10 June 2009

The Other Side

Bohemian Rhapsody
Elle (US)
July 2000
Photographer: Ruven Afanador
Model: Yfke Sturm
via BWGreyscale

Apologies for the small delay in posting and visiting all of your lovely blogs. I unfortunately had to go into hospital for treatment, however shall definitely try to visit you all as soon as possible.

During the first half of the twentieth century, fashion reached somewhat of a crossroads. Poiret's designs had liberated women from the suffocating confines of the rigid corset, yet his magnificent splendour and luxurious indulgence were not to survive post war Europe. Indeed the period between the wars is usually seen as heralding only one true revolution in fashion - that of Chanel and the little black dress.

Chanel essentially invented the idea of 'austere luxury' in fashion. That her dress could be worn to a simple luncheon or a formal evening event was a truly new concept. Indeed her design was so revolutionary that one could not trace its line in tradition or the past. Just as Poiret had freed women from the corset, Chanel would free women from the past.

One can not help but link Chanel to the Modernist movement, and indeed her black dress was so modern, that it seemed to come as if from the future. So radically different from the splendour of the past, it would come to define a new generation of womens' fashion. Of allowing women to be both comfortable and minimalist in their adornment, essentially creating the new standard of what beauty was.

However what many seem to forget in their rush to acknowledge the genius of Chanel, followed by the reemergence of Couture in the 1950s, is the simply magical fashion of the Roaring Twenties. Indeed one tends to forget the stunning designs of Elsa Schiaparelli, whose stylistic hand was unfortunately not to adjust following the war and would subsequently be half forgotten, memories obscured by the dense fog of time.

The concept of twenties fashion to me has always been one of true celebration. Of fashion stemming from tradition, but firmly contemporary in its realisation. Of glamour, splendour and beauty - a romantic allure, the extent of which is sadly rarely seen today.

You can keep the '50s, just hand me the '20s!

Currently playing: LoveGame - Lady Gaga



  1. i agree100 percent on chanel and the20s

    great writing !We Were Damsels

  2. It's interesting to know that in fact, Poiret didn't care much for the corsets and therefor didn't really intend to 'liberate' women...
    Actually, Poiret's master, Worth, had already suppressed half the 'tournure' (a sort of crinoline) a few years ago and to make himself as famous as him, his pupil, logically, had to supress the other half of this architecture, including corset. It was rather made in pursuit of the newest fashion possible than to make his clients comfortable. By the way, he also tried to launch the pants for women, but this wasn't a succes and the shape he chose didn't allow women to walk easily and was considered both ugly and unpractical.
    Sorry if there are things difficult to understand with my English, this is what makes me shy with comments, but I thought you'd like to know.
    PS: I share your views about Schiapparelli and the flapper fashion...

  3. Carlotta: I absolutely agree. It's only with the benefit of hindsight that we are able to think of what difference a designer made, whether they actually intended to or not. I suppose history applies its own meanings and interpretations to past events, and those results change as rapidly as historiography does.

    Oh, and I did a post on Charles Worth a while back, his work was absolutely breathtaking. I remember first coming across his work when I was little, it was like discovering a whole new world.

  4. Oh thank you !! hihi :) And totally Yey for cute kids :D
    Oh, these r great photographs !!

  5. Sorry to hear you were in the hospital again! Get well!

    I love looking at womenswear that's inspired by mens wear. Blazers, and ties, and such. <3

  6. I always learn so much from you! Hope you're OK, my dear ... hate to think of you in hospital.

  7. Gorgeous editorial. I love what I have seen of Schiaparelli's designs, although it's funny to think that Chanel always dismissed her as a crass Italian with no taste or talent.

    Get well soon!

  8. The little black dress is so versatile; every girl should have one in her closet. I watched the Coco Chanel movie, and it was amazing. She's such an inspiring woman.

  9. Flapper fashion was also about a socio-economic-cum-stylistic movement. I think we're in for some interesting times ahead, with the recession and creativity frothing to make a comeback!

  10. So nostalgic! Love the post.

  11. Thanks for your sweet comment!
    She is a gorgeous model, and beautiful pictures!!


  12. Thanks so much for the note. Those are actually my friend's cats. She rescued the black one because it was out in the neighborhood and was totally declawed. The white one was given to her as a kitten by her boyfriend. He was so adorable. Now he's just trouble half the time, but the black cat(she) who is declawed (he isn't) always keeps him in line. There names are Cecil and Zoe.

    Really a beautiful post. I hope you have a fabulous week.

  13. hope all is well handsome. chanel and modernism, i agree


  14. Love this austere luxury! Beautiful editorial and garments... especially loving that ivory belted wool coat!
    Lovely writing, per usual, DK!


  15. Oh My! I think I actually have that Vogue editorial, I remember in high school trying to recreate the white skirt in the 6th photo up...It's amazing that it is just as poignant as the editorial was when it first came out

  16. aww, I hope you feel better now! <3
    I love the white coat. And wow, she is so beautiful! :o

  17. Oh I do hope you're ok.

    There is something very haunting about Sturm in these photos.

    Also...I will definitely have to hunt down 'The man who cried'!

  18. I love a good rouge on the cheeks. Not many can pull it off well. This editorial nails it perfectly though. :)

    And Lucky by Mraz and Caillait has 84 plays on my iTunes ;)

    x, thank you!!

  19. Have you seen the Sartorialist's photos from the Jazz-Age Lawn Party at Governor's Island (NYC) this past weekend? I think you might enjoy them! You can see them on the front page of the site right now.

    I especially love this one:

    And some photos from last year's party:

    It's nice to see reinterpretations of the era...And everyone looks so joyous!

    wishing you good health!

  20. i always liking going back & seeing how fashion reflected the times back in the day.
    i remember having a conversation about an older woman, and she talked to me about the the rationing, and clothing coupons, and costume jewelry during the war.

  21. Gorgeaous images !!! I love the 20's style !

  22. This is such a great editorial! I love the makeup. I definitely agree about how important and underappreciated the 1920s are.

  23. You have no idea how close I came to posting this editorial...bwgreyscale is one of my favorite sites. I was so bummed a couple of years back when they were forced to take down more the 50% of their editorials...

  24. i'm sad to hear you were in the hospital :P
    i hope you're feeling better!

    and these photos are beautiful!


  25. Gorgeous editorial, the poses are so inspiring.

  26. hope you're feeling better and that it was nothing serious!

    this editorial is stunning, love the model!

  27. Thank you Thank you Thank you! Yeas I really cant see that shes has grown up so fast!! Check out my site for the Balmain copied shoes=) hahaha LOL

  28. Ahhh I want that ivory coat!

  29. gorgeous, I am a huge fan of his photos, i love the setting the blue brick walls... Thanks Dapper Carla x

  30. Gorgeous style. I hope you are ok and there is nothing serious about the hospital thing...let us know...Much love: Evi

  31. Hey there. These are great photos. It's hard for me to pick a favorite. I love them all. Thanks for sharing them with us. While I love the 1950's and 1960's, I also love some earlier decades. The 1920's is one of my favorites.

  32. The styling & makeup is perfect.

  33. i'm with u on the 20's fashion :o0

  34. My blog readings been diabolical...hope your feeling better.

  35. Hospital! Are you okay? Please tell me that your fine =.[