Indulge- Preview

Page 1












The Costume by Riley Gunderson It’s midnight. We get ready To go out.

The city, New York City,

She comes to life Once the sun Goes down

Just like us.

We wear our Spirits On our skin

The costume Of who we are Where we are Who we want to be

Bright lights And colors

We dance away The stresses of The everyday.

What some say is too much We say is just right

Each costume,



Lunch refreshed.


Michaele Vollbracht, although he eventually chose to drop the later

the elite in Manhattan. Vollbracht soon after published an illustrated

“e” in his name and go simply by “Michael,” was a visionary in the

memoir entitled, Nothing Sacred, in 1985. His work has since been

fashion world in both design, and illustrations.

shown in a variety of shows, including an exhibition of his work at Parsons School of Design, where he studied, to celebrate the release

Vollbracht attended and graduated from Parsons School of Design

of his second version of the book.

in 1968 and proceeded to enter the world of fashion in New York City. He worked as a design assistant for Donald Brooks, Geoffrey

In 1978 Vollbracht released his very own collection of clothes, the

Beene, and Norman Norell before deciding to focus on his fashion

Michaele Vollbracht Collection. His clothes were extensions of his

illustrations and portraits. In 1973, Vollbracht began his job at Henri Bendel as their inhouse illustrator. He then later moved



When Bloomingdale’s hired

“In both fabric and on paper, Vollbracht never failed to produce creative and revolutionary work.”

him, they decided to pay him a

previous fashion sketches, holding the same vibrant energy as his work on paper. The



beautiful prints, bright colors, and interesting textures and even showcased some of his

hefty five hundred dollars per sketch that he did for them. Especially

illustrations on the fabric. His work became known as a symbol for

at this time, five hundred dollars a sketch was a very substantial

glamour and luxury in the late 1970s into the 1980s.

amount, especially to make as an illustrator. While working at Bloomingdale’s, he designed the store’s infamous, “Face Bag,”

The collection was incredibly well received in the fashion world and

which shows a woman’s expressive features illustrated against a

even earned him the Coty Award of the year. While the award is no

white bag. The bag grew popularity extremely quickly, and because

longer being granted, it was, and still is in many cases, considered to

it didn’t have the stores name on it, it soon became a symbol of

be one of the most prestigious fashion awards in history. Vollbracht


earned many other high honors in his lifetime, including The New

and well-known in the New York fashion scene of the time.

Yorker’s naming of him as their top illustrator. Vollbracht influenced many other artists and designers with his work In both fabric and on paper, Vollbracht never failed to produce

as well. He soon grew a following that supported and helped him

creative and revolutionary work. He worked across both the realistic

with his illustrated pieces and designed collections. “He loved to mix

and the fantastical, while keeping his iconic style in touch. His work

mediums,” said Mr. Banks, who worked with Michael Vollbracht,

with pattern, color, and texture was unmatched at the time and made

“and his work, it was almost like a collage. Ink, pastels, pencil —

him the icon in the fashion world that he is known as today. His

all combined in the same drawing, and a mix of textures, shiny and

charm was visible in his work, as well as in his personality.

dull. Virtually every print that he designed and had printed was engineered for that specific dress or coat. It was like seeing an art

In terms of his illustrations, he



in a variety of interesting mediums. His illustrations seemed almost as though they had souls with the decisions he made with each stroke. The way he layered mediums


show and a whole fashion

“Despite the immense influence and success of his work, many people are unaware of Vollbracht and the contributions he made to the fashion world. ”





influence and success of his work, many people are unaware of Vollbracht and the contributions he made to the fashion world. Even

among fashion illustrators. Most of his work was done on illustration

the way he signed his name at the bottom of his illustrations was

board and was much larger than letter sized paper. He worked

iconic and unique, which is shown as the headline for this article.

