The Model Society; A New Book Looks at the Impact of Fashion on Modern Culture. Richard Edmonds Takes a Trip through Haute Couture History PROFILE

The Birmingham Post (England), August 22, 2013 | Go to article overview

The Model Society; A New Book Looks at the Impact of Fashion on Modern Culture. Richard Edmonds Takes a Trip through Haute Couture History PROFILE


Byline: Richard Edmonds

WE''VE all seen the models loping down the catwalks on ten-inch suicide heels. and with a frozen demeanour, wearing the kind of outlandish styles no normal person would touch with a barge pole.

These are the hard-edged girls who grab the top fashion shoots who suggest a fantasy lifestyle available only to those who can project a sphinx-like aura and have bodies like laths.

Throughout history fashion has ruled art and commerce. In the 16th century the European Renaissance courts were magnificent with lavish fabrics and jewels. By the 18th century high fashion, silk-clad dolls in specially-crafted boxes went around the European royal seats for the dressmakers to copy, allowing stylish women to keep up with the latest trend.

But at the beginning of the 20th century, middle-class new money meant that style demands had percolated through to a new class of fashionistas who had the leisure, the looks, the brains and a newly-elevated social position to compete comfortably with the old aristocracy.

These were the handsome men and women you would have found applauding the opera at the Met in New York, strolling on the promenade at Biarritz or Deauville or competing in the yacht races at Cowes in the Isle of Wight.

They were anxious to flaunt their wealth at dinner tables or in the theatres, and when money talks couturiers listen.

"La Belle Epoque" and "The Age of Opulence" are familiar terms to us today, and they perfectly capture the glamour of the era. Painter John Singer Sargent painted the portraits of these dramatically beautiful people and their pampered offspring, Henry James immortalised the times in novels such as Portrait of a Lady and The Age of Innocence, while dress designers such as Worth and Paul Poiret (along with the jewellers Lalique, Fontenay, Faberge or the Italian geniuses Castellani and Giuliano) showed these newly rich types the worth of a Paris designer label or a famous signature on a gold pin in their new social circles.

In The Mechanical Smile, Caroline Evans fascinating book covers most aspects of the social changes which happened after the First World War.

Social protocols evaporated as French dress designers moved away from super-rich individual clients and focussed on department store fashion, where models strutted their stuff down improvised catwalks providing the kind of pret-a porter clothes a working girl might afford.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Model Society; A New Book Looks at the Impact of Fashion on Modern Culture. Richard Edmonds Takes a Trip through Haute Couture History PROFILE
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.