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Daniel Hechter

Paula Alaszkiewicz

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

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

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

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

Luxury

Jonathan Faiers

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Luxury and fashion today are increasingly uttered in the same breath, and while fashion certainly does not have to be luxurious, the term fashion adds a significance and meaning to everyday clothing that elevates it above its chief utilitarian functions of providing protection, warmth, and modesty. The combination luxury fashion, however, implies cost, exclusivity, indulgence, and excess, and is typically understood as being constructed from the finest materials, involving a high level of craftsm

Comparing Designers

Tony Glenville

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Spring/Summer 1983

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

In 1983, twelve years after Gabrielle Chanel died, the Chanel brand was given new life by Karl Lagerfeld’s debut Chanel collection. His first couture collection was highly anticipated, but was met with mixed reviews. Some believed it was a good first effort that honored Chanel’s legacy, while others believed that the Chanel house should not have been revived because no one could replace her. Lagerfeld kept the silhouettes and classic styles that Chanel popularized in the 1920s and 1930s, but adde

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Fall/Winter 1985

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

This collection continued the development of Lagerfeld’s Chanel. Beaded looks were made to look like intricate tapestries and the hems of skirts were either floor-length or well above the knee, a deviation from Chanel’s strict rule of creating skirts 2 in. (5 cm) below the knee, no matter the fashion. The final bridal look was a white satin miniskirt suit. Two-tone, matronly pumps were a Chanel signature; the black stilettos in the collection underscored the younger, sexier direction of the house

Anna Wintour

Stephanie Kramer

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Regarded as one of the industry’s most powerful figures, Anna Wintour is not simply an arbiter of fashion, but also a style setter in her own right. As editor in chief of Vogue, Wintour establishes trends and anoints the latest talent, but as a fashion icon, her style is tailored to perfection, tried and true. Though Anna Wintour’s style legacy is still very much in the making, her position as a fashion icon has undoubtedly been established. Countless designers not only cite her as a muse, but th

Janis Joplin

Stephanie Kramer

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

As the 1960s became defined by social upheaval, free thinking, and unbridled creative output, perhaps no other female figure embodied the zeitgeist more than singer Janis Joplin. She channeled a profound feeling of alienation into an inimitable performance style, and as her singing career flourished, her fashion style developed into the veritable quintessence of the countercultural look. An amalgam of a diverse range of sources, Joplin’s style was at once boyish yet delicate, earthy yet ethereal,

Marlon Brando

Stephanie Kramer

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The white T-shirt, the biker jacket, jeans: these three items have become so ingrained in menswear’s fashion lexicon that it is almost difficult to conceive the relative newness of these classic wardrobe staples within the context of menswear’s history. In fact, it is perhaps even more difficult to fathom what the fate of these integral menswear items would have been without the legendary style impact of Marlon Brando. One of the most influential and celebrated American screen and stage actors of

Byblos

Elizabeth Kutesko

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Florals

Tessa Maffucci

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Floral designs are ubiquitous in fashion. They appear reliably with each new season, spring or fall, as designers attempt to find new ways to iterate this now traditional motif. The history of floral textiles is complex. Flower designs have been intimately tied up with colonialism and the convergence of cultures of dress; however, the patterns themselves are often seen in simplistic terms as signifying femininity or pastoral innocence. Florals can translate the beauty of the natural world onto th

1990s Style: Key Themes and Trends

Melissa Marra-Alvarez

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The 1990s, the decade that brought a close to the second millennium, appeared to introduce fashion trends at a breakneck pace, prompting the January 1996 issue of American Vogue to report that “never [had] a decade been so indecisive when it [came] to fashion.” However, despite the rapid cycling of styles that characterized this decade, a number of trends did manage to leave a lasting impression, such that these are now considered emblematic of 1990s fashion. This article examines five of these f

Christian Lacroix Haute Couture, Spring/Summer 1998

Jennifer Grayer Moore

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The spring/summer haute couture collection of 1998 by Christian Lacroix is a case study in the high theatrics that came to define much of haute couture design in the 1990s. Bold and clashing colors, patterns juxtaposed to test the very definition of good taste, and incongruous assemblages of historical details that have been inverted and exploded, manipulated, and subverted permeate this collection and beg the question of the role such clothes might play in a woman’s wardrobe. Lacroix’s work, vie

