During the first New York World’s Fair season, World War II broke out in Europe.
Even though the United States did not enter the war until 1941, the American government realised that the US needed a defined identity to be able to unite its people in patriotism.
While studying dress reform as an undergraduate, I became enamored with Aesthetic dress, an alternative style of clothing adopted by followers of British Aestheticism primarily during the late-1870s and early-1880s.
Female Aesthetes channeled medieval, Greek, and pastoral styles in muted-color dresses outfitted with puffed sleeves, straight, trained skirts, and unconstricted waists.
In the course of the research process, I became more and more intrigued by the creative activity of the many individuals and loosely knit groups of craftsmen and -women in London in the 1920s and 1930s.
It would be a dream to continue my research in this exciting field. Issued by the Merchant Adventurers in London from 1921, this journal was full of interesting crafts-related articles and advertisements, as well as for instance job requests and vacancies by or aimed at established or aspiring craftspeople. I enjoy just leafing through it, read all the fun ads, and explore interwar London in my mind.It is a reference in British ’s issue to the Footprints shop that was located in New Bond Street.After spending almost two days at the British Library, leafing page-by-page through 1930s issues without any previous indication or even guarantee that I would find anything relating to Footprints, I could hardly suppress my euphoria when I actually found a short reference in the magazine’s regular shopping column. The most beautiful place to work is the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum. It reminds me of that library in Disney’s animated film What prompted you to choose this topic?Amazingly few people have studied backstage images – these days they’re a mainstay of Instagram and Vogue Runway reports during fashion week. Speaking to Mark Shaw’s daughter in law Juliet across the pond in Vermont and meeting his grandson Hunter in London.Juliet kindly sent me scanned film and contact sheets to pore over – a game changer.Coming across a key quote by Baudelaire (who famously coined the slippery term ‘modernity’) one grey day in the British Library got me pretty excited (#nerdalert). The National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum for its sheer opulence, or at home in my south London garden in the dappled light beneath the lilac tree.Most libraries don’t allow food or drink, and some days the need for constant cups of tea (and a visiting fellow art historian with a pair of puppies) wins out. Decadence, Defiance, Death: The Last Years of Aesthetic Dress What prompted you to choose this topic?As the US did not have strongly embedded traditions and copied European ideas and design styles until well into the 20 century, identity had to be based on something other than traditions that could be considered unequivocally American.Therefore, American identity focussed on history and symbols, including the American flag and the Statue of Liberty.Courtesy of the British Library., yearly coverage of the Crystal Palace cat show, and a story on the flammability of dresses in the home.My all-time favorite line of text was from the installment of ‘Vista of Fashion’ in which author Mrs.