The role of American buyers in establishing an Italian fashion industry, 1950–55
By focusing on the role of the fashion buyer, this chapter confirms that, as had been the case for postwar Paris, the custom of North American buyers helped to develop Italy's nascent fashion system and place it firmly on the fashion map. Because a buyer's merchandise selections were the prism through which many North American women perceived European fashions and European style, the chapter places some emphasis on buyers' choices from the Italian seasonal offerings for the stores they worked for. It draws heavily upon the papers of Giovanni Battista Giorgini, held in the Archivio di Stato in Florence. The chapter also draws from the archives of the American department store chain I. Magnin, now held in the San Francisco Public Library. I. Magnin prided itself on the buying acumen of its staff. A surviving document, in the form of a television documentary transcript, explains I. Magnin's business approach.
In 2015 the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, on the initiative of philosopher Christy Mag Uidhir, devoted a whole issue to printmaking. The chosen essay by philosopher K. E. Gover sets out to consider the limited edition from an ontological perspective.
A cultural biography of Red-White-Blue, from Hong Kong to Louis Vuitton
This chapter discusses the extent to which a Chinese export has played a part in the realities and identities of varied communities, as well as the re-fashioning of Chinese exports into a fashion commodity. It traces the origin and development of Red-White-Blue, and its connotations and cultural significance to Hong Kong and communities across several continents. The chapter unpacks how various communities adopted and (re)interpreted their versions of Red-White-Blue bags. It provides a discussion on Louis Vuitton's replica of this plaid bag. The chapter juxtaposes Western fashion institutions and Asian street culture, and examines the relationship of Chinese production to the European-American fashion system. The analysis draws on empirical and ethnographic research, including interviews with makers and users, and detailed readings of the contemporary global fashion scene as represented in the traditional press and on the Web.
If Lambert’s text gives historical insight into changes as to the practices and values attributed to reproduction, Clare Humphries’ recent conference presentation provides a timely re-examination of Walter Benjamin’s famous text on reproduction – or more accurately, ‘reproducibility’ – especially his often-misrepresented notion of ‘aura’. It is also an excellent example of rigorously executed research motivated and informed by practice, as the author explains. Noting Benjamin’s own inconsistencies, Humphries arrives at the conclusion that aura arises within reproductive media themselves.
Drawing on the archives of the Galeries Lafayette, this chapter presents a case study of the 1953 Italian fair, a commercial event offering Parisian customers the very best Italian imports, from food to textiles. The case study allows us to assess the extent of influence on the French department store of American management practices and the building of a new European commercial network. This case study of the 1953 Galeries Lafayette Italian fair is a suitable starting-point for the historical study of those fashion professionals working behind the scenes. In addition, the chapter covers the post 1945 period, a less thoroughly researched moment in the historiography of retailing. It offers an opportunity to respond to the call of Victoria de Grazia, who underlined that 'the evolution of modern systems of distribution is astonishingly understudied'. The success of R. H. Macy's Italian promotion had a powerful impact on Galeries Lafayette.
Critic Shang Hui diagnoses a resurgence of Chinese printmaking in the early part of the twenty-first century. Dominated by the woodcut since the 1930s, Chinese printmaking was subject to the demands of the ideology of the communist state until the beginning of reforms in the 1980s and so, in printmaking, this translated into the adoption of techniques other than the woodcut.
In the 1950s and 1960s, blue jeans became a symbol of youth protests against the conformity of their parents. Vintage and designer denim became an important part of the global fashion system. The two case studies in this chapter draw on interviews with the CEOs of Kaihara and Japan Blue and documents from both the companies. The examples fit perfectly within a comparative, historical study of Japanese premium denim and jeans. The case studies demonstrate that producing denim, the fabric, is a different story and needs a different strategy from producing jeans, the garment. They are also closely related because of interdependence between the two industries; Kaihara, for example, dyes Japan Blue's woven cotton. An in-depth historical analysis of these two cases provides valuable insight into the historical competitiveness of denim and jeans manufacturing in Japan over the last five decades.
In the brief preamble to his short history of printmaking, German art historian Ernst Rebel notes that printmaking has gained attention among scholars of new media. The rapid development of image technologies, especially digital media, has revived an interest in prints and printmaking. They are now recognised as having provided the basis for the ‘technical image’ and therefore crucial to a genealogy of new media.
The first selected text focuses on a model of production that is highly pertinent to printmaking and has been adopted in other fields, such as sculpture. Art historian and curator Daniel F. Herrmann reflects on Edinburgh Printmakers (EP) in Scotland on the occasion of its fortieth anniversary. Founded by artists, as the first open-access workshop in the UK, it functioned as a model for other, similar workshops.
This chapter investigates why the luxury Indian fashion industry embrace the 'ethical sell' when the luxury fashion houses in the West did not seem to utilize it to an equal degree. It also investigates why ethical fashion in the West remains a small segment while in India the top designers are using the 'ethical sell' as an effective and central marketing strategy. The chapter discusses the career track of Indian fashion designer Samant Chauhan, which exemplifies crucial element of the global fashion system and the influential place of the European fashion capitals within it. It explores why ethical fashion has become so pronounced among Indian business elites, and deals with a confluence of factors, which pertain to businesses on a global scale and to local struggles specific to the industry. These invocations of 'ethicality' and the insertion of morality into the market are a consequence of interconnected crises of legitimacy.