The Handbag from the 1970s to 2000

Lucy Moyse

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The need to collect, carry, and contain one’s belongings has existed for as long as humanity. From sacks to hold prehistoric flint and pouches for early coins to purses with contemporary cosmetics, various types of handbags have appeared in art and writing throughout history. While always fulfilling a practical function, handbags have also evolved with changing needs. They can be signifiers of fashion, social status, and even psychological state, as they mediate the boundaries between interior an

Vivienne Westwood, Red Label, Fall/Winter 1999

Lucy Moyse

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Quirky, colorful, and colliding: with its juxtaposed styles, influences, and prints, Westwood created a discordant harmony in her fall/winter Red Label collection of 1999. It was the sixth collection that Westwood had produced for her Red Label line, and it was a rapid departure from those of other designers that season. Among Westwood’s peers, the key trends were plain fabrics and creamy, muted colors; Westwood clashed brights, checks, and prints. In contrast to the clean, understated, minimalis

Valentino, Fall/Winter 1990

Laura Peach

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Valentino’s collection for fall 1990 celebrated the designer’s thirtieth year of working in fashion. The decadent overtones of the looks followed the opulent fashions of the previous decade and the luxury that Valentino had become known for. Gold lamé tiered skirts, jeweled sheer tops, and egret feather bodices all appeared on the runway. Certain looks borrowed motifs from Baccarat crystals, a partnership-type trend that would continue in fashion through the decades to come. Several dresses in th

The Chanel “2.55” Handbag, Fall/Winter 1995

Julia Rea

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Since its introduction in February 1955, the “2.55” handbag has formed an integral and enduring part of the House of Chanel’s stylistic vocabulary of accessories. Its recurring role as an immediately recognizable and iconic symbol of both the brand’s unique heritage and contemporary identity is a rare example of a fashion object that embodies a contradictory blend of permanence and continuous renewal. By examining the historical context of the 2.55 bag through the lens of a contemporary version,

Punk

Monica Sklar

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Punk is one of the most influential and highly visible of modern subcultures around the globe. While maintaining its original cachet with subcultural wearers, the aesthetic is also seen on high-fashion runways, in mainstream mall stores, and in every ideation imaginable on the street. Many elements of punk dress, such as combat boots, studded belts, and vibrantly dyed hair, have become iconic in popular culture, yet symbolism and meanings have changed over time. Today’s punk dress is primarily ro

Dots in Fashion

Jo Turney

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Spots, dots, spheres, circles, and even “splats” are central to the expression of fashion as fun. With reference to 1950s bobby-soxers and nostalgic soda fountains, child-like innocence, summer vacations, dance, and escapism in general, spotty fashion has, since the 1970s, embraced humor and playfulness. Yet, prior to this date, dots in fashion and in representation in general have negotiated a paradoxical relationship with taste, encompassing both the naive and the sophisticated, which has incre

Red

Jane Webb

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Wearing red is always meaningful but can be contradictory—it can stand for being good or bad, symbolize opposite ends of opinion in the political spectrum, take you home, or drive you to madness. That red is one of the oldest significant colors, yet remains dynamic and contemporary, is the greatest contradiction of all. In this article we consider whether despite its perpetual appearances on the catwalk in various guises, as singular and collective, abstract, decadent, primal, nostalgic, and spor

Wrap Dress, Diane von Furstenberg, 1974

Linda Welters

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The name of Diane von Furstenberg (originally von Fürstenberg) is inextricably linked to the wrap dress that she introduced to American women in 1974. Within two years, she had sold over two million units, a feat that landed her on the cover of the 22 March 1976 issue of Newsweek. The popularity of her sexy, printed, jersey wrap dress waned in the late 1970s. When renewed interest in 1970s styles surfaced in the late 1990s, Diane von Furstenberg reintroduced the wrap dress. Other leading designer

Introduction

Jianhua Zhao

Source: The Chinese Fashion Industry. An Ethnographic Approach 2013

Book chapter

On a sultry summer day in Beijing in 2002, I was riding a taxi to a department store near Wangfujing. The store sold traditional Chinesestyle clothing, in which I was interested as part of my research on Chinese clothing styles. Suddenly, the taxi driver, a man in his forties, started yelling, “Ji (hooker)! Ji! [That] must be a ji.” Guided by his angry finger, I saw a tall slender young Chinese woman wearing a glaringly red backless silk halter-top secured with only two strings in the back, march

What Do Changing Chinese Fashions Really Tell Us?

Jianhua Zhao

Source: The Chinese Fashion Industry. An Ethnographic Approach 2013

Book chapter

We are modern not only because we have achieved this status historically, but because we have developed consciousness of our historical depths and trajectories, as also our historical transcendence of the traditional.

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