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Romeo Gigli

Rio Ali

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

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

Sid Vicious and the Sex Pistols

José Blanco F.

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The British band Sex Pistols are the quintessential London punk band: they defined British punk better than any other artist did. Although punk rock was heralded as antiestablishment and promoting anarchy, Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood carefully orchestrated the appearance and styling of the Sex Pistols. Sid Vicious joined the band in 1977 to replace Glen Matlock. As guitarist and vocalist, Vicious became a de facto leading man for the band. Along with bandmate Johnny Rotten (John Lydon),

David Bowie

José Blanco F.

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

David Bowie is the musician most closely associated with glam rock, a genre of music that enjoyed great popularity in the 1970s, particularly in the United Kingdom. Glam rock was more than just music: it was about epic, elaborate concert productions, exuberant costumes and makeup, and playful exploration of gender identity. Bowie was born Robert David Jones on 8 January 1947 in Brixton, London. In the late 1960s, Bowie began a career as a psychedelic folk rock singer with several singles and the

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

Adam Ant

José Blanco F.

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

In the early 1980s, pop musicians embraced historicism in their performance attire. Adam and the Ants, a new wave band based in London, donned clothing inspired by historic military outfits, nineteenth-century dandies, and pirates. They were among the recognized leaders of the New Romantics movement, a London youth subculture known for its taste for eccentric fashion. The band was formed in 1977 and achieved fame with a streak of successful albums, particularly Kings of the Wild Frontier (1980) a

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

Siouxsie Sioux

Fiona Corbridge

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The Medusa-like Siouxsie Sioux, who fronted her own band, Siouxsie and the Banshees, is closely identified with 1970s British punk and the post-punk era. Gleefully subverting convention and with an inescapably dark aesthetic, forbidden worlds of sex and fetishism were crossed with theatrical display in a wardrobe that was crowned by the graphic beauty of a pale face with exaggerated kohl eyes, red lips, and savage spikes of dark hair. Fashion has continued to embrace the theme of subversion and m

Elvis Presley

Fiona Corbridge

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Elvis Presley’s ascent from impoverished childhood to worldwide fame as a singer and actor in the 1950s allowed him to indulge a love of clothes that began as a teenager. A career of over twenty years established a sharp-dressing persona, graduating into extravagant stage attire in the 1970s. The shock of his early death only served to increase the public’s fascination with him and to immortalize him as a cultural icon. Elvis’s handsome image continues to reassert itself in the early twenty-first

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

Stephen Sprouse, Fall/Winter 1988

Lorynn Divita

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Stephen Sprouse was a pioneer in merging street style and high fashion. During his early career at Halston, he was drawn to the downtown New York punk scene. Working with Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Andy Warhol, his fall/winter collection of 1988 had all of the hallmarks of a Sprouse collection, with Day-Glo fabrics, sheath dresses, and bold graffiti prints. It was also Sprouse’s last collection for a decade. Stephen’s career flourished again at the end of his life thanks to his famou

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

Minimalism

Lorynn Divita

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Since the early twentieth century, the fashion pendulum returns periodically to minimalism, with its focus on simple lines, geometric shapes, architectural tailoring, and high-quality fabrics. Early renowned minimalist designers include Madeline Vionnet, who in the 1910s was known as the “architect among designers,” and the style reached widespread popularity with Coco Chanel’s Little Black Dress in the 1920s. American designers such as Claire McCardell incorporated minimalistic principles in gar

Yves Saint Laurent, Spring/Summer 1988 Haute Couture

Lorynn Divita

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Throughout his career, Yves Saint Laurent famously drew inspiration from all of the fine arts, including painting, opera, the ballet, literature, poetry, and the works of Shakespeare. The influence of various painters on Saint Laurent’s creations dates back to his famous fall/winter 1965 “Mondrian Poliakoff” collection. His spring/summer 1988 collection, a tribute to cubism and impressionism and the work of Georges Braque and Vincent Van Gogh, was a natural fit into his oeuvre, with jackets embro

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,

Bianca Jagger

Jessica Draper

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The 1970s was a highly creative period in fashion, and one in which designers’ celebrity muses were prominent. Model and actress Bianca Jagger was a very fashionable friend to designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Roy Halston, and became a particularly memorable icon of the 1970s, embodying the eclectic style that came to define the decade. Jagger referenced themes of exoticism, menswear, and the 1940s in her attention-grabbing wardrobe, which became a subject of particular press interest afte

“58% Don’t Want Pershing” T-Shirt, Katherine Hamnett, 1984

Jessica Draper

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Fashion designer Katherine Hamnett has cleverly employed fashion as a vessel to carry a political message from early in her career, including the infamous T-shirt “58% Don’t Want Pershing,” in which she was photographed meeting the British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, in 1984. Concealing the shirt under a jacket and revealing it at the last moment was a masterstroke of publicity, both for Hamnett’s brand and her wider concerns. Hamnett has continued her political activism through her fashio

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