January 31, 2015

Stay the Course

Stay and Valentino

A “stay” was the word of choice for the understructure later referred to as a corset in the 19th-century. Today, the corset conjures up notions of tight-laced, wasp-waisted hourglass figures, however, the stay of the 18th-century was intended to lift the breasts and straighten the back rather than nip in the waist. The ...

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January 3, 2015

Drown Out

John Everett Millais and Steven Meisel

As one of the three founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, John Everett Millais, would create some of the most well-known imagery of the Pre-Raphaelite movement which looked to Quattrocento or 15th-century Italian art. Shakespeare often served as inspiration to the Pre-Raphaelites as seen in Millais’ 1851-52 ...

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November 29, 2014

Lampshade Dressing

Paul Poiret and Valentino

Paul Poiret’s 1913 costumes for Le Minaret were followed soon after with similar versions available for his avant-garde patrons looking to shock in Orientalist ensembles. Poiret’s translation of harem-style dressing for the Parisian set resulted in a stiffened, oversized tunic paired atop his columnar hobble ...

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October 24, 2014

Banana Dance

Josephine Baker and Miley

A pioneer for African American women, Josephine Baker is commonly associated with her seductive banana dance performance at the Folies Bergère, costumed in a skimpy skirt constructed with a string of artificial bananas. Miley Cyrus would follow suit in a banana skirt lookalike, sporting the provocative ensemble almost a ...

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October 12, 2014

Pearly Whites

Mert and Marcus and Mario Sorrenti

Mia Farrow graced the cover of People’s inaugural issue on March 4, 1974 which announced the elfin actress’s forthcoming role as the Daisy Buchanan opposite Robert Redford as Gatsby. To celebrate the magazine’s 40th anniversary, People enlisted the chameleonic Taylor Swift to recreate Farrow’s ...

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