Coco Chanel by George Hoyningen-Huene (1935)

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Coco Chanel by George Hoyningen-Huene, 1935 via

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Coco Chanel by George Hoyningen-Huene, 1935 via

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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

Revolutionary Belle Epoque Fashion: Jeanne Margaine-Lacroix

Jeanne Margaine-Lacroix has been neglected by fashion historians. She inherited her couture house from her mother Mme. Margaine, in 1899. The following year she changed the name to Margaine-Lacroix.

She influenced the new slender line of fashion. She was famous for her revolutionary corsetless dresses and her ground-breaking front-lacing corsets. In the 1900s, Paris was the fashion capital of the world. Couturiers routinely sent mannequins to the racecourse, wearing their latest designs. Her models caused a sensation at Longchamp in 1908.

Three mannequins walked onto the racecourse dressed in blue, white and havane brown creations by Margaine-Lacroix. According to newspapers, spectators called the three women a “monstrosity”, accused them of being semi-naked and showing revolting décolletage .

However, soon women everywhere were wearing dresses after Margaine-Lacroix’s design.

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In the Spring of 1908, three women walked onto the Longchamp racecourse in Paris and caused a scandal by the semi-naked clothes they were wearing via

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Longchamp racecourse, Paris 1908 via

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Tanagréenne back drape on Sylphide dress by Jeanne Margaine-Lacroix. Here is an example of her slender, corsetless line, the robe-tanagréenne. It is worn by her favourite model, who small bust and simple hairstyle were avant-garde for the time and contrasted strongly with the generally accepted ideals of fashionable feminine beauty in the first decade of the twentieth-century, 1908 via

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Sylphide dress with Tanagréenne back drape by Jeanne Margaine-Lacroix, 1908 via

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Margaine-Lacroix mannequins pictured in the Parc de Vincennes in March 1910, wearing the new jupe-culotte – an early version of trousers via

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March 1910. Margaine-Lacroix mannequins in the new jupe-culotte via

Beautiful Belle Epoque Couture by Redfern

Redfern & Sons (later Redfern Ltd), was a British tailoring firm founded by John Redfern (1820-1895) in Cowes on the Isle of Wight that developed into a leading European couture house (active: 1855–1932; 1936–1940). By the early 1890s the business had branches in London, Edinburgh, Paris and New York.

The Paris extension was operated as a couture establishment while its other branches functioned primarily as tailors and importers.

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“Robe de bal en chantilly blanc, incrustée de chantilly noir, bordée de sequins noirs. Au bord du décolleté et dans le bas de la jupe, haut marabout de sequins.” Photograph in Les Modes : Revue mensuelle illustrée des arts décoratifs appliqués à la femme, 1902 via

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“Robe en crêpe de chine avec incrustation d’angleterre ; devant en tulle plissé ; ceinture liberty brodée de perles fines.” Photograph in Les Modes : Revue mensuelle illustrée des arts décoratifs appliqués à la femme, 1903 via

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“Robe en tulle et dentelle d’Alençon, laissant entrevoir la taille, ceinte d’un ruban Pompadour.” Photograph in Les Modes : Revue mensuelle illustrée des arts décoratifs appliqués à la femme, 1903 via

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“Robe avec guirlandes de liserons en paillettes nacrées, sur tulle blanc ; épaulettes en perles fines , guirlande de liserons sur l’épaule gauche.” Photograph in Les Modes : Revue mensuelle illustrée des arts décoratifs appliqués à la femme, 1903 via

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“Robe en linon blanc brodé. Pélerine avec incrustations de valenciennes ; jupe avec incrustations et volant de valenciennes, monté sur fond Pompadour. Ceinture faite d’un large ruban Pompadour et munie de longs pans.” Photograph from Les Modes : Revue mensuelle illustrée des arts décoratifs appliqués à la femme, 1903 via

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“Robe en linon royal et broderie anglaise avec entre deux et volants de valenciennes ; ceinture de taffetas Pompadour.” Photograph in Les Modes : Revue mensuelle illustrée des arts décoratifs appliqués à la femme, 1904 via

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“Robe en voile blanc ; ceinture en taffetas brodé Pompadour ainsi que l’empiècement en dentelle du corsage”. Photograph in Les Modes : Revue mensuelle illustrée des arts décoratifs appliqués à la femme, 1904 via

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Robe d’après-midi par Redfern 1904 via

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“Robe en velours bois de rose, guirlandes de roses de velours, brodées vieux tons. Grande veste en faille noire tissée de roses de France ombrées vieux tons d’or, garnie de chinchilla.” Photograph in Les Modes : Revue mensuelle illustrée des arts décoratifs appliqués à la femme, 1906 via

Beautiful Vintage Photos From “Shocking – The Art & Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli”

The now scarce and out of print book “Shocking Schiaparelli” features beautiful images by the surrealist inspired fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli – one of the most influential designers of the 1930s & 1940s.

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Photo from “Shocking – The Art & Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli” via

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Photo from “Shocking – The Art & Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli” via

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Photo from “Shocking – The Art & Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli” via

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Photo from “Shocking – The Art & Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli” via

Fab Vintage photos of The Biba London Fashion Store

Iconic clothes store Biba was founded by Polish born fashion designer Barbara Hulanicki OBE (b. 1936). She opened her Biba shop in the Kensington district of London in 1864 with the help of her late husband, Stephen Fitz-Simon.

The shop soon became known for its stylishly decadent atmosphere and lavish decor inspired by Art Nouveau and Art Deco. It became a hangout for artists, film stars and rock musicians, including Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Marianne Faithfull.

In the shop, a young clientele bought affordable mini-skirts, floppy felt hats, feather boas, velvet trouser suits and unisex T-shirts dyed in rich, muted colors. Incidentally, Anna Wintour started in fashion as a Biba employee.

After the shop’s 1975 demise, Hulanicki continued to work in the fashion industry, designing for labels such as Fiorucci and Cacharel and, from 1980 to 1992, designed a line of children’s wear, Minirock, licensed to the Japanese market.

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The London Biba store via

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 Queue for the Biba store via

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Inside the Biba store via

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The food department was sectioned into separate units that each contained one type of item. There was a section modelled after Hulanicki’s great dane Othello in which you’d find only dog food via

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Shopping at Biba, 1960s via

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Some Biba sales-girls via

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Barbara Hulanicki, designer and founder of Biba, in her first boutique in Abingdon Road, Kensington, London, mid 1960s. (Photo by Charles Edridge/Getty Images) via