Elsa Schiaparelli by Hans Wild (1947)

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Elsa Schiaparelli by Hans Wild, may 1947 via

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Elsa Schiaparelli by Hans Wild, may 1947 via

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Elsa Schiaparelli by Hans Wild, may 1947 via

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Claire McCardell Wearing Amazing Dresses of Her Own Creation (1945)

Claire McCardell (May 24, 1905 – 1958) was an American fashion designer in the arena of ready-to-wear clothing in the 20th century. She is credited with the creation of American sportswear.

In 1942, McCardell created her famed “Popover Dress.” It was a response to a Harper’s Bazaar challenge to create something fashionable you could wear to clean the house and then wear to a cocktail party. The simple grey dress came with a matching potholder which fit into the dress’s pocket. The “Popover Dress” sold for $6.95 and over 75,000 were sold in the first season alone.

These dresses became a staple of McCardells collections and over time she made version in different lengths and fabrics. The “Popover Dress” received a citation from the American Fashion Critics Association and in 1943, McCardell won a Coty Award.

Beginning in 1945, McCardell was featured as an “American Look” designer by Lord & Taylor’s department store.  In 1946, McCardell won the Best Sportswear Designer Award and in 1948 she won the Neiman-Marcus Award.

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Claire McCardell in a Dress of her creation, 1945 via

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Claire McCardell in a Dress of her creation, 1945 via

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Claire McCardell in her Futuristic Dress (cut only of triangles), photographed by Erwin Blumenfeld, 1945 via

Hippie Chic Ossie Clark Dress by Norman Parkinson (1970)

Raymond “Ossie” Clark (1942 – 1996) was an English fashion designer who was a major figure in the Swinging Sixties scene in London and the fashion industry in that era.

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Ingrid Boulting in Ossie Clark Dress, photographed by Norman Parkinson, 1970 via

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Ingrid Boulting in Ossie Clark Dress, photographed by Norman Parkinson, 1970 via

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Ingrid Boulting in Ossie Clark Dress, photographed by Norman Parkinson, 1970 via

Gorgeous Vintage Sculptural Dresses By Charles James (1950)

Charles James (1906 – 1978) was a British-born fashion designer known as “America’s First Couturier”. He is widely considered to have been a master of cutting and is known for his highly structured aesthetic

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Charles James, Dresses, photographed by Eliot Elisonfon, 1950

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Charles James, Dresses, photographed by Eliot Elisonfon, 1950

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Charles James, Dresses, photographed by Eliot Elisonfon, 1950

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Charles James, Dresses, photographed by Eliot Elisonfon, 1950

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Charles James, Dresses, photographed by Eliot Elisonfon, 1950

The First Modern Fashion Photography Shoot: Paul Poiret by Edward Stechein (1911)

In 1911, publisher Lucien Vogel dared photographer Edward Steichen to promote fashion as a fine art in his work. Steichen responded by snapping photos of gowns designed by leading French fashion designer Paul Poiret, hauntingly backlit and shot at inventive angles.

The photographs were published in the April 1911 issue of the magazine Art et Décoration. According to historian Jesse Alexander, the occasion is:

“now considered to be the first ever modern fashion photography shoot,”

The garments were imaged as much for their artistic quality as their formal appearance

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via