Let’s kick-off Monday with a few online reads related to the history of fashion.  From a major couture auction and an exhibit about the origin of fashion magazines to the history of hip hop style and the most dangerous trends in history, here are four “must reads” for the fashion history enthusiast.

1) Ouch! Corsets, crinolines and collars are just of few of the fashions mentioned in the recently posted article title Fashion Victims: History’s Most Dangerous Trends found on  www.bbc.com. Read the whole story Here

2) From June 12, the Rijksmuseum presents a major retrospective of its rich collection of costume and fashion prints for the first time. The change in women's and men's fashion from the year 1600 up to and including the first half of the 20th century, and the development of the fashion magazine into the fashion glossies we know today, can be seen in more than 300 prints. Learn More

3) On 8 July, Sotheby’s Paris, in association with Kerry Taylor Auctions, will stage its first auction of Haute Couture, which gathers together 150 items from the private collection of Didier Ludot. See the catalog Here

4) There are two history of Hip Hop fashion themed documentaries out this summer that you don’t want to miss. Learn more about both films Here


Fashion designers have been collaborating with and/or seeking inspiration from Artists for decades (i.e., Yves Saint Laurent and Piet Modrian, Stephen Sprouse and Louis Vuitton, Miuccia Prada and Damien Hirst) but, we recently stumbled upon a fashion collaboration from 1955 that may be the grandest and most significant of them all. Featured in the November 14th, 1955 issue of LIFE magazine is a collaboration between American sportswear designer, Claire McCardell and five of the most famous artists of the 20th century, Picasso, Miro, Chagall, Leger and Dufy. These iconic creatives were brought together by textile company, Fuller Fabrics. Read the fully transcribed article below (images by Mark Shaw)

Art and fashion come close together in the gallery of new styles which are only a little removed from the canvases of great modern painters. Works of Chagall, Leger, Picasso, Miro and Duffy have been reproduced on cotton cloth by a U.S firm, Fuller Fabrics, and made into early resort clothes by Claire McCardell, most American of designers. Life took the clothes to the painters’ studios in Europe where, in their first fashion photographs, the artists showed reactions ranging from extreme modesty (Chagall styled out of the picture) to utter ham (next page). Seen first in these fashions, the prints will be available by the yard next month.
Marc Chagall helped to pose American Ivy Nicholson so that she stood against his Le Soleil Rouge looking as is she were drifting off into the romantic, dreamlike painting. She wears an informal dinner dress ($60), which is made in splotchy spring like colors patterned with disembodied figures characteristic of work by Chagall. The photograph was taken in the artist’s warm, crowded studio in Vence, France.
Two weeks before his death Fernand Leger posed for final portrait (right) in the Paris studio he has occupied since 1913, The print which British Model Anne Gunning wears is boldly drawn, boldly colored styled of legers work- best seen above in his painting of two women and in half-hidden still life. Fabric is made into dinner dress with high neck and long sleeves ($60) in the new ankle length.
Since Raoul Duffy’s death in 1953, his widow has lived in the Villa de Guelma in Nice where her salon is spectacularly hung with 42 of his paintings. In the salon French Model Jacky Mazel wears cocktail dress with exaggerated high waist ($40) in pattern of sailboats and waves adapted from Dufy’s seascape. The large painting, Aphrodite, was done in 1935 and worked over again by the artist in 1943.
Permitting this rare photographic session in his new Cannes villa, La Califronie, Picasso received top French Model Bettina Graziani and amid the clutter of packing crates and the profusion of paintings completed since he moved in last spring. In his fashion debut, Picasso wears a fedora and carries a sword while Bettina models shirt reproducing a Picasso still life and red wool jersey slacks with elastic at ankles ($55). Bettina by herself wears dress with back fullness emphasized pockets ($40) done in fish design from a Picasso ceramic.
Spanish Painter Joan Miro has a tiny studio in Barcelona, where his artists brushed and paint tubes are lined with meticulous care. A painter of gay canvases, the artist admired the star hat perched gaily on British model Margaret Philips. She also wears a long-sleeved wool jersey bathing suit and wide skirted pinafore ($58) in print mostly inspired by a Miro abstraction. Oddments in atelier include a bicycles which Miro modeled breadsticks and an African sculpture. Behind Miro is the canvas he is now working on. 


