So, this one took me quite a while. I really liked the topic of the editorial and looked for some background info and photos for the Lovely readers – Thank You so much for stopping by! What I basically wanted to do when I saw the ‘The American Experience” (US Vogue, May 2010) by David Sims, was more or less tracking back the trends they’ve picked up from the past of US Vogue, American history and fashion and make parallels – look back and see what’s the same, what’s different, where did the creative team got their inspiration from. It’s quite interesting to observe that even though “nothing is new”, trends from the past have been interpreted much differently and in an almost completely new way in the May’s Issue, compared to what they actually looked like in the 30s, 40s, 50s. Mainly the accessories have changed.
Another thing I found very moving was discovering the personalities of Toni Frissell and Lee Miller. Both female photographers, they started in the world of fashion and then played their role in taking part and reflecting the reality of WW2. What is very nice about it, is to see how they both present things from a rather woman’s point of view, which you have to admit does not occur too often in war photography from the beginning of last century. Furthermore, the contrast between war and fashion couldn’t be bigger and still they’ve succeeded in presenting and combining both of them in their work. It is very exciting and kinda helps me relate more to the reality of war. There are around 130 wars in the world today. And women are part of them – not only as victims.
The picture that definitely struck me most was the one by Scherman catching Lee Miller in Hitler’s bath with the dust from Dachau still on her boots. In such extreme circumstances – what happens to the creative mind? Does it blow and burst, does it stay silent and wait till the storm is over? I hope I’ll never know. But what to say: Extreme times require extreme measures… Maybe, We Women of Today, could learn something from the ones before us. Fashion is not war and war is surely not fashion, but still while living, learning, loving, partying, shopping, going out, being smart, artistic and charming ‘workoholics’, we girls should not forget the fact that these women managed to influence history not only because they were very talented and beautiful, but extremely brave and socially involved as well. So, maybe sometimes these things go side by side in life.
none of the photo material in this article belongs to the author | Fashion Gone Rouge | Conde Nast Archive | foto_decadent | A Blind Flaneur | nothing-is-new | my vinatge vogue | ovationtv | Cheetos are orange | various sources