From the Vaults: Soviet Evening Wear

July 18, 2014



Part of a series featuring highlights of my recent research at the Library of Congress. In my youth I was always fascinated by the bizarrely Orwellian nature of life in the Soviet Union.  An article on Communist sartorial propaganda in the May 1959 issue of GQ reminded me just how perversely fascinating the USSR was. The article’s introduction sets […]

Posted in: History, Miscellanea

From the Vaults: Silk Evening Shoes

July 17, 2014



Part of a series featuring highlights of my recent research at the Library of Congress. William Skinner and Sons was a very successful silk cloth manufacturer with roots dating back to the 1850s.   Their earliest ads in Apparel Arts often promoted their quality silk linings for robes, suit jackets and tuxedos and occasionally for lapel facings and […]

Posted in: History

From the Vaults: Apparel Arts

July 16, 2014



Part of a series featuring highlights of my recent research at the Library of Congress. My most exciting discovery at the Library was really more of a re-discovery: the priceless fabric swatches contained within the pages of Apparel Arts magazine. For those unfamiliar with the publication, it began in 1931 as a resource for the American menswear […]

Posted in: History

From the Vaults: Library of Congress Research

July 15, 2014



I’ve taken time off from blogging lately for a busy summer including a week of World Pride festivities and ongoing home renovations. Also tucked in there somewhere was a trip to Washington, DC where I took the opportunity to do something I had long dreamed of: research at the Library of Congress, the largest library […]

Posted in: Updates

The Sartorial Art Journal Fashion Plates: Summer Formal Wear

June 19, 2014



In the second half of our review of the Costume Institute’s incredible collection of digitized Sartorial Art Journal fashion plates, we look at the eveningwear illustrations that supplemented various summer issues.  While evening tailcoats were regularly featured in November and December plates, they were very rarely worn in the hot summer months.  Thus, the only […]

Posted in: History

The Sartorial Art Journal Fashion Plates: In Living Colour

June 17, 2014



The tailoring trade magazine The Sartorial Art Journal was published from 1874 until 1954 and a number of its early fashion plates were reprinted in a 1990 book called Men’s Fashion Illustrations from the Turn of the Century which explains their background: Large-format fashion illustrations were issued as a supplement to The Sartorial Art Journal for […]

Posted in: History

Indiana Jones and the Tuxedo of Doom

June 11, 2014



Every now and then I’m asked about the legitimacy of the silk facing on the white dinner jacket featured in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom.  My answer is that while it might be legitimate for the 1980s production timeline it certainly wasn’t for the 1930s narrative. Of the dozens of Depression-era white DJ references I have on file from leading menswear […]

Posted in: Popular Culture

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