(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘fashion history

On the heels of Fashion Week…

Parisian fashion designed to protect against bombardments experienced during the “siege of Paris”, featured in Album of the Siege: a collection of caricatures published in the Charivari during the siege of Paris (ca.1871) by Cham and Daumier

The annual occupation of mid-town Manhattan by couturiers and their cohorts– Fashion Week– ended earlier this month.  As New York returns to normalcy, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the sartorial splendors of times gone by…

“Habit d’Orlogeur”, from Nicolas II Larmessin’s 17th century series of engravings depicting fanciful costumes relating to the different professions, featured in Claudius Saunier’s Die Geschichte der Zeitmesskunst (1903)

Visit Public Domain Review to take “A little wander down the catwalk of time…

Special bonus from National Geographic: “As Fashion Week Ends, Pondering the Origins of Clothes.”


As we try it on for size, we might recall tat it was on this date in 1964 that the Paris Opera unveiled its newly-painted ceiling, the work of artist Marc Chagall.  Andre Malraux, the French minister of culture at the time, had commissioned Chagall to design a new ceiling for the Paris Opera after seeing Chagall’s sets and costumes for an earlier Paris Opera production of Daphnis et Chloe.  The ceiling was unveiled during a performance of the same Daphnis et Chloe.  (Chagall was just getting warmed up:  In 1966, as a gift to the city that had sheltered him during World War II, he painted two vast murals for New York’s Metropolitan Opera House.)



Written by (Roughly) Daily

September 23, 2013 at 1:01 am

“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing”*…


The Robe à la Française, a gown popular throughout much of the 18th century, consists of an open front robe exposing a highly decorative underskirt, double box pleats at the back showcasing expansive ornate Rococo textiles, a square neckline and a conical shaped bodice achieved by a stomacher. The stomacher, or the triangular panel at the front of the bodice, was a separate component of the dress and often featured elaborate ornamentation. Zac Posen’s Fall 2013 showcase, featured a golden yellow gown with a similar triangular shaped bodice. This 18th-century reference was not constructed with an additional panel, rather through clever gathers and darts.


Lilah Ramzi is a graduate student of fashion history fascinated by the antecedents of modern couture…

I have come to the realization that much of the creative material produced and designed today has its roots in a previous incarnation or is essentially part nouveau.

Part Nouveau can be used to characterize fashion photography, fashion trends and ultimately anything within the creative field that borrows, reappropriates or is directly inspired by a work which preceded it.

The blog seeks to aid our contemporary eyes, so used to being presented with the newest and latest within the creative world, to recognize and give credit to what has come before.


In 1937, Elsa Schiaparelli launched the fragrance Shocking de Schiaparelli, packaged in bottles which resembled a female figure. The curves were supposedly based on those of the provocative actress Mae West, who also served as a muse to surrealist artist Salvator Dali in the creation of a mouth-shaped sofa modeled after West’s bee-stung lips. Jean Paul Gaultier’s similar body-shaped bottles have become a signature design throughout the brand’s range of fragrances.


Viennese Secessionist artist Gustav Klimt’s gold-leafed, kaleidoscopic paintings have been referenced, reinterpreted and looked to for inspiration by countless artists and designers. In Judith and the Head of Holofernes, Klimt presents us with his version of the biblical tale featuring his muse and reported lover, the Austrian socialite Adele Bloch-Bauer. In describing her F/W 2013 collection to Vogue, designer L’Wren Scott revealed, “I’m having a gold moment” looking to Gustav Klimt’s portrait of Bloch-Bauer for inspiration.


Keith Haring began his short career in 1978, producing paintings, sculptures and murals in his signature cartoon-like graphics until his premature death in 1990. Haring’s philosophy to heighten the accessibility of his art was reinforced by his Pop Shop, a store which carried Haring memorabilia, home goods and clothing all featuring Haring’s signature designs. In 2011, shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood paid homage to Haring with a collection of footwear showcasing Haring’s aesthetic and in doing so, continuing Haring’s commitment to enhance his artistic reach.


See more exploration of Picasso’s famous assertion that “good artists copy; great artists steal” at Part Nouveau.

*Salvador Dali


As we watch our backs (as it is, after all, the Ides of March), we might recall that it was on this date in 1949 that clothes rationing ended in England.  Introduced on June 1, 1941, two years after food rationing, the program was an effort to assure fair access, but also to limit consumer spending and free up manufacturing capacity critical to te war effort (and subsequently, to economic recovery).  As the Imperial War Museum explains

When buying new clothes, the shopper had to hand over coupons with a ‘points’ value as well as money. Each item of clothing had a points value, usually displayed alongside the price. The more fabric and labour that was needed to produce a garment, the more points required.

Children’s clothes had lower points values in recognition of the fact that they would need new clothes more often. Pregnant women were given an extra allocation for maternity and baby clothes. Clothing exchanges were set up by the Women’s Voluntary Service to help meet the needs of women struggling to clothe their growing families.

Many women used furnishing fabrics for dressmaking until these too went on the ration. Blackout material, which did not need points, was also sometimes used. Parachute silk was highly prized for underwear, nightclothes and wedding dresses.

Ration coupon books





Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 15, 2013 at 1:01 am

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