Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s by Patricia Mears, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s

Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s

by Patricia Mears
     
 

Despite the dire financial environment of the 1930s, this decade gave rise to great technical and aesthetic innovations in fashion. This handsomely illustrated book is the first to analyze important developments in both men’s and women’s fashions of that time. Select experts contribute texts that delve into the economic, political, and cultural

Overview

Despite the dire financial environment of the 1930s, this decade gave rise to great technical and aesthetic innovations in fashion. This handsomely illustrated book is the first to analyze important developments in both men’s and women’s fashions of that time. Select experts contribute texts that delve into the economic, political, and cultural influences that shaped these emergent styles. They also explore how industrial capabilities, such as the production of new textiles, allowed couturiers to drape fabric in ways not previously possible, and how revolutionary dressmaking and tailoring techniques gave form to truly modern clothing.
 
Advancements in menswear tailoring in London and Naples paralleled breakthroughs in couture draping in Paris, New York, and even Shanghai. Hollywood also played a role in defining and popularizing this glamorous style. The international trend toward softer, minimally ornamented, and elegantly proportioned clothing differed markedly from the more restrictive attire of the preceding Edwardian era. By contrast, the fashions of the 1930s were made for movement, highlighting the natural and classically idealized body. The revival of classicism and other artistic influences were crucial to the creation of this clean, minimal, and modern new look.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
04/15/2014
This volume accompanies an exhibition of the same name at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. Here editors Mears (deputy director, Museum at the FIT) and menswear historian Boyer compile the first publication to study women's high fashion and menswear of the 1930s in both Paris and outside of it, drawing on an international perspective examining style in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Naples, Italy, London, and Shanghai. Focusing on the craftsmanship of the clothing, the editors describe innovations in design, for example, the developments of lightweight silks and synthetic textiles. A new modernity in fashion was created with the liberation of a woman's body by apparel that gave a refreshing freedom of movement to the wearer, reflected in the bias-cut evening wear of designers such as Madeleine Vionnet as well as in activewear by Claire McCardell. VERDICT This beautiful book is recommended to anyone interested in the fashion of this period.—Sandra Rothenberg, Framingham State Coll. Lib., MA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300204209
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
04/08/2014
Pages:
248
Sales rank:
530,646
Product dimensions:
9.90(w) x 12.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Mears is deputy director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. G. Bruce Boyer is a leading menswear writer and historian.

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