By the time these images in American VOGUE hit the streets, the fashion house of Paul Poiret (1879 - 1944) was very much on the decline. Pressed into national service during the 1914 - 1918 war, the designer was assigned the task of streamlining French uniform production, and in his absence his business began to steadily descend. Poiret was never able to regain his pre-1914 status in the world of Paris fashion and when the "Roaring Twenties" kicked into high gear, a new look was required for the new era and Coco Channel (1883 – 1971) was awarded the crown. He closed his fashion house ten years after these pictures were printed; and that was fine and dandy for the flappers in America because Poiret ignored their rebellion and continued to make long dresses. Click here to read a flapper fashion review of Poiret.
•Read about the 1943 crochet revival•
Marguerite O'Kane, a genuine enthusiast of the Arts and Crafts Movement, enjoyed the unique distinction of writing the first review for American VOGUE covering the work of Mariano Fortuny (Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo: 1871 - 1949). Although celebrated in Europe since making his first gown in 1906, the Knossos Scarf, a long sheer silk rectangle inspired by the costumes of ancient Crete, he was unknown to most fashion-minded Americans until this article appeared during the closing weeks of 1912.
Iconic fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent began his meteoric career as a very young man; click here to read about him.
*Watch a Film Clip About Mariano Fortuny *
This article is an editorial by an anonymous scribe at THE NATION who responded to a fashion article that appeared in the 1929 pages of THE NEW YORK TIMES declaring that skirts and dresses would once again sweep the floor, sleeves would button at the wrist and the corset was making a comeback after so many years on the lam:
"There is in this genuine cause for mourning. It is too bad that modern women should again be salves to fashion; it is a pity that the female form, happily free of entanglements for half a dozen years, is in a fair way to go back to them."
Read More 1920s Articles About Flapper Fashions...
A Paris fashion review written by pioneering fashion photographer Adolph de Meyer
(1868 - 1949). The article is accompanied by six of his photographs illustrating the autumnal offerings from the houses Worth and Chanel. The collections generated by Maria Guy, Jean Lanvin, Marthe Collot, Doucet, Cheruit, Poiret and Patout were also addressed at some length.
"Of course 'collections' must be seen by me. The round of all the big maisons de couture must be made. I must know what is worn and what I shall decide to present to the readers of HARPER'S BAZAAR."
The attached article is by an unidentified, pointy-headed male, and regardless of the fact that it was written some eighty-seven years ago, many of his reflections regarding fashion and those who are enslaved by it are still relevant in our own time. It all started for this fellow when he felt the urge to understand why such a broad variety of New York women should take to wearing black for each and every occasion and so he polished-up the ol' cranium, rolled up his sleeves and began to think hard about the nature of fashion. He concluded that the lot of the female fashion victim
"is not the ordinary story of women's victimization, her subjection in a man-made world. She, after all, accepts of herself this silent "decree of fashion" and rushes to it. It is woman-made, this particular enslavement
A clever observer of the passing scene typed these words about the social revolution that he had been witnessing for the past six years:
"Tight-laced corsets, high collars, innumerable layers of petticoats, and what not else, may have (problematically) made the female form a thing of attractive mystery, but they made the average female herself very inapt for the action, which she was beginning to claim the right to, of leaping on moving omnibuses. In those dark ages before the war women's fashions changed from year to year, but generally speaking at the dress-makers word of command...The first short skirt sounded the knell of his dictatorship, and since then womanhood has never looked back...I say again that [today's fashion] is a phenomenon which the social historian appears to be passing over. We do not realize that a tradition of centuries has within a decade been stood its head..."
Click here to read about the fashion coup of 1922.