(Hot pink poncho edged with giant pom-pons. Unknown photographer. Circa 1965-CRM)
It's no surprise-my penchant for fashion. As I sit and write this, a kaftan will suffice most days-any day, yet I do find it fashionating...Its lighting speed change, and its "nothing new under the sun" life expectancy makes it ever a subject of interest.
I just opened a book today that satisfies all those quirks of my own, and many of yours-I suspect. After all, we have been writing each other for years.
FASHION A Timeline in Photographs:1850 to Today is a cunning combination of the scholarly-and the blur that Fashion persists in running along. Caroline Rennolds Milbank is the author, this her newest of numerous books on what we share- a passion for fashion. The book's laser focus on fashion since just before the Civil War until today, illustrates each year's fashion "moment" with photographs and commentary. Harold Koda writes the foreword, solidifying the book's importance as to how we look at & in fashion. Milbank's culling of photographs-which must have been thousands and thousands, or more, is quite brilliant. This book is a heavenly marriage of fashion and photography, and we are immersed, and we are seduced, blissfully drowning in its beauty and weight.
Beauty is composed of an eternal, invariable element whose quantity is extremely difficult to determine, and a relative element which might be, either by turns or all at once, period, fashion, moral, passion. Jean-Luc Godard
Nati Abascal y Romero-Toro in Valentino lace-trimmed ball gown with see-through bodice at the opening of the Valentino retrospective Thirty Years of Magic at the New York Armory. Guests were asked to wear black or white. Photo by Mary Hilliard. -CRM
The best-dressed woman is one whose clothes wouldn't look too strange in the country. Hardy Amies
Walking ensemble with wool cape with ruffle at collar, plaid shirtwaist, taffeta skirt trimmed with pinked-edged ruffles and gathered up over a checked petticoat; gaiters, straw hat with velvet trim; walking stick. Photo by Britton & Sons (Barnstaple, England). Circa 1863. -CRM
Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously. Henry David Thoreau
Singers wearing strapless ball-length evening dresses in pale blue tulle. Male musician in a yellow suit with spectator shoes. Photo by Walter Otto Wyss (Los Angeles). Circa 1951. -CRM
Many thanks to the author & publisher for this book-and all photographs are from the book & used with permission.