posted in Chanel - 10-17-2013, 14:00
The Sage Collection, Serendipity, and Chanel's Second Life
An important and special part of the Sage Collection is published materials such as books, magazines, catalogues, and fashion plates dating from to the 1830s to the present. While moving some magazines a month or so ago, I ran across the October 1, 1961 (yes, October 1st—Vogue Magazine was published bi-monthly through 1973) issue of Vogue that featured a familiar suit on the cover:
Vogue Magazine, October 1, 1961
I recognized this ensemble as a luxuriously soft coral mohair /wool bouclé and orange and gold Lurex print suit from 1961. The identical suit is part of the Sage Collection, accessioned in 2004. This complete ensemble also includes the matching gold Lurex and orange print blouse and coordinated matching purse and pumps. (The color is off in my photographs. The suit really is more of a coral than the pink pictured here).
Chanel ensemble, 1961, 2004.70 A-C
Purse, 1961, 2004.70 D
Shoes, 1961, 2004.70 EF
The gold chain inside the jacket hem, which helps the jacket hang properly, has become a Chanel trademark.
Inside jacket detail, 1961, 2007.70 A
Close-up, pocket and cuff detail, 1961, 2004.70 A
This suit is a wonderful example of the second coming of Coco Chanel, who closed her business at the outbreak of World War II in Europe in 1939. Chanel’s hiatus lasted through 1954, when she re-launched her couture house in Paris, at more than seventy years of age. Inactive during the height of Dior’s opulent New Look that emphasized rounded hips and a hyperfeminine hourglass figure, Chanel’s updated versions of the smart and chic suits that she originally designed from jersey in 1917 became fashion classics in the late 1950s and 1960s, and remain so today. With shortened skirts, plenty of tweed, and wide braid trim, Chanel suits featuring superbly fitted but not overly constructed collarless jackets became favorites of women who appreciated the ensembles for their stripped-down modern lines, the perfect foil for Chanel’s favored faux pearls and costume jewelry gold chains.
Further investigation turns up these images of Chanel’s 1961 collection and this very suit (third from the left) featured in the September 1, 1961 issue of Life Magazine.
The double-breasted suit with the contrasting dark collar above was the model for Jackie Kennedy's pink suit that she was wearing when John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. According to Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel archives reveal that the suit she was wearing on that fated day was an Oleg Cassini copy of the Chanel suit: read "Chanel Copy".
Karl Lagerfeld, designer for the House of Chanel since 1983, has kept the Chanel tradition alive, constantly reworking the pearl/chain/tweed/braid fashion idiom into designs incorporating such diverse looks as hot pants and Postapocalypto-Goth.
Photo: Monica Feudi/GoRunway.com at http://www.style.com/fashionshows/complete/slideshow/S2011RTW-CHANEL/#25
Photo: Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com at http://www.style.com/fashionshows/complete/slideshow/F2011RTW-CHANEL/#52
posted in Fashion history - 09-05-2013, 13:25
What’s black and white and fab all over? The windows at the Sage Collection designed by R309 Visual Merchandising students! R309: Strategies in Retail Promotion, taught by Professor Ashley Hasty in the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design, is an introductory course that presents design elements and principles through the lens of visual display.
Students were challenged to produce an effective and eye-catching mini-exhibition utilizing Sage Collection artifacts organized around a black-and-white theme. The exhibit features jewelry, purses, fans, hats, gloves, scarves, and shoes, as well as two jackets by Indiana native Bill Blass and French designer Philippe Venet. The clothing examples exploit the very best qualities of positive and negative space in design. The Venet jacket is a masterful example of tailoring in double-face wool, with organic, ovoid-shaped black inset panels placed off-kilter on the jacket fronts, in contrast to the regular black-and-white striped effect on the sleeves. The loose-fitting, kimono-like silk satin jacket from Blass is a study in line—thick/thin, straight/curved, and horizontal/vertical.
Associated with mourning customs, clerical, academic, and ceremonial dress, the color black has been an essential part of every woman’s wardrobe only after World War I. Queen Victoria’s long period of visible mourning following the death of her beloved Prince Albert in 1861, the practicality of the dark color in an industrial, urban landscape, and the stylish ensembles available to the bereaved during The Great War all contributed to the acceptance of black as a viable everyday color option. Connotations of death, disaster, wickedness, witches, and violence have long been linked to black, which continues in our vocabulary today as a modifier in common phrases with negative overtones: black sheep, blackmail, black-hearted, blackball, blacklist.