In celebration of iconic Makeup Artist Pat McGrath's birthday, we gathered 20 of her most inspiring beauty looks for you to enjoy. McGrath started her career at I-D magazine collaborating with fashion stylist Edward Enninful and has since been lauded as the most influential makeup artist in the world by Vogue magazine.  We hope Pat has a very lovely birthday and we hope you enjoy these stunning and eccentric faces she's created over the years. 


I want my MTV! If you grew up on MTV (as we did) then you can understand our nostalgia for the beloved fashion themed show,  House of Style.  Let's face it, there will never be another fashion program (sorry video bloggers) as fabulous as this 1990s super model hosted, celebrity featured, designer involved, semi-unscripted wonder show. Thankfully, the youth of the 1990s can revel in House of Style digital archives here but, if you don't have hours to kill then as least watch the following three episodes. You won't regret it.  Also, be sure to explore the House of Style blog and document here.

1. This episode features Linda Evangelista in full diva (we don't wake up for less than $10,000) mode and the always charming/perfectly quirky Jean Paul Gaultier talking Madonna corsets.

2.  Join Cindy in Milan with Dolce & Gabbana, Naomi Campbell and more Linda in this episode.

3. Sometimes Cindy wasn't available to deliver the fashion news so she'd give her fellow model friends a jingle on their oversized flip phone to see if they could cover for her. Watch Niki Taylor take over. 


A few fashion history related articles and online happenings that the ITA team is currently geeking out over include, Shrimpton Couture's Look Who's Wearing Vintage feature, The Curious History of Men in Heels exhibit and a collection of oral histories as told by prominent members of the American fashion industry.

We love perusing Shrimpton Couture's online boutique and blog. They post loads of great content but one of our favorite features is "Look Who's Wearing Vintage" where they post images of celebrities wearing vintage designer and couture garments to red carpet events. We love seeing the modern interpretations of these iconic styles all in one convenient place. Check it out Look Who's Wearing Vintage

Material Mode is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in fashion history. FIT's special collections blog (Material Mode) provides a glimpse into their huge collection of rare fashion books, sketches, periodicals and oral histories. We recently read  and must share, the transcribed oral histories from their collection that feature interviews with several fashion icons including Geoffrey Beene, Ralph Lauren, Judith Leiber and Eleanor Lambert.  Material Mode - Enjoy!

We're dying to see, Standing Tall: A Curious History of Men in Heels organized by the Bata Shoe Museum. If the title of this exhibition alone doesn't provide enough intrigue to captivate your interest then we're certain that some of these images will. Standing Tall



A few bits of fashion history related news that we're currently buzzing about include the recent acquisition made by Phoenix Art Museum's fashion department, the Digital Fashion Futures Conference organized by Europeana Fashion and a delightful little guide on the history of fashion trends.

Phoenix Art Museum just purchased a pretty epic collection of 20th century avant-garde fashions from the iconic East Coast boutique formerly known as Emphatics. The collection includes over 400 fashion related items including works by McQueen, Balenciaga, Gaultier, Galliano and among others. Learn more HERE

The Digital Fashion Futures conference in Antwerp is not to be missed. The conference explores the future of digital fashion initiatives, bringing together a multitude of online fashion platforms and innovative perspectives from the cultural heritage industry. Learn more HERE

We love this very user friendly slide show featured on Refinery 29 that simply explains the history of several modern fashion trends. Enjoy HERE


How perfectly fabulous are turbans! We see the "bold" style worn by some eccentric fashion types today but why are these beautiful head wraps not considered a sensible everyday accessory like they were in the 1960s and 1970s? We are on a mission to revive this elegant trend and we dare you to doubt the chicness of the turban after you view the slideshow.


For your #throwbackthursday viewing pleasure, we give you the most fabulous fashion commercial from 1969 for Paco Rabanne. 


We've stumbled upon some pretty interesting fashion history reads online this week. From the first fashion logo to the future of clothing preservation, here's a look at what's not to be missed on the web. 

We were surprised to learn that the first fashion brand to feature a visible emblem or logo was Lacoste- read all about the history behind the iconic crocodile logo here. We also think you would appreciate illustrator Mike Frederique's clever logo interpretations (example pictured above) here.