primarily in black and white, with signature pops of color, mostly in

Vollbracht unfortunately passed away in June of 2018, not too long

red. Through the mix of both wet and dry medias, his sketches are

ago. His legacy as a fashion designer and illustrator will, and have

dynamic and engaging, while not distracting from the grandeur of

already started to, go down in history. He showcased the glamour

the clothes he is illustrating. Through the use of small brushes and

of the 1970s and 1980s in a way that no other fashion illustrator

wispy movements, combined with the layering of larger stores, he

dared to at the time, and his work will remain to fashion history as

creates a rich sense of movement throughout his illustrations. His

incredibly inspirational and revolutionary.

work is full of glamour and seems focused on depicting the wealthy


collection combined.”






jumpsuit from CPS CHAPS, shirt from BUFFALO EXCHANGE, shoes from ASOS, earrings from BEACON’S CLOSET, headband from STORENAME, bag from SHENZHEN CHINA.







With the beginning of the feminist movement, society

their minds about suffrage and other feminist focuses,

started to see women as threatening. This idea of

they frightened the men around them. Film noir was

seeing women as more than just passive objects for

a warning. A warning to all men that women could

men to control was seen in all aspects of society in the

be fatal if you weren’t careful. The femme fatale

nineteen forties and fifties. The women of this time

archetype was complex, a way women were rarely

had a change in attitude, they were no longer content

shown as before the movement. She is both seductive

with their unfortunate situations, and demanded

and malicious at the same time. She would use her

change. The idea of the “femme fatale” stemmed

seductive nature to lure men into falling in love with

from this new female attitude. “Femme fatale” means

her, and then she would be able to fulfill her purpose,

fatal woman, and can originally be found within

usually either to gain money or power.

literature. Many authors of the time explored this idea of a woman that could be dangerous and disruptive

This idea was somewhat detrimental to society because

to the men in the story. The idea soon after moved

the men would see the film and subconsciously

unto film, and specifically, film noir. Film noir was

associate aspirational women as threatening and

a movement in cinema that emerged around the

dangerous to them. With the feminist movement

same time as the feminist movement. All film noir

moving ahead, women now crave equal pay and

films share characteristics in both their formal qualities and in plot, such as dramatic lighting, black and white film, and an overwhelming sense of mystery and danger. Most film noirs revolve around a male lead and his relationship with the “femme fatale,” a beautiful but destructive woman. The idea of a fatal woman

more women in high power.

“Why is there an archetype for women in power, when men in power are just deemed normal?”

has been seen in history and

is so hard to get is because of how powerful women have been portrayed to us through history. Today, women have made great progresses towards equality, but we are nowhere near where we need to be. Sure, a woman can be fatal, but so can a man? Why is there an archetype for a women in power, when men in power

mythology before, but this was the first time that it

are just deemed normal? Film noir has influenced not

was majorly acclimated into the general public’s

only American cinema, but also society as a whole.

life. The femme fatale was perhaps a way to give

While the feminist movement is focused on different

women a sense of power. Or, it was to show the

aspects of equality, such as intersectionality, the idea

world that women were to be feared. In many of

of women being selfish and fatal still prevails. Women

the stories presented through film noir, women are

who hold power should not be seen as malicious, as

perceived as dangerous. They would manipulate and

the femme fatale paints them. Women’s sexuality

use men for their own advantage. While the femme

should not seem as a dangerous thing to be wary of,

fatale would compete on the same level as men, they

but should instead be embraced. The femme fatale

would also tear them apart, whether emotionally or

archetype was incredibly problematic to how women

physically, and leave the men as victims. They used

are viewed, even to this day, and this mindset needs to

their sexuality as a weapon to distract men from their

be reevaluated, and ultimately changed.

true potential. I think that film noir was commenting on the fears of men in this time. Men had become accustomed to the women in their lives being tame, silent, and controllable. When women began to speak


Perhaps the reason why this


DESIGNER TO WATCH: In this exclusive interview with up-and-coming designer, Leah Osann, we discuss what inspires her work, the many aspects of her creative process, and her recent appearance in her first New York fashion show. Osann’s wearable art pieces are visual representations of her experiences growing up between America and China.

