[Exhibit] The Women of Harper’s Bazaar, 1936–1958

The Women of Harper’s Bazaar, 1936–1958 focuses on a pivotal time in the history of Harper’s Bazaar magazine. The exhibition explores the dynamic collaboration among Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Carmel Snow, fashion editor Diana Vreeland, and photographer Louise Dahl-Wolfe, who reinvigorated Harper’s Bazaar by combining their individual talents.  Drawing from The Museum at FIT’s extensive collection of Louise Dahl-Wolfe’s color photographs—donated by the photographer herself—the exhibition highlights original photographs shown alongside nine garments by Christian Dior, Charles James, Mainbocher, Claire McCardell, and Carolyn Schnurer that exemplify the vast array of captivating styles featured in Harper’s Bazaar.

[L to R] Model Jean Patchett in a Carolyn Schnurer top. Photography by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, color proof, featured in Harper’s Bazaar, December 1952; Carolyn Schnurer, top, 1952.

[L to R] Model Jean Patchett in a Carolyn Schnurer top. Photography by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, color proof, featured in Harper’s Bazaar, December 1952; Carolyn Schnurer, top, 1952.

The exhibition opens with an embroidered, elephant-motif top by American designer Carolyn Schnurer. This piece epitomizes the designer’s whimsical sportswear, perfectly suited to an American woman’s lifestyle during the era. It is paired with a photograph of the same garment in an inverted color scheme that was featured in the December 1952 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

The exhibition continues with sections dedicated to each of the three women, showcasing their individual contributions. Carmel Snow had a forward-thinking attitude and, to quote her niece and successor Nancy White, was a “genius for picking other people of genius.” Diana Vreeland took an imaginative approach to fashion styling, and Louise Dahl-Wolfe explored advancements in color photography and pioneered on-location shooting in destinations such as Egypt and São Paulo. Their talents combined to make Harper’s Bazaar a definitive fashion magazine of the time.
[L to R] Model wearing the Mystère coat by Christian Dior in Paris at Malmaison. Photography by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, color proof, featured in Harper’s Bazaar, November 1947; Christian Dior New York, coat, 1954.

[L to R] Model wearing the Mystère coat by Christian Dior in Paris at Malmaison. Photography by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, color proof, featured in Harper’s Bazaar, November 1947; Christian Dior New York, coat, 1954.

The impact of the women’s collaborative process is demonstrated through a series of photographs and documents. On display are personal letters between Carmel Snow and model Mary Jane Russell describing a memorable fashion editorial from the Paris collections of 1951. Behind-the-scenes photographs and outtakes document the famous 1942 Arizona desert photo shoot at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pauson house—styled by Vreeland—during which she stepped in front of the camera after model Bijou Barrington fell ill from heat stroke.
[L to R] Model Betty Threat in a Charles James evening dress. Photography by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, color proof, featured in Harper’s Bazaar, April 1947; Charles James, evening dress, circa 1952.

[L to R] Model Betty Threat in a Charles James evening dress. Photography by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, color proof, featured in Harper’s Bazaar, April 1947; Charles James, evening dress, circa 1952.

Video footage from the documentaries Louise Dahl-Wolfe: Painting with Light and Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel offer a glimpse into each woman’s personality. Copper-plates and the resulting color proofs reveal the steps of Louise Dahl-Wolfe’s working process.  Additionally, four large scale reproductions of Dahl-Wolfe photographs featured in the magazine will be paired with related garments that mimic the fashion seen in the images.

[L to R] Model Jean Patchett in Alhambra, Granada Spain wearing a Givenchy ensemble. Photography by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, color proof, featured in Harper’s Bazaar, June 1953; Diana Vreeland modeling at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pauson house in Arizona. Photography by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, color proof, featured in Harper’s Bazaar, January 1942; Model Bijou Barrington on location in Arizona. Photography by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, color proof, featured in Harper’s Bazaar, January 1942.

[L to R] Model Jean Patchett in Alhambra, Granada Spain wearing a Givenchy ensemble. Photography by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, color proof, featured in Harper’s Bazaar, June 1953; Diana Vreeland modeling at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pauson house in Arizona. Photography by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, color proof, featured in Harper’s Bazaar, January 1942; Model Bijou Barrington on location in Arizona. Photography by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, color proof, featured in Harper’s Bazaar, January 1942.

