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Rifat Özbek, Spring/Summer 1991

Lucy Adjoa Armah

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Rifat Özbek’s spring/summer collection of 1991 exemplifies his ability to successfully commoditize the very essence of ethnicity without alienating the young, creative, Western urbanites who were his collaborators and would eventually become his customers. This situates him as an early agent in the emergence of a cosmopolitan aesthetic in fashion. As today’s industry becomes increasingly provincialized and the big four fashion capitals have to cede some of their influence to satellite sites, Özbe

Camouflage on the Catwalk

Ariel Beaujot

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The camouflage pattern that is so ubiquitous in Western clothing styles was developed to hide machinery during World War I; it only became a pattern for clothing for troops in World War II. “Camo” is key for war because it helps items blend into the background and it disrupts the shape of forms. Largely because of Army Surplus Stores, camo became a pattern used in street fashion in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The meaning of camo in this period varied from antiwar protest to a reconnection with n

Futurism

Fruzsina Bekefi

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

This article examines futurism in fashion in the twentieth century and it will focus on the work of designers between 1970 and 2000. It characterizes the theme, its meaning, and relevance during different eras by charting its progression from the fashions promoted by Italian futurists to the utopian designs of the space age. It also explores how contemporary designers have interpreted futuristic trends. Futuristic fashion is shown to intimately reflect on the conditions of existence in years to c

“Coiled Corset,” Shaun Leane for Alexander McQueen, Fall/Winter 1999

Kate Bethune

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The “Coiled Corset” is an example of radical body adornment made by jeweler Shaun Leane for fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s collection “The Overlook” (fall/winter 1999). Leane, who originally trained as a jeweler and goldsmith, first worked with McQueen in 1995, when he made silver watch chains for his “Highland Rape” collection (fall/winter 1995). His creative collaborations with McQueen soon propelled him to work with new materials and on a much larger scale to create elaborate body sculpt

Alexander McQueen’s “Bumster” Trousers

Kate Bethune

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Alexander McQueen’s “Bumster” trousers caused a sensation as one of the most provocative designs of the 1990s. McQueen redefined the silhouette with the Bumsters by cutting the waistband two inches below that of hipster trousers to elongate the torso and expose the lower spine and top of the buttocks. Although a prototype pair was made in late 1992, Bumsters first appeared on the catwalk in McQueen’s inaugural show, “Nihilism” (spring/summer 1994). Reappearing in collections including the controv

Kurt Cobain

José Blanco F.

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, was born on 20 February 1967 in Aberdeen in the state of Washington. He became the salient figure in grunge music, a style that developed in the Pacific Northwest of the United States in the middle of the 1980s and achieved global popularity in the early 1990s. Grunge is a style of alternative rock based on accented percussion, heavy electric guitar riffs, electronic distortion, and loud—often howling—vocals. Nirvana, formed in 1988, became one of the most

Hussein Chalayan, Spring/Summer 1995

Barbara Brownie

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Hussein Chalayan’s spring/summer 1995 collection, entitled “Temporary Interference,” was his second commercial collection. It contributed to establishing Chalayan not only as a fashion designer, but as a philosopher and artist for whom clothes are a medium for provoking questions and symbolizing complex notions about human ambition. With this collection, Chalayan explores man’s ill-fated attempts to elevate himself to the status of the divine. Helium-filled balloons pull full-length slip dresses

Arabella Pollen

Katy Conover

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Kate Moss

Karen de Perthuis

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Kate Moss is one of the world’s most photographed women, a blank slate for contemporary dreams and desires. With a career spanning three decades, she is a rare enduring phenomenon in an industry defined by ephemerality and a brutal quest for novelty. In the summer of 1988, she was fourteen when spotted by model agent Sarah Doukas at JFK airport—a bored teenager from the London suburb of Croydon with almond eyes, cupid-bow lips, and “God-given bone structure.” She would soon become a fashion model

Ann Demeulemeester, Spring/Summer 1992

Elisa De Wyngaert

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The spring/summer collection of 1992 was Ann Demeulemeester’s first fashion show in Paris. She presented her looks alongside other young avant-garde Belgian designers, including Martin Margiela. The silhouettes of the collection featured some elements which would later become known as Demeulemeester’s signatures: feathers, a strong cut, and a kind of androgyny blended with poetic femininity. Yet these silhouettes also deviated from the monochromatic feel of her later work. Furthermore, Patti Smit

Ralph Lauren, 1994

Lorynn Divita

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Ralph Lauren specializes in promoting an idealized romantic lifestyle, whether it is the WASP-y life of inherited privilege in the northeast, the rugged individualism of the American cowboy, or British colonialism in Africa. However, for this collection Lauren took a different path, featuring military-influenced styles in khaki fabrics juxtaposed with flowing dresses that strongly resemble the traditional Vietnamese ao dai costume, complete with models styled in conical non la leaf hats. Although

Christian Lacroix, Spring/Summer 1997

Lorynn Divita

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Lacroix will forever be known as the man who invented the high femininity look during the 1980s. His use of poufs, miniskirts, and corsets may not have been intended to start a debate, but that was the reaction, and his work even became the focus of a chapter of Susan Faludi's feminist tome Backlash. His spring/summer collection of 1997 showed his signature styles with French and ethnic influences. The rise of minimalism caused his look to fall out of favor, but his career continued as a creative

Christian Dior Haute Couture by John Galliano, Fall/Winter 1997–1998

Waleria Dorogova

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Following his enthusiastically celebrated debut at Dior, for his second couture collection, John Galliano staged another highly theatricalized défilé in the notoriously gallant environment of the Jardin de Bagatelle. It was the first set design in a series commissioned from Michael Howells, who created complementing backdrops for Galliano’s garments and scenography. Aesthetical measures established in the first show for spring—traditional visual codes and the sartorial heritage of Christian Dior,