Riley Gunderson: Thank you so much for taking the time to do this

very much with my clothes. Every time I make something it hurts

interview with us.

to give it away because I care about it so much. That’s why I have

Leah Osann: Of course!!

so many of my pieces, because I don’t want to sell them. Whenever I get commissioned I just have to kinda throw it at them and walk

RG: Okay then, let’s just get right into it. You were born in America

away haha.

and then you moved to China, correct? LO: Yes, I lived in America until I was six years old and then we

RG: Do you feel that pain more with commissions, or also with art

moved away to China. I was born in Colorado.

you make just for yourself? And when you do commissions do you ask them what they want, or do you make what you want and then


RG: How long have you been making art?

sell that?

LO: I have been making art since I was a kid, my mom’s an artist

LO: Honestly, I always give the people who commission me the

so she pushed me to do things that were more creative as a kid. Not

option to give me a starting point, but most of the time they just

even just scribbling, but how to fill things in and what different

tell me to do whatever I want. That’s usually because they either

colors mean. Things like that would inspire me. I have been doing

like my style, or they don’t know what to say. Obviously my art

art for a long time and have considered myself an artist ever since

is very centered around social issues and not everyone is very

I knew what the word meant. It’s kind of a painful thing but that’s

educated in that. Maybe some people want the commission just for

okay haha.

the aesthetic, it depends on the person.

RG: What do you mean by painful?

RG: What’s your favorite piece you’ve ever made?

LO: Being an artist is always painful, you rip yourself apart to put

LO: I love the first piece I made, a pair of pants, because Kenny

it onto a piece or a thing. Then that thing gets sold and is used for

Scharf signed it. They’re really important to me. Kenny Scharf was

whatever else, and you have no control over your intentions or

Keith Haring’s best friend and he was basically the lesser known

your concepts anymore, it belongs to whoever bought it. I feel that

out of the pair. They lived together, they were really good friends,




jacket entitled “Second Skin,” by Leah Osann pants entitled “Problems,” by Leah Osann

they made art together, but Keith Haring is the one that

brutality. It’s just a shot glass tipped over with blood

everyone knows. Kenny uses a lot more spray paint,

seeping out. Then [the blood] turns into nooses that tie

colors, and his figures are more shaded.

He has a

onto people’s necks and then they fall into a plastic bag at

different style but in the same genre [as Keith Haring].

the bottom, which is supposed to be the big corporations

Kenny uses a lot more spray paint, colors, and his figures

in America. So as you can see it’s a lot haha. Then the

are more shaded.

rest of my pants and my other clothes are inspired by similar issues of social justice and the need for change.

RG: How did that happen for you to get him to sign your

My yellow jacket is inspired by my experiences and is


supposed to be my “Second Skin”, that’s what it’s called

LO: Well, my lovely teacher was invited to his pop-up

as well. It has a lot to do with my home back in China and

shop where he was making an appearance. She asked him

my personality as an American and how they intersect

if she could invite her class of students, and he said yes.

and how they disagree with each other, and even how

I wore my pants there. I was like, “I made these pants

people disagree with me. Because of where I come from,

and you might like them, I don’t know.” He was also

I am something that is a little bit harder to understand.

doing wearable art at the pop-up shop, he was drawing

When people ask me where I am from I can’t say China,

on different people’s clothes. So he said, “of course,” and

but I also can’t say America.

took my marker and drew on the pants. That was so cool. It was more than just a signature, it was a collaboration.

RG: Do you think there is other ways in which living in

Those are also the most important piece to me probably

China has influenced your art?

because have detail. also








became making art



other before

I started doing commissions.

“[My work] has a lot to do with my home back in China and my personality as an American. How they intersect and disagree with each other, and even how people disagree with me.”