Black’s opposite, white, is viewed as the color of innocence, purity, and new beginnings, associated most often with wedding gowns, and christening and baptismal dresses. However, in some cultures, such as China, white, not black, is the color of mourning. In 1938, the death of Queen Elizabeth’s mother five days before a critically important state visit to France to secure an alliance between the two nations when Naziism was looming on the horizon forced designer Norman Hartnell to re-design a colorful 30-piece wardrobe he had created for the state visit. The trip was postponed three weeks, and Hartnell and his workshop created a completely new white wardrobe for Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother). This all-white wardrobe allowed Queen Elizabeth to pay her respects to her late mother, and was thought to be more appropriate to the visit’s purpose and the July heat. The romantic and fashionable white dresses designed by Hartnell won over the French, and secured Hartnell his place as the royal dressmaker to the Queen.
Mendes, Valerie. Dressed in Black. London: V&A Publications, 1999.
Reynolds, Nigel. "Royal Fashions that won over Paris go on display." The Telegraph. July 27, 2005. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1494890/Royal-fashions-that-won-over-Paris-go-on-display.html
posted in Olympics - 08-03-2012, 12:23
The social history focus of the Sage Collection means that our storage facilities hold much more than pretty designer dresses—though we have plenty of those! While the 2012 Summer Olympics take place in that most fashionable of cities, London, we celebrate our own bit of Olympics and Indiana University history here at Sage.
This wool and silk uniform was worn by gold medal winner Ivan Fuqua in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Fuqua, a 1935 graduate of Indiana University, was a member of the winning 4x400 meter relay team. Fuqua, who earned I.U.'s first Olympic gold medal, went to to coach track at Brown University from 1947 to 1973.
The embroidered shield patch on the upper left chest features the Olympic rings. The rings, designed in 1912, debuted at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics. The five colors: blue, black, red, yellow, and green, on a white background, represent colors in the flags of participating nations. The wool knit tank top and loose-fitting silk shorts have a similar silhouette to the Nike uniforms worn by U.S. track athletes today. This 1932 uniform was made in the U.S. by Spalding, the well-known athletic gear manufacturer. Athletes in the 1936 Olympics wore similar uniforms, also made by Spalding, visible in this Olympic uniform slide show from The New York Times.
Sports apparel manufacturers continually make innovations in textile technology and design to facilitate faster times and better athletic performances. The Nike track-and-field uniforms worn by American athletes in the 2012 London games incorporate dimpled fabric (similar to the surface of a golf ball) in the shorts and tiny holes in the tight-fitting tops for increased aerodynamic efficiency. While the impact of this new technology remains to be seen (Track & Field trials start today, Friday, August 3), Nike's commitment to "considered design" may soften the company's impact on the Earth. On average, uniforms from the Nike Pro TurboSpeed collection incorporate 82% recycled polyester fabric from plastic bottles.
No word on where the Pro TurboSpeed collection is made, however. The Ralph Lauren-designed blazer-and-beret ensembles for the Olympic opening ceremonies drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans alike for being manufactured in China.
posted in Kate Rowold - 01-22-2012, 11:41
Sage Collection curator Kate Rowold was featured in the article Good Design is Always in Fashion, in the December 2011 issue of She Magazine. She Magazine is a monthly magazine published by The Republic, the Columbus, Indiana newspaper.
Read the interview here.
posted in Irwin Sweeney Miller family - 12-13-2011, 15:13
left to right: Dress, pink silk and gold matelassé lamé by Madeleine Vionnet, Paris, 1928 (worn by Clemenine Miller Tangeman). Dress, silver and silk lamé, faux pearls, and rhinestones by Edward Molyneux, Paris, 1923 (worn by Elsie Irwin Sweeney). Dress, lavender silk and silver brocade, silver lace, and rhinestones by Edward Molyneux, Paris, 1923 (worn by Linnie Irwin Sweeney).
Many thanks to Andrea Lee, Masters of Arts in Art History, Indiana University, for research assistance.
