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Authority record
Bernard, Augusta
US.20210820.012 · Person · 1886-1946

Couturier Augusta Bernard elided her name (as was fashionable at the moment) in 1919 when she opened her couture house at 3, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. By the 1930s, she had established herself as a top Parisian couture house known for her beautifully made, pale colored evening gowns, which often functioned as blank canvases for her clients' elaborate jewels. At the same time, amidst the Depression of the 1930s, client's began dodging their bills and the house began to suffer. Madame Bernard elected to retire, closing her couture house in 1934.

Blotta, Anthony
US.20230719.003 · Person · 1888 - 1971 September

This bio is largely taken from a New York Times obituary:

Born in southern Italy, Mr. Blotta began drawing at the age of 3, and then was sent to instructors. His family wanted him to study for the priesthood, but his answer was to start modeling with clay. His parents disciplined him at 14 by sending him to the United States with a tutor. Attracted by New York, he sent his tutor home and stayed on. Deciding to show his parents he could make good on his own, Mr. Blotta became an apprentice in a dress house. He was 20 years old and foreman of a large firm's work room when he tried his hand at designing. His design drew attention and he opened his own establishment in 1919.

In the early nineteen‐thirties, he designed a pantsuit for Marlene Dietrich, long before such apparel became generally fashionable for women. In 1962, he introduced a collection manufactured in Italy, called Blotta International. He had built a factory In Praia‐a Mare, a town in his native Calabria, to promote industry in the depressed southern regions of the country. “I wanted to help the people there,” he said, “and besides you can't get tailors here.”

Mr. Blotta closed his New York factory at 498 Seventh Avenue several years prior to his death, but continued actively as a consultant in design. Blotta passed away from a heart attack at age 83 while living at the New York Athletic Club.

Gaskins, Eric
US.20230719.001 · Person · 1958-

Eric Gaskins was born in 1958. Gaskins was born in Germany and grew up in Groton, Massachusetts. He attended Lawrence Academy and graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in fine arts. He was trained in Paris by Hubert Givenchy before returning to the United States where he launched his own label in New York in 1987. He designed for Koos Van den Akker, Bob Evans, and Scott Barrie before starting his own label. His designs have been featured on the covers of Cosmopolitan, Spy, Bazaar, Glamour, Vanity Fair, and Palm Beach Illustrated. Other significant editorial coverage included such magazines and television programs as Self, New Woman, Elle, Essence and Entertainment Tonight. His celebrity clients include Salma Hayek, Melanie Griffith, Vanessa Williams, Mariah Carey, Geena Davis, Maria Shriver, Jada Pinkett, Jennifer Lopez, Allison Janney, Kim Cattrall, Kathy Bates and Goldie Hawn. He worked as a designer for 22 years before closing his business in 2009 to reveal he had been blogging under the pseudonym Fluff Chance for the blog The Emperor's Old Clothes.

Koehler, Mela
US.20230525.003 · Person · 1885-1960

As an art student, Koehler (1885-1960) studied under Kolomon Moser at the School of Applied Arts in Vienna and later joined Moser's Wiener Werkstätte and the German and Austrian Werkbund. Koehler's work in fashion included not only illustrations for the Wiener Werkstätte and the fashion magazine Wiener Mode, but also textile design and at least one collaboration with Emilie Flöge's Schwestern Flöge fashion house. Koehler moved to Sweden in 1931 where she worked extensively as a costume designer and book illustrator. Her illustrations for children's books are of special note.