While scrolling though our twitter feed, we couldn't help but click on tweet-link from www.theappendix.net that read Did the Renaissaince Invent Fashion? Read Benjamin Breen's article here to learn more.

A new style site that's been added to our bookmark bar is www.notjustalabel.com. The fashion site offers refreshing and frequent content about contemporary fashion beyond product plugs. A recent post we really enjoyed was a in-depth interview with fashion archivists and historians about the changing future of fashion preservation. Read here.


Finally! Fashion and glamour are making a comeback in air travel. Recently, Virgin Atlantic announced a collaboration with one of England's most iconic designers for a little style makeover. British fashion designer, Vivienne Westwood was tasked with revamping the airline's current uniforms whilst keeping the environment top of mind. Westwood created chic ensembles for both the male and female flight crew members from recycled leather, canvas and brass. The 7,500 eco-friendly uniforms  are perfectly Westwood and inspired by 1940s fashions.

In celebration of this awesome collaboration, we've organized a slideshow of some of the finest flight attendant fashions from the last 60 years. From Balenciaga and Pucci to Halston and Canssini, here's a glimpse into the past of fashionable flying.


In Vogue magazine's March 1, 1959 issue, editors created a questionnaire to help guide their readers on how to determine whether or not they needed a style makeover. The 35 questions are delightfully entertaining. Read all 35 questions below.

"…35 questions that tell you whether your sense of fashion is due for an overhaul. No score cards needed (unless you count the mirror) and no “ would you wear brogues with an evening dress” posers. The question lever here is well up in conscienceland where a woman’s “look” begins- or ends."

1.       In the last two weeks has a woman whose look you admire complimented you on a fashion effect?

2.       When you think of any one costume, do you think by “look” – including shoes, hat,      handbag, coat, make-up?

3.       Are you on the track of a dark-red or bright pink summer dress but have you just assumed you’ll wear black shoes?

4.       Could you accept an invitation to a small but important dinner this evening without dashing to the closet to check?

5.       Do you conclude a fashion isn’t for you the first time you see it?

6.       Does your new coat, suit or dress make you feel happily  on the road-to-somewhere, fashionably speaking?

7.       Have you thought about buying yourself a dress in a colour you’ve never owned before- grass green , mauve or amber?

8.       When someone says, “ You’re getting fat,” do you know- instantly- where?

9.       Do you try new make-up only after someone else’s trial run?

10.   Are your tweed skirts and country shirts in a as good condition as your town clothes? Could you go for a chilly walk without looking chilly? Looking bundled?

11.   Is your one pair of bright shoes red?

12.   Do you regularly take a taxi or the car when you could walk the distance?

13.   Do you own two dozen fresh handkerchiefs or is it tissues all the way?

14.   IN your opinion do you look well in black? If not, how much black do you own? Same rule applies to any colour.

15.   Do you own a “favourite” girdle- the older it gets the better you like it? And… have you looked at yourself sideways in a full-length mirror…

16.   Do you have an automatic “diet dinner” that swings into action when you feel , suddenly, all round edges?

17.   How do your hands look when you deal the cards at Canasta? Does the woman with the “wonderful rings” simply have a more expert manicure

18.   Do you make it a rule to get to bed early one evening a week even when you’re not “tired out”?

19.   Do you hate the idea of getting reading glasses? Going to the dentist? Asking the doctors opinion on vitamins , iron shots, et certa, to help you through the arduous times of the year – school vacations, a prolonged travel session?

20.   When you got to Italian restaurants do you always order pasta?  Do you think of salads in the summer time and only then?

21.   Have you thought about what you plant to wear at the next party you give- or is the choice a safe automatic one?

22.   Are four out of five things in your closet what your mother would call classic?

23.   Do you panic when you are asked away for a simmer week-end that means shorts or slacks…?

24.   Have you heard yourself say the same think to three different people three times in a row? Are your opinions riddled with clichés?

25.   Are you sure you’ve never said: “If I take my hems up, they’ll only let them down again,” Flat-heeled shoes make my legs look fat,” “I can’t seem to get clothes that fit me.”