Three women of the Irwin Sweeney Miller family were honored with invitations to the British court. Linnie Irwin Sweeney and her daughter Elsie were presented in 1923, and niece and granddaughter Clementine Miller (Tangeman) was presented in 1928. Just any old dress wouldn't do for such an occasion--Molyneux designed Linnie and Elsie's gowns, and Clementine chose the influential couturiere Madeleine Vionnet for her court dress.
Edward Molyneux, recommended by the British embassy, was born in London and opened his Paris couture house in 1919. Known for producing elegant, innovative, yet always-correct designs, Molyneux was a favorite of royals. He received his nickname “Captain” after being wounded and losing an eye in the First World War. Retiring in 1950 to concentrate on painting, Molyneux relaunched his fashion house in the 1960s, handing it off to his nephew in 1967. He passed away in 1970.
Madeleine Vionnet was the first designer to fully utilize the bias cut, producing liquid gowns that slipped over the head and had few, if any, closures. Her skillful cutting and draping directly on half-scale dress forms allowed Vionnet to work out her innovative designs, resulting in dresses that fit like a second skin, often incorporating geometric shapes, knots, pintucks, and appliqué details.
Historically, hierarchical cultures usually required certain styles of clothing to be worn while in the presence of the ruler. In Europe, this reinforced notions of social standing and fostered the silk and lace industries. Regulations about what was to be worn, according to the status of the wearer and dictated by the current ruler, provided guidance for those attending court occasions and for those who made the garments.
Formal, fashionable evening dress was required of those being presented. However, at some points in history (most notably in the late 18th century), court dress became fossilized, rigidly adhering to an earlier extreme style featuring wide gowns with panniers, at a time when the current silhouette was fairly narrow and columnar. The court dresses exhibited here display the interplay between tradition, innovation, and the modernity of the 20th century.
The women wear veils and the three white ostrich feathers which symbolized the Court of Saint James. Their glittering dresses are the height of stylish evening wear, and feature the rising hemlines of the 1920s which drastically altered women’s fashion. These narrow dresses include long trains which, especially on Clementine’s Vionnet dress on the left with the highest hemline, look somewhat out of place on the shorter, simpler gowns.
Eventually the court presentation ritual and formal court dress was eliminated, replaced by garden parties in the 1950s. The Queen of England now hosts at least three garden parties annually, which over 30,000 guests attend.
posted in exhibitions - 12-02-2011, 15:28
Fashioning a Legacy Irwin Sweeney Miller Style
In the 19th and 20th centuries, art and design was nurtured in Southern Indiana by the Irwin Sweeney Miller family. Best known for their community involvement and architectural innovation, these business leaders further expressed their appreciation of art and design in their manner of dress.
The men, women, and children of the Irwin Sweeney Miller family wore fashionable clothing that reflected the evolving aesthetic seen in cities such as New York, London, Paris, and Berlin. They brought to Columbus the cutting-edge style of the tailor-made, ready-to-wear, and couture designs from around the world.
Fashion, as an element of our material culture, is molded by a wide array of factors such as social mores, economy, war, technology, music, and art. Through the use of color, surface design, line, space, and volume, the fashions exhibited here reflect many of these influences.
The women’s dress reveals shifting ideals of femininity. The silhouettes of the ensembles range from exaggerated hourglass to columnar. Propriety and modesty are expressed by concealing or exposing parts of the body. The line and shape of the gowns evoke a sense of the era and the rhythm of popular dance - waltz, Charleston, foxtrot, and the twist.
Both men’s and women’s sartorial styles of the 1930s and 1940s mirror the structured, masculine line of the military uniform. The fabrics in these ensembles tell a story of advancement in textile technology and economic systems that took us from a world of cotton, silk, linen, and wool into a universe of synthetic blends.
Finally, in the same manner as the architecture, furniture, interior and landscape design embraced by the Irwin Sweeney Miller family, these ensembles echo art movements of their period including art nouveau, art deco, orientalism, modernism, and op art.
Fashioning a Legacy Irwin Sweeney Miller Style provides a looking glass into the past and reveals the image of a family whose taste and sensibilities set the fashion pace in Southern Indiana, leaving us a heritage of style and innovation.