Documenting Fashion

Category Archives for From the Collections

We analyse fashion and dress in relation to works from The Courtauld Collections


Textile Fragments at the Courtauld Institute of Art

July 22, 2014 by Alexis

Three woven fragments, each composed of similar red and gold threads in a design of kufic or pseudo-kufic characters, seemingly formed a complete textile at one time. Today, labelled and sewn side-by-side onto linen matting, with no documentation in reference … Continue reading

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A closer look at Renoir’s La Loge through the lens of fashion

June 24, 2014 by Liz

Renoir placed fashion at the heart of La Loge, which he painted in 1874. His representation of a fashionably dressed young couple seated in a theatre box expressed the desire of the Impressionists to capture the beauty and excitement of … Continue reading

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Cristobal Balenciaga’s “Infanta” gown (1939): a story about origins?

June 10, 2014 by Elisa

A small arrow links the fashion sketch with the words “Spanish Influence”. This sketch was made for Madge Garland, editor of British Vogue, during the presentation of the 1939 Winter Collections in Paris. Cristobal Balenciaga (1895-1972) christened the design the … Continue reading

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Pinpoints of Beauty & Violence

May 9, 2014 by Lucy

Tucked into The Courtauld’s History of Dress Archive is a rare and elusive fashion journal, Pinpoints. In its first issue, it declared its founding intention of seeking ‘a better understanding of Beauty.’ Certainly, the accompanying image depicts a beautiful woman, … Continue reading

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Edgar Degas, Woman Adjusting her Hair, c.1884

March 27, 2014 by Lucy

A woman arches her back, twisting elegantly to the side, as she daintily raises her hands to her head, forming neat, careful, mirrored triangles. Her form is made up of frantic, expressive strokes of black charcoal, singed onto the buff … Continue reading

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