26.   Have you any opinion at all on the coloured stockings questions? Do you consider dark stockings daring?

27.   Peace-of-mind division : If you had to write a letter, could you sit down at a well-stocked desk, find the pen and paper at hand? Do you own a 4c stamp?

28.   Have you had a great deal of “ bad luck”  with ill-fitting shoes? Do you own a presentable pair of galoshes (there are some) and, while we’re at it, a handsome rain-coat and umbrella?

29.   Have you been wondering whether you’d look  pretty in another shade of hair- and how long have you been just wondering?

30.   Have you learned to decode your husband’s clothes comments? When he says you look like “a Japanese Wrestler” is he simply noticing a change? Has the word “matronly” crept into  anybody’s conversation re you?

31.   Do you trust your fashion eye? For instance, when you’ve looked for months, and suddenly the dress appears with a price tag you didn’t expect , do you buy it then and there?

32.   Are the new magnum sleeves a total shock to you or can you see them now as a possible and delightful summer refreshment?

33.   Do you invariably let your hair go “one day too long” for its weekly setting- and is that “weekly” not quite the story?

34.   Do you own some seasonless clothes- silk dresses, some light wool jerseys, a bright coat or two, perhaps a silk sweater; do  you own several things that you from experience travel well

35.   Do you hang your cashmere sweater instead of folding then in a drawer? Do you know your cleaner by name? Do more that two pairs of shoes in your closest need polishing and re-heeling? What about shoe trees?



From a 1950s trend forecasting publication to the concise history of Yves Saint Laurent, here are some fabulous reads we gathered from the world wide web this week.

Image source

Image source

We closely follow Material Mode, a blog maintained by The Department of Special Collections and FIT Archives.  The FIT blog shares interesting facts and materials from its archive which include, 18th century fashion plates, illustrations, unique publications and more. Something that recently caught our eye on Material Mode was a feature about the 1950s trend forecasting publication known as L’Officiel de la Couleur des Industries de la Mode.  Read more here

 We've probably all owned a pair of Chuck Taylor's or "Converse" at some stage in our life but do you have any idea why they are so popular? Learn how this simple sneaker gained major mass appeal  here

Yves Saint Laurent has been a very hot topic lately given the recent release of the Pierre Berge endorsed biopic. The iconic French designer lived a life worthy of a movie but for those who may be confused as to why this courtier is getting so much attention, just spend a few minutes on Vogue Australia's website. The Australian fashion mag organized a clever and concise breakdown on the history of YSL. Read here


We recently stumbled upon this awesome video by NME of St Vincent (Annie Clark) touring and commenting on the Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore exhibit. The stylish singer shares her appreciation for the avant-garde fashion icon as well as what her favorite looks were in the exhibit. 


Anne Hollander, a art and style historian who significantly impacted the study of dress and textiles through her essays, books, research and exhibitions has passed away.  Hollander's efforts in elevating the study of dress were essential and highly influential. She helped change the way historians and writers exam the history of dress through her own writings. Hollander's most popular works include Seeing Through Clothes and Sex and Suits. She also curated an exhibition at the National Gallery in London, "Fabric of Vision: Dress and Drapery in Painting.  

For those seriously interested in fashion history, we encourage you to explore as much of Anne Hollander's work as possible. Click through her collection of essays, catalogues and books. Also, read more about her contributions to the field here. 



Vogue's online archive is truly a treasure trove of inspiring material, and as we page through the decades of beautiful fashions we became instantly obsessed with this epic beachside editorial featuring none other than the most iconic models of all time, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington. If you've been day dreaming all week about your summer vacation like we have then feast your eyes on this fashion spread shot by Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue's April issue in 1990.


Over 1,000 images taken by photo legend Richard Avedon have been released via iTunes for all to enjoy. App users can explore photography that spans Avedon's 60 year career for free if they have access to an iPad. The beautifully designed app takes viewers though his work by decade and provides detailed information about each photograph with zoom features. Read more reviews on the app here

Photos by Richard Avedon from www.avedonfoundation.org


From deadly Victorian fashions to the question of whether or not luxury brands are using museums as marketing tools, here is a round up of interesting reads that relate to the history of fashion that we found on the web this week.

