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date: 17 August 2019

Hawes, Elizabethlocked

(b Ridgewood, NJ, Dec 16, 1903; d New York, Sep 6, 1971).
  • Elizabeth Q. Bryan

Extract

(b Ridgewood, NJ, Dec 16, 1903; d New York, Sep 6, 1971).

American fashion designer and author. Elizabeth Hawes combined interests in art, fashion and politics to make original contributions as a designer and to express strong opinions and promote radical concepts in such books as Fashion Is Spinach (1938) and It’s Still Spinach (1954). Her candor about her career as a copyist in Paris and her nine years as a couturier in New York, provides much insight into the complex relations between the haute couture and the American ready-to-wear industry.

Born in 1903 to a suffragette mother, Hawes had the education and social connections to pursue her career goals. Her interest in dressmaking led her to Paris in the summer of 1925 after graduation from Vassar College. Although she wanted to train as a designer, she could only secure a position as a sketch artist in a firm selling unauthorized drawings to buyers who were avoiding couturiers...

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