American Fashion

I have this gorgeous book called American Fashion. It’s got some amazing photos in it, so I thought I would share a few. … (and of course, give my opinions on them. Cause that’s what I do. …)

Just a warning: Every single one of these images is better in the book!

The caption says:

Unknown, ca. 1939
Harper's Bazaar cautioned shoppers not to
lose their heads to fashion in this shot by
Herbert Matter.

Are you kidding me with this picture? That would make me want to read the article right there. I love the side of fashion that shocks you when you see it. I’ve always kind of been intimidated by Harper’s Bazaar. I just never knew what to think of it. After seeing this picture, I want to go out right now and read that article.

I mean … I don’t want to end up with my head like that. That would be terrible!

Charles James, 1936
James opened his first boutique
in New York in 1928. Cecil Beaton's 1936
photograph for Vogue places a suite of
James's opera capes within a surrealist
trompe l'oeil setting.

This one creeps me out, but it’s beautiful. The silhouettes of the coats are amazing. The cinched waists and the way the fabric drapes to the ground is beautiful.

Designer Unknown, 1941
A Harper's Bazaar photograph
of a hand-knit black, wool sweater top
and gold velvet skirt completed by a
bolero cape, balloon muff, and wide
amber-studded leopard belt. Hoyningen-
Huene captures the model against a
cubist masterpiece.

I love this. I kind of want to be this woman. I wish it was in color. The description sounds beautiful.

Claire McCardell, 1950
McCordell's sportswear, such as this bubble-
shaped bathing suit, was highly influential
and considered ahead of its time.

I *LOVE* this swimsuit. I want one just like it. It’s gorgeous.

Sydney Wragge, ca. 1946
B.H. Wragge was one of America's
most popular lines during the  1940s.
Dorian Leigh, one of the era's star models,
wears a pale pink  cloche by Madame
Reine and Wragge's plunge-necked rayon
crepe dress.

This is such a dreamy image. This girl is magnificent. She’s so … posh looking. That dress looks so regal and comfortable. Plus, it reminds me of the scene in Sex in the City when Carrie and Petrovsky’s ex wife go to lunch. (By the way – *amazing* … I so want to go to Paris!) I don’t think it was taken there, but it looks like that’s where she is. Either way, it just makes me want to be sitting there at lunch with her.

Irving Penn, 1950
Models Dorian Leigh and Evelyn Tripp,
together but alone, in Pen's memorable
photograph featuring Claire McCardell's
wool jersey dress and a jumper with leotard.

I have heard so much about this image, but I had never actually seen it. It’s amazing. the girls look fantastic and the image is so well proportioned. The girls are about as thin as the center of the table, but that just adds so much to this picture. There’s such a character to each of them. Perfectly styled. Amazing.

Oscar de la Renta, 1966
The Dominican-born de la
Renta was a protege of the influential
Baron Nicolas de Gunzberg, who served as
editor of both Vogue and Harper's Bazaar
and as editor-in-chief of Town and Country.
First a designer for Elizabeth Arden,
replacing Sarmi, de la Renta was  on his
own by the time Marisa Berenson donned
his hippie chic caftan for Henry Clarke.

This one is fantastic! I love the way she’s mimicing the shape of the tree with the way she’s standing. The pinks pop out so vibrantly and the color on her eyes matches the color of the trees. Amazing. Also, Oscar de la Renta’s resume = dreamworthy!

Mary McFadden, 1977
McFadden was a
special projects editor at Vogue during the
1960s before launching her own line in
1973. Her fashions were influenced by
Asia and Africa, as well as the pleated silk
clothing of the Venetian couturier Fortuny.
Here, Vogue showed eight examples from
McFadden's collection led by the
designer herself.

What did I think when I saw this image? “What is this line of fabulousness???” Remember, this was the 70’s. This was fabulousness at it’s best!

Roy Halston, 1972
More than any other designer of
the 1970s, Halston lived the lifestyle his
fashions evoked - the smoky and sexy
lounge lizard out for a night on the town

Amazing. … Men just don’t look like that anymore. Usually, if they try to recreate this image, they just can’t pull it off. He just radiates coolness. This is where girls start dreaming of bad boys. I want to be at whatever lounge he’s going to (or just came from).

Stephen Burrows, 1978
Jerry Hall was one of America's top
supermodels during the 1970s and became
an international celebrity in her own right
through her tabloid romantic exploits with
Roxy Music's Bryan Ferry and the Rolling
Stone's Mick Jagger. At a fashion show,
she twirls in Burrows's turquoise satin
tunic-and-pant ensemble - replete with
feather boa for a quintessential disco look.

Jerry Hall really was beautiful in the ’70s.

Ralph Lauren, 1979
Inspired by everything
From film to the American West,
Lauren, seen here, gave traditional
country clothing an elegant and more
formal appearance in both his day and
evening collections.

Talk about Americana! Everything is so soft and rugged. The eyes are all so piercing and beautiful. Love it!

Behnaz Sarafpour, 2004

I love this skirt. The pleating down the front is gorgeous.

I really, REALLY recommend this book to anyone who loves fashion! Amazon has it right now for $32 (which is a STEAL. Us crazy people paid $50 for it)! Definitely worth checking out. Every page is just as amazing as the last.


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