Tag Archives: Elizabeth Hawes

Currently Reading: Radical by Design

The Life and Style of Elizabeth Hawes: Fashion Designer, Union Organizer, Best-selling Author. By Bettina Berch

I recently ran across this biography of designer Elizabeth Hawes.  Many of us know Hawes because of her fashion industry expose of 1940, Fashion is Spinach.  In it she gives a great description of how copiers were able to steal the latest French fashions and have their knock-offs hit the market almost before the real thing.  In the past few weeks I’ve thought a lot about Hawes, mainly because of the drastic changes in the availability of  images from the latest fashion shows.  There are no more futile attempts to keep the new collections a secret.    The shows are tweeted in real time, and some design houses even live-streamed their entire show.

Compare this to just 10 years ago, when the latest collections were available on just a few websites, and you had to pay a fee to see the current images!  And in the 1950s several couturiers actually banned journalists from their shows because of the leaking of the new designs.

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