New blog Part Nouveau, or ‘partly new’, delves into fashion history to showcase the inspiration–be it art, photography or design–behind some of today’s biggest fashion moments. It’s fascinating and impossible not to get lost in, so we asked the site’s founder, Lilah Ramzi, to give us a little history lesson each week.
In 1948, Cecil Beaton’s well-known photograph of Charles James dresses was featured in Vogue’s June issue to celebrate the designer’s artful use of color. James is often associated with an erratic temperament and fiscal irresponsibility, nonetheless, the designer is lauded for his masterful designs. Specializing in eveningwear, his biomorphic silhouettes were both contemporary and historical; James would often design dresses in cutting edge sculptural forms that referenced rigid 19th-century undergarments.
To celebrate the rise of Asian models on the runway, Steven Meisel recreated Beaton’s 1948 image in Vogue’s December 2010 issue, photographing a crop of Asian models that included Du Juan, Tao Okamoto, Hyun Yi Lee, Hyoni Kang, Liu Wen, Bonnie Chen, So Young Kang, and Lily Zhi all dressed in Oscar de la Renta whilst sporting punk-style mohawks.
For more comparisons by Part Nouveau, click here.