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Symposia records

This series contains symposia records ranging from 2004 to 2015.

Museum at FIT

Sketches, 1913-

The Frances Neady collection of Original Fashion Illustrations was established in 1984 to honor its namesake, an inspirational teacher of fashion illustration. The collection encompasses over a century of fashion art. Its earliest example, a watercolor by Pierre Brissaud for Gazette du Bon Ton,is dated 1913; its most recent donation is by contemporary artist Ruben Toledo. Among other stars represented in the collection are Eric (Carl Erickson), René Bouché, Dorothy Hood, George Stavrinos, and Antonio (Lopez). Donations to the collection come from artists, collectors, and industry professionals. The donated works fulfill criteria established by the Neady Collection Advisory Board, which acknowledges artists who exhibit high standards of draftsmanship and esthetic quality, demonstrate an individual approach, possess technical virtuosity, have worked for high-end magazines, stores or corporations, and have earned the admiration of their peers. The Frances Neady collection’s mission is to encourage and facilitate research by students and industry professionals in the art of fashion illustration. The collection presents a graphic record of the art’s evolution since the 1910s. In addition, it provides a vivid cultural and visual reflection of its time.

Model photographs, 1915-1919

5.5 linear feet - Model photographs series of the collection include documents Lucile Ltd. lines for 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1919 (not all seasons). Some of the lines are annotated with model titles, listing of fabrics and fabric swatches. In some instances a name of the customer or a price is jotted down. Most often there are multiple takes of the model showing front, back, and side views providing complete presentation of a costume. Some volumes repeat in almost complete entirety, (reasons unknown). Some of the annotations are written in careful script, with ruled lines for uniformity of the letter height, and pasted on a heavier board. Women in these photographs are mostly girls hired to model for Lucile Ltd., however there are some photographs of well known theater and film personalities (See series 1.3.2). Lady Duff Gordon was the first one to have specialized events called "Mannequin Parades" for showing clothes on beautiful women in staged settings, a precursor to today's runway fashion shows. In the collection clothes are modeled by models whose full names were not lost to history: Dolores (Kathleen Mary Rose [married name Willkinson]), Phyllis (Phyllis Francatelli), Dinarzade (Lillian Mulligan [married name Farley] in some sources identified as Lillian Fisher, or Petra Clive), Hebe (Constance Vasselier); as well as those known by only trade names - Arjamand, Melisande, Gamela, Corisande and others. Among photographers listed separately as contributors are, Joel Feder, T. Fall, Burke Atwell (Lucile Studio?), White Studio 1546 Broadway

Sketches, phototransfers of, and original drawings, circa 1915-1925

5.5 linear feet - Sketches series are divided into following subseries: 1.2.1 phototransfers and photographs of sketches; 1.2.2 Original drawings. Descriptions with specific details regarding form and content are provided with subseries, and volume or folder level descriptions. Authorship of the sketches is hard to determine, at least 7 distinct artists' work appears repeatedly throughout the collection. Stylistically they vary greatly, from very precise drawing and color application, to much looser line and dabs of color. Some of the figure drawings indicate classic training, in other instances figure appears stiff, faces cartoonish, yet other artists favor stylized figure. There are differences in color application as well, ranging from masterful technique in watercolor for transparent and light fabrics accentuated with gouache for effect of raised texture or embroidery, to carefully applied opaque, flat, vibrant color with incredibly detailed textile pattern or texture. Bulk of the sketches are not signed, those that are signed rarely were signed in full; among those - Louise Schabacker, Mary Keene, Marie Cook, Ethel Rabin (reproductions of sketches mid-to-late 1920s); other artists supplied initials, abbreviation, or pictogram, in some instances only first or only last name - Bob (possibly Robert Kalloch), Alison, Dorothy, Barker (Shirley Barker), Mand T. (or Mond T.) W. Ward. In some cases name is too difficult to decipher for example - "Albalverton" has been signed in few different ways, and most likely deciphered incorrectly. Many times sketches are signed "Lucile", but that name was signed by many, in variety of styles, and could mean among other things: sign of intellectual and/or physical ownership of the Lucile, Ltd., or a sign of approval by lead designer. Items --US.NNFIT.SC.1.2.2.6-34 are sketches arranged by the type of clothing; although rarely dated, those dated are from 1920, 1921, and 1922, some of the material might predate or be of later dates than indicated. For years 1916, 1917-1918 see US.NNFIT.SC.1.2.2.1-5

Photographs, 1939-1954, bulk undated

This series contains four folders, each containing large, high-quality black and white photographs of women modeling hats designed by Robert Dudley, dating from 1939-1954 (though the great majority are undated).

Eleanor Lambert Columns and Column Records

This series contains columns and materials pertaining to columns written by Eleanor Lambert. Presumably, the columns here were issued as her syndicated "She" column which started, according to John Tiffany, in 1964 and was renamed "Eleanor Lambert" in 1982. The column ran until the time of her death in 2003.

Lambert, Eleanor

Scrapbooks, 1938-1970

Scrapbooks mostly contain newspaper clippings of reviews of Mainbocher's designs for women's clothing, corsetry, uniforms, theatrical costumes and wedding gowns. Clippings from clipping services document Mainbocher's role as designer for such notable women as Wallis Simpson, Mary Martin, and C.Z. Guest. Also included are magazines, photographs, Playbills and correspondence between Mainbocher and prominent figures like Nancy White, editor of Harper's Bazaar from 1958 to 1971. The books generally proceed from newspaper articles on a particular collection to magazine coverage. The only qualification for an article to appear in the scrapbook is the word "Mainbocher."

Reproductions are ledger size (11 x 17 inches) and were duplicated from the originals as genuinely as possible. All page numbers are taken from the originals unless otherwise noted. Most page numbers are followed by a lowercase letter to indicate that it required more than one photocopy to capture the complete contents of the original page. All loose materials found in scrapbooks (excluding newspaper articles) were put in acid-free folders. Folders are placed within the leaves as they were originally assembled.

Women's suits, coats, sportswear, and swimwear sketches and correspondence, 1947-1950

Unsigned sketches of women's suits, coats, sportswear, and swimwear from the late 1940s, in pencil and/or watercolor. In several cases, it appears that signatures may have been purposely cut off of the sketches. Some sketches are grouped with letters from from Lea Thompson to Adam Gimbel, dated in 1947.

Correspondence from Gimbel-Saks Purchasing S.A. in Paris to Ms. Gimbel. The letters are dated 1950 and include reports detailing the colors, materials, and silhouettes employed by major French fashion designers. These letters originally accompanied sketches of French designs and many of the unsigned sketches bear numbers that, in some cases, correspond to the sketch numbers cited in the letters.

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