LO: clearly


mean it




think in Chinese so it obviously comes






in see

there is Chinese

written all over everything. I guess you could call it my RG: Can you talk a little more about the conceptual ideas

secret language. Just because not a lot of people that I

behind your clothes?

am around speak Chinese so it is something that only I

LO: Of course! Some specific pieces, like the pair of

understand about the clothes. That is meaningful to me

pants signed by Kenny Scharf with the hands on the

because I know I can read it, and using the language is

back, are inspired by social justice issues. [The pants are

something that is a second nature to me. The colors for

specifically inspired by] institutional racism in America

sure are influenced by my time in China, red specifically

that I have observed in society here versus in China. They

is a very prominent color in China, as we know, and is

are also inspired by people being fearful of change, or

one of my favorite colors to use at the moment. So it

being fearful of things they can’t understand. The hands

comes naturally I guess, in different ways. It is also in

going down the back are especially important because

the imagery that I use, like the dragons are very much

they symbolize on one side, people of color, and on the

Chinese influenced, for sure.

other side the richer, more privileged white population. The hands are kind of helping each other in the beginning

RG: Who or what are you most inspired by?

of the seam, and then pulling apart, but you can see

LO: I guess I am really inspired by artist Jean-Michel

that it is the white hands that pull away first. And then

Basquiat, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, a lot of really

on the front, there’s a shot glass which is from Kanye

important artists, obviously, in the New York street scene.

West’s song, “Cops Shot the Kid,” which is about police

Graffiti artists too, things that I see around on the street,


even personalities that I see when they walk by. Also,

made them based off the power of women and feminism

my own personal experiences inspire me to make art, so

now, as well as the future of feminism. And then there

I guess that counts. Intense social issues or the need for

was a show on March 9th.

change also inspires me to make work. That’s where my wearable art comes from.

RG: What was the show like? LO: It was scary. I had to walk with the model on the

RG: What does your creative process look like?

final runway. It was really cool though. I had two models

LO: It depends. It depends on what I’m making, who

because I had so many clothes. Both the models were

I’m making it for, and what its about. It depends on

really nice and I met some people who really liked my

everything, I guess. Sometimes I can finish a piece off of

work. I think the pieces all got sold, I am not sure how

one idea, and that’s the right idea. I will finish it within a

much for, though. The money raised at the fashion show

week, or even two days, or even two hours. [My creative

all goes to a charity for girls in South Sudan who don’t

process] is not consistent. For example, I have a piece

have access to pads or tampons or anything, so when

that I’m still working on and it’s been two months, so it

their periods come they have to miss school.

depends on the piece. My creative process is definitely sporadic, but sometimes I plan it out. If it’s a big piece,

RG: Is making wearable art something that you see

like the ones I just did for a fashion show, I had to plan

yourself doing more of in the future?

those out to make sure I got it right. I guess that counts.

LO: Yeah, for sure. It probably won’t become my only art

Intense social issues or the need for change also inspires

form, especially not long term. I am looking at making

me to make work. That’s where my wearable art comes

an actual brand out of the pieces I make currently. But

from. RG: What does your process like?

creative look

“Intense social justice issues and the need for change inspires me to make work. That’s where my wearable art comes from.”

it won’t be fine art anymore, it will



commercialized. Which



because it will

LO: It depends. It depends on what I’m making, who

still be original in each piece. I will still make it all by

I’m making it for, and what its about. It depends on

hand and distribute it myself. I am worried that it could

everything, I guess. Sometimes I can finish a piece off of

start to become a little bit diluted if I keep doing the same

one idea, and that’s the right idea. I will finish it within a

thing over and over again. I don’t think that will happen

week, or even two days, or even two hours. [My creative

though and I plan to keep doing similar wearable art

process] is not consistent. For example, I have a piece

pieces in the future.

that I’m still working on and it’s been two months, so it depends on the piece. My creative process is definitely

RG: What would your dream job be?

