UK)

mark rothko

Mark Rothko

Mme Gres, sleevless dress, 1968 with overcoat, met ny

Mme Grès, maxi dress + coat, 1968, Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art , NY, USA

Mme Gres, sleevless dress, 1968

the dress

Mme Gres, sleevless dress, 1968 back, met ny

the back of the dress

Yellow also works splendidly with a greener shade of blue:

feather tunic, 7th-10thC, feathers sewn on cotton fabric,MET NY

Feather tunic, Peru, 7th – 10th century, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, USA

man shirt,embroid damask

Man’s short sleeved cotton Bazin top with yellow embroidery, west Africa, 21st century

Jeffrey-Campbell-shoes-Lita-(Blue-Green)-010604

Jeffrey Campbell shoes, USA, 21st Century