How much do you love this ahead-of-its-time 1938 Vogue cover?
Surfer-girl style has come a long, long way. See its evolution on Vogue.com.
Photographed by Toni Frissell, Vogue, December 15, 1938
Van Gogh’s “Irises” made another appearance on the runway this week at Maison Martin Margiela’s very fun couture show.
Seriously, Van Gogh must be fashion’s most heavily remastered artist, after Warhol maybe. But even though Yves Saint Laurent and, more recently, Rodarte have appropriated VG’s flower paintings in the past, this felt fresh. Probably because it had a more cheeky, less pretentious, less reverent feel. Rodarte’s prom dresses printed in swirling Van Gogh brush strokes felt like the sort of typical swoony teenage-girl adoration of his paintings (which, most of their collections have this sort of swoony-fangirl kind of vibe, whether toward Japanese horror films or Star Wars, say). And YSL…
So, it’s funny. I saw the YSL biopic (the “official” one) recently), and I’ve been thinking about how Saint Laurent was on the one hand so instrumental to the creation of pret-a-porter (that is “designer” stuff that is “off the rack”) and the injection of pop (and counter-) culture into high fashion. Yet at the same time he always, ALWAYS, considered himself an artiste. And how his many sort of “art” collections—which were homages to more than riffs on artists list Mondrian and Van Gogh and Picasso—were this sort of way to elevate fashion—at least his fashion—to the realm of art.
Anyway, that was a long detour to saying that, yes, this has been done, but I still like this. And I would definitely wear it, you know, if I ever had a million dollars and was invited to, like, a film premiere or ball or something.
Franz Xavier Winterhalter, Queen Victoria (detail)
"Winterhalter’s…popularity among patrons came from his ability to create the image his sitters wished or needed to project to their subjects. He was able to capture the moral and political climate of each court, adapting his style to each client until it seemed as if his paintings acted as press releases, issued by a master of public relations." —from our short bio on Winterhalter
I missed this weekend that the great art and fashion historian Anne Hollander died. Her book Seeing Through Clothes, which I read in graduate school, inspired me to start this erstwhile Tumblr. (For a less academic intro to her writing, I recommend this piece she wrote for New York magazine about period-film costumes.) Below is the Paris Review’s eulogy.
“She expanded the rhetoric and insight of criticism about style, engaging where most writers thought there was nothing to engage with.”
Elizabeth Threatt photographed by Louise Dahl-Wolfe for Harper’s Bazaar, 1951.