sporadic, but sometimes I plan it out. If it’s a big piece,

LO: To be an artist. I have been wrestling with this in my

like the ones I just did for a fashion show, I had to plan

head actually because I don’t like the commercial aspects

those out to make sure I got it right.

of art, and I don’t like making my art seem like something that is only for money. I would have thought that I would

RG: Can you talk a little bit more about the fashion show

be getting exposure from my paintings rather than my

that you were just in?

wearable pieces. My dream job would be just to make

LO: Yes! I was invited by my friend who was interning for

my art and maybe have a part-time job that pays for my

Minika Ko, the designer for KOVASKY, and she told me

rent. Basically what New York was thirty years ago, but

that I should apply to be in this fashion show. They were

that’s the dream.

using wearable art to intersect fashion and art and dance. So I signed up and was accepted. She commissioned me, no money though, just exposure, to do three pieces. I


bag entitled “America Has Skeletons,� by Leah Osann


Let your Creativity Pop.




While walking through the Metropolitan Museum of Art in

and Noah’s ark prefigures the Church.” It is unknown as to

New York City, I was drawn to Lorenzo Monaco’s four altar

how these pieces were specifically configured next to each

pieces. I was intrigued by their grandeur, and specifically by

other in their original setting. They were, however, brought

how the gold was carefully illuminated under the museum

together and reconstructed by the Met to be shown alongside

lighting. These pieces’ timelessness can be attributed to the

each other, as they once were made to be.

ornate use of gold in the framing of the portraits. Gold is unique in the fact that it is one of the only things in the world

These four pieces are known as Monaco’s, greatest

whose meaning has not changed much since the beginning of

masterpieces. Monaco, the artist, is best known as a late

history. Society has become increasingly secular over time,

Gothic Florentine painter. He painted the pieces in the early

yet the use of gold is still incredibly prominent and holds

fifteenth century in Florence, Italy during the beginning of

essentially the same meanings as it did in ancient history.

the infamous Italian Renaissance. Florence in this time was

While the meanings and associations of gold vary slightly

the hub for artistic innovation, and the Early Renaissance

across the world and across various periods in time, one major

was starting to gain momentum. The Renaissance gave breed

similarity between almost all interpretations is that gold is

to many of the most well-known paintings in history, such

used as a status symbol. Since the beginning of history, gold

as the Mona Lisa and the Birth of Venus. While the altar

“Gold is unique in the fact that it is one of the only things in the world whose meaning has not changed much since the beginning of history. ” has been used to differentiate the common people from those

pieces done by Lorenzo Monaco were originally created

of royalty, wealth, or high importance. This is especially

for religious use, they can be appreciated for their formal

seen in a variety of religious artifacts, and can be seen in

aesthetic qualities as well, such as the captivating use of gold.

Lorenzo Monaco’s paintings where he uses gold to signify the importance of the prophets he paints.

Gold has also played a vital role in many religions and faiths, as seen in the primary source previously mentioned. Perhaps


Monaco’s altar pieces may be examined in the context of

this is because it is so often used as a symbol of importance

their history, as well as in the context of today’s society. The

and power. Gold is used abundantly in religious relics,

four altarpieces are made up of portraits of Old Testament

especially in Christianity. “In Christianity, the brilliance of

prophets, Moses, Abraham, Noah, and David. The pieces

mosaics and icons shown in golden color were done so as to

were made from tempera on wood and gold ground. Each

enable humans to appreciate and believe in the brilliance and

portrait in unique in how it displays specific attributes of each

splendor of God.” This is seen in Lorenzo Monaco’s portraits

prophet. “Moses holds the tablets of the Ten Commandments;

of the prophets. Their divineness is meant to be accentuated

Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac prefigures that of Christ; David,

by the gold elements and elaborate use of framing. Gold can

holding a cither, is considered a direct ancestor of Christ;

also be seen in a variety of other religions. In Hinduism, for

does power cost those in power or those at the mercy of the powerful?


