So many fashion editorials inspired by Gustav Klimt! This is an oldie but goodie.
Photo by Norman Parkinson, 1965 (editorial inspired by Gustav Klimt)
At the Bar (Salvation Army Girls) by Jeanne Mammen, 1926.
During the Weimar hyperinflation crisis of the late 1920s, religious charities such as Catholic Relief and the American Salvation Army came to Berlin to provide relief - which was, of course, ironic considering the factors that led to the financial crisis to begin with. In the parlance of the queer Berlin demimonde, however, Salvation Army Girls (or, more popularly, Hot Whores) were heavily made-up professional prostitutes who serviced exclusively female clients. They could usually be found at the bars of lesbian lounges, looking bored and smoking cigarettes in long holders.
(Image and info source: Mel Gordon’s Voluptuous Panic.)
A Young Lady of Fashion, attributed to Paolo Uccello, early 1460s
From the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum website:
The woman is portrayed both according to literary notions of female pulchritude, which called for fair skin and blonde hair, and the dictates of contemporary fashion.
Costly brocaded fabrics, pearls, and precious stones serve not only to display the sitter’s familial wealth and status but also to enhance her physical appearance – in art, as in life. In addition to a red and gold brocade sleeve and a sleeveless overdress, the woman wears a head brooch, a pearl choker with jeweled pendant, and a white cap ornamented with pearls.
This fashionable beauty looks impassive, immobile, and immutable, as if she were outside space and time. Her portrait image has a static, stereotyped character, in which the sitter’s individuality is almost entirely suppressed in favor of the social ideals for which she stands.
Portrait of a Young Woman by Lorenzo di Credi, c. 1490-1500 via The Met
Gianni Versace (Italian, 1946–1997), for Versace Couture. Polychrome printed silk with multicolored rhinestone and glass bead embroidery.
I’m in Pittsburgh for the long holiday weekend, and what could be more Pittsburgh than a Warhol-inspired dress? Warhol is perpetually in vogue—the Pop icon’s influence can be seen in a current makeup collection by Mac, a T-shirt line for Uniqlo, and in recent high-fashion collections from Marc Jacobs (who channeled Warhol muse Edie Sedgewick for his spring runway show of black-and-white stripes) and Raf Simons (whose latest Dior extravaganza featured body-skimming dresses and leather handbags embellished with the artist’s early fashion illustrations). But few have captured Warhol’s exuberance and wonderful garishness as Gianni Versace did with his candy-colored Marilyn-Monroe-and-James-Dean evening gown, from 1991.
Here’s a description from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website:
Widely influenced by the florid shapes and colors of print artists like Sonia Delaunay and Raoul Dufy, both of whom collaborated with fashion artists during the course of their careers, Gianni Versace frequently referenced art historical and various cultural aesthetic phenomena. His classical allusions range from the inclusion of the Medusa as part of the Versace logo to the Greek key pattern as a frequenter of both men’s and women’s collections, though an attraction to both Surrealism and Pop Art is equally obvious in his fabric manifestations. This piece, printed with the iconic faces of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, is a testament to Versace’s fascination with the ironic and sometimes morbid depictions of Andy Warhol inasmuch as it is an exclusive signifier of Versace’s self-proclaimed personality as the celebrity couturier.
I love this quote by avant jeweler Art Smith: “A piece of jewelry is in a sense an object that is not complete in itself. Jewelry is a ‘what is it?’ until you relate it to the body. The body is a component in design just as air and space are. Like line, form, and color, the body is a material to work with. It is one of the basic inspirations in creating form.”
Also, I saw that exhibition of his work at the Brooklyn Museum in 2008, and it was fantastic. You could wear everything today.
A model wears Art Smith’s “Modern Cuff” Bracelet, circa 1948. Art Smith (1917-1982) was a modernist jeweler born in Cuba to Jamaican parents who eventually emigrated to Brooklyn. He opened his first shop on Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village in 1946 - no small feat. According to the Brooklyn Museum (host of a 2008 exhibit of his work) he was one of the leading modernist jewelers of the mid-twentieth century. Along with being covered by magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, Smith, an avid jazz lover, once made cufflinks for Duke Ellington which included some notes from Mr. Ellington’s “Mood Indigo.” Mr. Smith was also a supporter of early Black modern dance groups and an active supporter of Black and gay rights. Art Smith was quoted in the 1969 catalog for his one man exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Craft: “A piece of jewelry is in a sense an object that is not complete in itself. Jewelry is a ‘what is it?’ until you relate it to the body. The body is a component in design just as air and space are. Like line, form, and color, the body is a material to work with. It is one of the basic inspirations in creating form.”