Carmel Snow, larger than life editor of the American Harpers Bazaar, who before joining the enemy camp worked in the American Vogue under none other than Edna Chase. A woman who discovered Diana Vreeland, promoted Richard Avedon and numerous personas in the fashion industry, one who loved fashion, never step away from a challenge and lived her life “with a dash of daring”.
Born in Ireland as Carmel White, she moved with her mother and numerous siblings to United States of America in pursue of better life and open career opportunities. As a young woman, she worked at her mother’s New York based couture shop, after hours being a notorious fun loving girl, who was rumored to sleep while dancing. Her encounter with Conde Nast secured her a position in the American Vogue, where she continued for several years, staying in the shadow of the imperious Edna Chase. Carmel, now Snow, after her marriage to Palen Snow, couldn’t fully realize her enormous creative potential and at one point in her life did the unthinkable, joining Harpers Bazaar and moving to Hearst publishings. This betrayal was never forgiven, but… if not for her bold decision, we might have never had Harpers Bazaar as the glamorous magazine as we know it today. The rest is history with a truly amazing heroine at the centre of a stage.
Once responsible for Harpers Bazaar, as an editor in chief, Carmel Snow transformed this declining magazine into real fashion book, presenting innovative photo editorials, offering articles and stories contributed by reputable writers as well as giving us Vreeland’s ever famous “Why Don’t You…?” column (“Why Don’t You… tie an enormous bunch of silver balloons on the foot of your child’s bed on Christmas Eve?”). Her fascination with French couture made her take many risks, like traveling to Paris in 1944 in order to report latest designs to her American readers as well as inform about the extend of war tragedies and destructions. Her efforts to revive French Couture were recognized in 1949, when Mrs. Snow received Legion of Honor.
According to Christian Dior, “no show ever began until Mrs. Snow arrived”. Later on in his career Dior had many reasons to offer her best sits during presentations of his collections, as it was Carmel Snow herself who baptized his innovative 1947 line into world famous New Look. Carmel Snow had an extraordinary intuition when it came to fashion and an impeccable sense of style, that distinguished her from even most fashionable crowd. She was the most respected and at the same time feared persona in the world of fashion magazines, her wit as well as sharpness were legendary. As observed by Hubert de Givenchy, “She registered more than anyone else. Her talent was enormous. Madame Snow understood”. Even though her retirement was turbulent and quite sad to say the least, till this day Carmel Snow is an icon of fashion journalism and her story is definitely worth reading.
With a regret I have to admit that dressing chic in the wintertime is not the art I yet managed to master. The reasonable part of my brain tells me to dress warm rather than try too hard to stylish (and cold!), but I still wish to be a little more dressed up. As a source of inspiration a subjective review of best winter looks straight from the streets of NY. And yes, it is not a coincidence that Miroslava Duma is on more than just one picture, firstly because I admire her style and secondly because she knows well how to stay fashionably chic in the wintertime.
Fashion shows are a thing of the moment and although only selected can participate in this celebration of world fashion, there is nothing to prevent one from following recommendations from Vogue and trying “The Look” from fashion capitals – London, Milan, Paris or New York.
Looking at spring collections in the middle of winter is connected with feeing a little frustrated, as I always ask myself how much time will it take until I am able to change thick winter coat with light dresses and pretty shoes… Considering the amount of snow and cold days, I can easily say that much longer!
The frustration level gets even higher when looking at designs as pretty as those presented by Kate Spade in RTW Spring 2014. As for now I can only daydream and plan my wardrobe for warmer days with this excellent inspiration!
The very first time when I came across information on books written by Christian Dior was when reading Christian Dior’s biography by Marie France Pochna. I felt so excited! Books by Christian Dior himself! Moreover, books about the history of the House of Dior, the New Look and, most exciting of all, on style and chic as seen by one of my ultimate fashion gurus. As easy to guess, I had to have them! Thanks to V&A Publications the task wasn’t so complicated as it might have seem in the beginning. Some search on the internet and voila!, order was placed.
I started from “Dior by Dior”, wanting to know behind the scene history of this great couturier and his revolutionary creations. I was a little worried that maybe Monsieur’s Dior talents were limited to couture only, but to my great surprise, he had a way with words and was a gifted storyteller.
His autobiography tells a lot about the establishing the House of Dior, giving an insight into fascinating details and allowing one feel the atmosphere of the great Couture house. A reader will know more about creation of a collection, organization of a fashion show, sales, marketing as well as overseas establishments in both New York and London.
Dior’s philosophy was to make women look beautiful and be charming. As easy to guess, dressing at 30 avenue Montaigne wasn’t available to many considering the expense, but as Madame Linzeler, one of Dior’s trusted associates remarked, “The best bargain in the world is a successful dress. It brings happiness to the woman who wears it, and is never too dear for the man who pays for it. The most expensive dress in the world is a dress which is a failure. It infuriates the woman who wears it and it is a burden to the man who pays for it.”
It is possible that if Jacqueline Lee Bouvier didn’t marry senator John F. Kennedy, he would never become the 35th President of the United States and the Camelot myth would never be created. Considering her high social status and an excellent upbringing, she would have certainly made a great match for an influential and powerful man, but never to such extent as to shape America’s taste and imagination.
Born in 1929, Jacqueline had privileged childhood, surrounded by richness and servants, although not free from drama, as her parents divorced when she was 11 years old. In 1947 Jacqueline celebrated her social debut and was called a debutante of the year. Shortly afterwards she started schooling in a prestigious Vassar College, which she attended for two years. In 1951 Jacqueline graduated from the George Washington University in Washington D.C. receiving a degree of Bachelor of Arts in French Literature. So much about not well known facts, as the rest belongs to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis legend.
In September 1953 Jacqueline married John F. Kennedy, who became the youngest President of the United States, sworn to his office in January 1961. Jacqueline was 31 years old when she became the youngest First Lady. The couple was highly visible, publicly adored and … watched closely. During her husbands presidency, Jacky focused on being a mother, as well as on her official duties combined with a great work which she did for the restoration of the White House. She suffered losses of her children, as out of her four pregnancies, she lost two babies. In public imagination, Jackie became the perfect hostess, ambassador as well as a dictator of taste and style. Young women all over the world scrutinized her dresses, hairstyle and makeup, wanting to be like her. However glamorous, the fairytale ended in 1963 with a tragical shooting in Dallas, when President Kennedy was assassinated.
After the dramatic events, Jacqueline left the White House to live an ordinary life, which could never be due to the never ending media interest. Some speculate that the need for protection and privacy was a main reason why Jacqueline married a fabulously rich Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Socrates Onassis in 1968. Marriage was turbulent and ended officially in 1975, when Onassis died of a heart failure.
Jackie, widowed for the second time, moved to New York city where she pursued her late career as a book editor for Viking Press. After the scandal with “Shall we tell the president?” novel, she left to take an editor post at Doubleday, where she continued to work until she fell ill in 1994. The final struggle with the disease was a lost battle – Jacqueline passed away the same year in May. She was buried alongside President Kennedy, their son Patrick, who died as an infant, and by their stillborn daughter Arabella in Arlington, Virginia.
It is not the first time when “Gossip Girl” makes it to the blog pages. Reason for my persistence is quite simple – I do love the fashion. But, contrary to the glittering main stars getting all the attention, my biggest inspiration was Kelly Rutheford a.k.a. Lily van der Woodsen. I liked her stunning evening dresses accessorized with amazing jewelry no less than sophisticated daywear simplicity. If I could chose from all wardrobes presented in the series, hers would be the one to grab!