it is too easy to be blinded by the sparkles of wealth and power, greedy gets nothing.


we crave so much, why can’t we just be content anymore?


we have lost our figures of divinity, we are becoming our own holy people.


example, “idols are shown to have radiant golden halos

the 1960s-1980s, gold was the standard for bridal jewelry.

around their heads. Often these deities are represented in

Today, yellow gold is associated with being dated, traditional,

golden apparel to show their brilliance and make devotees

and tired. Gold is rarely present in fashion anymore, as well.

be in awe of their power and knowledge.” Similarly in

Street wear is arguably the biggest fashion trend today, with

Islam, gold is used as a symbol of Paradise and contentment.

hoodies and sweatpants selling for thousands of dollars.

Despite the heavy presence of gold in religious contexts, it

Wealthy figures don’t wear expensive jewelry or adorn

also holds secular meanings as well. In the Western world

their mansions with gold details, but instead are most likely

specifically, the color gold has been “indicative of wealth,

found wearing sneakers and name-brands, with modern

luminosity and money.”

houses filled with glass and mirror, instead of gold.

There is no single reason why gold is so highly valued

Today, we live in a very intense, fast-paced, and materialistic

timelessly across the globe. Many historians say that gold

world, especially in modern Western culture. Every

is treasured because of a combination of factors. Whether

individual is a consumer, whether they recognize it or not,

that be its rarity, the potential of its physical characteristics,

and we consume a lot as a whole. We see less of gold in our

its unique and captivating look, or its high monetary value.

everyday lives, and perhaps it is losing its meaning. Gold

“Gold is well-known as a symbol of contentment, and the modernday mindset leaves people rarely feeling content, but instead always craving more.” Gold was used in the beginning of time to exalt kings

is well known as symbol of contentment, and the modern-

and emphasize their royalty, such as King Tutankhamen’s

day mindset leaves people rarely feeling content, but instead

funeral mask. The first gold jewelry was made as old as 2600

always craving more. This can be seen through social

BCE in one of the first known civilizations, Mesopotamia.

media, and our society’s pull towards instant gratification,

In modern times, gold can still be seen worn as rings,

or through the overall decrease in our patience and attention

necklaces, earrings, and other pieces of jewelry.

spans. So what does this mean for our future? Is it possible that gold will soon only be seen in religious relics like

We can easily see how gold has been used across cultures

Lorenzo Monaco’s alter pieces, or occasionally upon the

and time periods. However, when we examine it in today’s

ring finger of the reminiscent? And if so, as we move away

context, we see that gold, and its meaning, may actually

from gold as the ultimate symbol of wealth and power, will

be coming to an end. This can be seen in the gold mining

it take on new meaning, or will it simply be replaced with a

industry, as well as in fashion and accessory trends. Gold

more modern material? Or, perhaps, the decline of gold may

mining companies are in the midst of a major decline in

just be a trend which will soon fade in the upcoming years.

production that dates back about twenty years. In wedding

Only time will tell, I suppose.

rings, gold has become less and less popular over time. In


WHO TO THANK FOR COMFORTABLE WOMEN’S CLOTHING Wearing a long, comfortable cotton dress, Claire McCardell steps into an elevator in a department store on Seventh Avenue. The owner of Townley, her former place of work, stands in the elevator, inviting her to join him within the green fabric-colored walls. They begin to discuss their businesses as faint jazz music plays in the background. Only a few short minutes pass as they exchange conversation. McCardell disembarks from the elevator ride stunned. She was just offered a new job as the chief designer at Townley. With the job offer she stated her two conditions- that she must have the final say in all of the designs, and that her name would appear on all of her clothing labels. Little did the owner know at the time that he was about to employ a woman who is arguably one of fashion’s most unsung heroes. Choosing McCardell to be the chief designer was a gamble at this time. Her controversial designs had only just began to take stage in the American fashion market. McCardell started her career by living and studying in Paris in the city’s height of creativity. In Paris, McCardell worked as a spy for American brands. She was paid to copy French styles so that American department stores could remake them as their own. McCardell never fully agreed with the idea of stealing Parisian fashion. She agreed to go to Paris because she knew it was an opportunity for her to learn advanced technical skills, and that she did. She returned from Paris with much more than a sketchbook full of copied designs, but instead with a rich education in the construction of and ideas behind couture fashion. McCardell would later take this knowledge of high fashion and use it to make