Image from Maclean's

Image from Maclean's

Surprised to learn that the argument about whether or not fashion deserves a place in museums is ongoing.  Apparently, some are still struggling with the idea that creativity when applied to textiles is a valid art form.  The latest media blast over fashion relevance in museums comes from the Wall Street Journal and poses the question, “Are Museums Selling Out?” with a subhead reading “Luxury brands are increasingly using museum exhibits as marketing tools, raising questions about what is art….” Read more here 

Many of those elaborate and decadent Victorian era fashions we love were apparently deadly.  From arsenic laced gowns to mercury lined top hats, those popular styles of the 19th century were totally killer, literally…Read more here 

 The oldest pants in the world have been found. Find out where here


Something we look forward to every Thursday is reveling in fashions past with Style.com's  Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks. Blanks has been one of the most influential journalists in fashion for decades and has experienced nearly every pivotal moment in the industry since the 1980s.  From the making of the super model to the beginning and end of Alexander McQueen, Blanks shares his favorite fashion memories on the style.com series Throwback Thursdays With Tim Blanks.


For the vintage lovers, museum goers and fashion obsessors, we've narrowed down a few key instagramers that you need to follow.  From historians to vintage dealers, here is a list of fashion authorties with awesome instagram accounts that you'll probably learn a thing or two from

Who: Vintage Vogue @vintage_vogue
M.O.: The best editorial shots from vintage Vogue magazines
Insta Vibe: Decades of the most beautiful images from American Vogue magazine. Enjoy hundreds of images featuring icons like, Angelica Huston, Lauren Hutton and Veruschka.

Who: Decades vintage boutique @DecadesInc
M.O.: Really, really good vintage clothing
Insta Vibe: Photos of gorgeous models wearing vintage Halston once owned by Angelica Huston.

Who: Joe Kucharski @TyrannyofStyle
M.O.: Costume designs, historical fashion images, illustrations, celebrity culture and internet discoveries. 
Insta Vibe: Joe, Costume Designer and Asst. Prof at Baylor has his finger on the pulse when it comes to all of the latest happenings relating to costume design and fashion history.

Who: Lilah Ramzi @PartNouvevau
M.O.: Images of the Vogue offices, MET ball, personal style, blog and fashion exhibits. 
Insta Vibe: Lilah is known for her popular blog www.partnouveau.com that focus on comparing iconic fashion imagery from the past to today's magazine editorials.

Who: Victoria & Albert Museum  @VAMuseum
M.O.: World's largest museum of decorative arts and design is using instagram to give us a glimpse into exhibitions, programs and their permanent collection.
Insta Vibe: Behind the scenes photos from one of the best fashion museums in the world (no brainer).

Who: Bata Shoe Museum @BataShoeMuseum
M.O.: The Canadian institution houses over 13,000 shoes and related artifacts. Wow... 
Insta Vibe: A special glimpse at some of the most rare shoes in the world.

Who: Amber Butchart @Amberbutchart
M.O.: Fashion historian, writer, broadcaster, lecturer and DJ.
Insta Vibe: This fashion historian post personal photos of her outfits and observations as they relate to the history of fashion.

Who: The Fox Historic Costume Collection @Fox_Historic_Costume
M.O.: Museum quality teaching collection with over 12,000 objects relating to fashion
Insta Vibe: From detail shots of historic ensembes to behind the scenes pics of their fashion vault,  Fox Historic Costume features amazing photos of their vast collection.


From Harvey Weinstein's big plan to revive one of the most iconic American fashion houses to the prettiest 1920s themed soiree, here is a round up of interesting reads that relate to the history of fashion that we found on the web this week. 

Image from www.vogue.com

Image from www.vogue.com

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein sees major revenue potential in all this Charles James kerfuffle around the MET's grand exhibit on the late American designers work. Weinstein has formally announced that he and his wife, Georgina Champman head of fashion brand Marchesa, will revive Charles James. Read more here.

Drexel University's fashion collection has just been renamed The Robert and Penny Fox Costume Collection in honor of the $1 million dollar donation given by couple.  Find out what this huge donation really means for the institution here.

Who doesn't love a costume party! Recently, New York City's elite dressed up in 1920s style garb for the MAD museum's Young Patron Gala dubbed "Bring Back the Ball". See the slideshow of amazing styles here.