  • A gray wool jersey swimsuit by Claire McCardell in the designer’s signature style is shown with a photo of a similar design from the May 1946 issue of the magazine.
  • A 1948 Mainbocher gray wool suit with exquisite scrollwork is paired with a photograph in which the model wears a pith helmet and holds an hourglass, exemplifying what the magazine called “the covert look.”
  • A 1954 Christian Dior black coat is used to simulate Dior’s famous Mystère coat from his groundbreaking 1947 collection, as it appeared in a Dahl-Wolfe photograph. The similarities between the two garments highlight the lasting impact of the collection that Snow christened “A New Look.”
  • An evening gown by designer Charles James is juxtaposed with a Louise Dahl-Wolfe photograph that mimics the structural silhouettes of American evening wear represented in the magazine.
[L to R] Model Betty Bridges in Tijuca, Brazil wearing a Claire McCardell swimsuit. Photography by Louise Dahl- Wolfe, color proof, featured in Harper’s Bazaar, May 1946; Claire McCardell, swimsuit, 1946.

[L to R] Model Betty Bridges in Tijuca, Brazil wearing a Claire McCardell swimsuit. Photography by Louise Dahl- Wolfe, color proof, featured in Harper’s Bazaar, May 1946; Claire McCardell, swimsuit, 1946.

The Women of Harper’s Bazaar, 1936-1958 is the first exhibition to focus on the interaction between these three individuals, highlighting collaboration as an essential component of the creative process. With their brilliant colors, arresting compositions, and faraway locales, the Louise Dahl-Wolfe photographs that comprise the heart of the exhibition convey an idea of fashion as a conduit to a more vivid existence.

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[San Juan Moda] Host Inaugural Gala

(L to R) Gisela Asencio de Alemañy, Gricel Mamery, Lucy Rodriguez Bacardí, Ruby Lefranc y Mimi Emanuelli. Photo by Giovani Cordero.

(L to R) Gisela Asencio de Alemañy, Gricel Mamery, Lucy Rodriguez Bacardí, Ruby Lefranc y Mimi Emanuelli. Photo by Giovan Cordero.

On the 5th Edition of “San Juan Moda”, the organization has selected the top five women who best represent fashion in Puerto Rico, acknowledging them with the first anual event: “Las Cinco Mas Fabulosas”.

The project “Las Cinco Mas Fabulosas”, The Five Most Fashion Forward is a concept that seeks to recognize the woman that is true to her style, that can embrace different trends and make them her own. ‘These are women that do not follow runways, but seek, choose, and adapt to their styles, becoming fashion icons’, said Iris Eden Santiago, creator of the project.

This inaugural group is composed of: Gisela Asencio de Alemañy, Ruby Lefranc, Lucy Rodríguez Bacardí, Gricel Mamery y Mimi Emmanuelli de Rubín. These women will be acknowledged on Friday, October 2 when “San Juan Moda” becomes host to the 1st Annual Gala of Fashion to be held in The San Juan Resort and Casino.

La Gala de la Moda”, fashion gala is the precursor of the 5th edition of “San Juan Moda”, held from October 2 to the 10th at The San Juan Resort and Casino. The gala will also be host to the first ever fashion awards to the best designs of the 4th Edition of “San Juan Moda” Spring/Summer ‘15. ‘The San Juan Moda Fashion Awards will be held twice a year, recognizing the best of the previous seasons’, said Carlos Bermudez, President of the organization. ‘Another innovative aspect of SJM, is that for the first time the work of Fashion Editors, Fashion Journalist, Fashion Columnist and Stylist will also be acknowledged.’, stated Bermudez.

The San Juan Moda Fashion Awards will recognize extraordinary design and excellence in the following categories:

  • Outstanding Haute Couture Collection
  • Outstanding Womenswear Collection
  • Outstanding Menswear Collection
  • Outstanding Overall Design
  • Best Evening wear
  • Best Wedding Dress
  • Best Runway Ambiance
  • Most Outstanding Female Model
  • Most Outstanding Male Model
  • Best Hair and Makeup Artistry
  • Best Accessories Design
  • The Carlota Alfaro Vanguard Award

La Gala de la Moda” is a celebration of the fashion industry, with the aim of rewarding excellence, creativity, diversity and stimulate the various collaborators that make this a successful, lively industry. For more information on tickets and pricing visit: San Juan Moda or write to: ojocreativopr@gmail.com.

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