well-constructed garments not only for the wealthy, but for everyone. Claire McCardell’s designs would be found in the closets of everyone from suburban housewives, to editor-and-chiefs of major fashion magazines. After World War II, American women were starting to grasp a new found independence and free-thinking attitude. Women had to step into the civilian and military jobs left behind by the many men who went off to battle. These new positions left women with a new sense of confidence and competence. Claire McCardell’s designs helped to equip these women with clothes that would empower them to conquer this new pace of their lives. “Women had enjoyed and even thrived on a taste of financial and personal freedom - and many wanted more” (McDermott). Women’s fashion in post-war America added to this new sense of independence, thanks to Claire McCardell’s pioneering designs. McCardell’s clothes were special because they promoted an active lifestyle. “With the advent of World War II, women’s taste in fashion finally started to catch up with McCardell’s vision of simplified, functional clothing” (Blodgett). Women now felt as though they could do anything, because their clothes were not restricting them or holding them back. McCardell shifted the attitudes of many women in the post-war market to thinking they were more than just a housewifethey could solve problems and impact the world in a big way.




McCardell’s timing was aided by pent-up demand as fashion was one of the many areas of American life that was affected by the rations of World War II. To her benefit, McCardell was inspired by the limitations presented by rationing, and used the situation to her advantage. One of her greatest innovations was the invention of the ballet shoe. McCardell also used her ingenuity and creativity to incorporate the practical aspects of menswear into her dresses. She even managed to use the technical skills she learned while abroad in Paris on cheap American textiles. The results took the American clothing market by storm. She was able to make comfortable, stylish, and affordable fashion for women of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Some of the motifs found throughout McCardell’s designs came to be known as McCardellisms. Some of these include her array of unconventional and inexpensive fabrics, her use of loose fitting dresses, and her development of the wrap-front dress. One of her most popular designs was known as the Popover dress. This denim wrap-front dress cost less than seven dollars and even came with an oven mit. McCardell sold hundreds of thousands of these dresses in different styles. The Popover wrap dress is still one of the most significant aspects of her legacy.

of lush fashion like Dior, Norrell and Mainbocher ahead of those, like McCardell, who believed in accessible style” (White). The fashion world is drawn to prestige, which is why expensive name brands are so successful. McCardell, however, was a functional designer for the everyday woman. While her ideas became so intrinsic to American fashion, society today doesn’t necessarily see her as particularly revolutionary. Claire McCardell is only truly recognized when looked at within the context of her own time. On some levels, McCardell could be viewed as one of the most creative fashion designers in American history. Her designs were innovative in their simplicity and their accessibility. Without her designs, big names like Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, or Marc Jacobs may not have ever been possible. Her own words say it best, as McCardell wrote in a 1955 Sports Illustrated article, “Sports clothes changed our lives because they changed our thinking about clothes. Perhaps they, more than anything else, made us independent women. In the days of dependent women—fainting women, delicate flowers, laced to breathless beauty—a girl couldn’t cross the street without help. Her mission in life was to look beautiful and seductive while the men took care of the world’s problems. Today women can share the problems (and possibly help with them) because of their new-found freedom” (Blodgett).

“Women’s fashion in post-war America added to this new sense of independence, thanks to Claire McCardell’s pioneering designs.”

