Elegance In An Age of Crisis

https://www.fitnyc.edu/museum/exhibitions/elegance-age-of-crisis.php

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Fashion of the 1930's:

Book edited by Patricia Mears and G Bruce Boyer. Yale University Press. New York (2014).


How is this relevant today?

If we were to take some of the garments of this era and wear them today, they wouldn't look dated by any means. One of the reasons is as the author, Patricia Mears declares, "Many of the sources for their aesthetic appeal came from the ancient past. So, we see it in all sorts of ways, a rediscovery of the natural balanced body, this sort of languid, long, lean line, clean elements, things that were stripped of superfluous ornamentation."


One of the significant innovations of the 1930's fashion is known as the bias cut. Madeleine Vionnet is usually credited for it, but "she was by no mean the only couturier using this technique. One of the most important of them was Augusta Bernard. She was a couturier who very often draped on the straight grain, but when she did the bias, it really was a tour de force" (Mears).


This is also the decade of The Great Depression. Millions of people were out of work, people were going hungry, without any of the social safety nets that we have today.

This is when Hollywood provided an escape from reality, a dream that was accessible to the average person. It influenced the trends of the time, where several copies of the heroine's dress would be mass produced within days of the movie's premier.


In a post Covid-19 crisis, Elegance In An Age of Crisis, can be entertaining and educational, while allowing you to dream a little. It is a handsomely illustrated book, in which historians and experts analyze the different factors that contributed to development of new techniques, and styles of men and women's fashion. The revival of classicism among other artistic influences, were pivotal to the development of this clean, modern, and minimalist new look.


Patricia Mears and G Bruce Boyer. Elegance in an Age of Crisis. Yale University Press. New York (2014).


Patricia Mears and G Bruce Boyer. Elegance in an Age of Crisis. Yale University Press. New York (2014).


Patricia Mears and G Bruce Boyer. Elegance in an Age of Crisis. Yale University Press. New York (2014).


Patricia Mears and G Bruce Boyer. Elegance in an Age of Crisis. Yale University Press. New York (2014).