Vivienne Westwood, “On Liberty,” Fall/Winter 1994

Lydia Edwards

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

“My job, more than anything, is to idealize women,” Vivienne Westwood has said of her work, including the fall/winter collection “On Liberty,” which premiered in Paris in 1994. Her appropriation of historic styles is well known, but in this collection a reinvention of the bustle, the nineteenth-century skirt support that accented a woman’s behind and allowed for elaborate skirt drapery, is more fluid than similar iterations have been. Westwood’s stark wire cage from 1990, for instance, was not so

Vivienne Westwood’s Elevated Ghillie Shoes from 1993

Hayley-Jane Edwards-Dujardin

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

For her fall/winter 1993–1994 “Anglomania” collection, Vivienne Westwood perched her models on extremely elevated platform shoes. Inspired, as most of her collection, by Scottish traditional garments, the platform shoes reinterpreted ancestral ghillies worn for folkloric dances. However, apart from the lacing structure, the shoes were more reminiscent of fetish footwear—an aesthetic typical of Vivienne Westwood’s taste for combining conservatism with subversiveness. When the British designer rein

Vivienne Westwood, “Anglomania,” Fall/Winter 1993–1994

Hayley-Jane Edwards-Dujardin

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

From being queen of punk in the mid-1970s, Vivienne Westwood slightly moved, from the 1980s, to being a supporter of British fashion’s establishment. Inspired by traditional craftsmanship and eighteenth-century art, the designer has since infused her collections with historicism. With her fall/winter 1993–1994 “Anglomania” show, Vivienne Westwood epitomized her interest in English and Scottish traditions while mingling masculine tailoring with outrageously feminine forms. Featuring laced bodices,

Underwear from the 1970s to 2000

Hayley-Jane Edwards-Dujardin

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

From the twentieth century, underwear has acquired a functional and an aesthetic purpose, sometimes serving as a second skin for comfort and at other times as an exoskeleton, reshaping the body’s natural form. It conceals or audaciously reveals women’s intimacy and thus nourishes erotic fantasies in a flirtatious game of “nice meets naughty.” Underwear originally had a function of protection, hygiene, and support; it embodied the existing social boundaries between the hidden intimacy and the publ

Red or Dead, Spring/Summer 1996

Jenny Evans

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Red or Dead’s “New York Dolls” collection caused outrage in the British tabloid press. The Mail on Sunday described the show as the “sick face of British fashion” after models brandished bloodied knives, knitting needles, and scissors. The clothing was almost overshadowed by the show’s melodramatic kitsch depiction of a dystopian future inhabited by “disturbed housewives.” While the emergence of “Cool Britannia” was attracting positive global attention, Wayne and Geraldine Hemingway, Red or Dead’

Red or Dead, Spring/Summer 1995

Amelia Francis

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The Red or Dead spring/summer 1995 ready-to-wear collection presents fashion pieces with a distinct moral statement: designer Wayne Hemmingway’s disgust at the practice of Western tourists exploiting the Far Eastern sex trade. This issue was particularly pertinent in the cultural context of the time. While this instance of a designer using his work to highlight cultural, ethical, and political dilemmas is by no means the first or last of its kind, the nature of the issue at hand, and the way it w

Video Art And Videophilia

Adam Geczy and Jacqueline Millner

Source: Fashionable Art 2015

Book chapter

From the beginning, video art was understood as anti-establishment. It can lay claim to a unique origin: unlike other visual arts media, it was forged in the crucible of contemporary, rather than modern, classical or ancient, art. It had no tradition so was not beholden to it. It had no canon so could start from scratch in response to its immediate circumstances. It had no critical discourse so was not accountable to it. It promised to democratize the production of images. Video art emerged at th

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Fall/Winter 1990

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

In this collection, presented in the Champs-Élysées cinema, Karl Lagerfeld introduced the “slope,” a new iteration of the Chanel jacket that featured a narrow-fitting shoulder line. The clothes were influenced by a combination of eighteenth-century robes à la française and the mod 1960s, with open panniers that revealed miniskirts and thigh-high boots. The playfulness of the collection spoke to the young and daring attitude of the new couture customer. For the finale, Lagerfeld presented three br

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Fall/Winter 1991

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

This collection is an example of what Bernadine Morris at the New York Times termed “the new age of haute couture,” where couture was about exploring directional, fashion-forward concepts instead of just creating opulent clothing. Presented at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Lagerfeld subverted stiff, prom-dressy tulle by molding it into gaucho pants, puffy parkas, and bubble dresses. Atypical fabrics like cellophane and plastic were used on classic tweed jackets. He also introduce

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Spring/Summer 1997

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

This collection was shown at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, in the Windsor suite—in the mode of a traditional salon show. It drew positive reviews, with one saying it was “the height of refinement … how a couture customer wants to look.” Yet, it focused mostly on evening wear, with sheer, lightweight fabrics. Despite the raciness of the revealing dresses, they looked traditional and refined. To underscore the refinement, Chanel’s logo was absent from the garments. Picture hats and “feather-on-a-stick”

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Spring/Summer 1994

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

This collection was shown in Paris beneath the Louvre in the newly renovated Carrousel underground complex, the first time a fashion show had been organized underground. The collection attracted controversy because of three dresses printed with Arabic writing. When clerics in Indonesia protested, Lagerfeld apologized, destroyed the dresses, and asked journalists and photographers not to publish photos of them. The mannequins in this show were not just top models, but celebrities and actresses. Th

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