Unfortunately, because the fashion industry is drawn to glamour and exclusivity, McCardell is not often a focus in the history of fashion. Fashion being elitist by nature, it is not surprising that McCardell is rarely mentioned in any historical list of top designers. The price of a garment and its luxuriousness have always conspired to put designers







“It is easily recognized that the glittered-breasts trend is a fun outlet for fashionable creativity, but many don’t realize that it is actually in conversation with much larger, more important topics of concern.”

Want to add more excitement to your wardrobe? Have a fun con-

There are no limits to glitter tits. The look is especially prom-

cert or music festival coming up and have nothing to wear? Ev-

inent amongst social media stars where Instagram models and

eryone has those days when open your closet doors and feel less

other influencers are boldly displaying their “disco tits.”

than inspired by what you see. Easy solution, just go topless! A fun and flirty new trend is taking the reins at festivals worldwide,

While of course we recognize that this look is not for everyone,

and it’s influence doesn’t stop there. Body painting and glitter

it is most certainly something that needs to be considered as an

have been all the rage lately. For this look, all you need is some

option. The ease of it all is incredibly attractive as well. All you

glitter and paint to give yourself a look perfect for any music

need is some sparkling glitter and some adhesive (preferably

festival or daring outfit!

body-safe glitter glue, but hair spray works just fine as well). Pasties or other nipple coverings are optional, depending on your

What are glitter boobs, you ask? This beauty trend where women

preferences. You can go full coverage with the glitter, or leave a

(and men and nonbinary and pretty much everyone, everyone’s

little more skin out if you want. To hell with modesty!

got nipples) are covering their breasts with paint, glitter, rhine-


stones, and colorful gems. The trend began at music festivals,

It is easily recognized that the glittered-breasts trend is a fun

with the first appearance was at the UK’s Glastonbury. The look

new outlet for fashionable creativity, but many don’t realize that

has since been seen at music festivals around the world, as well

it actually is in conversation with much larger, more important

as at Pride marches and other places as well. Glittered breasts

topics of concern. The Free the Nipple movement, for example,

have even recently made its way into New York Fashion Week

has made progress since the start of the glitter tits trend. Unfor-

with Yves Saint Laurent featuring the look in their show in 2017.

tunately, still to this day women are constantly being ashamed



“Whether you’re looking for a fun new look to add to your wardrobe, or looking to make a political statement in the name of gender equality, glittering your titties might just be what you’re looking for.”

of their bodies. The discrimination and judgement around the

further argues that all people have breasts, whether big or small,

female nude is incredibly prominent in society today. Men are

and they should all be treated the same.

allowed to go shirtless whenever they desire in public, while a woman’s bare chest is seen as something that needs to be hidden.

It will most likely take quite some time before the nipple be-

Men and women’s nipples are the same when you look at them,

comes completely normalized, but so do most things. Not too

yet they are perceived so differently to the majority of society.

long ago it was illegal for women to show their ankles in pub-

Why is it that if a woman is to wear fake nipples, or cover up

lic, and now that is a normal part of our society. Even the first

her nipples with say, glitter, it is seen as okay? Yet if that same

time the bikini was released, they couldn’t find real models who

woman were to show her bare nipple she is seen as something

were comfortable with exposing that much of their skin, so they

derogatory? Censorship of women’s breasts has led society to

launched the swimsuit by hiring prostitutes to model for them.

see them as something taboo or sexualized.

When the nipple, both female and male, becomes normalized, it will mean huge progress for gender equality and will give a

The Free the Nipple campaign is a part of a much larger move-

power to women that they had sense never been able to have.

ment towards the reclamation of women’s bodies, sexuality,

So whether you’re looking for a fun new look to add to your

safety, and freedom. Of course the campaign is not to say that

wardrobe, or looking to make a political statement in the name of

all women should be topless all the time, but it is important so

gender equality, glittering your titties might just be what you’re

that women have the option to do as they please with their bodies

looking for.

without worrying about being harassed or even arrested, as men have always had the right to. The Free the Nipple movement



Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.