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Marie-Claire

FASHION

150 YEARS, Couturiers, Designers, Labels

“Fashion – 150 Years” is an encyclopedic work, not only in content but in size and weight. Fashion is taken from about the mid 1800s to the present. Seeling locates the beginnings of modern fashion about 1860 when the English clothing designer Charles Frederick Worth working in Paris put labels with his signature on the gowns he designed. Seeling sees this as turning clothing–however ornamental, stylized, or individualized–into art–Worth was the first “fashion designer.” Since Worth’s innovative touch, there have been scores of outstanding fashion designers–all of whom make their appearance. The history of fashion from the mid 1860s is related in terms of profiles of the leading, most imaginative and skilled, most influential, and often most acclaimed fashion designers accompanied by abundant photographic material. One could follow the history just by following the copious, most color photographs. One sees how fashion spread out from its beginnings in Paris to the global, popular enterprise it is today. But one wants to read the profiles too for their colorful biographical material and ideas and approaches to fashion, and for putting the respective designer into the context of fashion history. Seeling has been a top editor at Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Marie Claire…

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Art

GRUAU: PORTRAITS OF MEN

GRUAU: PORTRAITS OF MEN, BY RÉJANE BARGIEL AND SYLVIE NISSEN Primarily known for his colorful and vivacious portrayals of women, René Gruau revolutionized the concept of masculinity in fashion imagery and advertising from the 1950s to the ’80s, depicting the modern casual, confident man with humor and sex appeal. See also: Interior Design Books: The Story of Eames Furniture Gruau became one of the best known and favorite artists of the haute couture world during the 1940s and 50s working with Femina, Marie-Claire, L’Officiel, L’Album Du Figaro and an assortment of “high-style” magazines. According to Alan Riding of the New York times, “everything he did, he evoked the glamour and style of the world of high fashion”. Because the technical age of the 20th century had yet to emerge, Gruau’s pictures were the advertisements of the time and gave marketing and presentation of clothing a new brilliant flare. Illustrations were intensely very important in the haute couture world. Gruau’s first position as artistic director for advertising was in 1947 with Christian Dior. Both together formed the “New Look” of the time, partially a result of Dior’s designs, and partially a result of Gruau’s combined interpretation and upgrading of old-style graphic illustration.Gruau formed a friendship with Dior that contributed…

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