Thursday, January 31, 2013

READing Your Style: Survey of Historic Costume (Part 3)

Vogue Editors, past and present. From Left: Jade Hobson, Babs Simpson, Phyllis Posnik, Carlyne Cerf de Duzdeele, Polly Mellen, Grace Coddington, Camilla Nickerson, Tonne Goodman
Last month, Vogue Magazine celebrated the magazine's 120th anniversary by releasing a documentary on HBO entitled, IN VOGUE: The Editor's Eye. In my fashion, it was an intriguing and insightful look into the world of Vogue, and thusly, the world of fashion. Vogue plays an integral part in the coverage of fashion history, and the influence of fashion trends. For me, I loved the film because it explained in detail certain paramount photo shoots that have produced some of the most controversial fashion images in American history, giving us a voyeuristic view of a half century of modern fashion—modern fashion which tells us so much about the past.

After watching the it I have gone to the library to view these photos in the magazine with my own eyes in the archived editions of Vogue, photographs of which I have accompanying this three part series. Last year, VogueArchives went live for individuals and businesses to gain access to every single issue of Vogue dating back to it's debut in 1892. For individual access it is $3,250 yearly subscription, so for now the library will suffice. I've been able to view the October 15, 1966 issue of Vogue that contained Polly Mellen's "The Great Fur Caravan" story shot by Richard Avedon, and the December 1966 issue that contained the beautiful spread set in India as described by Paris Editor, Susan Train, and shot by, Henry Clarke. As I myself flipped through the pages, I could just imagine being alive during those time periods of which I was reading, and receiving my issue of Vogue, feeling as though I was being completely transported through a whirlwind of fabulous world. In my fashion, looking through a magazine and that magic as you physically turn the pages of a fashion magazine is the best aspect of fashion to me. In my fashion, going into the year 2013, now that technology is this generations way of experiencing fashion, I feel it's important to retain this feeling in all that we do no matter how fast or digital we get. As Andre Leon Talley has said, "Be inspired by the past, but its so important to move forward."

All the international Vogue editors gathered together in Japan for the country's first-ever Fashion's Night Out
As I had said in my Editor's Letter, I took a Fashion History class in college that taught me, not just about what was worn by civilization's past, but WHY people worn the things they wore, and WHY we may wear certain things a certain way today; WHAT were differences in demographic tastes, and WHY different people of today like what they like; WHO wore certain pieces, and for WHAT reasons do certain people wear what they wear now; WHERE certain looks were worn, etc. As I mentioned last month, this generation is one that does not look to conform to traditional social constructs, and fashion is influenced, and embraced by many different cultures. The whole way that we look at fashion has shifted dramatically in time, and now that fashion is so fast now its important not to forget the past in the process of moving forward. I aim to look more into this month by sharing my drawings and what I learned in my fashion teachings. For my drawings I took inspiration from the textbook, Survey of Historic Costume by Tortora and EubankStylist and editors create what's next, understanding the history of certain clothes is important because as the saying goes, "those who do not know their history, are destined to repeat the mistakes of the past."


The Italian and Northern Renaissance (1400 - 1600)

Exciting cultural changes began in Italy about mid-14th century when sculptors, painters, and writers began to identify with the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome…The Renaissance could be viewed as a time of transition from the medieval to a modern view of man and the world….When the European economic revival began in the 11th century, Italy benefited first…The most common combination of garments for women during the Italian Renaissance was chemise worn as an under garment beneath a dress, and a second overdress on top....Lavish use of opulent fabrics for the dresses of upper class women gave garments of relatively straight cut a splendid appearance  By carefully manipulating the layers of camica, dress, and overdress and choosing contrasting fabrics for each layer, rich decorative effects were achieved...While northern European women covered the hair, Italian women arranged their hair elaborately, wearing a "token" head cover in the form of a small jeweled net set at the back of the head or a sheer, small veil...Houppelandes and fitted gowns were worn for most of the first half of the Renaissance, in which gowns gradually became fuller, with puffed sleeves and and slashes, and taking more of a Spanish influence in the latter part of the period with more rigid bodices, and V-shaped waistlines. 

