As much I miss college already, I don’t miss the lack of free time to read.
Last fall, I took workshop about 20th century fashion. The course had several interesting reading assignments to supplement the lectures, but I had only lightly skimmed through them. Now I finally have the time to curl up and read with a cup of tea and fully absorb everything.
One of the readings, an excerpt from Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design (V&A Publications), discusses the role of Surrealism in fashion design and American window displays. I had no idea that Spanish Surrealist painter Salvador Dali highly influenced fashion in the 1930s with his illustrations and talent for creating masterful window displays for Bonwit Teller, a high-end department store on Fifth Avenue, which is no longer in business.
The excerpt also discusses photographer Man Ray’s work on capturing the vision of Surrealism in high-end fashion. I have read about Cecil Beaton and Richard Avedon in Diana Vreeland’s autobiography, but I should probably find a reading or two on earlier fashion photography…