June 10, 2011
Such a creative way to bring vintage clothes to life!
June 08, 2011
This vintage article is an insider's look at the glamorous world of modeling, circa mid-1950s. It's an interesting glimpse back at the training and preparation models underwent at the time, written for the young lady aspiring to be a model - or just look like one. This article was reprinted verbatim from the original. -- A.A.
It's In The Bag
That trademark is the huge bag each carries, the symbol of the model, whether she's a professional in one of the fashion capitals of the country or an amateur, modeling in a school or department store fashion show. The bag can be either a hatbox or an oversized tote bag - it's what's inside that really counts. What a model carries in her bag is just as important to her as the contents of a doctor's satchel are to him. Because her work is so often unpredictable, she must be prepared to meet any emergency.
Models' photos displayed by
If modeling is new to you and you're going to appear in a style show for your school, 4-H group or local department store, perhaps this list of what to include in your model-bag will help. It was passed on by some of Powers' most successful girls.
What to include in your
Any Powers' model knows that having the right things with you is not all you need do. You must appear at the show so immaculately groomed that no time is lost while you make last minute repairs. Powers' girls use a "personal grooming
When there's a check mark after each item on this list and your model-bag is packed,
It's Written All Over Your
Backstage at last and time to "Make-Down", Mr. Powers' way of saying "look natural". Heavy, obvious make-up is out of place and a sure sign of an amateur. Make-Down means keeping cosmetics to a minimum. You highlight your fresh complexion, making yourself more attractive but not detracting from the clothes you will show.
|Rules for Applying "Make-Down"|
You're On... So:
Walk with confidence and ease - shoulders relaxed, head up, arms swing and hips still. All
To turn in graceful circles, start from a basic foot position or from a walk. Toe out in the direction you want to turn.
Beautiful models and beautiful diamonds are not unlike. Both evolve by perfecting each and every facet so that the whole product or being will shine with brilliance. By giving all the phases of modeling the attention they deserve,
Prepared in cooperation with John Robert Powers School, New York.
Quick, Harriet (1997). Catwalking: A History of the Fashion Model.
In almost every case, a designer's most famous period is not the only period in which he created. Usually that designer first had to climb the ranks of the fashion industry, dutifully adapting the current mode into his own work, while simultaneously glimpsing and then crafting the style of the future. Cardin worked for Paquin, Schiaparelli, and Dior before opening his own house in 1950.
It's very similar to visual artists who develop their technique and talent within the parameters of today, while envisioning a new trend they'll unveil as their career unfolds. They begin to press the envelope as they gain notoriety, trending toward their ultimate goals and/or discovering new paths along the way. In the photograph above, Cardin was called a master of his art, but was still creating bouffant party dresses he's no longer known for.
For some designers, the journey has a twist. They strive to create a certain look, hoping it will strike a common chord as the new look, but then a commissioned design or a whimsical departure from their usual collections will become its own success. Cardin was described as a master in 1958, yet one of his most iconic designs didn't arrive until years later - the Mondrian-inspired color block dress. Thus the designer is marked for history as "the one who created that dress", despite other noteworthy efforts.
It's worth noting, too, that Cardin created his own twist by unveiling the first ready-to-wear collection by a couture house in 1959, just one year after these black & white photographs were taken. The Chambre Syndicale, in charge of Paris couture, was shocked, but Cardin was moving directly into the future, whether the Chambre liked it or not.
And of course we cannot forget societal influence. The Mod, mad world of the 1960s demanded space age clothes for a new age. Cardin was at the top of his game at this moment in fashion history, and his clothes were strikingly different than in years past to reflect the new, young, now feeling.
And again, as the 1970s began, Cardin monopolized on fashion in a new way - licensed products from watches to towels and even frying pans. What a difference a decade makes!
For those collecting Cardin, check out our website for Pierre Cardin finds for both men & women.
"Le Prix Realites de la Haute Couture." Realites, April 1958, 55-62.
Buxbaum, Gerda, ed. Icons of Fashion: The 20th Century. New York: Prestel.
Martin, Richard (1997). The St. James Fashion Encyclopedia. US: Visible Ink Press.