By the beginning of the 16th century, northern Europe (Germany, Spain, England, and France) had experienced a gradual transition to participation in the new spirit of the Renaissance...The first part of the northern Renaissance was marked by fitted bodices usually with square necklines and long sleeves. Skirts long, full, and trained. Similar to late Medieval styles....The second phase of costume for women outside of Germany was marked by Spanish influence...Significant changes took place in the construction of dresses. Instead of an under dress and an outer dress, women wore a petticoat (an underskirt) and an over dress. The overall silhoutette was rather like an hourglass. Bodices narrowed to a small waistline. Skirts gradually expanded to an inverted cone shape with an inverted V opening at the front. In the last two thirds of the century more hair was visible. The hair was combed back from the forehead, puffed up slightly around the face, then pulled into a coil at the back of the head. Local differences arose. By the end of the period, skirts widen at the top; bodices elongate into a V-shape and ruffs grow exceptionally wide or high. 

Woman of the Italian
Woman of the Northern
 To the right is a Spanish influenced dressed which takes on the V-shaped waistline and a rigid bodice. The hair is pulled into a bun and she wears a token head cover which has a veil that hangs down her backside. Her sleeves are wider at the top, above the elbow and show her camisia from the elbow to her hands. She wears an under dress and over dress, the under dress which can be seen at the neckline. 
   To the left is Spanish influenced as well, as can be noted by the petticoat and overdress. The dress has many many details embroidered on it as well as pendants and necklaces to accentuate her upper body. The bodice is very rigid and her sleeves are also a Spanish influence, the shape of the dress is most likely held up by a farthingale. Their is a long chain that goes from around her waist and hangs down the middle of the inverted "V" the chemise is also visible through her sleeves. She also wears a medium size coif. 

Personally, one of my favorite periods in history would have to be the Renaissance--a time of which modern historians consider to be when Europe went through a chaotic change, a period of transition as medieval social and religious groups and institutions crumbled and a new individualistic society and culture began to appear. One can compare this change in society to postmodernization from the 1980s to now, whereas in fashion scholars saw a movement away from a single predominant fashion ideal toward a variety of fashion segments. Contemporary fashions illustrate some of the elements of postmodernization in the following ways: a rejection of authority, cultural or ethnic groups with irreconcilable differences, the appropriation or juxtaposition of elements from different styles, and the use of symbols without reference to their traditional meanings. The fashion system was no longer dictated by the haute couture, and a new fashion system was being established by three major categories of styles: luxury fashion design (i.e. the rise of fashion centers in New York, Milan, London, Tokyo, and the use of trunk shows), industrial fashion (i.e. Ralph Lauren, Liz Claiborne, Tommy Hilfiger), and street styles. Much of the action in fashion between 1980 and 2000 came from the ready-to-wear segment of the fashion industry and thus began the rise of corporate fashion. Now, with technology speeding up the exchange of ideas, fashion is constantly changing, and because different styles have different publics, there were no precise rules about what is to be worn and no agreement about a fashion ideal that represents contemporary culture.

Vogue, January 1983, "Go for the Best!—the Looks to Watch for '83" shot by Arthur Elgort
After the late 80s, men and women's garments for business were called power suits. In the 1980s the fashion press noted a dichotomy in women's clothing, with conservative, tailored clothing for working hours and glamorous, feminine, and sexy clothing for leisure time. Many observers saw changing gender roles as the reason for the appearance of many items of clothing for men and women that were interchangeable in appearance. The fashion press called such items unisex clothing.

Be sure to view even more photos of past Vogue spreads and photos I loved at my new TumblrPage.

Vogue, January 1983, "Go for the Best!—the Looks to Watch for '83" shot by Arthur Elgort
Some style tribes of mainstream fashion that arose during the 80s and 90s included: the new romantics, goths, preppies, fashion fetish or perves, grunge, hip hop, ravers, and cyber punks, retro, preps and yuppies...Motion pictures and television continued to influence fashion...Teen fashion trends owe much to the world of the music world...With the growth of the Internet, even those fans living in rural areas could obtain information easily about where to buy clothing like that worn by their favorite musicians and other fans...cocnerns were raised that the elevation of heroin chic models to high fashion status would encourage the use of drugs among young people.

Be sure to view even more photos of past Vogue spreads and photos I loved at my new TumblrPage.

