Category Archives: Uncategorized

Enthusiasms: Romper suits for modern babies

Whar makes babies modern? Bringing up babies is a practice which has always been part of human societies, but is constantly being rethought and redefined, It can be a site of conflict between older generations who rely on tried and … Continue reading

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Enthusiasms: Handbags and Modernity

What is modern about the handbag? It’s a tricky question to answer, as both terms are so slippery. Is modernity a concept tied to the latest innovations of the 21st Century, with everything that went before past and dead? Or … Continue reading

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Museums: The Art of the Purse at the Musée de la Monnaie, Paris

An exhibition of purses and wallets at the Musée de la Monnaie, Paris provides a detailed look at some unusual objects and techniques but leaves some wider questions unanswered. Based on a private collection, the emphasis is on pieces of … Continue reading

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Enthusiasms: Natalia Goncharova

The exhibition of the work of Natalia Goncharova (1881- 1962) at Tate Modern raises some key issues for the history – and the future – of art. Goncharova is presented here as a forgotten pioneer, key to the development of … Continue reading

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Fashion in World War I: Christmas 1918

The Christmas 1918 issue of Les Modes seems like an appropriate point at which to end this four-year investigation of French fashion during World War I. This issue was one of the first produced since the Armistice, and included several … Continue reading

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Fashion in World War I: October 1918

By the end of September 1918 the German bombardment of Paris had ceased, as the allies had started to push the German army out of France. The changing mood in France as a victorious end to the war seemed in … Continue reading

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Fashion in World War I: June 1918

In June 1918 Les Modes was not published, but Vogue reported from a Paris still subject to bread rationing – although the flight of elite families to their country estates meant that luxuries like taxis and cream were now easier … Continue reading

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Fashion in World War I: May 1918

Issue 177 of Les Modes, published in May 1918, revealed both the difficulties of life in wartime Paris, and the ways that some entrepreneurs found new business opportunities. It is also remarkable frank about the social divisions between the classses, … Continue reading

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Fashion in World War I: November 1917

Tailored ensembles – the one on the right by Jenny – with eighteenth century influences The November 1917 issue of   Les Élégances Parisiennes opened with a strong defence of  the fashion industry in wartime. Fashion, and more especially couture, was … Continue reading

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Fashion in World War I: October 1917

The fashion articles in the November 1917 issue of Les Élégances Parisiennes flagged up some radical new trends in cut – and its articles on the state of the fashion industry explained the economic rationale behind them. The new styles were … Continue reading

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