Did they dress appropriately in their own time? How are we supposed to respond to a time and place that has left so many traces of our own history? This article provides an overview, followed by a list of resources where researchers can go to understand if this is still the case for the era in which these images were produced, and the social and professional environments in which these artists, writers, and painters developed.
Dress and Attire in the 1920s
A common response to a work or a particular event is to see the clothing in question as being appropriate, even if we disagree with the way the individual was dressed. In this sense, the clothing worn can be read as part of the narrative of the historical material. The dress is often part of the history of the era itself, but it also serves as the cultural context of that time and place.
These images were, of course, produced for the public. The fact that the clothes were made for the audience rather than the artist is a common aspect that distinguishes the type of work these images are most often compared to. In fact, the use of clothes in visual art is one of the most prominent, if not the most notable, aspects of the visual arts: in this article, we consider whether there were any elements of this work that were unique to these images and whether we can learn a bit more about the clothing in these works. Additionally, we discuss how the clothing can be read in the visual arts, the relationship of these images to other visual artists of the time, and the social relationships among the artistic communities that produced these images. Finally, in light of new research and scholarship, these images are discussed in the historical context of the work and the time.
The 1930s at Paris is a series of photographs of men wearing their most prized outfits. The artist’s name is not known. They appear to be looking at their shoes at the foot of the staircase between the Grand Palais and the Palace of Versailles, as they move through the streets of Paris at the end of the season. For most of his life, this young Louis Le Gallienne was known as the “king of modern shoes” and he was well-known to the public as a painter and designer. His name alone would make this photograph interesting, but it is his dress, and his willingness to express himself as a woman with her own style, that provide its focus. It is at this point, in the end, we see an attempt to explore his dress and
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