Vogue, January 1983, "What Really Works...Fashion/Beauty for Active Women" shot by Denis Piel
Martin Margiela, a Belgian designer, became one of the best known of the deconstructionists, designers who made clothes with seams located on the outside, lining that were part of the exterior, or fabric edges left unhemmed and raw...The 1980s ushered in a period of greater interest in the body that continued into the new Millennium.Skirt lengths gradually decreased...Not only were many items made with cutouts or bare midriffs, but throughout the 90s lace and sheer fabrics were fashionable...Short skirts and miniskirts reappeared in the 80s...Long, straight skirts had long slits.

Be sure to view even more photos of past Vogue spreads and photos I loved at my new TumblrPage.

Vogue, November 1988, "Headlines from Paris; Haute  but not haughty"
Dresses for evening were among the most interesting of the designs produced in the 80s by a revived French couture. These designs influenced ready-to-wear formal clothing as well. The glamour of evening clothing contracted with the conservative clothing recommended for daytime wear for career women. Evening dresses had a great deal of glittering embroidery, sequins, and beading. Colors were bright and fabrics ornamented with vivid woven or printed designs. Around 1985 Christian Lacroix, designing for Patou, produced a design nicknamed Le Pouf. It had a wide, puffy skirt with a light airy appearance...Other wide-skirted, short styles were known as mini-crinolines. 

Vogue, February 1990, "Ladies Day" shot by Patrick Dermarchlier
Culottes or divided skirts were worn on and off throughout the 80s...Pants were slender at the beginning of the 90s, then started to widen. By 1994 some pants had grown quite wide and had large cuffs...Early in the 1980s sweatskirts became a big fashion item. American designer Norma Kamali originated a line of clothes inspired by the knitted fabric used in sweatshirts and characterized by fanciful colors...Blouse styles of the mid-80s ranged from tailored designs used with business suits to blouses and sweaters...they owed their inspiration to the Gibson Girl.

Vogue, May 1993, "An Island Twist" shot by Ellen von Unwerth on the Caribbean Island of St. Lucia
"...hairstyles reflect diversity of current fashion" noted The New York Times on April 6, 1980...Both long, full, curly hair and frizzy, curly hair in longer and shorter lengths continued...By 1984 shorter hair was being seen more often, and by the close of the decade women wore hair short or long... Beginning in the mid-1980s, hat sales rose as much as 15 percent each year...Tousled hair was called "bed hair." Young girls tied their hair into ponytails at the back of the head, purposely allowing wisps and strands of hair to escape.

Be sure to view even more photos of past Vogue spreads and photos I loved at my new TumblrPage.

Vogue, January 2000, "Skin on Skin" shot by Steven Meisel
By the latter years of the 90s, influential designers who were called the minimalists were making styles in neutral or darker tones that had little ornamentation and good lines. After the turn of the millennium the minimalist tendencies declined, although some examples remained, and more colorful and dramatic styles could be seen. Overall trends seemed to be more evident in the fabrics and materials that were used than in particular silhouettes or designs...Tweed was a particularly popular fabric around 2000...A popular neckline style was the funnel neck, similar in appearance to a turtle neck, but wider.

Be sure to view even more photos of past Vogue spreads and photos I loved at my new TumblrPage.

Vogue, January 2000, "After Hours" shot by Mario Testino
Like skirts, pants showed considerable variability.  Bell bottoms revived from the 1960s were often made with a dropped waist. Other styles included spandex-containing tight-fitting pants, tailored pants with legs of moderate width, and in 2003, a style of pants made with ties or a belt at the bottom hem...In the late 1990s and early 2000s, pashmina shawls became an essential item for women who followed current fashion. Many women's garments of the years after 2000 had interesting necklines....By 2000, cargo pants had become an essential part of wardrobes of most young people. A major feature of styles in the 1990s and after was a bare midriff.

   The dress to the right is a much shorter scale version of a women's outer dress. Similar to the Le Pouf design of Christian Lacroix, a tightly fitted bodice narrows into flared pleated dress. She wears full puffed sleeves as well as a long veil that is held up by a jeweled net on her head. The wedges she wears on her feet are to be reminiscent of the chopines worn during the Renaissance. In the early 90s, Vogue had declared that "pretty" was making comeback which inspired both of these feminine looks. 
   The dress to the left takes on many Northern Renaissances influences; from the German hat and hairnet, to the English inspired ruff, to the Spanish inspiredpetticoat and over dress with the inverted "V" shape over dress. She wears a large pendant necklace that creates a line down the middle of her body The spanish intricacies in design catch the eye's attention and make the outfit more interesting.


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