What a luck being able to tell beautiful, exclusive, dreamy stories. To write about unique clothes and women whose beauty made artists of all generations go crazy. Writing the Fashion Stories I made a recap of fashion but not only: I also looked at painting, photography, personalities and actresses, and therefore films and directors, that were active throughout the centuries, leaving traces so big to make me wonder why everything seems much more normal today, if not, at times, ordinary.
The feeling is that people would dare more and was not afraid of what was "different", regardless of its nature. There was a real cult of originality, the desire to challenge the clichés of a reassuring, bourgeoisie lifestyle. I am not being nostalgic. I am just underlining that through fashion one may grasp the history of a society, besides its style.
One has the opportunity of learning the history of photography and not only of fashion. This is because the portraits of stars and celebrities, or simply of common people staying in the Riviera or walking down the streets of Paris and New York, always showed people dressed following the trends of the moment. And such photographs are like a report of the lifestyle of that time. And the other way around.
From the pictures one may easily follow the history of fashion portrayed by the various photographers of those years.
In New York the exhibition of Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand at the Metropolitan is a clear example of what I mean. Stieglitz ,after closing his gallery, in love with Georgia O'Keeffe, starts portraying the artist in all possible poses and moments, handing on the history, the style, and the fashion choices of one of the greatest artists of the last century, besides the development of New York and its skyscrapers.
Steichen with his grainy photos, as if enwrapped by fog, hands on the best nude sketches alongside with portraits of personalities of that time, such as Lady Ian Hamilton, or Princess Yusupov, who in Paris opened the fashion house Irfè together with husband Felix (in the Short Stories about fashion called Long dresses for the day) and the Flatiron Building, the triangle-shaped "iron" designed by Burnham (in the Short Stories about fashion I mentioned the Mainbocher cape photographed by Steichen).
And finally, Paul Strand who was the first to deal with abstraction, shooting parts of objects and views, traveling around and portraying people in their places of origin, be it Mexico or New York.
Actually, a single exhibition provides a cross-section of life and style of the beginning of the 20th century, through famous or ordinary people, objects and buildings, testifying the evolution of a country. Neither of them was a fashion photographer yet, through their pictures we are able to understand what was fashion at that time.
This is what the Short Stories about fashion mean to me. It's not just a matter of designers or typologies, but of understanding why does a trend spread in such a way, from photography to cinema to art. And the question here is once again whether fashion trends are created on the catwalk, in the streets or in films, or because they are worn by trend-setter personalities.
Going through the "Short Stories about Fashion" once again, it is clear that different art forms interlace and overlap. And as it always happens in a movie, a painting, with designer or photographer, the common elements are the creativity and originality of their ideas
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