Isn't she magnificent? This is from a Library of Congress portrait series of people in the Middle East, taken between 1880 - 1893. The jewelry, the hair, the striped silk caftan....all gorgeous.


How Fashion Week Began

The Smithsonian has a fascinating post about the origins of Fashion Week during World War II.
"Fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert dreamed up an event where editors could direct their attention to the sartorial splendor of American fashion designers who had gotten very little love from national or international press." 

Originally called Press Week, it was the first time American designers were able to present en masse their American-influenced clothing constructed from American-made materials to editors. Until that time, U.S.  editors had relied heavily on Parisian couture for inspiration.

The Guardian also has a nifty visual historical timeline:

Pat Cleveland in classic Halston in the 1970s


The Eyes Have It

These strike me as creepily intriguing. According to the Victoria and Albert Museum, eye miniatures represented the state in late-18th century France, worn by policemen on their belt buckles. On the other end of the spectrum, in Britain they were worn as love tokens.

From the V&A online catalog:
"In France, where the eye miniature seems to have originated, the eye as symbol of watchfulness was adopted by the state police for buckles and belts. During the Revolution of 1789 it was apparently adopted by adherents of the Revolutionary party to signal a member's allegiances to initiates. In Britain it seems to have had a much more innocent role as a love token, with some eye miniatures even glistening with a trompe-l'oeil tear, or even a diamond set to imitate a tear."

What do you think: creepy or sentimental?

Thanks to retronaut for the link.